Funmi Victor-Okigbo, better known as (FVO) is the Production designer & Chief Visionary Officer at Events Architects Ltd, a design-led event production and management agency in Lagos, Nigeria. Since 2005, she has helped brands achieve their business goals by creating extraordinary experience designs for their target audience.
In 2014, she created an initiative called The Unofficial Christmas Party, a high-production multi-corporate end-of-year party, that allowed companies to outsource the design and planning of their end-of-year activities for their teams and clients, saving them time, effort and money.
Ahead of the event’s 7th edition happening on the 16th of December 2022 at The Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, we caught up with the beauty and brains behind The UX Party, and she discusses what it takes to run the highly acclaimed Best Corporate Party Night of the Year!
BNS: When it comes to your journey into events management, how has it been?
Funmi: Rollercoaster is one way to describe it. Some days you love it, and sometimes you tell yourself it’s over, and you are walking away, but as soon as I get a call from a client or a new brief, I get excited again because it’s another opportunity to create a masterpiece.
BNS: What is your favourite part of being an event manager?
Funmi: My favourite part of producing and managing events is when a client presents you with their brief and what they are trying to achieve, and we get to interpret it and come up with creative solutions. I also love the experience design part, where you think like a guest and find ways to engage and communicate with them throughout the event. Finally, I love it when the event goes live — at the moment when the client and the attendees are engaging and having a good time. It gives a feeling of fulfilment and achievement.
BNS: What challenges do you face as an event manager, and how do you overcome them?
Funmi: Challenges would be that sometimes you don’t find people with the creative skills needed for the job, and when you do, they are too busy because they are also highly sought after. There are many others, but this one is prevalent. However, we have also found ways to overcome this challenge from time to time.
BNS: What drives you as a person?
Funmi: One word to describe me is “Enhancer”. I love to bring value, develop/grow and make anything I’m involved with better, whether it’s my clients, systems, organisations or people. So it’s not just limited to my work. I apply that to everything I do.
BNS: Tell us more about The Unofficial Christmas Party. In what ways is it different from other end-of-the-year parties?
Funmi: The Unofficial Christmas Party is the Biggest End of Year Party for corporates. It is also an opportunity to reward outstanding employees and clients. We realize that planning an end-of-year party can be hectic, especially when you have to combine planning with your day job, so we are making it easy for corporations to plug in. One less thing to worry about.
BNS: Why should companies subscribe to The UX Party style of yearly close-offs?
Funmi: I will give you four reasons.
1. It creates an environment where people connect and form business partnerships in a fun environment.
2. It is a meaningful and creative way for organisations to reward their hard-working employees and loyal clients at the end of every year.
3. It helps organisations elevate and scale their End of Year Party from the usual to something more exciting.
4. It takes the stress of planning off the attendees that sign up.
BNS: What should people expect at this year’s UX Party after a 2-year break?
Funmi: We have become better as an agency, so we are more experienced. We also have the learnings from doing this six times, so by default, this will be better. We are also collaborating with a lot of creative minds. We have a larger team, so they should expect a lot of fresh ideas and innovation.
BNS: When you think about the event management industry in ten years, where do you see yourself and your brand?
In 10 years, I hope to have created or facilitated a large community of event managers and service providers in the industry with excellent standards and make them easily accessible to clients willing to pay for value.
Our team have already started this with the Events Architects Academy Alumni community, which keeps growing by the day. So, I hope The UX Party, The Big Birthday Bash, and other concepts and experiences we’ll create/design will grow beyond Nigerian shores so that our brand will become synonymous with quality and global standards.
The Unofficial Christmas Party is set to take place on Friday, 16th of December 2022, at The Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel.