Bucknor-Obruthe preaches networking, collaboration at events conference

The host and convener of ‘The Event Xperience Africa’ conference, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, has said that for professionals in the events industry to thrive this year, they have to embrace networking and collaboration.

Bucknor-Obruthe, who is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zaphire Events, told Merrymakers at the event, “One of the lessons I have learnt over the years is that one needs people. There is power in building relationships and networking. That is how we have been able to get people from all over Africa to attend the event. As a result of this, many people have gone on to organise programmes like this in their home countries.

“COVID-19 ‘happened’ to all of us in 2020. For some, it was good, and for some, it was bad. There are some businesses that have not been able to recover since then.

“However, this is a new year, and we felt that some of the things needed for stakeholders in the industry to excel this year are tools, knowledge, a changed mindset; basically, a reset. The Reset is basically rising above challenges, and doing something different.”

On what she expected participants to take home from the event, Bucknor-Obruthe said, “They should have learnt things they will use to help their lives and businesses. The things they learnt at the conference should take them to the next level. Collaboration, networking are also very important; even as they should make good use of technology to scale their businesses.”

Recalling the experience of hosting the annual event, which is in its fourth year, the events planner and manager said, “We started in 2019, and this is the third edition. We could not hold it for some time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having run my business for over 20 years, I had always invested in education and knowledge gathering through my training school and other platforms. But, even at that, I felt that the events industry needed a meeting point, where stakeholders could come together to learn, unlearn, share knowledge and network. I attend conferences internationally, but I realised that there was nothing similar in Africa. So, I thought of doing something like that on the continent, starting from Nigeria. The idea is to bring African events professionals into the country.”

The event, which held from January 17 to January 19, 2023, was attended by events professionals from different African countries, including South Africa, Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire.

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