Summer brings heights of sophistication to the French Riviera where the world’s elite gather to see and be seen. This year, Monaco Grand Prix will be held from May 23rd-26th when top luxury brands compete for our attention amidst the high-octane race action.
Here, at last is an accessible glimpse into how this Mediterranean region is the perfect playbook for red carpet glamour at Cannes Film Festival and high-octane social events at one of Formula 1®’s most famous races, the Monaco Grand Prix.
Rebecca Whitlocke caught up with Emmanuel Akintunde, Co-Founder and Managing Director of GF Entertainment, about capturing imaginations at the French Riviera’s best parties.
ALM: Thanks for your time Emmanuel leading up to a busy Mediterranean season. Can you give us some background of how GF Entertainment started?
EA: I started GF Entertainment in 2014, providing entertainment to corporate, private and high-profile events in the United Kingdom with the aim to bring something unique to the marketplace.
By request, we started providing A-list celebrity artists, DJs, rappers for UHNWIs worldwide – starting in the South of France for superyacht captains and owners.
Last year, we launched a new division providing VIP and hospitality packages for premium international events such as the Oscars, as well as concerts and non-ticketed events.
From Monaco to the Middle East: World-class parties
Monaco is an incubator for high-performing businesses and our conversation with Emmanuel Akintunde reveals how GF Entertainment does what they do so well – arranging niche entertainment for luxury parties hosted on superyachts at Monaco Grand Prix and at the famous Yacht Club de Monaco.
Akintunde explains the tipping point when business vision crosses a threshold to fuel long-term relationships with clients. “When I first started the company, I wanted to look beyond the common traits of our competitors. We do so by maintaining our identity and personality. I have always believed, personally and in business, quality over quantity. With UHNWI clients, the challenge is great to catch their attention – it takes planning, strategy and flawless delivery to truly impress them.”
Apparently impossible ideas can gain traction in a Principality where royalty, blue-chip investors and family offices rub shoulders with billionaires and Sultans. Fresh ideas are the currency of the 21st century and GF Entertainment is the bankroller, adapting their worldwide strategy with projects based in North America, Europe, Middle East, Australasia and the Caribbean.
ALM: Are there any global regions that present big opportunities for your business development?
“Definitely the Middle East! There is great potential for us, in preparation for Expo 2020 Dubai and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. We embrace the principles of every geographic region we work in and how we can prove our value through proper planning and groundwork. Demand from Middle East countries is following suit.”
Changing the game with VIP party entertainment
Akintunde knows a thing or two about the power of brand growth, “In this industry, one of the challenges is building trust amongst clients and potential clients. When we started, no one knew about us so it took a while to build a brand people can trust as we had nothing to go by, in terms of client recommendations. My ambitions as the Co-Founder and Managing Director significantly overlap with our long-term strategy.”
Evolution of technology in the next decade is likely to unveil new party concepts. “We are always scouring for the hottest trends and acts that will energize an audience. Things that wow me – and it takes a lot to please me – I am sure will excite my clients,” Akintunde adds.
ALM: What’s next for the man who has the world’s best entertainers on speed dial?
EA: “Even with the demands of the digital age, we are deeply human. It’s important we foster client relationships so when they’re hosting a VIP event, GF Entertainment is top of mind. We educate our clients to book as far in advance as possible because the earlier we confirm their preferred artists, the better service we can provide. There has never been a better time to take our passion and make a living doing what we love.”
About GF Entertainment
GF Entertainment is a boutique entertainment company. They specialize in providing niche entertainment for private and high-profile events in the yachting and luxury sectors. Their global network means they can supply some of the leading names in entertainment such as Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Martin Garrix.