Many of us build up New Year’s Eve to be that special moment in time, symbolizing change and new beginnings. It’s in our nature to strive for self-betterment as we look forward to a bigger and brighter year ahead. This comes with new resolutions, new goals, and new commitments that we hope to all keep (at the very least until the end of January).
To help ring in the New Year, people look to celebrate with close friends or other like-minded individuals who want to begin the year on a positive note. This is where event organizers play a critical role. People rely on event organizers to usher in a New Year and the responsibility lies with them to ensure their attendees start off the year on the right foot. Just ask, Oliver Shanks, Founder of CDN Entertainment and O.S. Marketing.
Just want to give a huge Thank You to @mickeymanishhhh and the whole @lost577 family for giving me my first party in Toronto! Unfortunately I will be moving on from the Thursday madness that we created each week. Excited to work on future projects with this crew, and wishing them all the best. I also want to thank everyone that came out and supported me each Thursday and suffered Friday hangovers🙃🙃😵😵 I will be announcing new parties I'm involved with this week, so stayed tuned!!
For the last 10 years, Oliver has sold out hundreds of events – from festive bar crawls to raucous block parties featuring Avicii and Calvin Harris – thousands of party-goers have attended at least one of his events in London, Ontario. Now, he’s taken his passion for events and marketing to the heart of Toronto, where he makes his living as a marketing consultant for upcoming brands and businesses.
His most recent project takes form as an upscale NYE party at Baro, King West’s new Latin American restaurant, bar and lounge. After officially opening its doors in December, Baro is taking Toronto by storm and is looking to spice things up even more with Oliver’s help.
He understands that it is up to the event organizers to set the stage for their attendees’ very first experience of each new year. This doubles for Oliver as he helps Baro hosts their first NYE event to showcase the four-storey brick and beam space as they attempt to gain a foothold in Toronto’s food scene.
With such responsibilities, planning a NYE event comes with its own set of challenges:
“Especially with a brand new venue, there are a lot of ‘What-if’s’ in terms of operations and logistics. We want to make sure we’ve anticipate all possible issues so that we have a solution for them ahead of time…this was particularly important so that we’re all on the same page.”
With hundreds of NYE events happening in Toronto, branding was a key focal point in Oliver’s discussions with Baro’s management team as they seek to maintain consistent messaging and feel for their event. “Although we wanted our event to stand out, we also wanted to find a balance between Baro’s Latin vibes while adding a New Year’s flair to the event space.”
To maintain consistent branding, he recommends having an open forum for communication with the venue. This allowed those involved to springboard ideas, which eventually led to the discovery of mutually beneficial compromises that suited everyone’s needs. By heeding his own advice, Oliver was given the green light to tap his expansive network and sought the expertise of Mr. Saturday (clothing brand) to curate the décor and event theme. In co-branding Baro’s NYE event, Oliver hopes to instill an intimate and one-of-a-kind atmosphere to stand out from the typical NYE festivities.
“As the hype builds around Baro, everyone wants to check it out. But we want to make sure that it is still an intimate and unique experience. Having our event curated by Mr. Saturday will allow us to do so. We’re looking to narrow in on a more sophisticated and mature (23+) crowd who don’t necessarily care about the ‘ball drop’ but more so, the overall experience throughout the night.”
The NYE event at Baro will mark Oliver’s first solo event in Toronto. However, if 10 years of industry experience has taught him anything – when asked what makes a successful NYE event, he replies, “Have your vision for your event beforehand and know your end goal. Make sure you’re on top of everything – from branding to operations – organization is key”.
Check out Oliver’s event at Baro along with other top NYE events in Toronto here.