It’s safe to say that the Daily has Samantha Vazquez on speed dial. And for good reason! The owner of SV Productions, an experiential events company, has a proven track record executing memorable moments for the likes of Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, and more. When it came time to hosting our eight annual Fashion Media Awards, there was no one else in mind to pull it off with aplomb. Here’s how the Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient got her start in the industry and what’s still to come!
You just produced the FMAs! What was the lead up like on the day?
With the FMA’s hosted during NYFW the lead up was crazy—as most events are! But it was beautiful, the turnout was great and that is all we ask for!
Are you a calm or stressed person? What do you do to maintain your chill during high-pressure events?
I am always a ‘calm on the outside person’ but as with all event producers, I thrive on stressful situations. The key is to be able to keep my clients calm! To maintain my chill I lean on my amazing team and always have my problem solving hat on. There is never NOT a solution, sometimes we just have to be creative.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I got started as an intern actually; I worked my way up in the same agency from intern to director. Along the way I still worked at my father’s car dealership on Saturdays! Although I was so tired, it helped keep my negotiating, customer service, and sales tactics always up to speed—which has helped a ton owning my own business.
Tell us about your baby, SV Productions? What do people need to know about your services?
I honestly can’t believe how big SV Productions has gotten in a little under two years and in a pandemic! But what people should know is that at SV Productions we pride ourselves on budgeting, time efficiency, communication, and strategy. I am always open and honest with my clients and my team is the same way.
I’m sure there’s no such thing as an average day in your line of work………but what’s an average day for you?!
A lot of coffee and ending it with wine are always staples. But you’re right, there isn’t an average day. If we are in the office, I do a mix of new business calls and pitches, meeting with my team about existing projects, meeting with clients and vendors, and working on budgets.
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How did you and your company pivot during, and since, COVID?
We started doing a lot of non-profit work—I found that non-profit organizations had to fundraise even harder during the pandemic, so SV Productions was ready to help them. We produced a lot of virtual events, galas, conferences, gift box design and fulfillment, as well as doing sizzle reels and longer form video editing for our clients.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that there is not a single day, project, or client that is the same. I am constantly challenged to learn, grow, and execute more challenging projects.
What is the most often overlooked element of an event?
I would say crew meals and breaks. Our teams work so hard and sometimes we are the last ones to take a moment to breathe. Sometimes we are onsite for 16+ hours, so I always try and make sure our production schedules are set in a way that everyone can get ready, take a lunch break, and so on.
What, in your mind, is the #1 most important element of a successful event?
A strong and confident team. In production and in live events, there is always something that will go wrong no matter how much you plan. However, having a strong problem-solving brain; a good producer can keep their client calm and figure out a solution to ensure the successfulness of the event.
What separates SV Productions from other event planning companies?
Honesty and equality. I have worked at many big agencies where they lock in a big client and pass it to a freelancer or where clients come in for meetings and most of the team is left at their desks and not allowed in the conference room. I take pride in maintaining personal involvement in all projects and clients. I am honest with my clients when we are busy, onsite, or who is the running point on the project. I keep my whole team on emails so my clients know it’s not only one person doing the entire event. I never liked the hierarchy mentality; if my interns are interested in a specific client or project, I will bring them to a meeting to take notes, bring them on a site visit, and let them help. It’s how we all grow and how I continue to build a strong team!
Tell us about some of your favorite events you and SV Productions have worked on?
My favorite events are ones that challenge us the most! Some of the bigger experiential events I have produced for Hermès in Hawaii or around the U.S. are always fun and challenging. Christian Louboutin’s Hamptons documentary viewing was one of a kind, and Sandy Liang’s runway shows are always one of my favorites of the year. Seeing designers grow each year keeps me motivated!
What do you value most in your team?
Their work ethic. What we do is not easy and showing up each day, giving it your all, and still leaving with a smile is hard. I value how much they care about our clients and how much they still want to learn.
What’s your biggest dream?
I am the first to graduate college in my family, I am a woman, I am a person of color, and I am on Forbes 30 under 30! My dream is to continue to inspire those around me to build for themselves, motivate themselves, and not be afraid. Our careers and our lives don’t need to be cookie cutter. We can push those boundaries even if no one around us has done the same.