Bios: Your Team at Bright Ideas
Sharon Bonner, VEMM
CEO & Founder
At the helm of Bright Ideas Event Agency is Sharon Bonner. She is an industry pioneer who forged her way independently through the event business during the early days of computers and cellphones in the late 1980’s. She tells stories of hand-writing her proposals on paper and driving them over to her clients’ offices. With over 3,000 events under her belt, she has some very interesting tales to tell and a wealth of experience and knowledge to share.
In the thirty-plus years since the inception of Bright Ideas Events, Sharon has mentored over 200 local and international personnel in the ‘Art of Event Planning.’ She shares her tips and secrets, empowers them to think outside the box and teaches of the importance of networking & building relationships.
She has been an ILEA (International Live Events Association) member since 2004, sitting on the board several times and is currently active with the Vancouver chapter, inspiring young budding event entrepreneurs to follow their dreams.
Sharon penned her first book called The Bright Ideas Adventure chronicling her 25 year journey of event excellence. As she navigates her 4th decade of Event Production, she is working on her 3rd book called The Bright Ideas European Adventure, in which she describers her travels through Europe interviewing Event Producers in France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain.
In February 2019 Sharon was chosen as an Influencer for the GoWest2019 annual conference that focused on education, innovation and networking bringing together global industry thought leaders to present the latest trends and ideas. In that same year, Sharon was named one of the top 20 Meeting and Event Trendsetters by Meetings Today magazine.
In January 2020 she was listed by Bizbash Canada as one of the TOP 250 Most Influential Event Professionals in Canada.
When global COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March, Sharon formed The Global Events Community (GEC) to provide support and inspiration. The community’s mission is to offer resources and information for the challenges facing the event industry. In these troubled times while the future is unknown, Sharon wanted to bring event professionals together from all over the world and offer an easy alternative to the daunting task of looking at dozens of websites daily for any news about the pandemic and how the event industry was adapting. Together, on the GEC platform, event professionals can share, bond, gather tips and strategies, and rebuild their businesses to come back stronger in the future.
In July 2020 Sharon was shorted listed as one of the top 72 women in Canada for the BMO Grant Program for Women Owned Businesses with winners being selected mid-October 2020.
In February 2021, Sharon released her first digital e-book called Donuts In The Lunchroom, bridging the divide to make teams feel valued in a virtual world.
In March 2021, Sharon was awarded her VEMM (Virtual Event Meetings & Management) certification via the Events Leadership Institute, after completing a four month course in virtual event production.
In April of 2021, Sharon was once again listed by BizBash Canada as one of the TOP 250 Most Influential Event Professionals in Canada.
Sharon is primarily in charge of all major decisions ranging from event ideation, sales, marketing and client care. She meets with all clients during the consultation process and makes an effort to personally attend all of the major events.
With a track record of 42 Industry Nominations garnering 35 Industry Awards, Sharon is one of them most recognized Event Producers in Canada. Aside from winning multiple national and regional awards, including the Canadian Special Events Reader’s Choice Award for Favorite Event Producer in Vancouver and Canada in the same year, she has had the privilege of producing various high profile events in Western Canada over the past three decades.
- Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko first official Canadian visit together
- Australian Governor General Welcome Ceremony
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Prime Minister Narendra Modi BC visit (5 events in one day)
- Ernest (Smokey) Smith Vigil (7,000 guests), Funeral (250,000) and Reception (1,200) – last surviving recipient of the Victoria Cross
- The 2016 Royal Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (coordinated multiple events in multiple cities in an 8 day span)
A combination of natural talent, continuous skills development, and professional experience gives Sharon the essential qualifications set to deliver the memorable corporate events that have made Bright Ideas an award-winning industry leader. With her enthusiasm and ability to mesh boundless creativity with focused organization, Sharon turns ‘bright ideas’ into reality and ensures that they are executed perfectly.
In addition to her work with Bright Ideas, Sharon contributes her expertise to the event industry as a mentor to students, and as a long standing member of the ILEA Vancouver chapter (joining in 2001). She also gives back to the event community by welcoming international university interns into her company, to share her industry knowledge and to demonstrate how a commitment to mutual respect, trust, and exceeding expectations is the foundation for successful events, satisfied clients, and a thriving business.
Her career has been long and filled with dozens of industry awards, but her greatest accomplishment in her own words is, “making a significant impact in an interns’ life that will forever change their trajectory in the event industry”. She values the local event industry that surrounds her and plans on giving back to the community that served her so well, long after she has retired from producing events.
Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Event Planner
Beth works with Bright Ideas as a Senior Event Planner, brainstorming event concepts, activities and entertainment ideas, conducting research, working events at particular stations, as well as assisting to run events. Born in Eastern Ontario, she moved to Vancouver on a whim after completing two Bachelor’s Degrees, in Linguistics and Political Studies. She has a wide variety of interests from travel to reading a good book, from inventing in the kitchen to growing her own organic veggies, from working out the stress at the gym to working out a lunch date with life-long friends. She has been involved with Bright Ideas since December 2008 and looks forward to participating in many more events to come.
Find her at email@example.com
Senior Event Planner
Jennifer grew up in Saskatchewan and moved to British Columbia in 2011, where she studied dance with Harbour Dance Centre’s Intensive Training Program (ITP), as well as Event Management at the Art Institute of Vancouver. Upon graduation, she began volunteering with Bright Ideas in December 2013 and is now happily working as a Senior Event Planner.
In her spare time Jennifer loves dancing, acting, and showing off Canada as the best country in the world!
Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoe Kelly, born and raised in Ottawa, is working as a Junior Event Assistant with Bright Ideas. She is a uOttawa alumnus in the Social Work program and has worked for several mental health organizations since she graduated. She graduated from the Event Management Program at Algonquin College in April 2021. She enjoys hosting and attending events, and decided to take the Event Management program at Algonquin College because she believes events are a great way to bring people together.
Find her at email@example.com