Kavita Branding Session

#BEYOUROWN MEETS KAVITA MOHAN

Kavita Mohan is the Founder & Creative Director of Kavita Mohan Event Planning. She is an award-winning planner with superhuman attention to detail & sparkle in Vancouver, BC, Canada.  Kavita’s outgoing warm personality, immense creativity, and resourcefulness drew her more than a decade ago to start organising parties for her beloved friends and family. That awoke […]

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Kavita Mohan is the Founder & Creative Director of Kavita Mohan Event Planning. She is an award-winning planner with superhuman attention to detail & sparkle in Vancouver, BC, Canada. 

Kavita’s outgoing warm personality, immense creativity, and resourcefulness drew her more than a decade ago to start organising parties for her beloved friends and family. That awoke her passion and she found her calling in helping people celebrate their important life events. Her 20+ years of experience working in a corporate environment gave her the insight to skilfully master organisation, budget, and efficiency within a timeframe. 

Her passion is driven by the joy of making your event an extraordinary experience and  watching as her clients get increasingly excited as the day draws near. In her world, no two events are ever the same, every client gets their story uniquely envisioned and glamorously realised.

Over the course of her career as a professional event planner & producer, Kavita has produced numerous weddings, parties, corporate events, conventions & fundraiser galas.  Kavita also volunteers her time as a committee member and décor leader for the Cystic Fibrosis annual 65 Roses Gala.

What is Kavita Mohan Event Planning?

Kavita Mohan Event Planning is a full-service event production and design studio, creating unique & unforgettable events.  We believe in providing a thoughtful and vivacious planning experience to a select number of clients per year. We live for glamorous Weddings & Events.

Our work doesn’t just consist of creating a show stopping event, it is about bringing peace of mind to our clients and providing a thoughtful but also exciting experience. To work with us means to have your dreams realized – our heartfelt goal is to listen, to understand your vision, and to inspire you. We thrive on seeing the sparkle in your eyes as we weave together everything, from breathtaking aesthetics down to the tiniest of details.

What was the catalyse behind launching Kavita Mohan Event Planning?

I had been working at the head office of 7-Eleven Canada Inc. for 24 years since I was 19 years old.  I had started in the accounting department as an Accounting Clerk then was promoted to Section Leader. I then moved to Operations as an administrative assistant.  The last ten years at the company I was the assistant to the National Senior Product Direct in the Merchandising Department and managed the multi-million advertising budget for the Communications Department simultaneously.  

Throughout my career, 7-Eleven Canada Inc. was the only company I had ever worked for full-time and although I worked in various departments and grew professionally, I felt it was time to move my career in another direction.  I learnt a lot and gained so much knowledge working for 7-Eleven and will always value the experience, but I knew it was time to move on.  I did not want to look back at my career and regret not taking a chance at something new.  My favourite quote which I read every day as a reminder to keep moving forward is ““The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment.”― Deborah Moggach.  

I knew at that time that in the next phase of my career I would branch out on my own and had no desire to work for anyone else. I had been planning events at 7-Eleven, for my friends and my family for many years by this time so it was a natural segue into opening an event planning business. I have a passion and love for event planning as the job allows me to be analytical and creative, to come up with unique one of kind touches for each event and to solve logistical concerns.

Who are the team behind Kavita Mohan Event Planning?

Elim Kwok Marketing Consulting Agency:

Elim is the dynamo behind my Marketing & Brand Strategy and Brand Identity Design.  I had previously worked with Elim for a few years and already knew her to be diligent, conscientious, tireless, and industrious when it came to her work. She is passionate, enthusiastic, always thinks outside the box and produces high quality work.  Not only does she have a “can do” and positive attitude but is so fun to work with.

Vanessa Bucceri Creative: https://vanessabucceri.com/ 

Vanessa is the creative genius behind my website and brand design, which is so beautiful, stylish elegant and glam!  She is great to work with as she explains things very well, is super detailed and creative.  I also love her calm and easy-going manner. 

Daniella Van Den Huijssen: https://www.daniellapins.com/ 

Pinterest Management & Social Media Content Calendar Creation – Daniella lives in the Netherlands & I was so lucky that she responded to my job posting on Upwork for a Social Media Manager.  Daniella specializes in Pinterest management services that are specially curated for wedding creatives, travel bloggers, food bloggers, and applicable to many other types of bloggers.  

Daniella is quick to respond, diligent, creative, detailed, analytic & super organized. I love Daniella’s calm nature & the great care she takes in explaining things & creating the content. By creating mini tutorial videos & documents for me the process to work with her is so easy and efficient. In the first month of working with her Daniella had grown my Pinterest exponentially – Impressions +1,039 %, Total Audience +897%, Engagement + 2,678%, Engaged Audience +755%!

Shalini & Shivani Sen – Event Day Coordinators:

Shalini & Shivani are two sisters who also happen to be my nieces!  Shalini has a degree in marketing and economics and runs her own business, Remmi Skin providing skincare products. Shivani has a degree in Kinesiology, is a choreographer, has a full-time job & runs 2 businesses, Rise Arts Company & Cloud Fine Fitness.  You could say the women in this family are highly driven!  They are both kind, intelligent, fun & can think on their feet which is why I love having them on my team on event days.  And I am not just saying this because I am a proud Aunt! 

Who is the most influential female entrepreneur that you admire and why?

This is definitely the question I have been stuck on as there are so many female entrepreneurs that I admire but I would have to say Oprah Winfrey as she has been through so much and accomplished so much more. I have been following Oprah since the 90’s on her talk show and always admired her passion, kindness and intelligence.  To see a black woman who came from poverty, was sexually abused and had to overcome so many professional barriers to become the first black female billionaire but also has market sway and political clout is truly extraordinary.

And I must add that her recent interview of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle was a master class in interviewing skills.  

What solid words of advice can you offer to others who are looking to launch an event planning start up? 

I often get asked for advice by people who are considering or are just starting their career as a Wedding Planner.

One of the best descriptions I have read is from the African Wedding Guide that describes what the job entails: “…the role of the wedding consultant is that of a facilitator, mediator, money manager, artisan, and constructor of dreams.” And I would add and so much more!

Successful wedding planning requires you to be a “Jack or Jill” of all trades.

But to me the most important skills of a Wedding Planner are to:

  1. Really listen to your clients’ requests and vision.
  2. Be able to read the room, to understand the family dynamics as you will dealing with many different personalities, especially on the day of the event from the families to the guests to the vendors to the venue team.
  3. Tale the time to understand & gain knowledge of customs and traditions as I find especially in multi-cultural weddings many families have their own unique way of doing things.

 

I believe knowledge helps us in our future planning and steers us to the right path. 

Another important step is to set boundaries with your clients from the beginning on what is acceptable behaviour, to be treated with professional courtesy and respect.  Event planning especially wedding planning is a stressful process & emotions can run high but that should not allow clients to feel that they can behave badly.   

I think it is important for people to know that when I am going through the consultation process with potential clients, they are not only interviewing me, but I am also interviewing them.  You need to be clear and concise on how your planning process will be.

What has been the most challenging yet rewarding barrier you faced and how did overcome it whilst building Kavita Mohan Event Planning?

I would say my most challenging yet rewarding barrier would be creating content for social media.  I have always found social media overwhelming and doubted my abilities in creating content. I did not grow up on social media, I was not confident in what I was posting and worried that followers would not be interested or find my content relevant.  I wanted to have organic growth but the lack of followers, likes on posts and engagement were at times discouraging.  I also did not have a lot of time to spend on social media as my main priority has always been creating dream events for my clients. 

I invested my time into researching how social media works and know that consistency is the key to success . To see any results in life takes a lot of showing up and practicing.  I have taken the time to create great content, post consistently, use a hashtag strategy and to not worry about the performance of every single post.

I realise that it will take time for the momentum to build up. Every niche is different, and every account is unique. It will take more time to research which type of audience performs best for my account. That this will be a long-term strategy to see the results.

Which 3 marketing tools are you currently using and how do they support your everyday business functionality? 

  1. Google Analytics & Microsoft Clarity to capture and analyze data on my web traffic and visitors.
  1. Canva – I use Canva almost daily to create content for my social platforms, website, and documents.  I LOVE Canva as it is so user friendly and it allows me to be creative as well.  I have not only created beautiful images but stunning videos.  The Brand Kit ensures that all my content is consistent and anyone on my team can access my pre-set brand fonts, logos & colors so that everything is visually on brand all the time.
  1. Planoly – I use Planoly to schedule IG posts in advance, draft & edit captions, use the calendar view to see past and scheduled posts, manage and reply to comments, to collaborate with my social media manager, analyze data such as engagement rate, impressions, likes and comments.  The platform allows you to auto post Instagram content to Facebook, so you post the same content, caption, and location tags to the connected Facebook page which is saves me so much time!  I also LOVE Planoly because I can drag and drop the posts until I am satisfied with how the feed is looking visually.

How have you navigated around COVID-19 and how has it impacted you professionally?

After postponing then rescheduling weddings (more than once), doing my best to keep abreast of news & protocols for planning an event during a pandemic, planning & executing COVID weddings & events and moving to our new home I decided to take a “break” after my last event of 2020.

I found that I wasn’t feeling very motivated, a bit defeated at times and on an emotional roller coaster of not just coming to grips with the fact that I would not have any income for the foreseeable future, I would be collecting government aid for the first time ever in my career but I still had to remain strong and emotionally available for my clients as we were all trying to navigate our way through a pandemic filled with angst, confusion and asking ourselves a whole lot of what the “bleep” is going on?!

I had been running on empty the past few years focusing on my business and figured this would be a good time as any to take a step back, but if you know me you know that the “break” would be short lived as I’m not one to sit around and wallow in my own misery. 

For all that 2020 didn’t give us, the one thing it did give me in the last few months of the year is the “Gift of Time” to reflect on how to move forward professionally.

I decided to invest in myself and my business, which I have been wanting to do the last few years but just never found the time. 

How are you working on your own personal development?

I spent the last few months of 2020 working with a few of the most talented & creative female entrepreneurs in their respective fields to help bring my vision for my brand to life – a new look, a new site, a new start for 2021.  I also organised a branding photo session for myself which I had never done before with 9 outfit, hair & set changes that were reflective of my different personalities & clothing styles.  My motto has always been “Go Big or Go Home”! 

Not only did I get a beautiful, stylised brand design, website, and professional images that I am so proud of that truly reflects my work and sense of style but in the process, I learned so many new tools and platforms that I had never used before such as Trello, Showit and have become quite the expert on Cava!  I also loved the opportunity to work again so closely with like minded females who taught me so much!

My goal is to fully automate my booking process, client questionnaires, proposals, contracts, invoicing and what ever else I can!  To streamline my processes to create a fun and user-friendly guest experience for my clients and potential clients. With this in mind,  I spent an entire day last week learning how to create a proposal on Dubsado and am happy to say after many revisions, chats with the help desk and test runs I sent my first proposal via Dubsado! Hallelujah for the Help Desk Chats! I still have many more forms to create which will take time, but it will be worth it in the end and so rewarding to have a system that is streamlined and consistent with my branding.  

For the time being I have taken over creating content for my IG & FB accounts until my industry is up and running again.  I have learnt so much about social media in the past few months, new ways to do things and created a colour-coded content calendar for each month to keep me on track.  I have really enjoyed connecting with my followers again as they are so kind and have such positive feedback for my work.

I love learning, keeping my brain active and will continue to learn and grown as much as I possibly can not just about my business but also about the world around me. I genuinely believe that “a beautiful mind is a terrible thing to waste” and we should always take the time to nurture our abilities.

How are you looking to scale and grow Kavita Mohan Event Planning throughout 2021?

My hopes and plans to grow my business for 2021 was originally to hire and train a team of individuals that are just starting their career in Event Planning. To pass on the knowledge and experience I have gained in the past few years and to help foster the next generation of talent.

At this point as we are still restricted to a maximum of 10 people for a wedding in British Columbia, I’m unclear if my goals will come to fruition for the beginning of  the year but perhaps more so in the latter part of the year.  I do see a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollouts and people are feeling a bit more hopeful as many inquires have been coming in. In the past week alone, I have received nine inquires for 2022 weddings and four of those just in the past two days.  I think as restrictions are easing up people are feeling more confident in taking the next steps with moving forward with their wedding or event.  

In the mean time I made the decision to organise an epic styled shoot which I have been working on for the past month that will be shot at the end of April or early May.  We are bringing together some of the most talented vendors in the industry who will volunteer their time for the shoot.  The styled shoots consists of 6 settings that are all uniquely different in style, theme & colour palette.  As the styled shoot is on such a large scale and consists of décor, florals, floor wraps, table settings, stationery, cake & desserts, lighting and so much more my mood board is currently at 75 pages! 

To ensure that the shoot is COVID friendly I have planned the shoot for over a three day period. The 1st day to set up, the 2nd day to shoot and the 3rd day to takedown.  The shoot will also consist of two teams and each team to include the following set of vendors – photographer, videographer, décor, florist, stationery, wrap, lighting, outfit, jewlery, hair & make-up, stylist and 3 models.  The venue I chose is a family run winery that had just opened their event spaces in early 2020 and had to shut down due to the pandemic. I’m hoping that this shoot will also shine a spotlight on the venue and get fully booked for future weddings & events.  

The goal for the styled shoot was not only to create content but also too collaborate with my friends in the industry, to give us a sense of normalcy, to be productive while we wait for our world to return to some what of a normalcy and back on track.  I do have immense hope that we will get there in the foreseeable future.

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kavitamohanevents/?hl=en 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kavitamohanevents

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/kavitamohanevents 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kavitamohaneventplanning/ 

Website: https://kavitamohan.com/ 

 

Image taken by @jumistory

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