Ernest Opoku Writes: Event Organizers In Kumasi Must Sit Up Before Sponsors And Patrons Lose Interest

The past few weeks have been a bad one for me as an events and promotions executive.

This is borne out of reflections over events that have unfolded in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional Capital for a while now. As I gathered my thoughts, a few things hit me hence my decision to share and draw to the attention of colleagues in the events and promotion sector the negligence and what is required of us to keep our business running.

It is indeed regrettable that we are continuously disappointing patrons as well as sponsors of our events especially in the city of Kumasi thereby ripping them off their monies. I use “we” simply because I am a part of the sector.

I wouldn’t want to go far into the events calendar but throw back to the last three events I recently witnessed in Kumasi namely; The Go TV Max launch at the Kumasi City Mall, The Mamba Bash Concert at the Sports Stadium and the Kumkum Bhagya Showdown also at the sports stadium Kumasi.

These events I dare say failed simply because event managers failed to do proper research on the venue, demography and target audience so as to map out a marketing strategy, put together the right logistics and plan which I believe should be key for every event.

Just like any other field, it is important we treated events management as a profession that requires expertise and the relegation of this will lead to the failure of an event.

It is admissible that even as professionals we fall victim to some of these things but the level of ascendancy is sickening. It’s sad that anyone with connection to companies will take advantage of the marketing strategies of the company to organize events for the company with the idea of making profit but end up failing and damaging the brand of companies in the process.

I witnessed the Go TV Max launch concert which pulled a low patronage despite its richness in performances and entertainment with some of the biggest names in the music industry. For me, the reason for the low attendance was simple; lack of a well-planned promotions and marketing structure.

From what I gather, the organizers thought putting together a free musical concert at the Mall with A list artists was enough to pull the needed crowd relegating to the back the need for a well thought through promotions plan for the event. Like I earlier indicated, no proper research was done to know how and when to pull such an event together.

The second I witnessed was the Mamba Bash concert at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

The organizers due to lack of right resources (human resource, reliable data) made use of the wrong marketing strategies; placing adverts on wrong platforms, delays in delivering the most important marketing tools, high ticket prices and a poor events plan leading to an equally poor attendance toppled with complains from patrons.

If the research was done and by the right people, the shame I believe could have been averted.

My last experience is with the Kumkum Bhagya Showdown in Kumasi at the Sports Stadium.

It is an undeniable fact that the Indian Telenovela is the heartbeat of many especially women across the country. Yes, can you imagine, I fight with my girlfriend almost everyday over the TV remote between the hours of 7pm and 9pm simply because of this TV programme. In fact, my mum went cold on me for a whole week because I denied her of Kumkum Baghya by not getting her a new decoder when her old one got spoilt.

Now with a passionate and cult following, who could have thought that bringing the cast to Kumasi for a showdown would see a completely failed concert? Unfortunately, it did fail. Just like many other event organizers, they employed the worst marketing strategy and promotions, poor planning and failure to identify the true fans of the Telenovela and how to attract them.

In fact, this was the first show I had paid to attend in the past 5 years only to realize people who purchased VIP tickets sat at the same area as regular ticket holders. The reason was simple, little attendance hence the need to bring everyone closer.

Again, the organizers forgot doing a high-priced event at the sports stadium for a show which has majority of its target being women would not sit well. Again, they forgot that most of the viewers of this Telenovela are middle and low-income earners who wouldn’t spend so much just to attend a concert.

Let me hasten to add that the choice of the stadium as a venue for the concert was a bad one.

Perhaps with so much traction on TV, Adom TV believed they could prove to sponsors and other stake holders that they had a large number of viewers across the country. However, that could not materialize. I’m sorry Multimedia, you failed.

I could see the frustration on the faces of the sponsors of these events as they tried many strategies to make up for their losses. I felt embarrassed as an event organizer.

I pray my colleagues will pay attention to details and get things right so that we do not paint a bad image to patrons which will eventually kick off potential sponsors.

I believe it is about time we acted professionals, gave sponsors and patrons their investments and moneys worth so Kumasi could lift its shoulders high again.

The author, Ernest Opoku is an established event and promotions executive with YFM with several years of working experience. He has had stints with major event and promotions companies around the country and boasts of a rich experience in events management and promotions.

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