Lisa Hoban, founder of L.A. Events, an event planning company serving Manatee and Sarasota Counties, learned that she loved event planning as a volunteer for nonprofit events in the mid '90s. In 1998, she launched her own venture and hasn't looked back.
"I volunteered in the community for nonprofit organizations and found I really enjoyed creating and managing events," she said. "My first client actually came to me as a parent at the children's school where I volunteered and asked me to create their private party for 500 people. My business sprang from there."
L.A. Events creates and manages non-profit, private and corporate events with themes, budgets and site selection in mind for anywhere from 50 to 5,000 people including suggestions for food, beverage, entertainment and fundraising.
"My goal is to take the client's vision and transform it into a larger reality," Hoban said. "I take a lot of time to make their event special and personalize it for them. The details are so important."
Hoban knows how to make an event both enjoyable for the guests and successful for the host. "I took a 20-year-old event and turned it around to double their net funds raised," she explained. "I accomplished that through a combination of revenue enhancement, creating underwriting opportunities and working with their committee to teach them how to secure sponsors. I gave them different ideas for live auction items and packaged their silent auction to make them more desirable to bidders."
Hoban's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to pay attention to detail, communicate clearly and be prepared. "Small details really count," she said. "Listen to your client. Listen to what they want. Make sure you know your stuff and when you talk to them, know how much time they have to discuss with you. Be prepared with the details because you already did your background research."