• Friday, July 19, 2024
businessday logo


Meet Queen Ohamara, event planner making memorable moments

Meet Queen Ohamara, event planner making memorable moments

Several parties and events take place in Nigeria every weekend and behind the glamour are people working hard to ensure that things hold together perfectly.

Qmaravie Planners is one of the biggest event planning outfits in Abuja giving events the desired touch of music, colors, discussions, and decoration. Event Planning encompasses all aspects of a ceremony, from its initial conception and idea-generating stage through to the tiny bit of details for the event itself.

Queen Ohamara, the founder of the enterprise has made the management and delivery of hitch-free events her preoccupation, placing the satisfaction of their clients at the forefront.

She has managed to stay atop her game amidst the challenges and demands of her job since 2015 falling out of career goals initially. She studied English at the University of Abuja and finished in 2011, without envisaging wedding planning as a career option.

However, she landed a job opportunity with an event planning and designing company where she learnt decorating and discovered she had a passion for planning events.

A friend told her she was getting married and she offered to plan the wedding for free which unfortunately didn’t play out well. She learnt from the experience and it pushed her to go further.

Though the event industry can be vast and difficult to play across the board, Ohamara handles weddings, corporate and social events.

For her, the internet has helped with keeping up with new trends, with social media being at the beck and call for everything being searched.

She is also able to sift the wheat from the shaft while sticking with the trend that represents her brand.

“We do our best to explore every legitimate medium, with our target audience being both old and young. The local newspaper is not left out, including social media, radio,” she said in an interview.

Read also: Virgin Dream empowers over 50 women entrepreneurs with skills, finance

On her tips for success, Ohamara believes attributes are required to drive a successful event are mainly two: communication and teamwork.

“Communication is key to listening, understanding and communicating with clients. People have different tastes,” she said.

“So you have to hold that conversation to be able to know what they want. While working with my team members and different vendors, communication is key. Having clients who also listen and trust your judgment is also very important,” she said.

She also believes teamwork makes the dream work as no man is an island of knowledge nor has it all.

“I always need the help of the photographer, the videographer, the decorator, the caterer, the baker, the MC, the DJ and so many more to execute a brief. With attention to details on all sides, the client goes home happy,” she said.

On managing stress, she tends to go by these three principles for stress reduction: recognise, reduce and rejuvenate. When stressed or tensed up, you need to recognise the source of the problem, how to take it out immediately (reduce). Once that is a success, some time to rest should be created and rejuvenate to help reflect on all other aspects.

As much as she tries so hard to avoid setbacks, forces beyond control do occur but she’s often prepared for the worst and this somehow has made her always list options, such that it’s easier to jump on the next boat to save the day. As an event professional you cannot rely on one source; you must have options, she said.

Speaking on handling difficult clients, she has seen the good, bad and the ugly. She gets disapproval may be of a vendor or a particular opinion but eventually tends to reach a compromise. “I have little or no issues with the bride and groom. Sometimes I deal with character issues from the families; immediate and extended. You know, especially when it’s a big wedding everybody is excited, everyone has ideas.”

“I believe that no matter how difficult someone is there is always a deal-breaker for that person and once you find it and a compromise is made then the issue is settled it becomes a win-win for everyone.

“Our attention to detail, the amount of effort we put in and our experience over the years. We are not just planning your wedding. To us, it is a new beginning, an experience and a memory that will last forever. Like I said before my transition into the event planning industry wasn’t pre-planned. From working as a content developer to head of administration and to working with an event and decor company even at that I didn’t spend so much time before starting on my own so I wasn’t fully ready.

“So, I wished I had spent more time learning because starting wasn’t easy. There were some mistakes and setbacks that I wasn’t ready enough back then to handle and you must deliver no matter what but with time and experience I got better and luckily it worked out in the end.”

“My advice to aspiring event planners is that they should be truthful to themselves. Is this what you want to do? First and foremost ask yourselves do you have a passion for this job because if you do not and you’re just in for the glitz glamour and the fun of it then it can be overwhelming.

“There are some days when it may seem like you’re not making progress and you are stuck or you may experience one too many setbacks and it feels like your “village people” are after you but because you have a strong-willed passion it motivates you to see that project to the end.

Also, there are a lot of event planners here and there. The market is saturated so as an aspiring event planner you need to create your niche market and target that, find a distinctive professional style that would make you stand out from the crowd, and pursue it, she said.