Happy 2017 everyone, I hope that you all have a healthy, happy and prosperous new year! 2016 was a whirlwind of a year for us at Eventure, with a lot of changes, successes and challenges, but overall it was one of our best years since starting Eventure, and we hope for continued success and growth in the new year!
Everyone takes the time in the new year to re-evaluate their past year and what they would like to do to improve or change in the new year. In business, this should be no different. To improve and be successful first you have to know your weaknesses and strengths. Just as you look for self-improvement in health, exercise, relationships and work, a business and a business owner needs to look at improving their performance, the direction of the business and to expand on it’s strengths and to make changes to improve it’s weaknesses.
In evaluating our business, we look at the different divisions; Catering, Bar, Event Planning, Sound & Lighting, Decor and Staffing.We evaluate our level of service, marketing, pricing, competitiveness, and selection or choices.
Catering was huge for us in 2016, with the addition of our amazing executive chef Ben Cooper, he really set the bar for us at a much higher level. We are excited for 2017 and the new directions we are planning for the catering division this year. Ben’s skill, experience and talent will surely make our catering division be a powerful force in the Montreal event industry, and we are planning a huge move into the kosher market as well.
The bar division has been a sub-division of catering, but we are now planning on making it a division in it’s own right. We primarily have been offering bar service in conjunction with our catered events, but for this year we are planning some very exciting changes to the bar division, with some really cool and trendy ideas to transform the division into a stand-alone incredible mobile bar service. Keywords that we are working on this year are fresh, trendy, natural and infused. Stay tuned for our new marketing and bar service team!
One of our strengths has always been our technical abilities and knowledge. With XO, we are a strong force in the sound and lighting industry in Quebec. Our events truly do stand out with our ability to design sound and lighting to ensure our events always look great and sound great too. This year we truly plan on growing our abilities and inventory. We are constantly looking for the new way to design an event. With new equipment and new ways of using existing equipment to really make the events shine. (pun intended) We will strive to maximize our client’s technical budgets and really make the events creative, unique and deliver that WOW factor for each event.
The core of Eventure has and always will be our planning, logistics and event design. We are first and foremost an event planning company. More and more I realize that the ability to plan and execute our events is our core competency, and this year more than anything else, I want to make sure that we don’t dilute this message with our divisions overshadowing our key abilities. That isn’t to say that our divisions aren’t equally important, nor does it mean that our divisions aren’t equally as strong. There are times though that we dilute the worth of our planning skills because our divisions are profiting from the event. This isn’t only an issue of money and profits, but also that we don’t forget to care and grow this side of the business, as much if not more than the rest.
2017 will also see the introduction of Wild Cherry Events to our family. (www.wildcherryevents.ca) Stephanie Fagen is a long time friend, co-worker and even client for years. Over the last 10 years, she has planned and executed some of the biggest events across Canada and Europe. After years of travel, Steph decided to open her own company, Wild Cherry Events, and joined us weary entrepreneurs in the challenges of owning her own business. In 2 years since it’s inception, Wild Cherry took off! Steph is credited for planning and executing over 60 events in this time! Her skills and reputation and personality was an easy fit for the Montreal events market, and clients started calling her non-stop. Like all businesses, it took her in a direction that she never really anticipated, and became one of Montreal’s premiere wedding planners.
Steph and I always stayed in touch over the years, and I couldn’t have been prouder or more impressed by her success. It didn’t take long for both of us to realize that our businesses are so complimentary to each others, that we should join forces. Wild Cherry is now responsible for all of our private market events (weddings, bar-mitvahs, etc) and we are much stronger for it. Private events requires a very specific flair for design, paying attention to details, and customer service and Steph and her team are truly experts at every facet of private event planning. Together with Eventure, Wild Cherry can flourish and take on more and more work, knowing that together we can tackle it all!
One side note about Steph and Wild Cherry that if anyone has read old blogs or attended a class or lecture of mine will know; I think that the event industry is full of non-professionals that by simply planning one wedding and spending $20 printing business cards, call themselves wedding or event planners. As a life long member of the event industry, this has always been an insult and dangerous accepted practice in Montreal and Canada. I have preached the positive aspects of Event planning certificates and degrees, and have participated in the teaching and importance of these programs. I feel that to be an event planner, it should be treated with the same seriousness and qualifications that a lawyer or accountant needs to be able to practice. It is a profession ripe with dangers, and these dangers can affect hundreds, and times, thousands of guests. An untrained planner can and should be held accountable for negligence, and this negligence stems from lack of training, education and experience. The reason I bring this up is that Steph is NOT your stereotypical wedding planner, and her clients after working with her soon realize. She has years of corporate, festival and fundraising event experience. She worked in many different facets of the industry, until she was able and confident to grab the reins for herself. She easily could have printed her own business cards, but she waited after more than a decade to learn, grow and experience the events industry before doing so. She, like myself will tell you that we all have more to learn with each event, and we won’t stop learning. But, our knowledge and experience is what we are hired for.
One more exciting opportunity that has been tossed around here is the move into the Ottawa market. Over the years, we have produced some very cool and large events in Ottawa. We happen to love those events, and year after year get excited with the opportunity to design and create those events. Our time in Ottawa has shown us that there is a real opportunity for Eventure to succeed. The struggle has always been to not lose focus in Montreal, and to make sure that we don’t dilute our time in maintaining our local market chasing another city. I really feel though that Eventure over the last 6 years has worked out a lot of the kinks and is a stronger and steadier operation. I believe that this year we can start spending time in developing a local Ottawa office, and 2017 will be the year that we start the work in establishing a true presence there. I will update all on our progress, and write about it as well, as starting a new enterprise is challenging and interesting too.
One final note, we work with Kaitlin now for many years. Anyone that knows us at Eventure, knows Kaitlin. Saving the best for last, Kaitlin has grown and improved over the years with us, and I am so impressed and proud of her. She is a very strong woman, hard-working, dedicated, friendly and funny and all of our clients know this. I have no doubt that their positive experiences with Eventure have more to do with Kaitlin than any of the rest of us here! I have told this story countless times, but I will never forget it for as long as I am around. Kaitlin started as an intern at Eventure when we were still on Royalmount. She was supposed to do an 8 week internship, and I remember thanking her for her help after the 8 weeks. Without really paying attention to the calendar, it may have been 6 or 7 months into her internship that I looked at her and said “What are you still doing here?” She said to me “I am not leaving until I get a job here”. What more can a business owner ask for? I told her at the time that I was super impressed, but couldn’t afford a lot of money, but she didn’t care. She took the job as is, and worked her way up and didn’t stop. Eventure could not, and would not be the same without her. She is an excellent coordinator, she is now involved in sales and new business development, she is involved in marketing, catering, technical, staffing, entertainment, etc. etc. etc. She also is doing night studies towards her MBA and if you check out her FB, she can lift a small car at the gym! With or without us, Kaitlin is sure to be a major success in whatever endeavors she undertakes, we are lucky that she chose us!
Have a great year everyone, I know we are on track for one too! Thank you for mentioning to me that you enjoy reading my blogs. Sometimes I think I am writing them just for myself, but then Brad Sacks reminds me that I am writing them for him too! (BTW Brad does all of our SEO work and he is the best (I sound like Donald Trump), if you have a business, that is not event related (we are very possessive of him) please call him!)
Take care, and I will be sending out more blogs in the coming weeks. Honestly, if there is any subject that you are interested in, whether it be business or event related, please let me know, I can always use the inspiration.