Part X: …and the RESULTS!
The New Year
The first quarter of the year, after the holidays, is usually rather slow in the event industry, as far as the actual parties and events are concerned. However, this is when clients may start planning their events for the coming year.
The letter sent to the Times was forgotten – or rather pushed to the back of my mind and it was time to cultivate new business. (I realized later on that I had used the prosperity principle of release without knowing it.) I continued with my prosperity work.
A few clients that I attracted during that time...
A film editor and a screenwriter became engaged on Valentine’s Day, and I went about coordinating their wedding reception for June. The young couple loved the location I presented – a gorgeous turn-of-the-century Victorian home that had been used in many films.
A real estate agent wanted a totally unusual and unique location to throw a birthday party for his wife. I secured the Frank Lloyd Wright house for him.
A public relations firm also booked the Wright house for a combination retirement and promotion cocktail party for the firm.
I don’t remember much more from that time period and then…
…then there was the phone call sometime in late February or early March, I believe. THE phone call.
A woman named Betty Goodwin called me and said she was a writer for the Los Angeles Times. She said that my letter had floated around to various departments at the paper for awhile and finally landed in her hands. Her editor had told her to check it out.
We spoke on the phone for awhile and I don’t recall the conversation except that she said she would speak with her editor and get back to me if there was any interest. A few days later she called again and said her editor liked the idea. Could we meet for an interview? We set a place and time. I met Betty at Michel Richard Patisserie, a small French café in Beverly Hills. I think that Betty chose the spot.
Across from the table sat a petite but feisty young writer who proceeded to ask me questions about my business and my background. We discussed how I discovered an apparent “missing link” in the party business and decided to provide the link by opening my own “location service” in December. At one point, Betty said that she wanted to speak with my clients and I agreed to provide her with some contacts. And then she asked me to give her a list of some of my locations.
I was startled and a bit confused. I told her that if I were to expose the names of the venues to the public, then people wouldn’t need to use my services. They could book the locations directly.
Well, I told you that Betty was feisty. She was also direct and knew how to get what she wanted. I remember vividly how she leaned toward me, looked me right in the eye and said if I didn’t name the locations, there would be no article. But then in a softer, but still direct tone, she said, “Do it. It will be great publicity for you.” I knew that she meant this sincerely and wasn’t just trying to get her way.
The Times later called to set up an appointment for a staff photographer to take photographs of me at one of my locations. I selected one of the most spectacular venues in my portfolio (and in the whole city) where I had booked events – the Dutch Castle in Beverly Hills. The castle was a private residence, designed and built by the owner for his partner, who was a Dutch consul. The authentic blue and white castle was situated at the top of the hill with a view of the entire city, a pool area that extended over the mountain and a full-size tennis court. Did I mention “spectacular”?
Fitzgerald ("Fitz") was the Times photographer who took my photos. The wind was blowing at the top of the hill and I couldn’t keep my hair in place, but I was flying. :-)
Some time later I was told when the article would appear.
Friday the 13th
On the day that the article was to appear, Friday, April 13th, 1984, I couldn’t wait. I had researched when newsstands received the early edition papers, and in the wee hours I drove to a local stand that was open to find the paper and my article.
As you know, newspapers are normally folded so that the main news section is on top. But what I found instead was that day’s Los Angeles Times with the View section on the top. The newspapers that day had been arranged incorrectly by “mistake” - and there I was in full glory on the cover of View on the cover of the paper.
When I opened my door later to find my delivered paper, it was the same. I was right there on the top again. I was later told by others that they opened their door and there I was staring up at them. No one could miss it.
And this was only the beginning. What happened next deserves an entire segment to itself…
To be continued…
Private Reply to Marilyn Jenett (new win)