2021 Event Trends

2021 Event Trends

Your plan of action for 2021

2021 Event Trends

Your plan of action for 2021

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Introducing the EventMB Black Event Business Directory

By Keneisha Williams

Diversifying event partnerships is one way to join the world-wide call to action to support the Black community in the fight to end systemic racism. Here is a curated list of 50 Black-owned businesses to diversify your partner and supplier portfolio. 

Making the conscious decision to support Black-owned businesses is the first step event professionals can take to fight systemic racism within the industry, and many organizations including ours have begun that journey. But for many industry organizations and even independent event professionals, it can be a challenge to figure out how to make an impact at a time when their own businesses are struggling.

At the Future of the Event Industry event, Ashanti Bentil-Dhuel described diversifying your partnerships as a ‘quick win’ — an easy way to create a tangible positive effect. When we take the time to diversity our partnerships, we are expanding the possibilities of our business and events by adding fresh perspective, talent, and experience.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive; it is a work in progress that just scratches the surface of the Black events community, and we will be expanding it to include more locations and businesses over time. If you would like to be included, please see instructions at the bottom.

For now, this list offers a range of small- to medium-sized businesses that would be perfect for the smaller in-person events that are starting to come back in some places. It is designed to take the legwork out of your first step toward meeting your diversity and inclusion goals. Use it to research, support, and develop partnerships with representatives of the Black events community in your region.

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The Challenge and the Motivation

When trying to understand where racism exists within the event industry, it is important to understand that racial oppression caused by systemic injustices has been a longstanding barrier even where overtly racist attitudes may no longer be apparent. This system economically exploits Black people, and has often been a reason why black professionals struggle to build and maintain profitable business and even benefit from career advancement.

This struggle is compounded by all the larger challenges the industry is now facing. But as things begin to recover in some regions and event planners in those locations begin to resume their smaller corporate, wedding, and social event planning operations, it could be the perfect opportunity to incorporate these Black businesses in your broader partner network.

 

United States

ATLANTA

BTech Printing

Printing

BTech Printing was founded in 2006 by Kevin Levermore. The company provides a professional print shop experience as well as design and branding services. Customers have the option to buy and/or rent office equipment, copiers, printers, fax machines, scanners and software.

Tess Vismale 

Event Planning and Strategy/Consulting

Tess Vismale has 20+ years of planning and execution experience. She has also expanded her event expertise by helping clients seamlessly launch virtual events. She works side by side with her clients to transform their live events to virtual, educate their attendees, and train their staff to be virtual natives.

The J Madison 

Decor and Floral

The J Madison is a design firm founded by Justin Payne that provides floral and design production. Justin and his team are known to bring an element of luxury to special occasions and events.

 

CHICAGO

FLOW Entertainment Inc.

Entertainment Company

FLOW entertainment provides Chicago events with a range of entertainment offerings including professional DJS, bands, MCs, dancers, lighting and staging.

On the Go Jo

Catering

On the Go Jo is a mobile espresso cart for private and corporate events with specialty coffee, drinks and pastries. Equally owned and operated by managing partners Toni Dale, Quiana Deberry, and Crystal Morrison-Graham.

 

FLORIDA

St Germain Design and Co.

Event Design

St Germain Design and Co. specializes in event production and floral design for any type of event. The company is owned by couple Racquel and Randal Guyton. Their mission is to always create jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind weddings and events.

 

NEW YORK

Events To Remember, a division of Events by Chereese, Inc. 

Event Planning and Strategy/Consulting

Events To Remember, a division of Events by Chereese, Inc. is a full service live and virtual event management and public relations located in Mount Kisco, NY. Events To Remember specializes in conceptualizing, organizing, managing, marketing and publicizing for entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and small to mid-size corporations, helping them manage their events and tell their stories with PR campaigns. ETR focuses on corporate, community, fundraising galas and benefits, trade shows, and social events. In short, we create lifetime memories and experiences that allow our clients to thrive.

Happy Cork

Winery

Sunshine Foss is the owner of Happy Cork, a boutique wine and spirits store with a carefully curated selection. The business focuses on minority-owned, sustainable, BIPOC-dynamic and natural selections. They also specialize in weekly wine tasting experiences and events.

Makini Regal Designs

Floral and Design

Makini Regal Martin is the owner of this Brooklin-based event design company, which specializes in floral and event decor. Fusing classical and contemporary elements with whimsical touches, they provide floral and event design services uniquely suited for special occasions and luxury events.

 

SAN DIEGO

Out of Control Gaming 

Gaming Rental

Out of Control Gaming was established in 2016 and is independently owned and operated by Jun Riven. An accessible and mobile video gaming truck that brings to life a unique way to host your next event. Guests can play the latest game titles on gaming consoles such as Xbox-1, Xbox360, PS4, Wii and Wii U.

The Hour Room

Venue

The Hour Room is a great option for private and company events and especially team building initiatives. The company has taken extra precautions during Covid to limit the number of visitors while still being able to enjoy the escape rooms  in a safe environment.

 

WASHINGTON

Andrew Roby Events 

Event & Wedding Planner

Andrew Roby is an award winning wedding and event planner from the DC area with 13 years of experience. He has worked with top-shelf brands and continues to win guests with his dedicated passion to his work.

Designs by Oochay

Florist & Event Designer

Designs by Oochay offers a variety of floral designs along with cohesive and detailed event design. Wife and husband duo Uchey and Lekan Akinkuowo are both owners of Designs by Oochay.

Valadera Rental N Decor

Decor and Rental

Valadera Rental N Decor provides a glamorous and flawless touch with luxe pieces to inspire and turn your next event into a grand experience.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

SmithCo

Event Production and AV

We are event producers for socially conscious brands and creative projects. We lead projects and collaborate with partners. Our area of expertise includes production for live and virtual events, stage management, VIP management and logistics coordination.

 

Canada

CALGARY

Brianne Gabrielle Cakes

Cake Artist & Designer

Brianne Gabrielle Cakes creates a variety of sweets including confections, chocolate gems, and, of course, cakes. Owner and founder Brianne Hurst has been trained by the industry's finest. Her company uses ingredients of the highest quality and her confections are a joy to look at, too.

ITK Bakery and Catering

Catering & Rental

ITK Catering has been operating for nearly two decades. It started in Nigeria and made its way to Canada. They cater for a variety of events such as weddings, birthdays, office meetings and family gatherings. Specializing in meals, pastries and breads, they also provide rental for glassware and utensils.

 

HALIFAX

Temi Bakes

Cakes and Treats

Temi Bakes is a Halifax-based cake studio that specializes in creative wedding cakes.

Owner Temi is also a multi-award winning baker with high regard in the Halifax area. Her services are suited for weddings, corporate meetings, or social events.

 

LONDON

Bloom Blvd

Florist

Bloom Blvd provides an array of wedding flowers and event styling services. The owner is Stephanie Commisso and the company has a portfolio full of garden-style wedding bouquets and wedding centerpieces, lush ceremony arches, and more.

 

MONTREAL

Kelitos

Rental

Kelitos is an inflatable games and sports accessory to entertain the public at different types of events and keep your guests physically active and healthy. Suitable for corporate team-building and group-wide engagement, this unique experience is owned and operated by Marc Elie.

Pop & Balloonz 

Decor and Rental

Pop & Balloonz takes your event to the next level of fun and creative. This decor company styles balloons for any occasion, and they also provide rentals such as donut walls, cotton candy, and popcorn stands.

 

OTTAWA

Zoom Photo Booth

Rental

Zoom Photo Booth owned by Rowland Gordon provides a unique photo booth rental experience for any wedding, corporate, or social event. Options include digital or print packages.

 

TORONTO

Bliss Event Rentals 

Event Rental & Decor

Marilyn Og is the owner of Bliss Event Rentals, which provides clients with a wide array of selections for their special event. Whether you are looking for linens, glassware, cutlery or unique decor designs, they have exactly what you need.

Event Specialists

Virtual and Hybrid Event Specialist

Founder Mahoganey Jones has over 20 years of experience in the event planning industry. She founded Event Specialist in 2004 and continues to provide consultation services and/or event management using event technology trends, meeting design, and/or livestream technologies.

Keisha Pinto Events 

Event Strategist

Keisha Pinto Events is a full-service event planning boutique founded in 2010 by Keisha Pinto. Keisha specializes in lifestyle events and private events, weddings, and major brand events.

Upper Echelon Events 

Event Production

Upper Echelon Events is the premier producer of Toronto's “urbane and urban” events. Founded by Kay Jordan, Upper Echelon Events are designed for the future leaders of the city. Kay and his team host private soirees, celebrity events, and popular branded events.

 

VANCOUVER

Jean Jacques Kabuya

Chef & Caterer

Jean Jacques Kabuya is owner and caterer for Salt and Sear. The company focuses on providing high end quality and ensuring an authentic culinary experience by using fresh ingredients grown right in BC’s backyard.

Stolbie Sisters

Media & Event Production

The Stolbie Sisters are a sister duo working in front and behind the camera. Many of their event production initiatives are focused on showcasing cannabis education, awareness and understanding.

 

UK

LIVERPOOL

Desserts by Dre

Cake Maker

Desserts by Dre offers a variety of sweet treats including cakes, deserts and treat boxes. Dre is known for its simplicity and originality, paying homage to the classic flavors. Desserts by Dre can also process cake orders in as little as 24-48 hours.

Helen’s Party Decor 

Decor

Helen’s Party Decor is a small business operating in Liverpool that offers a range of services for their clients. Whether you are in need of planning, decor, rental or entertainment services, Helens Party Decor will assist with your event needs.

 

LONDON

BERRY and Brie 

Catering

BERRY and Brie is a catering company owned by Mako Ndoro. The company creates exquisite grazing tables, platters, and boxes. Menu items are fresh, delicious, and locally sourced for your next event.

De’Osa Catering & Events 

Catering

De’Osa Catering & Events is a full-service and drop-off catering company that serves corporate and social clients. Owned and operated by Rita Osa, the company offers Nigerian, Ghanaian, Sierra Leonean and Jamaican cuisines. Their mission is to provide delightful cuisines and excellent customer service.

Differprint 

Print Studio

Differprint is a print company with bespoke services to small, medium and large organisations. They are known for an outstanding design and exceptional print quality, whether you are looking to create brand identity, stationery, or event souvenirs.

Events by Knight

Live and Virtual Event Production

Events by Knight has been creating, planning, producing, and managing events for over 20 years. Founder Kwame Knight is the creative driving force behind the innovative planning company.

GB Designs

Creative and Print Studio

GB Designs is a freelance creative design company providing clients with the most cost-effective design solutions. The company specializes in branding, logos, business cards, banners, flyers and more.

Rigs and Gigs

AV Specialists

Rigs & Gigs is a PA, sound system, lighting, and AV company with a range of equipment for rent and technical services for hire. The company is equipped to provide anything from just one set of speakers for a party at home or a large sound system, stage, and lighting for an outdoor event.

Rosehall Caterers 

Catering

Rosehall Caterers has been providing high quality of food and service for 25 years. Owned and operated by Albert Robinson, the company offers local, regional and international menus with high quality organic ingredients for all your event needs — whether you are hosting a corporate event, convention, seminar, conference, party, wedding, non profit, or gala.

Saint Aymes 

Venue

Saint Aymes is a cafe and bar open for small private parties. Owned and operated by two sisters, Lois and Michela Wilson, the venue is an endearing cafe with tasty baked goods and specialized cakes.

SD Events London 

Events & Wedding Planning

Founded by Rumbi Kamwaza, SD Events London started with party planning in 2015 but now provides wedding planning and event styling for functions.

Shoobs

Event Ticket Platform / NightLife and Live Events

Shoobs is an online event ticketing platform founded in 2013 by Louise Broni-Mensah. Shoobs is best described as a YPlan-style event app that lets you buy tickets for events. The twist is that it's focused on garage, grime, and urban music.

 

OXFORD

Legacy Events 

Event Planning and Strategy/Consulting

Founded in 2016, Legacy is a sustainable events agency and consultancy. We provide in-person and virtual event management services, whilst considering the environmental impact of the event, its carbon footprint, and its potential for positive social change.

 

France

PARIS

Christin Bela

Photography & Production

Christin Bela is an international creative director, photographer, and filmmaker. His services include video production, photography, and consultation. Christin empowers his clients to tap into heart-centric storytelling that helps them grow their brands and connect on a deeper level with their audience.

Edwart Chocolatier Paris

Chocolatier

Edwart Chocolatier Paris was created by Edwart Yansané in 2014 and guarantees you will enjoy 100% artisanal, fine, subtle and sequenced chocolates. Select some of their decadent treats for your next celebration.

Eolia Pâtisserie

Pastry Caterer

Eolia Pâtisserie is a 100% plant-based and gluten-free event caterer with an eco-responsible approach. Founded by Eolia and Aronn Essama, their creations are imaginative, bringing to life flavours that create nostalgia but are nonetheless healthy.

GA Food n Fusion 

Catering

GA Food n Fusion is a catering company that caters to special events. They offer cooking classes, which are great for team building initiatives, as well as home chef services.

Kimya PROD

Event Videography

Kimya PROD is a team of photography and video enthusiasts. Founded in 2009 by Jonathan Munguama, he and his team stunningly capture your events' stories from the beginning to end.

Madam de la Maison 

Event Rentals

Madam de la Maison is an event rental company curated by Ajiri Aki. The company works with linen from sustainable materials and original European fabric. They collect, sell, and rent antiques to give new life to old objects while staying green-friendly.

Make it Clap Agency 

Event Production

Make it Clap Agency offers personalized support for your event creations and product positioning. The agency has been in business for more than 10 years to meet the event needs of private individuals and urban cultured brands alike.

Champagne Marie Césaire

Winery

Champagne Marie Césaire was founded by Marie-Inès Romelle and offers a selection of four vintages to best match your event needs.

Mia Bantoo

Lighting and Decor

Mia Bantoo provides rentals of unique neon lights for various private and professional events. They also prepare personalized balloon decor for all your event needs.

Stuyvesant Champagne

Winery

Stuyvesant Champagne is a brand curated by Marvina Robinson. Available in two popular selections: a rosé and a Grand Reserve Brut. This unique brand is grown, harvested and bottled in France.

 

TOULOUSE

Jungle Utopia 

Florists

Jungle Utopia is a unique floral boutique founded by Alice Rangayen. Whether you are looking for floral arrangements for a birthday, wedding, retirement, or office reception, Jungle Utopia provides arrangements for your event needs.

 

FURTHER RESOURCES

If you would like your business to be added to the directory, please complete this form.

For more guidance on Black-owned and operated businesses, resources, or to further lend your support, please reach out to the following Black events communities:

Black Event Planners and Meeting Professionals

Black in Events Network 

The Black Table 

National Events Council 

National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals

about the author

Keneisha Williams
Keneisha Williams is an event planning professional with nearly 10 years of experience in both the corporate and not-for-profit events. Her repertoire includes conferences, roadshows, festivals, workshops, hack-a-thons, seminars, meetings, trade shows, town halls, pop-ups, fundraisers, fashion shows, and virtual meetings. Williams founded and managed SHESOFAB, a company that empowered women through events and online content from 2010 to 2015, and this year, she is working on a marketing events hub to socially strengthen through wellness and personal development initiatives.
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