…NPU’s Event Taiyese Ebunlomo
Please, tell us about yourself and business.
My name is Taiyese Ebunlomo Boluwatife. I am an event consultant and also the Chief Executive Officer of NPU Events, an event planning firm with vast experience with reliable clientele. I am into event planning and consultancy, and I handle a wide range of logistics. I also run a huge ushering agency that caters for corporate, social events, branding and sporting events. I was trained at the most prestigious Wed Academy and I have attended numerous event master classes in Nigeria and overseas.
How long have you been in business?
We have been in the industry for about 10 years, catering for top personalities and organisations in the country.
Let us get to know about your education?
I had my primary education at the Staff School, Tai Solarin, University. I also did my secondary school at Tai Solarin University Staff Secondary School in Ijebu Ode. From there, I proceeded to Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode where I studied English language. It may interest to know also that I later had my Master’s in English language at the University of Lagos. I am presently planning to undertake my PHd next year. I initially planned to do it this year, but I had to reschedule It because of the enormous responsibilities at hand now.
Why did you choose event management?
I had worked with a senior colleague who was into decoration and planning at the start. Then, she would ask me to get her some ushers who she could use for events. She will bestow this responsibility on me not to only get the ushers but to also help coordinate the event. At that time, I was still in school. So, the easiest way to go then was to invite my friends for the ushering job. And we will do the job perfectly well to the admiration of the colleague. So, when I got married in 2010, I just asked myself, why couldn’t I take this job further by establishing an outfit for event management. As God would have it, i started it, gathered some of these people and here we are today. If I may add, we now have hostesses in virtually all the higher institutions in the state, including the neighbouring Lagos. We have continued to train, retrain our girls, involve them in various seminars so that we can stand out among others in town.
What have been your challenges in the business?
Event Industry is a large and lucrative one and right now is turning about 50 billion naira into Nigeria’s economy. There is no weekend that there will be no event in Ogun, even people from other states do their events here. They will get hotels, caterers, decorators etc. Let me also tell you that we are productive because we pay tax, we are also empowering the youths in our own little way. But one of the major challenges facing the industry is financing. You need a lot of funds to get the business going and making impacts.
What stands NPU events out you from its competitors?
I usually tell people that we do things differently at NPU events because we take the responsibility from you right from the first day and we go every step to satisfy our clients. We are very detailed with our services and we check up on our clients regularly and make sure that we take them from being our clients to our friends. So, for us it is a process.
How have you been coping working for government and planning events?
Well, I work with the Ogun State government as an information officer. So, event planning and management job is only a part time arrangement. I go to my official work from Monday to Friday and you know most events take place during weekends. So, I pay more attention to events planning on weekend.
Tell us about your growing up years?
I grew up in Ijebu-Ode. I am the only child of my mother. I am a disciplined Christian with strong faith in God. I grew up in a neighbourhood where everybody minded his or her business. I started as a model. I was the face of my school for two years and I won several awards. I like to meet people, I like adventure and I love helping people. I reach out to the less- privileged regularly and I do inspire young girls to get better at what they do.
Do you have a foundation through which you give back to the society?
No, I don’t have a foundation yet. What I do every year when I celebrate my birthday is giving out to the people. I have a child in an orphanage that I care for in school. Also I belong to Rotary Club where our core value is to give out to people.
You are beautiful. And looking good is good business. Is it your beauty that wins you clients?
(Laughs) my beauty is not what fetches me clients but my disposition to people I meet. I’m naturally respectful, and I’m always happy. My beauty and style I took after my mum.
How do you manage male admirers?
(Laughs) I have a lot of admirers. Even when they know you are married and have kids, even when you show them your wedding ring, they still want to date you. Basically, I tell people that you don’t need to send men away. A woman just has to be disciplined and God-fearing. It is impossible for me to get involve in extra-marital affairs because one, I’m happily married and I don’t even have the time. Business and pleasure don’t mix. When men come to me, I simply tell them thank you and move.
Would you say the business has been worthwhile?
Personally, it has improved my source of income. Again, I have been able to train a lot of people as many of them invite me to their events. I have also many awards for being a professional in this field. Last year, City People magazine gave me an award. In Ogun I’m also rated among the best three. These are what inspires me.
How do you take care of your home being a busy person?
People have always asked me this question. I can tell you that my family is fine and my husband understands better as well. My mother has always been there for me too. So, I am grateful to God.
What is your advice to event planners who are looking forward to you for guidance?
I do tell people to have a passion for everything that they want to do. Some people will go into event planning and when they discover that it is not paying their bills at the initial stage, they will move away from it and go into fashion, and then move to another thing later. That is not passion, you must have passion for a job. What has actually helped many people in this industry is passion. Secondly, before they go into any profession, they should ask God if it is their way. You don’t jump into it. Third, you have to train yourself to be more skillful on the job.
Let’s talk about your annual programme, Grand Event?
My yearnings for accurate awareness for event planners and vendors in Ogun State made me to initiate an exhibition tagged ‘My Grand Event’. It is meant to serve as a veritable platform for all event vendors and business owners to exhibit, learn and showcase their brands and sell their services to the world. It was a huge success with the maiden edition in 2017. Subsequently, we have improved on it. It has now become a yearly event as it comes up between July and August every year and this is our 3rd edition.
This year, we are staging it for two days unlike the previous ones. The 2019 edition will be different, as we are going to have Masters classes, fashion crew and so many other activities. It is an opportunity for event planning practitioners, party suppliers, those with logistics and home made goods to come and exhibit their products.
One of the major reasons we decided to have the exhibition in Abeokuta, Ogun State, is that a lot of people still go out of the state to get event planners when we have the best and better alternative around. We are hopeful that it will be a grand one.