Anu Nipin shifted from Kanjirappalli to Kochi after she married mentalist Nipin Niravath. She had pursued a B Com degree and PGDCA before she joined a textile group as an administrator.
Her eyes were opened to a whole new world after her marriage with Niravath. She accompanied her husband to corporate shows and parties in big cities. Those events, she noted, were no fun for the children.
“I often found children sitting bored in a corner when their parents were busy with the party. Nipin suggested I should do something for the children. He supported me in organizing birthday parties within the family,” Anu recalled her beginnings as a party planner for kids.
“I understood the psychology of children in a few days. I did not need a big investment for my project. I planned four or five parties for relatives and friends. My work impressed people and I started getting more orders. When I did my first party as a business five years ago, there were no professional party organizers in Kerala.” she said.
Anu’s 'Cabbon Entertainments' is ready to celebrate any event related to children, including the baby shower, the day a child comes home after birth, the ceremonial 28th day and of course, the all-important birthday.
You could feed her your idea or just let her create a theme for you. Anu starts out by creating a 3D image of the set. If the client is satisfied with the idea, she gathers her team.
Ice Age, Angry Birds, Candy Land, Minions, Lion King and Jungle Book are themes that are sure to be a hit among boys, while girls stay loyal to Frozen, Inside Out, Dora, Barbie and Princess themes.
Anu’s team makes sure that no two parties are alike. Props and items made for a party is never used for another one. She had even turned a car porch into a party venue.
Her team has planned parties in almost all districts of Kerala. She is yet to get an order from Malappuram, she said.
Her largest birthday project was a party organized for the Manappuram group. The Candy Land-themed party was attended by about 800 guests in the Le Meridian Hotel in Kochi. That was a break for her. She was also sought out by corporate houses such as Merriboy and KPL Shudhi.
Cabbon Entertainments is not an organized event management team. There are no salaried employee in the team. Five persons complete the production team. Whenever Anu gets a party order, she calls in her team. They do a range of jobs including craft work, cake making, decoration, candy table setting, anchoring, magic show, live music, games and kids’ dance and preparing return gifts.
“We charge anything above Rs 15,000, depending on the nature of the party. We have made a profit of at least Rs 50,000 even in the leanest of months. We have even made a profit of more than Rs 2 lakh in some months. No matter the size of the party, we pay the same attention to every detail. We make it a point to personally assess our work at the party.
“We prefer to do only one party a day, to make it perfect. We may not have a party everyday. We are happy to get five orders a month. We aim to exceed the client’s expectations. We like to think that we are doing it for someone close to us, rather than doing business. That makes the parties grand. We do not get many inquiries for grown-up people’s birthday parties because not many people celebrate their birthdays like children do. Still we conduct parties for 60th or 70th birthday celebrations,” Anu said.
She warns that her work is not a cakewalk. “The success of a party depends on your ideas. You only need to see the smile on the face of a child when he or she sees her favorite characters lighting up the birthday party. Sometimes we even get hugs from the mothers who are delighted to see their children enjoying. That joy keeps us going rather than the profit,” she said.
She has a piece of advice for any party planners. The success of the project relies on the planner’s ability to communicate with people. Even if you are stressed out, put on a brave and joyful face in front of your clients and their guests. That is essential for the successful completion of the party.
You also need a creative mind to come up with new ideas and identify new trends. You may have to spend hours updating yourself on the trends and crafts.
This is not an easy job, she warns. The job is too risky to be comfortable. A difficult assignment could even deprive you of your sleep until the party is over. You have to earn your clients’ trust to earn your place in the business.