Doing what I love on a daily basis is something not everyone gets to enjoy, which makes me lucky to be able to call this my job!

Courtney Coulombe

Owner/Lead Planner

Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Planit Events Inc. is a boutique event planning company, and we tailor each event to the client’s needs. No event is the same, so why should each event feel the same. We also only take on a few events each year to guarantee we can offer our clients the attention they deserve.

Before opening the company, I completed my Event Management certificate through NAIT, and the Fashion Design and Apparel Production Diploma through Marvel College. These two programs have given me the creative edge, and the management skills needed to produce small and large events throughout Alberta. I was also named Outstanding Professional Event Planner for 2019 at the Edmonton Event Awards. I currently reside in Edmonton, AB with my husband David, daughter Sophia, son Jackson and our furry child, Dash.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?

Getting the client to trust my vision and the process to get there. Sometimes when working with a new client it can take some time for that trust to form, but once they trust you, they hand over the reins and that’s when you can truly be free to create a beautiful event for them and their guests.

What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?

The majority of the events I plan are for non-profits and conference-related. So, budgets are usually tight and conferences aren’t necessarily very elegant. However, you can create small parts that are elegant by adding florals to the space or the registration/check-in desk, using beautiful linens, or even adding a balloon wall or beautiful artwork to the space.

On a tight budget, smaller floral arrangements can be added to add a pop of color. Talk with the facility as many have linens you can use for free so no need to bring in outside linens. Also, you can find a local artist who would be willing to have their artwork shown at your event and generally they will display their work for free.

I would say leaning on your vendors and ensuring you have good relationships with a variety of vendors as they are generally willing to work with you and work within your budget.

If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?

UNLIMITED budget, could you imagine! My dream client would be anyone willing to give me an unlimited budget and creative freedom to produce their event.

How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?

This is so important. Being able to lean on your vendors, especially if something goes wrong, is so important because they are the ones who have your back and they want your event to be successful. Also, having a good rapport with a variety of vendors helps you leverage pricing for your clients. I have successfully cultivated many relationships by being part of the International Live Events Association (ILEA) which helps me be involved in the events industry within my city and provides me access to other members throughout the world.

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

Well, the most exciting thing for me right now is I just had a baby boy at the beginning of September! Now it’s trying to balance a toddler, a 2-month-old, my events, and life in general.

What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea of setting up and starting to attract a client base?

I have been planning events for many years, even though my job descriptions at previous jobs may not reflect that. I have planned and executed small family gatherings to large events and trade shows with over 500 attendees. I had my “Aha!” moment while working at a trade show handing out “swag” to attendees when I thought to myself, “I love being here, so why am I not doing this full time”. It was from that moment that I pushed forward, and in 2015 I took the leap of faith and created Planit Events Inc.

I had the idea in 2013, completed my Event Management Certificate in June of 2014, and then opened my company in April of 2015. I was very fortunate that by June of 2015 I landed my first big client, and they are still a client today!

What’s the most surprising or unusual request you have ever received from a client and were you able to fulfill it?

It’s not really surprising with the number of food allergies and restrictions there are today, but one attendee of the event – not the client – had a very long list of food allergies, including a variety of spices. So, trying to work with the facility to be able to accommodate her needs. They were able to fulfill her request, but it was many emails and revisions to her meal before we got there.

Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?

Doing what I love on a daily basis is something not everyone gets to enjoy, which makes me lucky to be able to call this my job!

And always remember, You Name It We Planit!

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