Allure Interview: 10 Mins with Gbemisola Ope
By Jemi Ekunkunbor
Gbemisola Ope is an Events Manager with over 15 years’ experience: one of Nigeria’s top event planners, she is also the president of Association of Professional Party Organizers and Event Managers of Nigeria (APPOEMN).
A product of the prestigious Queens College, Yaba, Lagos, she also studied Interdisciplinary Studies and Communicaions at the University of Houston Texas.
Gbemisola started her professional and business experience with Adex Advertising (Chicago, Illinois) as a Public Relations Associate, moved on to First Data Corporation (Houston, Texas) as Senior Customer Service Representative, as well as a Customer Service Corporate Trainer.
She went on to join Trafalgar Energy Holding LLC (Houston, Texas) as a Human Resources Consultant before relocating to the United Kingdom to join City & Guilds (London, United Kingdom) as a Human Resouce co-coordinator.
She relocated finally to Nigeria where she setup Omega Events. Over the years, she has successfully handled seminars, end of year parties, product launches for private individuals and corporate organizations.
She was recently, named one of the top 50 event planners in Africa by the Dubai Tourism.
Ahead of APPOEMN’s forth coming annual awards night billed for September 30, in Lagos, Allure spoke with Gbemisola on the up-coming event and more.
Why did it become necessary to set up APPOEMN?
Events have always been a part of our culture; but in the recent past, it has received a sudden boost. This is also evidenced by the increase in the coverage received from the print and social media, hence the need for an association.
The mission of the association is to educate, advance, network and promote the events industry and its network of professionals along with related industries. We seek to become a Chartered Council with the sole responsibility to regulate the practice of the event management, associated industries and professionals in Nigeria. The association also aims to give security, peace of mind to clients that our event professionals are certified, monitored and accredited by the association to provide excellent service.
In what way has APPOEMN benefitted its members?
The benefits of being a member of the association are; education, exposure through networking, general events assistance, problem solving through in- house arbitration and promoting the events industry just to mention a few.
Recently, you started the awards night.
Why did it become necessary?
The event industry has individuals with amazing skills and talents. Unfortunately no one knows that or recognizes that at the moment; so who best to appreciate and reward excellence but the association? There is nothing as good as being given a pat on the back for a job well done. I am happy to say the feedback has been amazing. This year, we have included our colleagues outside Lagos.
How do you select those nominated for the awards?
There is an awards committee who does that through strict guidelines. In addition to that, we also involve the general public through our Instagram page and the board of APPOEMN monitors as well.
What plans do you have for this year’s award?
The only change in the awards this year is the inclusion of colleagues outside Lagos. This was based on feedback from last year and the fact that the industry is growing and expanding. Our colleagues outside Lagos are as good as those in Lagos and need to be acknowledged as well.
Are there programmes put in place for training of members?
Yes, we have weekly trainings via Whatsapp, and we have quarterly trainings that require physical attention.
As an event planner, which of the vendors are key to an enjoyable party?
It depends, every party is different but music and food are key.
What are the trends in event planning now?
The trends in event planning are themed events and collaboration. Clients both social and corporate are stepping out of the box now, so event professionals are on their feet now, coming up with concepts and collaborating with other colleagues to achieve the client’s wants.
How is life in event planning?
For me, it has been wonderful. I would change it.