When I started 8 Stratton Event Management in 2018, never did I imagine that just 2 years later, just as things were starting to get going, our world would shut down. The one thing that our business thrived on, gathering, was what the world was being asked not to do. I'm not going to say it was easy, but we were able to continue on through the next 2 years with the support of retainer clients still hosting virtual events and our sister business, Kelly Elizabeth Events.
In spring of 2022, we saw corporate events come back with vengeance. They came back strong and bigger than ever. Yes - we were still navigating new challenges like supply shortages and overbooked vendors, but with some creativity and patient clients -- we found in-person had a new energy that was unmatched to pre-COVID times.
The year was full of growth for 8 Stratton. We gained new partnerships and expanded existing contracts with longtime clients. We planned events in 6 different states, 8 different industries, and overall hosted over 10,000 event guests. We worked with new vendors and old vendors (friendors). In the midst of all of that, we expanded our team to 4, moved into a new office in Dorchester, and on-boarded new clients for 2023.
2023 is looking bright and we can't wait to see what comes through the pipeline. But first, let's look back at my 5 favorite moments <3
1. Continued Partnerships
With 2022 being the first full year that gathering restrictions were lifted and business was back to more standard operating procedure, we got to see some of our long-standing partnerships thrive. Some that started as single events grew to annual event programs that we look forward to continuing in 2023. We are so grateful for these clients that we call friends because they are just that. These strong relationships only lead to more successful events :)
2. New Partnerships
With the 2022 Events boom came new organizations into our partnership pool. We love getting to know new clients, learning their goals, working through processes that work best for our event success and overall efficiency. There are always things we can learn and evolve and so much of that comes from the new partnerships we form.
3. Making New Friendors
In this business, having vendors that you trust and most of all ENJOY working with is a privilege. As the planners for each event, we put an endless amount of trust into our vendors to show up and deliver the work we have promised to our clients. Our jobs are often difficult enough that knowing the team we are working alongside has brought their A-game and has our backs - is priceless. This year we truly had the honor of meeting so many wonderful new friendors and already have booked new business with them in 2023. One of the best parts of this job!
4. Finding Our Home
For the past 4 years, I have operated most of our business out of a storage unit. With Events comes stuff, and the unit allowed me to house it all somewhere that wasn’t my garage. With the growth we saw in 2022, we quickly outgrew the space and needed something bigger and closer to where most of us live. In August, we moved into one of the most beautiful spaces I could have ever imagined. Our space in the Lower Mills neighborhood of Dorchester is spacious, clean, welcoming, convenient and the perfect layout to store all of our décor while having a great meeting space of team and clients. I’m forever grateful to what 2022 brought that landed us in this space and can’t wait for more gatherings to come.
5. Getting Full Staffed
As events downsized in 2020, I had to downsize my staff as well. For 2 years, it was often me, myself and I doing the day-to-day with the support of part-time event managers when needed. This year, we grew back to 4 regular staff members working day to day to support our clients and our businesses. We've now all worked together for almost 1-year and I couldn't do this without them.