Are you sure?

Behind the scenes with the event planners

Walking through Budapest you see so many beautiful places. Some, unfortunately, are closed to the general public, but there are two women who can seemingly enter anywhere. So if you are looking for a particular event, or want to organize something very special, in an unique location, you had better contact Miss Planner Budapest.

Maxine Adams (left) and Krisztina Ilosfai.

With ten years’ worth of collective experience, Maxine Adams and Krisztina Ilosfai have cut out a niche in the market this year by establishing their own high-end event planning company. But while many people choose to specialize in one sector, this pair does everything.

Currently they are based in a co-working space, as they are still searching for the appropriate office. But who needs an office when you can stay out in the city all day, maybe in some beautiful and historical building? They started off the business to fill a gap that they saw existed in the Hungarian market. Miss Planner Budapest organizes all kinds of events: weddings, birthday parties, marriage proposals, themed parties, workshops, weekend getaways, unique city tours; indeed, pretty much anything that you can dream up. “You imagine it, we make it happen,” says Ilosfai, quoting the company motto. “Working with a variety of suppliers and discovering new locations enables us to create unique, unforgettable moments while meeting new people and hearing amazing stories, making the experience even more enjoyable,” she explains.

It is too early to talk at this stage about profits and margins because they are waiting for the end of the year to draw up their annual financial statement, but thus far they have not had any dead periods and they say business is booming. Preparation for some events can be a long process; an Alice in Wonderland-themed wedding that Miss Planner designed and managed took seven months of planning, for example.

“We can’t compare the Hungarian event sector with the British one as the market here is currently developing. People have only began to grasp the concept of paying for professional event planning services when wanting something more than the average,” says Adams. “We aim to manage everything to a high standard, focusing our attention on the individual, creating a tailor-made offering. It can be challenging at times to run a company with just two members; when you are the only ones responsible for controlling everything, it can prove slightly stressful at times. But in the end, looking at the results, it is more than worth it.”

Someone to be

So what does it take to be an event planner? “Many people think it is a hobby: it looks glamorous and they like the idea of it. But an event planner is not just the person who embodies this role. It is a lifestyle – one has to stay culturally curious and up-to-date with the current events and trends. It is not something to do, but rather someone to be,” says Ilosfai. “First of all, an event planner needs to have a clear concept of their strengths and choose a sector accordingly. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, it’s good to start with a business plan. Personality and experience is the key; it is not necessarily your degree that determines how well you will perform,” adds Adams. The two women are fully engaged in – and love – what they are doing, as they are not just managing events, but investing time and attention into each and every detail, making it a fun and creative process.

Who hires Miss Planner Budapest? The majority of clients are foreign professionals, private clients or diplomats; clients who want something unique and bespoke, not just another cruise on the Danube with goulash and gipsy dances. “It is exciting to stay behind the scenes because we can discover a lot of places that otherwise we would never see,” says Adams.

“A typical day for us starts with prioritizing our daily tasks, followed by meetings with clients or suppliers, followed by creating bespoke offers, resulting in long office hours. However, sometimes the day can also end with us testing a supplier’s unique new offering, such as a helicopter tour, a boat ride or sampling a new restaurant. When we start the planning process, we ask a list of questions from our clients in order to be able to create a personal presentation focusing on their needs,” she says.

“We don’t offer fixed packages. The reason for this is that the industry is ever changing, and we like to hand-select our suppliers suited to the profile of the client on each occasion. Previously, people were interested in having the basic elements covered, they are now focused ever more on the details, such as specific flowers, color concept, out-of-the box décor elements, personalized stationery etc.,” Adams adds.

In order to keep on top of everything, the business partners use a variety of software such as Evernote, WorkFlowy, 3D rendering tools and a program that hosts cloud services. “It is useful to use today’s technology to stay organized and well prepared,” comments Ilosfai.

Organizing events requires Miss Planner Budapest to stay creative and innovative, always coming up with unique ideas and experiences, such as Mission Impossible teambuilding across Budapest, a Red Carpet make-up workshop, themed weddings, or a private dinner on the terrace of the National Gallery. To quote from that motto again: “You imagine it, we make it happen.”