‘Quacks are spoiling business for us’
‘I’m a perfectionist’
BY CHRISTY ANYANWU
NDIDI OBIOHA, CEO, Enthyst Events,is a woman of style, class and elegance. in this interview she spoke about her TV reality show, The Event Pro. The graduate of International Relations from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, unveils the madness, the tension that go into putting together an event. “it is a reality show, so there is no holding back this is you seeing me in my element planning an event, because a lot of people keep wondering what an event planner does.”She’s just ended season one and starting season two soon. Talking with Effects, she talked about what the forthcoming episode entails. Excerpts
What is the motive behind the launch of your TV show?
It is a dream comes true. It is an infotainment kind of show called ‘The Event Pros’. It is all about the event management industry – the madness, the tension, and the entire craze that go on when putting together an event. It is a reality show. So, there is no holding back. It is seeing me in my elements, planning events. The truth is that people seat there and say, ‘what does event planners really do? And they get to the venue and see a beautiful arrangement and they believe it doesn’t take much effort and that they don’t really need an event planner in most cases.But when you watch this show and see the behind-the-scene efforts, you would know it is unwise for anyone planning a party not to employ the services of an event planner. There is so much pressure and uncertainty involved in putting up an event that you really need an event planner. What we do as event consultants is that we conceptualise, define, plan, mileage, execute, implement and finally coordinate the event according to the brief we are given. And in doing this, we rely on vendors absolutely.We have done season one. A season is like 13 episodes, it ended in December. For season two, we are going to be searching for the event intern. The plan is for people to register, there’s a selection process. The idea is to pick the best 10 from those that will register online. The best 10 will now go into the production processes. We’ll give them tags like the Idol but this one is for the event industry. We’ll eliminate, till we get down to the final three. We will have different professionals in the industry as judges. We’ll give participants a concept and, whoever chose the best creativity and conceptualization skill is what we are looking for.
One of the things that made me do this is because there are a handful of non-professionals in the industry. When the industry is full of non-professionals, they are gradually taking that industry to the doom era. Some come into the industry because of the money, some because they think the industry is booming. What happens then, they cut corners at the expense of their clients that had paid them for work. It is also an avenue to let those who like to come into the industry know what to expect and understand some of the skills they need to acquire.
You also run Enthyst Fashion Klinic. Can you talk more on that?
The fashion arm has always been there, but was rebranded two years ago to something befitting and to give it the right name for what it is. We sort out people’s style issues and cater for their needs. In the Klinic, we style you from head to toe because the right outfit will transform you. My clothes are bespoke and define the dress style of the new generation. You would probably not see somebody wear the clothes in my collection. They are simply glamorous, decent and still bring out the sexiness of the woman. The event management, bridal and fashion Klinic. They are interwoven. If you have to attend an event, you have to look good. I try as much as I can to balance and deal with them as they come. I have capable hands with me; there is none that has to suffer.
What is your typical day like?
I never get to my office before 11am. I am not your regular ‘morning hours’ person. When my kids are on holiday I try to spend the morning hours with them. My day starts from 11am except I have an early morning meeting – in that case, I make efforts to be there. I work till 9-10 pm. You see, the evening hours are really the best times to come out with the creative aspect of our events. At such hours, everywhere is calm. The moment I enter my office, I bury my head in work.
What advice do you have for upcoming event planners?
To be an event consultant means that you have to be unusually creative. For you to be called an event consultant. You must have creativity, because without it, you cannot be an event consultant or event planner. You must be able to define the brief you’ve been given and make it grow into something outstanding. You also need to have the right skills to do the job effectively and efficiently. Many call themselves event consultants, but in the real sense, they are event coordinators. As a consultant, I help a company or client achieve his vision, mission and objective.
Would you say your fashion is fetish?
I love to collect shoes. I really love to collect shoes. I love to collect bags and accessories. I love my cocktail rings; I love belts. I think I love everything that has to do with fashion. I’m always obsessed with everything fashion. I can’t pinpoint. But for preparing for a red carpet event, there are certain factors I would consider first – that will help me make the right choice of what I wear. For example, I would like to know what the crowd would be like – which you can tell from the exact type of red carpet event it is. Is there a dress code or colour code? I must be comfortable in whatever I choose to wear. I like outfits that flatter me. I usually would not repeat an outfit and if I do repeat it, I would re-accessorize it in such a way that it would be difficult to tell that I had worn it before.
Have you ever had a poor outing?
I haven’t, to be honest with you. I think I might close shop the day I do. It will kill me. That is how passionate I am about my job. I have had one or two not-too-good events, but they weren’t poor outings because of us. As much as we have vendors that can be challenging, the client can be challenging as well. Event planners are like medical doctors. Clients need to tell them how much they have so that we can work with it. Usually, we work with your budget.
How do you cope with the home front?
My spouse understands me and works with my dreams. He is very supportive and gives me the free hand to do my job. My children have been so encouraging. My family is precious to me just as my job is important. So, I try to create a balance to make it work.