The first International Drink Festival will be hosted in Lagos by Balmoral Group. Ahead of the event which is scheduled for December 2017, the
, said the festival will help grow the small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria.
Ezekiel said; “It’s a 3- day event and there are different sessions: The exhibition, Drink Summit, Master Classes for consumers and professionals, the Summit for issues affecting the drinks industry and so on. The Summit is more professional, while the Master Classes are basically for the consumers as it will help them get to know more about what they consume, and their healthy drinks. Education, flair bar tenders are coming in (where people can learn to make cocktails and so on), tasting of the drinks and wines, the major sales will be going on. Asides from the event there’s also the Beer Village, where there will be lots of drinks, barbecue, basically everything to munch on, a live band, entertainment for the guest which includes an international act, which we wouldn’t be disclosing yet, and several DJs and acts just to ensure that once you come the first day you’d definitely want to come on the second and third day. It’s never happened before on this scale, and you’re guaranteed to be wowed.”
On what their evaluation of the Nigerian market is all about, the group COO, Akin Eso stated that; “The Nigerian drinks market is over N6 billion market, with, for now not as many players as it should be, compared to other countries in the world. We however have that consuming population which can be estimated to be over 170billion. So with events like this, consumers are more exposed to newer brands and they begin to have options. As such, the value of the Nigerian drink industry is pretty huge, and it is an industry with huge employer of labour, so an event like this will open up for more employment, more brands to come in, and the existing brands will see reasons to expand. So it automatically boosts the economy.”
Sharing what the exhibitors would gain from this rare festival, they shared that; “The exhibitors have a lot to gain asides from getting direct contact with their consumers. They also get to show their market share in the festival, showcase their new products and lot’s more. It’s going to be a festival where you’ll be seeing a lot of drink companies launching new brands, so the exhibitors get to have direct feedback right in the hall there. They also get to do a lot of sales, meet high network consumers; consumers that will be able to give them the desired results in terms of numbers. They get to meet with the consumers directly, they get feedback, they also get to activate in an event that has over 15,000 people, which is all about the numbers. Asides that, there is a lot of sales going on, so they get to take orders from the consumers, and there’s a strategy of bringing in high net worth consumers that will be able to do a lot of purchasing. So we’re looking at having millions in transactions going on during the festival.”
On what the consumers should expect, according to Akin Eso, he said the fairs are educative, interactive, enlightening and quite engaging; “With all these, it can be a fun day out for the family as we have activities for the kids and adults too. It would also help with health, as we have a lot of adulterated drinks in Nigeria. One may ask, how can we differentiate the fake from the original? All these questions will be answered there. It’s actually a good day out.”
With the event open to everyone who is interested, Akin Eso stated that over 15,000 people are expected to grace the event and further shared how they have come to this realization. “We’re expecting over 15,000, because we are sure of what we’re going to be putting in to get that amount. Professionals, the brand folks, the hotel and hospitality industry experts, the event vendors that use drinks every weekend are the 5,000 Professionals; that was how we got the 5,000 professionals. With the consumers however, we’re only being conservative, that’s why we say 10,000 because everybody loves drinks. This is an all-drink festival, not an alcoholic festival; it’s where you have Champagne, juice, tea, water, everything in all categories are involved in the Drinks Festival.
On Lagos being the host country and if the event would be held anywhere else, Ezekiel said;” Lagos is a commercial city. We do not have plans to go to other states for now. The event is however not limited to Lagos residents.” Akin further concluded saying; “It is an international brand; it would go into other African countries in the future.”