Colin Cowie: Design Inspirations

Colin Cowie: Design Inspirations

By LeeAnne Jackson

LeeAnne JacksonColin Cowie wowed all our attendees with a great presentation about how to be a better event designer and run a better business.

As a premier event designer to the stars, it was surprising to learn that Colin came to America from South America with only $400 in his pocket. After starting a catering company and working hard for 29 years, he has a built an event empire that employs just 30 people. He really drove home the fact that it is important to run a tight ship and make good business decisions in an age where clients can use Google to find whatever they want. You have to provide a unique product, which is why Colin’s team only produces 18 to 22 signature events per year, with no event ever repeating another.

Cowie’s company is dissected into three distinct brands, Team Cowie, Signature Colin, and Colin Cowie White. He spoke about the distinctions between these brands, and how the downturn and upturn in the economy helped to shape them.

Clients are qualified, by their event, desires, and budget. Colin and his team typically close 60% of their qualified business. Events with budgets of $150,000 and greater are designed and produced entirely by Team Cowie, with a 20% fee assessed on the budget, up to $1,000,000.

In order to work with Mr. Cowie himself, your budget needs to surpass $1,000,000, and design fees begin at $35,000, with a 20% fee added as well of your total budget. He was adamant that all event planners charge a design fee, as design work should be more valued.

The top tier event, a Colin Cowie White event, begins at $3,000,000, and only one is taken on each year. These clients have access to exclusive venues throughout the world, such as castles, vineyards, and private estates. White events are 100% haute couture, with each detail being custom made. Linens, wedding attire, fragrances, even building structures.

Colin displayed examples of each type of event and the photos drew gasps from the crowd. His presentation was a great way to kick off the conference, as attendees took away design and business tips that could be utilized in any sector of the industry.