INTERVIEW: We Want to Create Change in Nigerian Events Industry – Bola Awosika

Nigeria Events Industry recently hosted the media to unfold their plans for this year events which is a two one event

Ajibade Alabi was there to cover it for Informants newspaper

Excerpts:

You made mention of two events coming up in August and October, what are the things that you have put in place that will.make it more unique as against getthe previous ones?

For August 30 & 31, we have the NEI WEDEXPO. This is targeted at wedding vendors, event planners, cooperate organisations and most especially intending brides and grooms.

We expect to have more than 80 wedding vendors exhibiting their goods ,services and crafts to intending clients. Vendors like wedding & reception dress designers, traditional wedding attires from different cultures, the hairstylist, make-up artist, decorators,caterers, the Alagas, drinks and cocktails vendors,DJs ,Mcs and so on, to be a part of NEI WEDEXPO exhibition.

While the exhibition is going on, a fashion show will also be going on simultaneously, for vendors like wedding dress designers, hair stylist, Traditional wedding attires, makeup artist and jewellery sellers who are interested in show casing their goods and crafts on our runway at a very affordable price. It promises to be an exciting one.

You see, event industry in Nigeria is very enormous and NEI Wedexpo is here to stay. We have so many vendors that work hands in hands, that collaborate with one another to make a very big event happen. This is why we, Nigeria event industry (NEI) this avenue for planners to meet vendors, vendors to connect with one another for easy collaboration, vendors to meet with prospective clients and lastly, brides and grooms to to connect with a wedding planner or even decide to plan their own wedding at one place in one day! Isn’t that awesome?! To cap all these up, our stands are very affordable.

Then, we will also be having a seminar section, where we will have the movers and shakers of the event industry come in to talk to attendees about new innovations in the event industry around the world. This will help event managers & vendors get familiar with what is happening in their industry.

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What are the aims and objectives of the wedding expo?

The aims and objectives of WEDEXPO is to bring together every stakeholders in the event industry. We want to bring event practitioners into one space, to make it easier for planners to meet vendors, vendors connect with vendors to share ideas, couples meet with vendors, even individuals planning their own events meet with vendors , cooperate bodies too are not left out, they also will meet with their potential customers.

The good thing about wedexpo exhibition is that every vendors you meet at the exhibition are vendors with names and brands to protect. They are credible vendors we can vouch for. So, you can be rest assured that quality work with good delivery is guaranteed.

Who are the type of people you are expecting at the event

You know event is very broad , so we are expecting many people to come over there and showcase thier products. Small chops vendors, cake vendors, Alaga too can come, different people are expected.

Because it is an avenue to show case what they have for their clients and what they can do

We are also expecting bride and groom to be , you want to get married this is a place to be. You are probably the head of planing events in a corporate body,this is a place to be, you are someone who have a party to do , I am telling you this is a place to be, so we are inviting everybody those that are vendors and those that also have an event coming up. And also for those looking for fresh opportunity like a fresh graduate I think this is a place to be. Like me I entered the industry as an usher while I was in higher institution at University of Lagos. And here I am after over three decades as an usher I am into it fully and doing very well, so if you are a graduate don’t just wait until you see your choice profession or waiting for the course you studied in school. I am graduate of industrial Chemistry, so for students over there don’t wait until you see a job in banking industry or as industrial graduate student don’t wait till you see a job in oil sector, come over here and meet and network with people

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Nigeria events industry in total has paid it’s price and it is recognize in the industry and in Nigeria as a whole.

And that takes me back to sponsorship. Sponsorship can come in terms of branding or in bater, where there wouldn’t be exchange of physical cash, but we exchange services. Take for instance, a company produces drinks can come and say they are not taking a space or stand but they will supply you so,so amount of drinks for the day, that is what we call bater. So we have partnership we also have the sponsorship. We have so many shade of advertisment. We have advert on small scale business, there is also an opportunity or option of sharing your fliers, have your banners displayed ,these are some ways of advertisment. That is for the people who don’t want to buy a store or a stand.

We have really make sure we don’t leave anyone behind. So we have practically leave room for everyone to partake in the event and be recognized

Is the event one off event?

It is a biannual event. It feature twice in a year. February and August every year. For now we are having it in ikeja, as you know event centre are very very expensive but if we are able to get some sponsorship the better for us. For February 2023 we may have somebody that will tell us to come to lekki or tell us to come to Abuja or Calabar. It is twice a year event with different locations because we want to believe Nigeria is not all about Lagos, so as long as we get a collaborator or sponsors we are ready to move . So you can invite us to come and have the event in your state and pronto we will be there. State can even sponsor us, it is part of tourism. Bring us in, any state that want to host us we are ready to go.

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For the 5th year anniversary, what are you putting in place for elaborate celebration?

Our 5th year anniversary is going to be awesome! It’s a one day event and we will be kicking it off by starting serious.

We intend to bring in politicians to talk nit only to the stakeholders in the events industry but to all the youth at large. We want them to come and talk to us about the plans they have for the country for a better Nigeria, the plans they have for the youths of Nigeria. Most importantly, how the new governance will affect the event industry positively.

So the theme of the day is : The political terrain and its effects on the event industry.

At the same time, a fair will be going on but it won’t be as large as the August wedexpo. Vendors can still book stands to showcase their goods.

After all the seriousness, now comes our party proper. Our after party! This is going to be a theme party where we let our hair down,tale off our jackets and heels and have fun. Date is 1st of October, we will be partying all night long.

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