We work with thousands of event planners, but not many of them knock out 700 events a year. Lara Maric is with the hard-working events team at IVY, a member platform for urban professionals in the US.
Born in Serbia, raised in Greece, and trained in the United States: Lara is a global citizen by nature. She’s far-travelled, multilingual, and a New Yorker long enough to understand what’s needed to produce events in the world’s most competitive market. Lara is a true event planner, and not just during office hours. “My personality comes right out when planning an event” she says. And she flourishes in high stress situations, which she says is a characteristic that really matters in this profession.” This nowhere more true than at IVY, a growing platform that turned from a startup into an events powerhouse in three years since Lara joined the team.
On an events team of twenty people, split into event execution and programming, Lara works on designing and managing “anything from art gallery receptions to museum tours, fashion shows, cocktail parties, talks, getaways, dining experiences, film screenings, all the way to volunteer events.” On those projects, Lara handles up to four events simultaneously, in a whirlwind of constant action. As she puts it, “there is never time to wind down. While debriefing the last event we’re already thinking ahead.” But seeing all the moving parts come together? “That’s probably the most rewarding part of my job.”
Are you an Android or an iPhone person?
iPhone all the way!
Are you using any tools to manage your entire planning process, if so which ones and why?
We only use Google Docs to create run-of-shows, Google Sheets to budget for our larger scale events, as well as to track our event costs.
What applications are you using to stay organized on event days?
The only event management application we use on game day is zkipster.
What websites, applications or services are you using to find event venues and what do you like about them?
We do not use websites, applications, or service to find event venues as most of these venues we have a personal relationship with or we have built a relationship with them overtime.
What applications are you using to engage your event attendees and why?
Via customer.io we send a “Thank You” email the following day after the event for all those that attended. Via this email, we hyperlink back to IVY.com that takes you to a list of all the people that attended the event, as well as photos from the event.
How have you used technology to add a special or unique touch to your event?
We have used special lights, as well as a gobo to project our logo on a wall. In addition to that, we have also used photo booths in the past.
Now for the rapid fire round tell us which application or service you’re using for…
Event registration: IVY.com/events
Ticketing: Stripe and PayPal
Meeting scheduling: Google Calendar
What applications or services are you using after your event to help you evaluate its success and collect feedback?
The day after an event, we send an internal event recap email to talk about how the event went from a community and events perspective. In addition to that, every Monday, I schedule a conference call with IVY event coordinators from all cities to discuss how all the events went from the week before and share/spread any knowledge that we can all learn from and implement into our city’s events. Last but not least, we also ask our members to fill out a feedback survey on their thoughts for the event they just attended. We are always looking to improve our events and experiences for our members!