Day Of Creative (formerly Forward Event + Design) is a full service special event planning and design company based in Hamilton offering exclusive and creative event solutions for the bold and unique! We specialize in event planning services that range from weddings and custom proposals to extraordinary corporate and personal experiences. We take care of as much or as little as needed while saving our clients time and money but never sacrificing on the quality of the experience.
Anna genuinely believes the planning behind any event should be creative, easy, and enjoyable. Always up for a party, she began her career in event planning and design over ten years ago working as the Director of Events for a boutique, Toronto-based event venue. Anna has had the pleasure of working with some of the best clients in the world including celebrities, Fortune 500 companies and Toronto’s elite.
Since then she has been nominated for Venue Manager of the Year by BizBash magazine and was featured as “The Young Professional of the Day” on YP Daily by Notable Life (formerly Notable TV). In 2019, she received The Hamilton Spectator Readers Choice Platinum Award for event planning.
A newcomer to Hamilton, Anna was instantly drawn to the city’s love for the arts and knew she wanted to be a part of its independent and diverse spirit. Anna thinks of Hamilton as a place where she can merge her creativity and event expertise to create experiences that entertain, inspire and engage.
What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
1. Small event sizes! An obvious trend that has emerged since the onset of the pandemic are micro-events. Small event sizes mean bigger budgets for things like better food, high end bar rails, activations and installations. Putting more of your budget into making a spectacular experience for your guests will leave a very lasting impression. Smaller numbers also mean higher guest engagement enabling your guests to enjoy themselves more, creating an intimate atmosphere where guests don’t have to wait in long lines to get drinks, use the washroom or enjoy entertainment.
2. Individualized elements! We are much more germ conscious and this is showing up not only in our day to day lives but in events as well. Standard event elements like passed apps, buffets and family style meals are definitely on hold and are being replaced by individual charcuterie boards, proper plated menus and grab-and-go drink stations. Welcome boxes are also on the rise consisting of little boxes gifted to each guest which contain individual programs, sanitizer, masks and keep sakes.
What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
Remember, a little goes a long way! My rule when creating an event on a budget is to opt for simple and classic elements that make a big impact with your guests, not your wallet. For example, most of the time white linens, napkins and basic table settings are included in your rental fee. This makes for a perfect backdrop for pops of colour and creative design via your place cards and menus. Instead of large floral centrepieces, think groupings of vintage sourced vessels for single stems that will add a delicate feel to your décor. Try draping ceremony arches with flowy fabrics instead of large florals, which are inexpensive and can be sourced at any local textile or fabric shop. Use your basic bar rail to create a specialty cocktail that can be offered to guests upon their arrival to help ease them into the event.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
I am currently in the process of rebranding the company and launching new services! When I started Forward I wanted to offer my clients a different way of planning and designing their events that aligned more with their own personal styles and budgets. I found that over time I ended up offering the same services as everyone else. I decided that if I was going to move forward with my business then it would have to be based on offering something different and this spring we relaunch and I am so excited for it!
What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea to setting up and starting to attract a client base?
I have been working as an event planner, designer and venue director for over ten years and through my experience have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in the industry. I knew at some point the next natural step in my career would be to start my own company.
I began thinking about starting a business in 2016 and didn’t start attracting a client base until 2018.
What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?
The first event I planned under my company was a bridal shower for a very lovely client. I was hired to help the venue organize vendors on the day of and create the decor design. Everything went really well and as planned, and my client was so happy with the service she hired me again to create the decor design for her wedding.