Award Winning Ottawa Event Planning

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa Annual Breakfast Fundraiser

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa Annual Breakfast Fundraiser

What I love the most about the events industry is that we never stop learning. There is always something new to try, something new to experience. 2020 did not disappoint. Moving to a virtual world in 2020 shook the events industry to its core. But my view, always a positive one, is that 2020 allowed us to learn something new, something that clearly the world and the industry needed. Although I don’t want to admit it, virtual – and more specifically, hybrid – events are here to stay. For the foreseeable future anyway.

We are honoured that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa trusted us to guide them through these uncertain times. Along with several other events we completed or are still working on for them, we were able to execute their annual fundraising breakfast as a hybrid event.

Hybrid by definition, according to Merriam-Webster, means:

1an offspring of two animals or plants of different subspecies, breeds, varieties, species, or generahybrid of two roses
2a person whose background is a blend of two diverse cultures or traditions
3asomething heterogeneous in origin or composition COMPOSITEhybrids of complementary DNA and RNA strandshybrid of medieval and Renaissance styles
bsomething (such as a power plant, vehicle, or electronic circuit) that has two different types of components performing essentially the same functiondrives a hybrid that gets really good mileage

In the events industry, hybrid means an event that has a live component and a virtual component. For the BBBSO event that meant:

  • having our event team, the audio-visual team, the client, the emcee and several guest speakers live in a conference room
  • broadcasting the event live from the conference room to the virtual platform as well as two social media platforms

Although we knew in our heads what we were creating, until we saw it come to life we had no idea what was going to take place. We went from event planners to event producers overnight. It was like being on the set of a full on tv production. When your AV team is using phrases like “going live in 3…2…1…”,  and “mics are off…”, you know that you have changed atmospheres.

I am happy to say that the event was an incredible success. Our team rocked it. Our AV team rocked it. And our client, emcee and guests rocked it.

It is scary to try something new. Especially something that is going to be so visible in a live production way. There was no room for error. What we learned is:

  • trust your team
  • hire the suppliers you trust
  • like in a live event experience, challenges are going to occur, but also like at a live event, you will figure it out

A shout out to the following suppliers who helped us make this event a true success story of 2020:

Audio-visual – Quality Entertainment

Hotel – Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Airport

Fundraising platform – Simplyk

Virtual platform – Hopin

Breakfast boxes – My Local Markets


“Thank you so much Julia the event was amazing. It was exactly how I envisioned it. I hope you are happy with it. Well done! I didn’t stress or worry at all. Thank you.”

-Susan Ingram, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa

  • "This was the best online event I have attended since the onset of the pandemic. I really felt like I was with other attendees and the guests and their stories were so inspiring. You did a great job Julia and team ITM Events"

    – Brenda Norman, Event Attendee