Welcome to Beyond the Essentials Events Blog! I am Carissa Merritt (Jones), a graduate of Temple University and I have been in the event management field as a special events manager for 10 years. Working mainly with nonprofit and corporate events with a strong focus on fundraising events. I have also planned a variety of social events including bridal showers, baby showers and birthday parties.
In addition to my degree I have earned several certifications including the Meeting Planning Professional Certification and the Event Leadership Executive Certification.
In order to get knowledge about every aspect of event management, I have also worked as catering staff for a large catering company in the Philadelphia area, seeing various event styles, themes, menus and most importantly, learn what’s really going on at the back of the house.
In my free time I love to take a multitude of continuing education courses which has allowed me to earn 3 Wilton Cake Decorating certificates and become proficient in American Sign Language.
As a change of direction, I have found a new passion in inspiring and consulting people in their own event planning journey. There has been a huge trend to DIY (Do It Yourself ) planners that need help creating their event theme, finalizing the fine details or are curious about the proper etiquette of certain social events. Now, providing inspiration boards, resources, tips and etiquette points, my services are available to you.
I am available for contract and project based event management positions.