Bisola Borha is the CEO of TrendyBEEvents, an event styling and planning company that throws the kind of events and parties you would want to be invited to -engaging, personal, creative and above all, FUN. This week the event guru speaks to Funke Babs-Kufeji and talks about the brand’s 10th anniversary and the plans for its growth.
Can you tell us a little about TrendyBEEvents? What makes your approach to event planning different?
The TrendybBEEvents production, which I officially established in 2013, is widely known for breaking boundaries while creating jaw-dropping events. Over the years, our reputation has earned us several recognitions and awards internationally and locally, which we are grateful for. We dare to be different and stand out with our event productions, paying attention to details and creating unforgettable event experiences for our clients and guests.
Take us back to when you started your business. Did you have the innate qualities to become an event planner, or was it something you had to study for?
I had no idea what it was to be an event planner; I did not even know that career path existed. A friend Aisha called me the life of the party, and she insisted I plan her wedding. Making that decision changed my career path and mindset because I felt fulfilled after I planned that wedding. This made me think about pursuing a career I felt more fulfilled with, So I decided to do a course in event planning and focused on
what I wanted to achieve in the industry. It has not been all rosy, but it has been worth ploughing into.
I went from being a shy, timid girl unsure of what she wanted to being a confident woman and planner extraordinaire.
Starting your business in 2013, social media was gaining popularity; now that social media is in full bloom, what effect has it had on your business and has it changed the way you work?
Social media helped spread the word about TrendyBEEvents outstanding work. Shout out to all the wedding and event blogs. They would always post and share our work on their social media pages and handles. It was awesome knowing our efforts and commitment were appreciated. When social media became a thing, I posted at my pace, which was more organic, and there were fewer social media app rules, but now it’s a lot different, still fun, but can be overwhelming.
It still helps the business, but referrals promote our work the most now. We constantly focus on putting in the work in our jobs then social media comes after.
You have planned many events to date. What was one that stood out and why?
I am very grateful for all our accomplishments, and I am also thankful for the event planners that came before us and paved the way.
It has been a journey with lots of events and memories. One of the goals of TrendyBEEvents is to create unforgettable world-class experiences, so we have constantly broken boundaries by challenging the norm. From day one, we have added value to the event industry by bringing pure entertainment into the event space, which leaves our clients asking for more. We were the first Event company in Africa to descend a couple’s cake from the rooftop, likewise a couple onto the stage and descending the whole stage from the rooftop. We also did this from underground, giving us loads of recognition in the industry. The event that stood out the most was when we descended the couple from the roof in 2016. It was the first time that something like that was done in Nigeria and loads of international and local media carried the video clip because it was termed unbelievable then in this clime. TrendyBEEvents constantly outdid itself. We are all about undiluted entertainment that stands out and has evolved over the years.
Looking back, what will you say has been your biggest lesson from running an event styling and planning company?
My biggest lesson is that you build the best working relationship with your staff, clients and vendors while striving to get the best results.
Starting a business can be daunting, especially in the Nigerian climes. Did you feel like you wanted to quit at any time, and if so, what made you press on?
Remembering my why kept me going. Yes, I had had days when I was like, I am done, I have achieved so much already, but then I remembered my why and realized I had not even started because there is so much more to give as I grow. My ultimate why is to create happiness while I build a legacy. This will add value to my colleagues’ friends’ families, and humanity.
Who were your mentors when you started the business, and have you mentored anyone on your 10years journey?
I selected my mentors from the top 100 event planners in the world in 2013 and mirrored them. In 2021 I was listed and recognized as one of the top 100 event planners in the world with the biggest wedding Congress DWP Congress Dubai. It was humbling and got me thinking that anything is possible when you stay focused.
I have a mentoring workshop, “Planner Extraordinaire Project” (PEX Project), that has mentored hundreds of event planners. We started in 2019 and have been able to help and guide small event planners to begin their entrepreneurial journey. And I’m still looking to help many more people, as I am dedicated to adding value to the event industry in Nigeria and Africa as a continent.
In the ten years you have been in business; you made huge strides. What made TrendyBEE stand out from other event styling and planning companies?
Preparation meeting opportunity. After constantly putting out our work, TrendyBEEvent dared to be different, giving our clients world-class service at a time when other events companies were playing it safe with their ideas. News soon went around about TrendyBEEvents from people who experienced our work and services. We stayed true to creating mind-blowing decors and events, which was not popular then. Thankfully, my mentors, friends and colleagues supported the brand and celebrated our achievements with us. Over the years, many event planners have emerged from TrendyBEEvents and are now paving the way for others and doing great jobs today. It’s so amazing to see a lot of the things we brought to the forefront still being done and putting smiles on people’s faces. For me, this is very rewarding and encourages me to do more.
What are your plans for Trendy Bee now and in the next ten years?
I see us expanding and branching out as a bigger industry force to be reckoned with. I want to build a legacy that will supersede me by the grace of God. A legacy that, with or without me on the helms of affair, the TrendyBEEvent company will keep soaring.
What advice do you have for anyone going into the business but has zero ideas on where to start? Learn about the industry first, get some mentors you can mirror, and then focus on your goals (what do you want to be known for or remembered as, then act according). Focus on the result you hope to achieve.