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WITH degrees in theatrical performance, music and interior design, along with experience as an actor, singer, dancer, hairstylist and makeup artist, it's no wonder that Ira Mitchell-Steiman is wild about his multifaceted job with ME Productions. “From design to tabletop, from layout to stage design, from entertainment coordination to costuming, from writing to presentation, I get to do all the things I love and then some,” raves the creative director of the Pembroke Park, Fla.-based company.

Mitchell-Steiman, who joined the company five years ago as head of its floral department and moved through the ranks to his current position, says it's the diversity of ME's services that provides not only his job's constant challenges, but its greatest rewards. With three locations and $15 million in annual sales, ME counts business theater, gifts and incentives, music and entertainment, and social events among its divisions. The company offers clients “one-stop shopping with unsurpassed attention to detail,” Mitchell-Steiman explains. At the same time, he adds, each one of his clients “demands specialized programs to fit their specific needs, and each has an absolute desire to be unique.”

Not only are clients looking for turnkey solutions coupled with distinct individuality, but they provide little in the way of lead time, and much in the way of event sophistication. “The savvy client is not the exception any longer,” notes Mitchell-Steiman. “With a great proliferation of lifestyle gurus and media attention on our industry, as well as the ease of research with the Internet, clients know what they want.”

Then there's the additional pressure of competition from start-up event-production operations, he adds. “One of our more significant challenges is the advent of the smaller niche special event companies,” he says. “These new, very low overhead companies can usually offer products and services at lower price points due to that lower overhead.”

So how does the AIFD inductee and much-requested event industry speaker rise to the task? For one thing, he's working to “streamline how we do business by eliminating redundancy among staff.” Then there's his “constant thirst for knowledge and continuing education,” which he says helps him stay ahead of the game. “I keep current on industry trends and am never afraid to ask for considered opinions or ideas from professional peers.”

It's that kind of willingness to listen to which Mitchell-Steiman credits his career achievements: “I think that my success may be based on the fact that while I am a consummate control freak, I do not allow myself to work in a vacuum — I involve others for advice, help and constructive criticism.”

ME Productions 2000 S.W. 30th Ave., Pembroke Park, FL 33009; 954/458-4000;


“We are seeing a trend toward fewer events, but higher-quality presentations. Before, clients might have had two or three evening theme events with one off-site venue or a dine-around. Now, clients may have just one theme event, but with greater attention to detail and quality. The overall budgets seem to be the same; however, the number of events has been decreased.”


“I am proud of my ability to communicate clearly and to be able to inspire and nurture others to achieve their own personal greatness. I have often thought of myself as a facilitator, the guy that sees the larger picture and is always available to solve challenges and, moreover, to help others solve challenges themselves.”


“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing our sales executives' and clients' faces light up when I hit a proverbial ‘home run.’ Nothing exhilarates me more than getting it right. When I am lucky enough to see my dreams come to fruition and in turn produce a stellar event, I am reminded that the stress, angst and arduous efforts are … absolutely worth it.”

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