AKINYOSOYE: Taking Event Management To A High Level
AMIABLE and intelligent Funbi Akinyosoye is the Creative director of Dunamis Events, an event management company, which is into décor, event co-ordination, rentals and training. Having been on the field for several years and with the diverse experiences she has garnered, she decided to take it up professionally.
Presently, she is delighted to have taken the first step on the journey she says has been rewarding and fulfilling. She is particularly grateful that she has been able to broaden her horizons and has learned one or two things that have been quite useful.
“It’s been interesting and educating because I have learnt more than I thought at the beginning. You discover that the number of books you’ve read is not enough. So, I had to train myself on the job and with focus and determination to succeed, I became better. Fifteen years ago, I went for training at Magic Moment in Lekki, though prior to that time, I had started doing it in school,” she recalls.
In her second year in the university, Funbi started managing events and since then, she has never looked back.
“I have never worked for anyone and I’ve always been my own boss. I have passion for this job and I have no regret whatsoever, because I am living my dreams,” she says.
Expectedly, when she started the business, she was confronted with some challenges, but they did not faze her and because she held on tenaciously, she was able to overcome.
“Firstly, I had the issue of acceptance and had to devise how to tackle it and be accepted, even as I planned how to break into the market and make headway. But I didn’t give up and with time I started making success. One thing I have come to understand is that if you do your homework well, take your business seriously and have a positive mindset, then there is no business that cannot be done successfully. This is because people will get to see your good works and patronise you. With time, I started getting more clients through well-serviced clients. In fact, most of the jobs I get were based on referrals,” she explains.
Other challenges she faced had to do with getting a good staff to work with and logistics, but she was able to surmount these challenges by training staff and planning ahead.
“I always tell people that it is not the years in our lives but more about the lives touched during the years. The lives we have touched are uncountable, including people that the Lord permitted me to meet. I know He is the One that has brought me this far. I have been to places that I never knew I could enter. I remember vividly sometime ago, when an embassy outside Nigeria called me. At first, I was surprised and I wondered if it was real, but I later discovered it was true. The name, Dunamis Events has opened doors for me.
“I look at this outfit and see it as a masterpiece, which God has created for me to manage. I have met people who look at me and say, are you really the Dunamis? And I tell them ‘yes’. People think having run the business for over 15 years, I would be older and so are amazed when they see my work and the brain behind it,” she says.
It’s obvious Funbi is proud of her outfit, what it stands for and has to offer. For her, it is more than fulfilling that her work speaks for itself.
“At Dunamis, we render quality services to any individual or firm that believes in us. I do not believe in mentioning names of individuals, but the fact that an individual or organisation believes in us enough to engage us shows we are on the right track. We have done jobs for big industries such as PZ, Nigerian German Chemicals, Insurance companies, banks, as well as political bodies. We were the one that managed the maiden launch of Colgate Nigeria and Palmolive Nigeria at Eko Hotel, as well as the yearly award of Toyota Nigeria, Media Specialties, the Elizade 40+1 Customer Appreciation Night and a host of others.
“We are marking our 15 years anniversary and in the course of the celebration, we will be offering wedding giveaways, where we will do free décor for lucky couples. It’s open to everybody, but the wedding must hold in Lagos State for couples to qualify. This is done via social media platforms, where people will post their pictures and tell us their proposal stories. The public will be the judge and choose the final winners. The couple with the highest likes on these social media platform (Facebook and Instagram) will be the winner of this free décor. The couple that clinches the second position will have free event coordination, which will see us coordinating their event, as well as providing them with free ushers and other freebies lined up.
“To show appreciation, we are also giving back to the society, which also serves as our corporate social responsibility. So, we are helping the less privileged in the society. I think it is more blessed to give than receive. Event management business in Nigeria has come to stay. Fifteen years ago, if you told people you were into event management, they would ask you what else you are doing for a living. All those things have changed now, the business is growing and new people are coming into it. It is a booming industry, I must say. Hardly would an event hold without the involvement of an event professional to manage it,” she explains.
On problems facing the industry, she says ensuring that people deliver on what they promise and dealing with the right crowd is a big issue.
“Loyalty of staff is another because if they don’t understand your ultimate vision, they could easily sabotage your business. So, getting the right people to work with should be taken seriously.
“A high point for me was when a groom stood up to give his vote of thanks at a wedding. He made me part of the reason he stood up to give thanks. He told guests to thank a special woman in the gathering, which was me (Dunamis Events) because it was a success and people testified to it. When I see things like that, it motivates me to do more.
“I love this job and I can’t imagine myself doing something else. I must also say here that I love details and I am a perfectionist. I believe it is either you do it well or you don’t do it at all. That is why people call me ‘madam attention to details’. Dunamis is quite affordable and I tell people that good service is not cheap and cheap service is not good. We might not be cheap, but we render quality service that is quite affordable,” she says.
On the aspect of event management she likes, Funbi was quick to point in the direction of wedding and corporate events.