By Sewe Ishola,
It was a vivacious atmosphere as members of the Association of Professional Party Organisers and Event managers (APPOEM) gathered for a photoshoot geared towards the unveiling of their forthcoming grand conference.
According to the president of APPOEM, Gbemisola Ope, the conference, themed, The Event Industry Conference (TEIC) will be a one-of-a-kind series of events; “this year, we have our annual conference coming up. It’s the first one and it’s a three day event and I’m so excited about it.”
“We have a master class coming up with amazing trainers. We are going to have a seminar and our line-up of speakers are just a dream and we are going to have a talk of the town party to cap it all. It’s going to surpass expectations. It’s holding in August.” Ope added.
The photoshoot session, which had the likes of events’ industry icons, like Funke Bucknor Obruthe, who was one of the founding members of the association to Omolara Akande, who was the pioneer president to the incumbent president, Gbemisola Ope, Kemi Adeleke, another founding member of the association and other event professionals like Bose Abisagboola, Kemi Remi-Dairo and more was an exciting one and afforded the event professionals the opportunity, to talk about the value of being a member of APPOEM.
For Zapphaire Events’ boss and one of BBC 100 women, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, being part of the association is all about appreciating “the value of people, networking. Learning from individuals that are in the industry with you, pulling from their knowledge and finding out that there are many things you are all learning and that you are all trying to do it right.”
Speaking in the same vein, Kemi Adeleke of KFA events limited, which is arguably one of the largest rental businesses in the country, said the association provides the platform for her to meet a wide range of people, from different spheres of life.
Adeleke added that with the new leadership of the association, a lot of things have changed.
“Things have changed a lot. We are evolving, we are having a conference, we are empowering younger ones coming into the industry, we are growing in numbers and that’s a good thing. We just need to improve.”
This is a thought pattern that the president of the association, who is also CEO of Omega events, reiterated, as she said, efforts are being made “to make the association more visible, as most people didn’t know such an association like ours exists. Secondly, we want to increase membership, which we have done and then work on standardization in terms of services delivery to our clients.”
Moving on to the events industry, Adeleke, who has been in the industry for over a decade said, the industry is growing, “people are spending more on events, we are now doing multi million Naira events. People are not sparing any Kobo. We are competing at an international level now, when it comes to event in Nigeria.”
Kemi Remi-Dairo, who is both a founding member of APPOEM and secretary of the association, noted that “as an association, we have been new breaking grounds, meeting with stakeholders and most people now know that when you call yourself an event planner, it is not because you don’t have anything to do, it’s a profession and the fact that you are linked to an association like ours, just adds more value to your brand.”
For Mrs Bose Abisagboola, who is the creative brains behind professionalism driven 2As event, being a member of APPOEM provides her with an opportunity to operate as a professional event planner “alongside colleagues. It’s being able to bring in new ideas, expertise and being able to take on bigger projects. I see a lot of colleagues doing big projects. APPOEM gives us the opportunity to work together as a team to do even bigger projects.”
“I came on board so that we can have an input in defining the industry. I came on board as a member of the association, as I also run a programme for those seeking international certification in the industry. My brand wants to inject professionalism into the industry because of the knowledge, we have to pass on to other people.”
In encouraging others to join the association, Abisagboola said “What most people need to understand is, they need to find out what value they can add to their industry, once they realize that, joining an association like APPOEM won’t be a problem because they know, they are a voice and do have something to add.”
The TEIC is scheduled to hold later this year.
Photo credit: Instagram @appoem