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Entrepreneur Focus - Jo-Anne Petersen
- Tell us about yourself?
My name is Jo-Anne Petersen. Born and bred in Joburg, with a definite sense of wanderlust that propels my insatiable appetite to travel and experience different parts and people of Africa and the globe. I studied Public Relations then Programming (C++), went via recruitment into sales and eventually landed in Event management. I was educated in a German schooling system and more than the added language, the exact, precise, and meticulous way of doing things has served me extremely well. My strengths are pulling resources, budget and outcomes objectives together to curate memorable experiences for clients and guests alike, keeping the big picture in mind while focussing on all the details and translating clients’ vision into executable logistics while managing various moving parts. I have a spreadsheet, project plan and budget (all synchronised) for nearly anything and everything (including my personal and family life).
- What is the name of your business?
- What services do you offer?
Event management, conference management - virtual, hybrid and physical, production management, project management
EVERY EVENTUALITY is a 100 black-female-owned event management company. Our core business is to design, conceptualize and execute full scale logistics for bespoke experiences. We manage the planning and execution of conferences, events and exhibitions, meetings, incentives, product activations and brand launches.
We have worked with a range of clients across various industries from large blue-chip corporations, retail, parastatal and public sector to SMME’s and NGO’S in SA and across the African Continent. We have over 15 years’ experience developing and delivering custom-curated events to meet your marketing and messaging objectives.
We provide a turnkey solution covering all elements of the occasion from programme and content development, digital, design and social media copy, content and community management, guest registration and guest logistics, travel & transport management, venue liaison, décor, technical/sound/audio-visual and lighting, delegate gifts and promotional collateral, third party supplier management, talent management regulatory and compliance issues, budget management and a range of marketing, branding and design solutions. Our team brings a fresh, vibrant and innovative approach to ensure that you are planned and prepared for EVERY EVENTUALITY.
- What drives and motivates you in business?
The absolute satisfaction of months/weeks/days of planning culminating into moments of memorable experiences. Every event is such a self-actualisation moment for me and the culmination of being extremely well planned but having to trust in factors beyond my control is an adrenalin rush tantamount to the most thrilling roller-coaster ride.
- What sets you apart from other entrepreneurs in your line of work?
My case is one of gifting, talent, knowledge, and experience aligning with purpose. I am not doing this because it is lucrative and glamorous, I am called to this with a kingdom assignment. I have an extreme work ethic and live by the belief that hard work never killed anyone. I have over the last 15 years built a solid network of collaboration partners through repeatedly showing myself credible and capable, so I am at a point in my line of work where I am surrounded by best-of-breed experts in their field and suppliers who understand the assignment. Over the last few years, I have established a niche client base in the public sector and honed my ability to forge strong relationships at various organisational levels – from senior managers to ministers, CEO’s to celebrities. That being said, I am hesitant to compare myself to other entrepreneurs in my line of work, because I consider myself my own best competitor. What I will instead highlight is that clients can securely leave things in my hands and rest assured that it is handled.
- How can people find you?
Number: 079 677 2999
- Where are you based? Where do you operate?
Based in Joburg, have worked across the country (Trans and have worked cross continentally also in Ghana Tanzania (Graca Machel Trust), Mauritius (IBM) and as far as Norway (Global Investigative Journalism Network). My client base inbound is also as diverse hailing from USA (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Amsterdam (Netflix), Nigeria and Kenya.
- Do you have a quote that you live by?
So many, it varies for the season I am in. I am a person of words, language, scriptures, and sayings – one of my favourites would be Matthew 6 v 33 (The Message)
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
- Do you have any challenges in your line of work?
The biggest challenge was at the onset of the COVID pandemic. I had a full year of work lined up for 2020 and with the announcement of the restrictions around travel and public gatherings, I saw contracts being cancelled one after the other. I was out of work for 6 months without a tangible end in sight. The feeling of helplessness and lack of direction/clear answers felt overwhelming. I had to overcome the fear of what the future held for my industry, my colleagues, my clients events, my partners and suppliers, myself and my family.
how do you work around that? How do you overcome?
One of the books that really shaped my entrepreneurial journey is Failing Forward by John Maxwell. I am blessed to have read this book while I was still employed when I just started toying with the idea of stepping out into business. It instilled an awareness that failure at any point is possible, but it need not be defining. Perspective is everything - You can either see failure and hardship as deposits or defeats. Viola Davis in a recent interview with Oprah beautifully said ‘Courage is fear that has said its prayers.’ So I overcome by welcoming challenges into my entrepreneurial experience because they provide opportunities to assess, learn, grow, pivot, redefine, re-evaluate. They build my courage, agility and resilience. I am conscience to try work through them versus working around them.
- Which clients would you like to work with or would be your dream client?
Towards the end of last year, I wanted my client base to move to global organisations and I have been blessed to acquire two new clients namely, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation & Netflix. I wish to expand this portfolio to companies like Google, Facebook, UNICEF and other global entities. The advertising agency that I also project managed the COVID19 Vaccination Awareness Communication Campaign for recently was awarded Silver at our industry’s PRISM AWARDS 2022. I wish to project manage more award-winning campaigns.
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