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The team
4 min read 7 months ago

Broaden My Skills

It takes drive, ambition, and clear action to take on the event planning industry and push the boundaries for what is possible in events. With the dedication of a mighty team, Planned has continued to work with clients and suppliers to produce unique and innovative events across North America. The talent density at Planned is at an all time high, and one of those talents is Jared Carbonneau. Jared is a Software Engineer at Planned, and since joining the team in February 2021 has made a large impact on the communication flow of the product, through enabling email notifications to be sent when a message is received on the platform, and allowing status changes to be made based on availability. He has also spent his time focusing on implementing the design system and ensuring its ease of use for all developers on the team. Jared joined Planned at at a crucial point in our product development process and has since played a large role in improving our product and suggesting ways to engage our clients and suppliers more through the platform. As far as his path prior to joining Planned, it may not be what you might assume. After graduating high school, Jared was trained as a carpenter, and worked in the field for a few years. During that time he was also focusing on volunteer construction projects in the Dominican Republic. “Volunteering really brought me to cultures, languages, friends and new ways of doing things that I otherwise would have missed out on.” After a few years in the construction industry, Jared headed across seas to China, where he learned Mandarin, taught English, and travelled to factories to inspect goods for Canadian clients. “I inspected a lot of iron castings, which are pretty cool because of the melted metal, I then transitioned to inspecting construction materials, like tiles and cabinets. China really is one big factory, and I traveled to many areas to help my clients.” After exploring other parts of the world, Jared landed back in Montréal. While planning his next professional move, Jared took a two month coding bootcamp called DecodeMTL (now Concordia University bootcamps) and hustled to learn an entirely new industry. To Jared, “Software engineering wasn’t exactly a dream of mine, but after some friends suggested taking free online classes, I fell in love with it.” His love for software engineering shines through in his enthusiasm to brainstorm new concepts and creatively solve technological problems at Planned. Jared’s career as a Software Engineer today is not surprising if you look at his interests in high school. At a young age he enjoyed psychics and woodworking: subjects that encourage creativity and emphasize problem solving skills. In his view, “Software engineering allows me to build really cool things, just like when I was working in construction.” When Jared isn’t coding, he spends most of his time with his family, exploring the great outdoors that Quebec has to offer. It’s common for Jared to take some time off from work and come back with great stories about his adventures to share with the team! “Our favorite spot this summer was Sepaq Mont-Tremblant:…

The team
3 min read 8 months ago

Pure Passion

Not many people would move from California to Montreal in the middle of a pandemic, but that’s just one of the things that makes Madison Bonser such a special part of the Planned team. A psychology graduate from the University of British Columbia and a lover of anything active, Madison joined Planned in June 2020. Madison at the University of British Columbia. As with any early stage startup like Planned, employees often have to wear different hats. Given this nature, Madison has been a key player in driving supply and operations initiatives forward. Just a few months after joining Planned, Madison became lead on marketing, while also being an awesome organizer of many team activities. Here’s what Madison has to say about the changes since her arrival: “When I joined Planned, it was the beginning of truly onboarding vendors into the marketplace, as well as growing our partnerships with venues across North America. Since then, the Planned marketplace has exponentially grown, and our user platform has improved dramatically and looks completely different. As for marketing, we’ve really taken steps towards including our clients and partners, by featuring our partners in various outreaches and on our social media platforms. We’ve also been engaging with our clients in a highly meaningful way and receiving feedback through post-event surveys and conversations!” Since Madison has picked up more marketing initiatives, Planned’s online presence has grown and we’ve been able to connect with the event planning community at a much more significant level. Madison’s passion in her marketing and partnerships role at Planned shines through, and when asked how that connects with her major in university (psychology), she commented: “To me, marketing/partnerships and psychology are very similar; at the end of the day it boils down to human behavior and understanding people. I am incredibly passionate about connecting with people and understanding what motivates them. Marketing and partnerships allows me to explore that in a variety of ways and, in doing so, recognize behavior patterns and trends and utilize that data in multiple ways.” When she isn’t at the Planned HQ, she’s always on adventures in the outdoors! Along with her continuous drive and creative user-centric ideas, Madison wraps her high performance presence up in her contagious smile. A genuine pleasure to work with, Madison is excited about a few of her upcoming Planned projects: “We have several important initiatives underway. One being updating the website, which we're reinventing to make as innovative and exciting as our product is. We really want to have the website reflect how fun event planning can be and the constant desire to improve and elevate.” She adds that an overarching mission of the marketing programs is “building Planned’s credibility externally through various facets. We’ve created product listings on third party websites to view direct feedback from our users, because we’re always looking to build our product alongside our users. In addition to these two initiatives, we’re starting a Partner Program to collaborate with organizations across North America to grow our community and continue to revolutionize the event planning industry!” One of Madison’s favourite…

The team
4 min read 9 months ago

Part of the Evolution

The power of the Planned marketplace is a major value proposition that sets us apart in the industry. Currently, we feature over 20,000 carefully curated suppliers across North America. Over the past year, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Planned marketplace has evolved into an indispensable resource for event planners in major markets throughout Canada and the U.S.. The highly intuitive and user-friendly nature of our supplier discovery is largely the result of the talent and dedication of Stefan Trivuncic, one of Planned’s Senior Software Developers.Joining our team in October 2020, Stefan quickly established himself as an invaluable architect of Planned’s rapidly evolving platformin support of refining our user experience into the leadership position we enjoy today. Stefan- the tennis star at Planned! Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Stefan’s family emigrated to Canada when he was just four years of age. Their journey brought them to St-Jerome, a bucolic town on the Rivière du Nord and gateway to a ski country in the Laurentian Mountains. From a young age Stefan has enjoyed computers and science fiction, while also enjoying hockey and tennis — all of which he remains passionate about despite his busy schedule. Later, the family relocated to Ottawa where Stefan studied Criminal Justice at Carleton University, earning his Bachelor’s degree with a minor in Business Law. Stefan’s first exposure to programming came about while working atAcademie de la Capitale, an independent school using the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum which incorporates a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) approach to learning. There, Stefan was introduced to coding as the lead instructor was a computer science professor at the University of Ottawa. Stefan teaching at Academie de la Capitale. “He introduced me to the world of programming and the opportunities it brought,” Stefan recalls. “I have no formal education in software development and am completely self-taught via various online mediums of educational platforms for software development, like Udemyand FreecodeCamp.” “I originally wanted to go to law school to become a corporate or intellectual property lawyer and focus on areas in technology. But it became clear to me that the law was always reactive and not able to catch up with the ever changing technologies and software. I decided that I would rather be hands-on and be part of the evolutionin software development instead of just reacting to it as a lawyer. During the rest of my B.A, I would balance my time between my university classes, learning to code, and work at that private school teaching students during the school year and summers.” His journey eventually led him to join Planned in October 2020. When he initially joined Planned, the software was beginning to shift and that involved a lot of oversight, planning, and moving away from copious amounts of legacy code. While that process was initially difficult and required a dedicated team, Stefan has enjoyed seeing the progress of where the application started to where it is now. “Working in the Marketplace, you really get to see where the application shines in terms of providing a variety…

The team
4 min read 10 months ago

Develop Relationships

According to Indeed, a crucial aspect of creating a long-lasting client relationship is providing an excellent service starting at the very first interaction with the client. Some ways to ensure that this occurs is by: clear and concise communication, remaining human, learning their needs, providing expertise and exceeding expectations. “Businesses that develop great, long-term relationships with their clients are more likely to receive repeat business from those clients. Satisfied customers might recommend your company, product or service to a colleague, leading to new business. With positive, enduring client relationships, companies can achieve overall business success and create larger projects for their customers' benefit.” Luckily for our team, much of those first interactions with clients are taken on by Planned’s Partnerships Coordinator, Charles Langevin. Now a part of the Planned team for over a year, he has become a crucial part in developing and maintaining strong client relationships. His approach allows the relationship to focus on the clients’ needs to figure out how Planned can provide a solution. His ability to engage in meaningful conversations and express genuine concern has allowed clients at Planned to know that they are in good hands. When Charles isn’t working with clients, he's in full-adventure mode! He is usually cycling and golfing or travelling around Quebec in great company! (follow @charleslexplorateur on instagram for more content). His easy-going nature follows him along on all his travels, and he is looking forward to the reopening of the borders for his next getaway. Specifically he is looking forward to completing some hikes in South America in the future! In addition to his passion for travelling, part of the reason Charles handles business development and client-facing tasks so well is due to his education and experience. In April 2020, he graduated from HEC Montreal with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing. Since September, he has been pursuing a Master's degree in Strategy. His passion and interest within university courses lies on those that focus on innovation, modern business strategy, and consulting. His strong work ethic enables him to continue to make a positive impact on the client journey at Planned. His professionalism, enthusiasm and passion for our clients, has helped him maintain strong relationships with clients even throughout the uncertainty and navigation of the world of virtual meetings this past year. Charles’ dedication to our clients comes from his love for developing relationships - “I love to listen to people's needs and help them improve their condition.” Beyond meeting with clients, his desire to contribute to the overall success of Planned is shown in his ability to collaborate with the Sales and Supply teams effectively, and align strategies. Charles shared what a day in the life looks for him at Planned: “First of all, I am far from being a morning person, but Planned has allowed me to get into the habit of being productive, even in the morning. My coffee is always ready for my first meeting at 9 am with the team, otherwise from 10am I jump from one call…

The team
4 min read 11 months ago

More Collaborative

The best product managers are visionaries who can creatively problem solve. They help guide the success of a product and lead the cross-functional team that is responsible for improving it. This is an important organizational role — especially in technology companies. Over the past year the Planned platform has been re-invented from the ground up. It’s all about understanding the user needs and ensuring an intuitive and seamless experience. As the pandemic recedes and social restrictions are being removed globally, we’re continuing to see the results of our hard work through the events that our clients are booking. You’re probably thinking that building a product to entirely streamline a process that is seen as having many inefficiencies must be challenging. It is exactly that, especially when one considers that our goal of completely transforming the event planning industry is a moving target due to constant changes in market trends and a large desire for innovation from our users. Among the talent-density at Planned is Gabriella Hachem, our Product Manager. Gabriella joined the Planned team in September 2020 and has overseen all aspects of continuous improvement of Planned’s platform and user experience. “Some people thought it was a bit odd to join a startup in the events industry during a pandemic, but I really believe in the product and team.” Since joining the team, Gabriella has assisted in restructuring the product process, talking with clients to understand the needs of our users, set both short and long term goals for the product, and overall contributed to the passion and desire to innovate on the team. Gabriella graduated from McGill University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a minor in Entrepreneurship. After graduating, she pursued a position as a UX Designer then a Product Manager at a startup based in Montreal that focused on conversational AI for ecommerce. This was when her passion for product management began. “Product management isn’t a career that you learn about in school. I had no idea this job existed and what it entailed.” Her interest in product management grew as she learned more about product development and spoke with product leaders around her. She says, “To me, the most inspiring and fun parts of the role revolve around solving user problems, wireframing, and looking for patterns in the data.” Some of Gabriella’s favorite Lebanese dishes. In her day to day role at Planned, Gabriella focuses primarily on: sketching and laying out ideas for features or iterations, breaking down user problems to discuss with the team, and meetings with various stakeholders, as well as testing new features that the team has pushed that week and debugging or prioritizing new bugs that may come up. When she isn’t focusing on the product, she likes watching The Office,eating Lebanese and Italian food, and socializing with friends. Her passion for the product and our users has helped in transforming our product entirely. She shared, “The product itself has grown significantly and I’m proud of the team for what we’ve accomplished with the challenges of the pandemic,”she says. “The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome, in my…

The team
3 min read 12 months ago

Heard and Encouraged

As in every customer-centric business, our sales department plays a pivotal role in the growth of our company and the success of our clients. Here at Planned that entails bridging the gap between the needs of today’s imaginative Event Planners and what our product offers. As a result, our sales team plays an instrumental role in empowering our clients to create incredible events. One of the key members of our sales team is Account Manager Sofia Benhmida. Joining the team in January of last year, Sofia has unfailingly exceeded expectations in contributing to our success and serving her clients. Her eagerness to help and overall enthusiasm has played a crucial role in helping Planned navigate from a concierge service platform to a self-service platform. Sofia’s talent and dedication have made a positive impact on user adoption of the Planned platform and retention. She says that while every client interaction is special she recalls one of her favorite events: “I would say my first client and the first event that I’ve coordinated was particularly memorable. It was a blast helping develop holiday themed gift boxes for AdGear Technologies. I loved seeing everyone at AdGear Technologies receive their boxes, especially during the holiday season! I was glad to be part of it and bring a little joy in their lives after a long year of work!” Sofia grew up in Casablanca, Morocco and moved to Canada after high school. Her professional journey began after she graduated from Concordia University with a major in Political Science. As she embarked on a new chapter, she began an internship at International Air Transport Association (IATA). After her time at IATA, she joined Planned as a Junior Events Coordinator which turned into Partnerships Specialist and now is an Account Manager. Her progression at Planned reflects her dedication and passion for our product and devotion to our clients. Her knowledge of Planned and our North Star is reflected in her ability to establish strong and trusting relationships with our clients, make herself readily available to any client request, and maintain strong relationships with our partners. When Sofia isn’t collaborating with clients on exciting events, she is enjoying the sunshine in Montreal, exploring new cities or eating some of her favorite Asian and Middle Eastern foods. She shared that what she enjoys about Planned is, “the respect, the encouragement, the friendliness! Working at Planned makes you feel safe in an environment where employees are empowered, heard and encouraged which helps a lot with personal and professional growth.” She added, “I also really like the fact that we’re all SO different, we all came from diverse backgrounds but our common goal is striving to make one product the best it can be and that’s just awesome!” Currently, Planned is pivoting from a concierge service platform to an entirely self-service platform. The goal is to empower our users to discover and book everything for their event seamlessly. Our focus shifted in 2020 to product development and Sofia’s talent has played a role in allowing us to make that shift as smoothly as possible through assisting our…

The team
5 min read 1 year ago

Ownership and Involvement

Planned exists to offer event planners everywhere the best solution available for their events. In practice this translates to providing a dashboard view of the multitude of decisions and tasks which make an event successful — reliably providing event planners with a seamless, efficient, and comprehensive platform which enhances the experience of event planning for all planners. Over the past year we’ve taken advantage of the pause offered by the COVID-19 pandemic and re-invented our platform from the ground up. Our team of developers and user interface designers have created new features, a more intuitive interface, and easier discovery of suppliers. As the pandemic recedes and social restrictions are easing in many markets, we’re continuing to see the results of their hard work. You’re probably thinking that building a product of this complexity and scope must be challenging. It is exactly that, especially when one considers that our goal of completely transforming the event planning industry is a moving target due to ever heightened expectations of our users and industry trends, many of which have emerged to adapt to the new post-COVID-19 world. Among the programmer wizards at Planned is the talented and resourceful Mark Conn, our Senior Software Engineer. Upon joining the team last August, Mark’s to-do list was well defined: help rebuild the foundation of the Planned platform. This rebuild would support an ambitious new feature set which will leapfrog us ahead of the competition. Since then he has been instrumental in completely restructuring our product and the way that our clients interact with it. A focus throughout 2020 was to recreate our product so that it would be scalable and eventually a self-serving platform. Mark recognized that the foundation of the platform had to be rebuilt from scratch. He shared that, “we brought in tools that would help us really achieve a more robust and serious platform. NextJS replaced our hand-rolled React boilerplate for our client app. Typescript became universal across all apps. We picked Material UI for our component library.” Mark’s passion for software development began in 2015. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from Concordia University in Montreal. And from 2007 to 2019, he joined the military as an infantry soldier and eventually got specialized as a close protection operator and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. Amongst returning home from Afghanistan, he decided it was time for the next chapter and found a coding bootcamp, DecodeMTL, that piqued his interest. From then on, his career in software development unraveled. Mark shared, “I always thought software was fascinating but I felt like an outsider in the sense that it seemed closed off to only those with computer science degrees. However, I learned that this wasn’t truly the case, and that anyone could access the material to learn and try their hand at it.” He naturally enjoys building and the foundations of what engineering is, and recognizes that software development is a career that is needed in any industry. “There’s a bit of a stigma of the old fashioned ‘programmer’ who just sits around hacking in solitude, but…

The team
4 min read 1 year ago

Learning to Adapt

In accomplishing an objective of maintaining a strong level of usefulness within our client base, the tracking of behavior and user feedback is crucial to closing the loop between the customer experience and the ongoing product development process. Much of this responsibility rests with Planned’s Key Account Manager, David Cottingham. Celebrating his second Planned-anniversary today, David has become pivotally important in ‘taking the temperature’ of our users to measure how they rate their overall experience. David’s professionalism has been a calming influence throughout the pandemic that all his colleagues appreciate. The importance of client feedback and client usability testing cannot be understated, especially within a company that has developed a product to revolutionize an entire industry. Planned is thrilled to be in such a collaborative industry with hardworking and dedicated clients. We take pleasure in continuing to create tools to make their lives easier, and our Account Managers are key players in maintaining those relationships. David’s drive to succeed can be seen in many milestones and successes within his life. He graduated from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia with a degree in Finance and accepted an offer to join the Finance team at the Royal Bank of Canada. With his entrepreneurial mindset he noticed an untapped market and founded a barbeque ‘tune-up’ service company during the summer months, cleaning backyard grills for those in his local area. Fortunately for Planned, David’s curiosity for the tech industry drew him to seek opportunities outside of banking. On March 31, 2019, Planned, at the time known as Entr, onboarded David and has greatly appreciated the effort he puts into any task at hand since. Throughout his journey at Planned, David has witnessed shifts in the company and the product, sharing that “we’re more big picture — we focus on how to get user adoption across an organization and ultimately aim to sell our product to an enterprise. Enterprise sales wasn’t even a thought when I first started. It was a team effort to get to where we are…“ A mission of Planned is to include our clients in the product development process, and at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak, David headed the Discovery Program. The goal of the Discovery Program was to allow our clients to help us continue to improve our product as the solution to all of their event planning needs. With the goal of channeling client feedback to the Product Development team, the initiative was designed as an exercise in continuous user services improvement. We want our clients to know that our product is for them and that many event planners face similar challenges so to be able to solve those has given us great pride. David’s approachable and calm demeanor makes him a natural leader and a talented Account Manager. A client shared, “If I had to rate how much he helped me and eased the stress of planning my latest event, I would say he’s a six out of five stars!” As a team player David shared, “typically speaking, no weeks are ever the same [at Planned] and that’s part of working at a startup.”…

The team
4 min read 1 year ago

The Women of Planned

The global events industry was valued at approximately $1,135.4 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow exponentially during the next decade. Serving a pivotal role in the economy and across a wide spectrum of industries, it’s worth noting that between 60%-80% of meeting, convention and event planners are female.In contrast, an estimated 20%-30% of jobs in the technology industry are held by women. As a tech company blazing trail in the event planning sector, Planned is a combination of two statistically different industries. Thanks to the dedication of our entire team, we are well on the way to establishing Planned as the premier all-in-one event planning platform. Today, and every day, we celebrate this accomplishment as a culturally diverse group of professionals working toward the common goal of dominance throughout the event planning ecosystem. On March 8th the world celebrates International Women’s Day. Observed since the early 1900’s, this is an annual moment to commemorate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is also designed to signal that there is much more work to be done to achieve true equality around the world. Although women have made tremendous strides since the “suffragette” movement of the early 20th century, continued progress must be made with each successive generation. This March 8th we invite you to join us in celebrating International Women’s Day’s 2021 campaign theme #ChooseToChallenge. It’s an excellent opportunity to recognize the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and re-dedicate ourselves to accelerating women’s equality. The official art for International Women’s Day 2021. At Planned, we’re fortunate that our corporate culture includes these exceptional team players and outstanding contributors to the Planned mission. The question of ‘What does International Women’s Day mean to you?’is a stimulating and thought-provoking springboard for discussion. How one answers may be informed by culture, upbringing, or personal experience. Here are thoughts on the subject the women of Planned wanted to share: “It’s about celebrating how far women have come yet recognizing that there is still a long way to go. It’s a commitment to the fight for equality.”“In its most simple form, International Women’s Day is about gender equality. It’s about embracing the progress that has been made thus far but understanding there is still work to be done. We’ve seen incredible leaps and bounds made by women in all industries across the globe, as women are holding more seniority positions and continuing to break the glass ceiling. However, it’s important to take into account that it is also about recognizing that in less developed countries, the gender inequality faced goes so far as to be a life or death circumstance and that is not something that people should turn a blind eye to.”“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate girls and women across the world. Not only is it a reminder of how far we have come towards achieving gender equality, but it is also a reminder of how far we still have to go.”“To me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating all women everywhere,…

The team
4 min read 1 year ago

Improving Every Day

It takes effort, a clear and actionable vision and a lot of planning to take on a leadership position in the global event planning industry. As has been evident, especially in the past year of growth, Planned is well on the way to establishing our solution as the premier all-in-one, no-cost event planning platform. None of this would be possible without our leadership team and the talented software engineers and developers who bring the vision to life. One of those talents is Alex Beauchemin, Planned’s Principal Software Engineer. Today we celebrated Alex’s one-year anniversary at Planned and we congratulate him for repeatedly going above and beyond. Alex joined Planned at the onset of the pandemic and has since played a pivotal role in improving our product from the inside out. A core goal of Planned is to continually add more seniority and skill to our software team in our quest to provide event planners with the best solution. We view software developers as creative problem solvers who are able to confront obstacles and find more impactful solutions to issues that arise. The team of developers at Planned figure out the “how” of the product and work in collaboration amongst each other, all while building relationships with the others on the team. As a quintessential team player, Alex says a combination of the seniority and skill “has huge effects on our codebase, which we see improving every day, and will really help with scalability and stability [of our product] in the future.”He also added it “also helps onboard new people as the codebase is becoming cleaner and easier to understand everyday, even though we’re adding complexity and preparing to add a lot of new features.”Alex’s career as a Software Engineer is somewhat unsurprising if you look back at his interests as a child. At a young age he enjoyed math and science and was fortunate to have access to a computer at a time when it was less common for households to have even a single desktop computer.His fascination with computers, desire to problem solve, and curiosity led him to start programming small HTML and CSS websites at the age of twelve. Alex says, “programming stuck with me from a young age,I think because I like the scientific and mathematical component behind it, but also the creativity and creative process that comes with it.” Alex grew up in Abitibi-Temiscamingue, a region located in western Quebec. Known as Quebec’s best-kept secret, Abitibi’s landscape is covered in vast acres of spruces, firs, and other undisturbed nature. As a true Quebecois, one of his favorite foods is poutine, a dish originated in Quebec, of french fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy. After completing receiving a degree in Multimedia, focused on 3D modeling and visual effects, from the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Alex began his professional career as a Web Developer and Front-end Developer at various companies in Montreal. Throughout his profession, Alex has been inspired by innovators such as, George Hotz, an American security hacker and software engineer who is known for reverse engineering the PlayStation 3 which landed him a lawsuit brought on by Sony, and Dan Abramov, who is a…

The team
3 min read 1 year ago

Help Them Rise Up

Financial forecasting and budgeting play an essential role in the success of any company, and this especially holds true within a start-up. As the unpredictability of 2020 showed us, cash flow management and a strong understanding of finances better prepare companies to deal with unforeseen industry changes. As her one-year anniversary at Planned is celebrated today, we could not be more grateful to have Kira Cormier on our team as our Finance Manager. Since Kira joined the team in January 2020, Planned’s payment processing flow, spending pattern analysis and event booking processes have drastically improved. Her interest in finance, which ultimately led her to becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), was inspired by her mother, a CPA herself. That initial spark grew into a passion when Kira enrolled in Introduction to Economics at Concordia and was enraptured by the topic. It was then that her journey in finance began. Kira’s vast experience in auditing and as a financial analyst is reflected in the increased investor confidence through accurate and timely financial reporting and increased automation and efficiency. The implementation of a new accounting software and usage of AI software to automate the recording of business expenses are examples of the many ways in which she has altered the financial strategy at Planned. As a born and raised Montrealer, when she’s not analyzing financial statements, she can be found skiing Tremblant in the winter or playing golf at Le Géant during every other season. Apart from enjoying the outdoors, Kira is heavily involved within her community, stating “giving back is so important and nothing is more valuable than giving your time.” She’s inspired by female entrepreneurs like Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx and the world’s first self-made female billionaire, and TheSkimm co-founders Carly and Danielle. Kira says, “I idolize women who have taken the leap and started their own businesses.” She is also drawn to female entrepreneurs who have made it their mission “to encourage and mentor women in the workplace and help them rise up”, such as Sheryl Sanberg, COO Facebook. All of these trailblazers are breaking the glass ceiling for themselves and also dedicating their time to providing an example to female entrepreneurs facing the same challenges they once faced. Kira’s confidence, knowledge and desire to improve Planned every day are just a few characteristics about her that make her a high performance manager at Planned. Although she joined the team just a few months prior to the pandemic outbreak, she’s continued to pivot the finances and lead a major departmental restructuring in order to ensure the long-term viability of Planned. As Kira puts it “here [at Planned] we have learned to not only navigate a COVID-19 world, but to thrive in it.”

The team
3 min read 1 year ago

In Case You Missed the News

In case you missed the announcement last week, we raised $4.7 million in funding to help build the future of event planning in a post-pandemic world. We have been extremely excited about this step forward and the overwhelming support we have received. So in case you missed the news, here’s what has been happening at Planned. We’ve had our eyes set on a goal of empowering better event planningsince Planned was founded in 2017 by Marc-Antoine Bonin and Emeric Noel. Since then, we’ve worked to create a one-stop-shop platform for our clients with over 10,000+ suppliers across North America. Not only do we think that our platform has continued to revolutionize the event planning industry, but we think our clients at Google, Michelin, Amazon, Nespresso, BMO, Bumble, MindGeek and L’Oreal would agree. During the downtime that the pandemic created for the meetings and events industry, we have spent 2020 focusing on building our product with features that are key in planning a successful corporate event and building relationships with suppliers across North America.We’ve managed to establish 600+ qualified partners this year who we are proud to present to our clients. Although COVID-19 hit the event planning industry hard, we used this time to launch our vendor marketplace in October. This marketplace includes suppliers who have adapted their services to what this year has brought, such as offering virtual and hybrid options. As for the upcoming features on our platform, our Product Manager, Gabriella says “After many (many) conversations with our clients, we’ve been able to identify several of their pain points in the event planning process. These include having to return to the same suppliers every event due to a lack of a good discovery process, having conversations and documents in several different folders and tools, as well as decentralized and messy tracking of budgets and post-event metrics. As such, we’re building a platform to help tackle four key pieces: supplier discovery, centralization, collaboration, and tracking.” Discovery: A complete marketplace for discovering great suppliers in several categories.Centralization: Centralizing of conversations, documents, payments, and spend.Collaboration: Collaborating with other members on events, and hierarchical permissions (so managers can look at overall team spend).Tracking: Ability to track spending, per category/event/city/etc. This all to say that although COVID-19 hit the event planning industry hard, we have continuously been encouraged by the innovative approaches and resilience of our clients and partners. We’re humbled by their support through this tumultuous year. We’re ready to take on 2021 and continue to support our clients, partners and the event planning industry as a whole. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about what the new year will look like for Planned visit our website and request a demo with our team.

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