Present: Founder and CEO, Events by Emma Corporation, Winnipeg, MB
Past: Marketing and Fundraising Director
Expertise: Over 15 years of event management experience. Also worked extensively in fundraising, marketing communications and cultural and environmental education.
Specialty: Organization, attention to detail, creative imagination, concept design and contagious enthusiasm.
Tell us about yourself:
Born and raised in Winnipeg, I am very passionate about events, have a strong connection to my Indian culture and I am an advocate for industry professionalism, growth and moral philosophy.
As a business owner, wife and mother of three very young children, I strive to find balance on a daily basis. However, I love what I do! I can’t wait to get started each day and I enjoy working with the amazing and dynamic team that I have. I am devoted to each and every one of my clients. I treasure seeing an event plan come to life and go from concept to reality.
Tell us about your work:
As a professional full-service event planning company based in Winnipeg, Events by Emma specializes in corporate, non-profit, upscale private functions, social events and weddings. The Events by Emma team is proud of our ability to understand our clients’ vision and needs, and we introduce professional and experienced consultation combined with creative and fresh ideas, ultimately turning their concepts into realities.
How did you get to where you are today?
I am pretty sure a combination of my immigrant parents’ push for me to “be something respectable,” my faith, personal drive and determination and a little bit of luck, has brought me to where I am today.
Throughout university and through my careers in various positions in both the public and private sectors, I realized very quickly that I wanted to set my own tone and do things my own way. After years in the industry in varying capacities, I founded Events by Emma and set out to make a mark on the industry and create a very different and unique style of event management.
Why are you good at what you do?
I am truly thankful for the amazing people that have surrounded me through my life, mentored me, challenged me and encouraged me; this is why I am so passionate about events and good at what I do.
I am proud of my commitment and investment in our clients and I have worked really hard to create an amazing team and foundation for my company. Our unified approach, creative energy and family focused atmosphere have helped us to develop lasting and strong relationships with all of our clients, vendors and venues. It’s these relationships that we pride ourselves in and we believe that our finished product is like no one else. We try to infuse a special bit of “EBE or Emma style” into every event we produce.
What are some of the challenges you face?
There never are enough hours in the day for me. I find my biggest challenges can be myself and my determination to be different and unique. I try to push the boundaries of what we create and produce and sometimes the most frustrating challenges are resources, local expertise and clients’ budgets. But somehow we always make it happen.
Is there anything you would change in our industry, given the chance?
Setting more standards and continuing the education for our industry. I would love to create a support network for professionals in the industry and to create a better sense of camaraderie. We can all learn from each other’s experiences and build on each other’s resources. Another education component is educating clients on standards, innovations and realistic pricing and budgeting in our industry.
Walk us through a typical day at work.
No two days are ever the same and each day poses its challenges and triumphs. That is what is so great about being an event planner. Each day I find myself doing different tasks; some days it’s mostly administrative work, some days I am onsite creating and producing and managing. However, as a business owner, you are a jack-of-all-things including business development, marketing, human resources, accounting, designing, sourcing new products, etc. I work 12 to 14 hours most days, six days a week.
What have been some of your biggest achievements?
First my family, and secondly creating a company and staff team that is well respected and leaders in our industry. Every event is an achievement, by always striving to be different and unique, by challenging our abilities and pushing venues, vendors and clients to create the unexpected. Being recognized for my hard work and dedication to developing the industry and being viewed as a leader in the industry is a privilege I don’t take lightly.
What do you like best about the meetings industry, particularly in your region or city?
I love meeting new people every day and I love the challenges of our ever growing industry in Manitoba. Winnipeg is a city that is vibrant and growing rapidly and I love all the changes and exciting things happening. Being the culture capital of the country, I love the diversity not only in the events I produce but the different cultures and heritages I get to celebrate and get bring to life through my events.
Who are some of your notable clients?
Our list of clients consists of corporate, government, associations, non-profit, and celebrities including events like: Rendez-Vous Canada, Show Canada, Marymound featuring Martin Short, Special Olympics, Peter Nygard, Tourism Winnipeg, Eastern Consortium Ottawa, Eastern Consortium Toronto, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, Children’s Wish Foundation, Plug in Institute of Contemporary Art, The Winnipeg Ballet, Chamber of Commerce and the list goes on…
How do you deal with the challenges of work-life balance?
I struggle every day to find a balance. I find in this field of work it’s hard not be completely involved and invested in your business, events and clients. It’s hard to shut it off!
I find myself (even after 15 years), planning and working through events in my sleep, dreams, as I drive etc. I am constantly being inspired by things I see around me and every little thing from a magazine article, billboard to a song triggers ideas and things we can do and incorporate into our events.
Thank goodness for my husband who balances me out and reminds me there are other things in life to enjoy. Without him there would be no balance.
What are some of your most memorable events and why?
Every event is so different and memorable. Our corporate events are full of challenges and big expectations, our weddings are so beautiful, personal and emotional – they are all are so memorable to me. It’s funny but I still have relationships with clients and couples that I did events for 15 years ago.
Two of my most favourite events were the wedding of Alia Nygard to Derek Daneault and an event we did this past spring for Show Canada. Both events were so elaborate and different but the key was our clients really trusted us with their events and let us challenge our abilities to create something that we had never seen or done before. For Alia and Derek their day was so beautiful and emotional, things could not have gone any better. For Show Canada, it was such a fun event and the movie theme was something I had been longing to do for so long. So much fun!