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A Dallas event planner, who taps me from time to time to bring my engraving to her functions, booked me for a birthday bash for 15 women last week. They were from, I'm guessing, age 50ish to 80. The honoree was marking 75.

The venue was on the edge of downtown Dallas. It was new, spacious, and had a glizty feeling, though comfortable and homey; from the outside, it is reminiscent of a large one-level home with a huge wrap-around front porch and big wooden columns. I didn't get to sample the food and drink but plan to go back as a customer one day soon.

The planner had ordered 15 crystal carafes to be personalized for the birthday girl and her friends there to celebrate. The carafes were hung up in customs or some other unfortunate delay. She called me and asked if I had any ideas. I did. "How about those elegant Estee Lauder gold, mirrored compacts you know I have?" It was a perfect answer for her panic of not having the planned item for the goodie bags each would take home.

This compact got the ever-popular, "Hello Gorgeous!" on the mirror.

Four rules for such events: Keep pinky out. Dress the part. Hold your mouth just right. Come fed and watered.

When I arrived to set up, an assistant to the planner began writing the name a brief message each lady wanted on her compact. It didn't take long to script the name and few words on each. Most of the time I was at my table, watching the crowd and salivating for a glass of Champagne or a piece of pickled asparagus to be brought to my table. Never happened!

BOTTOM LINE: Seek out and make yourself known to event planners. Send them something with their name on it so they'll remember you. Occasionally, remind them that you're still out there and available to make their events even more special with your personalization.


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