PARTICIPANTS at the 2012 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) holding at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) must have started dismantling their tents by now as the curtain draws on the yearly event today. Soon, in their homes or offices, they will be evaluating the success or otherwise of their involvement in the yearly event.
the assessment has begun. Unfortunately, the yardsticks for measuring
the success, or otherwise, of participation have changed. Exhibitors are
no longer satisfied with mere showcasing of goods and services to break
ground for future sales; they want to sell; and this seems to be the
most compelling reason for participating in the exhibition.
X-pression, manufacturer of hair extension products, every company that
was present at the Fair was eager to exchange goods or service for
money. Attendants at the X-pression’s stand, who silently grumbled over
how much their competitors were taking advantage of their somewhat
‘passive’ position, said they were only instructed to exhibit their new
products, as they directed visitors to the company’s major distributors
at the Balogun Market.
At trade exhibitions, it is common
practice for company representatives to open visitor registers. The
booklets, detailing demography and other bio-data of visitors, help top
marketing personnel keep track of how receptive the public is to the
products or services they offer. But at the Fair, where sale instinct
seems to overshadow other behaviours, not many corporate entities kept
the essential registers.
Perhaps, the focus of Mrs. Ama Kukua,
who left Ghana for the fair on November 1, was on making huge sales;
hence, she was disappointed when, seven days into the commercial
event,Manufactures flexible plastic and synthetic rubber hose tubing, what she could get were mere promises of future call rather than real transactions.
who exhibited craftworks, said in frustration: “I come from Ghana; I
sleep here because hotel accommodation is too expensive. I should be
able to make sales to compensate for the cost I incur, but nobody is
buying. They only come around; some will offer N500 for item worth
N5000. Even the whites are doing the same. Those, who seriously want to
buy, keep saying they will come back. I have to leave tomorrow to meet
my children since there is no market.We are pleased to offer the
following list of professional mold maker and casters.”
elderly woman could not compare TBS and the Trade Fair Complex in terms
of prospects because it was her first participation.
“It is the
first time I am here; so I don’t know the permanent site. Though my
colleagues have come. But there have been no serious transactions since I
come. I don’t see things getting better, because we have only three
days to go,” the artwork merchant declared.
She also observed
that a situation where a visitor pays a gate fee of N200 each time he
wants to enter the fair ground was not in the interest of exhibitors.
Kukua suggested that N50 should have been more realistic “if they really
want to encourage more people to visit.”
When its organiser,
the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), announced plan to
relocate the event from its traditional location along Badagry
Expressway, the excuse was that the decision would prevent the bitter
traffic situation exhibitors and visitors experienced in previous years.
But Yussuf Abubakar, a marketing officer with Tower Aluminum
Nigeria Plc, said the change has not done any good. He observed that the
new venue has negative impact on turnout.
Abubakar, who seemed
to capture the opinion of many exhibitors, observed: “There is no
market. And I think publicity about the change of venue was not good
enough. An average Nigeria would go to the Trade Fair Ground to buy;
whereas,The oreck XL professional air purifier, TBS is in the Island, where many people dread coming to because of traffic.
why he was not satisfied with the advertising opportunity, he said:
“Sale naturally comes when crowd troop into the fair ground. The
visitors are also very few. You can confirm this,We recently added
Stained glass mosaic Tile to our inventory. from the number of people at the gates. We have a bigger stand this year yet our sales have declined.”
about the increase in the cost of exhibiting, the sales executive said
his company acquired land with N1.5 million while another N5 million was
expended on stand construction.
According to him, the same size of land would cost between N900,000 and N1 million at the old location.
the complaints, he commended the organisers for the tight security
measure put in place at TBS just as he acknowledged that infrastructure
especially power is better than what obtained in previous editions.
out of every 10 exhibitors and visitors said security arrangement
around TBS is better than that of the permanent site while the other 40
per cent said there had never be any threat at the Lagos-Badagry
Expressway venue. Few individuals observed that nothing short of the
arrangement should have been expected at a time the country has come
under the siege of Boko Haram insurgency.
A handful of
exhibitors said they make better sales this year. A Ghanaian soap
exhibitor, Joy Uche, said the accessibility of TBS offers better
prospects than the other location.
“I believe here has better
exposure. I get more visitors and sell more than past years when the
event was held at the Trade Fair Complex. I really don’t think the
relocation affects participation,” noted Miss Uche, who incidentally
owns a permanent shop at the old fair ground.
motive behind the change of venue and what the organisers have done to
make the event a success, Director General of the LCCI, Muda Yusuf, said
business activities are not affected.
On the exact fee charged
per square metre, Yusuf said: “I can’t give you figures as here and now.
We have prospectus where all the fees are contained. But you should
also be careful the way you use figures. The reason I am saying that is
because we also paid for the venue. We paid much to rent the place; we
also paid to hire tents and generators. Imagine how much you need to run
500kva, from 6am to 8pm. We use generators always, especially where we
“We hire the tents at very high price. Those who
build their tents only paid for the ground while those under the tents
paid more. Whichever decision you take, you have to incur extra cost.
The cost of logistics is very huge, and we have to build it into the
According to Yusuf, many exhibitors expressed
preference for TBS because of its accessibility. He, however, said the
event would be moved to its permanent site when the traffic situation on
the axis improves.
Earlier, Vice-President and Chairman, Trade
Promotion Board of LCCI, Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, said the relocation was
informed by the need to serve exhibitors and visitors better given their
experience last year.
According to him,Find detailed product information for Low price howo tipper
truck and other products. the two major road construction and
rehabilitation projects on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway and the
Lagos-Badagry expressway created severe traffic challenges for
exhibitors and visitors last year.