Namibia’s very own Geneva Events

Geneva Events, founded by Christopher Willem, is a proudly Namibian company in the business of brand management, events, marketing and promotion.

15 January 2021 | Business

Monique Adams

From brand management to events, marketing and promotion, Geneva Events does it all. Besides their main areas of focus they also create promotional items and merchandise, using a unique activation type of marketing with over 40 permanent staff.

When asked what made him start Geneva Events, Christopher Willem says he was eager to work with different brands, not only from a consumer perspective but also from the producer’s point of view.

With the need to work for himself, Willem saw the potential as a black-owned company to occupy space in the industry. Willem hopes to be in a position where he creates employment and empowers young people.

“The name Geneva comes from the city in Switzerland; being a watch lover I was fascinated by the quality items that city produces. So, I wanted Geneva Events to resonate with the same quality and be in the forefront in our trade,” he says.

By meeting their clients halfway, it’s important to deliver quality services at reasonable prices.

“The industry was a very tough market to penetrate at the time because of already existing entities and traditional trade being at the forefront. Perception was also one of the challenges we needed to overcome, as newcomers were not always perceived as being as capable as the rest have been in the game for a long time,” he says.

He further mentions that initially with corporate companies only paying out in 30 days it was a challenge to manage the clients’ expectations with minimal cash flow.

“We worked very smart with our profits and were able to overcome these challenges where we could continue to be in a position to roll out small or big projects in as little time as 48 hours, with no capital being restricted,” he says.

Geneva has a lot of achievements like winning first place at The Namibian’s Mining Expo for best exhibition stall, launching the ‘My Buddy’ hub for First National Bank (FNB), working on big campaigns for some of Namibia’s prominent brands such as Tafel Lager, Strongbow, Heineken, King Lager, MultiChoice, Namib Mills, Nedbank and Standard Bank.

They’ve also had the honour to work on the Dr Hage Geingob Cup football tournament, pulling off a nationwide donation drive for old-age homes and maternity wards.

“The biggest achievement has to be that in the space of seven years we have become a household name in the industry and in most cases the go-to brand in the industry,” Willem says.

The company’s culture is centred around always having fun but also being professional, ethical and highly driven towards the client’s brand being a success.

With Covid-19 making it unbearable for a lot of entities all over the world, Geneva Events tries to navigate the current economic climate and to redesign themselves to stay operational.

“We do a lot of guiding to smaller companies and business individuals in our market. We intentionally create platforms for collaboration where they have an opportunity to work with big brands that are affiliated with us. We, along with a few stakeholders are also engaged in getting our entertainment industry,” Willem says.

He says that they cannot measure success now, but will one day reap the fruits of their hard work and dedication. Every year they try and break the ceiling by setting new targets for themselves.

Willem encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to continue to believe in themselves and their capabilities and to take the leap of faith in pursuing their dreams. “Just start! The longer it takes to build something sustainable.”

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