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Inspiring Conversations with Stacy Erker of Stacy Erker Event Strategy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacy Erker. 

Hi Stacy, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I launched my company, Stacy Erker Event Strategy, LLC in 2016 with a goal of partnering with nonprofit and corporate organizations to plan successful, creative, and budget-conscious events. My passion is creating custom experiences that result in lasting memories and I love to think outside of the box as much as possible.

Creating my own event planning consulting company had been a long-time dream of mine that came to fruition after relocating to St. Louis from Chicago. My event planning experience in Chicago ran the gamut — I began my career in PR and quickly pivoted to planning fundraisers, before shifting my focus to corporate planning throughout N. American (and abroad) when I joined the Experiential Marketing & Events Team at Groupon.

Throughout my time planning events on the “client-side,” I worked with several event consultants and always felt that there was a disconnect between our internal planning team and the third party we had contacted — our consultants were busy planning their end of things, and us ours, and there was always a lack of collaboration — it felt disjointed. I wanted to change this with my company by focusing not only on event planning but also event strategy. My team and I work as an extension of our clients’ teams and we are involved in every aspect of the planning process (even areas we aren’t contracted to manage), allowing us to create fluid programs with successful outcomes and few last-minute “surprises.” We enjoy coaching clients throughout the entire planning process and brainstorming creative solutions to achieve their goals. I think that our work speaks for itself and my company has seen continued growth throughout the past 6 years by creating lasting relationships with our clients and word of mouth, to which I am so grateful!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The biggest challenge for me was taking the leap to do this full-time. When my husband and I relocated from Chicago in 2016, I was still planning events for Groupon. I had a dream of launching my own business, but also had a fantastic job and a steady paycheck. I began networking with local industry professionals and vendors (and honestly, anyone else who would meet with me) to see if there was space for me to join the local planning community. I also met with a career coach who helped me create the foundations of my company and encouraged me to take it up a notch by creating a website and professional portfolio.

From there, I was truly lucky – – one meeting led to another, and before I knew it, I had contracted 3 major events to plan right off the bat. The scariest part was deciding to leave my full-time job — I quickly realized I didn’t have time to do both, so I took a leap of faith, trusting that my hard work and planning approach would lead me to more business and it has. I have found the event planning community in St. Louis to be welcoming and supportive. I have been fortunate enough to connect with some incredible local planners with companies very similar to my own who welcomed another planner in the space — having a network of event planners has been an excellent resource for bouncing around ideas and collaboration. I am so appreciative!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Stacy Erker Event Strategy, LLC, is a full-service event planning firm specializing in nonprofit and corporate event planning, management, and strategy. Our goal is to bring our clients’ visions to life while working within approved budgets to exceed event goals. We personally guide clients through the ideation, strategy and execution of their live or virtual events to make it both successful and unforgettable.
So, what sets us apart? A few things…

1. Our collaborative approach. We work as an extension of a client’s team. Rather than handing us an event and saying “go,” we prefer to work hand-in-hand with our clients so we can be involved in every aspect of the planning process (even areas we are not contracted to manage). This results in more successful events and gives our clients a support system throughout the entire planning process.

2. We like to think “out of the box.” It is easy to fall into an event planning “rut” or to plan the same event year after year. We prefer to keep it fresh. My team and I are constantly researching the latest trends and bringing new ideas to clients, be it a unique food/drink experience, entertainment/activity ideas, or creative solutions to solve pain points for their events. We strategically approach events to stretch budgets while creating custom and unique experiences.

3. We’re easy to work with. There, I said it. We like to mold ourselves to best fit each client’s individual needs which means we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to planning.

4. We respect our clients and our event partners/vendors. To me, it’s not only about the client, it’s also about creating lasting and mutually respectful relationships with other vendors involved in my clients’ event, which makes the planning process not only more enjoyable but ultimately benefits our clients as well.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
If you’re interested in working with us and/or have a cool event-related venue, product or solution, please email stacy@stacyerker.com and check out our website – www.stacyerker.com.

How else can you support us?

–Word of mouth. We don’t do any paid advertising for my company so our business comes 100% from referrals, if you know someone who could use assistance planning a fundraiser or corporate event, we would truly appreciate an introduction!

–Follow us and post about us on Instagram and share our stories @stacy_erker_event_stragegy

–Nominate us for industry awards

We love learning about other local businesses and organizations in STL, so if this is you, please reach out — we love to support LOCAL whenever we can for our clients’ events!

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