Zebra is born

Rosanna Machado | November 13, 2018

After the River Pageant, I was asked to join an agency called CTN Communications as their Chief Operating Officer (COO). I’d never been on a Board before, and it was a true eye-opener. I learnt so much about running a company, whilst simultaneously building up their events arm. I developed new valuable skills in people development, diplomacy and the financial side of running a company. We also did some pretty cool events like the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland in 2013.

When I left CTN it finally felt like the time was right – I now had 16 years’ events experience behind me AND experience of running a company.

It was time to launch Zebra.

I thought about it a little longer and finally a client of mine said:

You’re better than a lot of people out there – you need to get on and do it.

That was all the encouragement I needed. Zebra was launched. Our website went live in November 2016, and since then it’s been incredible. I love being my own boss. I love making connections with clients, and coming out of meetings feeling like you’ve really added value.

And I love the variety – everyday is different.

I wrote a three-year business plan when I launched. It’s more for me and sometimes you don’t hit all the targets, but it’s great to have something to aim for and something to reflect on over time. It can be lonely running a business on your own and exhausting working on new business. Sometimes you lose perspective so it’s great to share ideas and thoughts with others as they can reassure you that you are on the right lines.

Geekily, I also love learning about my client’s business – it gives you a real insight into a different industry. I enjoy the process of working out how you can bring this to life within the events environment.

Two years down the line, and the company is going strong.

The zebra has finally got its stripes!

Tips straight from the Zebra’s mouth…

The future of events?

You can’t beat face-to-face interaction but with global businesses, this is a massive challenge in terms of the cost and environmental impact of flying people to one location.

We need to embrace technology yet recognise that sometimes face-to-face is the best option to achieve the event objectives. There’s ways of combining the two and I think this will be the future.