Superpowered Event Management

Jessica Kraut, the owner of Jessica Event Management (JEM), turned one of her weaknesses into a superpower.  

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, JEM is an emerging event management company known for specializing in corporate and lifecycle events. Kraut showed passion for event planning early on as a teen, planning parties and events for various community groups she belonged to in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario.

She came to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 2014, hired as a special events planner by the Jewish Federation, a not-for-profit community organization. Managing multiple events a month there, she honed her skills and found her niche as one of Winnipeg’s few event companies specializing in Jewish events.

Kraut says what makes her business stand out is that she and her team are good at looking for potential risks in any event. You could say she’s turned what could be seen as a character flaw into a superpower. “I’m a worrier at heart, I could medicate, or I can use it to my advantage,” jokes Kraut.

She explains how she focuses all her anxious energy on creating something positive. She continues, “It’s never a matter of will something go wrong, it’s what will go wrong. I’m good at asking what those 50 risks are. Once I know I’ve mediated those risks, I can welcome those elements that we need to troubleshoot so we can elegantly duct tape this thing back together and get through it.”

Since establishing JEM in 2016, managing awards dinners to fundraisers, Kraut says Winnipeg has only been supportive of her venture as a 20-something. “In Winnipeg, people really admire and support young entrepreneurs. There’s been an amazing response from people here in wanting me and other Winnipeg vendors to be successful. It’s given me a lot of confidence in my business,” says Kraut.

Hiring a professional event planner is becoming more common in Winnipeg says Kraut. She is finding Winnipeggers are becoming open to the idea of hiring a professional for start-to-finish planning, and day-of services for their events.

Winnipeg is just starting to come around to the idea of using an event planner. People have jobs, some two or three, and they’re realizing that they want these special moments, but they don’t have the time. It’s good timing for JEM; people are more comfortable with the idea of having help.”

To Kraut, much of event management is rooted in psychology. People hosting events are most commonly in an anxious state, and a lot of what JEM does is quell those fears. “Whether it’s a Chair of an event or a bride on their wedding day, when you can see them smiling and having fun with their guests, rather than stressing and worrying about x, y, z details, that’s when we know we’ve done our job,” states Kraut, “It’s great when they feel good enough about the work we’re doing to relax and just enjoy their night.”

JEM looks to be having their busiest year to date with four major galas in the works for this coming spring and summer. “We’re hoping to raise some money for some great organizations, and also provide a special event for them,” says Kraut.

Also, cause for celebration for the young entrepreneur, some other events will be for returning clients. “It’s a pleasure to be involved in multiple milestone events within a family. It’s one of my favourite parts of being an event manager. Being a part of someone’s best day of their life, that is so cool.”

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Photo Credits: JEM’s Instagram page 

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