Business Woman Awards 2017

4 Corporate Vision / BusinessWomen Awards 2017 , Tigris Events is a Canadian brand experience agency specializing in dynamic event staffing and experiential marketing. We invited Serena Holmes to tell us more about the company as we explore the secrets behind the company’s success. Events Professional of the Year 2017 - Canada Tigris creates, plans and staff’s unforgettable experiences that build up brands, businesses and people. Its primary areas of focus are personnel, promotions, marketing and events. The company has a team of dedicated event professionals working full time to plan our events and more than 2,000 events staff nationwide to bring our clients brands to life. Staff have worked with more than 500 clients in over 13 years of business. Serena describes her role at the company and how she came to be in her role. “Personally, I have been with Tigris since June 2004, just 3 months after the company was founded. I started as a brand ambassador and was promoted to management that fall. I took the opportunity to partner with the founded in April 2005 and took over complete operation after she left in December 2008.” Since the firm’s inception not only is the events industry always changing, but so has its attitude towards women. Serena discusses how attitudes have shifted since she started out and whether or not it is now easier for women to enter the industry. This leads Serena to talk about her previous experience and if she feels this has helped her in her current role as CEO. “Event marketing is a great career path for women so I have been fortunate in that regard. Even when we started out, we were blessed with some huge opportunities. Just 2 years in, we landed a promotion for 110 stores across the country for 6 weekends worth $350,000. We did not even have staff outside of Toronto and Montreal at the time but we made it happen. “Previous experiences helped me to learn a lot about what I did not like from other companies, allowing me to change things at Tigris. For example, the company I started with back in 2001 was notorious for taking a long time to pay, often compensated wrong and did not provide any training for our events. At Tigris, we were committed to compensating staff two weeks post-event from the very beginning. I even used a personal line of credit to make sure this was never a problem, even if we had not been paid from our clients. We also provide staff, to this day, with a statement to accompany their payments. This breaks down their hours and expenses along with an evaluation so they always know how they are performing and what they need to improve upon.” Becoming successful in any business or any industry means overcoming challenges and issues that present themselves. Serena notes that there may have been some occasions where her gender was an issue but this was not constant. Regarding the company, welcoming feedback and acting upon suggestions is something that has helped Tigris be successful. “There have been times that I have gone into meetings where gender may have played a factor in not gaining the business, but not all the time. Staff have worked on getting testimonials from happy customers. The company has also put ourselves out there more for PR opportunities and awards to build further credibility. Considering we have been in business for nearly 14 years, it is much easier now than it once was.” Overall, as a successful businesswoman Serena is well positioned to give others advice on how to succeed in the events industry. She tells us what attributes are integral if somebody wants to reach the top of a firm within the sector. This sets Serena up to outline her own future, detailing her goals and what she plans to do to achieve this. “Ultimately, to be successful in this industry and in business in general, I think you need to have a sense of urgency. Every customer should feel like a VIP customer. Emails or calls from clients should be answered or returned as soon as possible. Even if you can’t handle their query at that moment, letting them know it’s been received and when you can get to it, will go a long way. In addition to that, you must stand behind your product or service. Be committed, be consistent and deliver on what you say you are going to. “Looking ahead, I would like to hit $5 million in gross sales within the next three years, have 15 full- time employees and operating across North America. We have experienced considerable, steady growth from 2016 to 2017 so I feel we are on track to hit this goal. I would also like to register a scholarship foundation to support the education of events staff on our roster who require financial support.” BW170003