Zena Peden - Plan Ahead Events FranchiseePlan Ahead Events (PAE) is the world’s largest event planning and event management business with over 100 franchisees in 23 countries. I joined the network in late October of 2011 as British Columbia’s first
PAE franchisee. Prior to joining PAE I was employed as the Director of Development for a non-profit organization located in Surrey. Part of my duties as the Director of Development included planning and executing the company’s fundraising events, a job which I loved. What I really wanted however, was to own my own business.
I started searching the internet for event planning businesses and could not believe that there was a franchise available in the events industry. I really preferred to purchase a franchise rather than start a business on my own and was intrigued with the entire concept. Being part of a large brand while remaining independent was also very appealing to me. After talking to one of the executives at Plan Ahead Events, I flew down to the head office in West Palm Beach, Florida and saw firsthand, the level of support and training offered by United Franchise Group, owners of the franchise. After purchasing the business, I renegotiated my contract with the non-profit organization to become a contractor instead of an employee focusing my efforts on the events portion of the job description. This gave me the opportunity to have an adequate income base while I grew my business. I’m happy to say that in less than a year, I managed to grow my company to include a number of significant events and fund raisers, so much so that I need additional help in order to take my business to the next level. What I love about this franchise is that instead of having to hire employees to help me with the events I produce, I can contract work out to other PAE franchisees all of whom are already trained and experienced in the events industry.
All in all, I am very happy with my decision to become a Plan Ahead Events franchisee. The company provided a very thorough training program and the support is amazing. I was thrilled when the master franchising rights were sold to a Mississauga company, National Franchise Group and have been very happy with the support received from them. The best part of this business is the people. In Canada, all the franchisees work as a team concentrating our efforts on growing our businesses both locally and nationally. I really couldn’t have asked for a greater group of people to work with.