We are not afraid to make mistakes… on the contrary, mistakes let us learn and grow.

Lorne Levitt

CEO/Lead Event Designer

Location: Montreal

Recognized as leaders in the industry for over 25 years, Total Events is a full-service event design and production company. In a world where most duplicate, imitate and recycle, we pride ourselves on groundbreaking production, customized design, and the creation of unique events that evoke emotion and excitement, providing an unforgettable experience for all.

Total Events was named one of Bizbash’s Top 50 event designers for 2019 and 2020.

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

Since 1993, Total Events has grown and evolved into a leading design and production firm. Our mission is to elevate events and experiences for our customers and their guests. Our in house AV departments work closely with our design team to ensure execution is at the highest possible level.

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

Client and guest reactions make our job exceptionally rewarding. We pride ourselves on servicing elite-level events and the expectations are high. We keep pushing ourselves to be better, to think outside the box, and to deliver events that guests will never forget.

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

We take chances daily. We are not afraid to make mistakes… on the contrary, mistakes let us learn and grow. There is no place in this industry for complacency. We prefer to push the change, and not follow it.

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

It’s all about being memorable. Memorable design. Memorable content. Memorable moments. Ultimately the concept for meetings is the same, it’s all about how it is delivered.

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

A theme is absolutely non-essential. We often create a “concept” or work with a brand colour scheme. A theme does provide an anchor but we can equally produce an exceptional event without one.

What are some ways to personalize a corporate event?

There are countless ways to personalize events. We also believe that sometimes less is more. Subtle branding or messaging can be built into an event. We’ve been known to create custom pillows or flooring for lounges, creative food station accents, decor pieces in brand Color, entertainment that incorporates a brand identity, and many other personalized touches.

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

The biggest challenge (and there are many) is education. We work to educate clients daily on what we do and the value of using professionals.

We educate staff on how to understand and “read” clients.

We educate technical teams on how to cleanly install to make sure all gear is as invisible as possible.

We educate the industry on charging accordingly for professional services.

And the hardest education is regarding the concept of “you get what you pay for”.

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

As a technical production company, we use tech in almost everything we do. For us, video mapping has been the game-changer. It’s allowed us to create immersive decor environments, interactive presentations, and visual stimulation for a more jaded audience.

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

We are all about guest engagement and find countless ways to produce events using gamification. Many of the activations we build for our clients include the creative use of gamification to deliver a brand message. Guests love the interactivity and these techniques work exceptionally well for guest participation and engagement.

What is your favorite city for events and why?

Our home base and roots are in Montréal Canada. We often boast to clients just how much of a creative hub we have here.

With that said, when January rolls around and the temperature drops, we always love a great event in a hot destination like the Bahamas!

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

Creativity doesn’t translate to more expensive. We are respectful to all client budgets and are fully transparent with our clients on what is viable. Often it’s about shifting budgets around rather than spreading the available funds too thinly.

How do you measure the success of an event?

Client engagement is 100% important. If the guests attending are connected and remember the event, then it’s a true success.

Lorne Levitt
Author: Lorne Levitt

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