Have you ever planned a birthday party for bae? What about that time you wanted to celebrate your brother who recently graduated? We’re all event organizers in some capacity.
There are those of us who plan events for a living. It could be a side-gig or a full time job. For those who are in campus, organizing events is a way to earn money.
Events management companies in Kenya are quite a number and the business is flourishing. All you have to do is outsource the energy and expertise and you’ll still have yourself a splendid time.
Spreadzone.co.ke spoke to 3 youngsters who have earned as event organizers. The three work on events as a side-gig.
He has organized events such as the hugely successful Ultimate Varsity Awards (UVA) in Moi University. He has managed to bring A-listers to Moi University with the likes of King Kaka attending the latest event dubbed “Oebaism 2”.
“The poster sells or trashes the event before the date so getting a designer to translate your vision of the event into an inviting piece of paper is never easy. A poetry slam might end up looking like a dunda event on the poster. If you’re outside school, getting a venue becomes another hurdle. At times, sponsors also end up pulling out at the last minute and then there are minor issues like power outage during a performance or the weather. On rainy days, we get low turnout. You might invest over Ksh50,000 and not get a lot of money back. Ticket peddlers are also not accountable and some will not return the unsold tickets.”
On the best time frame to plan an event
“I’ve found that the longet time you have to prepare for an event, the better it’ll be. But if you have enough resources, you can pull off an event in the shortest time possible. So I’d suggest that if you don’t have a lot of finances, it’s best to market the event via social media and start early. That will give you traction. Use people as a resource to market the event. Have event ambassadors who believe in what you are organizing and who will spread the word about it. It worked well for Ultimate Varsity Awards.”
On how he learned
“I had to learn everything from scratch with no assistance; from designing the posters, to budgeting, organizing the stage… But it’s been worth it. You have to be a good communicator, flexible, driven, have management skills and havw a good team behind you.”
On the joys of working on events
“I enjoy seeing people having fun, the money that comes with successful events, the networking because you get to meet a lot of people. I’ve met celebs I couldn’t have possibly imagined meeting. There’s also the fulfilment of investing in your creativity and seeing it pay off.”
She’s one of the many faces behind Eldoret’s first TEDx event that will see the likes of producer Cedo speak. He has worked with the likes of Sauti Sol. She is also a member of the international student organization, AIESEC, that has seen her plan a conference and events for the group. She has also organized dinners and galas in different capacities.
On the challenges she faces
“The uncertainty that comes with not knowing how exactly the event will turn out. You may put in your all but you don’t get an equally satisfying out come. But I’ve learnt with time that it’s okay because the Ls only give you more room for reflection and improvement. I’ve,in the process, learnt a thing or two on how to handle negative emotions that may come about when things don’t go as expected.”
On the joys of event planning
“Goals met. It has to be it. When you first involve yourself in planning an event, you have expectations on how you want things to turn out-that final picture in your vision board. Then your team, client or crowd also have their own. In the instances that I’ve managed to hit these goals, the joy has been immense and motivating.
Another that is almost equals with goal-getting is the creativity forced out when you’re pressed to hard wall. The amount of improv my teams and I have had to employ during last minute hitches is just crazy. A good number of them actually worked efficiently .
In addition, events planning allows you to use your imagination and creativity in an unconfined manner. There’s no better space to express yourself than during an events planning space.”
Word of advice to those interested in the events space?
“Plan. Prepare. Execute.
You’ve probably heard about this saying: Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe. Preparation is key in every area of life. In those cases where you don’t have time to prepare in length, work hard.
Aside from that, don’t beat yourself up too hard if you’ve been putting in the work. Sometimes we need those Ls to keep you humble and to make you sharper.
Otherwise, it’s a fulfilling and engaging thing.”
I also talked to Oscar who is not only involved in events planning but is also an actor. He shared his views saying, “Coming up with a budget and to ensuring it fits in well is important. I would also encourage one to start early enough and avoid last minute rush.”