One Day in the Life of an Event Planner

The Winning Image – Behind the Scenes

January 21, 2014
January 21, 2013 – Leizel and Jonah after The Winning Image Workshop at World Vision Quezon City

Five years ago, I met Leizel Obuga at a seminar as co-participant.  I was drawn to her stand-out personality and made an initiative to introduce myself.  When I found out that she’s an image consultant and facilitates a personality development workshop, I invited her for a talk in my former company. She said yes, and we organized the event in 2013.

My background in marketing made it easy for me to approach people like Leizel during events and functions.  I still get nervous sometimes,  especially when I know I’ll be talking to a company CEO or a celebrity.  But taking courage is worth it.

“Do I need to wait to be introduced before I shake hands or approach  a high-level personality?”  A workshop participant, Erica, asked a follow-up question after our recent event. I shared Erica an experience I had during my first day working for a social enterprise last year.  The CEO in his mid-thirties passed in front of me then.  We were a few steps away and he actually paused when he saw me from a distance.  It seems he wanted to greet me, too.  But knowing I haven’t been properly introduced by the H.R. Manager yet, I avoided him instead.  It was a reaction that I regret.  I lost my confidence because I was conscious with protocols.  It will help a lot if you’re prepared for this kind of situation.

I enjoyed Leizel’s training back in 2013 and the entrepreneur in me thought that I could help more people benefit from her expertise in image enhancement and business etiquette.  (I need to relearn, too!)  We kept in touch for several years but it’s only now that I’m able to turn my hopes of promoting “The Winning Image” into reality.  This was made possible because of my connection with Go Up Events Management, family, friends, and sponsors who had faith in our abilities.

Leizel Obuga and Jonah Chipeco


The Winning Image Poster (1)

Did I wish the event happened sooner? No.  I believe everything happens in its time. The other partners I have, Go Up Events CEO Nanilyn Yadao, PMCM CEO Mys Sandico, my event host JV Ibesate were people I met five years ago, too. But resources and timing aligned this year for some reason.  And I’m happy that I have kept the relationship with these acquaintances even today.  Big dreams will need a team.

I was willing to take action lately because of the thought that this may be the last chance I got.  It may be too early to say.  But the next big thing I’m looking forward more than business is to settle down with a man I met seven years ago (Another long waiting huh).  I may need to set aside my passion for events this year to give way for my visa application and Spanish classes to meet his family.  Please pray with me that these will go well.

The month before my event schedule, I received word from my boyfriend that he’s extending a vacation in Manila for two weeks.  Yes, that is great news.  But looking at my calendar made me feel nervous – because it means I need to pause some event activities I had on my list.  Being in a long-distance relationship, his visit was more important.  I started to set my email blasts and social media campaigns to automatically send and post ads even while I’m away.


Make Time for Happy Days!


Sometimes, it takes a while for our dreams to come into fruition.  And when you’re in that moment, you will still doubt if you’re ready for it despite your preparation.  This was applicable for me both in planning the event, and getting into a relationship with Erick. Love life stories are something I prefer to share in person, so invite me for a cup of tea if you want to hear it.  

There were many “could have been moments” while preparing for the workshop.  I was considering a three-star hotel in Makati as the venue but when I was about to pay, I found out they can accommodate our event only from 12noon onward.  My initial attendees were a small group, but I needed to increase since we have gotten responses from brand sponsors. I thought of inviting only a handful of bloggers but was impressed when I read through the applications.  I looked forward to meeting most of them and invited eleven!  Oh, did you know the day of the event, our car ride didn’t show up, too? My mom and I had to commute so I needed to unpack my heavy luggage – leaving event styling props behind.

Regardless of the obstacles, the best decision is to embrace the experience with confidence. I had limitations but I can still focus and invest where it matters.

Being confident is rooted in knowledge,  experience, and relationships.  After my experience in events for ten years, I still want to learn more and get as much knowledge as I can.  I’m aware that there are times when I’ll fail, but this will make me a stronger person.  And more than profit, the best treasure I can find along the way are remarkable people who deserve time and attention.

TWI_Award3The Lovely Participants and Sponsors of The Winning Image Workshop – March 11, 2017

“For some reason, your event gives us a certain light and inspiring feeling.  It also reflects how in-love you are.”  A comment I received after chatting with a participant, Reign, made me feel accomplished.  It hits the mark for me as a planner on how I wanted her to experience the event.

Taking a few steps back now that the event is over, there’s a smile on my face every time I remember how happy people were. Especially when participants wanted to extend breaks to chat with new friends already!

At the end of the day, I just thank God for giving us the ability to make event ideas happen. Similarly, your life dreams take some time to turn into reality.  But hold onto it and discern if the time to take action is now.



2 thoughts on “One Day in the Life of an Event Planner

  1. I want to say thank you for inviting me because I really wanted to learn and Congratulations on such a successful event! Not only did we gain knowledge but because the event was so light – we gained new friends. 🙂

    To more events Jonah!

    1. Thank you for the kind words.

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