Business Review recently sat down with Vlad Mihalachioiu, the founder & CEO of the villa. Event House, to talk about the events industry in Romania, and the emerging niche of luxury locations in Bucharest.
1.What is it like to have a private premium events business in Romania considering that this concept is relatively new?
The inspiration behind the business was based on the upward trends found in big cities like London, New York, Berlin, where the concept of “private premium” is present and well known by now. Romania is ready for the new concepts approached abroad, but it needs some “ambassadors” to set in motion the process of evolution and development.
In the case of “The villa” we wanted a major transformation regarding the diversity of products and services offered to our clients, precisely because we anticipated their need to participate in completely different events.
In recent years in Romania many prolific businesses have been born and I can proudly say that we too are enjoying the expected success. We have devised a strategy that includes new services such as Co-Working from “The Villa” house, event concierge, cocktail lounge, VIP area, and the Villa is not only a building with a historical scent from 1900, but also a multicultural space that tends to attract the public. We differentiate ourselves greatly through versatility, positioning and adaptability.
In the luxury area we can create stories and themes undiscovered by the eyes of the participants because budget is not an obstacle to our creativity. So we like to use the “wow effect”.
2.Was this metamorphosis of classic events to premium predictable? Why?
In any field, the market is constantly growing, especially when it comes to differentiating between classic and premium services. We are moving at the “speed” of innovation to meet the needs of new and constantly changing clientele.
This evolution in the luxury area of the market has occurred with the increase in budgets forcing organisers, myself included, to “step up their game”. The increase in investment has at the same time produced much higher expectations from clients, with the details taking on a special significance compared to classic events where they are not so much noticed.
As these two segments, classic and premium, have emerged in all areas, the predictability of their appearance in event organisers was high. Change was inevitable.
- How do you feel at the end of your successful projects?
Before “The Villa”, which is my own “palace” of events, there was also “The Date”, a business based on organizing events, but in luxury locations in Bucharest, and not in my own location.
My own business in this direction has been my utopia. I wanted to be part of the story of my brand and to be the one who transforms the perception of what an event means. Pride comes when, after a successful gattering, no matter what form it takes, you have managed to impress and convey to the participants new characteristics and values of a brand, besides the already known ones. When you realise that you have been part of the process that has helped build the perception of the brands present at your events, often brands that are extremely well known nationally and internationally, you feel that you have created a successful project.
At The Villa I felt I could get more involved in CSR actions to give something back to the community and I set up The Good Villa, a multicultural space that I make available to non-profit organisations free of charge.
- Is the need to socialise in an informal environment a necessity?
There is no doubt that human interactions are more than necessary, each type having its own importance. However, in the informal environment, people can “expose” their character and personality much more than their position in society or title within the corporation.
As far as the informal environment is concerned, “networking” plays a very important role in bringing together people from the same or different fields but with the same interests. Through networking you can widen your circle of acquaintances and learn about news and trends in various fields around the world.
Companies that have truly understood the benefits to the company of creating a bonding context for employees in an informal environment are also the ones that access The Villa’s services most often. The focus on organisational culture leads to a streamlining of the relationships of team members and an efficiency of work, but above all to the formation of teams in the true sense of the word.
And in the case of Romanian Business Club for example, I found enormous satisfaction when I realised that my initiative to organise meetings in an informal setting made the exchange of business ideas much more productive and engaging.
- What is it like to work for people who emphasize exclusivity and high quality service?
Since the beginning of the business we have been aware and closely analysed our clientele in order to satisfy every whim that arose during our collaborations. Within “The Date” project I have had tangents with a discerning public, which places emphasis on luxury and quality. Thus we have somehow created a profile of the “exclusive” client. At this point we know that attention to details and originality are the most important elements in organizing an event to be remembered and we offer this to every client who crosses our threshold.
- How do you think any successful business starts? What is the secret?
A successful business starts with the mindset created by each of us. We all have the power to achieve the so-called “impossible”, which can just as easily be translated into “possible” with the right mindset. We need to track limiting beliefs held unconsciously and examine how they prevent us from reaching our full potential. This is due to our beliefs that arise from a combination of life experiences: our knowledge base, our environment, positive events or traumas, the results of our past actions and the way we imagine our future.
In addition to the mindset, there needs to be a well-defined strategy from the outset to be prepared to face any difficulties on the road to success. It is essential to study the industry thoroughly to establish your competition, opportunities and chances of success from the start.
In the event industry, every business owner must ascribe to a set of core values: reliability, punctuality, adaptability and awareness of the weight of words.
Above all, there should be no fear of failure! At first mistakes will be inevitable, but with time and experience, anything is possible.
7.How important is the location for this field of activity? With what characteristics of it do you start your search?
In the field of event organisation, location is crucial element. When choosing the location, the clientele is automatically chosen as well, so you have to determine exactly the type of people you want to attract to enjoy your services and their needs.
As we deal with luxury product lovers, the geographical location should be chosen in the prolific areas of the capital. At the moment these are the central area, but also the northern area which has developed a lot in recent years being famous for its exorbitant prices. The size of the location matters a lot so that there can be a variety of possible events in the chosen location, as well as the details of parking or proximity to public transport stations. It is also very important the choice of the staff that must be very friendly and adopt a behavior in accordance with the personality of each participant to create the desired atmosphere.
The architectural details of the building are also of considerable importance in this field, as well as the particularities in terms of decorations which are customizable according to the client’s wishes.
“The Villa” manages to combine all these essential elements in terms of the ideal location becoming a real alternative for successful events in the city centre.