Lisa Wampler offers a peak into the event management business.
Amid the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, where precious moments often seem to whiz by in a blur, there’s something special about the art of celebration. Whether it’s shedding a tear of joy at a wedding reception or goofing off with coworkers at a company holiday party, these events allow us to step back and revel in those cherished moments.
It’s why Lisa Wampler, co-owner of Blue Diamond Events and XSIV Entertainment, believes that partying is a serious business.
For more than 10 years, Wampler and her husband, Jonathan Verdejo, have worked overtime to create top-notch parties for Columbia and beyond.
“We offer a really wide range of vendor services, from planning, design, coordination, and management,” Wampler says, adding that their companies also offer DJs, emcees, lighting, photographers, videographers, decor, and photo booth rentals — nearly everything a client could need. She adds, “The only thing we don’t do is food, [but] I can source it.”
Additionally, both Blue Diamond Events and XSIV Entertainment offer bilingual services.
Starting With Dance Steps
“[Jonathan and I] met when I was in college, here at Mizzou. He was the resident DJ at a Latin bar downtown,” Wampler says. “They would have dance lessons ahead of time, before they opened the club, and I met him that way.”
Bonding over their shared love of music, Lisa and Jonathan were close friends for a decade before becoming a couple. Then, they had the idea to start a business.
“When we started, [Jonathan] was our sole DJ and I was doing the backend office stuff, organizing everything and interacting with customers,” she explains. “We grew to adding photo booths, planning, videographers, and as time went on, we decided to move back here to Columbia.” Their growth was partly inspired by their time living in Las Vegas.
“It was a natural evolution for us to grow, because we’re so detail-oriented and we’re so big on the client experience. It wasn’t just, ‘Oh, we have a DJ,’” she says. “It was asking clients, ‘What do you want out of this? What do you want it to look like?’ That was always our focus — coming from Vegas, we wanted everything to be an experience.”
Wampler continues, “That was something we wanted to hold onto, so [growth] just happened naturally. The more we helped clients think through logistics and ensuring that things would run as smoothly as possible, the more we realized, ‘This is something we can actually offer people.’”
That epiphany birthed Blue Diamond Events. Officially launched in 2012, the company mainly managed weddings and wedding receptions. However, as time went on, Blue Diamond Events gained notoriety and clients began contacting the company to help with a plethora of different events.
Two (Companies) in a Pod
After becoming known for its success in the wedding industry, Wampler and her team felt that Blue Diamond Events needed to be able to shine in its niche.
“We started getting asked to do more corporate events, community events, so we ended up splitting into two different brands,” she explains. “Blue Diamond Events just does weddings now, and XSIV Entertainment handles everything else. They have the same service options, same team members, but when it comes to branding, we’ve split them apart. Weddings are very different from group parties, for example, so we [wanted] that to be clear.”
Since the companies officially split in 2019, both Blue Diamond Events and XSIV Entertainment have offered the company new ways to celebrate in style, no matter the type of event. With 17 team members across the board, each member is carefully selected for their attitude and skill.
“It’s hard work, but honestly, what makes it such a great job is not just because we have awesome clients and we get to do what we love,” Wampler says. “We get to work with really cool people, all of the time. It’s a good feeling to go to work, sit, and talk with other creative people, and get to see the people you want to see when you show up. It’s a community, and we try to keep that culture and friendliness, that ‘everybody helps everybody’ feel.”
That sentiment rings true, as Wampler says that giving back is an important aspect for both companies and their employees.
“Recently, we did a wedding giveaway,” she adds, noting that Blue Diamond Events helped give a couple their dream wedding. The lucky couple had spent so much time and effort caring for their daughter, who requires intensive medical treatment, that they never found the time to get married. With the company’s help, the couple tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony that didn’t cost them a cent.
Wampler adds, “It was a massive undertaking, but this is what we do, this is what we’re good at, and we want to contribute, no matter what.”
The Parties of Tomorrow
Looking at the future for the two companies, Wampler’s forecast is simple: “The sky’s the limit, right?”
And the focus — making memories — will not change.
“The reason that we do what we do is that we want people to have a good experience. We want people to have a great time,” she says. “If you walk away with one thing, it’s that if you’re going to work with us, you won’t need to stress about your event. Any crazy thing that may come up, any last-minute change, we’ll get it done. We want [clients] to look out at the end of the night and say, ‘That’s exactly how we wanted it — it’s better.’”
Wampler laughs, then adds: “And that’s when we sit down and we’re like, ‘Okay. I can take a breath.’”