CHANGING THE NARRATIVE – with Karen Ekezie (Experienced Event Producer with a passion for creating, designing and executing meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions)
1. Successfully executing mind-blowing events can be really tasking, What’s your inspiration?
2. Can you give us a brief introduction, for our readers who are not into events
3. Delving into such a career path must have been really exciting, can you tell us briefly about that journey?
4. The MICE industry is complex, consisting of participants, sponsors, planners, convention and visitor bureaus, meeting venues, accommodations, and suppliers generally being involved in the planning and execution of an event? How do you cope with such a busy schedule?
5. You probably travel a lot, or at least you have various experiences in these journeys or events which you organize. What’s your tip on adapting to various cultures, food, weather or working with different people entirely?
6. From as far back as our search records could track, you started events way back in 2015, Sharing your wealth of experience helps younger creatives believe they can also become whatever they want to be, what’s your advice to them?
7. Can you tell us any memorable moment during any of the events that make you happy when you reminisce?
- I get my inspiration from seasonal trends; With events, there are so many trends you can use as a guide in your planning phase from the theme to entertainment. I stay updated on current trends and news In the industry.
- My name is Karen Ekezie, I’m a wife and mother of three beautiful boys. Planning events has always been a dream of mine, while in the university I was fascinated by events I attended, I always wondered how it all came together and for those that were poorly executed, I would always fantasize about how I would manage that if it were my event. I am a Corporate Events consultant executing high-level meetings, workshops, expos and conferences for corporate organizations; managing everything from venue sourcing/negotiation, budget planning & allocation, and logistics to Managing the overall event. If you can think of it, I can execute it!
- Oh my, It all started after my service year working as a project manager with an ICT consulting firm on multiple projects, we would always have a workshop, focus group, or conference to share our findings with stakeholders for that particular project, and I was always part of the team that either handled one part of the event or the other ( could be stakeholder liaison, vendor relations, management team) It got me so excited that I knew I wanted this as a business, to begin with, so I kept learning, being involved, asking questions from everyone within the industry I got in contact with. I officially registered my own company in 2015 and the rest they say is history.
- As beautiful and easy as it looks from the outside, the MICE industry is a very delicate and complex one, you have to be knowledgeable to be able to navigate this space. I have learned over time to delegate; you can’t possibly manage a million and one things all by your lonesome, delegation keeps you productive. I have been blessed with a team of highly effective individuals who make the workload light, we can manage multiple events simultaneously.
- Yes I travel a lot for work and the one thing I do is conduct extensive research before I embark on any project, this practice has helped me adapt to any new concept, environment, culture etc and in dealing with diverse groups of people.
- Continuous self-development, the world as we know it is changing, we have to keep evolving as individuals, staying up to date with new concepts, programs, and methods. You have to keep educating yourself, get the required expertise and more.
- I planned an event in 1 week in 2021, It was a race against time, everything seemed as though it wasn’t going to go as I had envisaged, an act dropped out last minute without prior notice, we had to make last-minute changes that worked out perfectly. I look back and smile because the act that replaced the one who dropped out performed beautifully, the client was so impressed and didn’t even know all the hassles that went on.