She holds an MSc (Distinction) in International Event Management from Surrey University (UK), and a BSc in Hotel Management from the University of the West Indies. Tisha’s work experience has allowed her to transfer her vast knowledge into her thriving business. She spent five years at the Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) where she produced signature events like the bsquare concert series and product launches for Samsung, BLU, and Huawei. In addition, her portfolio included retail branding, merchandising, and special marketing projects. Prior to this, as Events Coordinator at the Tourism Development Company, she helped to manage international events like the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference, Florida Caribbean Cruise Conference and the Summit of the Americas. As the Managing Director at her own company – TCJ Management Co. Ltd, she strategically created a brand that answers the needs of medium to large organizations with a mandate to increase their visibility, sales and customer/staff retention. Her clients sing her praises for the level of professionalism and detail she puts into every job she manages. She has successfully created 2 other brands under her management company- TCJ Events and TCJ Travel which all work together to bring her vision of creating unique experiences together under one roof.
Tisha is also an active volunteer and is always ready to provide motivational support and inspiration to young persons and other aspiring entrepreneurs.
TJ: My family and friends were very supportive. Those close to me knew it was coming based on our conversations so they weren’t totally shocked. The question on everyone’s lips was “so what are you going to do now?”
or “so what’s the plan?”
TJ: Yes there is. Even though those around you support you, they don’t really understand what is required of you now that you have embarked on this journey. It was/is definitely a work in progress. Fortunately for me I got introduced to a business coach a couple months in so she was extremely helpful in helping me get my mindset right and taking the necessary steps to start building my business once I eventually hired her. With that came a tribe of other entrepreneurs through the support group she has online so that has been extremely helpful over the past year. I do have “those days”, the not so good days”, but that’s when my faith and my passion come into play. If I need to take a step back and just do something else I enjoy doing (like going to the beach) that’s what I do. It definitely is a roller coaster ride!
TJ: I got my first “titled” job as an event coordinator in 2008 but it is something that I have been doing “indirectly” basically all my life (always helping friends and family plan and coordinate events on the day). After “officially” experiencing it as a job I decided to invest in formal training through a certificate course and being more intrigued decided to pursue it as my master’s degree, which I did and completed in 2009 at the University of Surrey. I love all things events! I love making the different pieces come together to tell a story, that leaves people feeling happy at the end! I love making people happy.
TJ: My niche is planning and coordinating corporate events and same day coordination. Being in the field, people always ask for services that may be outside of this. Once I can, I will. But my marketing is focused on corporate events and same day coordination. At the end of the day, it’s about fulfilling a need, event needs are very versatile and dynamic and our local industry is very saturated so you always have to stay on top of differentiating yourself but still be wary of not being “everything to everyone”.
RB: What are the unique challenges of running an event management business in a country like Trinidad and Tobago where there are always so many events. It must be a highly competitive market?
TJ: I guess I hinted at this in my last answer. It is a very competitive market in Trinidad and Tobago. There is always a need for the service but how companies/individuals chose to fulfill that need is what makes it competitive – there are a lot of options for event service providers and the “do it yourself route” is often considered in the vein of “budget constraints”. As an event management business (like any business) you have to stay top of mind and always in front of your clients, sharing value and showing “why you” to keep business going!
RB: How do you and your business partner go about dividing tasks in these early stages of your business?
TJ: In the early stages of business, there was only me – I started my business as a soloprenuer. As business started growing, I started building a team around me for tasks to help with the day to day running of the business (that is a process by itself) . This is where I am at now – just over 1 year in! Learning and tweaking and developing systems so I can automate and delegate as much as possible.
RB: What advice do you have for women who would like to branch out on their own, specifically in this industry?
TJ: Be sure that it is something that you want to do – being a business owner is not an easy road, but it is a very fulfilling journey. Build a tribe around you of other people who are on a similar journey, they will understand when you need to vent, cry, give advice from experience and celebrate with you along the way. As a woman it will become balancing business with other aspects of your life (family time etc) which is something I am always conscious of because work life balance is very important to me. Being in events is something you really have to enjoy doing, because it’s a lot of work. If you are interested in the events industry, find your niche! It is a very wide industry and I notice that “I do events” is often used by decorators, caterers, sound engineers, etc etc. Be clear about what you will like to do in the industry and position yourself accordingly and go for it! 🙂