In his own words: Rich Crombie of Plan It Big Events
July 12, 2010
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company.
Rich Crombie: Plan It Big Events is a locally owned and operated company that is the culmination of friends and associates with whom I’ve worked for or with over the past several years in the event-planning and management capacity. I decided to create a company that could operate under the premise of unlimited imagination and creativity without the constraints of mainstream corporate conservatism and cookie-cutter marketing strategies. I like to plan things big, and consider myself a visionary who likes to set the bar high.
NNBW: What role do you play in the company?
Crombie: I’m the ringleader, but I get in there and do the dirty work from setting up tents and lugging the weights, tearing down and cleaning up after an event, handling PR and prospecting new business, and the basic planning, executing and promoting of events.
NNBW: How did you get into this?
Crombie: It started when I got out of the Navy in 1986. I worked part-time on the air at a radio station in New London, Conn. I was so thrilled to be involved with the fun activities the station did, I literally became a “roadie” and started helping set up concerts, remote broadcasts, etc. As my radio career developed on the air and as a promotions director, I started branching off and getting involved with area businesses and organizations to put together their events. It all spanned out from there. My first big event was an outdoor music festival in Salt Lake City called “Livestock” during the summer of ’92.
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NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been?
Crombie: If I had my choice I’d be in the booth with Al Michaels for “Monday Night Football” or on the air as a TV MC. I’ve always said, “I don’t want to be Johnny Carson, but I’d love to be Ed McMahon.” I don’t want to be the star of the show, but I do want to be the ringmaster.
NNBW: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Crombie: I’m always working. Other than that … I love traveling, anything nostalgic or historic, and keeping in shape by hiking, playing tennis, etc.
NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?
Crombie: Be ready to throw away all notions of punching a time clock. This is a seven-day a week business and when a show is over, the next one is coming up.
NNBW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why would you want it?
Crombie: Well, I always did like Superman. It would be to have him do his trick where he reverses the rotation of the Earth by flying around it at light speed to turn back time. I’d love to time travel to any point in history and observe … not interfere … maybe partake a little bit, but just turn the dial and go! Mostly to points in the 20th century … the ’60s, the ’40s, the ’50s, etc.
NNBW: What person, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with, and why?
Crombie: Paul McCartney. I think he’s one of the most brilliant songwriters of our generation and of course, because I’m a huge Beatles fan. Speaking of time travel … I’d like to be the guy standing in the corner of the engineer’s booth at Abbey Road Studios when the Beatles were recording one of their timeless classics!
NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Crombie: I guess the advice I try to follow is to not get consumed by the tasks at hand. Enjoy this life and don’t forget to slow down and live it. A hundred years from now, none of this will matter anyway … except I do believe in making an indelible mark that will last for generations.
NNBW: What do you like most about your job?
Crombie: Watching hundreds or thousands of people coming through the gates of an event I planned or was a part of producing. Watching them enjoying the music or festivities that took so long to put together. Least is the stress level I bring upon myself to ensure that everything is top notch.
NNBW: What five words would most people use to describe you?
Crombie: Reliable, thorough, respectful, dedicated, driven.
Name: Rich Crombie, president, Plan It Big Events, LLC
How long have you been in this job? My company is in its second year
How long in the profession? 24 years
Education: U.S. Navy
Best book you’ve read? Sad to say, the only book I ever read cover-to-cover is “The Shining” which I did as a school project way back when. I’m a visual person and I like bullet points.
What’s on your iPod? I use my Blackberry, but I have several hundred songs on it from The Beatles, to U2, old school soul, classic rock, and ’60s pop.
The best movie ever? I like inspirational stories…. anything from “Rocky” I & II to “The Blind Side,” “Pursuit of Happyness,” “Seven Pounds.”
Spouse, kids or pets? I have a sweet, beautiful girlfriend Peggy, and my oldest son Daniel lives in Tucson. I lost my youngest son Nicholas in the Iraq War in 2006 at the age of 19. He was in the U.S. Army.