Graphic House Zimbabwe ventures into events services

by Editorial Team
8 minutes read

The Bulawayo-based design, print and branding company, Graphic House Zimbabwe has diversified its product and service portfolio to include supplying business events goods and services.

Business Events (BE) sat down with the company’s Co-founder and Event Designer, Nelly Paulser (NP), to appreciate its operations and the diversification move.

BE: When was Graphic House Zim formed?

NP: Graphic House was formally registered as a business in 2020.               

BE: Recently your company branched into providing some events goods and services. What inspired the decision?

NP: Initially one blue chip company took a chance and offered us an opportunity to brand their exhibition stand. They had seen our previous work, loved it and believed that we could brand their exhibition stand. Without a doubt, all we needed was that one challenge and we loved it. The feedback was so positive (that) all the members of their management team sent us emails complimenting our work, our efficiency in delivery and going the extra mile on certain services that we regarded complementary. From that point, we were inspired to grow and knew we needed to offer our services on larger platforms but all it took was just that one big company that gave us the opportunity.

BE: One of the services that Graphic House provides is event branding. What is this and how important is it in the success of events?

NP: Event branding is a type of marketing service in which a company or organisation creates a name, colours, sends out a message, and imagery that creates a unique identity for an event. The event brand should stand out from its competition to make it memorable to its target audience using our design, print, branding and event planning skills. In event branding, it’s important to cross the t’s and dot the i’s to make the event a total success. 

The importance of event branding is that it not only draws people to your event but it also makes the necessary impact on your audience. For example, if your event is about educating the audience about substance abuse awareness, your event branding should draw the attention of those who want to know about different forms of substance abuse as well as those abusing various substances. It should also educate your audience without them necessarily telling you that they are dealing with a problem of substance abuse and inform them of where to get help. Taking into account that every participant in an audience is different – some are too shy to discuss their problem in public but still need help, others have a hearing impairment but can read and some are young and afraid to get into trouble if their problem is discovered, so event branding facilitates inclusivity.

BE: Your company supplies branded promotional items, which are regarded as a key element of business events. How important are promotional products especially in business events like conferences and exhibitions?

NP: Promotional products, during business conferences and exhibitions, can boost your marketing efforts by improving your brand awareness. More specifically, every time your recipients use the promotional product, they will remember your company and the positive experience and interaction they had during the exhibition or event. It also brings to remembrance “why” they need to come back and build a lasting relationship – whether it is in business or personally – with the organisation. 

One can never spend too much on promotional gifts because it’s about customer experience and the return ALWAYS outweighs the investment.

BE: We noted that you also design and supply exhibition stands. How important is the quality of a show stand in an exhibitor’s efforts to meet their marketing objectives using exhibitions?

NP: The quality of the exhibition stand should be the highest priority. If one understands the role of colour in the learning process, one would know that 80 percent of what we know is learned visually. This alone emphasises the importance of design and colour in exhibition participation and visitor attraction. Secondly, remembering that some stands may be similar in size, brands can tear themselves from the common and standard herd of other exhibitors by using quality and creative stand designs.

BE: What makes the events goods and services that your company supplies different from those supplied by other companies in your sector? 

NP: Our event goods and services are different as we use the best equipment from the best printing brands and the best consumables during production to produce what we term highest quality goods and services. To get into the more technical side of our products and services, like I explained earlier, crossing all the “t’s” and putting a dot to all the “i’s” matter to us. Even the inks we use to print have minimal impact on the environment and human health as they are sustainable inks that include vegetable, ultra-violet (UV), algae, and are water-based. 

Our promotional gifts are always modern and we try our best to match the current world trends. We have also recently included furniture hire for exhibitions and we have furniture that matches the quality which is currently being used in similar events in Europe. We are a growing business and we are trying our best to give the market the best.

BE: Your company competes with some big companies like the ZITF Company in areas such as designing and supplying exhibition stands. How is Graphic House managing to hold onto its own? 

NP: I would not say we compete with ZITF Company but it has partnered with us and given us a platform to showcase our skills. We are not as big as ZITF as they have built their brand over decades but we have grown and can also make a contribution to the GDP of Zimbabwe because of the platform they have offered SMEs like us. What then allows us to hold onto our own is the way we deliver our service – the client experience we offer – as well as the innovation and creativity we bring to the table as we notice gaps in the industry and changes in trends.

BE: The events section/department of your business is relatively new. How is the market responding to it?

NP: We believe the market has responded well as there have been a lot of enquiries from even as far as Harare and Victoria Falls (as we are a Bulawayo-based company). We also have had year-after-year return events and exhibition clients which shows us that we have so far delivered our services well. 

BE: Graphic House Zim is based in Bulawayo. Does this mean that it only serves the Matabeleland region? 

NP: No way! We serve any exhibition and event throughout the whole country. As long as the client wants the Graphic House touch, we will be there to offer the service. We hope more companies will reach out to us for more exhibitions and events as we not only offer the design concept, construction and branding aspects but also offer the furniture, equipment hire and promotional gifts too. We are the ultimate one-stop shop.

 Every opportunity will contribute towards our exposure and growth and is more than welcome. Our vision is to travel to other nations as a preferred supplier for events and exhibition design, supply and branding for Organisations exhibiting in other countries and continents. 

BE:  Do you have anything that you wish the market to know about your events services?

NP: Your brand experience starts with us. We make every moment matter as we deliver both emotional and educational value for every event or exhibition through our Hub of Quality.

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