A Moment With TechTrender 2018 Winner: Ify Ifebi of vendorspace

An obvious perk of being a festival-goer is that we consistently receive the opportunity to show up to aural wonderlands made solely for our pleasure, and the only “work” we have to put in, is setting up our campsite. On any given weekend, we have our pick of events to release our inhibitions, enjoy the present moment, and get a break from climbing the corporate ladder. However, behind the scenes are the movers and shakers putting in long hours and constantly creating new strategies to improve the experience. They have dedicated their pursuits to making these escapes a smoother process for all parties involved.

And, behind the scenes is exactly where Ify Ifebi, Founder and CEO of VendorSpace, has staked her claim in the ever-evolving festival industry.

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Ifebi was recently awarded a TechTrenders award for being a woman, under the age of 35, who has made a noteworthy innovation in the festival and event technology space. Her platform, vendorspace, is truthfully a God send for anyone looking to throw an event of any capacity. The website is a comprehensive space that allows future event hosts to find and book both local venues and vendors, and initiate all business and contracting- without ever leaving the website. Users are able to search for vendors based on budget, availability, and ratings, making for a streamlined and honest process for all involved.

What this means for you? Expect your favorite festivals to bring better quality and more local vendors. No matter if it’s clothing, food, or drink- vendorspace is here to assist event coordinators in filling vendor marketplaces full of worthwhile, trusty businesses. What isn’t to love?

And speaking of love, I recently got the opportunity to pick the brain of Ify and get a peek into how her love and passion for simplifying the event coordination process came to be. 

FS: Festival Squad

II: Ify Ifebi

FS: What was an event you attended that was most memorable, and why?
 
II: One of the most memorable events I’ve every attended was Junkanoo in the Bahamas. It’s an overnight street fest that started at midnight. It was beautiful. The culture, the community and the creativity of the celebration made it something to remember. 

FS: When did your love of event tech begin?

II: My love of event tech began after a failed festival. I had this idea to
recreate a modern day Woodstock that completely backfired mainly
due to lack of resources. From that point, I consumed myself in event
tech; learning about new tools to prevent such a situation, the market
and what does and doesn’t exist. I vowed that if I wanted to continue as
an event producer, I needed to create a tool to make this a lot easier.

FS: What hardships have you faced in the journey to starting this
company?

II: The biggest hardships I have faced have been finding event
communities, mentors and resources. The events industry is not like
fintech or edutech and we don’t necessarily use blockchain or AI so it
has been quite a challenge pitching the idea for vendorspace. I have yet
to find an industry focused accelerator or incubator for event startups.

FS: How many people are currently on the vendorspace team?
 
II: Three.

FS: Do you think being a woman of color has impacted your career
path at all?

II: Not really. I believe hard work and focus have ultimately been a leading
force in my career. If anything, maybe my foundation/upbringing – I
was taught to be resilient and its been my greatest asset as an
entrepreneur.

FS: Do you have any mentors that helped you get to where you are
today?

II: Unfortunately, no.

FS: In lieu of mentors, did  you have any books that helped you? 
 
The XYZFactor and Invisible Advantage: How Intangibles are Driving Business Performance.
 

FS: What advice do you have for young women with a great idea, that
may be too afraid to disrupt a male-dominant industry?

II: Just do it. Void the observation of the industry being male-dominant
and focus on the fact that you’re capable of achieving anything you put
your mind to. Channel that fear into motivation, develop tunnel vision
and just focus on building a successful business.

FS: Where do you see vendorspace in 5 years?
 
II: In 5 years, vendorspace will be an established go-to resource for events connecting event communities worldwide! We’ll have our chain of venues hosting everything from workshops to conferences that help planners and vendors thrive. 
 
FS: Who are your favorite artists?
 
II: I have an eclectic ear. I don’t think I can choose favorites haha! I listen to everyone from Cold Play to Adekunle Gold to Backyard….and everything in between. 
 
FS: Favorite self care ritual?
 
II: Sleep! With 2 babies, I have learned the value of a good nap.
 

We at Festival Squad are eager to see how Ify and her team continue to simplify the coordination process for event professionals of all calibers. It is clear that the vendorspace team is on to something so good, and we believe it will result in a more fine-tuned experience for festival-goers around the world to enjoy.  To keep up with Ify and vendorspace, make sure to follow them on Instagram at @vendorspacenews. If you are an event professional looking to simplify your planning process, head to vendorspace.co  to learn more and join their beta.

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