Stir Up Some Fun at Your Halloween Party

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We asked some of our expert Event staff, students and instructors for some tips to make planning a Halloween party easier and less of a terrifying task. Here are 5 tips to ensure that your party is absolutely Spooktacular!

1. Always prepare a budget and Task Chart of what needs to be done no matter how simple an event may be to ensure things are not missed or forgotten. The other tip — if you’re in need of inspiration thank goodness for Google and Pinterest.

Andrea Hennel, BA
Manager, Specialized Services in Events and Conference Services
Mount Royal University Continuing Education

2. With a holiday such as Halloween, it makes planning much easier if you select a very specific theme as a focus for your event! Consider your venue, decorations, party food, audience, and activities when selecting the theme for your event. For example, if you are hosting a party for adults, you could go with a very horrifying theme such as a haunted hospital; whereas if you are planning for children, a happier, fun Halloween theme would work better — like a pumpkin patch theme.

Carla Thebeau
General Manager with the New Brighton Residents Association
Mount Royal University Event Management Student

3. When dealing with personal event planning, I tend to go with two schools of thought: 1) keep it simple with disposable ware and make-ahead foods or even a pot luck event. 2) If it’s a more upscale event or if you have a larger group of people, hire a server to set up, serve and clean up the event. These two suggestions will greatly take the pressure off you on the day of the event, and will leave you more time to visit with your guests instead of running around, preparing and cleaning. In most cases, you can hire a professional server for $20 per hour.

Kristen Ferguson
Catering Director, Events and Conference Services
Mount Royal University Continuing Education

4. Mentally walk through what your guests will experience as they would as they attend your event. Think of places you can add a special touch so that your attendees get that feeling of being part of a “special” event. This could be a small as a treat, specialty drink or a moment that speaks volumes of what you are trying to accomplish – for Halloween it could be creepy, scary or spooky!

Jennifer James, CSEP
Event Producer
Mount Royal University Event Management Instructor

5. Hire an event planner (spoken as a true event planner)! If this isn’t an option, accept help from a few people — who offer — that you know are organized, creative and trustworthy.

Jennifer Brading, BSc(Rec), BMgmt
Event Coordinator, Events and Conference Services
Mount Royal University Continuing Education

Good luck with your event and Happy Halloween!

Find out more about our Event Management Extension Certificate or Events and Conference Services.

Business Owner Forging a Better Life

Jesse Messom - Bigfoot IndustrialHow do you measure success? For small business owner Jesse Messom, success means spending time with his family, running a profitable business and loving his job.
Bigfoot Industrial Services Ltd., which installs and services industrial equipment, came to life after Messom decided he could run a successful millwright and industrial mechanic business on his own.

Messom had the skills, the market and the drive to launch his company. But after being in business for nearly four years, he wanted to adopt an educated perspective on his existing business strategy.

“I knew that there was a way I could hone my business skills and run my business more successfully,” says Messom. In spring 2014, Messom completed the Entrepreneurship Certificate of Completion through MRU Continuing Education.

Judy McMillan-Evans, one of Messom’s entrepreneurship instructors, explains that approximately 25 per cent of students who sign up for the program are already entrepreneurs, and want to know what they can do to be more successful.

“It is a practical program. The intent is for a student to really examine their own business plan,” says McMillan-Evans.

This is a lesson that Messom has applied to his business, and it has helped him change the way he looks at his role in the company.

Messom recommends the Entrepreneur program to anyone considering starting his or her own business. “Absolutely do it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” he suggests.

Messom says the most valuable thing he has learned at MRU is that “You have to find ways to work on your business, not in your business.” A self-described perfectionist, Messom is working towards offering more autonomy to his staff so that he can focus on the bigger picture.

McMillan-Evans believes Messom has found success because “He has a creative mind, he is focused and he has fortitude.” Bigfoot Industrial Services Ltd. is growing, and now Messom has the tools to prepare for the future.

For Messom, the best part of being an entrepreneur is “being the boss”. Messom is the first to acknowledge that being president of your own company means long hours, hard work and sacrifices. The benefit is that it is all within your control. His long days in the office are a reflection of his commitment to attaining success, and he knows the future of his company will benefit from his dedication.

Most importantly, Messom loves his job. Having a passion for your work is something Messom explains is pivotal to success. “If you want to start your own business, expect that you’re going to put in long hours. So whatever it is that you’re doing, make sure you enjoy doing it.”

— by Johanna Franconeri

MRU Programs Receive Blue Seal and Gold Seal Approval


At MRU, we believe that life-long learning is the key to success in any field. That’s why we are pleased to announce that several of our certificate programs recently have been approved by Alberta’s Blue Seal program and the national Gold Seal program.

“Our goal always has been to develop programs that help learners achieve career success and that meet the need for well-trained workers in a wide variety of fields,” says Dean Charles F. Webber. “We are proud that several of our certificates are now eligible for accreditation on the national and provincial level.”

In additional to earning their certificate from the Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension, graduates can apply course hours toward their Blue Seal or Gold Seal certification.


The Alberta Achievement in Business Competencies Program, also known as the Blue Seal Program, was established by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board to encourage and recognize the study of business practices by individuals who are certified in an Alberta-designated trade or occupation.

Blue Seal certification helps workers demonstrate business aptitude to complement their technical skills.

These Cont Ed programs are eligible for full credit toward Blue Seal certification:

These programs are approved for credit hours towards the 150-hour minimum required to obtain a Blue Seal certificate:

CE Logo - Contract Management - Gold SealThe Canadian Construction Association’s Gold Seal program is a national certification for construction managers and estimators Canada-wide. Gold Seal Certification is a comprehensive certification program that demonstrates expertise, industry commitment and ensures that practitioners are ready to meet the demands of construction projects across the country.

Gold Seal Certification can help construction professionals, contractors (and subcontractors) and owners move into management, further their construction knowledge and skills, change employment, or enhance industry credentials.

The following Cont Ed programs have been approved for formal education and training to apply for Gold Seal Certification:

“Blue Seal and Gold Seal certification enhance the career opportunities afforded by our industry-recognized Continuing Education certificates,” says Dean Webber. “We are please to be able to facilitate further career development for our students.”

— by Karen McCarthy