Courtesy Ron Wendt Designs & Weddings
Event designer Ron Wendt knows exactly how much huge corporations spend on annual parties and intimate events.
He works regularly with J.P. Morgan, Coller Capital, and First Republic bank, as well as glittering lifestyle brands like Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton.
I ask him how he’s cultivated such an elite clientele, and he answers, “Discretion, discretion, discretion!”
While I can guess how much he spends on florals flown in from Holland and custom table linens, he’ll never tell.
What he will say is that, since the recession, his corporate clients have been “very careful about showing off.”
On the difference between fashion and finance clients, he tells me, “In finance, the story is a little more subtle, but with fashion or jewelry, the story is more detailed.”
He adds of his corporate clientele, “Good quality tablecloths are something they ask for.” Naturally, Wendt makes all of his fabrics in-house.
With holiday parties looming, the fall and winter months are Wendt’s busiest time of year. “Right now I’m working on the holiday press event for Tiffany’s,” he says. On whether he designs private events for New York’s richest CEOs and hedgefunders, the answer is a resounding yes — but he doesn’t name names.
Below, he explains the finer details that went into planning four events for some of his top corporate clients.
Wendt has a long relationship with J.P. Morgan. “They often have important, intimate dinners in their board room for 20 or 22 guests,” he says. “They’ll have an evening with an author, sometimes they’ll have an evening with a former government official.” The florals seen here (delphiniums and hydrangeas from Holland) were chosen to complement the recently acquired piece of art on the wall.
What are the signatures of a J.P. Morgan event? First, low floral arrangements. “You have to make sure that things are super low so they can converse,” says Wendt. Second, extremely high quality materials that look “understated.”
Private bank and wealth management company First Republic asked Wendt to design its swanky holiday party. The crowd was younger, so he created a winter white room…
…and a sexy red room at a venue called The Glasshouses in New York’s arty Chelsea neighborhood. With only 150 guests, the two floors (and terrace) provided plenty of space for mingling.
This event for the German financial service company Allianz was a huge challenge for Wendt and his team. New York’s Museum of Modern Art only gave him an hour and 15 minutes to set everything up.
He pulled it off and approximately 1,000 guests had a smashing time in the Mondrian-inspired space. The event was a series of three evenings in which Allianz celebrated its top performers. “They wanted to hear jazz music on the walk over,” Wendt says of the musicians who played in the background as guests made their way to the venue.
Cigarette and tobacco company Altria — which owns Michelle Wine Estates — called on Wendt to plan an intimate evening for some of its best clients. They asked for a “wandering dinner” with settings inspired by California, Italy, and South America. Wendt chose a photography studio as the venue and projected videos of countrysides on the walls.
To see more of Wendt’s events, click here >>