Events planning turns heads. Public relations and communications experts running their own outfits or are in employment take it seriously because events are where Who’s Who perch to issue crucial statements and launch history-making services and products.
But executing for success is a tough job that gives people long days and sleepless nights.
But, after about four years as an events organiser, Cephas Gathii, the co-founder of Koncepts Events, says he knows the buttons to press. It is easy, he volunteers.
Mr Gathii, 28, says Koncepts has been organising the annual Young Entrepreneurs Expo attended by top industry and corporate shots.
The fourth edition of the expo held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in 2016 was attended by 2,200 people where speakers included Kiprono Kittony, Vimal Shah, Darshan Chandaria, and Esther Passaris.
Apart from offering the entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their businesses, the two-day event is chance to link up with mentors.
“By the year 2030 we want to have empowered 100,000 successful SMEs which will in turn mean that we shall partly have solved the unemployment problem in the country,” said Mr Gathii, a computer science and mathematics graduate from JKUAT who is a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme alumnus and was featured in the premium Top 40 Under 40 Men list of 2017.
Koncepts that was unveiled in 2014, specialises in live screens and décor for events such as press conferences, dinner parties, AGMs, corporate team buildings and road shows.
Mr Gathii teamed up with his secondary school friend David Kyalo to start the company under the name Afrique Events with a capital of Sh2 million drawn from savings and parents.
Prior to starting the company, the duo was running Afrique Technologies that was developing websites for schools and small businesses.
“We used to sit at the Kenyatta University food court and take advantage of Wi-Fi to run our enterprise,” says Mr Gathii who was at the time selling second hand clothes to female students. Then one day, the duo took ‘a step of faith’ and went to TRM shopping mall to enquire whether they could develop their website. They declined, but the duo walked away with a better deal that formed the basis of what is today Koncepts Events.
“When TRM asked if we knew anyone who could organise and execute on their behalf a kids festival, we grabbed the opportunity and ran with it,” says Mr Gathii.
The festival was the first event they organised. They got more business through referrals. Few months down the line, the World Bank came calling, seeking services of an events company with experience in organising children’s events.
“Some of the World Bank’s staff had attended our TRM kids event and recommended us to their bosses,” said Mr Gathii, who listens to great orators such as American motivation speaker Les Brown and Simon Sinek, a British-American author and motivational speaker.
Today Koncepts Events handles the World Bank Family, Fun and Talent Day that takes place thrice a year in April, August and December.
In a good month, the company which has 20 employees rakes in Sh1 million in revenues.