Event management is a fast growing industry, especially in Nigeria with the rise of many event planners these days. CEO of YDA Creations, Yemi Adewale, shares with us how she is able to distinguish her brand and service in such a clustered market.
Having lived most of her life abroad in the UK, Yemi finally moved back to Nigeria. With the desire to be her own boss, she ditched her law degree and followed her passion for interior design and party planning.
Four years and counting, YDA creations has grown into a successful event management and design company. It has been featured in several media platforms such as; Creme De La Bride, Wed Daily, Nigerian Wedding Blog, Love Weddings Ng and The knot & beyond.
As a returnee, what were some of the challenges you faced when trying to start a business in Nigeria?
When I got back and wanted to set up my own business, it wasn’t the easiest thing for many reasons. I realized quickly that in Nigeria it’s not about your skills or passion, it all boils down to the people you know and the connections you can get.
With the help of my family and some good friends I met along the way, I was able to gain the courage to keep pushing. I must say I have done well for myself, for someone who came into the industry knowing no one and having no “connection”. My drive, passion and good reference from clients is what keeps me going.
How do you multi-task when you plan or manage multiple events?
To me planning is like a natural high or rush, the more pressure I’m under the better I tend to work. Having multiple events on same day or around the same time is not a task we can’t handle.
I trust my team leaders to manage the event well on occasions where I can’t physically be present, such as if two events are on the same date, but in two different states.
What do you enjoy the most about event management and what is the major challenge you face when coordinating events?
I enjoy putting things together, right from when I was young. I like to bring something new and fresh to each event, I’m constantly raising the creative bar for myself. Being entrusted with the management of an occasion is not something I take for granted. It is a sacred responsibility and a passion because I enjoy bringing ideas and visions to reality.
When family members get involved and do not like the idea of a planner, they most likely would not abide by the desires of the couple who are getting married and end up taking over. The challenge would then be how to satisfy your clients while trying to ensure you don’t start a family war.
@ydacreations: being entrusted with managing an occasion is not something we take for granted Click To Tweet
Which do you think is the most important factor in events planning, creativity or structure?
To be honest both are essential. The passion for the job comes creativity, this drives one to research more for new ideas and ensure you are always up to date with trends.
That being said you also need a good team behind you; a group of hard working individuals who take pride in and love what they do. This would help in the execution of the overall planning once its event day.
In your experience, what are the three things that should always be on point in an event?
Well for me, the ambiance must be just right, this sets the tone for the day. Thus decor is key, it should be attractive enough to draw the crowd in and leave them excited as to what the rest of the day would bring.
Secondly, I believe music is important. People come to events to escape whatever they have been dealing with all week. It’s their one time to relax and have a good time. Nothing gets people more relaxed than good ole music.
Finally, I believe food is essential. You can’t deny the fact that many people come to events to eat. It would be the greatest disappointment when a guest comes to your event and hears “food has finished” and even worse when they realize you had an event planner. The goal is for guests to leave saying they over ate and even had to decline food. This means we had a successful event.Ambiance music and food must always be on point at every event Click To Tweet
There are more than a few event planners now in Nigeria. How are you able to distinguish your brand from others?
Every event planner has a different style and what they bring to the table. For me it’s my creativity and my connection with my clients. I believe when working with someone, the only way to perfectly execute the job is to get to know your client on a more personal level. This would ultimately guide you and help direct your ideas towards what best suits that individual. I also believe in constant feedback and updates.
You are a lawyer by profession and now practice event management. Is there any other field of business you would like to explore?
Eventually, I may expand my business to include other interests, and it may not even be related to events. However, there is power in focus and I don’t want to be a Jack of All Trades.
My focus at this time is becoming the best event planner I can be. I do hope one day to have a chain of successful businesses and be known as a business mogul.
With creativity, we find ways to deliver more than what was thought possible @ydacreations Click To Tweet
If you were to plan an event in a different country, what country will you chose and why?
I would choose the United States, because it offers me more options due to range of vendors and facilities they have. I would be like a kid in a candy store.
Nevertheless, we make the most of what we have here. This is where our creativity comes in and we work our magic. With creativity, we find ways to deliver more than what was thought possible.
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