An event called Confetti, Cake & Bubbles is bound to grab the attention of those invited – which is useful if you intend to use it as a launch pad for your new business.
Hosted by 2nd Avenue Events, the event would showcase some of Melbourne’s most talented and creative event professionals, with a special focus on brides-to-be and future mums.
2nd Avenue Events founder Jess Jones, who is expecting her first child, used the day to launch her event organisation business, and it didn’t disappoint.
StartupSmart spoke to Jones about what it’s like being a new player in the ultra-competitive events industry, and how she plans to juggle business and motherhood.
What’s your background and how did you become inspired to launch 2nd Avenue Events?
I’ve been working in hospitality and events for about 15 years, including a year in New York City.
Managing events from scratch has always been the best part of my work as I’m very results-driven (and a bit of a control freak), so I really enjoy being able to create a great experience for each client and ensuring their function is perfect.
I’ve been waiting for the “right moment” to start my own business in event management, so a couple of months into my pregnancy last year I thought it was the perfect time to get the ball rolling.
How did you fund the business and what were your start-up costs?
The business has been funded, so far, fully from my personal income. Start-up costs approximately $3,000 across four months, including our launch party.
How many staff do you have?
Two staff plus four “creative contributors” from a range of industries who assist with certain parts of the business when required – marketing, PR, event setup, etc.
You recently hosted an event – Confetti, Cake & Bubbles. Are mini events a key part of your marketing strategy?
Yes definitely. We wanted to run an event to launch our business but to also promote other businesses and introduce ourselves to our market.
It was a win-win as our guests had a wonderful evening to attend and got to meet some of the industry’s greats, the exhibitors were able to showcase their products and services plus be promoted through 2nd Avenue Events and, in the midst of it all, we got to officially launch our business. It created great exposure for all involved.
How else do you promote the business?
We have a huge focus on social media and how we can best gain visibility to our target audience, while at the same time seeking new potential clients.
We also understand the importance of cross-promoting with other businesses and networking through various outlets such as League of Extraordinary Women, plus wedding and event exhibitions, but ensuring to attract and target the right kind of businesses to associate with.
You’re about to become a mum. How will you balance that with your business?
I think organisation is the key, as well as asking for help when you need it.
I’m a tad stubborn and tend to like to do things a certain way, but I suspect when it comes to juggling both the business and a new baby all of this will go out the window!
I plan to write everything down each day that I need to achieve and do my best in getting through my list.
As much as I’d want to be superwoman, I don’t think it’s necessary if you have the resources to manage as best you can.
I’m also fortunate to have some wonderful friends and family (and an amazing partner) I can rely on. So it’ll just be up to me to learn how to delegate and effectively manage my time.
I’ve had lots of experience doing this in my kind of work, but without a baby in the mix, so I’m absolutely looking forward to the challenge.
How is your business different from every other events business?
This industry is highly competitive, but I believe aligning ourselves with the best vendors in Melbourne, and offering a fresh and creative perspective to each client’s event, ensures we’re on the right track.
There’s a lot of opportunity out there and a lot of event companies in operation, but I think there’s also a lot of people doing the same thing over and over.
The events industry is a little like the fashion industry and I think being predictable and offering a cookie-cutter approach will not get you very far.
No one wants to have their wedding look the same as everyone else’s.
I think it’s highly important to keep up with what customers want and understand that, in this business, having a creative strategy in the way of your company’s style and identity is just as important as having a marketing strategy.
What’s the biggest risk you face?
People not having the budgets for events, whether it be corporate or a milestone birthday.
The wedding industry is alive and kicking, so as long as people are getting married, there should be enough business for everyone.
What advice would you give to other mumpreneurs?
Might be best to ask me again in a few months! But I think planning and organisation is the key. And don’t say no to help.