Growing up, Vanessa Baranovsky was always in charge of organising events.
“My favourite thing to do was organise day events, large group trips away and social occasions,” she says.
Naturally, Baranovsky was drawn to the events industry, volunteering her time at events and later completing event management studies.
With a drive to create highly personalised, engaging events, she launched her own corporate events company, Event Mafia, four years ago.
While she says it’s her biggest achievement to date, launching a business wasn’t without its challenges.
“Starting the business on my own at a young yet very hungry and determined age was a challenge, but a positive challenge at that,” says Baranovsky.
“But I will never forget my first large solo pitch, to a board of 15 international upper management executives.
“I was running purely on adrenaline and definitely way out of my depth at that moment in time. However, something must have worked because we won it.
“I think I cried for the next day in sheer happiness. Sometimes it doesn’t take an army to win, it takes determination, faith, unwavering positive energy and a healthy slice of humility.”
When challenges do arise, Baranovsky says it’s important to stop and address the situation logically and realistically.
“Take a step back and seek out professional feedback and solutions,” she says. “Ensure the challenges are noted for future projects.”
Challenges aside, Baranovsky’s favourite part of the job is the client interaction.
“To me, knowing that our guests walk away from their event with a new piece of knowledge or a new life experience is beyond priceless,” she says.
“If you see me walking around onsite with a big smile on my face – now you know why.”
As well as offering tailored event and experience solutions for the corporate market, Event Mafia recently launched a Luxury Experience Concierge service to deliver high-end travel tours, social experiences and luxury events.
So what’s next for this young gun?
“The way I see it, the world is our oyster,” she says.
“Being a boutique team we are very nimble and reactive, which creates endless opportunities for further growth both into the national and international market.
“I have a whole list of areas and countries I can see Event Mafia coming to life; I just can’t wait to get there when the timing is right.
“I would personally love to further grow our Luxury Experience Concierge division as I know we execute unsurpassed service and knowledge.”
Whatever the future may hold for Baranovsky and Event Mafia, customers will always come first.
“We will continue to celebrate our clients’ milestones in the best way possible whilst having as much fun as we can along the way.
“Life is short, so I fully intend to live and lead our business with integrity and pure purpose.”
This article originally appeared in the November issue of Spice Magazine. Subscribe here.