Building an Event’s empire
Pretoria, the time is upon us. A time we all know too well. Prepare yourself for the biggest HomeComing Event to date! Back to Music plans on doing just that, taking the culture back to the fundamentals of groove, the MUSIC! HomeComing Africa will break the chains of bondage and unleash us all on the 30th of September. Who better to blog about in this month than the founder of this auspicious occasion, Katlego Malatji. For those of you who do not know about HomeComing, here is how they ended the era of HomeComing Picnic and ushered in the era we now know as HomeComing Africa.
When it comes to Pretoria and events, there is absolutely nothing like a HomeComing Event! From their monthly installments of Tshwanefontein to their interactive Mufasa soccer tournament. HomeComing Events are at the top of their game. Just like the call of nature makes birds fly north for the summer, the youth flock to HomeComing to drink from the mystical fountain.
With all this excitement within me, I had to center myself because today was about getting the facts. The very tools to help our own little engines run a bit smoother. We start at the beginning. I asked Katlego about the fundamentals, how to set and cement our foundation. From the get-go, he emphasizes on starting small. By starting small, you learn to manage what you have. You gain hands-on experience with your business and your customer. It allows you to make inexpensive mistakes and learn from them.
A sense of appreciation is what I personally feel when I see something come from the little that I started with. It is important to note, entrepreneurship is a story with many plot twists, how you start does not always depict how you end and where you end is purely based on where you stop.
What should we be doing?
I tell almost everyone I encounter this these days, “it isn’t what you do that matters, it’s who you are that makes what you do matter”. This is where the advice really starts to kick in. Never think that you are above any of the things in your business. In many ways, this is a point where we need to get over ourselves, Katlego mentioned that too often we are our own obstacles and that resonated with me. We can all look at our lives and see where we have limited our own opportunities. Being able to acknowledge that means we can move forward from this. We’ve earned our self-sabotage stripes and now is the time to leave that section behind us.
Just sitting in the room, I constantly see his sense of black pride and black empowerment. It is vital to believe in yourself and in many instances, something that goes above and beyond you as an individual. Renew your integrity consistently and one way is by having the tough conversations. It starts with you, your team and the circumstance you are in. In order to affect your world, you need to understand the realness of it. Guage yourself, see if you are putting yourself in the best position you can.
You may ask, how do we put ourselves in the best position?
Well, guess what, we have some questions for you.
Events are a practical industry. In order for you to learn and understand how events are run, you need to attend them. Know your target market across the board, the elements of compiling a team. Why are people willing to even spend their hard earned money here? These are crucial elements. Are you being creative? Turning coins into bills? Do you have a relationship with finance?
Are you putting your best foot forward?
One thing I really appreciate are idioms. The way they depict a scenario so accurately but verbally show no relation. “If you keep eating from the pot, you will never finish cooking”. After hearing that, a few things clicked. I’ll let you digest it for yourself.
A lawyer by profession who has managed to juggle both, I’ve been curious about his business direction. He said that there are two types of businesses, passion or opportunity. Doing my research, I found a pattern of sorts. The man was always willing to earn an honest rand and when it was up for grabs, he’d take it. As an entrepreneur, you must study entrepreneurship. You need to constantly adapt and learn to embrace change. Everything changes, we may not see it and that’s probably because those things outlive us. Taking opportunities as they came and making something of them was really the message that I got from all this. Give yourself the best chance you can.
You simply have to note, his understanding of the people who support his events is profound! Katlego and his team have managed time and time again to maintain that consistent feel of not just a number of mere strangers at a venue. No, never that, but a community of friends all wanting to experience fun the way they best know how. With that being said, and given a second thought, anyone venturing into events management should vividly aim to establish a similar connection with their target market, then, limitations seem boundless and the fruits of your labour will taste ever so sweet.
As per usual, I asked for a quote. This time I got so much more than I had anticipated.
“I always forget quotes when it’s time to say them but I never forget them when it’s time to implement them” – Katlego Malatji
The importance of knowledge is not just having it, the importance of knowledge is the application of it.