My Trip to San Francisco

Preston Bailey San Francisco National Association of Catering Executives Jason Diavatis glitter table decor sparkly table decor preston bailey table decor ideas centerpieces

Last week I had the honor of speaking at the San Francisco Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives (SF NACE). (These are photos of the table decor from the event; wasn’t it gorgeous?!)

Preston Bailey San Francisco National Association of Catering Executives Jason Diavatis glitter table decor sparkly table decor preston bailey table decor ideas centerpieces

I chose to speak about one of my favorite topics: the secret to being over the top in the event and wedding industry. For me, being over the top simply means to be out of the ordinary. I do my best to give my clients over-the-top service and over-the-top designs. And, hopefully, in the process, I make some over-the-top money!

I was lucky enough to have a really great audience that included the Bay Area’s best of the best, and it was fun to be a little decadent and over-the-top but give some practical business advice, too.

The feedback I got is that vendors in Northern California struggle with the same issue I see almost everywhere I go: how do we get clients to move away from “the norm” and embrace “the unique”? That’s a work in progress, and it won’t get better over night, but I’m glad we all want to do something unique and aren’t just settling for average.

Preston Bailey San Francisco National Association of Catering Executives Jason Diavatis

My host was Jason Diavatis — President of the San Francisco NACE Chapter and a wonderfully talented wedding and event planner — and he could not have been more hospitable. (That’s Jason and me in the photo above.)

Everyone loves him, and it’s easy to see why; he has such a kind and approachable demeanor. In fact, I was so impressed by Jason that I’d like him to help me with one of my events. Thank you for everything, Jason!

Preston Bailey San Francisco National Association of Catering Executives Jason Diavatis

Speaking of great vendors, I got to see many of the talented industry folks who helped me do a wedding in Carmel, California awhile back. It was so much fun to see everyone again. It felt like coming home.

There is a closeness and sense of true friendship among the vendors in the San Francisco area that I just love. I was also thrilled to see that San Francisco is a strong growing market with a booming business, and there seems to be enough work to go around. I just hope I didn’t scare them away with my over-the-top message!

Dear Readers, does the idea of “over the top” scare you? How do your clients respond to over-the-top and unique design?

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(Photos by Josh Rodriguez)

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