An Intern’s Journey with LOMA Marketing Agency
By: Angelica Dimapindan
Ciao a tutti! I’m Angelica, an intern at LOMA Marketing Agency and an international student from Italy studying Business Marketing at Seneca College in Toronto.
Before choosing my college course, I knew I was interested in two things: Marketing and Events. I was aware that one of the requirements to get into events was studying marketing, but all along I’ve been wondering how the two things were related and thought I would have to choose one over the other.
However, I have since found out that Marketing and Events can go hand-in-hand; and so, as my internship comes to an end, I decided to write this blog post for anyone who is interested in an internship in the Event Marketing field, to learn what to expect and also as a keepsake for me to remember this experience.
I’ve always dreamed of working for a small business that shared the same values and passions as me. So, imagine how thrilled I was when Loren offered me a 4 month internship position! Below are just a few things I have learned over the past 4 months.
A Typical Day at LOMA Marketing Agency
During the interview process, I remember asking what a typical day was like and the team answering that there was no such thing as a typical day. They were right, everyday has indeed been different.
I come in the morning and receive some happy dog energy as soon as I step foot inside the office. The team then catches up on what everyone was up to the night before and then I check my list of tasks to tackle, which never looks the same!
Although every day is different, every Monday – after making some coffee or tea, of course – starts with LOMA’s Weekly Team Kickoff where everyone gathers to discuss each project on our main whiteboard. There is even occasionally some dancing and singing involved.
I receive frequent visits – and sometimes licks too – from the CCO (Chief Cuddle Officer) Biggie Maisels – a super bonus for an animal lover like me!
As Event Coordinator I work closely with Amy, one of the Event Managers at LOMA. She has been a great supporter and teacher during my first few months. From simple questions on how to use my MacBook, to more complicated ones like becoming familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator (let me tell you… they are not easy) she made sure I was always supported.
What I’ve Learned So Far
Since I started in August, my main duties have been related to event registrations, supporting our help desk, graphic design and reaching out to vendors. As a college student, I have taken classes on how to write business emails, but with Loren and everyone else’s help, I was able to practice and connect in the most appropriate way with clients and vendors.
Excel… Excel… Excel… who doesn’t love a spreadsheet? Well, Yana definitely does! You can ask her anything about Excel and she will teach you what you need to know in the simplest way – she’s the Excel Master! Thanks to her I managed to overcome my fear of spreadsheets, and honestly, I think I’m starting to like them and have found a few ways to use them to simplify my daily life.
Before entering the event industry, I always wondered how events ran. How did everyone know what to do and when to do it? Even with webinars: how did the speakers know when it was their turn? While I had experience in organizing school events, they are of course much different to corporate events.
Everything that happens during a live event is by the minute – literally by the minute – often in a spreadsheet called a Run of Show. The discovery of this precious tool left me amazed; from start to finish you know who is involved (both behind the scenes and on “stage”) and what is going to happen, and for how long.
Bringing an event to life also involves tapping into your imagination. I have enjoyed working on the creative for various events and seeing elements come to life such as follow along recipe cards or physical mailer cards and knowing that someone was going to enjoy them as well.
I’m not sure if telling you this will be a surprise but planning an event can take up to nine months; although sometimes you may only have just a few short weeks.
Many people I know would tell you I’m a control-freak and avid list maker, but I have discovered that even I still have room to grow. I have been challenged by getting used to using a virtual note taking method and making sure that I was always updating that to keep everyone on the team updated with my tasks. It certainly hasn’t been easy to switch from pen and paper to a keyboard and screen, but I learned the importance of it in a team environment.
In the event industry, when clients are in other provinces or countries, – or when a pandemic happens – most of the meetings take place virtually. Since a lot is being discussed, taking notes is extremely helpful to remember everything that was discussed and all the next steps. Taking notes also comes in handy when making an agenda for the following meeting. For me it has been extra challenging as English is my second language, Italian my first.
My First Events
I will never forget my first event which happened to be LOMA’s first in-person event since March 2020. Experiencing the execution of the Achievers’ new office opening event made me more aware of how important time management and communication are.
I also spent most of my time over the past few months working on the Canadian Nurses Foundation 2021 Virtual MaskerAide Gala. Although it was a virtual event, this was by far my favorite project to be part of since I was able to learn how to interact with clients and approach vendors. I’ve also learned how to respond to registration inquiries, technical support requests, and general questions from attendees, as well as how an auction platform works.
At the beginning of December our agency hosted their second annual event, LOMAPALOOZA, to which I was put in charge of the social content and session decks. Not everyone is involved in the process of organizing the same event, so it was fun to see the event come alive with our team working all together.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
We all know the saying and yes, it is true. Events wouldn’t be possible without a strong team.
I knew I wanted to be part of the behind the scenes team since high school, but I never knew there was an event marketing industry I could explore.
Thanks to my internship I have learned that there are many – whether big or small, it doesn’t really matter – roles that are required to bring an event to life.
All details, from spell check to creative design to balloons installations, they are all important elements to make an exceptional experience.
Loren and the LOMA team have been the best co-workers, always leaving space for my voice and making me feel as a valued part of the team, always making sure I understand my tasks and making everyday fun.
I have a bit of a commute to come to the office but it’s been worth it! From Biggie’s welcoming barks to Yana’s What a Bagel Mondays, to Kurt’s sassy comebacks, to Amy’s morning pringles and Loren’s usual “a domani” at the end of the day, the past four months have been an amazing life experience.
Spending the last four months at LOMA Agency has been the greatest learning experience I have had so far. I’ve been able to get a real view of the marketing space and how event marketing plays its part. I’ve been able to challenge myself with presenting to clients, keeping in communication with them and vendors, and learning how to be successful in a professional environment.
I’m grateful to say that, while my internship is coming to an end, I will continue to be part of the LOMA Agency team part-time while I go back to college in January. I look forward to finishing my education while getting more knowledge of the Event Marketing space, especially since we will be starting to go back to in-person events. I’m thrilled to explore what happens next!