Situated in a former chapel in Brugge, Belgium, Peter Monbailleu and his team work on extraordinary events. Peter has a very specific view on the projects they work on and the artists they represent. We read on the company web site: “When running a campaign we focus on the project, not on ourselves. We listen. We care. We engage. We respect.” Here’s Peter’s story.
A few years ago I came across the Holstee Manifesto. Around the same time I got to know a company in Malaysia called Mindvalley. Their CEO is a guy called Vishen Lakhiani and his vision on running a company blew me away. I distinctly remember seeing his 50 minute presentation Why Happiness is the New Productivity on a Sunday afternoon and watching it again immediately after, frantically taking notes. Following Vishen’s request to copy his vision and ideas I recreated my own company and more specifically my view on what I was doing.
This change in my mindset is now reflected on our projects, our clients and our artists. In our photographer’s brochures you will find me saying “I don’t believe in representing artists. I believe artists should represent themselves. But if I can help, advise or support an artist I believe in, I will not hesitate.” Together with our mission statement this stands for what who we are and what we do. We will not work on events that are less than five stars. We impose the five star treatment of clients on ourselves to achieve what we strive for in our mission statement: “We want to blow your mind. Time and time again. We listen. We respect. Wetake a different look. We share and we give it all we’ve got to create campaigns and events that rock.”
I have been working in events officially since 1997, but unofficially since I was about 7 or 8. I remember creating my first magazine, writing it out and then running over to the library to have it copied to sell it to my friends and family. Nowadays… I kind of still do the same thing. I believe that everything we do is based on 5 foundations. Passion, Talent, Creativity, Design and Respect. Recently I added a sixth principle, it’s not a foundation, it’s a vision that I discovered while working on The Flemish Primitives with some of the world’s greatest chefs.
The new generation of chefs has grown to a level of quality that is higher than ever before. This happened through something that scares the hell out of most of us: sharing. I used to believe that my system was mine and mine alone and it was my strongest USP. It isn’t. After seeing how today’s top chefs are not afraid to share their problems and their solutions, I started opening up and sharing.
I started speaking to students, not for promo reasons, but because I enjoyed passing on my knowledge to young people. And more drastically we are sharing our office space with artists. Every month, we share our walls with a different photographer and every weekend we open up our doors for the public. It is good to make us clean up every Friday, but it’s also good because opening your doors brings the most wonderful people into your daily environment. It’s a great experience to be working on a project like Evita (this summer in Oostende) while being surrounded by the most wonderful photographs of incredibly talented artists.