Grow your business, double your profit, and fulfill your wedding fantasies at the largest wedding exhibition in Africa – Wed Expo 2018
“Have you ever been to a wedding?”
I teased Janet.
A curvy, chocolate colored banker in her early forties.
The furious flow of conversation between us moments earlier, ceased in a flash.
Her booming, infectious laughter fizzled out.
A quiet, uneasy calm enveloped the space.
“What kind of question is that?”
Eemm… umm I wanted… to…
Her cold stare slammed the locks on my tongue.
“Of course, I’ve been to weddings… or what are you driving at?”
Countering in a low fierce whisper
Then I remembered. Janet is single. Her three younger sisters are all married. One of them hinted Janet was having a rough patch with their parents on the issue of marriage.
“Janet, haha you don dey vex, na waoo (Are you upset already?) I am writing an article about the Lagos Wed Expo, Nigeria’s biggest Wedding Exhibition…”
My voice trailed off.
Not the right time. A good friend is one that understands your mood and state of mind.
However, I must find a way to share my thoughts about Wed Expo 2018 with her. I guess there is so much everyone can benefit, single or married.
So what is Wed Expo?
I surfed through social media accounts of the organizers to gain further understanding.
”Nigeria’s largest wedding and lifestyle exhibition and networking event dedicated to business owners in the wedding and events industry.”
Akinwumi Esho, Publisher of Wed Magazine, started the Expo in 2012.
Esho believes that Wed Expo is different from the other exhibitions in the wedding industry.
In an interview after the first edition back in 2012, he noted:
“What makes Wed Expo different?
If you can look at the crowd, I do not think any wedding exhibition has brought this kind of crowd together before….
What makes wed expo different is, we were able to get over 100 exhibitors… no wedding exhibition has done this before,
what makes wed expo different is… we were able to get a diverse crowd, we got parents coming to negotiate for their kids, we got brides, we got grooms, everybody is here….so wed expo is not really about what we call it, it is clear that this is Nigeria’s largest wedding exhibition.. I can tell you that it’s here to stay.”
And true to his words, the Wed Expo has continued to grow through the years. Moving from Lagos to other Nigerian cities, such as Abuja and Port-Harcourt.
But which group does the Expo aims to attract?
While it is easy to deduce this from the comments above, we may outline the target audience for emphasis sake. They include:
- People who offer services related to weddings (e.g., vendors selling wedding gowns, suits, rings, shoes, bags, watches, wallets, flowers, invitation cards, flowers, cake makers, gifts, bridal makeover, salon, photographers, videographers, etc.
- Prospective couples planning a wedding, (bride/groom-to-be, family members, etc.)
- Members of the public.
In all circumstances, everyone knows someone that will get married someday.
What are the benefits of visiting or exhibiting at the Wed Expo
The benefits are many.
WED Expo provides the perfect platform for a diversity of businesses to offer their products and services to thousands of customers visiting the exhibition.
Bringing everyone under one roof makes the wedding shopping experience much more comfortable.
It enables brides and others to see the latest trends, assess them and make the choice
It is the “ultimate shopping ground” for all things related to a wedding. In the words of the organizers, it is a:
“One stop shop, for a top of the shelf, personalized wedding occasions, aimed at immortalizing for a few precious hours, memories that will last a lifetime.”
Wed Expo Event Highlights
This year’s edition runs from the 23rd to 25th of March 2018.
The venue is the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos.
The Wedding Business School
The 2018 edition introduces a new concept into the expo. They call it the Certified Wedding /Event Planner Program.
It is a 4-week programs designed to train and certify wedding/event planners. It will provide participants with relevant skills to succeed in the industry and grow their businesses.
The school targets current or aspiring Event Planners, Vendors or those that provide services for weddings.
The program offers an excellent opportunity to learn from experts with local and international experience.
You will learn about changing trends, tools, skill sets, technologies, and processes in the wedding industry and Event management.
Instructors at the Certified Wedding/ Event Planning program include:
- Bisola Borha of Trendy Bee Events,
- Akin Esho of Wed Group,
- Maria-Pamela Nwonu of Nwandos signature,
- Titilope Ose of Tessalure Events
- Feyikemi Kukoyi of FTK-Konnect Events and many others
Going by past editions, others activities include:
The Wedding Exhibit
The Expo brings together experts serving the wedding industry in various ways.
Where all things related to weddings are on display by vendors.
Including, wedding planners, designers, entertainers, stylists, caterers, jewelers, etc.
Bringing everyone under one roof, offering the bride, groom, plus their family members, access to experts and vendors, at a central location.
Displaying trendy wedding gowns and suits. With the latest creative designs and fabric to inspire the bride and groom to be. It will also feature talented and leading Designers from around the country.
The Wedding makeover challenge
On the spot makeover for visitors and guests by leading stylists.
The Wed Expo Guest Give Away
This aspect of the Expo rewards visitors for sharing in the experience. It offers them an opportunity to win prizes ranging from smartphones, computer devices, airline tickets, and all expense paid trips to get always and tourist destinations.
Maybe there is more in the pipeline for the 2018 edition. We wait to see.
Testimonials from participants
One of the participants in the 2012 edition of the Expo is Tunji Alao. A London based designer. He came in from the UK to participate in the event.
“Speaking for myself and other designers, we are happy, and we hope that this is now a yearly thing that will just continue to improve. Yes, I say well-done.”
Another participant, a bride shares here experience of attending the wedding expo on Instagram.
Sustaining the success of past editions
Akinwumi’s passion for his job and project is evident. Back at the close of the first edition in 2012, he declared:
“… You have to be passionate to be successful in business.
What we are doing, we are trying to encourage people… Because I can guarantee you that a lot of people that came in as guests, by next year they are going to come as exhibitors
What we are doing is just creating that platform that is needed for people to excel.”
Grow your wedding business in Nigeria
A wedding in Nigeria is a communal affair.
It may be low scale or a huge carnival. But every wedding is indeed a thing of joy.
To check out the latest trends in weddings, you have to be at the Wed Expo 2018.
Exhibitors live, Nigeria’s number one website and media on Trade Fairs/Exhibitors/Expos will be there.
No better place to promote your wedding related business.
Or who knows… Hook a partner…
Well, I do have many fascinating wedding stories. Some from real life and others, fictional.
Like a literature texbook I read in Secondary school, titled “Crooked Rib” by Nuruddin Farah.
It shared the story of Ebla, a 19-year old Somali girl, who wedded two men, same month, to prove a point! And she would not divorce either of the men, because they also had other wives.
Abomination, I hear you say.
What happened to Ebla?
Well, you will have to look for that book and found out yourself.
But in the meantime, remain assured I will drag my friend Janet to Wed Expo. That is if she accepts my invitation.
It is a gesture of respect and affection. And not of pity or condescension.
After all, Janet is a wonderful woman. Beauty and brains.
A treasure waiting to be uncovered.
So have you attended any of the Wed Expo editions? Are you going to be there in March? Please drop your comments and tell us what you think about the expo.