As it was promised, the 2019 edition of Connect Nigeria Business Fair came with a bang. The event did not fail to deliver on a long-lasting exposition, as usual, on both Day 1 and Day 2. Starting from the morning of Friday, 26th April, entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners began to gather at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos, for another unforgettable edition of Africa’s largest business fair.
The 2019 Connect Nigeria Business Fair, which was strategically sited at TBS, provided enough grounds for businesses to showcase their goods and services to the wide-range of audience which were able to access the venue easily from both Mainland and Island Lagos.
The expansive exhibition helped entrepreneurs to showcase initiatives which are unsurprisingly some of Nigeria’s top emerging and established brands. The sequenced panel sessions, staged a stone-throw away from the exhibitions stands, also had professionals, leading startup founders and other business executives share their entrepreneurial stories – successes and failures – as well as disseminate smart growth hacks to attendees.
This rare golden opportunity for attendees to connect with new leads, clients, and clinch deals in the rolling networking sessions which spanned between the exhibitions and the panel sessions could not have been possible without the well planned event put up by the Connect Nigeria initiative.
On the first day of the event, participants were given a rousing welcome by the Managing Director (MD) of Connect Nigeria, Emeka Okafor. He spoke with an undying passion for seeing the growth of businesses and how the business fair has impacted such businesses via the Connect Nigeria platform. Speaking on The Story So Far, Mr Okafor’s speech would have inspired anyone running an enterprise; from a personal experience, he has grown the Connect Nigeria brand with a formidable team since 2009.
After the opening and flag-off session, guests were given a tour of the exhibition halls where top business vendors lined up their merchandise at the booths.
The panel discussions, which took place over a two-day period, provided a good deal of useful information to the audience at the fair where seasoned panelists who are accomplished business experts in their own rights, eagerly presented their thoughts and shared experiences around their involvement in the Nigerian commercial sector.
Speakers at the conference were professionals such as Bernard Oriyomi – Union Bank; Abimbola Balogun – So Fresh; Chibuzo Ike – InfoMall; Agatha Amata – Rave TV; Ndu Anyanwu – Hot FM; Mabel George; Femi Oye – SME Funds; Afolabi Abiodun – SME Telecoms; Ayodele Ojosipe – Stanbic IBTC; Kanyinsade Ademuson – 7th Space; Onyeka Akumah – Farmcrowdy; Tunde Balogun – Rent Small Small; and Fela Durotoye of Gemstone Nation Builders Foundation amongst others. Some of the topics handled include Being Prepared for Starting Out in Business, Gritty Grinds, Mastering the Art of Selling, Don’t Be Afraid to Learn (from Failing), Building a Good Team, Staying Big On Customers Satisfaction, Why Entrepreneurs Struggle With Sustainability & Continuity and The Importance of Scaling Up Your Business. The audience also did not hesitate to ask questions while the panelists drew from their experience, whenever necessary, to tackle the questions put to them.
There was no doubt that, by the close of the event on the evening of 27th of April, participants at the 2019 Connect Nigeria Business Fair went home with great expectations, personal and business stimulating catalysts as well as an eagerness to implement all they learnt into further enhancing the growth of their businesses.