About the author:

Author: Karen Turner

Over the years, Karen Turner has produced fully integrated, award-winning events for a wide variety of Canadian organizations and companies. She holds a National Program Fundraising Education certificate and a Fundraising Management degree from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton Alberta. Karen’s extensive experience of working and volunteering in the non-profit sector includes Saskatoon’s first Jail-N-Bail, a unique fundraising event through the Canadian Cancer Society. She developed the business plan for Tamara’s House, a non-profit in Saskatoon that helps women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and coordinated its capital campaign. Karen has been nominated by the prestigious CEIA National Awards several times for best fundraising event, best conference and most recently in 2015 for the First Aid for Mental Health event with Sam Corbett from the Saskatoon’s The Sheepdogs.

Articles by Karen Turner

  • Green Light: Cannabis opens new avenues for event planners

    Taking your event to a new high used to mean something else before October 17, 2018. While the legalization of marijuana is still new to the Canadian cultural landscape, the future of event planning may involve many more shades of green. The nascent and rapidly expanding cannabis market — the legal one, at least — brings a whole new set of opportunities for planners. Large-scale events like conferences are a great way for cannabis growers and retailers to gain market traction;…

  • Building the right team can make – or break – your event

    You’ve gone through the request for proposal process, won it (congratulations), and inherited the conference management team. It’s probably made up of the conference chair and organizing committee from the organization – or organizations — that hired you. You’re stuck with this team for better or worse, but the event day team is yours to build from the ground up. You get to recruit and train the event novices and conference pros that will make the big day a success…

  • What do you know about sponsorship?

    Reinventing sponsorships using creativity and customization When it comes to sponsorship, the competition is real – and tough. In order to survive it, we need to rethink what potential sponsors are looking for. Thirty years ago, it was a logo on a poster and a program, and a thank you after the event. But that’s no longer the case. Today corporations don’t care about logo exposure on your materials and websites. It has become such a given – logo placement,…

  • Get the speaker you want, even if you can’t afford them

    When the perfect speaker is just out of reach, it’s time to get creative I’ve been there a few times before – you know of the best and most perfectly suited speaker for your event, but the event budget can’t afford them. Those situations can be disappointing and, sometimes, the quality of the event will suffer. But, over the years, I’ve learned that a lack of money doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get the speaker you want; you just have…

  • Finding resourceful ways to stretch a small event budget

    Working with a frugal budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style and class As economies ebb and flow, budgets for events will shrink and grow as a reflection of the times. A small budget should not be the reason why an event fails — success depends on ingenuity, resourcefulness and a little flair. The first step is to know what you have to work with. Make sure you have a budget prepared and approved by the appropriate board of…

  • Building positive working relationships with speakers

    A little bit of forethought can make a world of difference Speakers are the core of your meeting or conference experience. A good speaker can be what makes your conference exceptional, while a bad speaker can be the one thing that drags everything down. This is why your first step is to carefully select your speaker to ensure they will fit your audience, engage participants and boost the overall quality of your event. The relationship you build with the speaker…

  • How to address a problematic volunteer at your event

    Saying thanks, but no thanks to disruptive volunteers There are few things I find more annoying than the comment, “But I am just a volunteer!” Some people join boards or committees only to network, which is noticeable and can often impact the impression you leave. And sometimes not in a good way. What led us here? Performance problems relate to the quality, quantity, timeliness of the work or rate of improvement on an assignment. Your expectations should be clearly outlined…