Jardel Silva is the founder of Eventchic Designs. A company that prides itself on creating tailor-made experiences and turning them into lifelong lasting memories.

Please tell us a little bit about your background and why you picked a career in event planning?

Growing up, my mother used to tell me that I love to arrange and decorate our furniture around the house. I used to decorate our house whenever there were guests coming. I never knew my passion for designing until an opportunity came from Dubai. I started my career in 2009 in the hospitality industry for three years. From there, I learned the process and procedures in food and beverage and logistics. Working in the hospitality industry is the greatest experience and lesson that I learned because as they say, “experience is the best teacher”. Having the knowledge and experience from my previous career motivated me to shift to an event company. Lots of opportunities came and I started meeting people from different nationalities. One thing led to another and I was fortunate enough to find a job that eventually became my passion. As they say, if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.

For those who are unaware of your company, Eventchic, can you please tell us a little bit about it?

Eventchic Designs took its form on April 30 2015. It has been more than five years now and we are very proud of our journey to date. We are known for our ultra-chic and luxurious weddings and mind-blowing corporate events. We are an international company and we have done events in different places out of the country such as to Angola, London, Paris, Holland, Brazil, Nigeria and India. We offer complete event management services, programming and production, entertainment and special event coordination, high-quality activities and event promotion. We have successfully created, developed, and produced events for a diverse client roster, including socialites, executives, celebrities, parents, and professional athletes.

Your events are renowned for their sheer scale and attention to detail. How long does usually take to put together one of your events?

The period of putting out an event mainly depends on the size, requirements, and culture of the event. Normally, the corporate events take longer because we need to follow more guidelines and protocols and understand the vision of the company. On the other hand, weddings take from two months to one year and it mainly depends on the culture of the couple and the size of the wedding.

Can you please talk us through your creative process when it comes to planning, organising and executing a large-scale event.

It starts from meeting the client where we discussed and understand their culture, taste, vision, requirements, and budget. We usually follow the requirements of the client, but we try to merge what we believe in and recommend what we know that will look good. After the meeting, we will do a site

visit to understand the ambience, size, and area of the venue. With this, we can recommend the type of flowers, colour palette and design that we can put. The team will be brainstorming to come up with the best design. We create a mood board to visually present to the client with the design and decoration we are going for. Before the main event, we perform a mock set up for the client to provide a sample of the designs. And then comes the day of the set-up of the main event where we give life to the layouts, decorations, and designs.

You have worked at some pretty impressive locations throughout the UAE, including Burj Al Arab and rooftop hot spot CÉ LA VIE Dubai. How do you choose an event venue and what exactly do you look for?

Choosing the venue is one of the decisions that will have the largest impact on the event. Understanding the client needs, budget and theme of the event plays a big role in picking the right venue. Also, the expertise of the hotel staff is an important factor to consider and that is why we usually pick places that we already have experience working with. Hotel employees from the lowest rank to the top of the hierarchy are important and that’s why I talk to them personally to make them understand what I’m aiming for. Because knowing the team that you are working for is a big advantage in this industry. There are more to consider in picking the right venue such as accessibility of the place, ambience, price, regulations of the venue and date and time but the most important thing is what the clients need and want. Just like when we do a high brand corporate event, they send us a brief of what they are looking for. We started to look for the place that can make the best out of the theme of the event. There is one time we did a site visit to a venue that is not yet open, but since I found the place with the ambience, view and perfect cuisines that I am looking for, I find my way to get this place and booked my event. Working in event management must come with a great deal of confidence and a good relationship with the hotel industry companies.

How do you manage the event budget?

At Eventchic Designs, every project we do is custom-designed to define the clients’ style, vision, and personality. We do not limit our projects to fixed prices. I personally like to work around the client’s budget and requirements to bring out the best possible version of the wedding. First, we understand what they want and from there we tell them what we can and cannot do. However, we try to convince the client and tell them what is important because we do not want to compromise the design and decorations during the event. Despite the pricing point we work with, we stay true to our tagline,” Where passion meets perfection”. But perfection comes with a price because it is a composition of luxury, quality, and excellence.

You organise everything from weddings to birthday parties and corporate events. Is there a particular type of event that you prefer working on?

When I started my company, I envisioned myself designing the best weddings in UAE and overseas. That goes without saying that I preferred designing the weddings of the most Glamorous Brides and Grooms. However, from the past two years the clients demand other events such as baby shower, 1st year anniversary, birthdays, small celebrations, and the like. When your client is loyal to you and they asked you for other events, I cannot say no them. Also it opens a new door and opportunity for me to create other types of events. Now, I started working different events and tell you what? I love the challenge. Getting out of my comfort zone helps me become more creative and it taught me so many things. Until now, I love anything as long as it is related to designing, planning and decorating.

Aside from Eventchic, you have recently started another venture, Props in a Box Dubai. Could you explain the concept for us and the reasons behind its creation?

Props in a box was born from the Covid-19 lockdown. There was a time one of my associates saw a family celebrating their little boy’s first birthday over Zoom. She then realized that people still need to make these occasions special somehow in the safety of their homes. We create the whole concept around contactless delivery of a themed party set-up. We launched our creative concept during the lockdown in May with different themes to help people celebrate special occasions at home. Themes include unicorns, mermaids, circus, Disney Frozen, Mickey Mouse and various superheroes. It comes filled with themed accessories for the occasions as well as tableware and set-up props. Adding delicious themed cakes and cupcakes supplied by our partner vendor Sugar Artistry makes the package complete and sweet.

Your job is extremely creative and encompasses everything from time management to design. What is your favourite part of your job and why?

Everything is important to me from communication with the client until the day of the celebration. I love the feeling of seeing your design from a piece of paper to a tangible design. However, the part that truly counts and weigh in is our client’s happiness specially when I see their reactions and expressions when they see their dream event come true.

Do you usually work with the same vendors or will it change depending upon each individual event?

Suppliers are essential to our business. We build our relationship with them since we treat them as our partners because they help me reach our target cost, build the project designs and identify promising opportunities. As much as possible, we want to stick with the same supplier as long as they meet our expectations and deliver or finished the project on the promised time. After all, picking a supplier is not only about the prices of the product but also their reliability and stability.

Who are your personal inspirations and what is it about them that inspires you?

I have a lot of inspiration for my designs and events such as travelling around the world, reading books, architecture, history, buildings and more. Travelling a lot gives me new ideas. Seeing the world and understanding the cultures of the places I have been gives me the knowledge to understand their practices, mentality, and beliefs. Having this as a knowledge will give you an advantage point in many events like cultural and themed weddings. I also get my inspiration and ideas from architectures, history, buildings and sometimes anything around you. Design is all about creativity and innovation and all these ideas can come from anywhere so you should be alert, attentive and observant.

But most of all my main inspiration really does come from the client themselves. From the time they enter the venue and seeing their faces full of satisfaction and happiness really motivates me to do give my best and make everyone’s dream weddings and events come true. The client’s happiness is our utmost priority and we go to a great extent to achieve this.

With so many event companies in Dubai vying for attention, what makes Eventchic different?

Having a background in the hospitality industry before I entered in the event management industry gives me a lot of advantage. A bag of experience from the hospitality industry gives me more than knowledge but also a great deal of experience. I worked with different event planners and event production team. Having this gives me a lot of ideas on how to create an event. This is also gives me an ideas on how to be unique and different. We do not settle for what is common. What we do is we improvise and innovate so our client will feel different and unique in the best way.

The secret in my eye-catching events is that Eventchic Designs is not a one-man show. Eventchic Designs involves everyone from designing to production. Everyone in the team is vital. As I mentioned above, working in the hospitality industry, give me the knowledge on how to manage our operations. I do not settle in only talking to the head of the workforce. I talked to every worker involved in the event because everyone in the team is important and importance knows no rank. Working as a team always give the best result.

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in events?

This industry is an incredibly stressful and pressuring job. Event planning requires a supreme level of organisation, time management and communication skills that cannot be learned from a book. You must experience it on hand to learn the basic skills needed for this industry. You must be creative because every client has a different taste and every event must be unique. You must be quick for solutions because every event encounters a problem or obstacle that is sometimes beyond your control. There is no second chance in every event. Wedding alone is a once in a lifetime event for every bride and groom so you have to be on top of your game to make sure that everything is accounted for. You must be good in time management and organization because time is the biggest enemy of an event planner. Deadlines must be met or everything will be delayed. It will have a

domino effect until the event day! You should plan everything ahead, do not settle for the last minute. If you finished earlier than expected, you will always have more time to work on the details and making sure things are in place. Being attentive to details is what enhances the guest experience. ✤

GO: Follow @eventchicdesigns and @justjardel on Instagram for more information.