The Salami EXCO Report Card.

As the EXMAN EXCO led by Kehinde Salami complete their term and prepare to hand over the baton to a new team, we reflect on their achievements and short comings and can confidently report that despite the difficult operating environment, the industry trade group has continued to witness steady progress.

Kehinde Salami, likes to remind people that he was perhaps the most prepared to serve as President of EXMAN. Having served in various capacities on both the Excos of Mr Kayode Olagesin and Dr Rotimi Olaniyan previously. He had been involved in all the major debates and decisions that the young and yet dynamic sectoral body had to navigate since its inception in 2013. The value of this experience has clearly shown in the two years that he has been at the helm of affairs of EXMAN. The sectoral body which is charged with promoting and self regulating the practice of Experiential Marketing in Nigeria has witnessed a solid and steady growth over the past six years and in many ways may be said to be punching far above its weight class when compared with its much older sister sectoral groupings in the Marketing communications industry.

While the industry has witnessed several macro systemic shocks which have adversely effected many of the industry players, it is evident that there has been a reasonable level of cohesion within the members of the association which the out going EXCO has been able to harness to move the collective agenda forward. Salami reveals that when the exco took over in July of 2017, they articulated 24 specific strategic initiatives which they intended to focus on. It is impressive that the team was able to accomplish on 20 out of these 24 initiatives representing a 84% accomplishment.

"At the onset, we set an audacious target of achieving 24 deliverables. As at today, we have achieved 20 specific goals (83%), 1 work in progress (4%) and 3 uncompleted tasks (13%) within the last two years."

While several of these initiatives built on the foundation established from the previous excos such as the Brand Ambassador Programme or CEO breakfast meetings and the Industry Awards Nite, the out going team has also been able to introduce new initiatives such as the 'somerewhere in naija portal' which celebrates activities of the agency members around the country and the significant accomplishment of negotiating and finalising a group financing arrangement for interested EXMAN members with Stanbic IBTC bank. Says Salami, "EXCO was able to initiate and conclude negotiations with Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc to offer all certified and fully paid up members a flat rate of 20% all-in interest rate for invoice discounting. This singular act has helped address a fundamental issue we all face with respect to cost of funds. I am happy to inform you all that the process has commenced, and many agencies are at different stages of engagement"

Salami is convinced that the incoming exco will look into the few areas where his exco was not able to complete their intended tasks. These include improving the associations digital foot print, as well as strengthening the capacity building framework for all players within the industry value chain through better partnerships, such as with universities around the country.

Despite these few misses, the performance of the outgoing EXMAN exco will be celebrated as a successful tenure, while their philosophy of also building on the initiatives of earlier administrations must be recommended to successive leadership teams to follow. This year's award ceremony is a classic example of this. By improving standards across all facets the association has witnessed a significant growth in the number of entries from 38 in the last edition to a record 105 this year.

Mr Salami offers his colleagues a departing piece of advice; "as we conclude the elections and hand over to a new Executive, it is expected that they will move forward from where we have stopped and indeed take EXMAN to that much anticipated next level.