Black-Owned Success in Space Event Planning Company

According to IBIS, a global business intelligence provider, the party and event planning industry has increased by 2.9% over the past five years, reaching $5 billion in revenue in 2019. Lily Ehumadu is the owner of Lily V Events, a Philadelphia-based event planning company. In this interview, Ehumadu provides his insight into the event industry for those interested in opportunities in this unique business space.

Black Enterprise: What led to your career in event planning?

Lily Ehumadu: After graduating from law school, I delivered my degree to my parents and set out to pursue my interior design dreams. I really loved doing that and got a little good at it. So good, in fact, that a piece I designed was featured on the HGTV webcast at the time, Rate my space.” Soon after all my friends were getting married and asked me to decorate their function rooms the same way I had done their homes and that’s how I really got started in event planning .

How to gain experience in urban planning?

I think the first thing to have is passion. The passion to create, the passion to serve and the passion to deliver. Once you have this mixture, you are well on your way. Also, you need to be a very organized person to plan any event accurately. Details matter and careful attention to those details goes a long way. Experience comes with time; we learn every day from our experiences and apply them to become better at what we do.

Event planning is a business. What are the key elements of a successful business?

  • Proper planning – the same way we plan for our clients’ events, we also need to plan for our business and many people don’t. Detailing your goals and defining scope margins was essential for me in the beginning.
  • Market strategy – fully understand how you stay on message and maximize your reach to maintain sustainable growth.
  • A customer service approach. As planners, we are here to serve, serve and serve. A client is nervous on their big day, regardless of the type of event, and it is our duty to ensure that the best service is provided.
  • Team building. I always say if you want to grow, you have to grow inside. Finding new talent is key for us and that’s how we’ve been able to expand into other big cities like New York and Atlanta.

Should an event planner focus on one type of event or expand their range of events to accommodate?

I get this question often, and I always say that if you’re an event planner, your job is to plan events. It’s so simple. This is where the passion comes in. For me, I love planning all events, so I plan all events, from weddings to corporate functions to album release parties.

Now, if you have a passion for a particular niche, say weddings, and that’s your forte, I say go for it and stick to your area of ​​interest. It all depends on the individual and their passion.

What fabulous weddings/events are you working on this summer?

We have a few NBA and NFL athlete weddings and they are going to be epic, stay tuned.

Where do you see Lily V happening in five years and how can interested readers contact you?

I see us expanding nationally. We already have three offices in Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta and plan to move to Miami and Los Angeles within the next five years.

What are the top three tips you have for event planners?

  • Build a relationship with your customer. It’s the only way to get to know them and enjoy those special moments you can celebrate at their event.
  • Always remember why you started, especially in times when self-doubt kicks in. The reason you started will always pull you out of the shadows.
  • Personal care is also very important. Make time for yourself so you don’t get drowned out with work, no one wants a tired event planner.

Black Business Contributor Network

Robert M. Larson