Mixing (pun intended) business and friendship (part 1)

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An inside look at the past, present, and future of Exclusive Events

Part 1: Our past

While I will try to tell you this in short story form, the “once upon a time” approach will definitely not be required. Instead, in a 3-part blog, I will give you an insider’s look at our past, an unedited perspective on the present, and a hopeful look at the future of Exclusive Events. Please keep in mind that I have never written a blog and have no idea if anything I write is even worthy of being read! But, with that in mind, I invite you to carry on reading…

I started DJing back in 1994 but it wasn’t until 2005 that I officially started handling weddings, and it wasn’t until 2007 that I realized that I wasn’t providing clients with the best possible experience for one of the most special days of their lives. By myself, I just wasn’t able to give the bride and groom everything they deserved. While they were all happy with my work, my own (perhaps overly-critical) expectations of what I was capable of delivering were much higher. It occurred to me that I needed to team up with someone in order to handle these events at a higher level. A 2-person team with 1 person focusing primarily on the music and 1 person handling the microphone was the way to go.

I discovered that this was the right approach when I asked my good friend Tommy to help me for a very important wedding in 2007. As it turns out, the performance we put on that day (without even owning the best equipment at the time) was something really special. Not only did we both have a blast, but the crowd fed off our energy and it was the first time I felt I had truly delivered an experience for clients worthy of being considered “the best day of their lives”. As such, Exclusive Events was born.

Now, if you’re wondering where the name came from, it’s actually simple. It included a moderate level of intoxication, combined with a dash of overinflated egos, along with a healthy desire to succeed. It began with someone strongly suggesting that we avoid using the usual “Productions” or “Entertainment” monikers in our company name in order to differentiate ourselves (no disrespect intended to anyone we know who does have that in their name). With that suggestion, Tommy and I attempted to think progressively and, admittedly, the alcohol may have allowed a certain amount of pretentiousness to work itself into the mix as well. We truly felt that the fact that we were friends was already worthy of making our clients’ experience an “Exclusive” one, and we didn’t only want to focus on weddings, but instead on all types of events. And there you have it!

While our intention was to start small and focus solely on becoming the best DJ and MC team we could be, the company name also didn’t limit us from eventually expanding the business to include every other kind of professional associated to an event (planners, photographers, videographers, musicians, artists, florists, décor, design, etc, etc, etc). We felt that Exclusive Events would be a name that could encapsulate all that while appealing to our target clientele. As it turns out, our ambition was only exceeded by our ignorance on how to make it all happen, and how to bring it all together along with reliable and talented professionals. So, we moved forward and stuck to what we knew, all while continuing to focus on eventually reaching our bigger vision, and we knew that it all needed to begin with a strong yet simple marketable logo that people would recognize instantly. We are grateful to our friend Phil who generated exactly that!

We can now fast forward a few years where we tackled only a dozen or so events per year while continuing to maintain our full-time jobs. On a professional level, my full-time corporate job was obviously providing me with more money and security, but on a personal level, it became very apparent to me that I was always having more fun doing weekend gigs than I was doing my 9 to 5 job from Monday to Friday. I eventually realized that I had prioritized security over happiness for far too long and I needed to make a dramatic change. That change happened in January of 2013 when I quit my corporate job to convert Exclusive Events into my full-time joy…

Hopefully, you’ll all read part 2 next week which will talk about where we are today. It will also contain a pretty major announcement about our company that has been kept somewhat secretive since the beginning of the year, but will be revealed on the day before we reach an important milestone for our company. August 22nd will be Exclusive Events 100th wedding! Feel free to leave a comment if you enjoyed this piece or simply to let me know during which paragraph you fell asleep!

  1. Georgie Brown Reply

    Nothing boring about this blog, all I can say Yvan is that I am very proud of you & I agree that you need to do things that make you happy while having some fun. Keep up the amazing work & I had no doubt that you would make this successful as you always had at your corporate job…Continue to make it happen…Hugs galore.

    • admin Reply

      Thanks so much, Georgie! As I always said, I probably would’ve left the corporate world a lot sooner if it wasn’t for my co-workers. You guys are the only thing that kept me going on so many days! I’m glad I haven’t lost touch with all those people and can still work doing something I love. The best of both worlds! 🙂

  2. Anita Masbourian Reply

    Le regret de n’a pas t’avoir connu il y a deux ans pour mon mariage :((
    Bravo Yvan beau blog et tu fais un excellent travail !
    Longue vie à ton entreprise , Bravo , Bravo …..

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