Jessica Black

Event Planner Corner

A dead rat, a trapped woman and another group showing up for the same room; Jessica Black has had to deal with all these things happening within moments of each other! Sometimes crazy things happen in the world of event planning. “(I) had two events happening at the same time when a woman got locked in a handicap bathroom, a dead rat showed up on the floor and another group showed up for an exam in the same room a lecture was happening in… this all happened within a couple of minutes.” On top of all that, half the catering that was ordered didn’t show up, but did this ruffle Jessica? Not a bit. “(A good event planner is) someone who is organized, but willing to roll with the punches,” she says. You have to be able to bend with the people you’re working with and the situations that might come up. You have to be unflappable and have a sense of adventure.”

Jessica didn’t want to be an event planner; she wanted to be a teacher…“or a journalist,” she says. But event planning is what she always ended up doing.

It started in high school planning dances, grad parties and being Vice-President Social for the Student Committee. Then it continued when she began working at a hotel and got to plan events for them. Now she’s working in Continuing Education; planning massive events since 2004.

The first large event Jessica worked on was a millennium celebration held at a hotel in Niagara Falls and since then she has learned the ups and downs of her job.

Jessica says the hardest thing about being an event planner is accepting that people are not as organized as you expect them to be.

“Things happen and change and you need to accept it and move on,” she says.

Jessica thinks the best thing about her job is that she doesn’t have to spend all day behind a desk and gets to meet people who are doing great things in medicine.

“… and you get to help in that small way by taking it to a bigger audience,” she says of helping the medical community. “And a great team of people makes it fun!”

The best experience she’s had in her field is working with the International Medical Graduate Community.

“I’ve felt for their cause, their needs,” she says. “And they’ve been the most appreciative of the smallest thing.”