HOW ONE MAN MAKES IT HIS BUSINESS TO PUT THE 'SPECIAL' IN SPECIAL OCCASIONS
Filipino-American Ted Martinez may be based in the state of Virginia, but that doesn't stop would-be clients from across the globe from hiring him. He's. Just. That. Good. And lovable, too!
Ted Martinez Event Management, his eponymous events production company, plans and executes stunning visual feasts and memorable life occasions that run the gamut. He tackles a variety of 10-15 types of events per year, with lead times that are typically one year out for weddings, while other simpler events can be turned around in a matter of weeks. About half of his clients are based in Virginia, with the other half outstate, reaching as far as D.C., Atlanta, Florida, Cleveland, Aruba, Los Angeles and the Philippines. Most of his projects are weddings, but because of the wonderful experience his wedding clients have with him, he is often hired by the same couples again for other important special occasions throughout their lives, including baby showers, gender reveals, baptisms, children's parties, anniversaries and milestone birthdays. And then, those same happy clients refer him to their network of friends and family, all of which make for an endless list of new clients.
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An Early Start to a Lifelong Passion
Martinez's love of producing events began humbly in high school when he became involved in creating talent shows and fundraisers for Operation Smile (which would continue to be his life-long charity of choice). He continued on this same path when he attended George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia to major in Communications. After graduating college, he moved to New York City to enroll in NYU's year-long Events Management Certification program, where he formally learned theories of event planning, budgeting, timelines and layouts and gained real-world experience by assisting in actual events in the big city. By 2010, Martinez would launch his very own events management company.
Highlights of his body of work include an event he staged at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland and a very special, intimate dinner for two featuring Chef Khristianne Uy, also known as Chef K, the grand prize winner of ABC's cooking competition TV series. Also included in his favorite past projects is working with Ivie Joy Flowers, a celebrated Filipino-American florist, on the logistics and installation of dramatic floral designs for the Tony Awards Galas in 2015 through 2017 in New York City.
Today, about 80% of Martinez's clients are Filipino and virtually all of his new business is generated through direct referrals. Depending on the scope of an event, particularly weddings, he will assemble a top-notch team of 4-5 assistants, one of whom will be assigned to accompany and help the bride throughout the whole day.
"It helps to be a Filipino wedding planner when your clients are Filipino because you have an innate knowledge of all the customs and traditional elements that are often incorporated," said Martinez. "It helps clients worry less about those aspects. And there's a special kind of understanding and patience that would otherwise be absent if you aren't familiar with the culture."
Naturally, costs and lead times are heavily influenced by location and scope of an event. Added Martinez, "A wedding with only 20 attendees could still cost quite a bit depending on where and what the couple may want. But regardless of budget, if I take on an event, you'll rest assured that it will be one to remember."
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Time For Charity
A proclivity for producing events wasn't the only thing that Martinez showed early signs of in his youth. In lockstep was a precocious passion for volunteerism and charitable work. Certainly, Martinez makes a living by his clients paying for his talent and time, but as valuable as his time is professionally, it's invaluable how he chooses to use it in his personal life. Since his formative years in high school, Martinez has been volunteering with a cause near and dear to his heart: Operation Smile, the international medical charity providing free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries born with cleft palates. Indeed, Martinez revels in the smiles he puts on his business clients' faces, but it is the smiles he helps put on Operation Smile beneficiaries that mean even more. Before the end of this year, Martinez is scheduled to fly to Malawi to be an administrative volunteer once again with Operation Smile. This would mark his 27th medical mission with the group.
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"My heart is always full from being part of these missions," said Martinez. "It's gratifying work that grounds me and adds balance in my life. I'm very blessed to find great joy from two separate areas of my life."
One could easily infer, based on how Martinez spends his spare time, what he would be like to work with as an event planner: he handles the complex logistics of events, the push-and-pull of personalities involved, and the unexpected surprises that may arise with the same patience, humility and aplomb he employs when crisscrossing the globe to help those in need. It's a skill set that bodes well for his chosen field of producing special occasions, and as his growing list of clients attests, it's what makes Ted Martinez special himself.
To speak with Ted regarding an upcoming special event you need assistance with planning or producing, contact:
Ted Martinez Event Management LLC
(571) 277 1691