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Hidden Gems: Meet Julia Stout and Erin Cosmano of Salt City Events

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Stout and Erin Cosmano.

Hi Julia and Erin, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
We started this business because we recognized a need for an event planning company that could showcase what makes Salt Lake such a unique and special place. We felt that events were dimensional and we wanted to make live experiences more dynamic and immersive, by incorporating talented local creators, artisans, and small businesses.

Events are trust accelerators for a lot of companies and being able to showcase what makes us Salt Lake at a grassroots level is really unique. We have been able to connect with guests on a deeper level which has become more important in a post-pandemic world.

After working together for 8 years, we knew each other’s strengths and identified that we’d make a great team; Erin with a passion for design, and Julia with a knack for logistics. We wanted to have an earnest approach to working with clients, collaborating with other small businesses, and creating a fun work environment for our team.

We started this company in the Spring of 2021, which was a rocky time in the events industry. Despite the uncertainty, we used this quiet time to build a foundation for our business. We used resources like the Utah Women’s Business Center to understand the fundamentals of business operations, and listened to a number of business podcasts, like The CEO School, for inspiration from female-led organizations.

We spent countless hours studying, meeting late into the night, and on weekends to build out our business plan and launch Salt City Events. We were fortunate to have partners who immediately saw our potential, like Visit Salt Lake and Grand America Hotel, who entrusted us with their clients and helped us launch our business quickly.

After 18 months in business, we have established ourselves as a leading event company in the Salt Lake City market and are growing our team organically while impacting local Utah businesses. We love Salt Lake City and want to show our clients what makes it so special!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Starting a business takes a level of risk, even in the best environment. We started this business at a time when people were unsure if they even wanted to gather in person, companies were making budget cuts, and health guidelines were changing on a daily basis.

This was a challenge in the early months, as we had to get creative with our approach to living events and plan safe experiences for our groups. In addition, events were either getting planned incredibly last minute or being canceled altogether. We are both quick thinkers and natural problem solvers, so this has led us to plan in a tight window- sometimes even within 24 hours!

While we may never get back to the long lead times for planning, we now recognize that the risk is absolutely worth the reward. Live events are back, people are eager to gather in person, want meaningful connections, and we are here to create those moments for our clients.

We’ve been impressed with Salt City Events, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are corporate event planners specializing in event design. What sets us apart is our fun, creative approach to producing events. We like to think we’ve taken the stuffiness out of corporate events. We spend a significant amount of time with our clients to understand their goals and objectives so we can create experiences that help them connect with their team, whether it is improving company culture, increasing sales, or simply saying thank you to their employees.

Our goal is to create mutually respectful partnerships with clients, suppliers, and our staff. Our brand represents Salt Lake City. We see Salt Lake as a top-tier destination and feel it deserves attention as such. We want to show the world the cool factor of Salt Lake City and be a liaison to the best experiences in the city.

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
Utah is ranked 45th among the United States for the number of women-owned businesses. We are proud to be one of the businesses in this small percentage in Utah and we hope to help grow the number of female-owned businesses in the state. We believe in small business, and female-owned organizations, and want to elevate other entrepreneurs.

Source: https://www.ksl.com/article/50439298/where-does-utah-rank-nationally-for-female-business-owners

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Image Credits
Laura Kinser and Ryan Lee

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