JOB ENVY : SAM FOXMAN
39, President, Evntiv
Story: Interview by Jennifer Dulin Wiley
Photos: Attilio D’Agostino
He’s the go-to guy for events in St. Louis and beyond—having worked with the likes of Rolling Stone Magazine and Sprite.com, not to mention Jay Leno and Lionel Ritchie. But it’s not just the national connections that make Sam Foxman so in-demand—it’s his unwavering ability to roll with the unexpected and take unimaginable risks that have made his name synonymous with every killer party this side of the Mississippi.
HOW HE GOT INTO THE BIZ I have been playing music in some form or another since I was 10 years old. I began playing in bands professionally at age 17 and took on the role of manager, booking agent and promoter. I entered the concert business at age 20, which led me to the event industry.
EDUCATION/TRAINING I went to school to study literature—a pretty far stretch from where I ended up! My business education started early on as I watched my father as an executive and later as an entrepreneur. Like him, I try to surround myself with people who know more than me and who are willing to teach me.
BEST WORK DAY EVER
My favorite days are when I get to work with people who are brilliant at their craft. Whether they are a Grammy Award winner or a talented graphic designer, I’m at my best when I am collaborating.
WHY HIS JOB ROCKS
I help people plan events for a living—from choosing the right entertainment to completely transforming a hotel ballroom into something out-of-this-world. My satisfaction comes from witnessing the energy and excitement from people as they explore an event for the first time. The best compliment they could give me is, “I’ve never seen anything like that before,” or “I don’t feel like I’m in STL.”
My days are a mix of client meetings, supervising my team, coming up with creative ideas for new clients and, of course, producing the events.
Launching my company, Evntiv.
BEST JOB PERK
The freedom to choose what I want to work on and who I want to work with.
ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN
The amount of work that goes into an event. A 75-minute show takes hundreds of hours spent by dozens of people to make sure it is worth seeing. Each event I work on takes 30-200 hours of planning.
FAVORITE INDUSTRY SAYING
Don’t make it a problem unless it is really a problem.
BEST THING ABOUT WORKING WITH CELEBRITIES
Knowing they are just as nervous as I am.
CRAZIEST THING ABOUT THE INDUSTRY
When you work in the live event industry, anything can happen—anything. It’s not like shooting a movie where the director can yell “Cut!” and do another take. You’re 100 percent live, and if something happens off script, it’s your reaction that will determine if it works or if it flops.
FAVORITE CELEBRITY MOMENT
Scarfing down a hamburger on a loading dock with Jay Leno, eating tacos at 2am with Lionel Ritchie, counting cash with James Brown and talking baseball with Eddie Money. One of the best moments was when David Bowie showed up at one of my events and very politely asked if he could sneak in and watch the show!
GOALS FOR THE FUTURE
To create and produce the most unique and memorable events in St. Louis, and travel the world bringing my brand of event planning to as many people as possible.