There is no doubt about it, Liuna Gardens has the most perfect backdrop for any special occasion. From happily ever after to educational seminars, we take pride in having a well-equipped facility that provides first-class services. No matter what your event requires, Liuna Gardens applies imagination, discipline and many years of experience to ensure that all details are considered. Don’t believe us? We recently caught up with Karen Vanberkel, the Executive Administrative Assistant at FirstOntario Credit Union, to find out her tips for executing a successful event, the importance of engaging your guests, and why she thinks Liuna Gardens is the ideal venue to host your upcoming corporate event.
LG) Tell us a little bit about yourself and your position at the FirstOntario Credit Union.
KV) I work as an Executive Administrative Assistant at FirstOntario Credit Union, Stoney Creek Corporate Office. I am a team player, have great organization skills and always happy to take on new challenges. I am responsible for assisting with scheduling meetings and coordinating travel for our Executive Leadership Team. I am also responsible for event planning at FirstOntario and enhancing both the employee and member experience.  
LG) What are 3 key things organizations should keep in mind when planning corporate events?
KV) Three things to keep in mind when planning any events are:

  1. Understand your target audience
  2. Determine the atmosphere or tonality of your event
  3. Understand the objective of the event and ensure the event is cost effective

LG) With all the logistics to keep in mind when executing successful events, how do you stay organized and calm?
KV) In order to stay calm during my business events, I ensure that I am more than organized, always have a backup plan, maintain the ability to multi-task, be overly prepared, listen carefully to comments and feedback (especially from past meetings), learn from each event.  I have a strong support system to lean on – at FirstOntario we are a team.
LG) What qualities does Liuna Gardens possess that makes it an ideal location to host corporate events?
KV) Liuna Gardens offers a great deal of qualities such as their large spaced indoor and outdoor facilities, the view of the waterfront, ample parking, modern décor, knowledgeable staff, plenty of audio/visual equipment and an amazing variety of foods to cater to all dietary requirements. They are able to provide a customized approach to our functions and always provide a positive experience for our Employees and Members.
LG) How do you keep your guests engaged in FirstOntario Credit Union events?
KV) One of the many ways that we keep our attendees engaged is by having interactive and fun games intermittently held during the event times.  It could be a combination of physical fitness activities such as a quick dance move, music, or a brain teaser trivia question, table brainstorming or random prizes.
LG)  Describe how FirstOntario Credit Union maintains such a positive corporate culture.
KV) I would have to hand that complement to our Senior Leadership team at FirstOntario Credit Union, they instil this culture. We frequently survey our Employees about ‘Workplace Culture’. They listen to our employees and put action in place to create an almost seamless positive work culture and environment.
LG) Can you tell us one of your most memorable events you organized for FirstOntario Credit Union?
KV) The most memorable event was a milestone celebration for our Credit Union! We celebrated with fortune tellers, characters on walking sticks, dancers, food and beverage – it was a Mardi Gras themed event. Liuna Gardens helped bring this idea to life.
We’d like to thank Karen from FirstOntario Credit Union for sharing her insights and corporate event planning expertise with us.
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From all of us at Liuna Gardens, thank you for following along!