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Learn From The Humble Beginnings Of An Award-Winning Event Producer: A Founder’s Story with Valerie Bihet

Valerie Bihet is an award-winning event producer with more than 20 years of experience in the management, design, and production of special events that communicate and achieve her client’s objectives. Originally from Paris, France, Bihet founded VIBE, an event design, and destination management company, in 2004 in Miami, Florida. Since then, she has grown the company to nine employees and produced more than 1,100 events throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, East Asia, and South America. Her clientele includes global brands like Dior, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, LVMH, Coty, L’Oréal, Barclays, Banco Santander, McCain, Merck, Thea Pharmaceuticals, and many more. Valerie Bihet received her Master’s degree. in Marketing and Business Administration from the renowned Sorbonne University, Paris.


Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?

I grew up in Paris with a mother who was a doctor and a father who worked for a pharmaceutical company with lots of travel. My father is very outgoing and always pushed us kids to try new things. My mother is a very hard worker and passionate about what she does. I learned from her, and a very long line of strong women before me, what it means to be a passionate and driven woman. Both of my parents instilled in me the need to work hard for what I want.

When I wanted to learn how to drive, my dad said I needed to find a way to do it myself. Everything I am today is because I pushed myself to go after it.

I was very lucky to have a nice house in Paris and a country house outside the city that gave us an opportunity to travel when I was young. I also found a mentor who pushed me to be better and learn. I am very lucky to have had these doors open to me, but I also think you need to go looking for opportunities. Then when you see one, take advantage and don’t let it go by because you are scared it’ll be hard to do.

How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

I started a staffing agency when I was 21 in Europe because someone needed a hostess for an event and I was not available on the event day. I told the person who asked me to be the hostess that I would find someone to replace me, but they wanted me and tripled the offer. I had already taken another engagement so even with the money, I had to turn it down but committed to finding someone like me who would be just as friendly and solution-oriented.

In the end, the client was super happy and I told them that if they had more work like that, we could work together since we have complimentary services. They would provide security for events and I would provide the hostesses. Both are staffing for events so we created a staffing agency and that’s how I started my first company as an entrepreneur.

From there, I got offered a job doing events for Disney and then Club Med, which brought me to the U.S. During an event in Miami, someone asked me about my ideas for a way to produce an event for their company. I sold them on the concept and that’s how I got LVHM as my first solo gig, which sparked the creation of the VIBE Agency.

What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?

Oh, I have many! First, take a moment to try different things.

Secondly, find a mentor who can guide you through the process of entrepreneurship and it’ll help save time, energy, and money as you get going. I am lucky to have had a wonderful mentor so I now offer that as a service to new up and coming entrepreneurs.

Thirdly, continue to educate yourself permanently. As an entrepreneur, you need to be a lifelong learner. Marketing, business, and technology are always changing and you need to be committed to staying on top of the trends and what is coming next if you are going to have lifelong success as an entrepreneur.

And finally, surround yourself with people better than you so you can try and get the bigger picture and see the path you are going along by people who’ve been there.


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