I personally love working with small and medium businesses on creating incentive programs and their annual conferences or educational events.
Julia O'Grady

Julia O'Grady

President | Owner

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Specializing in events with tight timelines.

In simple terms, ITM Events plans corporate events. But in our minds and in our hearts, we provide clients an opportunity to truly experience their events by helping to alleviate the stress that comes with planning an event.

We manage the time consuming and difficult areas of planning an event. We make the logistics and behind the scenes seem easy. Leaving the client to be able to focus their time and attention on what they were hired to do, which is most often not plan events.

What makes us different is that we like to plan events with tight timelines. We enjoy the fast-paced, quick turnaround events.

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

We have been in business since 2010. We started out planning any event we could get our hands on just to get the experience. 10+ years in and we are now flying across North America to plan corporate events, conferences and more!

We specialize in events with tight timelines. Where most planners prefer a year or more to plan an event, we specialize in helping clients when their deadline is rapidly approaching and they need help to make sure the event is going to happen…successfully.

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

I personally love working with small and medium businesses on creating incentive programs and their annual conferences or educational events. As a small business owner myself, I can relate to their challenges and can help them build successful strategies, not only for their event but also for how that event plays into their overall success.

As for in the business itself, my favorite role is running and building my company. I love working with my team, I love teaching them, I love creating systems and processes. I love most of all that I get to create a work environment that my team loves. We focus on 5 key values in our day to day work – Be Better, Do It Right, Find Balance, Good Enough is Not Enough and True Partnership. Those values create a work environment where our team is respected, elevated, encouraged, always learning, always pushing for more.

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

That is one of the things I love most about the events industry. I love that it is constantly changing and we are always learning.

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

No matter what the trends are doing, the purpose of the event is always number one. Once you have that nailed down, adding in trends to create exceptional experiences around the meeting focus allows us to elevate our client’s experience and that of their attendees.

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

A theme is not necessary but can certainly be helpful in guiding the design of an event.

What are some ways to personalize a corporate event?

My favorite way to personalize a corporate event is to add in the little touches –
-branded components
-room drops
-personalized experiences – where you show attendees that you know they are there and they are not just another attendee
-making the communication truly personal instead of generic email blasts

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

Coming back from Covid of course, but I have no doubt the industry is going to blow it out of the water.

How do you leverage event technology and what would you consider the biggest game-changer?

Streamlining through technology is important. The more that we can do to streamline the planning process the better for everyone.

With virtual events being such a huge part of the industry in the past 2 years, some companies have really upped the game virtually.

Have you used Gamification in your events? If yes, how was it received?

Yes, we used it at a conference. Overall it was well received although some said they did find it to be a distraction.

What is your favorite city for events and why?

Every city provides its own unique features.

How do you measure the success of an event?

The survey results tell all. Yes of course we want a profit on everything we do but if the attendees didn’t enjoy the event then we failed, no matter what the numbers on the spreadsheet say.

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