Funmi Victor-Okigbo is Unofficially Getting The Party Started
Whether it is our dream job or not, we are most likely to pick our different definitions of “fun” over actual work— if it doesn’t hurt our paycheck, of course. Companies know this,and this is why in the corporate industry, there is a positive culture that rewards each stakeholder in the forms of gifting, times offs, and of course, fun. Since 2014, legendary event planner, Funmi Victor-Okigbo has galvanised this section of the corporate world. Having entered the event space 17 years ago when she started her company, Event Architect,Funmi, who has over 12 years of experience working with corporate clients across diverse industries, including information technology, entertainment, media, banking and consumer goods, speaks to DOWNTOWN’s, Kehindé Fagbule on The Unofficial Christmas Party
You have been in the event space for a while. What are some of the most significant differences between planning events back in the day and today?
So much has changed! The world
is now one giant global village, and
the creative and events industry is
better for it! We can benefit from
what our colleagues are doing
from around the world, which
has inspired and will continue to
inspire us. Clients also have access
to many ideas and information so that they can demand more, and when they demand more, we give more. We can also show our work more efficiently, so clients can access us and our work, so yes… progress!
Run us through the daily operations at your company, Event
Architect. We know it’s an event production and management agency, but what exactly do you
We are an event agency, and we help clients create exciting and unforgettable event experiences
that engage their customers so they
can meet their business objectives. Every organisation is in business to make a profit, right? So when clients call us to help produce their events, we take this as an invitation
to help them create something to help increase the bottom line because, at the end of the day, that is what it’s about. So we pretty much help them tell their story using events as a platform to achieve their business objectives.E vent Architect has a lot of offerings. One of them is the Event Architect Academy.
How is it like teaching the younger generation about event planning when you didn’t have that opportunity early on in your journey?
The Academy is an opportunity to help notu just the younger generation but people int he industry eager to achieve excellence in learning. By default, they also quickly determine whether or not this is what want to do. Some people come into the industry thinking it’s all “fun and games” yeah, maybe sometimes it is but not all the time. There is a business side to events, and they learn that too. We keep it real with them and let them know the good, the bad and the ugly. We also teach what clients really want and how to focus on that so they don’t get distracted by their ideas. Everything they do must help the client achieve their goals, or it won’t work.
The Big Birthday Bash is one of Event. Architect’s offerings as well. What does that entail?
The Big Birthday Bash is a series
of monthly parties created to help
everyone celebrate their birthdays
in style with their friends and family without the stress of planning it themselves. It’s your perfect plugand-play birthday party with the added advantage of connecting with new friends. We kicked it off in January 2020 but took a break after the February edition of the same year because of covid. We picked it up in October 2021 and have been going strong since then.
The Unofficial Christmas Party (UX Party), a focus right now as it is happening soon, was an initiative you came up with. What made
you come up with this innovative idea?
We are problem solvers; that’s our
mindset when we engage with our
clients. So when we saw this gap,
we stepped right in. We saw how
corporations struggled to plan their
end-of-year parties, whether for high-performing teams or high-valued clients, and we thought, let’s help them make this easy. Let’s create something they can show up to while retaining the elements of a great endof-year party, and we did just that. It is a remarkably unique niche and a unique experience, The Unofficial Christmas party.
What are some of the first-hand testimonies you have gotten for this project?
Oh, I have a few! We have a long
list of testimonials. From some
executives telling us how they have
run into and reconnected with
potential or old clients, to some of
our attendees saying they didn’t
realise how much they had missed
a good party because all they do is
work. We have an exciting theme
every year, allowing everyone to
dress up, let their hair down and
have a good time!
There has been no edition since the
pandemic hit two years ago. How have you navigated the post-COVID ways of doing things and the radio silence that has followed?
COVID was that break we all didn’t
know we needed [laughs], we
have had it, and we are all done
with that. We have all grown and
innovated, and everyone is finding
ways to simplify everything, which is precisely what The UX Party is about.
We look forward to the future and all the exciting possibilities. There was an owambe-themed edition once. What should guests be looking forward to this year?
COLOUR! We are bringing colour
after the gloom of COVID (laughs).
We call this “The Colour Edition”.
The dress code is monochrome, and
we want people to play with colours
and have fun. Besides the colour, we will, of course, have our 3-course dinner, entertainment and party with the best DJ and celebrity artiste. I can’t wait.