Name: Kristin Hosie
Present: Senior Account Manager, Ruby Sky Event Planning Inc., Barrie, Ontario
Past: Senior Summit Producer, Marcus Evans, Barbados
Specialty: Strategic client relationship management, copyediting, creativity, managing the details, delivering the “WOW”
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a mom and an event planner. My goal is to balance those two very important roles in my life. I love to travel and have lived in some beautiful parts of the world like Japan, Switzerland and Barbados, and visited many more. I enjoy kitesurfing, snowboarding and spending quality time at my cottage with family and friends.
Tell us about your work:
I’ve now been with Ruby Sky Event Planning Inc. for two and a half years in roles varying from event manager to marketing to business development, and everything in between. We are a close knit team and certainly a boutique firm in that we grow and expand with the needs of each project. We do everything from conference and meeting management, to special events, incentive travel, and with the help of our partners, décor and design and all the other details needed to pull off a flawless event experience. I personally manage all of our marketing from website design to social media.
How did you get to where you are today?
Heading in the direction of hotel management, I was exposed to the event management industry in university. I volunteered as a sponsorship manager for a World Tourism Day conference we hosted in my final year and was hooked. I have since been in the industry for eight years in a few different roles both in the Caribbean and Canada. My desire to travel landed me with my first job in the industry in Barbados, where I planned conferences and summits for C-level executives in a number of industries. After a few years of beach and sunshine, I left paradise to return home (crazy I know) and after a brief time with Franklin Templeton Investments, I worked with a venue downtown, The Berkeley Church. A great experience, I was exposed to wedding planning as well as more corporate special events and really learned the venue side of the business. After having a baby, I decided to move back to my hometown of Barrie, and voilà, Ruby Sky came into my life.
Why are you good at what you do?
I love it! There is nothing more satisfying then pulling off a complicated, detail-driven, client event from the day of the inquiry, through to the flawless execution on site. People thrive in this industry if they’re professional, detail-oriented, creative and passionate. I would like to think I’m all of these things.
What are some of the challenges you face?
There is never enough time in the day. Managing your time, your clients’ needs, your employer’s needs, and your personal life is always a challenge!
Is there anything you would change in our industry, given the chance?
No, I find our industry very supportive. I’ve been lucky enough to have some wonderful mentors and colleagues who make the work fun and always exciting. You never stop learning in the events industry, and the challenge is what keeps you going.
Walk us through a typical day at work.
Conference call, proposal deadline to meet, lunch with a client, calls with suppliers, and repeat. Actually, it’s very hard to give an accurate snapshot of a workday, because there really isn’t a ‘typical’ day. Some days I could be in the office finalizing a proposal for a conference or event we’re pitching, or strategizing with suppliers for a program we’re running next month. On another day I could be on the road to meet with a current or potential client for lunch. It really varies, which is what keeps it interesting.
What have been some of your biggest achievements?
Getting to work on time with a toddler is always a daily achievement! In my career, achievements would include attaining a senior role within my company where I feel engaged and part of its success. Currently I am working towards attaining my CMP designation which has been a goal of mine for some time now.
What do you like best about the meetings industry, particularly in your region or city?
It is always changing. There are countless options when it comes to venues, décor ideas, and entertainment and you are always learning about what’s new and unique. You can only be an expert in Toronto if you are constantly staying on top of new restaurant and venue openings, and keeping in touch with industry contacts.
Who are some of your notable clients?
Loblaw, nofrills, Harley Davidson, TD Bank, Rogers Publishing, Napoleon Fireplaces, Ford, GM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Manulife Investments, CGI, The Insurance Institute of Canada are all some of the wonderful clients I’ve had the opportunity to work with at Ruby Sky. Previous clients have included Reebok, Softchoice, and many university foundations in the United States.
How do you deal with the challenges of work-life balance?
This has been the biggest challenge in the last couple of years for me. I have a three-year-old son, so the restrictions of daycare hours can sometimes make it a bit difficult and people are often surprised I’m able to be a single mom to a toddler and a corporate event planner. I’m lucky to have a team at Ruby Sky who values family life and has always been very supportive. Ultimately both areas of my life are important to me. I think I’ve always had a work hard-play hard mentality making this balance very important to a fulfilling life.
What are some of your most memorable events and why?
One of my favourite events was a Foundations & Endowments Investment Summit which I ran for three years. This event was literally developed from an idea through to execution and remains one of the most successful conferences put on by Marcus Evans to date. I had the opportunity to write the content for this program by speaking to COO’s of some of the top foundations and endowments in North America, and created an event addressing current issues in the investment world. I managed the conference in a number of locations including Palm Springs, California, Banff, Alberta, and eventually a Latin Pensions conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. What an opportunity to take an event global to such great success!