My passion is people and bringing together communities through live, and now also virtual, experiences.
Heather Roeper

Heather Roeper

Owner & Event Strategist

Location: Chicago, IL

I started Roeper Events because I truly love bringing people together. My greatest memories, treasured conversations, and my strongest friendships were developed through events.

My mission is to bring ease and joy to the event process, and share the magic of gathering with you! Whether for learning, exploring, or celebration, I help create experiences that allow people to be their most authentic selves.

I am an experienced live event producer who has worked with corporate, large scale companies, as well as non-profits to create beautiful experiences and events.

How long has your company been producing events? What is your main focus?

My company has been producing events for about 2 years. I have been in the event industry in various roles and with several companies for about 8 years, here in Chicago. I enjoy working with clients of all sizes and events of varying scales to achieve event goals. My passion is people and bringing together communities through live, and now also virtual, experiences.

What do you enjoy most about your role in corporate event planning?

I enjoy working with corporate clients to hit their metrics and achieve their biggest goals. I love to connect the dots and create the ultimate strategy for accomplishing what needs to be done for the event. Even if the goal is for the employees to let loose and develop stronger bonds, I am there to ensure that happens.

My favorite moments are just after the event ends and guests are overjoyed with the experience or buzzing out the door chatting about how amazing their time was with us at the event.

How do you keep up with the constant change in the industry?

Whew, change is the only constant, am I right? I love change and enjoy reading up on the latest trends, often following along with some of the world’s biggest events. Each year Coachella is my MAIN inspiration and the event I look to to model a lot of my ideas for the year. I truly enjoy live music and the festival scene itself, BUT I also find that the out of the box marketing and inclusivity/diversity of events is unparalleled with that weekend.

How do you mix the current trends with the traditional to create a meeting that is engaging and informative?

I love incorporating little joys throughout the day of the meeting. Meetings do serve a very important purpose, so the traditional model and features are imperative. Adding in extra entertainment between speakers, leaving the guests with a tease of the networking party later in their week, or passing out a fun give-away during a long session really helps to liven things up and keep the guests on their toes.

Do you have any advice for a company having a hard time choosing a theme? Is a theme necessary?

I love a good theme – it really helps to shape the day/week/event. My recommendation for choosing a theme is to brainstorm with key stakeholders and really think outside the box. A theme is a vision, a feeling, a moment in time. A theme could be a simple word, a phrase or slogan, or a decade. Think about what you want people to gain from this meeting, think about how you want them to remember the key messaging, and turn that into something fun and memorable.

What are some ways to personalize a corporate event?

There are so many ways to personalize a corporate event! Lean on your company’s branding to guide you and add catchphrases, logos, and colors to every aspect. Adding in personal touches will really make your event stand out and leave your attendees with an imprint on their minds.

The list is endless, but a few items could be the name of the event, developing a unique app with branded features, signage, naming of rooms, sessions, and locations – and obviously, your giveaways and gifts!

What do you see as the corporate event industry’s greatest challenge, currently?

I see the biggest challenge in corporate events as developing content which will make your attendees feel included, engaged, and take away something new. This falls to both the event organizer to create a seamless and exciting day, but also with the content developers and programming department to make it so participants feel like they can’t miss the sessions. Leave them wanting more and returning year after year to see the new excitement you are going to serve up.

What is your favorite city for events and why?

My favorite city for events is definitely Chicago – but I am a bit biased! The city really does have something for everyone. We have beautiful venues and spaces to hold meetings of any size and scale. We also have some of the best and most cost-effective vendors in the biz who really know their stuff. I love to be on my home turf for events, it makes me feel at ease and you really can’t beat that midwest hospitality and friendliness.

What are some practices to follow that will help you to create the Wow factor that attendees seek with a limited budget?

There is always a give and take with any event’s budget. My recommendation is in the experiences and the details. Make sure you are serving your audience first and foremost. What gets them excited? Why do they attend the event each year? Take these details and run with them, focusing as much of your funds available to creating an experience that will incorporate these feelings for them. The rest is making sure small details are included to give things a personal touch. Watch the budget, but make sure you are really using every penny wisely. I love this challenge with a tight budget and getting a little DIY if I need to make it work!

Sustainability is a current movement that can be challenging for large events. What is your approach?

Sustainability is KEY to every event. The easiest thing that I recommend is ensuring you are using as few single-use materials as possible. For those items that must be thrown out, ensure there are receptacles for their proper disposal and signage/communication to make sure all guests, team members, and others know your protocol.

My philosophy is to leave the space better than I found it, even in indoor locations. I think it is the event’s responsibility to discuss sustainability throughout the event and work to educate those in attendance on how they can do their part.

How do you measure the success of an event?

I measure the success of an event in the smiles I see throughout the day. It sounds cheesy, but when I see beaming smiles, excited grins, and joy on people’s faces, then I know I have done my part in ensuring event success.

A successful event is one that leaves you wanting for more – or, never wanting it to end. You should take away lessons learned and ways to improve the next time around.

After a successful event, your heart should be full from the interpersonal connection which only comes from being with others and sharing in a common experience.

Heather Roeper
Author: Heather Roeper

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