Producing over 2,500 events throughout New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Cory Martin (link) has established himself as the go to event planner for the world’s top luxury and fashion brands. Clients like Lamborghini, Gucci, Christopher Guy, Porsche, Vanity Fair, Louis Vuitton, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Equinox, Dolce and Gabbana, Vogue Magazine, and Christian Dior, to name a few, rely on Cory and his team to flawlessly create impactful brand to consumer experiences.
An experienced veteran in the event production and catering arena, Cory’s portfolio includes: former Food & Wine Editor for Beverly Hills Magazine, current contributor for The Young Director’s Magazine, current PSLA Board Member, current Event Chair for the Children’s Institute Inc. and Founder of Cory Martin Events and the Cory Martin Foundation.
Destination Luxury: Cory Martin, what did you do before starting your own business?
Cory Martin: I started out as a bar back and bartender in Long Beach Island NJ. Remained a bartender and waiter throughout college years. Once I moved to NYC I began working in bars/clubs but then really started learning fine dining with the French catering companies/chefs that I was working with. I was in the hospitality industry for over 10 years before I decided to start my own company.
Destination Luxury: What is your mission statement?
Cory Martin: To create memories. We are area full event planning, production, design, catering and staffing company.
Destination Luxury: Who is your customer? How do you define your target customers?
Cory Martin: The majority of our customers are in the Beverly Hills/Bel Air area. We have a lot of private clients that are celebrities, CEOs and high ranking politicians. We produce events for companies such as Rolls Royce, Vanity Fair, Bentley, Valentino, Bugatti, Vogue, Fendi, etc…
Destination Luxury: What’s your company’s competitive advantage?
Cory Martin: The way we design our events along with the honesty and transparency with our clients.
Destination Luxury: What is your leadership style and business philosophies?
Cory Martin: When I first started I always wanted to be the smartest person in my office. I quickly realized that my events were only as good as I could make them. Now I have surrounded myself with an amazing team that I learn from and can make any event a truly remarkable experience for our clients.
Destination Luxury: Where do you see your company in 5 years?
Cory Martin: I am always working on other projects besides Cory Martin Events so besides being one of the most sought-after Event Producers in America, I also want to be known for my other inventions which will be on the market by next year as well as my docu-series show that I am working on as well as my charity which I just started.
Destination Luxury: Would you do anything differently?
Cory Martin: Quick answer is yes but in reality, no. I always make sure I learn from my mistakes and from the people who try to deceive me in business.
Destination Luxury: What are key traits for a successful entrepreneur?
Cory Martin: Be open to learning, growing and humiliation. Trust few and don’t plan on sleeping.
Destination Luxury: What are the biggest challenges to being an entrepreneur?
Cory Martin: Lack of personal life. Seeing my family or finding a girlfriend who understands my hectic schedule.
Destination Luxury: What have you overcome? What did you learn from setbacks?
Cory Martin: I was not experienced in business when I first started so the first few years was like taking a crash course in survival. I worked a lot of other jobs as I was also trying to start my own company. Did not have any money to start with so I had to really learn how to stretch every penny. My body is still recovering from all the meals I bought at the 99 cent store. 3 years after I was up and running I had to settle a partnership dispute and dissolve my company and start all over.
Then there was the recession. ..and not many people at that time were willing to host an event. Then the clients began demanding more for less, making it much more difficult to cover overhead and salaries.
Today my challenges deal more with expansion and the fine balance of growing a company at the right pace.
Destination Luxury: What drives you? Has it changed over time?
Cory Martin: Anyone can say that it was something that someone said or did that motivates you but that will always burn out. I have an internal drive to be the best and always learn. I love being creative and challenging myself. It’s the faces and gratitude I receive from the guests and clients that make me happy and motivate me more to make the next event even better.
Destination Luxury: What is your personal highlight/proudest moment?
Cory Martin: I produced an event that was for the President of the United States. Advice for those who dream of starting or running their own company If it was easy then everyone would do it. I suggest you try and plan as much as you can but really just jump in and learn as you go. Find a great accountant and attorney as they can guide you through some of the every day challenges. Lastly find an inspiring mentor.
Destination Luxury: How did you find your passion for traveling?
Cory Martin: I love learning about other cultures. I work very hard to fit into their way of life and understand their lifestyle.
Destination Luxury: Where are some of your favorite places in the world?
Cory Martin: Paris and Tokyo. Love their food, culture, sophistication and history.
Destination Luxury: What are your top 5 favorite hotels in the world?
Cory Martin: When traveling abroad I prefer Airbnb so I am able to blend in with the locals as a much as possible while l learn their culture and surroundings. Locals are much friendlier when they know you are trying to learn their language and lifestyle.
Destination Luxury: What are you 3 favorite fashion brands?
Cory Martin: Dolce and Gabbana – I do love their clothes but it’s more sentimental as they were my very first client. That is why I only wear DG suits. Hugo Boss for their jeans. Burberry for their trench coats.
Destination Luxury: What is your favorite car brand?
Cory Martin: Aston Martin for style but Tesla for their innovation
Destination Luxury: What is the art of the automobile? Why do people love cars? What make them special?
Cory Martin: Cars are an extension of one’s personality.
Destination Luxury: What does luxury mean to you?
Cory Martin: Being chic and sexy in the most sophisticated way. I apply it to everything I do.
Destination Luxury: What would you do if you weren’t doing this?
Cory Martin: I love coming up with new inventions. I have 2 new projects that I am working on now but I have about 15 other ideas that I want to start working on whenever I get the time.
Destination Luxury: What do you like to do for fun? What are your hobbies, sports, outlets?
Cory Martin: I love staying healthy by going to the gym and rock climbing. I also love photography.
Destination Luxury: What inspires you? Who inspires you? Most influential people in your life?
Cory Martin: As an only child, my parents were by far my greatest teachers and mentors growing up. I have my mom’s creative mind and my dad’s ability for sales. Since then I have added Christopher Guy (of CG Furniture) as a mentor and friend. He has guided me and given me great advice throughout the years.
Destination Luxury: What are causes and charities you believe in?
Cory Martin: Currently I am on the Board of PSLA and the Event Chair of CII. I have also started my own charity called the Cory Martin Foundation. CMF’s mission is the select a cause and directly work with them to create awareness and generate funds. Each month we select a new cause to work with.
Destination Luxury: What’s next for you? What goals and dreams remain for you?
Cory Martin: Besides growing Cory Martin Events and The Cory Martin Foundation, I have been work on a company called AllBall Fitness which is a home exercise piece of equipment along with producing a docu-series about musicians. Beyond that I have a few restaurant concepts, app ideas and other random products that I one day want to create.