Dempsey & Carroll’s event curator Austin Ackles sat down with Jennifer Zabinski of JZ Events to learn about her work as an event planner.
AA: You’ve worked all over the world! Outside of New York, what city hosted your most exciting event and how did you take advantage of that locale?
JZ: I think one of my favorite locations has been in Fiesole, right outside of Florence. This location exposed our guests to the beautiful views of the countryside and allowed them to experience the true pace of Florence (including all of its sights, tastes and views).
AA: And which beach destination is an absolute favorite?
JZ: I’ve had many favorites but one that stands out is the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Few beach destinations beat its pristine water, sparkling sand and quality of food. Its proximity to New York is also extremely practical.
AA: What location provided the biggest logistical challenges and how did you overcome them?
JZ: The South of France is a region that definitely poses a range of challenges. With destinations that aren’t local, there is a great deal of pre-planning involved. You have to keep in mind that you are working during the height of their tourism season and this inevitably means competing against what they can offer for other events. Logistically speaking, you have to be thinking five steps ahead in terms of what needs to be shipped out, and what needs to be sent abroad. There are always many moving parts with a location that is not local and this will always be a challenge.
AA: Is there a venue that you’ve always dreamed of designing for but just haven’t gotten the opportunity yet?
JZ: I’ve always wanted to plan an event in the Mauritius. Their melange of different cultures (Indian and French included) has been something that I have wanted to explore further. I think there is a great potential for different themes here, that aside it is absolutely beautiful.
AA: When you finally get a break, where do you like to go to recharge?
JZ: My beach house in Wainscott is my ultimate go-to. This is a time where I can totally recharge and shut down. During my time there I enjoy spending time with my kids, and of course the little things like bike riding, swimming and being out of the bustle of New York City.