A NEW EVENT PLANNER IN TOWN

0919_OC_MASSURI_TAL_ORIONAs a journalist, the majority of my work consists of covering a variety of events taking place in the Israeli and Jewish communities throughout Los Angeles. From galas, holidays, corporate events, film premieres, and more, the Jewish community produces and hosts endless special evenings—along with private events with a premium budgets.

In recent years, Tal Orion–the Founder and Owner of Tal Orion Conceptual Events–has been recognized as one of the most prominent event producers in the industry. With an emphasis on prestigious high-end events, Tal’s event management company has produced and hosted well-crafted and memorable events that create an impact. Having earned a reputation as a result of her successful work in the City of Angels, she has recently expanded operations to the Orange County area—promising to spread her special charm there as well.

Orion is known for her most successful production of events in the Jewish and Israeli community in Los Angeles, among them the production and design of Taste of Israel–the largest culinary event–and the well-renowned celebration of Israel’s 70th anniversary by the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, that was hosted at Universal Studios.

Upon entering an event produced by Tal’s event management company, there is a feeling of being in another dimension. Each event is a story that is visually impressive and embellished to the smallest detail–with awe-inspiring aesthetics, endless creativity, and obsessive precision. Events under Tal’s production are memorable and even talked about years later.

The fifty-one-year-old event planner, Orion, was born in Jerusalem and grew up in Tel Aviv. Throughout her youth, she attended schools in many cities including Haifa, Tel Aviv, Givatayim, Ramat Gan and the country’s capital, Jerusalem. “On the one hand, it made me stronger, and on the other, it made me extremely hesitant,” she says. Today, her personality is also influenced and impacted by the contrast of cultures she was exposed to as a child. Her father comes from a warm and welcoming Moroccan family, while her mother is from a hybrid Turkish and Greek family, but is “Polish about everything,” she laughs—“this contrast between coming from a warm family on the one hand, and an aristocratic one from the other, has turned me into an ambivalent person.”

Tal Orion moved to Tel Aviv at the age of twelve, where she was first exposed to the big city lifestyle. She raises memories of the famous Metzitzim Beach and her acquaintances with interesting and famous Tel Avivian figures who influenced her adolescent years. She completed her military service at the Kirya base close to home, which allowed her the opportunity to simultaneously enroll in communication classes in college.

As she maintained a promising journalism career locally, Orion took an opportunity to visit her mother who lives in Los Angeles. It was there, she says, where the travel bug hit her. “I came back home and told my husband we have three months to finish things in Israel and then we are moving to Los Angeles.

We arrived in L.A. with six suitcases, three children, and we just started from the scratch.” This relocation to the United States was not easy for her. Tal said goodbye to her titles in the local media arena and received an instructive lesson on humility when she had to reinvent herself.

After completing a course on event production in Los Angeles and successfully graduating with honors, Orion’s small successes continue to accumulate and grow.

“Two weeks after the course, a good friend of mine was about to arrange a Bat Mitzvah, I offered to organize it for her without any monetary consideration. I also met with another couple who got married and offered them my services, free of charge.
Seven years have passed since then, and today, thank G-d we have an office, staff, and events that are already lined up for 2020.”

My colleagues told me you were a perfectionist.
“You can’t be less than that in this industry. It’s not even an option. Over time, I realized that I was attracting people who were very similar to me in my personality—customers who demand excellence and compliance with the smallest details.

I also believe that creativity plays a crucial role. Even in my early years working with minimum budgets, I realized that I had to put more thought into the design aspect. People want to attend an event and feel like they are a part of something, a big experience—especially and most certainly the hosts of the event. It is inconceivable that people pay their best money and not receive anything less than perfect. Thankfully, and to my delight, today I work with clients that enable me to produce with considerable budgets—opening up a lot of options for me. The sky really is the limit.”

Orion has never attempted to market herself as an event management company that suits every budget–because she does not. In fact, she produces the most prestigious and special high-end events for her customers, and most of all, offers them peace of mind. “I often find myself employed by clients who tell me ‘I don’t have the time to deal with managing and planning the event, take it from here.’ In my humble opinion, that’s the whole idea—it’s like going to a lawyer or any other professional. They are not supposed to be the ones dealing with logistics, approval of premiums, or the exhausting search for the right vendor. We are here to do everything from A to Z, and ensure that things run smoothly, so they can be the guests at their own event.”

Where do you draw your inspiration from for the special designs if your event?
“Honestly, it can be from anything and everywhere—an antique market or pop-up shop. This week, I went to see the movie Aladdin, which I am obviously going to watch at least two more times. A crazy Disney production that appeals to all the senses—I’m already waiting for a customer that will allow me to bring this current wave of excitement to life. A number of people ask me what my preference is for corporate events, weddings or b’nai mitzvah. I love it all, but mostly producing b’nai mitzvah where I can really express myself through color and design. I really love working with kids. Their dreams are clear, and they usually know what they want. It’s easy for me to relate to them perhaps because I haven’t grown up yet myself.”

A specific event that touched your heart?
“One of the most heartfelt events was of a family who contacted me two years ago to organize a bat mitzvah for a girl with special needs.

Upon my encounter with the girl, I realized that her dream was to be in an event designed with flower shaped, blooming balloons. The mother slightly rejected the idea because she thought it would be too ornate. After much thought and consideration, we convinced the girl’s parents that we must turn her dream into a reality. Finally, after months of preparation and finding the right decor, the big moment came. The girl entered the hall and started to jump for joy and kiss me. Nothing can compare to that kind of moment.”

What is the most important thing for people to know about your business?
“Today, I can proudly say that thanks to our team and the professionals I work with, our specialty is to take a conventional event and turn it into an unconventional experience—one that is remembered for a long time after.”

Special thanks to our Production Manager, Yarit Tayeb, my son Ori who manages the creative side, and to my dedicated team-Arkady, Kanay, Chimg and Elor-who have become to be like family.

On a personal level, I am committed and emotionally connected to my clients. There are ones that have become good friends and are in contact with me even years after their event took place. The process of working together for months and planning a joyous event for their families, brought us closer in an emotional way. After all, I am planning what is supposed to be the happiest day of their lives.

These days, we are expanding and moving our services to Orange County. I am really excited to start producing events for your wonderful Jewish community as well.” For more information please visit www.talorion.com. Translated by Yael Sasonov

 

ELAD MASSURI IS A CONTRIBUTING WRITER TO JLIFE MAGAZINE.

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