Preston Bailey advises | Design Commerce Agency

Preston Bailey shares stagecraft secrets

March 16, 2015
Celebrity event planner shares practical advice for other artists and designers

Preston Bailey had lots of useful, practical advice for the thousands of catering and event professionals who heard a recent keynote at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

Widely acclaimed for his one-of-a-kind transformative designs, Preston’s art installations are featured around the world. He’s created dramatic, one-of-a-kind spaces for events for people like Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, Joan Rivers, and many celebrities and royal families around the globe.

Here are some core principles, distilled from a recent interview with the editor of Catersource, which organized the March show in Las Vegas:

Do your own thing. “I think most folks pay way too much attention to what’s trending.”

If it’s Valentine’s, there’s only one color flower to use. “The reality is that the color red does have a romantic connotation in peoples’ minds.”

Leave room for the food. “Always try to use tables that are wider (or bigger) to comfortably fit your centerpieces and food. My long tables are at least four feet wide, and I usually use a 72-inch round table for 10 people. On occasion, these tables will be 84 inches around.”

Remember, you’re entertaining. “A great way to keep an evening exciting is to very carefully plan a surprise every 30 minutes. This could be a change of lighting or having the servers magically appear with trays of presents.”

Never forget. “Working as an artist, I think that once you work for someone, you do not have creative freedom. You are there to walk in their shoes and create something that they’ll love.”

Preston’s wide-ranging advice has filled six books so far. We’re excited every time we bring him into a conversation, and thrilled to be working with him.

  • Nothing like a Preston Bailey event.

  • Make sure you leave room on the table for the place settings.


Share this Post