Cari has enjoyed over 20 years producing meetings and events around the globe. Her keen eye for detail and creativity enables her to fine tune events to seamlessly fit the client’s vision. Cari’s experience includes customized incentive travel programs, conferences, product launches, and all things in between. Read the following insightful short interview with Cari to discover what she has learned throughout her event planning career:
What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?:
- Arrive early and prepared — Once an event starts rolling there is no slowing down; anything you thought you might complete later, you will likely run out of time for!
- Calm. Cool. Collected. — Your client has hired you to do just this – so remaining calm and solution oriented when unexpected changes or events occur helps to maintain faith in you.
- Confirm. Confirm. Confirm. — Always confirm everything. It may seem redundant at first, but there is nothing more stressful than showing up onsite and your entertainment hasn’t arrived because they thought the event was tomorrow.
Your top tip understanding a clients’ needs and vision?: Listen and ask questions. Simple, but extremely important. Often, your client will drop one or two keywords that are crucial to the event’s success.
Favourite venue in Toronto?: I love the Carlu. Its was built in the 1930s by the Eatons and reopened in 2003 after extensive renovations to restore it to its 1930’s Art Moderne glamour. Very versatile, you can hold events for 50 to 1500. Its definitely a hidden gem! The Estates at Sunnybrook are another favourite.
What has been the most important event-related innovation you have witnessed in your career?: I love event apps! The fact that attendees can check their devices for times and locations, display tickets on their phone, and even receive real-time changes is very convenient for both the client and attendee. Even better, it is a sustainable option!
Top three career highlights?:
- I have had the opportunity to travel to cities and countries that might never have been on my radar. This career has allowed for some amazing sites and experiences.
- I was handed a flailing trade show, and turned it into a streamlined, effective, and profitable event. The client immediately asked me to take it over and continue to run the event – this was a highlight for sure.
- I’ve met two Canadian Prime Ministers during my career — that’s pretty cool!
If you weren’t event planning, what would you be doing?: Years ago I had to make a decision between the fashion or events industry; so I would most likely be working in fashion in some capacity.
How do you define success?: Are you happy when you walk through that door ? Success to me is loving going into work, but also loving walking though the door at home.
Described as unflappable by colleagues and clients, whether its the logistics of a Prime Minister dropping by a meeting on a days notice or protecting the Stanley Cup from a group of excited 10 year olds (and their dads), Cari’s calm approach and solution-oriented focus enables her to provide clients with customized and unique events. Customer service is first and foremost on her mind while she collaborates with clients. Her positive approach to life shines through in her relationships with her colleagues and clients.