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Curating, designing, and creating events that reflect the personalities of the couple—Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli

Curating, designing, and creating events that reflect the personalities of the couple—Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli

In the past, couples found it more difficult to understand and appreciate the amount of work wedding planners had to undertake, as they did not know how difficult this profession is and all the issues they have to deal with. Nowadays, given the social importance of a wedding and the extensive information posted on the internet and social networks of these celebrations, the bride and groom respect and value the scheduling and development of a wedding.

Planning a wedding requires training, a comprehensive knowledge of the industry and tremendous dedication so that everything turns out perfectly. Every couple is different – they have their own taste, preferences and values; that is an indisputable fact. And that’s the reason why there all sorts of wedding styles, and consequently, different types of wedding planners. Meeting the right professional for you will smooth the process and grant you a perfect wedding day, leaving you just this task, the most important one: be happy and enjoy your day to the full.

We introduce you to Elegant Occasions originated by JoAnn Gregoli who designs and creates events that reflect the couple’s personalities. From the moment your guests receive their save the dates, to the food, service, music, and design choices; we want your celebration to touch on all of the senses. It’s all about the guest experience!!!!! Every event tells a story, let us tell yours!!!

In tête-à-tête Elegant Occasions, JoAnn Gregoli to get insight of the company

Q. What was the motivation behind establishing Elegant Occasions?

Elegant Occasions began after I stayed home to be with my 6 children. I had worked in the events industry after graduating college and planned events for Johnson and Johnson, and many other pharma companies. I began to plan social events for my colleagues and clients and realized that there was a need for assistance for working couples.  I then found that destination weddings were becoming very popular and started to plan remote weddings lasting a few days. I became known as the godmother to the world of Destination weddings.

Q. How has the pandemic shaped the future of weddings?

The pandemic has changed how we interact with vendors and clients. Most of the time our initial meetings are being held virtually instead of constant in-person meetings.

There is a much more heightened awareness of germs and we are creating sanitation stations around our events. In New York, all guests and vendors must show proof of vaccination to enter an event.

Vendor contracts will now have to address covid situations. They are now showing change fees for multiple date changes if covid should reappear and cause postponements.

Outdoor weddings will now become the new norm. It allows guests to feel comfortable celebrating outdoors vs in an indoor location.

Q. What personality traits, skills, and education do you think all event planners must have?

Event planners have to be good contract negotiators and review every contract to assist with their client event planners are great at multitasking and very organized they are constantly juggling multiple tasks, priorities, and problems. To be a successful event planner, you need to be flexible enough that these bumps in the road don’t slow you down.

A good planner should be able to prioritize items that occur during their event. You’ll need to write and rewrite your checklist dozens of times as you plan an event.

A good event planner must remain calm and composed even if the world around them is falling apart.

I recommend having a degree in marketing and public relations helps in this field. Also, you should continue your education and try to take classes in each area that a planner must interface with. It is better to be knowledgeable in each field of event planning.

Q. What event management software and tools do you prefer using? And why do you use them?

Slack: This is great for team communication has also been used for session interaction within events. Slack allows you to create different channels for various topics within one workspace; so you can have private channels for each team member to communicate or create public ones for attendees to use as discussion topics throughout the event.

Trello: is great task management approach for your event, Trello is project management software with visual interface, simple usability, and easy-to-use collaboration features. While communication within Trello is strong, it’s not powerful when it comes to allowing users the ability to take a step back and get a big picture of the entire event management process. It’s also not specifically designed as an event management tool, since there is no master calendar view for a bird’s eye picture, only a task-by-task view.

Zoom Events: Chances are you’re already familiar with Zoom and how to use it, however, this platform is meant to help organizers handle several aspects of event management, such as hosting sessions via streaming or helping to share events and manage ticketing of the event.

Q. How do you keep up with industry trends and news?

The best way to keep to on the industry trends is to attend conferences and classes and learn from people from around the world, Knowledge is power and you must arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can.

Q. How do you manage event promotion, including social media outreach and email campaigns?

Here are some tips for social media engagement:

  1. Post a countdown on Instagram Stories to engage viewership
  2. Create an event page on Facebook and invite people to join
  3. Post teasers with necessary details with visual content
  4. Create a hashtag that will be used across all media platforms
  5. Give a sneak peek of the set and design of the event
  6. Host a giveaway that allows people to engage with the hosts
  7. Interview attendees on Instagram Stories and post as the event is unfolding

Q. What steps do you take to handle last minute or unexpected setbacks before and during an event?

  • Establish monitoring systems and practices to detect early warning sign
  • Indicate who will be the spokesperson in case of crisis
  • Provide a list of emergency key contacts to find quickly
  • Name a process for assessing incidents
  • Identify crisis response procedures and emergency meeting points
  • Identify the team members and any employee that will make up the Crisis Committee
  • Carry the proper insurance for your event

Meet JoAnn Gregoli

As owner of Elegant Occasions, JoAnn Gregoli began her career as a corporate event planner 20 years ago. The business has afforded her the opportunity to raise her six children and set her hours, so she can live up to the term “super mom.” Her company expanded into the destination field about 15 years ago, specializing in Europe and the Caribbean.

She loves the logistical challenges of destination weddings, paired with creating weddings that are memorable. She is the author of the Knots Guide to Destination Weddings. She has worked with on many celebrity and high profile weddings and has appeared on Good Morning America, Today Show and The CBS Morning Show.

“Elegant Occasions take care of all the details, the minute an event begins!”

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