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2022 Connect x BizBash 40 Under 40: Harpreet Atwal

Harpreet Atwal, 34, is the corporate events manager for AlayaCare.

Harpreet Atwal

Harpreet Atwal, 34, is the corporate events manager for AlayaCare. She's based in Toronto.

Why I love my job:
I take a vision and bring it to reality! Creating memorable experiences that last a lifetime, whether it be educational or leisurely. All while encouraging a healthy space for growth and inspiration for my team.

My career journey:
I am an event manager from Toronto that comes from a background of meetings and conferences, experimental marketing and social media, paired with fluency in four languages. Each day I live by the quote, "Success is a journey, not a destination," which resonates with the journey I am currently on. This mantra proves to be a daily affirmation for myself that keeps me driven on my strides to achieve success and self-betterment. 

My greatest career accomplishment:
Joining the board of directors for Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking. I'm also a recipient of the "Smart Women in Meetings—Rising Star Award 2021" from Smart Meetings magazine.

How I helped my organization during COVID:
Pivoting our programs to virtual was a necessary step in adapting with the climate. I learned all of the necessary skillsets required in order to produce and execute multiple virtual conferences while staying relevant within the industry. 

The time I averted a complete event disaster:
We were hosting a virtual conference, and my colleague had accidentally provided our keynote speaker with the wrong speaking time. As such, they did not arrive during their scheduled time and I became informed of the situation. I immediately located another viable location within the agenda to move their speaking engagement to, reconnected with the keynote speaker to inform them of the new time of their speaking engagement, adjusted the software to reflect their new speaking engagement timeslot and virtually informed our attendees of the change—all within an hour. No one had known better and our program remained intact!

My most memorable event experience in the past year:
Hosting five live events and one virtual event, with approximately 300-500 attendees each, during the span of four months during Q4 of 2021.

Best advice I’ve ever received:
Always ask—the worst you can ever hear is a no, and no won't hurt you. So always try!

Impressive stats I’m responsible for:
We had hosted our first in-person conference, and being that the last in-person conference had been two years prior, the stakes were high and the pressure was on! I had been tasked with working with all of the stakeholders of the program, and worked double-time to ensure that not only were their requests fulfilled but that COVID health and safety was being observed.

Before the program had completed, I had the highest rebookings ever recorded, almost completely selling out the program for next year's program in 2022 before the conference had even been completed.

What’s next?
This will be the year of exploration! From traveling or learning something new like carpentry, I would like to try it all. I will also be making more time for my loved ones. 

What I do outside of work:
I am currently on the board of directors for a non-for-profit organization named Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking. I also volunteer mentoring and speaking to students at George Brown College within the events industry.

I enjoy playing video games, usually racing, RPG or fighting. Right now I am playing Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil on my Nintendo Switch. 

Dream vacation:
Anywhere warm with a beach—I would be happy to leave the snow and cold behind me in Toronto!

Favorite icebreaker line:
Which Disney prince/princess would you feel most resonates with you, and why?

Connect with Atwal on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

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“Connect x BizBash 40 Under 40” is sponsored by VDA, an experiential marketing and event design agency based in Massachusetts that specializes in custom live, virtual and hybrid experiences.