Viviana Kohon is the Director of Marketing at The Symes, one of Toronto’s largest luxury venue spaces that blossomed from a garbage incineration plant. Her keen eye for detail, creativity and impeccable taste paired with her flawless time management and execution, make her a one-of-a-kind event producer. With almost 20 years in television production management, Viviana has organized events from the Oscars coverage to the Junos Red carpet to the Giller Prize. Of course, Viviana does not do this alone. She works with Namita Tandon-Walsh (Director of Sales) and Caitie Yue (Director of Business Strategy) and together they are three female powerhouses putting on some of the most extravagant events. Learn more at www.thesymes.ca or follow them @thesymesca.
Q: What do you think made The Symes so successful?
A: I think it’s the customer service. We are obsessed with customer service. Our clients come before anything else in our business. Since day one, our goal was to make them feel cared for and catered to.
Q: What drew you to this career path?
A: I was in TV production for a long time and a lot of what we did (The Oscars, the Junos, The MMVAs) had to do with events. After all, an event is a production, but without the TV component.
Q: What does an average work day look like?
A: There is not an average day in this business! But most of my days start at 6:30 AM. I get ready, feed the family breakfast, prepare lunches, drive my youngest to school and come to the office. Then depending if we have client meetings or events, the hours change. If there are no events that day, I try to be home before 5 PM to hang out with my kids, get dinner ready and relax with the family (maybe squeeze in a workout?). On event days, the days are long… but I’m working on trying to leave earlier.
Q: What is it like working in a team of all women?
A: It is amazing! It’s like a big sisterhood where we are all about the business, but understand each other on a different level and have similar priorities. I've been lucky to have found partners that have become my friends.
Q: What’s next for the Symes?
A: We are working on our next project. But its in the early days, so I can't really say… stay tuned!