If Passion Were a Person – Meet Jody Litvack

Meet Jody Litvack, the creative mastermind behind Jet Entertainment, a leading event production and entertainment company based in Toronto. With over 27 years of experience in the industry, Jody has travelled extensively throughout North America immersing himself in the latest trends in music, fashion, and entertainment. His company has produced a wide variety of special events for big-name clients, including Acura, Audi, Microsoft, and Deloitte. Jody’s innovative approach to event planning and his use of technology have earned him the prestigious title of the 2022 Canadian Event Professional. In this exclusive interview, Jody shares his thoughts on winning the award, his philosophy on event planning, and valuable tips for aspiring event professionals. Get ready to be inspired!

JK: Your year as the Canadian Event Professional of the Year is coming to an end with the naming of your successor in a few days. What does winning this award mean to you, and what was going through your mind when your name was announced as the winner?

JL: As my name was announced, I felt a wave of emotions. I was surprised, excited, and humbled. As I approached the stage, my heart was pounding. The room was filled with people I respect and admire, and I felt profound pride and accomplishment as I took hold of the award. I’ve worked hard for years to become a great event professional, this recognition validates everything I’ve been through in my career. I felt a sense of gratitude for my colleagues, mentors, and those who believed in me and helped me reach this achievement.

The award also gave me a renewed sense of motivation and inspiration. It is a reminder that hard work and dedication can pay off and that I should continue to push myself and strive for excellence in my profession.

JK: What’s your philosophy regarding event planning, and how do you approach each project?

JL: My philosophy is centred on creating a meaningful experience that the audience will never forget. It’s about presenting something in a unique and innovative way that creates excitement and leaves lasting memories. My team and I focus on defining the key messages and objectives of the event and then work on creating experiences that support those goals. This can include immersive technologies like mapped projection, and augmented and virtual reality, as well as creative displays, installations, design, food, and entertainment.

Our goal with any event is to create engagement. When people have an emotional connection to an event, they are more likely to share their experiences with others. This can increase brand awareness, and word-of-mouth marketing, and create a stronger sense of community among attendees. Co-creation itself creates a sense of engagement and investment in the event. This ultimately leads to higher levels of interaction, making the event more dynamic and impactful.

JK: How do you incorporate technology into your events, and what role do you see AR/VR playing in future events?

JL: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are going to revolutionize the events industry, as they enable planners to create truly immersive and game-changing experiences. One of the coolest ways of using this tech is through virtual and augmented reality tours of event spaces, allowing attendees to explore the venue and interact with virtual elements. This is particularly useful for large or complex venues, enabling attendees to navigate the area more efficiently and discover interesting events and experiences.

AR and VR can be used to enhance entertainment, bring presentations to life and create powerful immersive experiences. Speakers can use VR to create a 3D visual representation of their topic, while VR effects can bring the audience closer to the performer, allowing for up-close and personal interactions. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination. As these technologies continue to evolve and become more accessible, they will also become increasingly critical components for event planners, and those who wish to remain engaged in the industry will need to understand how to work with AR and incorporate it into their programs, as clients are eager to include it in their projects.

JK: How do you balance creativity and innovation with practical considerations like budget and logistics?

JL: Balancing creativity and innovation with practical considerations like budget and logistics is a crucial part of successful event planning. To
achieve this balance, we use a systematic approach that integrates the event’s creative vision with the project’s constraints.

The first step is to ensure we understand the client’s vision and goals. We also conduct extensive research to identify innovative ideas and trends that can be incorporated into the event. Once we understand the creative vision, we work to identify the practical considerations, such as the budget
and logistical constraints. This involves breaking down the creative into specific elements and identifying the resources required for each component. We then work to identify innovative solutions that can be achieved within the constraints of the project.

JK: What excites you most about the future of events, and what do you hope to see in the coming years?

JL: The events industry is constantly evolving, and I see some significant and exciting developments shaping what our industry will look like in the next few years. We’ve already talked about AR/VR and its potential to revolutionize the game; I am really excited about augmented reality experiences, personalized AI-driven recommendations, and chatbots that can provide real-time assistance to attendees.

Sustainability, while obviously not a trend, is a critical element of what we do, and it’s becoming more vital that event people embrace this as a key priority and continue to evolve their understanding of the importance of saving our planet. 

I hope our industry keeps talking about EDI, and we get to a place where inclusivity and diversity in events are not something that is added but an integral part of every planner’s deck.
I think collaborations are definitely the business model for the future and a key driver of success for our industry. You can always do more as a collective than you can on your own.

JK: What message would you like to share with other aspiring event professionals?

JL: To succeed in the events industry, you must be passionate about your work. Events can be challenging, but if you are genuinely passionate about bringing people together to create powerful experiences, you will be motivated to overcome any obstacle.

  • The best way to learn about the events industry is by getting hands-on experience. Volunteer, intern, or create your event. Every experience will teach you something new and help you build your skills.
  • Being a problem solver and finding solutions to any issue is essential. This requires creativity, being resourceful and staying calm under pressure.
  • Building solid relationships is critical to success in the events industry. Take the time to network, build your reputation, and establish trust with your clients.
  • Remember that the events industry is all about creating exceptional experiences for people. Keep that at the heart of everything you do, and you will be well on your way to a successful and rewarding career in event planning.

To learn more about Jody and his team at Jet Entertainment follow their social