Monday, 28 November 2011

Event Planning Misconceptions

Yes, yes, I know, my blog posts have been lacking AGAIN. I promise I will try my best to write at least one blog post a week. If I don't, please feel free to give me a gentle nudge ;)

Before I dive into my blog topic, I just wanted to say that I am really enjoying my new position as Events Coordinator for Mitacs. I'm learning a lot about the company and my colleagues. Annnnd of course, my event experience and skills is ever-growing. I feel so fortunate that I found a job that I love :)

So now onto the topic at hand. I have realized recently that a lot of people have misconceptions around event planning. This results from a wide range of individuals not knowing about what is really involved in terms of planning and executing an event. Assumptions are of course made as a result of this. I wish a lot of people really knew what it is we do as event professionals. So, without further ado, I would like to break down the common misconceptions some people have about event planning:

Planning events is all fun and games. Planning events can be fun, for sure, but it's also A LOT of hard work. At times, it can be highly administrative - creating event plans and spreadsheets, answering/sending emails, making phone calls etc. You have to juggle a lot of different tasks at once and meet a number of deadlines. As a result of juggling all these tasks, planning an event can become stressful. I personally love doing all the above, it's part of what makes events so exciting and never boring. I think the real fun part is putting all the different pieces of an event together and seeing it fully executed.

Event planners book rooms and order catering. Yes, booking rooms and ordering catering is part of the job, but it is definitely not the only thing we do. FAR from it. We perform a number of tasks including but not limited to:
  • Creating an event plan
  • Recruiting event staff/volunteers
  • Creating various event task deadlines
  • Creating a floor plan of what the event will look like visually
  • Booking a number of vendors/suppliers
  • Having ongoing communication with your customers
The goes on and on.. (you can learn more by reading my past blog posts)

You can plan an event in 1 month easily. If it was a VERY small event, maybe. I think to really pull off a very successful event you need at least 3+ months of planning. If it's for a large scale conference with 400+ attendees I would say you need over a year of planning. The rule of thumb to have is (usually) the bigger the conference, the more time you need to plan. You need a lot of time to properly plan an event because so much is involved - booking the venue and the catering, determining the event theme and objectives, marketing the event, and much much more.

Anyone can plan an event. I do believe that a lot of people can plan and execute an event but I don't think it is for everyone. You need to be able to multi-task, work under stress, meet multiple deadlines, be highly organized and last but definitely not least be passionate about event planning! Also, as I have said above, planning events can be hard work, so if you aren't prepared for this, event planning may not be for you ;)

There are of course other misconceptions out there but I through my experience, I have found that these are the most common.

Shira :)

Monday, 14 November 2011


Hey everyone!

So sorry again for the lack of blog posts. Life has got busy and during my time off I got a bit lazy :P Buuuut I'm back! So I'm sure you want to know what I have been up to, so here goes: Day of wedding coordinating for my girlfriend's wedding (it went SO well!), working (of course), boot camping, shopping, catching up with friends, meeting up with wedding planners to learn from them, Circle Craft Christmas Market with my mom and I'm sure I am missing something!

So over the past little while I have been doing some self reflection. Through this reflection I have realized that there have been A LOT of changes in my life over the past year. It's kind of crazy! These changes haven't all been easy for me but they have all helped me become a confident, happy and fulfilled woman!

Here are my key life changes over the past year:

Leaving my job of 3 years. It was a hard decision to make but I felt I had to do it. A lot of my friends told me that it would have been smarter to find work before leaving my job but I really wanted to dedicate myself to looking for employment full time and rediscovering my passions. I took the risk and although it took me a number of months to find full time employment, it paid off in the end and looking back on it, I don't think I would have done it any other way.

Improving my diet and fitness routine. I was starting to gain weight and develop bad eating habits so I decided to make a change. I joined boot camp and went 3 times week religiously for months. I also did some work outs at home too. Along with boot camp/work outs at home, I started to eat healthier and really watched what I ate. My hard work payed off and I lost weight, had high energy and felt overall great.

Networking.  I did a little bit of networking in the past but not very much, so this year I started to attend networking events. Networking ia a great way to get to know another other professionals, find out about opportunities, promote myself as an event planner, develop relationships and improve my confidence .I'll admit, I was nervous at my first networking event this year but I soon realized that other people were nervous too and we were all there for pretty much the same reasons, so that made me feel more comfortable. I did gain some great connections and really enjoyed myself. Networking is awesome and I will continue to attend these events for a long time.

Developing new friendships/changes in current friendships. I started to develop a number of relatively new friendships this year. It has been fun and refreshing getting to know these individuals and changing up my friend dynamic. At the same token, there have been a few changes in some of my current friendships. Some friends I'm not as close with and I have broken off communication with others, unfortunately. I have come to the realization that friendships and friend dynamics change quite often and I have to learn to just embrace these changes and not take them personally.

Acquiring a new job. As most of you know, I got a new job as an Events Coordinator for Mitacs just over a month ago. I love my new position and I really enjoy the people I work with! I have been learning a lot and I love that I am helping plan and execute conferences.

All these changes have been overwhelming at times but overall I have welcomed them with open arms. Life has been nothing but interesting over the past year and has made me quite a happy lady. I really can't wait to see what the next year will bring :)

-Shira :)