Consider it done is a reassuring phrase when help is needed; the person making the request no longer has to worry about the task at hand. That’s why Suzanne Guice named her Biloxi event planning/support services business Consider It Done when she started it in January 2007.
“The name covers it all. It becomes such a tag line,” she says. “It’s catchy and I’m pleased with it. I always said I would start a business and call it that.”
The Biloxi native was away from Mississippi 20 years working in Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas and New Orleans. During that time she worked in hotel sales, conventions services and catering. She returned home a few years ago and was the Grand Casino Hotel’s first employee and later was director of catering for the Beau Rivage Casino.
“I’ve worked with fabulous hotel chains and put on spectacular events, and that experience really gave me a great background,” she says. “It was the perfect time to start here.”
Guice has opened seven hotels in her career, ensuring that she knows how to manage myriad details. Consider It Done encompasses a wide range of services that she says includes planning, logistics and staging for special events, weddings, concierge service, some marketing and support for small businesses.
“We do some things for small businesses that don’t need anyone full time. We do Quick Books for a development company and marketing for an open MRI company and a decorating company. We can do gift exchanges and help plan honeymoons for weddings, but the main emphasis is on events,” she says.
Consider It Done puts on a wide variety of events for Biloxi’s Ohr-O’Keefe Museum and is responsible for the annual meeting of SmartSync of Jackson.
“For the SmartSync meeting, we take care of off premise events such as golf tournaments and all the audio/visual,” Guice says. “They had 150 people this year for the meeting in New Orleans and we even staged a parade down Bourbon Street.”
Guice brings in people to help as needed and has two dependable standbys in Julie Umbdenstock and Brynn Joachim. Umbdenstock will become a full-time employee this fall when she re-locates from Slidell, La., to the Coast.
Consider It Done does not provide food or entertainment services but coordinates with caterers and entertainers to make sure these components get done.
“Our services for events might include making sure the county sprays for bugs, getting electricity and tents, garbage picked up and overseeing clean up and tear down,” she says. “We make it seamless and we are flexible.”
Guice started her business with word of mouth and referrals. Now she’s putting up a website and will have printed collateral later this year. Although the events she coordinates pretty much stay on the Coast, she’s amenable to going anywhere with meeting planning for clients.
Asked if her business is recession proof, she says, “Corporate business is not doing as much. It’s cut back a little. But we’ve picked up more weddings and things like pharmaceutical companies doing lunches for doctors’ offices.
“There are not a lot of caterers here who do not deliver so we pick up and deliver the food. That way, the company reps get to network and not worry they’ve run out of tea. I find with the recession businesses want to market more.”
In her long career with hotels and event planning, there have been a few mishaps along the way. One that stands out is what could have been a disaster when she was director of convention services for the Grand Casino Hotel in Biloxi.
“It was a big meeting of governors and we were supposed to have a ballroom ready in the hotel being constructed across the street,” she recalls. “Two months out I was told the ballroom would not be ready. You can’t tell the client there’s no ballroom.”
The resourceful Guice set about creating an outdoor ballroom with a huge tent, complete with a wooden dance floor, bathrooms, electric power and seating for 1,500 people.
“The guests liked it so much, they wound up having three meals there,” she says. “We’re supposed to do that sort of thing in our industry — find solutions and not tell the client about the problems.”
Her advice for anyone planning events is: to think outside the box; be flexible; build relationships, even with those who are competitors; be willing to work long hours; and, have tough skin.
“I like challenges and want every event to be the best occasion for clients,” she says. “I learn a lot from clients. I feel them out and find out what they want.”
The love for what she’s doing keeps her motivated and gives her gratification. She feels her business will grow as the area continues to rebuild and grow, including the expansion of the convention center.
Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynn Lofton at firstname.lastname@example.org.