I had the good fortune to speak with David Merrill this weekend, who's just coming off two immense functions run by his company AOO Events, one of which took over Paramount's back lot and transformed it for 1200 people as a corporate party, while the other was an exclusive private birthday party for only 80 guests where Bruno Mars was the headliner. Needless to say, David likes to play big. He does this all year long with his company based in Los Angeles and also travels to Las Vegas, or New Orleans or wherever an event may take him. He'll have hot air balloons floating over tented outdoor carnivals, or he'll have his client's brand names tastefully etched in custom made glass mirrors lining specially designed two level party installations. His events are successful because he really wants to deliver on an emotional promise. And that's because he takes the time to research and listen to his clients. "You want to make it special for everyone who comes in," he says. "It can't just be big and overwhelming without being personalized for the entire crowd."
I have the luxury to think about that when I'm doing a dinner party myself for eight people. He's thinking that way for upwards of 1000. Not bad. What's disarming about David is how friendly he is, and how surprisingly normal and easy to talk to. "Hey, I like going to parties just like everyone," he...
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