MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.
Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to MOMpreneur Monday on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
This week’s Modern Boca MOMpreneur is corporate event planner-extraordinaire, Erin Branham, founder of A2 Events in South Florida!
You know how you have your “go-to” people in your life?
Well, my “go-to” event planner is Erin Branham, founder of A2 Events (formerly Apartment 2 Events). She assisted me in planning my 1st Blogger-versary Party at California Closets last year and orchestrates one of my favorite annual motivational business events, CRA Live.
I’ve experienced her work in action countless times and I never hesitate before recommending her to friends or business contacts.
We originally featured Erin’s story in 2014. Check out the A2 Events South Florida updated feature in today’s MOMpreneur Monday post…
We love a good party here at MBMom! But before we get to that, can you give us a little bit of your background…
That’s a long story that started with a career in real estate. I hated it. My husband sells residential real estate and rocks at it, but I was honestly awful!
I quickly left the real estate brokerage side and worked as an assistant to a broker for a couple of years, and then was just considering a career move when my husband and I found out we were expecting. SURPRISE!
I honestly had no idea how I would balance it all. So, I decided to take a little volunteer job at my church after maternity leave as the event coordinator.
My “little” position grew, and I was really privileged to work on some MASSIVE projects. I ran the lead on an annual three day conference for over 1,500 attendees, as well as many retreats and large festivals.
Five years, around a hundred events and a second baby girl later, I was happy and comfortable. But then I decided to make a big change…
As a busy mom of two, what gave you “oomph” and courage to take your passion and actually start your own business?
I was working on a side project for Ballet Palm Beach. My mother is the artistic director and owner (another entrepreneur!) of the company, and she asked me to help her plan a series of Flash Ballet Mobs.
I was feeling the need to move on from my current position and once I started working on Flash Ballet, I knew the timing was right for new challenges and opportunities.
(Check out the AMAZING Flash Ballet Mobs HERE!)
I decided (nervously) to start my own company. I was too afraid to even consider it until I realized who my ideal client could and should be. I knew that corporations and even small businesses were finally starting to add events back into their marketing mix after the recession.
After confirming that my niche would not include weddings or personal events, I knew I could rise to the occasion and that my timing would be good! Thus was born.
My husband really encouraged me to do it. He is such a good businessman, and he told me (and tells me regularly still) that I can do it.
Flash Ballet Mobs – that’s awesome! Such a unique marketing idea! Tell us what else sets A2 Events apart from the rest…
First, we work to create what I like to call “Brand-Crafted Events.” Our clients brands inform every decision we make, and we work really hard to be creative with their events they give us. We love new technology, new trends, and especially new venues!
Second, We’ve expanded a ton in the last two years. We still offer full scale event planning for corporations and non-profits, and we now offer DMC (Destination Management Company) work in South Florida and Cuba. I’m so excited to be offering these type of services. We had to grow into this, because it’s all really dependent on our vendor relationships in the local areas.
Finally, Our clients love us, because I make sure that we’re over prepared and always cool, calm and collected. Knowledge and preparation are key to that! We’ve earned their trust because we’ve consistently delivered great work. I’m committed to keeping a boutique feeling to our company so that our clients receive the attention they expect.
Can you tell us what you have planned (pun intended) for A2 Events South Florida over the next few months?
We’re working on some exciting events with our regular clients ,and they’re asking us to travel with them more and more. I’m really excited to take a group to NYC for a three day conference in the Fall.
I’m also excited that we’ve added an intern, so our team has expanded. She is awesome, and has been throwing in some fresh ideas!
We’re gearing up to do so many events that have a strong theme. From a nautical-themed Board of Directors dinner to a Havana Nights corporate celebration, it’s been really fun planning for them.
And we’re doing more and more retreats for local South FL companies during the summer. We love helping these groups take advantage of our incredible location during the off season.
As a South Florida girl myself I get it, but tell us why you just LOVE it here?
I’m a Tri-county South FL girl. I was raised in Palm Beach County, I went to school at the University of Miami and we live in Fort Lauderdale now. My husband and I are never planning to leave!
We love the weather, the beach (you can find us at the beach on any given Saturday during the summer), the much improved downtown areas in each county (shoutout to the downtown development boards), the fashion and style, and the growing population of young professionals and entrepreneurs.
I’m committed to two causes with my business: First, giving opportunities to women. As an employer with daughters, I feel strongly that it’s important to take my “Boss Girl” role seriously. I love being an encouraging influence in any woman’s life! We offer flexible work settings, and hours and as we grow it’s my intention to continue on that track.
And second, I’m committed to the advancement of South FL and specifically Fort Lauderdale. I love where I live, and plan to keep doing great business, and re-investing in our local economy. We have so much to offer here, and it’s a pleasure to watch within my industry how the CVB, Hello Sunny, continues to advance Fort Lauderdale tourism! It just keeps getting better!
So, MBMoms…..when it’s time to plan your next corporate party or event …or even a flash mob, don’t forget to contact Erin at A2 Events!
You can find her company’s website: a2.events