Account Director, The Idea Hunter
I joined The Idea Hunter 3.5 years ago after working for 3 years in the consumer-packaged goods industry. With a strong understanding of marketing and a passion for project management, I found myself fitting in very well in the events industry. I started as an account manager at The Idea Hunter and after 2 years became the Account Director, managing 3 employees and the overall sales of the company.
Confident. Passionate. Strategic.
I AM HAILEY O’BRIGHT.
Daring and creative, it is my job to deliver incredible entertainment production and highly organized event management for my corporate event clients. I bring vision and an eye for detail to my position as Account Director at The Idea Hunter. I have delivered incredible experiences for clients, such as Air Canada Vacations, MLSE, Bacardi, MAC Cosmetics, Toronto Blue Jays, to name a few. I possess strong marketing skills after working for large global brands such as PepsiCo. and General Mills. This experience has sharpened my decisive, and strategic mind, which executes all projects with professionalism and polish. I was awarded the “2019 Emerging Industry Leader” award by Canadian Special Events, nominated as Toronto’s top event planner by Notable and was one of the Globe and Mails Young Marketers Under 30. I am proud to say that I have proven, age has no bearing on business acumen or the ability to deliver big projects on time and within scope.
I aspire to become a motivational speaker, mentor and leader within the events industry. I would like to see our agency expand and service even more events outside of Canada.
My greatest accomplishment would be receiving the “2019 emerging leader award,” which was given to me by the Canadian Special Events industry just recently. They choose one person across Canada to honour with this award and I was extremely grateful to be chosen. It honoured my hard work, dedication and ethics in the industry.
The most challenging aspect for me has been working in a family business. Both my mom and I love each other and love the business. But like any family business, it is not always easy to balance work and personal relationships. They tend to overlap. We have overcome our challenges but dividing responsibilities and trying to set work/personal hours. It continues to be a work in progress, but we both love each other and the company so much, we are committed to making it work.
I love what Tony Robbin says. “Life is not happening to you. It is happening for you.” I believe that everything in life is a lesson and you can’t fight the hard times. You need to experience them, move through them and learn from them.
I am a big fan of Tony Robbins from a spiritual standpoint. He has helped me to understand how to handle conflict and difficult times.
From a personal standpoint, I am inspired by Katrin Davidsdottir, as she is a highly competitive CrossFit athlete. She is dedicated to the sport and continues to push herself beyond her limits.
From a work perspective, my boyfriend inspires me tremendously. I have never seen someone work harder than he does. He is committed, loyal and determined. He knows how to set boundaries, stay focused and achieve his goals. I am lucky to have him in my life.
Do not get distracted by email. Tackle projects that move the business forward and answer emails 2-3 times per day.
Maintain an “executive presence” in high stress situations. This means to always show a professional composure even in the times where you want to yell or cry.
Go to CrossFit to maintain a healthy and balance lifestyle
Being available to my team at all times so that I do not add any roadblock to their work being completed
You are accountable to yourself and if you do not achieve your goals you cannot blame anyone else. So be respectfully selfish when it comes to your time and don’t waste a minute of it.
My Pic of the Day: The photograph below is from the night I won the “2019 Emerging Industry Leader” award. This award was provided by the Canadian Special Event and given to one person in Canada. To be that person and acknowledged in front of my peers was a moment I will never forget. It is one of the high honors in our industry.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
The energy! Torontonians stand proudly and it feels good to be in a city that the world recognizes as a leader.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
My favourite breakfast is a turkey sausage and sweet potato hash. I make this on Sunday’s for the week and it is a full breakfast that is filled with nutrients to kick start a healthy morning. My favourite restaurant in the city is Impact Kitchen. Their food is so healthy, fresh and incredibly delicious. I wish I could eat there every day.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Waking up
10:00 AM – I am either working on a client proposal, in a client meeting or working with someone on my team
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal? I do not eat out for lunch. My whole team packs their lunches and we love Salads!
7:00 PM – I am at CrossFit in the evenings. I love to work out after a long day. It keeps me balanced.
11:00 PM – Sleeping. I try and go to bed around 10pm so I get a full 8hrs.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I only drink water during the day.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
My favourite app would be slack, because it allows me to communicate with my team easily. My favourite Instagram account is ours @theideahunter! Sorry I may be a bit bias on this one.
What should everyone try at least once?
Sky diving. It is not as scary as it looks. Once you are actually out of the plane, it is so peaceful. It is like you have been removed from earth for a few moments and you feel completely at peace.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
I live in Liberty Village, so I love walking down by the water and watching the sail boats. I find the sounds of the waves splashing to be incredibly relaxing.
My Native AdVice:
How did you get into the industry?
I like to think I turned lemons into lemonade. I was working in marketing at General Mills for 8 months when they went through a massive corporate restructure. I lost my job in the midst of the changes and was left wondering what I would do next. I knew that marketing was a good job but not a passion, so I wanted to try something new. I decided that I needed time to figure this out so I asked my mom if I could help her with her event’s business in the meantime. She needed the help at the time, and I needed a paying job so it worked perfectly. What I never expected though was to fall in love with the events industry the way I did. After working with her for 3 months and showing her all the ways we could expand her company, it was decided that I had found my passion. Now 3.5 years later our company has grown significantly, and I am still happy with my choice.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Move fast! I work evening and weekends to get back to my clients quickly because the early bird gets the worm. This saying is incredibly accurate in my industry. I move quick and I don’t clock out at 5pm.
Put an emphasis on communication. I over communicate to my clients, team and vendors to ensure no detail is ever missed or over looked. I also ensure everything is in writing so I can always reference back to it. When it comes to events there is too much on the line to have any mistakes.
Any emerging industry trends?
The events industry is following the same tech trends as any other industry. We now have an app for coat check, so you no longer need to hold onto a tag, and we have tap pay for valet. All of this technology is helping to improve the guest experience at events and increase revenue for the planners.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
We are a custom service driven company. Event planners are under constant stress, so having someone that they can trust and rely on (and don’t have to babysit) helps to relieve that stress. Our clients come to us because they know we care as much about their event as they do.
We are also extremely knowledgeable when it comes to entertainment. After 19 years we know the best and the worst in the city, who is reliable and the fair price a client should be paying. This knowledge is something our clients rely on us for.
How do you motivate others?
It is all about asking questions and listening to them. when you work and honour your team, they will in return work and honour you. Demanding respect and acting like a “boss” is the quickest way to turn your team away. I am in the trenches with my team and by their side when they need me, and because of this, I have earned their trust.