By Manny Ita
The 2019 conference of the Association of Professional Party Organisers and Event Managers of Nigeria (APPOEMN), kicked off today September 18, in unique fashion at the Queens Park Event Center Lekki.
With the theme “Steeping Up”, this year’s conference seeks to address inherent challenges in the industry with a view to improving on the services provided and better compliance to ethos of the profession by practitioners. It also provides a platform for networking.
The event which attracted participants from accross and outside the country is a three-day event from September 18 to 20, 2019 with each of the days dedicated to interesting events about the association and the events industry as a whole.
Day 1 of the event was a well- attended event as the exquisitely decorated hall of the Queens Park event center in highbrow Oniru axis of Lekki was filled with gorgeously dressed participants, stakeholders and other distinguished guests. A panel of discussants comprising legal practitioner, Mr Kayode Fabomi, media influencer Andrea Manuela, Turkey event planner. Mrs Sebnem, Connosieur and professional bartender Mr Hussain from Turkey all spoke on issues touching different aspects of the industry locally and globally.
Highlighting aspects of the legal dimension of contracts, Mr Fabomi said, with an express contract, which spells out duties and obligations of parties involved, it is easy to solve issues when disputes arise but with an implied contract where no written agreement formed the basis of the contract, when issues arise it is always difficult to solve them. He advised that people walk away from potential problem contracts as any client who wishes not to sign a written contract may be avoiding liabilities or have an intent to cheat. He also advised that in the case where the contract is implied, trails of the contract be kept, like communication on email etc. which can go a long way in solving disputes that may arise.
Answering questions on how much an average charge in Turkey for a party is, Mrs Sebnem said, that depended on a number of factors hinging on the number of guests expected, type of decor, logistics etc and could range from $10,000 to $150,000. She however advised that as much as possible the full amount charged be made paid before the party, as experience shows most people are unwilling to pay up afterwards.
Sebnem who has offices in Turkey, New York and the UK, hopes to collaborate with APPOEMN on the hosting of events in Nigeria, going forward. After the conference was declared open, participants were divided into different masterclasses where different crafts of the association were taught with practical demonstration. One of the classes was the event decor class where participants were enlightened on flower decoration in events with a practical demonstration using bamboo, willows, digitalis, orchids, cunninculus and ivy to make a beautiful flower stand ideal for wedding events by leading event and set design company Newton & David. According to the proprietor and Executive Director of the event design and decor outfit, Mrs Weruche Majekodunmi; “I believe the events industry adds value to the economy, with the florists, carpenters, basket and fabric sellers, clearing agents, banks etc all involved in event decor which is only a part of the event industry.”
On why fresh flowers are not used rather than artificial Mrs…explained that fresh flowers were very expensive and would definitely bloat the amount charged which many would be averse to paying, considering the economic situation in the country.
“We’re very particular about what we’re using. Fresh floweres are very expensive. A fresh orchid for instance costs 18 – 22 dollars for one stem. The cost of decor in Nigeria is very cheap, considering the cost of fresh flower events in the US and the UK. APPOEMN provides the fora where we can talk and collaborate so people don’t run at a loss. ” However, it was interesting to see different people doing diferent things to put up a beautiful flower stand. “For good creative studios, team work is what it is. Everybody’s input is extremely important. We will be having a training very soon where participants will be trained on different aspects of flower decor, design and flower making.” She said.
The highpoint of the day1 event of the conference was the induction of new members into the fold of APPOEMN. Conducting the induction, Vice President of the association, Mrs Adefunke Kuyoro advised the inductees to be of good behaviour and admonished them to always abide by the standard, rules and regulations of APPOEMN in their future endeavor in the industry.
“We are today inducting you as our members and hope that the inductees will add to the voice that clamors for a profession with a code of ethics that speaks integrity and excellence in service.” Kuyoro told the inductees as they took their oath of allegiance.
One of the discussants at the event Mrs Funke Bucknor also spoke at the induction, saying she herself stumbled on the event industry, but ‘caught’ it when she realised it was the terrain she was divinely cut out for,given her hyperactive nature.
“As a human beings, sometimes there will be discouragement and doubt, but it is the determination of striving for excellence that makes the difference. For you to be excellent you need to be determined and focussed.”
“You must not compromise the standard. Sometimes people have jobs and the desire to make more profit drives them to compromise standards. You must not compromise the values and standard the organisation APPOEMN has”.
In terms of unity among the fold, Bucknor averrs, ” I have collaborated with a number of people to do events which we also delivered. The key thing is; we must all look good together. We must always tow the paths of how it can be better for us all without having to put another down so as to have an edge.”
“As human beings, there will be issues. There is no perfect system. There will be cliques. Some people will be more closer to some that others, having invested in such relationships; Once we collaborate more and understand that its’s not about one person taking the glory, we’d progress and prosper. We should all take the glory together.”
“You need to build relationships and you don’t do that by talking bad about yourselves.” Bucknor advised that issues arising in the course of providing services should be addressed in the organisation in a manner that promotes its ideals.
Adding to that Mrs Uwuse Jacobs, a designer, speaking about bad-mouthing or gossipping one member to another, said, If a person is gossipping to me about somebody, I feel unsafe around that person, because they can also do it to me. So it devalues. Even if you were there when something bad happened, you don’t need to join in that gossip, but can wear a good smile and move on. It’s demeaning and also devalues the person doing such.” Legal practitioner, Fabomi on what should be the civic duties of members said, that would be explicitly spelt out in the constitution, adding that “beyond what the constitution says, the human angle is also very important. If one marketer is trying to de-market the other, such should face a disciplinary committee”
Guests were treated to some good refreshment in testament to APPEMN standards, with a sumptuous provision of continental and local dishes with a variety of drinks to cap the day.
Day 2 of the event was dedicated to Corporate Service Responsibility as members of the organisation manned traffic-prone areas of Lagos State Island and mainland in collaboration with Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) to control traffic.
Adorning various shades of sporty outfits with the APPOEMN logo, members of the event body, defied the relentless downpour across the zones of the CSR activity to fulfil the humanitarian obligation between the hours of 7am-9am with over 300 members of the association taking part in the exercise.
Day 2 ended with a yardsale (a kind of compensation plan) where various valuable items were circulated especially to new entrants, to boost their brand equity in the trendy event market space at giveaway prices.
The climax of TEIC 2019, will be a dinner and award night, September 20th, where up to 500 guests are expected to attend the TEIC Award for the year, as the best practitioners in diverse categories of the industry will be appreciated.