27 Sep Elite Vendors Network’s Third Year Anniversary Event
Sunday 23rd September, Elite Vendors Network (EVN) hosted its third-year anniversary networking event at the Hilton Tower Bridge in London. Members of EVN arrived as early as 9:30 am to start setting up for the event. Within hours the room came alive with vibrant purple lights to suit the branding, and colourful flower arrangements (Gemini Events Rentals). These colours were perfectly balanced with white and black staging making the layout look elegant and sophisticated.
The air was buzzing with excitement as 5pm was fast approaching as people were beginning to arrive. The networking part of the evening began immediately and lasted for two hours, where canapés, finger food and nonalcoholic beverages were served courtesy of King Solomon Catering which were delicious! The guests were raving about the plantain and kept coming back for seconds, sometimes even
thirds whilst mingling with others. Name badges were also provided with Names & Business so people could network more efficiently & effectively. There were also cakes on display by Teespiration, professional headshots taken by Erran Stewart Photography and a 360 Video Booth by Christiana Andrews.
As the evening progressed, Dean Carby (EVN’s founder) gave his welcoming speech that kicked off the more structured part of the event. Once Carby’s speech ended, the guests split into seven groups based on their profession and began a workshop centered around questions and ideas that affect them. This part of the event seemed very beneficial to help learn and grow from other peoples experience in the industry. No doubt the room was very loud at this point!
After the groups dissipated, the panel began with the featured guests: DJ Abass (Fame TV), Mati Gono (Mati Gono Events, formally known as Just As Planned), Nigel Ogunniyi (Favour Catering), Simply Andy (MC/Host), Bola Oloruntuyi (Memories4u Weddings) and Adebayo Deru (Photography). Carby and Charles Emeka proctored the panel, it allowed the opportunity for a general Q&A amongst the panelists. Once the panel ended there was an allotted two-minute toilet break however during this break, fried chicken was put out in the foyer for guests, to say the least – it was not two-minutes.
For the interview with Joy Adenuga (Makeup Artist) to commence promptly, guests had to be ushered back into the hall with their plates of food. The interview was hosted by Seyi Ayinla (Love Weddings NG) and the questions asked gave everyone great insight into Adenuga’s business, mindset, and her relationships with her clients and other vendors. Since Adenuga’s social media following is much larger than most, having this interview was incredibly beneficial to those spectating.
A great treat / entertainment for the audience was the performance by UV Talent choir. They performed Stand By Me by Ben E. King and a mashup of Boo’d Up by Ella Mai and Feel The Love by Rudimental. The audience loved it as was shown when the DJs started to beatbox along with them and theneveryone busted into synchronized clapping. The performance was fun, energized, and a true representation of the time everyone was having.
The event wrapped up with one last panel session to get in any last-minute questions or receive advice. Mics were taken around the audience and a few people asked questions and in one instance an audience member gave advice to another. That sort of ‘We’re here for one another’ mentality reverberated throughout the room and only strengthened the sense of camaraderie.
The Elite Vendors Network is for people trying to make a name for themselves in the wedding industry, with a focus on African and Caribbean influences. For such a niche sector of the market it’s imperative to know your worth and to get to know your competitors. Not so you can undercut them and take their business, because that helps no one. You get to know them to recommend someone you believe in. An event like Elite Vendors Network’s annual networking events are the best way to make these connections.
Photography by: Tino Antoniou.