Interviews with Planners - PS Ives
PS Ives co-founded Space in the Raw in 2015 after 10 years as venue broker locating unique spaces for the event industry. Space in the Raw aims to match properties that are on the market long term with planners and events. Working with blue chip companies like Google, Nike, Microsoft and Sony, she recognized a gap in the event industry. Increasingly, companies want to create one of a kind brand experiences and request unique event spaces to make this a reality.
Building her career, turning traditional real estate into event spaces and launching the popular venue, Location 05 in 2011, PS was inspired to co-found Space in the Raw. Space in the Raw focuses on transforming vacant real estate for short-term commitments. She believes that whatever clients envision, Space in the Raw can create it.
What is the best advice you have ever received as a planner?
Always have solutions in mind for the unexpected. Never assume things will go perfectly, but try and shelter your clients from the wrath when possible.
What is the most unique location you have ever planned an event at? What was great, what was challenging?
23 Wall Street was the former J.P. Morgan headquarters on Wall Street in New York City. This space is a 60,000 square feet shell of a building that was stripped of everything it once was, the remaining bones however were extraordinary. There was no HVAC, running water, and the building was located in the security zone of The New York Stock Exchange, making any type of load in extremely difficult due to heightened security in the neighborhood.
We hosted several notable events in this space. One that stood out was Michael Jordan's 30th Anniversary for Air Jordan in February 2014. This ended up being the coldest day of the year, with many moving and changing parts, including the headline act, Prince. The greatest challenge was working in this bare space to create the illusion of a grand event room. A strong team and a room full of problem solvers made this event the "party of the year" amongst the celebrity set.
What advice would you give to someone entering the business today?
Know what you are selling as its very easy to talk up the dream but can you deliver what you promise? You get one shot with your clients to create a first impression. Make it a good one so that you can grow in a business that is based on reputation and your ability to execute.
What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being a planner, and how do you overcome that challenge?
Working as a team and relying on others is key to a successful event. Knowing who has strengths in what area of the event is important. Trusting individuals you place in the position to execute certain elements of the event can be a great challenge. The best way to navigate through this is through trial and error and with a backup plan in place.
How do you think our industry will evolve in the next five years?
Events as a whole are getting more and more creative. As a planner, you will need to be a step ahead with great ideas that will resonate with your clients and be remembered by the attendees. Starting with the space the event is held in, the food that is served, to the parting experience.
What makes you successful as a planner?
Relationships and being true to my business model and clients. Never sell what you don't believe in as it will eventually show.
In your opinion, what is the best and worst industry trend of the year?
The best industry trend is the search for creative spaces to hold events rather than going back to the space that has been dressed a million times over.
The worst trend is thinking that short cuts will get you to the same results as putting the work into it.
What is the best industry book that has helped you as a planner?
That would be "Hyper Sales Growth: Street-Proven Systems & Processes. How to Grow Quickly & Profitably" by Jack Daly.
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