Article by Romeo Micheal

Learners are forced to combat the uncertain future by becoming entrepreneurs while still at school. With very little to no experience, event organizing and the music business are the low-hanging fruits for learners because these are industries they know very well which influence their culture daily. Romeo attended one of those events put together by a group of learners and later had a chat with them about their line of work. And here’s what Bongani Khumalo had to say:

Location: The venue’s location is one of the most crucial factors to consider. It should be easily accessible by attendees, and there should be lots of parking or public transportation nearby.
Safety: It’s essential to ensure that the venue is safe for attendees, with adequate security measures in place. This includes fire safety equipment, emergency exits, and first aid facilities.
Reputation: Finally, it’s important to consider the venue’s reputation and track record of successful events. Online reviews, testimonials, and referrals from trusted sources can help in assessing the venue’s suitability for the event.

Last Minute Changes: As an artist and curator we’ve never dealt with any last-minute occasions of a performance I have to go gig at nevertheless dealing with last-minute event changes is all about being adaptable, flexible, and able to think on your feet. It requires a musician to stay calm and focused under pressure and be prepared to make the necessary adjustments to ensure a successful performance.

Develop a plan: Start by creating a detailed plan for both events, including timelines, budgets, and task lists.

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Assign responsibilities: Assign specific responsibilities to team members for each event, making sure they understand their roles and what is expected of them.
Schedule meetings: Schedule regular meetings with team members to ensure that everything is on track, and any issues or concerns are addressed promptly.

Successful Event You’ve Organized: Fridays Under The Shade. Our main highlight was being to cater to the youth and making sure that they went along with everything. The support was amazing it’s not easy trying to please people of your age group but we did it and it was a massive success.

Dealing with difficult guests: Listen actively: Listen carefully to the guest’s complaints and try to understand their perspective. Show empathy and acknowledge their concerns.
Stay calm and professional: Remain calm and composed, and respond professionally. Avoid getting defensive or angry, as it may escalate the situation.

Offer solutions: Offer practical solutions to address the guest’s concerns. If the issue is within your control, provide a solution that meets the guest’s expectations. If it is beyond your control, suggest alternative options that may help. Through this experience, you can learn how to handle difficult situations with guests effectively. You can also gain insights into the importance of active listening, problem-solving, and effective communication skills in the hospitality industry.

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Artistic and cultural media

As students that also do arts, I think we still acquiring that knowledge as we are still high school students. But one thing we’ve learned is that always be open to learning new ideas to grow your mind and be able to tolerate certain hiccups. Mind you this is not an easy industry to tap into as it can make or break you but we always going to keep our heads up high and wish ourselves a success.

What skills are important to be successful in the curator role?

You have to have good communication skills because you’re the team leader and people from the lower level take decisions based on what you say. Be a team player because sometimes you have to work as a team to prosper. Learn how to adapt to every situation as sometimes you won’t be hosting for the same crowd so you have to be versatile with your work don’t tap into one base but go beyond your expectations which will help you quite a lot.

Using technology as part of exhibitions, educational activities, programming, etc.?

Currently, technology is at its peak in this industry mind you people don’t have to risk it all just for pictures and videography they use drones for that. How cool is that? The quality of the pictures is always on point and professional. As much as technology is tapping into the entertainment industry it’s also putting unemployment at high. So this becomes difficult to side with it so maybe if we were to reduce the amount of technology a bit it’d help a lot because it becomes pointless for us to go to school and still suffer from unemployment afterwards.

How do you keep up with trends and contemporary practices in the field?

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With the trends part it’s straightforward because that’s the reason why we have social media with regards to socials we’re constantly updated on the current affairs of what’s going on in the entertainment industry and on who’s the next big thing. That’s why it’s sometimes important to own social media accounts as there are times whereby you find challenges that can help increase your following and get people attracted to what you are working on. You may also get sponsorship through that which would be a big plus for us as it increases budget and you acquire equipment or merchandise for free.

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How would you go about establishing partnerships for future projects or programs?

First, I would need to identify potential partners who are aligned with my organization’s mission, vision, and values. I could mainly focus on looking for partners within my industry, or in related fields.
Once I have identified potential partners, I would need to research them to determine whether they are a good fit for my organization. This research should include their strengths, weaknesses, values, and culture. This will help me to identify areas where you can collaborate effectively.

Evaluate the partnership: Evaluate the potential partnership by assessing the potential benefits, risks, and costs associated with it. Determine what each partner can bring to the table and what they expect from the partnership.
Build relationships: Establishing strong relationships with potential partners is crucial. Overall, building partnerships requires time, effort, and commitment. However, if done effectively, it can be a valuable asset for your organization’s future projects and programs.

What type of research methods do you use in developing exhibition content and programming initiatives?

Literature Review: Conducting a thorough review of existing literature related to the exhibition topic can provide valuable insights and help in identifying gaps in knowledge or understanding.
Audience Research: Conducting audience research can provide valuable information on what visitors want to see and experience in the exhibition. This research can include surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

How comfortable are you working within budgets, timelines, and deadlines when planning an exhibit/event/collection?

Create a detailed plan: Create a detailed plan that outlines all the tasks, deadlines, and budget requirements for the project. This will help you to stay organized and on track.
Prioritize tasks: Prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. This will help you to focus on the most critical tasks and ensure that they are completed on time.
Set realistic timelines: Set realistic timelines for each task based on their complexity and the resources available. Be sure to factor in unexpected delays or setbacks.

Monitor progress: Monitor progress regularly to ensure that the project is on track. This will help you to identify any potential issues and take corrective action before they become a problem.
Communicate regularly: Communicate regularly with team members, stakeholders, and vendors to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings or delays.
Track expenses: Track expenses closely to ensure that the project stays within budget. This will help you to identify any areas where costs can be reduced or reallocated.
Be flexible: Be prepared to adjust the plan as needed based on changing circumstances or unforeseen challenges. Overall, managing budgets, timelines, and deadlines requires careful planning, effective communication, and a willingness to adapt as needed. With proper management, it is possible to successfully plan and execute an exhibit/event/collection that meets all requirements and stays within budget and timeline constraints.

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What would you do if a team member consistently overruled your ideas?

It’s important to understand why your team member consistently overrules your ideas. Perhaps they have a different communication style, personality, or work approach. I would Take the time to understand their perspective before addressing the issue.

Communicate clearly: Be clear about your ideas and explain them in a way that your team member can understand. Use data, facts, and examples to support your ideas. This can help to build trust and respect.

How do you ensure your team is well-briefed on their tasks? Explain how you’ve used a Delegate Management System (DMS) in the past to ensure your event is well-handled. 

This is how I ensure my team is well-briefed on their tasks:

Clearly define roles and responsibilities: Ensure that each team member understands their specific role and responsibilities. This can be achieved by creating a job description or providing a clear list of tasks and expectations.

Provide detailed instructions: Clearly explain the tasks that need to be completed and provide detailed instructions on how to complete them. This can include deadlines, priorities, and any specific requirements.
Regarding the use of a Delegate Management System (DMS), this can be a useful tool for managing events and ensuring that tasks are completed on time. A DMS can provide a centralized platform for managing tasks, communicating with team members, and tracking progress. Some features of a DMS can include task delegation, real-time updates, automated reminders, and performance tracking. By using a DMS, event planners can ensure that all tasks are assigned, tracked, and completed efficiently, which can help to ensure the success of the event.

What did your Principal think about your previous event and words of encouragement for the future?

My school principal at Sir Pierre van Ryneveld High School was very happy about how the procedure went.
She mentioned that she loved how everything went according to the time specified.
She also mentioned that next time she trusts us to do even better.