Edith Venter, socialite and high-profile event planner, depends on her BlackBerry® smartphone to keep on top of a high-pressure job where organisation, responsiveness and attention to detail really matter. Now she can work wherever she is, without dragging a heavy notebook everywhere she goes.
Venter, who runs her own events management company called Edith Unlimited, became a BlackBerry fan when BlackBerry smartphones were first introduced in South Africa. Recognising the potential benefits of the BlackBerry solution in her job, which is all about staying connected with clients and in charge of an overwhelming schedule, she has enthusiastically embraced the BlackBerry platform.
Due to the nature of her work, Venter is rarely in the office. She spends a great deal of her time at high-profile functions attended by powerful and influential people. Her constant mobility spurred her interest in the BlackBerry smartphone. “Her BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 smartphone has made life so much easier. When we (Venter and business partner Tammy Theron) are travelling around the country and into Africa doing business and events, our emails reliably and efficiently reach us,” she says.
Venter credits the BlackBerry smartphone with transforming the way she works when out of the office. “Instead of dragging your heavy laptop around with you, you just pop your BlackBerry smartphone into your pocket and you’ve got your office with you.” This in turn has improved how responsive she can be to customers and suppliers.
“If a client wants to know if she can change the number of guests from 500 to 600, you can give her an answer immediately. I can say yes and adjust the rest of the organisation accordingly. I can immediately email the suppliers, caterer, venue, and décor person to say the number has changed,” says Venter.
“It’s instantaneous, which for me is brilliant.”
She also uses the BlackBerry smartphone camera to document events she organises. “If we’re at a food tasting or setting up décor, and I want to show my client or have it on record, the camera is very, very useful,” says Venter. “The picture quality is excellent. I don’t even carry a camera with me anymore.”
Thanks to the popularity of BlackBerry smartphones in South Africa, many of Venter’s customers and suppliers are also BlackBerry users. This enables Venter to take full advantage of the immediacy of popular instant messaging application BBM™ (BlackBerry® Messenger).
“I have them all on my BBM,” says Venter. This helps her to keep in touch with customers and suppliers instantly, keeping them up-to-date on event preparations. BBM is also a useful marketing channel for Venter. “I can keep my customers informed with words and pictures of the events I’m organising and attending,” says Venter. Her BBM updates often spark conversations with customers.
Venter also recently started using the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. “I am so thrilled,” she says. “The bigger screen makes it even easier to send emails and browse the web”, says Venter, who is delighted that the BlackBerry PlayBook is seamlessly linked to her BlackBerry smartphone for an improved communications experience. “I was never interested in other tablet devices because I didn’t want to have to stop using my BlackBerry smartphone.” says Venter. “I would never give up my BlackBerry. It’s become a way of life.”