Jennifer Basset | CEO | Bassett Events

Specializing in the creation of exceptional events for private and corporate clients, Bassett Events designs, plans and manages every project from conception to execution. Bassett Events organizes completely customized events that eventually reflect the brand personality of each client. Whether the company acts for a family, a product, a company or a cause, its work embraces experiences that integrate innovative design with the finest in wine and cocktails, dining, music, entertainment and—most important of all—that intangible element of surprise.

In an interview with Insights Success, Jennifer Basset, the CEO of Bassett Events shares a brief inside story of the ups and downs, struggles and success of the organization.

Below are the interview between Jennifer and Insights Success;

What led to the inception of the company? 

I was headhunted to work as a rainmaker and event producer. Six months into my job the company closed its doors. That was in December 1999. In January 2000 I opened Bassett Events.

I grew up in a family who entertained a ton. My parents were very social. They hosted several parties a month from as long as I can remember. I was also exposed to a lot as well. My mother was very involved in charity work and my father was CEO of a media company. My sisters and I were fortunate enough to attend many wonderful events.

My parents were also very strict. So I learned at an early age, manners, good taste, humility and a strong work ethic. I had already established an excellent database and reputation so I decided to go for it! I was at the age where I was only accountable to myself. No husband or children or real bills so my timing was perfect.

Describe your company and its event management services which address all the needs of your customers. 

We are a boutique Event Management Company and work primarily with high end, premium corporate and non-forprofit organizations. This market requires extra creativity and flare because budgets can be tight and expectations high.

The planning process includes everything from budget creation and reconciliation to project scope and definition. Bassett Events also manages interfacing with suppliers and entertainment, management of video and/or multimedia production, and acquiring and managing silent auction and live auction items.

How do your services differ from the other companies’ offerings? 

We are a boutique level company which means our team is small, yet supremely creative and able to manage all aspects of the event planning process. It is incredibly important for us to be able to give our clients 100% of our time and attention. When we are contracted, we do not consider ourselves a third party vendor. We attend committee meetings, we sit on the committee and we often sponsor the events and help fundraise.

We are always exploring and enriching our service offerings. We have team meetings where we explore new themes and techniques in event planning. Our strategy and business development meetings are effective in ensuring staff is up to speed with industry standards and the next best thing in events.

Give a detailed description of your influence over the company and the industry. 

As the CEO, my role is multifaceted and evolves daily. I am very hands on and together with my core team, I spear head, implement and oversee business development and events.

I have been nominated twice for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, which recognizes women whose successful businesses and achievements contribute not only to the economy, but also to their communities. This recognition was an overwhelming accomplishment and has only furthered my desire to continue to strive for excellence and ensure that every event produced is memorable, exciting and most importantly an event that will be talked about long after the night is over. As well BizBash has included me in their top 50 Planners in the world.

What are the greatest challenges faced by event management sector and how are they best dealt with? 

There is always risk when producing an event. When we produce outdoor events we always insist on a rain plan. We learned very early on that the one thing we can never control is Mother Nature!

The greatest risk for fundraising events is potential low sales which lead to a lower net profit or worst case cancellation. I always say, your event is only as successful as the committee selling it. It is imperative to have a strong sales team and important when planning fundraising events to allow for proper lead time. For fundraisers, we always recommend starting the planning process at least 8- 12 months in advance.

What technologies are you leveraging to make your services more resourceful? 

We use a number of different software programs to help make our jobs easier! Whether its constant contact for mass mail outs or registration software to help us keep track of all of our guests, they all play a big part in our day to day and keep us organized.

What are your company’s future aspirations? What strategies are you undertaking to achieve those goals? 

The company, since its inception has experienced tremendous growth and continues to grow every year. We continually try to bring in new business that will challenge us and allow us to stretch our creative minds. Creating unique and “never been done” before experiences for the guests at our events is always a goal and important in this industry to stay relevant. Continuing to secure international clients and events is a priority.

Give us a few testimonials of your clients that accurately highlight your company’s position in the market. 

“Bassett Events recently organized and orchestrated an absolutely outstanding tribute dinner for The Hon. Michael Wilson for over 600 guests at the Royal York Hotel. The evening went off without a hitch and was a great success. Jennifer Bassett and her event team are very experienced, extremely knowledgeable and highly professional. If you are planning a lunch, dinner or other social occasion, large or small I have absolutely no hesitation in providing Bassett Events an unequivocal and very strong positive recommendation.” Tony Fell, Former Chairman and CEO RBC Capital Markets 

“Jennifer Bassett produced the gala event to announce the winner of the inaugural Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Jennifer’s sense of design and depth of knowledge created the exact experience I wanted guests to enjoy. Galen and I were very impressed with her seamless execution, attention to detail and overall professionalism.” The Hon. Hilary M. Weston

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