Ndidi Obioha is a woman of many parts. She runs an events company and a fashion clinic. She is also a mother and successful entrepreneur.
She is set to debut her reality show, The Event Pros which will hit the screen in a couple of weeks. ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with her about this and more…
What inspired the TV reality show?
It is a dream come true. It is an infotainment kind of show called The Event Pros. It is all about the event industry – the madness, the tension, all the craze that go on when putting together an event. It is a reality show. So, there is no holding back. You will see me in my elements planning an event. The truth is that, people seat there and say, ‘what does event planners really do?’ They believe it doesn’t take much effort. But when you watch this show, you will see all the efforts we put into evens.
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 have paid you to work for them.
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. That is what the show is all about. We want to make it as real as possible, entertaining as possible and informative. It is meant to help the industry. We will showcase some of the people we consider professionals. From vendors to event planners, they will share their experiences on the show.
What is the content of the show?
It is a reality show. It is in four parts. A camera will be following me wherever I work. There will be a diary session, interview session. We will have a session where we will give people tips on what to look out for. The kind of music to play at birthdays, funerals and so on. We would showcase some people who are not in our industry as well artistes and DJs.
How many episodes have you recorded so far?
We have 13 episodes. It will run for 15 weeks and it will show on Africa Magic from July. We are also online TV.
Have sponsors come on board?
For now, it is from our purse. We believe it will attract sponsors very soon. The reality show will give birth to a lot of other things. For Season 2, we will search for an event intern, just to make it exciting. The intern will work with me and other vendors. Whoever wins will go with me to Las Vegas, USA, in an all-expense paid trip. I attend a conference yearly there. The winner will learn over there. It is really an avenue of giving back. We would retire some day. We need people to carry on. I do not want to see the industry die. Someone should be able to carry on after us.
For the sake of those who are interested in this industry, what does it take to start?
The truth is that, you don’t need any fund to start off. Clients pay you to start. Creativity is one important thing you have to consider when starting. For every job you execute well, will give you another job. I remember when I started, the first wedding I did gave me three other weddings. When you are starting, always start with your family. Start with those around you.
Have you always wanted to be an events planner?
I remember back then, I have always loved to host people. Every opportunity to host people, I jump at it. Let me say, being an event planner came naturally, I didn’t even think I would make money from it. It was passion first before the money. That has kept me going.
A lot of people will think you are trying to diversify because money isn’t coming as it used to or maybe you’re no longer getting clients?
I did APC convention last year. It was one of our biggest jobs. It was huge and an amazing event. Funny enough, jobs have been coming. We are getting better and growing. In everything I do, I always take it to the next level. For me, that is the next level. Sharing knowledge is the next level for me.
How entertaining will the show be so that viewers will not be bored?
The entertainment part is the drama. There are a lot of screaming and shouting. You will see a different side of me. Some vendors can drive you mad. Some will literally kill you. At times, I wish I could do everything by myself. There are a few good ones there too. They are good, they pay attention to details. I try my best to showcase them as well. Some will short-change you. Instead of giving you the exact number of items, they bring less.
How do you manage difficult vendors?
I am particular when it comes to details. If a vendor wants to short-change me, I deduct his pay. I will give such a person hell as well. Because it will affect my brand. The client needs to know you through me, I must protect my client and my brand as well.
In your years as an event planner, have you had a poor outing?
To be honest with you, no. I think I might close shop the day I do. That is how passionate I am about my job. I have had one or two not-too-good events, but they weren’t poor outing. As much as we have vendors that can be challenging, the client can also be challenging as well.
Event planners are like medical doctors. Clients need to tell them how much they have so that they can work with it.
On an average, how many events do you host in a month?
That’s between 20 and 25. I am always having fun while working. Once an event is successful, I am ready to start another one that same night. It is not difficult for me because I really love what I do.
How is your store doing?
The fashion clinic is doing fine. I used to be in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, but had to move to Lekki. I have more space to do what I want to do at my new place