Interview With Danielle Smith, Event Coordinator
Written by: Claire Ortiz, Marketing Intern
Published: November 21, 2018
Although many people like to focus on the events we have at Infinite Energy Arena, we also have many events going on at the Forum and Theater.
I interviewed Danielle Smith, Event Coordinator at Infinite Energy Forum, to get some more insight about the types of events happening and how she coordinates them.
Danielle said, “At the Forum, the types of events range anywhere from trade shows, conventions, banquets, social events, to weddings.”
When I asked Danielle how the planning process starts, she said, “Once a contract has been signed and a percentage of the event cost is paid, we (event planners) receive the event from our sales department to start planning it out. We usually get events assigned about a month out.”
Danielle said, “Making the diagrams is really fun for me to be able to play around with it and see how the room is going to look. Then when the event happens, seeing how it comes to life is really cool to me.”
Using a software, Danielle can draw out diagrams of each event in the various spaces to see what would be most functional and what the client’s needs are. This software has the event spaces to scale, so it's easy to see what equipment will work and what will not.
During event planning, many clients already come with a vision of how they want their event to look. But what happens when there is a new client that isn’t sure how they want their event set-up?
Danielle said, “We go to a client and say, ‘Here is what we have done before, we know this works really well, and I think with your event we could do something like that.’”
Although Danielle and our Event Coordinator for the Arena, Jordan Douglas, plan events for different spaces at Gas South District, they do frequently collaborate. With larger conference-type events that use both the Arena and the Forum, Danielle and Jordan must communicate with each other on how the people get from one space to the other, what rooms they’re supposed to be in, etc.
“One weekend we had events in both the Arena and the Forum, and there was a 5k going on in the parking lots. I called Jordan so she could talk me through the 5k route so I could then tell my people with an event at the Forum, ‘Since you’re loading in at 6 p.m., there’s going to be a 5k, you might have a little bit of a delay.’ So, when Arena events affect us, Jordan and I keep in contact.” said Danielle Smith.
It is typical for Event Coordinators to be present during an event, but Danielle does not have to be there at every event in the Forum. “We have part-time planners that will come in from 5 p.m. until whenever the event ends. If a client has a need, they can call me, and I can then contact Engineering, Operations or whomever it may be, that way the client doesn’t have to do it,” she said.
Danielle said that organization is important and that it took her a while to find a system that worked for her, but 6 separate calendars, color coding, and daily to-do lists have really helped her stay organized and keep her priorities straight to crush her event planning.
“It really helps to have a great Event Services team. I know I can come to them with anything and we can all brainstorm together. We all help each other so it helps to have a good team that will back you up and problem solve.” she said.