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Tolu Medebem on Women in Experiential Marketing

Updated: Nov 1, 2018

Every woman has the potential to realise her dreams regardless of the barriers encountered –cultural, societal, and even traditional beliefs. Tolu Medebem shares her thoughts.

Mrs Tolu Medebem Is Managing Partner Event Plus And Vice President Of EXMAN

Challenges are positive especially when they help us grow. On a whole, challenges have always turned out as opportunities for me BUT only because I have a passion for what I do - experiential marketing. Experiential marketing over the years has grown from an unknown quality (days of festivals and events for events sake and so on) to what we have today - an important element of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) that essentially connects the brands with the consumer as well as gauges their pulse as they relate with these brands.

“Through the years, there had been a dearth of women practitioners as originally, the experiential marketing industry could be said to have started off as that stereotypical ‘boys club”

Through the years, there had been a dearth of women practitioners as originally, the experiential marketing industry could be said to have started off as that stereotypical ‘boys club’ and it was almost impossible to deal if you weren’t one of ‘us’ BUT as with all challenges, these were times / opportunities to take this and make the best of the situation. Today, it is a different story all together, as over the years, more women have managed to break through that unacknowledged barrier through sheer determination, skill and qualification.

As the current EXMAN VP there is hope for women in the industry.....

This is not to say that it’s a rosy story all through BUT as with everything, the table definitely needs to tilt in a particular direction one way or the other. Financing has been a huge challenge, not only for women in experiential marketing but for everyone involved within this industry. Margins, over the years have shrunk as well with the advent of both professional and non-professional practitioners.

The industry pretty much had remained unregulated until the advent of EXMAN – the Experiential Marketer’s Association of Nigeria. There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel as their main mandate is to self-regulate the industry and garner a certain level of reputability for practitioners. Some inroads have been made as EXMAN relates with clients to ensure that only professionals are being dealt with and hopefully, this portends good / greatness for the industry as well as upcoming / younger practitioners.

These kinds of initiatives portend good for the industry as well as practitioners especially the young upcoming ones – male and female as the current Vice President is female, giving hope to the fact that it can be done and that it’s been done.

You do not stop to dance for every drum.....

A Yoruba adage states that you don’t stop to dance to every drum along the way, essentially it means – focus, so my advise to younger female practitioners within the industry would be to remain focused, innovate (think outside the book) and do what you believe in.

The industry is constantly evolving and it is imperative that one innovates or dies. At the end of it all, running a great experiential campaign is not about being male or female; it’s about how well the job has been done as well as what value has been created for both the consumer as well as the client and honestly at what cost (right now, it’s a cost battle as earlier mentioned especially with reference to margins).

Even in the midst of all these, experiential marketing keeps evolving and as practitioners, the onus lies on us to constantly innovate, develop and grow with the Industry.

Get in touch with Tolu

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