Event organizers prepare for all possibilities

Event planners are in a frenzy.

Usually, by this time, the invitations are printed and the venues are booked for the Golden Globes after-parties, the cost of which range from $300,000 to $700,000.

But this year the event planners who put on Golden Globe parties need answers.

Are the Globes on or off? If there’s a picket line, will the stars cross it? And how does all this affect the $40,000 in matching chair covers and table linens needed for the event?

For party planners, the key question is whether the nominees are going to attend. If the thesps won’t cross the picket line, then what’s the use? “It’s a big problem making commitments with my subvendors,” said Bill Butchkavitz, who’s designing the HBO party. “Everything from the guy who builds the floor to the people who are renting the equipment for projecting images on the wall. You have to sign contracts with them.”

The holiday season only complicates matters. “The factories are closed for Christmas week,” Butchkavitz said. “So there’s going to be this crunch Jan. 2 to get things done.”

Adding to the stress is that the same studio personnel who are arranging the parties are also working on seating for the Globes itself. They find themselves, in the words of one exec, “fighting for seats at something I think isn’t going to happen.”

Still more pressure is coming from sponsors who put up a hefty percentage of a party’s budget. “Sponsors have committed big chunks of their budgets, and they want to know if they should go in a completely different direction,” one planner said.

As a group, the studio event planners are a convivial lot and work harmoniously with one another. And the past week has seen lots of intrastudio communication.

“Everyone is calling around trying to find out what everyone is doing,” one planner said.

“It’s all going to come down to: Can the Globes come up with a feasible plan that the talent is comfortable with and don’t have to cross a picket line?” another planner said. “And I don’t know what that is.”

Since the parties have become such an integral part of Globe night, one thing the planners are studiously trying to avoid is upsetting the HFPA by prematurely canceling their after party.

The studios’ event planners will be meeting at the Beverly Hilton this morning to determine how far deadlines can be pushed and commitments to space and vendors extended.

“We’re trying to determine the point of no return,” said one exec. “Nobody wants to be the first person to drop out.”

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