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July 17 Blog: Corporate Events Stationery

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”

– Ronald Reagan

Ok, so we are planning corporate events, not running a country. Deciding policy may not be a “thing” in our world. However, the above quote, and the many versions of it you can find through quick google search, resonates. Basically you surround yourself with amazing people, communicate your vision, and empower them to execute it. This is how it has been from day one since I started working with, then “moved in” with my crush.

Boutique Events Pinkpolka Corporate Events Stationery Jenelle Gartner of Pinkpolka Invitations and Stationery, our exclusive Corporate Events Stationery provider. 

The moment I encountered Jenelle in a chance meeting, I knew I had to work with her. Her bubbly personality was infectious. Her personal style the right mix of professional and hip. Her communication clear and concise. I had not even seen her work, which quite frankly is head and shoulders above other designers. (Sorry everyone else!)

Jenelle is a graphic designer with a Bachelor of Design. She gained experience working in various design studios, then in 2009 she took the brave leap to venture out as an entrepreneur. She started Pinkpolka Invitations & Stationery where her creativity could shine. Where she could focus on her passion of creating beautiful things for fantastic people. Since then she has been recognized in various publications, and won two prestigious Canadian Wedding Industry Awards, for best wedding invitation and best stationer in Alberta. This spring, the Taco’s & Tequila Corporate Events Stationery package she designed for us, won distinction in direct marketing at the ACE Awards in Edmonton. So really, we are not the only one’s crushing on this gal.

She has helped elevate events I have planned to a whole new level. She has designed amazing set of corporate event stationery for every project I task her with.  When Jenelle designs, the feedback is phenomenal. The planning goes a little something like this:

Olivia “Jenelle, I have a crazy idea, can you make it work? Oh, and the deadline is tight” 

Jenelle “This sounds like fun! Let me make it even more awesome then your harebrained idea”

The Client “WOW! We love the invites!” 

For real. She is just that good. 

When she designs she isn able to incorporate a full service approach to the Corporate Events Stationery package. Event branding, save-the-dates, invitations, posters, programs, on-site signage and more are all items she has designed for Boutique Events. Here are a few samples she did for us, you can be the judge:

Corporate Events Stationery Corporate Events Stationery Corporate Events Stationery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2015 Jenelle and I took our professional relationship to a whole new level, renovating and moving into a shared space on Edmonton’s trendy 124th Street. The synergies are amazing, and the brainstorming is constant. Of course this also means I always have a partner in crime for checking out the new local restaurants that keep popping up!

Corporate Events Stationery

Over the years we have realized our views differ greatly on many subjects (even publicly debating parenting issues!) At the end of the day, we both strongly believe in customer service, high quality, original work, and attention to detail. These similarities are what make her one of my biggest crushes! If you find yourself looking for wedding invites to commemorate your day, corporate events stationery that will set your project apart from the competition, or an invite full of personality for a 40th birthday bash, there really is no other choice.

 

 

So You Want to Be an Event Planner?

Event PlanI have received calls over the years from people trying to decide if this was the career they wanted. Asking if they could chat and pick my brain.  I have also run into people that have said (ok, this actually happens really often) that I have a “such a fun job”. I smile politely.  The reality is I LOVE my job.  But let’s peel back the onion a bit, because while it can appear pretty darn glamorous, with all the fancy events, great food and famous faces – much like looking at someone’s Instagram and judging their life – judging an event planners job by the finished product, while a compliment, is a bit misleading.

 

How do you become a planner?

Well, this is a broad question, because like a professional athlete being either a football player or hockey player, an “event planner” is an over-arching title. Maybe you plan weddings and have a huge focus on decor. Maybe you plan conferences and focus on logistics and contracts. Maybe you are into corporate events, and have a keen interest in brand identity. Each planner is going to have a skill set that is diverse, and probably what led them into that particular field.  Since I focus on corporate events, I am going to look through my view. This is a personal opinion and what has guided me down my path.

First off I firmly believe that there are skills that are just a part of your DNA that make or break any planner.  Do you actually work well under pressure? Are you able to multi-task? Are you organized to a fault? Because these are key to not checking yourself in for stress leave after every event. It is pretty hard to teach some of those personality traits.

There are many courses tailored to event planning – Certified Meeting Planner, Event Planning Certificate, Wedding Planner Certifications – as well as some courses that have event planning as a part of the larger picture. I personally had a combination of both formal education and work experience before launching my company, and that was what really sealed it for me. I have a formal education that is a diploma in Hotel & Restaurant Management, a certificate in Event Marketing, plus various coursework and conferences. I also spent years working in all facets of the industry, from waiting tables, to booking meetings, to setting up trade shows. I worked in restaurants, catering companies, hotels, for large consumer show producers, and also in varied corporate sales and marketing roles where I oversaw all the events and marketing. This combination of education and experience has really helped me to develop what I wanted my business model and focus to be, and identify what I would excel at.

Getting ones feet wet in the industry is something I highly encourage.  Whether it is working part-time, full-time or even volunteering at events, it is a great way to learn if it really is right for you. The great thing about the event industry is that there is always people looking for short term help, so trying it on for size is pretty easy. You will learn quickly that lifting, pulling, dragging, painting (yes painting!), sweating and changing outfits superman style in bathroom stalls is all in a days work. And get used to sore feet, they are absolutely a job hazard. The rewards are stellar though, when you get to wipe the dirt and sweat off your face, and watch the magic unfold as the event begins. Whatever the event is, there is always that moment of calm when you can actually view your hard work in action.  Not many jobs allow you to see something take shape and breathe in successes live.  But mind you, it is only a moment, so do snap some pictures.  As every planner knows, what goes up, must come down, and the tear down is so fast, gone in a glimmer, that sometimes you don’t even believe an event was ever set up.

Does this all sound appealing? Then maybe you are on the right track!

Finding our identity. 

When I started this little company in 2012 it was on a whim. I had just had my first son, and knew for certain that I wanted to work. I also knew for certain I needed to love, not like what I do. Now, let me state, that I do not believe I will love what I do 24/7, no one really does. That said, I wanted to focus on my passion.  What is that? Well, people. Organizing people. Taking care of people. Talking with people. I had worked in various industries over the years, but at the corer stone of every position, was events. I started in hospitality, but gravitated towards the conference and catering side of things. I moved into sales, but was a driving force at organizing over 30 tradeshow’s a year. Following that it was finally a more direct fit, through sales and marketing of events  — specifically as I worked for dmg world media, and then as Director of Marketing at  Go Auto. So, after some thought, my conundrum was clear. Event Planning was my calling.

Off I went, planning, plotting and building to bring my company to life. I had a name, a few clients and was having a ball.  Somewhere along the way though I started to realize I wasn’t exactly sure of my focus. Event Planning was so broad. I tackled a few weddings, parties, tradeshows, launches and so forth.  Last fall I began to feel like I needed to define what I excelled at and let other’s focus on the rest. But what was it?

This truly is the organic way the 360 degree approach was born.  I love the marketing part of creating  and carrying out brand messaging. I love the organizing part of events. I love the communication piece of media relations. So the focus now become events that are corporate, niche and potentially have a message we can take on a media tour.

Once I had that clarity, it felt great.  But how do I explain that to people? I started a revamp of my website, and quite frankly my elevator speech. The thing many of us “experts” forget, is altho we do a kick ass job for our clients, we forget to work on us. Every bit of advice I give, I wasn’t taking. So now, I will commit, to woking on my business, defining my business, and spending time “in” my business.  So cliche, right?

So here we are, heading into the summer of 2016, with a revamped site, a better elevator speech, and hopefully creating some genuine interest in what we offer.

Here we grow!

Boutique Events in a specialty Event Marketing company with an array of dynamic clients and projects. We currently have one spot available for an internship, starting immediately.  This is a non-paid intern position for 3-6 months.  Internship has potential to lead into a paid contract. This is well suited for a student or new graduate who is looking for industry experience.

Applicants should have excellent communication skills, knowledge of Marketing, Advertising, PR, Events, and Sponsorship.  Strong communications skills are required. Our client list and projects are vast, and activities will change on a daily basis.  The successful candidate will be adaptable to change, fast thinking, driven, a self starter and tenacious.

What we are looking for:

  • Self-driven, willingness to meet and exceed expectations
  • Sense of initiative, can work well with minimal direction
  • Great decision-making skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • High energy level
  • Creative problem-solver
  • Strong work ethic
  • Burning desire to learn
  • Great attention to detail

If interested in applying please forward cover letter and resume to olivia@boutiqueevents.ca Continue reading

Stepping back in time…

It is always interesting to take a trip back down memory lane.  Especially when those you visit are amazing friends! It had been almost 5 years since I worked on a consumer show (a consumer show is a show or event open to the public, versus a trade show which is industry focused), when this March I was proud to be project managing a major feature at the Edmonton Home and Garden Show. What is a feature?  Well, it is space in the show that is designed to enhance visitor experience, profile partners and create a buzz in the media, with coverage and contests.

The Hockey Fan Cave was to be combination of a rest place for visitors, a design inspiration, and also create an amazing contest for a media partner.  With the talented skills of renowned local design professional Michelle Law, the space became just that.  While I took care of the hustle and grunt work – securing partners, media prizing, logistics, signage requirements, Michelle focused on making it gorgeous!

A key component in any successful feature is, well, its partners. We are thankful to the great ones we teamed up with, including Michelle Law, The Brick, Playmore Games, Mister Frame, Touchwood Flooring, Park Lighting, Global Vintage Memorbilia, and Rocky Mountain Antique Market.  We were thrilled when both CTV and TSN 1260 came aboard to work with us to create a great contest promotion as well – giving away of $20,000 worth of partner prizing associated with the feature.

It was a great promotion, and the show brought back great memories.  The long hours and intense work that goes into the pre-show build. The rush to get the last minute items in place, and everything clean and ready for the public. Then, mere days later,  the simultaneous crash that happens when the “show closed” announcement goes over the loudspeaker on the final day.

Shows are not for the weak of heart. Long hours, tired feet, bad diet, plus tasks that can vary from dirty heavy lifting to camera ready in just minutes.  But they are a special experience if you are up for it.  And no matter how long the day, how dirty the job, when you are surrounded by great people, all the moments become bundled into one fabulous experience.