Tobi Olanihun is the Chief Experience Officer of WOW! Connect Services Ltd, an experiential event agency for individuals and corporates, creating exclamation-worthy experiences. She is also the founder of TEPS (The Experience Plug Systems) – an innovative platform that automates key elements of event management from online registration to ticketing, in-person and virtual check-ins, and post-event analytics. A certified UK Prince 2 practitioner, Tobi is a qualified Quantity Surveyor from the Obafemi Awolowo University. After working at Oando Marketing Limited, she left to pursue her passion in events planning and management.
With over a decade of experience in innovative event planning, she has handled several high-profile events both in Lagos, Accra, Abuja & New York. WOW!Connect has organised several brand-owned events including five editions of the WOW! Connect Lifestyle event; a series of events comprising musical performances, exhibitions, and fashion shows.
Leading Ladies Africa: Who is Tobi Olanihun and what does she do?
Tobi Olanihun: Tobi is an entrepreneur who loves life! Everything I do is to make people enjoy life and maximize experiences. In relatable terms, I am an Event Experience designer, event producer, and event planner. I am a film producer- I love to tell authentic stories and I bring my project management skills and creativity to this space. I am also a tech founder of the amazing all-in-one event management platform TEPS!
Leading Ladies Africa: Awesome! How did you begin this journey into experiential event design and production?
Tobi Olanihun: Four things at different points got me on this journey. The first was that I worked in an organization that splurged on staff Christmas parties! We were treated like queens. I loved how it made me feel and decided that helping organisations achieve that feeling for their staff in big and small ways was critical! The second route was the fact that I wanted to create platforms for businesses to get new customers through awesome fairs, exhibitions, concerts & festivals. I can’t remember what triggered this but it was so important to me and
fairs were actually how we started before they were a thing.
The third route was that I was already planning events for friends and family as a hobby. Finally, big productions have always fascinated me- for as long as I can remember, watching the Olympics, the Grammys, Oscars, etc have been a huge part of my life and they contributed to the seeds that were sown very early on.
Leading Ladies Africa: You recently launched The Experience Plug Systems (TEPS) — what is it and what challenges does it solve?
Tobi Olanihun: TEPS is a 5-7 year dream! Ensuring tech makes events seamless right from how they register and buy tickets to how all attendees and stakeholders are communicated with in the entire event lifecycle. How easy it is to ‘get in’, be it virtual or an in-person event, and mining behavioural and actual data for brands after the event. It’s a one-stop event management platform for event owners, planners and corporate organisations. It’s a solution derived from the attendee and organiser perspective.
Leading Ladies Africa: That sounds amazing! What’s the next frontier for TEPS, where do you see it going?
Tobi Olanihun: TEPS is a vast platform that starts from how attendees engage to how they are taken on the entire journey. Our next steps are community-based features. After that, we will focus on AI, providing extremely intelligent analytics on both virtual & physical interactions. The improvements and features will never stop, every day it’s something new or enhanced.
Leading Ladies Africa: Let’s ask what might seem like a weird question — do you like being an entrepreneur, and why?
Tobi Olanihun: I love being an entrepreneur! I’d like to draw a parallel with exercise- it might be hard to start, but with discipline and consistency it gets better and then you can’t stop because of the immense benefits. I like that starting a business adds immense value to millions of people. It might seem small at surface value sometimes, you think you are adding value to a handful of people but it’s a cycle of value you will never be able to quantify.
Leading Ladies Africa: What should the world expect from Tobi Olanihun in the next couple of years?
Tobi Olanihun: I find that I love to learn and find new ways of doing even the most mundane things. I love to create and find new ways to add value! in the next couple of years – more dramatic and impactful events, many more tech solutions, many fun experiences, and many more stories curated for film, TV, and stage.
Leading Ladies Africa: For female entrepreneurs reading this, what are three things you want them to remember about building and sustaining a business?
Tobi Olanihun: Keep adding value to people as the core of everything you do -that’s all that matters, everything else will follow. Remain authentic – be yourself never try to change the original YOU; Keep learning and innovating else you will literally DIE.
In honour of Small Business Week this May, Tobi Olanihun is giving LLA members and small business owners hosting events with 100 attendees or fewer the opportunity to use the platform and enjoy all the benefits for FREE, for the next 3 months! To enjoy this first-of-its-kind platform from any part of the world, go to https://www.eventeps.com/ and start creating today!