In our monthly InviteRight newsletter we introduced a new feature this month — Meet the Meeting Planner. We want to give those hard working folks, who make incredible events like Christmas parties, weddings and charity events come to life, their due by profiling a new individual every month. We hope to give our readers a glimpse into the personality and persona of planners — and of course make their phones ring with new business!
Name: Caitlin McElhone
Organization/Company name: CMinc. Events | Weddings | Design
Job title: Owner & Lead Planner
Education: University of Alberta – Human Ecology Bsc. with Business Minor
Previous jobs and related activity: My first introduction to the special event & wedding industry came when I worked at Notables Stationers for many years assisting with invitation and stationary design for wedding couples. After University, I was then very fortunate to have six extensive years planning corporate events, galas, VIP receptions, weddings and private events with ComLinks Events & Marketing in Edmonton.
Key responsibilities: Details, details, details…Planners are always thinking about the details. Planning the details, confirming the details and then executing the details for each event. We are the one main contact who brings all the puzzle pieces together to make an event happen and run smoothly.
Three common challenges: Sometimes getting clients or suppliers to see and share your vision for an event or space can be challenging. You can see how amazing an idea will look in your head, but it can be hard to articulate that vision to everyone involved with the event. There are always bumps along the planning process as well. Lots of troubleshooting and compromising is done to get the vision as close as possible before the event.
Most rewarding moments: I love the room transformation. Starting with an empty space or ballroom in the morning and transforming it into something elegant, themed or wacky just hours later is very satisfying and fun! It is also very rewarding to watch the look on guests faces when they enter a room for the first time. The ‘Wow’ moment when you open the doors and guests faces light up by how beautiful and magical a space looks with the right decor, set up and lighting elements is really special. It is also an amazing feeling when an event runs and ends exactly on schedule.
Knowing what I know now: It would’ve been great to have known that the special event and wedding industry existed when I was younger. It is often not an industry that parents, teachers or family encourage you to pursue unless they already know about it. Now that I understand how extensive and in-demand this industry is, not only in Edmonton, but all over the world, I make sure to let young adults I meet know that this is another wonderful option and industry to consider with lots of opportunities for different skills and talents. It’s not just about planners, the industry is comprised of so much diversity, including; caterers, hotels, online registration & website outlets, audio visual, media, florists, graphic design, production designers, rentals, decor, entertainment and so much more!
If you want to be featured in the newsletter and our blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org and fill in your information next to the headings like Caitlin did.