Friday, 18 September 2015

How I Conquer Big Events —Temmie Amodu | Says “A couple once paid me N2m just for flowers alone”

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Temmie Amodu hands a copy of Role Model, Preston Bailey to the GDA

In this concluding part of the exclusive encounter with Nigeria’s number 1 Wedding Event planner, Temmie Amodu, we went further to unveil a man whose work ethic is second to none. A man who understands the high and lows of his profession combined with an intercontinental discipline that has enabled TSOULE his event company to corner some of the biggest event deals in Nigeria, USA and the United Kingdom.
He equally shares the secret of his success, his dreams, achievements and philosophy of life with Asabeafrika. Temmie Amodu equally has a sense of history that will WAO! You. Enjoy!
Temmie Amodu to Asabeafrika....'APPOEN is all about raising standards'
Can you tell this blog your biggest project; I mean the project that gave you the biggest pay?    
Every project is important; in most cases it is the ones you look at as insignificant that brings you the biggest amount of money. I mean I have done a project for a couple, the man was just throwing a celebration for his wife and the flowers alone that we used was N2 Million Naira, fresh flowers, only flowers. So, you could imagine. We are not talking about the decoration of the venue; we are saying only flowers, two million naira! We were the official decorator of Nigeria @ 50. We worked with MMA2, UBA, Dangote Group and other top brands. So, at the end of the day, it is not just about the biggest deal. Some, you just enjoy the creativity and dynamism. Let me tell you this, every successful event is an opportunity to be that happy. So, every event counts because you are good as your last job. We are preparing for one this weekend; you can see the sketch on the board there (Pointed to a white events drawing board). You are as good as your last job, so I won’t be able to say ‘this was the best or most expensive job we did’. Even the ones you feel are major deals, they don’t even pay you as much; it is just for you to go there and associate with it while the one that it was a celebration of two people, just two people and you know the person paid way above weddings of two thousand, five hundred guests. So, you should understand that at the end of the day, it is not really a question of which one is your most expensive event? This one was just by two people by a pool and the flower alone was two million naira.
“But like I always say, you are as good as your last project. You have been acknowledged for innovation but that should not be a water bed you should sleep upon. It is very easy to be seduced with accolades but the reality lies in continuity”.

Temmie and the GDA inside his events theatre
Which location?
Lagos. Ikoyi. So, it is a matter of class and quality and not quantity. It is an orientation of the needs of your client.
You won the award of Wedding Planner of the Year consecutively in 2013 and 2014 and the NIPR termed you the best networker in Nigeria, what does that do to you?
It helped me believed that to earn such an accolade; one must have been doing things differently. It was actually one of the things I set out to do, to be the best in everything I want to do and I think that is the kind of principle that has worked for me. Yeah, I feel honored to have been considered and voted, it was an open vote and it is something that even in your low times, when you remember and know who you really are, it lift you because it simply tells you what you have achieved. And when you read great books from motivational speakers like Anthony Robbins, he will tell you that you have to go to your place of power, place of deep strength and you remember because there are those days you will work and you will break down but if you remember what you have done or what you could do, it gingers you up to do more and get to a new level of grace.
Temmie Amodu to Asabeafrika...'If i have an audience with young ones in a conference i will tell them to mind integrity and consistency. That is the soul of success'
On tour of the LED events theatre with Temmie Amodu
You were equally declared Young Achiever of the Year 2012 and 2013 by The Nigerian Events Awards (TNEA)
Well, as an event practitioner at the time, practicing in an industry where there are no lots of males and more importantly, you are working at the cutting edge of realities, designs and implementations. And because of the eyes we have for the business, it gave us the ability to know what will trend. It is like a fashion person who deals with trends, being able to define the standards for the industry and working down that direction, it was a right acknowledgement. But like I always say, you are as good as your last project. You have been acknowledged for innovation but that should not be a water bed you should sleep upon. It is very easy to be seduced with accolades but the reality lies in continuity.
“For me, every event needs to be tackled; every venue needs to be conquered. There are some venues that will mess you up. So, the way I go about it is more of conquering it”.
Are you married?
I have a beautiful wife, her name is Jennifer; she is from Ijebu in Ogun state. I am from Ibadan in Oyo state I have two sons, Nathanael-King and Oliver Maktoun.
Why those two names, Nathanael King and Oliver, I hope you don’t have someone twisting it there (Laughter)
Well, for those two names it came to me just like the name Tsoule came and something just speaks to me. Yes, Oliver the smaller one, he behaves like the true Oliver Twist. Yeah (Laughter) Very interesting, the name just came to me and I think that was what his name ought to be and even the senior one Nathanael King because Nathanael is in the Bible. I also named my company in Houston, USA after him. It is called Nathanael-Kings Signatures; I also have a business under Oliver Romeo Maktoumn; Makthoumn is the ruler of Dubai and one of the builders of modern Dubai in United Arab Emirates.
Who is your role model, any living or historical figure?
 I want to say Hitler (Generous Laughter)
Temmie Amodu to Asabeafrika....'Doing great events comes naturally from within'
The GDA with one of Amodu's sucess books
Wonderful! Say it!
But I will say it is Winston Churchill.
“I like love songs like Lighthouse Family, Michael Bolton, John Legend and many of them, what it does for me while working is quite unique. It just calms the waters”. 
But why did you mention Adolf Hitler initially?
You see, because history is written by victors. So, whoever wins a war will write the history and the world reads and believe. But I feel sometimes you need to listen to the other side.  The other side too has a reason, they have a vision. Muamar Gadaffi was assassinated and he was there for 40 years in Lybia, what changed? Why? But if history is to regard Gadaffi today, he will be seen as a tyrant and destroyer of democracy, but was he really that? Who is writing the history?
Temmie Amodu's mini library
Temmie Amodu to Asabeafrika...'In business Integrity and Consistency matters'
Maybe the West
Yeah and that is the reality we have to live with. So, again, for Adolf Hitler to have use words, not in the psychopathic areas of holocaust and everything which was very bad like we now see it, but for you to speak and motivate a cream of a great set of people, the Aryan race to believe in you was not a cheap idea. But again Winston Churchill did the same in London. Of course Hitler was twisted, I will say he was twisted because history dictate that was not what he was but if you read his book “Mein Kampf”  you will know he was an atheist then he has his own little inferiority complex that affected his political decision. What I really admired in both Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler is the ability to rouse an entire nation as a leader. They raised hope and raised a lot of people into a movement, when London was bombarded by Hitler’s people, Churchill will get on the radio and will talk and he will raise the hope of his own people and despite the ruins of the war, you discover that at the end of the day, they are both legends in their own rights. One came out of the war victorious while the other was vanquished as it were. But if you go behind what society want you to believe, you will understand from their own point of view and you will see a different reality. What they did was not easy for if it was, everybody will perhaps just bring millions of people to a cause. There were some qualities in them that their people saw, that euphoria that allowed the whole nation galvanize around such people. We have same thing with leaders like Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi and the rest of them. These are great people that shook the pages of history.
Temmie Amodu to Asabeafrika...'Anthony Robbins's Philosophy of Success says we must operate from our point of strenght'
When we came in here, your aides told us you were on drug, sleeping because of an event you just finished and we had to wait for an hour? So, how do you wrestle your big events because most events have their own lives? 
I like the fact that you are giving event a face by giving it life like you said. For me, every event needs to be tackled; every venue needs to be conquered. There are some venues that will mess you up. So, the way I go about it is more of conquering it.
Temmie Amodu to Asabeafrika...'Anthony Robbins's Philosophy of Success says we must operate from our point of strenght'
(Cuts in) Like a soldier?
Absolutely, it is me against the venue. And I must win. I see an event as a task which has its own larger than life image and I must win it. Like a David conquered his Goliath, the events man must conquer the venue. He must subdue the venue and I work towards that with my team. Without my team, nothing works. So, I take my team along.
The GDA, Amodu and OSL
You are also a member of the Association of Professional Party Organizers and Events Organizers of Nigeria, what is it all about?  
APPOEN is the umbrella or flagship association in the events industry. It was founded in 2010 and it has the largest amount of events planners registered till date and we hope to be able to create standards because everyday we have new people come into the business. They come into the business because of the laws of Michael Porter’s economic forces that suggests the ease of entry into a business is going to determine the amount of people that comes into it. It was expanded in his classic “The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy”. This one is easy, you have a bride wake up tomorrow morning and get married and because I am an event planner I can call my caterer, call everybody. All of these happen, some do it well some don’t, the ones that don’t what happens to them? It affects the integrity of the market. So, APPOEN is an organization that raises a voice that can allow for every vendor, every stake holder to have somewhere to strategize because some projects can actually cost lost of livelihood for some clients if you do a project for someone that works in a top firm, maybe a marketing officer you contacted and you mess them up, they could be fired and you would have done business as usual and moved on. So, you have APPOEN trying to create a level of arbitration between vendors and stakeholders and we are working to have a black list page on our web site for any vendor that defaults, that will say this is not our preferred vendor. We are coming up with standard that works. I am a founding member of APPOEN.
If you are not organizing an event what do you do for leisure, foot balling, golfing; tennis or swimming, what is your leisure like?
Because I go out all the time for events, I like my quite time. So, I spend my time either reading a book or playing video games. I play a lot of video games.
Tsoule....The Events Company
What about music?
I listen to music, I have boom box, I have a head phone.
Not necessarily Jazz, I like love songs. I like love songs like Lighthouse Family, Michael Bolton, John Legend and many of them, what it does for me while working is quite unique. It just calms the waters. I had a boom box in my lap top that was stolen with my car. If you put it on, it is like the whole water is rippled and you just simmer it down and you can now connect and do what you have to do.
Tsoule boss, Temmie Amodu listening to a question from us
If you find yourself in a ball room with 1,500 young entrepreneurs what is going to be your Chief Message to them?
Discipline; I will want them to have discipline because a lot of people root for success but all that is built on discipline then you now move unto integrity. Quality and integrity are key; but discipline is the bedrock on which all of these will be done. If you begin to have integrity, if you have the discipline to do the right thing when you are supposed to do it; discipline when you have to do quality assurance, quality check and quality control. You must have discipline. Integrity is the currency of business. So, if I have 1,500 people under my watch for leadership I will tell them to have discipline and never do away with integrity for that alone can guarantee continuity.

Temmie takes the GDA on tour of his LED electronic events props.
Temmie Amodu to Asabeafrika...'Between Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill i dont know who to call my historical leaders because they all had their peculiar stories'

Temmie Amodu to Asabeafrika....'Accolades is not license for Sleep- Offs'

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