In a world where the spotlight often shines on the achievements of men, it’s refreshing and inspiring to turn our attention to the women who are making significant strides in their respective fields. As we celebrate the remaining days of Women’s History Month we are reminded of women’s vital role in driving societal advancement. One such woman who embodies this spirit of progress is Tobi Olanihun.

Tobi Olanihun is a tech founder at The Experience Plug Systems (TEPS), and the Chief Experience Officer at WOW! Connect Services Ltd. In role unique role, Tobi has spearheaded the execution of more than 100 events of varying scales over the past decade working in close collaboration with event production teams, she has played an instrumental role in every aspect of event management. 

This makes her story not just one of personal success but also a testament to the power of investing in women leaders. Tobi’s journey, marked by innovation, leadership, and a commitment to excellence, offers valuable insights into the transformative potential of female empowerment. 

For Tobi Olanihun we can’t exhaust all her accolades and recognitions in just one interview, but we will mention this one. Recently, Tobi Olanihun was honoured in commemoration of Black History Month by a respected event management platform InEvent as one of the top 25 global professionals shaping the event landscape and the only event experience expert on the list operating in Africa.

Tobi Olanihun

As the curtain draws on the 2024 Glazia Women’s History Month Spotlight Campaign we had the opportunity to catch up with Tobi to spotlight her narrative. 

“Striving for excellence not only benefits us individually but also opens doors for others. By excelling in our work, we contribute to a positive perception of Black people, Africans, Nigerians, and women in general.”

Tobi Olanihun

Glazia in conversation with Tobi Olanihun

Can you share your initial reaction to being included in the “Top 25 Black Professionals in the Events Industry” list, especially as the only African-based professional featured? 

I was pleasantly surprised when I received the notification on LinkedIn and was intrigued to discover the reason behind it. I feel deeply honoured to have been recognized alongside many accomplished and exceptional individuals. Their presence is a testament to the calibre of professionals featured in this distinguished group. 

Tobi Olanihun
Tobi Olanihun
How do you feel your achievement contributes to breaking barriers and promoting diversity and inclusion within the events industry, particularly for women? 

We must approach everything we do with excellence and dedication, as our actions serve as a reflection of ourselves. You never know who may be observing or learning from your example, as was the case with this unexpected recognition. Striving for excellence not only benefits us individually but also opens doors for others. By excelling in our work, we contribute to a positive perception of Black people, Africans, Nigerians, and women in general. This, in turn, paves the way for future generations in our respective fields, regardless of their location. It’s important to remember that our actions impact more than just ourselves—we are part of a larger community and should always strive to uplift others along the way.

As one of the trailblazers in the events industry, what advice do you have for aspiring women who aspire to enter or excel in this field? 

Let’s take action. Women often seek perfection and dwell on ideas for extended periods. While there’s value in striving for perfection, it’s crucial to take action and avoid overthinking every step. We must be bold, execute our plans, and maintain a collaborative and excellence-driven approach.

Tobi Olanihun
Tobi Olanihun at TEPS Launch.
Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for the future of the events industry, particularly in terms of advancing opportunities for Nigerians in the global landscape? 

The more I explore different places, the more I admire the resilience and ingenuity of Nigerians. Despite the challenging economic conditions, we consistently demonstrate our hard work and intelligence, achieving remarkable success. We need to showcase our capabilities on a global scale by seizing more international opportunities. I take immense pride in being Nigerian, and it’s time for everyone to recognize and embrace the excellence that we bring to the table. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected digitally, we must think big and capitalize on global opportunities.

InEvent’s commentary on the list highlighted that the nominees are revolutionizing the events industry. “Their innovation, creativity, and leadership set new benchmarks for excellence.” Tobi’s growth reminds us that barriers can be broken and dreams can be realised regardless of gender or race. As she continues to make waves in the events industry, her journey serves as an inspiration to us all. 

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