Christine Jawichre: The journey from intern to CEO

Christine Jawichre at 32 is the newly appointed CEO of Blue Platinum Events. An events agency in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her journey began at the same company as an intern 8 years before and through hard work and dedication.

She along with an amazing team at Blue Platinum Events have dominated incredible once in a lifetime experiential events in and out of South Africa.

Outside of events, she is passionate about women and seeing more African women step into positions of leadership and having a voice.

In this interview with Cindy Leah, Christine talks about managing an events company and developing winning strategies for the business.

What challenges do you come across from a management point of view as an events company CEO?

We come across all kinds of challenges across the event’ing landscape – being onsite at an event or back at the office. Events are crazy, sometimes you’re and other times you’re just not winning.

That is a real onsite challenge. At the office, we can be dealing with anything from sourcing out potential clients and ensuring that you have the right teams to execute the right events.

Another thing will be continuous client relationship management and ensuring that we stick to the 18 year standard behind the brand. Keeping abreast if not ahead of the creative curve and ahead of the competition is also very challenging.

Blue Platinum is a brand to be reckoned with, I say that with no ignorance, there are always challenges but we rather focus on who we are and what we can do. We put our heads down and let the work speak for itself.

Christine Jawichre, CEO of @blueplatevents talks about managing an events company and creating a winning comcept for clients Click To Tweet

What is it like working around your director – Lee Den Hond?

Working with Lee is an absolute pleasure. She is a powerhouse, truly an incredible woman and human. She is like a walking billboard of inspiration. You cannot help but be inspired by her story and her positive energy.

I believe that she is one of the greatest leaders in this country, a person who truly embodies the idea that nothing is impossible.

She saw something special in me when we met all those years ago, a young girl that was hungry for life and till today she remains one of my biggest supporters.

Blue Platinum Events is an all-woman events team, was that intentional?

The all-woman team was not intentional, but, there is a powerhouse full of incredible women who work for the company.

The event industry was one of the most challenging jobs on earth, up there with jobs such as Enlisted military personnel, airport controller, airline pilots, firefighters, and police.

One of the hardest challenges is being able to make multiple decisions at the same time or else the whole place burns down….no pun intended.

Events are very hard. Period. And on our scale, events are crazy hard. It takes a lot of guts and drives to push yourself through the process. These girls on the team,….they have that!

What are the top criteria you look for when hiring someone new to the team?

Hard work!

Another thing will be experienced in running high-end events. Can they fit in with team and vice versa? We have a small team so our team dynamics are super important.

Last but not least, do they embody the essence of our brand.

What does it take to create a winning concept?

Creative chops. Some concepts come easier than others but there is a lot of work that goes into creating any pitch. We start with team brainstorming session to get onto an initial idea.

After that, we bring in relevant partners who assist with bringing the paper idea to life. Especially from a visual and physical perspective.

A ton of research follows to ensure that we create a world-class experience for our guests. This process can take weeks or sometimes just a day or so- depending on the budget and the client’s needs

Who’s the biggest brand you’ve worked with?

We have worked with some incredible local and international brands over the years. Our biggest and best brand to date (after an 18-year relationship) is still Mercedes- Benz South Africa.

We have done some incredible events, launches, conference, international trips and endless other events with these guys. We’ve just completed a month-long event series for the C-Class launch.

The C-Class is the only Mercedes- Benz manufactured in South Africa (for all the countries in the world) thus it is a flagship product.

The event was targeted at Media, Dealer Principals, Sales Execs amongst others and saw us conceptualize and create a World’s First. We created Mercedes-Benz World. Just an incredible once in a lifetime type of event.

Do you think there’s a lack of variety or opportunities for women in this industry?

There are definitely opportunities for women in this industry. The event industry is a fast growing and ever moving space, I do believe that there is a space for creative people with a real passion for events to succeed

What’s your turnover on a crazy successful year?

That varies, some years are more industry-friendly than others. Conservative estimate – 50 mill.

As a new mother, and a company CEO, what are your hours typically like in a day?

The beauty of this industry is that no 2 days are typically alike. We are either on the move, in meetings all day or doing admin at the office.

I try my best to stick to a 9-4 on not so busy days, that way I can run home for bath and bedtime with my little one. On busy days it can be anything like 6 am – 2 am or whatever else madness. Like I said, hard work.

What inspires you?

  • Happy people.
  • Good energy. Purpose.
  • When a person knows who they are in this life and live in full embrace of their purpose…That inspires me.

These are the things that inspire me.

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About Cindy Leah

Cindy Leah is a 23 years old Kenyan born and South African raised photographer, working hard to realize her purpose and
full potential. Cindy has been in love with photography for the past 10 years
but only took it professionally under her own company for three years.

Her specialty is event photography and portraiture, and she's worked with brands such as Dark and Lovely, Blue Platinum Events, Mercedes Benz, L’Oreal et cetera.

Cindy hopes to develop her talents into
owning a production company, her own magazine and more.

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