People with the right organizational and planning skills are the most likely to generate a large fortune through event management. Daily Trust on Sunday explores the event management industry and how it has become a profitable source of income for many Nigerians.
Planning is an integral part of our daily life. We like to plan so that we can create harmony and order in our lives. The art of planning and coordination has become a very lucrative source of income for many Nigerians. For every event organized, whether formal or social, event planners are given huge sums of money to ensure that these events are successful.
Event planning is considered to be a very stressful and demanding role as these planners are responsible for budgeting, coordination, food planning, sourcing, deciding the venue for the event, coordination of transport, etc. the success or failure of any event.
Sandra Chinwe Henry, Abuja-based project coordinator and event organizer, spoke with Daily trust on Sunday. She runs an event and lifestyle management business called the Drachi brand. Sandra has coordinated events for prominent figures such as Tonto Dikeh, Dbanj, President Goodluck Jonathan, and more. She has been working in event planning since the age of 16 as an apprentice at another event management company. She created her brand in 2010.
“From my childhood, I always had a gift for organization and planning. I like to make sure things are in place and activities are going as planned. This is what prompted me to start organizing events as a business.
When looking for suppliers for events, Sandra prefers to work with detail-oriented professionals who are passionate about their work and who also deliver on time. “Choosing the team is always one of the most difficult because I have my list of criteria and if you are not one of them I cannot work with you especially people who lack attention to detail and cannot work as a team, ”she said. .
While discussing the issue of preparing and managing her clients’ budgets, Sandra believes in delivering the best to clients, whatever their budget. “Each event has its own requirement. However, when planning budgets for an event, I always try to make sure that we can provide the best service regardless of the budget my clients can afford. My goal is to work with all walks of life, not just prominent people. “
Sandra does not have a fixed service charge for her clients as she believes all events have different requirements. She bills according to the extravagance and daring that her client is willing to do. “The average we charge for an event is 8 million naira, but it’s not just mine. I will also pay for the vendors who will take care of the event. The lowest I ever charged was N150,000 and it was a photoshoot for a hair brand.
Often times in event planning things may not go as planned, but for Sandra, she believes that every problem has a solution. She doesn’t believe in dealing with last minute setbacks because as a professional planner she also plans for setbacks that may arise and always has her solutions ready. “I like to think of myself as a repairman and a solution provider. I have a glimpse of what each vendor is working on, just in case they don’t perform well I can step in and deliver the work. To know if your event is a success or not, it’s important to always get customer feedback after the event so that you know where you need to improve.
“Most of the time, customers will always tell you what they liked the most about the event. For me, I focus more on what they didn’t like, it might be something small for them, but it will be of great importance to me and will help me to improve my profession ”, he said. she declared.
She also said that in dealing with clients, she tries to maintain healthy relationships with all of her clients in order to keep the door open for more employment opportunities.
As a professional planner with 11 years of experience, Sandra can juggle up to 4 or more events, however, she said the art of prioritizing helps a lot. Her most memorable event was the planning of fascinating Nigeria in 2013 and the launch of the centenary city under the Goodluck Jonathan regime in 2014. Sandra expresses her joy and passion for the job and because of this she does. has no favorite event that she likes to plan.
Nadia Rasheedah Raji is another Nigerian event planner but based in Ghana. She said Daily trust on Sunday that her passion for event planning developed when she worked as an assistant to the CEO of Let’s be Seated – a leading event management company in Ghana. She spent two years working and supervising the company. Nadia now has her own brand called Wow’d Impressions and specializes in event planning and design.
Unlike Sandra, who covers a wide range of events, Nadia focuses on planning weddings. “I love to organize weddings and the experience of bringing two families together is always a wonderful sight to see,” she said.
When working on a budget for her events, she tries to manage her client’s budget by making sure that all the vendors and services offered are within the price range and budget value. “Regardless of the budget, the goal is to provide a standard quality of service,” she said.
Nadia searches for her suppliers via a professional event platform and often Instagram. It also does not have a standard service fee, as its fee depends on the scope of work for the event. However, his average service charge for hosting an event is $ 2,000. Nadia practices a cancellation and refund policy with clients who may disagree with her work or ideas or may not want to continue with their event.
“The initial deposit is generally non-refundable. Eighty percent of your full payment is refunded when you cancel within an acceptable time frame. Last minute cancellations incur a penalty charge and your refund is subject to the availability of remaining funds from productions and preparations that have already started, ”she explained.
To measure the success of her events, Nadia relies on feedback from clients and guests and monitors the general mood and reactions during the event. She says, however, that work can take its toll on her and that at such times she remembers to take deep breaths and whisper words of prayer.
For Nadia, a maximum of four events is what she can handle in a day. Setbacks are inevitable when planning an event, however, Nadia believes that she is always ready to adapt and think outside the box to adapt to the changes required due to setbacks. “No matter what happens, the show definitely has to go on,” she said.
In event planning, it is not easy to meet people’s needs and ensure that they are delivered exactly as requested, so Nadia sees herself as a service provider and when dealing with her clients. , she does her best to contain her emotions and refrain from showing negative reactions that she might later regret. “We always try to operate using our terms and conditions before procedures between us and customers,” she said.
Nadia recalls that her most successful event was a three-day scheduled wedding in Accra, which took place in different locations and hosted 700 guests including Sunny Ade, Shattawale, etc. With every job there are challenges, Nadia mentions that sometimes clients can be a little unsure. with what they want and often she may have to chase customers for payments.