We are proud to announce that our founder and CEO Sharon Bonner has WON a 2022 ILEA Esprit Award. ILEA is an important organization when it comes to professional event planning. So, to be recognized by this awards show for the hard work Sharon and the entire team have done over the years is truly an honor.
Sharon, our founder, and namesake of one of her two companies has been a part of the event planning and consulting industry in Canada since 1988, helping with the planning of over 3,000 events. She and her teams have organized events for large companies including several telecommunications companies, technology industry giants, and international retailers, restaurant chains, foreign dignitaries, and members of the British Royal Family.
ILEA and the Bright Ideas Event Agency
The ILEA has had an important place in the world of event planning globally since 1987. Specifically, ILEA is short for International Live Events Association and represents most professional event planners, producers and coordinators, CEOs of event catering, consulting and planning corporations, along with many other industries that contribute in some fashion to corporate events, press events and similar occasions. The ILEA has chapters and sub organizations all over the world, and this is the 18th year of the Esprit awards show.
The ILEA is a way for members of the community to share information and resources, train the next generation of event crew members, connect the entire industry globally and create a code of ethics and standards that members should abide by. The association helps newcomers and innovators navigate and solve potential logistics and legal issues related to their ideas. The ILEA hosts webinars, and represents the entire industry in the media. They also focus on fostering diversity and inclusion, and expanding intercontinental communication between planners. Sharon herself has mentored over 200 people globally in the basics of coordinating events.
Birth of Sister Company – Sharon Bonner Consulting
More recently, during the pandemic, Sharon immediately pivoted to Event Consulting and assisting in creating hybrid or completely online events, starting a sister company Sharon Bonner Consulting (SBC) to facilitate this focus. She is well known for her charismatic and down to earth style trying to make events accessible to everyone. Sharon still manages both companies giving both equal attention.
At the moment, Sharon is one of few planners in Canada who also offers Event Consulting Services. To accomplish this balance, during these last few years, Sharon has brought on a lot of new talent to continue to grow her businesses into new and exciting directions. In a similar vein, Sharon has published several books about her experiences to help others navigate the event logistics industry both for those looking to enter it and for companies in other industries who are looking for help but do not know where to start.
A History of Awards
This is far from the first time that Sharon has won an ILEA related awards. In fact this will be the 31st time between both of her companies, 12 times of which are from the Esprit awards show, and the rest being local Vancouver ILEA awards. As well, there are over a dozen more awards from other similar business and event planning ceremonies that she received nominations for, and several that she has won.
In a new twist this year, all the ILEA Esprit award nominees’ categories were a mystery, but the events that lead to the nominations are listed. Not only has SBC and BIEA been recognized by industry awards shows recently, but local organizations such as Richmond BC’s Chamber of Commerce have classified BIEA as an innovative enterprise.
Masks & Merriment
Earlier this year, Sharon was also nominated for an ILEA Esprit award for organizing a unique event called Masks & Merriment, which was previously nominated for a CSE (Canadian Special Event) award. Masks & Merriment as the name implies was a winter holiday event from last year for a group of employees at a company. Masks & Merriment was specifically planned to be as safe as possible in terms of Covid-19 preventative measures while still providing an entertaining experience. There were horse drawn carriages that brought the guests to the location, socially distanced table settings with a maximum of 6 people per table, pre-prepared boxes of food, a photo booth like experience, a small curling setup and much more. The winner will be announced on September 28, 2022 in Toronto.
Everyone at Sharon Bonner Consulting and at Bright Ideas Event Agency would like to congratulate all the other winners for this year’s Esprit Awards. All the nominees / winners deserve recognition for their years of effort and dedication to their work in this field. The last few years may have had a few bumps in the road that have affected many industries deeply, but everyone that has been nominated has found a way to adapt.
Join Us for the Show
And if you want to learn more about the award, check out ILEA’s own webpage. Transparency and constant communication are what we believe makes our events special. Everyone that has ever worked for or with either of the companies has made this possible as well. Thank you to the ILEA for the recognition regardless of a potential win. Receiving a nomination is an honor in itself.