Updated: Feb 10, 2019
Experiential experts under the aegis of the Experiential Marketing Association of Nigeria, EXMAN, Thursday, came together in an informal meeting under an atmosphere of camaraderie to reflect on the year gone by and chart a new course for 2019.
The well attended meeting which had top players in the subsector in attendance also gave members the opportunity to catch up on each other, individually review their businesses and network. Speaking on the reason for the meeting which held at the prestigious Casper and Gambini in Ikeja, President of the association, Mr. Kehinde Salami said it was a way for members to unwind and discuss.
“We are here to more or less appreciate ourselves. It is the beginning of a new year and as EXMAN agencies, we should have the ability to felicitate with one another even as we compete on the field of pla. There is always a time for reflection collaboration.
“We are here to basically celebrate ourselves, get prepared and energize ourselves for the year and at the same time, share some needed news in the industry which I believe our members will like to hear, he said.
Buttressing Salami’s point, Kayode Olagesin, a former President of the association and the Managing Director of TownCriers said meetings like that have always been the tradition of the body. When we come together like this, there are things we look at from the point of view of what is beneficial to us. That is one of the reasons this meeting has been called; where we are look at our strategies towards mitigating against the realities and challenges of the marketplace that affects us collectively.”
On plans for the year, Kehinde who heads Ideas House had this to say: “EXMAN is really more about efficiency in operation this year, it is about consolidation of the gains of the past and it is about charting new territories in terms of areas we have not been active. These are areas like the public sector-government parastatals, NGOs, financial services as well as the technology space. Those are the areas I am expecting our members to focus on in 2019 and beyond.
“We are also looking to focus more on digital, because there is now the online experience. Experiential has gone beyond offline to also now include digital. What we are doing offline, must find a way to travel online. I am hoping that the collaboration with digital and the infusion of digital will lead to a better experience and amplification of our offerings,” he said.
In his projection for the year, bearing in mind the coming general elections, Olagesin stressed that the fortunes of the subsector is dependent on the larger economy. “Everything we do depends on the larger economy. If the economy grows, it means there will be more volume for activities, transactions, more value for the country. At the end of the day, we will have more clients doing more activities and that cascades down.
“But if the economy is slow, you will see that clients will also adjust accordingly. My advice is for everyone to closely monitor what is happening in the economy, look at any key projection the government has made. One of these key projections is the fact that the oil benchmark has been placed at 60 dollars per barrel. If our prices stays at that level and above it, it’s good for us. If it comes below, then there is a problem. If government is not able to achieve its revenue projections in terms of oil and non-oil, our budget deficit will grow bigger.
“All of these things have an impact on us. But we are optimistic that the election is happening early in the year, we are hoping that it will go smoothly, a winner will emerge and whoever loses will concede defeat so that we can all move on. But as a Nigerian doing business in this subsector, I am looking out for new surge of life and we hope it augurs well for us,” he concluded.
For Adewole Ayara, the Managing Director of Communications Facilitators, a fledging experiential agency, the outlook for 2019 looks great. Noting that as the need clients’ brands to interact with the consumer grows in 2019, so also will the need for more experiential activities. For him, activities will pick up steam after the general elections and the rest of the year will fall into place.
PICTORIAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE EVENING