Interview with Michal Kaye of Events Israel

Choreographing a Beautiful Event


What is event production?
Event production refers to a company that coordinates and plans all aspects of an event whether it be a family or business event. We help the client find the location for their event, music, photography, gifts for their guests, flowers, themes, transportation, hotels; you name it, we do it.

Why did you open Events Israel?
It was by accident actually. About six years ago, one of my mother’s friends from Toronto needed help planning her daughter’s wedding in Israel. My mother offered my help, even though I was working in hi-tech at the time. However, I was able to multitask. That was my first wedding I planned and coordinated. A week later I had another wedding and so on. Hence, Michal K. Events Israel was born.

What type of events do you run?
I work on weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, family occasions, business meetings and events.

Who are your clients?
My clients are English speakers from around the world who are planning an event in Israel, as well as English speakers who are living in Israel. I have recently started to work within the Israeli community but it’s more in regard to business events.

How do you walk the fine line between organizing everything efficiently and not controlling the client?
Every client is different and needs help in different ways. Some need to have their hands held the whole time and sometimes they just need you to guide them. As long as you are always in communication with the client, you can be on top of everything and allow the client to choose the right path for themselves.

How do you help bridge the gap between Anglo clients and Israeli businesses?
After six years working in the business I know how to ask the questions that the client might not know to ask. I make sure that the contracts cover the client as much as possible and just being the go-between reduces the client’s frustration.

What is the main difference between organizing simchas and corporate events?
A family event or simcha has a lot more emotion involved in contrast to a corporate event, which is about business. Most event producers will say with a family event, 50% of our time is being a therapist to all sides involved.

What should a client expect from an event planner?
Discretion – The level of discretion between an event producer and a client is like a doctor-patient confidentially agreement.
Attentive Listening – I always listen to what a client wants and plan accordingly. Usually I can gauge what venues and vendors to recommend because I have listened to what the client wants and work with them to create the event they want.
Creativity – Planning an event is not just about booking the vendors, but it is also thinking about how it all comes together; from the invitations, to the napkin color, to the menu. Some clients don’t have a clue where to start or what they want their event to look like. They always know what they want it to feel like; so as an event planner I have to work with the client to refine an idea and go with it.

What are some important things to be careful about when planning an event?
Make sure you read every contract. I translate my contract for my clients if they don’t have it in English so even if they have to sign the Hebrew one, they can still understand what they are signing. If the client has the budget, they should add an extra 10% just in case. Sometimes you need to know you have a little leeway overall.

Is an event planner only practical for those with a bigger budget?
I have done events for all budgets. Some people want to have someone else worrying about all the big arrangements and little details. It’s worth it at the end, even if it takes out from the budget.

How long do you need to properly plan a wedding?
I have put together a wedding in three weeks. Sometimes I have had a year and a half, but it always ends ups being finalized at last minute. In Israel, there is no real amount of time that we would say is the appropriate amount of time for planning an event.

How is event planning similar to choreography?
It is choreography – event planning is logistics and making sure it all works together to create a beautiful event.

Do you have professionals that you can recommend to your clients for their events?
I work with a lot of amazing vendors, all of whom are English speakers so my clients feel comfortable on that special day. But if a client wants me to check out someone who has been recommended to them by their friends (as friends always recommend), I love meeting new vendors and seeing if it is a right fit for them.

With so many details to tend to, something is bound to go wrong once in a while, any interesting stories to share?

Not really. Even if something goes wrong, my job is to fix it and only, maybe, tell the client at the end of the event. As long as it is fixed, they don’t have to know what went wrong. One of my favorite stories is when a rabbi thought the wedding was a day later even though we spoke to him the previous day. He told us that he was not going to make the chuppa before sunset. Thankfully we were able to find another rabbi, and the bride and groom where just happy that they could have their sunset chuppa. Sometimes it’s about being flexible and understanding that we can’t control everything.

Michal Kaye

USA: 312-340-5774

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