Renee Patrone is one of those lucky ladies who can fervently say she's "... doing what I love and loving what I do." A self-described social butterfly, Renee originally set her sights on a career as an actress, but unfortunately, her passion didn't necessarily translate to talent. So Renee turned her ability to be the life of the party into a successful event planning business: Events by Renee. Rather than taking the stage herself, Renee sets it for a variety of events, from weddings to corporate galas.
While dreaming of one day planning a Hollywood event like the Academy Awards, Renee is a firm believer that there is no event too big or too small. She'll be the first to tell you to "seize every opportunity ... and be grateful for them." No matter the client, Renee understands the importance of fabricating something creative, memorable and one-of-a-kind. "My days are spent nurturing relationships, ideas, creativity and dreams, then bringing it all together for a magical and successful execution in the form of a unique event."
“Helping people make a dream a reality energizes me every day.”
What drew you to your job?
I grew up loving theater life: putting on and being a part of successful productions. But my enthusiasm outweighed my talent for a successful life on the stage. Internships at two highly visible but very different venues revealed a different sort of audience communications could combine my capabilities and my heart's desire.
First, at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, I saw how small events could delight the children recovering from illnesses. Second, at the huge East Coast King of Prussia Mall, I was part of events to drive retail sales. Those vastly different experiences showed me how events done well can delight and improve business, that the two are connected and that I have a unique ability to do it.
What does your job involve on a daily basis, and what types of responsibilities do you have in your position?
The most important thing I do every day is listen. From a bride planning her dream day to an executive wanting a corporate event to forward business goals, everyone planning an event wants a memorable experience. It's my responsibility to have a fully loaded arsenal of ideas, themes and resources to bring their vision to life. My days are spent nurturing relationships, ideas, creativity and dreams, then bringing it all together for a magical and successful execution in the form of a unique event.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I get a front row seat to life's most memorable celebrations. Helping people make a dream a reality energizes me every day.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
What to wear and who's coming to the party? Seriously: it's always asking whether there is something small or large that would make the event more memorable or successful for the client. Usually, we find we have it covered. But sometimes in the small hours of the night, we come up with something extra spectacular that will further delight the client.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Truthfully, not thus far. I'm a social butterfly by nature, so for me, work and life are inspirations for one another. I'll admit, though, that I really enjoy getting to be the "guest" sometimes.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I can't believe I have this job?" What was it?
Recently I was voted "Queen of the Scene" by Philadelphia radio station WBEN-FM and my peers. Being the life of the party and a natural connector is so rewarding! It made me deeply appreciative of the seamlessness between doing what I love and loving what I do.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Seize every opportunity -- big or small -- and be grateful for them.
Life is a party and you're on the list.
First impressions are key. Be genuine.
No event is too big or too small.
What qualities does one need to possess to be successful in your line of work?
Like my Dad, I never forget a face. It helps me impart my belief that everyone is one-of-a-kind. When I network, I'm genuine and take a sincere interest in everyone I meet. As a result, my clients trust me implicitly. Also, flexibility and resilience are a must.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Respect the process. Everything that happens is a chance to grow and learn. Be present and happy in the moment. Keep an eye on your goals and manage your life.
What is your dream event to plan?
The Academy Awards or the Golden Globes and the corresponding parties. The glitz and glam get me every time, and the diversity in talent of the attendees would push me to the limit!