Emerging Lane | Tapping into a New Market

By Allison Antram

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of DDWilliamson, event planner Lauren Chitwood called it “the pencil party” after creating centerpieces with thousands of pencils.
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of DDWilliamson, event planner Lauren Chitwood called it “the pencil party” after creating centerpieces with thousands of pencils.

The high-profile Louisville-based wedding planner Lauren Chitwood is launching a new corporate entity to utilize her event-planning skills in new ways.

“I am creative while being a big-picture problem solver; I thrive in the complex-event environment whether it’s on the social or corporate side,” Chitwood said. “Being an entrepreneur is a daily roller coaster with little consistency; high risk and high reward, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

This skillset has given Chitwood incredible success in Louisville and beyond, and only grows with the recent launch of Olio Event Group, which takes a focus on corporate events.

Chitwood has a decade of experience under her belt and plans 15-20 weddings per year in the southeastern United States. She’s been featured on outlets like Martha Stewart Weddings, Style Me Pretty and BRIDES.com.

“I believe we are only as good as our last event,” Chitwood said. “We take that statement very seriously. We apply the same attention to detail and skill to every event: large or small, social or corporate.”

That attention to detail has set Lauren Chitwood Events apart, and continues to be a trademark of all her endeavors.

“Corporate and social events share an important characteristic: They both seek to deliver an experience for their guest or user. Whether it’s a bridal shower or a corporate retreat, the guest experience should be impactful and memorable.”

With this consistently in mind, Chitwood saw the opportunity to grow her business and took it, noting that with Louisville’s addition of 1,500 hotel rooms and a remodeled convention center nearly completed, corporate business planning was a market with largely untapped potential.

As the business grows, she is focusing on the relational aspects of event planning, especially how her team and her vendors can improve the efficiency of her two events operations.

“While I am the face and visionary behind these two companies, there is a robust team of highly qualified event professionals alongside me,” Chitwood said. “Our business is strong because we do our piece of the puzzle well, and rely on the expertise of other professionals to complement our services,” she said. “For every event, we leverage our relationships with our premium vendor partners to deliver memorable experiences for our clients.”

Despite the problem-prone nature of event planning, her team has proven to be agile in its ability to handle the unexpected, Chitwood said, adding that she encourages others starting out to expect the same and to grow from each experience.

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