When Paul Veltman started Velti Events in 2009 he never wanted it to be a small or even a medium-sized business. “My goal was to become the biggest, best and most well-regarded events company in the industry within the next five to six years,” he says.
He’s well on his way to achieving that goal, with corporate clients and events that include the likes of MTV’s first-ever Durban July event, Vodacom, Playstation, Proctor & Gamble and MINI, among many others.
Veltman started small, but set up the business to meet its ambitious growth targets. “Even though the business was initially just me, I knew I had to create a brand that would be perceived by big corporates to be in line with what they were looking for.
Before I launched the business I made sure that the brand guidelines were in place, the marketing material was printed and the website was developed.” He’s also invested in infrastructure and systems, such as sophisticated tracking software to streamline the events process and minimise issues that commonly arise.
A strong work ethic
He then set about benchmarking himself against the biggest and the best in the industry. “It came down to doing a huge amount of research. I looked at who was in the market, who was doing well, who to benchmark against and how we could differentiate ourselves,” he says.
Targeting only the biggest corporates in the country he spent weeks flying to meetings, many of which paid off.
Veltman’s aim has always been to provide clients with customised and unique events. “Our research team investigates industry trends and best practice all over the world.” Although the company focuses predominantly on corporate events, these have led to requests from individuals for private events, which now account for 35% of the turnover.
As the business has grown, it has developed the capacity to handle more and more of the services it previously outsourced, including in-house graphic design, video editing, styling, social media and booking advertising space.
Managing a growing team effectively has been critical to the ongoing success of the business. “We place a great deal of emphasis on a strong work ethic, and I’ve implemented an incentive programme for every person in the business, not just sales guys.
Everyone in the business can earn commission and everyone has KPIs and performance targets that are built around the customer,” he adds.
Sky’s the limit
The business has enjoyed considerable growth since Veltman started it from home four years ago. Within three months he’d put together a team of four and moved into offices, and by the end of the first year he had ten staff members on board and had quadrupled the turnover.
By the end of 2012 he more than quadrupled the turnover again and employs 25 full-time and 25 part-time staff.
Not bad for a business started in the middle of a credit crunch at time when most corporates were cutting back significantly on event and marketing budgets, and many eventing companies were scaling back.
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Company: Velti Events
Player: Paul Veltman
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