Catch up with Adeviyanti Halim

Founder and director of Indonesia-based Damia Convex recounts how she became an event organiser, and eventually, a successful business owner

Was becoming a PCO ever your dream?
Not at all! In fact I did not know event organising business existed until I was involved in the secretariat of the Indonesian Youth Entrepreneurs Association‘s World Junior Chamber in 1994, when PACTO Convex was appointed PCO.

When PACTO offered me a job as project officer for an event in 1995, I grabbed the opportunity and that was the beginning of my career.

What are the up
The job gave me the chance to meet different types of people.

Initially I was very shy, and did not have the confidence to speak with people, particularly foreigners. However, working as an event secretariat handling registrations gave me no choice but to deal with different kinds of people.

Being a PCO also required me to do presentations to clients and make decisions. Here, my public speaking skills grew and my confidence developed.

At that time, there was no business events school, so we learnt everything through doing.

Have ever thought of doing something different?
Oh yes! After working as a PCO for several years, I wanted to try something different. I switched jobs, and worked at one point for an established manufacturing company, as well as the Coca-Cola Company in Jakarta in the business services department.

It was then I realised working at a desk was not for me. Moreover, working as a PCO can be very busy in the lead up to and during the event, but it slows down once the event is over. This rhythm of work, I found, did not exist outside of office work. So I went back to PACTO.

When did you start your own business?
I founded Damian Convex by chance; I never thought I would own a company.

In 2012, I joined a travel company in Bali which was planning to expand into events business. However, that move did not work out and I found myself in dilemma.

I was too embarrassed to return to PACTO and I did not feel it was right to join its competitor.

The only way to continue doing what I know best was to open my own company and that’s how Damian Convex started in 2013.

It was not an easy start. My first client was a lead I obtained from my nephew, whose office wanted to organise an exhibition. It was also fortunate that some of my old clients whose events I used to handle continued their business with me.

What do you do in your downtime?
I stay home, read books, watch movies, and listen to K-pop music. In fact, there are also lessons to be learnt while relaxing.

For example, for popular K-pop group BTS, I learnt that they created an emotional bond with fans even before they became famous. They also did not have much marketing budget, and created programmes instead to keep communicating with their fans. From them I learnt that developing emotional relations with clients and the audience will also help to create strong bonds.

What is next on your list?
After the tough pandemic years, my immediate priority is to revive business by forming collaborations with other event-related companies. This collaboration is not only for a down-time like this, but I do hope that such collaborations will be able to evolve and get the chance to handle large-scale events, which is usually handled now by the well-known PCOs.

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