We live in an ever-changing world, staying relevant in the events space is one of the major challenges that every events company is set to be faced with. A Pretoria based event organisation company, HomeComing events, founded by two young black men, Katlego Malatji (29) and Neo Moela (28) has been able to stay relevant for eleven years because they never put themselves too much in the spotlight, but they let their work do the talking for them.
“We have never been in the forefront and the limelight. The brand has always been bigger than us which has always allowed us to adjust. To always know when to let go of certain things, when to stop doing the marketing ourselves and start outsourcing,” said Malatji.
He said knowing when to partner with other companies, staying on the ground, keeping your finger on the pulse of the streets and knowing what is best for the brand has kept them going over the years.
They have six to eight interns every year to keep fresh ideas and to know what the youth is after.
The company offers services that include event management, event management consultancy, marketing, sponsorship procurement, and activations. They have worked on big events like Tshwanefontein, pool parties, All white parties, HomeComing Africa, HomeComing Picnic and One was traffic. Their long impressive list of previous clients includes Channel O, Standard back, Vodacom, Oppikoppi and Afropunk.
It all started in varsity when they hosted picnics as friends to say goodbye when going to varsity and every holiday when they go back home, they would organise a picnic at the Botanical Gardens as a “HomeComing” picnic.
“We started as a picnic for friends, we never expected it to grow so it grew and caught us off guard. We started very organic, we did not really focus on big numbers and making money, we were just trying to build a nice event for our friend so by the time we started needing money we needed very little capital. We would borrow money from friends, but we would be able to pay it back the same night.
The business has since grown and creates employment for 14 young people between the ages of 19 and 28. The journey has been enlightening, according to Malatji.
“It’s been a very interesting process of learning about things and growing.”
Their first big event was in 2012 when they were aiming for 3000 attendees for their event. They got busy the whole day and did not even have time to freshen up.
“I remember we didn’t even bath that day, we just woke up and went to the venue to set up and we thought we’d leave at 12pm and come back again at 1pm. We could not even leave at 12 because there were already 3000 people at the door and that day, we had about 8000-9000 people.”
Malatji said people who have dreams of starting their own events business must practice a lot of patience.
“Do not rush for the numbers, to be the next something else. Build a base, pick a group of people and say you will start this together, know what you want to do and be patient enough to give it space and time.” He says many businesses crash because the organisers think people come to the event for the artists, but people actually come for the vision
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