After receiving her honours degree in Dramatic Art from Wits University Megan Willson worked as a professional actress for a number of years in the local and international film and theatre industries. In 1991 she began working as a writer and director in theatre and education, where she was very involved in creating children’s educational entertainment. During this time Megan also taught voice and acting skills at the Wits Drama School until 1997.
In the mid 90s Megan partnered with fellow actor and long time friend Graham Hopkins to form a creative scripting and directing company. In the nine years of this highly successful partnership Megan and Graham created over 300 theatre pieces for the corporate and private sectors. Megan and Graham won six Loerie Awards in the five years spanning 1997 to 2001.
Megan also received two Loerie Gold Awards for direction of the Aids plays Secrets and Lies and Loving and Living in 2000 and 2001. She then moved into television, working as Content Director for the first Big Brother South Africa series. Growing from success to success Megan was Series Producer for the second series of Big Brother SA, Series Director for Big Brother Africa and Live Show Producer for Project Fame in 2004.
Under Megan’s leadership Big Brother Africa was nominated for a Rose D’ore at Cannes in 2004. In 2004 Megan and Graham, teamed up with Elton Hesketh to create a new company, 360 Degrees Production House, a corporate communication and event company focusing on live events. Megan’s play play@risk, which she wrote and directed, won the Ground Breakers Award at the Aardklop festival in 2005.
In 2006 Megan directed Macbeth with the drama students at Wits University and in 2007, Much Ado About Nothing at the Actors Centre. As CEO of 360° Megan remains passionate about theatre and the creative arts and is honored to collaborate with gifted South African artists on an ongoing basis. Megan Willson is an unstoppable force in the South African creative/corporate arena. As well as being passionate about her industry and artistry she is also a wife of one and mother of two.
Business sector: Exhibition and Conference Facilities
Products/services offered: Events, brand activation, product launches, video, entertainment, experiential marketing, conferencing, incentive travel, promotions, rsvp systems, script writing, corporate and industrial theatre, staging, sound, lighting, hospitality services, road shows, gig rig
360 Degrees is an event production company catering to the corporate sector, designing, building and managing unique events to meet the specific culture and requirements of its varied clients. The holistic ‘360 degree’ approach views corporate events as multi-faceted communications and PR vehicles, enabling companies to leverage their event spend for maximum reach. Services include brand activation, product launches, video production, entertainment, experiential marketing, conferencing, incentive travel, promotions, rsvp systems, script writing, corporate and industrial theatre, stage, sound, lighting, hospitality services and road shows.
The founding vision of 360 Degrees was to elevate the industry above the level of party planning and travel logistics by offering sophisticated, bespoke events to reflect the culture and ethos of clients. The focus is on delivery of a value adding service ensuring positive return on investment. Every event clearly profiles the uniqueness and stature of clients, be it a gala awards event, brand activation, or an industrial training exercise. From a single corporate client and a turnover of less than R5-million in the first two years, the company has grown to a current annual turnover of up to R35-million, allowing a rating on the Qualifying Small Enterprise scorecard for B-BBEE.
The aim is to grow the business beyond a small enterprise into a viable, sustainable medium enterprise by attracting South Africa’s best female talent and seeing more empowered women in the industry. Continuous improvement of processes, creative innovation in live events and securing another big anchor client will ensure that the strong team continues running at optimum capacity. Women remain an untapped powerhouse.
GENDER EMPOWERMENT & SED
The company share participation scheme is in the form of units held in two separate trusts, one of them exclusively for the benefit of previously disadvantaged employees. The employment equity policy is to make a meaningful contribution to BEE empowerment, with a particular focus on women.
1. 2010 Top Women Awards: Top Woman Entrepreneur and Top Gender Empowerment Company: Media
2. Founded in 2005 with zero start-up capital and three employees
3. Relative to turnover, 360 Degrees has achieved a modest but sustainable profit margin since inception
4. Many of our most exacting – and most satisfied – clients are women in executive corporate positions