I have a confession to make... I am not someone who regularly attends community or public events (aside from those I organize of course!). In my "real" life, I am the kind of girl who goes to bed at 8:30pm, wakes up at 5:00am, and if I am not careful, can be an awful recluse. While I love hosting and entertaining, and love parties even more, I feel like I am more the planner than the attendee, which sometimes means I don't have any natural insight into why people do or do not attend an event. So I am going back to basics and asking anyone reading this to let me know why.
Why do you attend one event over another? What is it that makes you excited about an event happening in your community. What are the factors that push you to purchase a ticket, leave the house, and do something?
Last night, we held our first family friendly Outdoor Movie Night of the summer. All of the technical factors should have made it a well attended event... we had awesome weather, we used the same model for date and time as we did last year, we added an amazing band for some pre-show entertainment, we advertised the same way as worked in the past... and yet our attendance was down from last year's attendance at the same time. Do not get me wrong, it was still an awesome night, and I am confident we improved on the experience of our attendees. Feedback was positive, and I am really looking forward to the next one (which is August 8th by the way!). So if you did or did not attend an Outdoor Movie Night last year, and if you did or did not attend last night's movie - WHY? I would love your input on how to make this a fun experience!
I have felt very strongly about holding events that create experiences in and for this community, and I know there are so many others in Creston right now working to do the same. I know there are some events that are annual sell outs, and some events where ticket sales are a huge struggle. I am always hearing feedback about the lack of things to do in Creston, so on the surface, it appears the event market is not saturated, however, it could be that the events happening in the community just aren't appealing to the people of the community. In speaking to other businesses and groups creating events, from fundraisers, to concerts, to ticketed dinners, the perspective from the organizers is that if people don't attend, then the events can't happen. My experience has been that Creston is not the kind of community that pre-purchases tickets for things, and even the normal incentives on pre-sale tickets don't quite work here, but without pre-sale tickets, it can be very hard for businesses and non-profit groups to justify holding an event.
I have been super fortunate to have been able to organize many events, most of which have been more successful than I could have hoped. I strive every day to create events that bring joy to people, because that is what brings me joy. I have also had events I have had to cancel, sometimes in the early planning stages, sometimes later, because the cost risk is just to great.
I would love to get input from the community, and from people outside the community, so that we at AM Event Coordination can improve our offer, and create events that are truly an experience for our target market - YOU. I love creating these events, I love bringing them to life, and seeing people enjoy them. Seeing little children in the jammies, snacking on popcorn while spending quality time with their parents at one of my Outdoor Movie Nights is a true joy for me, and I would be sad if I was not able to continue creating that kind of experience for people. Or if non-profit groups aren't able to use events as a fundraising tool because of a lack of attendance. I know there are others out there, very specifically in Creston, working to bring awesome events to life for the good of the community as a whole. So help us to bring this town to life! Let me know your thoughts, either by responding to this post, or by emailing me at email@example.com, or if you see me somewhere, let me know what kind of events YOU want to see here! If you know me, you know that I can't hear an idea and not run with it, so let's chat!!
We are in full wedding mode here at AM Event Coordination, and so excited to be able to share in the love of so many amazing couples!
I have to say, I am a sucker for a wedding. I am pretty sure that even if I wasn`t lucky enough to be able to do this every day, I would still be all over wedding websites, checking out gowns and cakes and decorations and flowers. I still ask my husband almost daily if we can have another wedding - although he always says no. There is just something about a wedding... and not just the day, the whole lead up to the event... I love dress shopping, the stag or stagette party, the invitations! Choosing venues, cakes, flowers and playlists. Or doing none of those things, shirking tradition and creating an event that is specifically tailored to the couple. I love it all!
One of the best parts of wedding planning for me is getting to meet these awesome couples, helping them to bring their visions to life, and then being able to watch them and their families share in the joy and the love of their relationship.
Last weekend, for example, I was so lucky to have been able to help bring the vision to life for an amazing Creston couple. Over the past year I have gotten to know the two of them, and it has been a pleasure. This couple was not celebrating their first day of marriage, but their 4563rd! They planned a super fun 12.5 year anniversary party (Halfway to twenty five!) at Lister Park. The casual, relaxed camping weekend was a perfect way to celebrate a lasting love, and for these two, and all the people they care about, it was a fun way to connect, eat, drink and just have fun. I think one of my favourite things about their event was the atmosphere I walked into when I showed up to check that everything was going as planned. There were kids in the grass having a water fight, adults all over the place laughing, talking, and smiling. Food and drinks were clearly abundant. Tents and trailers surrounded the park, and the DJ was just getting the party going as the food truck showed up with dinner. It looked so fun! The only downside to be the planner, is that I don't get to just join every party!!
Coming up this weekend, I am bringing another year-long project to fruition, this time with a couple from out of town, who decided to bring their family and friends to Creston to celebrate their love. I am so thrilled for this wedding event to be coming to life over the next few days, and I am certain it will be stunning. Aside from getting to know the couple and being able to share in creating an event that matches their vision, I have been super excited to get to work with local businesses on this wedding. From the venues, to the wine suppliers, to the dessert table and flowers, this wedding is truly an example of all the amazing things Creston has to offer, and one of the main reasons why I believe so strongly in this community as a "destination". This couple is absolutely lovely, and I hope that their day is all they dreamed.
In addition to this major wedding, I was approached about a sound system rental for the wedding of a local couple, and even though my team is going to be so busy with the logistics of the main event, I just cannot turn down a bride and groom in need! So I recruited an extra helper to take the sound system out to Canyon to help bring some sound to what I am sure will be an extra special celebration.
Finally, in a little over a week, I am heading to beautiful Nelson to help celebrate a beautiful couple who I met at the St. Eugene Wedding Fair back in February. This Cranbrook couple approached me about "Day of Wedding Coordination", and I was eager to assist! Their wedding plans are detailed, and the bride and groom are so well-organized, that they really didn't need someone to do their planning for them, they just need someone to take the pressure off and manage the logistics of the day, from setting up chairs for the ceremony, to ensuring their place settings for the reception are just right. They've made my day easier by having all the plans in place, and I know they will be relieved to let someone else handle the details so they can concentrate on what really matters.... each other!
These three weeks concentrating on love have really made me reflect on my own marriage, and my wedding day (which was awesome). Maybe today's the day my husband will finally say yes to having another wedding (to each other of course!) ;)
The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event this past Saturday was so overwhelmingly amazing, I had to take two full days to process it, and I am not sure I have quite yet. I am filled with awe once again for the people of this amazing community. Creston, BC is a town full of love, support and generosity, and I feel so lucky to be able to be a part of it, even in this small way.
We had thirty six walk participants. Standing there, at the starting line, and watching all of these men, in red heels, showing their support for this cause... I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes. Listening to Chief Jason Louie speak about his personal reasons for participating in this event was an inspiration. I cannot express how moved I was seeing the event happening, and being able to witness the support from the community just blew me away. To everyone who participated, volunteered, and supported the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event, I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was so incredible to see and an honour to have helped create something like this in our community.
The week before the event, I had someone ask me if I thought Creston was ready for this kind of thing, and until that moment, it had not even crossed my mind that Creston might not be ready. But once the thought was out in the world, I did what I do, and my standard pre-event feeling started creeping in. The best way I can describe it is that in the days or hours leading up to an event, I start to feel like I'm ten years old and nobody is coming to my birthday party. I'll admit, when I arrived at Spirit Square at 11:00am on June 22nd, I definitely had that feeling. But there was work to be done, so I got to it. At noon, I was at the corner of Canyon and 16th, hauling barricades and talking to volunteers, and as I made my way back down a very quiet Canyon street to Spirit Square, I could not believe what was waiting for me! There were so many people!! Everywhere I looked there were men, learning to walk in high heels, some strutting, some supported by friends, some sitting. There were volunteers handing out shoes, bandaids, wool and tape. There were kids running around. People taking photos. It was so awesome. We had firefighters, RCMP officers, business owners and more, all out to support a cause together.
And following the event.... every post I saw on social media was of red shoes. Every conversation I had was about the event. I've been approached by business owners wanting to sponsor next year's event. I've already decided this is one I want to be a part of again, and I am really hoping the Kootenai Community Centre Society feels the same, because I've got a hundred ideas about how to make it bigger and better for 2020!
This event, or events like this, are the reason I wanted to start this business. Being a part of a community like this, being a part of a group of people all coming together to make change is so rewarding. I am once again so grateful to be able to play a small role in this community, and to know so many awesome people who are all making a difference. This one just blew me away, and I cannot wait to do it again!
Before I even start this post, I need to say I LOVE what I do. I am so lucky to be able to get up every morning and do something I enjoy and that is so rewarding. So even though this may sound a bit complainy… I have a good reason... I am SICK. Not sick with anything serious, unless you consider this cold/flu I have been suffering from for weeks to be serious. But I have been coughing and sniffling and sneezing for so long now, and it is kicking my butt! For the first time in a very long time, I found myself longing for the olden days when I worked at a desk, in an office, at a job that had PAID SICK LEAVE! What a luxury it was to call in sick and actually rest until I was better!
I'll repeat this here: I LOVE WHAT I DO. I have three events this weekend, and am so excited for all of them! I'm just a little concerned because yesterday I found myself strategizing about the best way to do as much as possible while only going up and then down the stairs one time, since climbing up a full flight leaves me hacking for 20 minutes. And even my best intentions of reserving a little time each day to rest have been foiled by my own desire to get everything done. Today for example, I was at my desk at the normal time, and promised myself I would take a small break before my 5:30pm meeting, well here I am with an hour to go, and no end in sight!
I've been loading myself with echinacea, oil of oregano, vitamins, tea of all kinds, cough drops, and Kleenex. I've added eucalyptus drops to the shower, and have "cold remedy" in the diffuser every day, but this just seems like the cold that never ends. So I'm begging you, what are your go to cold remedies for the days you simply cannot take a break?
Amanda, along with her team, coordinates, facilitates and creates awesome events in and around the Creston Valley. Through her business, AM Event Coordination, she strives to create awesome experiences and memories through the creation and execution of quality events.