- CEO of the VO Group
Fresh from completing his degree in communication sciences at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 1983, Michel Culot began work as a freelance journalist specialising in culture and marketing. He soon caught the events communication bug—the new speciality in the marketing mix—and joined La Rétine de Plateau where he became a partner. He was a director and the commercial manager from 1985 to 1991. It was in this role that he launched innovative guerilla marketing tactics such as the first and only painted metro train to advertise a show, an action for which La Rétine de Plateau won a Gold Award from the Creative Club of Belgium. Around the same time he arranged sponsorship for several festivals, including Couleur Café, propelling it to its position as one of the biggest “world” festivals in Belgium.
He also opened Brussels’ first summer open-air large-screen cinema, as well as the first winter ice rink, part of the city marketing scheme, in the most beautiful square in the world, Brussels’ Grand Place.
In 1992, while still working at La Rétine de Plateau, Michel founded VO Communication with the intention of using events as a true marketing and communication tool. He positioned himself as an expert in public events organisation and sponsorship development and management, subsequently growing this field of expertise to include all communication specialisms such as events communication and institutional communication. He is one of the pioneers and an undeniable expert in this area.
Michel is also the co-founder of the ACEA (Belgian Association of Events Communication Agencies) and co-founder of the events department at the Charles Peguy institute of higher education in Louvain-la-Neuve. For a number of years he ran sponsorship marketing courses at the Solvay Brussels School.
- CEO of the VO Group
Patrick Parmentier is a man of many talents. As a make-up artist and self-taught guitarist, he moves between festivals, concerts and travel, providing the inspiration for his novels (yes, he is a writer too!). La Chambre Sourde, published in 2016, is his fourth novel.
This free spirit also has a strategic purpose. In 1989 he launched his own events communication company, Concept+. He turned it into a leader in its sector before selling it to TBWA and spending a year and a half at Tagora as strategic director.
In 2007 he joined VO as a partner and plays a number of roles, which have developed over time.
Patrick’s responsibilities range from designing in-house and client projects, to bringing them to life and managing their budgets, and he has now spent several years working on business development and managing and fostering partnerships with the company’s main clients and suppliers.
Currently, he is in charge of the VO group’s strategy, expansion and development through commercial and financial management. He is responsible for implementing and coordinating management roles for the entire group, from HR to communication and finance. Together with Michel Culot, he draws up the VO group's strategic priorities (vision, mission and positioning) and ensures a uniform approach across all VO companies.