By ‘Dotun Akintomide
Venue Owners in Nigeria have been charged to deliver on their mandate of providing quality service to venue users to deepen the sector’s contribution to the socio-economic development of the country.
The New Diplomat gathered this much at the 2017 Venue Owners’ Summit organized in Lagos entitled “Venue Management: Harnessing The Business Potentials.”
In his remarks at the second edition of the Summit which was the largest gathering of venue professionals in Nigeria, the CEO/Co-Founder, Venuecompass.com, (a leading online platform for the booking of venues and spaces in Nigeria), Mr. Adekunle Owoeye said that it’s important to keep engaging venue owners on challenges, opportunities and prospects that are evident in the hospitality industry.
“The tourism and hospitality industry as a body has come a long way and technology has been a major influence in harnessing the effects of its impacts on the people it serves,” he said.
Owoeye added that for proper customers’ satisfaction “it’s crucial for venue owners to give their best, they must always think ahead of the customers by making sure their event business keeps evolving.”
Delivering his keynote address at the Summit, the Director of Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-African University, Mr. Peter Bamkole emphasized on the need for Venue owners to ensure customers derive maximum comfort from venue facilities without leaving out the benefits of having a cozy environment with adequate safety considerations.
He averred that good customers’ service is the ultimate differentiator in venue business.
Tasking venue owners to key into the vision of making Lagos rank among the top 10 tourists’ destinations in the world, the Lagos State Ag. Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Mrs. Adebimpe Akinsola who was represented by the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Johnson Anthonia Mosunmola challenged participants to stick to international best practices in venue management.
Adding that the current administration in Lagos is ready to collaborate with stakeholders in the hospitality sector to contribute meaningfully to the sector’s development and growth.
“Now that the recession has dampened economic growth in the face of dwindling oil revenue, tourism provides an alternative for economic diversification,” she said.
On the problem of multiple taxation which has strangulated many businesses, she assured that the Lagos State government is working on harmonizing the numerous taxes to ease off the pressure on hospitality venue owners.
On her own part, the CEO/Founder, Fusion Group, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Edun emphasized on the importance of dignifying customers through the provision of optimal customers’ value by Venue Owners.
“Several businesses have closed shops because of the wrong customers’ treatment. The customer is actually the king,” she said while speaking as a discussion panelist at the Summit.
Reacting to the discussion on the standard duration of events in Lagos, one of the participants at the Summit, Mr. Dele Faseemo, CEO Hybrid Capital and Advisory Company suggested that Venue Owners should analyse their various cost items to determine areas where some savings could be achieved to allow them give more value to their clients. He noted areas such as power generation and multiple taxes.
Commenting further, he advised that the issue of multiple taxes especially Value Added Tax (TAX) and Consumption Tax is a veritable avenue for engagement and collaboration with the relevant government agencies.
Commending the Lagos State Govt. employment drive through the Employment Trust Fund, Faseemo noted that “the venue sub-sector already supports the government’s employment generation drive due to its many employment opportunities part of which include caterers, photographers, make-up artists, MCs, decorators, security personnel, event planners, rental companies, etc.”
He equally advised Venue owners to approach the government to consider streamlining the applicable taxes so as to lessen the burden on the sector and strengthen its employment capacity.
Meanwhile, the CEO of venuecompass.com, organizer of the Summit, Owoeye while showcasing the platform’s new project: wednext.com, disclosed his company’s plan to organize the maiden edition of Venues’ Awards in 2018 as a way of celebrating excellence, hardwork, as well as innovations at the event venues’ subsector.