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The economic side of ‘The Experience Lagos 2017’

For the 12th year running, The Experience Lagos has been one of the world’s most popular musical concerts and the world’s largest gospel music gathering that brings together well over 500, 000 individuals every year. This non-denominational event that holds every first Friday in the festive month of December had over 700, 000 participants this year. The just concluded edition featured an array of best-selling local and international music ministers including Don Moen, Donnie McClurkin, Frank Edwards, Travis Greene, Chioma Jesus, Midnight crew, Tope Alabi, and the Lagos Metropolitan Gospel Choir of House on The Rock church, amongst many others.

One may agree that the organisers made a good choice of December as the regular period for the event being naturally a month filled with hordes of economic activities. It’s considered everyone’s favourite time of the year. Generally, people are in a relaxed state of mind, winding down from the year and more willing to spend money and travel most especially if business has been good in the same year. Music makes us all happy, it’s little wonder that many people are enthusiastic and inclined to attend The Experience Lagos 2017 which has been considered as happy grounds of music, worship and very importantly, of networking.

Expectedly, there is another side of this gathering which attracts over half a million people in one physical space, which does not quickly come to mind. From the initial preparations, planning, strategising to the physical set up of venue, advertisements, invitation of artistes, traffic control, crowd control and many more, all include a bee-hive of human, economic and industrial activities. Directly and indirectly, The Experience Lagos 2017 came with loads of economic opportunities and benefits whose impact span across a wide range of industries. The horde of human, economic and industrial activities had a direct impact on social behavior, employment and individual standard of living for all involved for the duration of event.

The event supported over 50 jobs and SMEs including sound engineers, facility providers/managers, designers, catering, guest houses, medical and health vendors, mobile toilets, web and graphic designing etc. It created over 70 on-site jobs like hawking of food, selling CDs, juices and snacks recharge card, bean cake popularly known as ‘akara’, books and lots more from individuals who make the trade just to leverage on the opportunity The Experience Lagos 2017 provided.

Additionally, individuals and companies saw it as a time of networking with the goal of meeting new clients and forming new partnerships, so they arrived the venue with flyers and advertising materials to share with people. During The Experience Lagos 2017 a popular malt company gave out free can malt drinks to over 500, 000 people present. Information like that gets me thinking because I like money matters.

I quickly made a calculation of how much is involved. A can malt drink is sold for N 100 or N120, it varies based on location – but let’s work with N100. That is N100 multiplied by 500, 000 people. The result is a whopping N50 million. Some may say ‘why will the company waste so much money?’ truly, there lies great wisdom. To advertise for a new product on the popular Lekki roundabout costs about N 120 million. Now the company has used 50 million to reach over 500, 000 people directly. The key word is ‘directly’.

By giving the drink for free, the 500, 000 plus prospective customers got a first real taste of the product and will be more inclined to purchase it when next they come across it. It’s psychology; the average person will naturally go for something they’ve tasted before and loved. From a personal perspective, it’s much more effective than placing bill boards’ advert. So the company saved 65 percent of what it would have cost them and received more direct value.

The Experience Lagos usually has its own customised branded T-shirt. The organisers – House on the Rock church started this and announced that every church member should wear the T-shirt during the last four Sundays before The Experience Lagos. Guess what that did? It opened up a new angle of business – all the cloth designers got to work. As you approach the church’s entrance, you will notice that the various sections of the out court are filled with cloth stands by different vendors.

An old colleague of mine –Anayo who deals in cloth business, says, ‘This is not bad business sha. This year I invested N180, 000 to make 200 pieces of quality shirt plus I even bought mannequins and cloth stands to make my business attractive and I made over N 400, 000 in revenue. It’s not so easy because it’s not every time I see people who will buy my shirt but at the end it was worth it”.

Also, it opened up more opportunities for collaboration with the clients who patronise these vendors as noted by Anayo who leveraged on the opportunity The Experience 2017provided to make T-shirts.

Finally, The Experience Lagos 2017 was a modern day phenomenon. Its impact has been felt by everyone in Africa and in the world through several means of connecting to the program. It has improved lives, boosted businesses and added to economic growth and development. Personally I think that this event should be supported by government and replicated around the country, imagine the impact it’ll have across the above listed sectors. It will be magnanimous.

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