How long have been a Vancouverite? I have been a Vancouverite for over 30 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else.
I am the Co-founder and President of Eventsage, a ground breaking start-up company that is the first event planning website and online tool that is solely focused on delivering planning solutions for companies and individuals. The website is for people in roles such as admin professionals, office managers, executive assistants, and many more, who do not have the time and experience to plan an event, or the budget to hire a professional event planner. It provides a DIY approach to support these hard working individuals and save them time and stress by providing a one-stop resource to find trusted event suppliers, creative ideas and plan awesome events like pro.
With an event planning career that spans over 18 years, you have collaborated on some major events in the city. Are there any highlights that stand out for you?
I have been fortunate to work with so many different clients, from large corporations to federal and provincial government, and have met and worked with some incredible people along the way. If I had to choose one highlight, it was taking the Vancouver 2010 olympic bid delegation to Prague for the announcement. Just having a small part in such a monumental event for Vancouver, and all of Canada, was an honour.
My role with the bid delegation was to get the committee and government officials to Prague for their final presentation and to organize all of the events for the supporters who had travelled the distance to participate. The largest event was the party following the announcement – we didn’t know if Vancouver was going to win so it was either going to be a quiet affair or a huge celebration. Talk about contingency planning! As I was greeting all the guests (and acting as a bouncer) I was introduced to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who personally thanked me for all of the hard work I had done. It felt really great to be recognized.
You have your finger on the pulse of how to find the best locations, suppliers and décor for events in Vancouver, however you approach it from a different angle than the usual. Can you tell us a bit about your modern take around event planning?
Technology is such a huge part of our lives and event planning is slowly following the trend. Instead of scouring enormous event guides, local magazines or the yellow pages for ideas, people now turn to the web. Taking that one step further, people also use a number of different programs such as PowerPoint, Word and Excel to organize and manage their events, so the idea of creating a website that is a one-stop resource and online tool will really change how events are planned.
Connecting people with our trusted, unique event suppliers such as cool venues, creative caterers, different team-building opportunities, or interesting entertainment options provide an alternate solution for planning smaller meeting and events. We are building a community where users can find creative ideas, gain access to event planning tips and trade secrets, and even ask for Sage event advice from us at a much lower cost than hiring a professional in order to provide the right guidance when they need it.
What are the three most important considerations to keep in mind when planning an event?
First, constantly put yourself in the shoes of your audience. How is the experience going to be for them? What can you do to make it the most memorable and amazing experience they have had? Second, never assume anything. Ask a million questions even if you think you know the answer. Lastly, always have a back-up plan and double check every detail to be sure you haven’t missed anything.
Mindfulness is an important way of life for you, and you have said that you would like to live in a world where people do not use the word no. How do you maintain balance in your life in the city?
Having travelled all over the world, Vancouver is truly the most beautiful city and provides a natural place to practice mindfulness. Balance is so important and I find it by walking. I walk to and from my office and start my morning smiling at people as I pass by them. I walk the seawall almost every day, rain or shine, and never take our surroundings for granted. Smelling the rain, seeing a cruise ship sail out under the Lions Gate bridge, seeing visitors taking pictures of our beautiful city, all of these are a constant reminder of what we have in Vancouver.
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