It’s been 3,712 days. That’s when it all began.
A small-town girl from Nebraska with big dreams + simply wanting to make a big difference in this world. Then, you add in an incredibly loving husband that supports this girl’s dreams to make this world a better place. Always. Add these two together + you get…an award-winning + internationally-recognized event design company. The Event Company.
When I launched The Event Company ten years ago, I could never have imagined the impact that our team would have on so many individuals + organizations across the globe. It not only has been quite the year, but it has also been a decade of dream building, one event at a time.
While it’s almost time to pop that bottle of bubbly as we usher in a new year, I also raise my glass to the last ten years of triumphs that made us smile, to the trials that nearly broke us + all of the messy, but beautiful moments in between.
LET’S TAKE IT BACK: THE REALLY DIFFICULT DAYS
As we rewind the world back to October 2013 when I launched The Event Company, it was on a chilly fall evening when I pressed the “publish” button on our Facebook page. That’s right, that was the big launch. Cue the fanfare!
When I launched the company, I was also working a full-time job in fundraising development for a non-profit, raising two little boys (William was 4 years old + Calvin was 14 months old) + living upstairs of my in-laws’ house while my husband, Drew, was building our home. It was a busy time in our lives; however, after months + months of research + engaging in meaningful conversations with colleagues in the hospitality industry, it was time. Time to make it happen for myself + my family. Time to make a difference.
First professional headshot taken in May 2014 in The Event Company’s first office space located at the Crane Building in Downtown Sioux Falls.
Those beginning days were long ones – working 10 hours a day for the non-profit + then coming home to get the boys dinner, baths + then bedtime. Then I would work another four hours on the business that I just launched. I did this for about eight weeks until I knew that the focus needed to be on The Event Company. In addition, working 20 hours a day was not sustainable + I was exhausted.
Over the next three years, I would pour everything into building the business. Going to every networking event possible to meet new people, doing in-kind work with some of my favorite non-profits + making connections with those in our industry, not just locally, but throughout the region. There I was, back to working 20 hours a day. Exhausted. My family was stressed + my relationship with my husband was rocky + I was incredibly overwhelmed to the point of many tear-filled nights of crying myself to sleep. I had “Is this worth it?” conversations with myself, my husband + family. At one point, I even applied + made it through three rounds of interviews with an organization to be a part of their marketing team because I wasn’t sure it was all worth it. Even though the impact was there with the companies + organizations we were working with, I questioned whether I was doing the right thing for my family. For myself. These were really difficult days. But here’s where the sun begins to shine.
Check presentation to Feeding South Dakota in the amount of $115,831 at the first South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation Prime Time Gala on June 14, 2014.
Word on the street is that the first three years of entrepreneurship are the most difficult. I am a testament of that. But then, once we got in the groove of the business, knowing our go-to event partners throughout the industry + creating a name for ourselves, things started to make sense + we knew our purpose was this. Making the world a better place, all through events.
DISRUPTION + RESILIENCY
Those challenges + struggles from the early years are what made us who we are today. In the last ten years, our vision + beliefs have not changed, they have only further shaped our identity. Trust me when I say that our identity has been tested many times over the last decade, but we continue to be steadfast in our loyalty to our vision. Our resilient attitude, practicing a culture of collaboration inside + outside the four walls of the office + prioritizing our relationships with each other + those that we serve is what makes us stand out in our industry. We hear this time + time again.
With the disruption of the pandemic three years ago that threatened our company’s infrastructure to other agitations since then, we have been able to quickly adapt to ensure continuity + stability – even in the face of disruption. We have learned what it means to be resilient + to persevere through adversity. Our biggest accomplishment that exemplifies our commitment to creating positive change + making a difference over the last year with our work with various non-profits can be demonstrated with the amount that has been fundraised. Throughout 2023, these organizations have collectively raised nearly $1 million dollars to help further their missions. Incredible resilience demonstrated by countless organizations.
Our final fundraising event of the year, hosted on December 2, 2023, was the Ty Eschenbaum Foundation’s Earn the Gift Gala.
IT’S NOT THE PRETTIEST, BUT IT IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL
Our company has excelled in many ways over the last year, specifically in our work with non-profit organizations. With our fundraising consultation + work alongside various non-profits, we have been able to provide additional resources + implemented opportunities to increase revenue from their annual events to help further their missions that include creating awareness, inclusion + representation for individuals with a rare disease + disability, providing programming to domestic abuse victims to fighting cancer, feeding food insecure children + families to individuals living with Type 1 diabetes, Make-A-Wish® + many other missions.
The Style Show: A Runway to Empower is an annual event hosted by Rare by Design where inclusion is always in.
This “behind-the-scenes work” is not the “prettiest” piece that guests see at events, but it is the most meaningful work that allows these organizations the capacity to not only keep programming in place, but also to provide purposeful services that help those that need it the most.
Over the last decade, The Event Company has designed over 450 events in 22 states, donated over $1.1 million dollars of our time to non-profits + helped these events raise over $11.5 million dollars. I believe to my core that this is some of the most meaningful work, ever. Our team of Dream Builders are difference makers.
THE NEXT TEN YEARS
As I reminisce about the impact that our team of Dream Builders have had on the industry + the communities that we serve across the globe, I get a little misty-eyed as I write this. We have done a lot of good over the last decade. We dream big. We make it happen. Day-in + day-out, we are provided the opportunity to be difference makers. We’re not just event designers. The imprint that we are all leaving behind is lasting + will be seen for the next ten years + beyond.
Team photo taken during our day-long 10th Anniversary celebration.
This year was a celebration in many ways. A celebration of overcoming obstacles in the last decade. A celebration of being a part of 43 events throughout the country. A celebration of the incredible women that I have the extreme privilege to walk alongside + build dreams with. And most importantly, a celebration of my family + friends that have given me unyielding support + love over the last ten years.
To each + every one of you, I raise my glass. It is you that I celebrate.
Cheers to all that is to come in 2024!
Founder + CEO
The Event Company is the premier event design + production company that specializes in corporate, nonprofit + social events. #WeBuildDreams
Mailing Address: PO Box 1930 | Sioux Falls, SD 57101
Physical Address: 212 South Phillips Avenue, Suite 200 | Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | 605.321.7605 | Hello@TheEventCompanySD.com
Mailing Address: PO Box 1930 | Sioux Falls, SD 57101
Physical Address: 212 South Phillips Avenue, Suite 200 |
Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | 605.321.7605 | Hello@TheEventCompanySD.com