Here’s 10 questions with our September feature, Troy Balliet.
1. What initially drew you into the events industry?
I initially got into the events industry through my Wife, Heather, from Amorology. It all started when she asked me to build a bakery for a wedding she was putting together. I had so much fun developing the backdrop that I kept creating more for her clients. Eventually, other planners started calling me, asking for custom pieces as well. It all grew organically from there and has been a lot of fun since. I love helping event planners throw parties!
2. What’s a day in the life of Troy like?
A day in my life at work = a lot of sawdust. When I’m creating, I go from concept/design to engineering, and then to construction. Fortunately, I find every step really rewarding.
3. How do you feel your role helps advance your company’s overall goals?
My role at Backup Backdrops is simple, I’m the “get it done” guy. I have a great team because I work with people who share the same can-do attitude as me. When the work is flowing, most of my job consists of keeping a positive attitude and making sure the details always get done.
4. What is your favorite venue you have worked in, and why?
I really enjoy The Parker Palm Springs in California. I love the style. It’s eclectic with a lot of picturesque vignettes. All-in-all, it’s a beautiful property with an easy load in – which also helps! 😉
5. How do you measure success for the events you manage?
That’s easy – A successful event will have plenty of smiles!
In all seriousness, we are in the business of making people feel good, whether we’re creating memorable experiences or helping them celebrate a special occasion. All other considerations – like safety, design, profit margins, or efficiency for example – support these objectives.
6. What was your biggest event fail, and how did you overcome it?
I can’t say that I’ve had a single big event fail. But, as with any event, there are always hard deadlines that offer no re-dos. It’s do or die, with no chance to come back the following week to fix something that didn’t go as planned. I have found that no matter what, there is always something that comes up (whether it’s a scratched wall or peeled vinyl). As a result, my team and I have learned to adapt when things go wrong and commit to getting the project done when plan “A” doesn’t work out.
Overcoming any event failure is a matter of commitment and adaptability. It’s also a team effort so it’s important to build a team that values a successful outcome just as much as you do.
7. Where do you see the events industry going in the future? Any trends?
I think with COVID and the new 5G technology there will be a lot more virtual events or virtual components to live events. I don’t see live events going away completely because people love to gather. As we’ve all said, humans are gregarious in nature and love to connect face-to-face. So, for us at Backup Backdrops, that’s the space we intend to keep serving. The physical, real-life, beautiful spaces, filled with lovely faces for happy occasions.
8. Do you have a favorite book or podcast you would recommend to fellow event professionals?
I just finished listening to Sean Low’s new podcast, The Business of Being Creative. It’s a great little series about Low’s success and ability to help artists build out their businesses in a way that honors the art. It includes great advice on everything from getting the deal to completing it. I’ve always valued his opinion and also happen to love entrepreneurship stories. So, if you’re on the same page here, you’d probably like this podcast too.
As for a book, I’d recommend The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. It’s a great entrepreneurship book about people who start businesses. For instance, most people believe that people only start a new company to capitalize on a trend and make a profit. In reality, many start businesses because they’re good at something and want to start their own show.
9. Where do you find inspiration?
Hands down, I get most (if not all) of my inspiration from well-made furniture.
10. Any advice for #eventprofs just getting started?
My advice for event profs just getting started in the events industry is short and sweet. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Stick to what you love and do it well. That’s it!