Roberta Dexter - Plan Ahead Events
In September of 2009 I became the first Plan Ahead Events (PAE) franchisee in Canada joining a worldwide group of franchisee’s who were destined to become part of the largest event management company in the world encompassing over 100 franchisee’s. Prior to joining PAE I was an Executive Assistant for a credit union here in the Halifax region. I had experience putting together small in-house events and meetings with the credit union and after looking at the PAE franchise, I knew that it was a great fit for me. I had always wanted to own my own business but I was hesitant to start something on my own. What drew me to the Plan Ahead Events franchise system was the infrastructure they had in place and the support they gave their franchisees. You really were in business for yourself, but not by yourself. I also knew that if I joined this system I would have an incredible competitive advantage over smaller independent event management companies enabling me to leverage the PAE network as they grew across the country, the U.S. and if need be, throughout the world.
I began my journey with PAE with determination to succeed and am proud to say that it only took me three years to earn the title of MVP of the entire franchise system in April 2012. I hit the ground running when I opened the franchise leveraging the vast amount of experience within the system and network of existing franchisees. I followed the training system, networking with various organizations, obtaining references and referrals from the companies I was doing business with and within a few months I was hiring additional staff to assist me with events I was producing. As the franchise system grew in Canada I started partnering with new franchisee’s who could take on various aspects on my projects on an as needed basis. About a year ago, we saw the need to implement a Franchisee Advisory Council where more experienced franchisee’s like myself became mentors within the system, advising and guiding new franchisee’s as they started on the road to owning their own business. A role I should say that I find most rewarding.
As the first franchisee I always knew that there would be a time when the network would play a significant role in my business. PAE Canada now has franchisees coast to coast enabling us to quote on events where the services of franchisees in other areas of Canada would be most beneficial to organizations and associations who produce events in different cities across our nation. We are also ideal for companies who produce events where a national sales force or network could help them increase their bottom line and the success of their events.
I am very excited about the future of Plan Ahead Events Canada. Our master franchisee in Toronto recently hired a Canadian Vice-President who has over twenty years experience producing and managing both small and large events not only in every major city in Canada but throughout the United States as well. Our team is awesome and with all of us working together, our business and this franchise system has no where to go but up.