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F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 5 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 11 SOCIAL EVENTS Internationally acclaimed event planner, interior designer, author and television personality Diann Valen- tine continues to turn fantasy into reality as this vivacious innovative mastermind gives her clients around the world the greatest celebrations of their lives. The incredibly sought-after and admired Valentine is the creative genius behind the jaw dropping weddings of Usher, Martin Lawrence, Toni Braxton and more. Her corporate clientele includes Moet Hennessy, HBO, Nike, Essence Magazine and many others. Valen- tine is also a popular motivational speaker that emphasizes personal responsibility while differentiating your brand for business success. www.diannvalentine.com Do It For Love Meet Celebrity Event Pro Diann Valentine As a special event professional, I understand that everyone who calls upon me is calling for something in their lives that they do not need. Knowing that I am a luxury in my clients' lives, I pour my heart and soul and all of the love I have in me into every job. Know that every time you do a job, you have an opportunity to touch people creatively through a life changing experience that they would not have had if they had not called you. Since love is my motivation, the love I have inside of me and the love I have for the creative expres- sions that I deliver, it does not matter to me who the client is, what the occasion is or why I am doing the job because I always do it for love and when love guides you there is always something beautiful on the other side of that. Love helps us all operate in gratitude and when we give it, it comes back to us in more ways than we ever imagined. n 2 Switch It Up I believe that the trajectory of any event should change every 30 min- utes. Whether it is a light- ing change, food course or an activity, it is impor- tant to keep people engaged and you engage them by trying to reach one of their five senses. n 3 Meeting Planning Event Planning VS. what's harder? Meeting planning or event planning? Internationally acclaimed event planner and television personality Diann Valentine says event planning can be just as difficult, if not more so, than meeting planning. "I have done both corporate programs, very high end destina- tions and events and multiple social events around the globe and I think that the level of difficulty depends on the complexities of the program and not the type of event that is being planned. For exam- ple, I have produced weddings in excess of $3 million held in other countries where I could only speak to vendors through translators because of language barriers. I've shipped multiple containers of custom design work to various countries and have dealt with cus- toms challenges, cultural differences in work style and many misin- terpretations of our needs that have gotten lost in translation. I would never say that it is insulting to be compared to a meeting planner, but I'm certain that not many could survive on one of my produc- tions. Hotels and convention centers are very safe environments to work in but creating a space on the sand on a remote private island is an altogether different challenge. I also think it is natural to maybe pre-judge the difficulty of a situation until you have walked a mile in the other's shoes." Valentine says no matter what type of occasion that your planning, Event Producer is a more fashionable title for both meeting and event planners. "I prefer and see the term producer more often than planner. There is a certain level of respect that comes with the term producer likely because of its association with television and the entertainment industry and many of my events have larger budgets than some small indie films. Producers are problem solvers and fast thinkers and strategic planners. Producers understand that whoever you are working for is expecting something extraordinary from you. Planners operate more like virtual assistants." n So