The event industry got hit hard at the onset of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic. 

Everything has been flipped upside down, the world is in a state of emergency and physical distancing orders are still at play. We wait daily with bated breath for clear direction and information from Toronto Public Health on how to help flatten the curve. 

Yet, it is still unclear when the industry will begin booking events freely again.  

Back in May, we asked our mailing list where they thought the industry was heading in the foreseeable future (in this survey). 10 questions and 91 responses exposed—67% of event organizers suspended operations and 58% said they would continue future business planning.

Here’s how 3 event planners, Blunt B.A.E., Three Lights Events, and Nóbl Events pivoted their business in the middle of a pandemic.


Meet Jessica Fung of Blunt B.A.E. An event planning company that believes in disrupting the stigma associated with cannabis, democratizing cannabis for consumers, and providing educational content to safely and responsibly integrate cannabis into their lives. 

Jessica founded Blunt B.A.E. due to the lack of information regarding cannabis consumption and the stigma associated with it despite cannabis legalization. 

Blunt B.A.E
Jessica Fung of Blunt B.A.E.
  1. Did you have to pivot your business? Share some of the feelings involved too.

I didn’t have to pivot too much of my business as it runs mostly on digital content and media. However, when it came to events, I took part in many zoom discussions that were 420 friendly. And a previously planned 420 celebration event had to be cancelled. COVID-19 has provided ideas and options for growth in the future. 

2. How are you preparing to return to live events?

I’ve rebranded ‘Rolling Parties’ (see picture below) as educational workshops, marketed as a way to learn more about cannabis, and the art form of rolling joints and blunts. Where I share tips and tricks on how to roll a crafty blunt. 

Blunt B.A.E.
Blunt B.A.E.

3. What are some of the things you look for in a venue that will make you feel safe and confident to return to live events?

I would look for readily available sanitation stations and physical distance guides in place to ensure proper crowd control, both standing and seating. 

Jessica also shared pre-COVID that due to the stigma around cannabis, she was unable to host these type of events at many other venues. However, during COVID she adjusted to online sessions via zoom calls. Follow Blunt B.A.E. on Instagram.


Meet Jenny Serwylo, the Owner and Lead Planner at Three Lights Events. It’s a boutique planning agency focused on authentic experiences, personal touches, kickass moments, and lots of belly laughs. Originally hailing from the corporate world, Jenny started Three Lights in 2018 and has been growing steadily ever since…even in the middle of a pandemic. She’s an avid traveler, former comedian, and proud cat lady.

Jenny Serwylo, the Owner and Lead Planner at Three Lights Events.
Jenny Serwylo of Three Lights Events | Credit: Brooke Schaal
  1. What was your experience like to have to pivot during COVID-19? (Did you go digital or created a hybrid experience?)  Share some of the feelings involved too.

I am fortunate enough to have the most chill, kind, incredible clients who were able to take everything in stride. 

While many of my 2020 weddings rescheduled to 2021, a handful of couples decided to go ahead with scaled-back weddings in family homes, which presented a few new challenges to take into consideration. And adding to that the ever-changing government restrictions on gathering sizes, we ended up having to plan and re-plan most weddings three or four times each. I’m not going to say it was all smooth sailing; there were a lot of 2 AM emails and tough decisions that had to be made. But in the end, each wedding was so wonderfully unique and represented the couple perfectly, you can’t help but fall a little bit in love with jumping on the micro-wedding bandwagon.


Three Lights Events
Three Lights Events
  1. How was your pivoted event received?

The safety of guests and staff were front of mind for myself and my clients, and we had multiple discussions, floor plan revisions, and menu changes to ensure things were as safe and comfortable as possible. Each event had masks and sanitizer throughout, and all guests were encouraged to keep masks on and stay physically distant…even when the booze was flowing.

My pivoted fall weddings were so incredibly special. 

While clients were originally bummed about not being able to have large, epic weddings full of dancing and mingling, what we ended up with were unique, intimate, ‘totally you’ events that represented the clients perfectly. Families and friends all remarked at how great the weddings turned out, and vendors hustled hard to make things extra special (and extra compliant). They were absolutely wonderful.

I was definitely anxious about returning back to work and being around a large group of people. It really made me pause to realize just how much people who have been working through this entire pandemic have had to put up with (grocery staff, TTC, food delivery, frontline workers, etc). 


  1. What are some of the things you look for in a venue that will make you & your clients feel safe and confident to return to live events?

First and foremost, I want to ensure a venue is going to play by the rules and have strict protocols in place for the safety of their guests and staff alike. 

A venue that can offer suggestions on how to manage things like seating and food service is key, and awesome venue managers who are able to flip on a dime if government mandates change is always a plus. 

Along with this, having clear wording on contracts about their covid policies (cancellations, postponements, etc) is hugely appreciated. I want to ensure my clients not only know what they’re signing up for but also know the venue isn’t out to get them and will do everything in their power to make things work. Being open, honest, and upfront with client questions is priceless. Kindness and compassion (while still protecting your business and bottom line) go a long way.  

Follow Three Lights Events on Instagram.

Three Lights Events
Three Lights Events


Meet Kirsten Rezek of Nóbl Events. A fine art planning and design boutique that orchestrates experiences for their clients from the moment they meet until their last dance. Facilitating an atmosphere of romance and elegance, one that embodies artistic vision in order to share their unique love story. 


Credit: Lisa Vigliotta Photography at Artscape Weston Common
Credit: Lisa Vigliotta Photography at Artscape Weston Common
  1. What was your experience like to have to pivot during COVID-19? (Did you go digital or created a hybrid experience?)  Share some of the feelings involved too. 

COVID-19 forced us to slow down and think through who we wanted to be as a company—and it made sure we didn’t just talk the talk but walk the walk, as we helped each of our couples navigate the future of their wedding. 

We always wanted to feel like we were really getting to know and meeting the needs of our clients, and when something like this happens you are faced to really make sure your business infrastructure supports those needs. 

It changed our contracts, it changed the way we assessed being proactive, it changed how we looked at meetings, and it changed how we work with our Wedding Management (“month-of”) couples! It strengthened our resolve to be the go-to who want long term hands-on relationships with their planners, but it also made us more aware of how we can actually achieve this goal, especially when it came to technology! We always prided ourselves on being innovative by using online time-saving tools for our clients, but we now know we have to do a better job of guiding our clients through those tools so that they feel the value these tools present. 

Overall the whole thing has been bittersweet: we have been able to spend way more time with our couples, really getting to know them personally which we absolutely love – while at the same time trying to keep them sane in all of the uncertainty. It’s been an emotionally taxing – and rewarding year. 

2. Did you need to restructure your business model? 

We found that certain aspects of our business model actually held up quite well in all the COVID madness. For example, our monthly payment plans gave our clients peace of mind when the economy took a hit because they could always see where their funds were going, and it gives us the flexibility to pause work and resume work as their wedding plans evolved and changed.

We will be implementing a lot more virtual meetings going forward, even when/if social distancing is no longer necessary because the ease with which we can get things done without anyone having to drive somewhere after work really gave our clients a chance to relax and be themselves which we love! 

We also have created a 3 collaborative Intimate Weddings package that we are extremely excited about! These packages are turnkey all-inclusive ceremony packages that were designed to give couples the peace of mind they need to get married in this uncertainty, without compromising on beauty and style! 

We’ve even partnered with companies like Exekutive Groom and The Faye Smith Agency to guarantee that they’re also feeling thoroughly pampered as well! 

Kirsten Rezek of Nóbl Events Artscape Weston Common
Credit: Lisa Vigliotta Photography at Artscape Weston Common

3. How was your pivoted event received? Did you feel the need to be more intentional in your marketing/positioning? 

The event industry is still full of uncertainty by at this time. We’re working hard to make sure we’re visible to couples who are not sure where to turn or how to proceed in a post-pandemic world. There are a lot of rules and regulations, new liabilities that lie with them and we can understand why they feel hesitant to proceed without knowing the full extent of everything going on. But the good news is that now we have a lot more answers then we did at the start of 2020. We definitely are thinking of creative ways to communicate this with our ideal couples.

4. What are some of the things you look for in a venue that will make you & your clients feel safe and confident to return to live events? 

Adequate space no matter the season! Nóbl Events is all about relationships, so we want to always come to a venue and offer support and teamwork. This way we can work as an extension of each other’s team to ensure that we’re both following guidelines and making sure the couple is getting their best day! This is crucial to us because it means that no matter the rules we are all happy, healthy and safe! Follow Nóbl Events on Instagram.

See the recent photoshoot Nóbl Events hosted at Artscape Weston Common.


Thank you to the event planners that shared their pivot stories with us! Stay up-to-date on everything that is happening with Artscape Venues by signing up for our mailing list here.