The Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) venue of the 2017 Lagos International Trade Fair is now wearing a new look, just as the contractors handling different aspects of the work in preparation for the great event are also smiling to the bank. Indeed, you must have a permit now to be able to have access to the Trade Fair portion of the TBS because massive construction work is ongoing as the yearly event is just some days away.

The three giant marquees earmarked for the Chinese and the Japanese exhibitors are ready and construction is going on rapidly at various outdoor locations. Interestingly, while many exhibitors are still at the point of being allocated spaces, many other exhibitors are building their tents at a rapid speed, just as some are discussing with contractors who will handle their tents. Remarkably, some exhibitors – like Life Mate and Bed Mate – have already finished building their tents, even as many more will finish in a couple of days. With the level of preparation presently ongoing and with the high level of interest in this year’s fair, it is certain, barring the unforeseen, that the 2017 Lagos International Trade Fair is going to be a remarkable success.

As exhibitors jostle for advantageous locations, the Chamber is doing all it can to satisfy everybody. A primary reason why registration and payments by exhibitors was expected to have started as early as March this year was to reduce the usual last-minute rush to register by many exhibitors; and those who took advantage of it are benefitting immensely. Genuine efforts are being made to satisfy all exhibitors, especially those who applied for spaces a bit late.

Justifying early payment, a stakeholder said:

“People make tremendous profit in cash and/or kind from the Trade Fair and are ready to do virtually anything to get the best because they know what they are getting”.

Hence, the proposal for next year, which would allow an exhibitor to choose a preferred space online immediately after appropriate payment is laudable.

While the jostle for choice locations at the Tafawa Balewa Square venue of the 2017 Lagos International Trade fair continues, an exhibitor gave a very interesting account of her experience in the 2016 edition. The exhibitor, who is in the food and beverage sector, said;

“Last year was the first time I rejected a space because I wasn’t given what we desired. But, surprisingly, last year was the most fantastic experience we had at the Trade Fair. Even though we didn’t plan to sell at the fair, we sold so much that we didn’t even return to the office with a carton. We were not where we wanted, but we later realized that it is the crowd that matters and not the location; and we remain grateful that we accepted what the Chamber offered”.