My name is Sam (Sameen) and I noticed my love for planning events since probably I was 7. I used to get so excited about any family gatherings and parties, and always tried to make any event special for attendees by planning a fun surprise for them. Whether it was singing a song, or performing a dance/acrobat move, or even decorating (and sometimes re-decorating!) my mom’s food spread, I always wanted to make sure guests had a special time while I was hosting. Of course, my beautiful mom’s patience with me also helped a lot to shape my imagination when it comes to planning and overseeing an event. I mean… she is an angel!
Imagine setting a beautiful top-notch dinner table/appy table for your guests to arrive, and all of a sudden your silly chubby 6 year old decides to move everything around, ruin your design, and put stupid toys into all the fruits and cheese boards to decorate them for the guests! Nightmare right?! But my amazing mom just laughed at my silliness and let me explore my imagination because she believed that I could turn her event into something even more magical. And guess what? I somehow did! Whether it was my silliness, my ridiculously serious face while performing something for the guests, or my commitment to entertain, people always left our place having a blast talking about something that I had done! That stuck with me from a young age… I started to see the gift I had which was to host people in the best way possible.
Years passed and so much happened, though. From moving to a new country to getting 2 degrees from university, many certificate degrees, getting married, moving cities, changing jobs, and starting a family business, I had to figure out how to adult first before flying high on my dreams and goals (I see you “duh” ing me… I see your smirk… I see you nodding… I see you shaking your head… believe me, I am rolling my eyes a bit, too).
Annnnd, after mastering many skills from analytical plannings to crisis management, from computer to communications, from public speaking to writing proposals, I finally circled back to what I love the most and do the best: planning events!
I have had the opportunity to work with one of the best financial firms in Victoria BC since 2015 as their Head Event Planner, and throughout my time I have planned numerous private, public, marketing, and educational events for the firm for a different number of attendees as small as 10 to as big as 600.
I have also managed cultural events for different ethnic groups in Victoria, BC which has given me so much knowledge regarding cultural differences, values, and standards when it comes to events. From ethnic celebrations to multi-cultural business mixers and presentation series, I have done it all and enjoyed every bit of every event!
On Jan 1st, 2020 I decided to finally launch my independent Event Planning website and officially announce the fact that I am working independently moving forward. The move was long overdue as it was in the making for years, but I wanted to make sure that I have the best team, and I gain all the necessary experiences before jumping in as a business owner.
It has only been a couple of weeks into 2020 and we have already booked many small social events and a couple of big ones which are coming later this winter, so stay tuned for more info regarding those 🙂
What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
Oh, this topic has been by far my strongest asset yet! Depending on the purpose and objective of the event, the budget could be tailored to the clients’ main needs; so the first step would be to ask as many questions from the client as possible to completely understand the objective first and then move forward.
My tip for tight budget plannings would be to think outside of the box, look around and use what you already have. Whether it is quick DIYs to make a fancy decor piece, or if it is to ask your friends and family to volunteer for the event as assistants instead of paying for staff, it is totally doable!
If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?
My dream client would be an open-minded, ready to explore client with a good budget, who wants something different and memorable for their event.
My dream event would resemble my brand, and it will be Full of Life!
I personally value originality so much so that my event would totally be full of wow factors, little details, and something that makes it stand out from other similar ones.
What advice would you give someone who needs to plan a fundraiser but isn’t sure where to start?
My advice would be to educate yourself first on previous fundraising events in your area to get an idea of what to expect, who would be the possible attendees, how big may be the crowd, and what attracts people in your area.
This will give you an overall idea about what you may be about to expect, and then focus your planning steps on that possible potential crowd and their needs.
And keep your standards high! I know things can sometimes get overwhelming and scary, but know your value and keep everything up to your standards.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
I am about to plan a big Business Networking event for a multicultural group in Victoria, BC. I always value working with diverse groups, especially immigrants, because I understand the struggles and the hard work they put into making their brands stand out in a new country. I mean, all of us work hard for sure but those who move to a new country to start a new life and yet are super successful in their businesses and careers always have a special place in my heart. Therefore, I am personally so happy to plan this big event for diverse ethnic groups of greater Victoria soon.
I am also in the middle of planning a big beauty gala for the city focusing on all the trends and tricks of the beauty industry. I mean… what is more fun than that for a girl to plan for?! NOTHING!
What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea to setting up and starting to attract a client base?
It took me almost 5 years to jump in, and there were a couple of reasons involved for that.
I had a full-time corporate job to pay my bills which would not leave me enough time to focus on building my business, and the perfectionist I am, cannot operate like that! I, however, had been working part-time with a well-known financial firm in Victoria as their Event Coordinator and Planner during those 5 years which taught me so much about planning events in my demographic area in general. It also provided me with opportunities like planning social events for private clients, too, but to officially launch my business it took me 5 years.
And, I did that because I believed it was time to spread my wings and fly high! All amazing experiences I have under my belt are due to working in my corporate and my part-time planner jobs which I am forever thankful for, but I could not work for anybody else anymore as my ideas are sometimes too big and too daring for corporates to get accepted.
Again, I am Full of Life and not everyone could tame the fire so I decided that the fire does not need to be tamed actually; and voila! Full of Life Events was born!
Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?
Thank you for giving me this opportunity and platform to talk about my company. I appreciate it so much.