Beauty aficionados in the country could not hide their excitement, yesterday, during the opening ceremony of this year’s edition of the Beauty West Africa Exhibition in Lagos.
The event, which will continue till Thursday, December 1, at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, recorded a huge turnout of local and international exhibitors, and visitors who moved from one booth to another in search of beauty products of their choice.
Speaking with journalists, Jamie Hill, Managing Director of BtoB Events Limited, organisers of the exhibition, said over 200 exhibitors were at the venue to showcase their beauty products.
He said: “We have a record number of exhibitors here, this year. And I’m proud to say that we have a record number of Nigerian exhibitors here because we are trying to do our best to promote the ‘Made in Nigeria’ brand and promote exporting from Nigeria to other ECOWAS states.
“We now are officially the largest professional beauty exhibition across the African continent; that makes me very, very proud. So, from an exhibitor point of view, I am very pleased with the turnout. We have expanded over the three halls of the Landmark Centre for the first time. And as I said, we have a record number of registrations of people coming along, and we just hope that they come along to visit. It is free if they have registered. On the exhibition, we have over 200 exhibitors showcasing their products.”
On what the firm hopes to achieve with the exhibition, Hill noted that exhibitions have been fundamental to the growth of economies all over the world, since the post World War II days, adding that after the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has changed quite a lot.
“Economic conditions are difficult due to various reasons, and an exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for buyers and sellers to come together and drive the market, the business and the industry forward – in this case, the beauty industry.
“I think it was last month that one of our partners, the Nigerian Association of Cosmetic Scientists, disclosed that the beauty industry in Nigeria was valued at N1.016 trillion as at 2021. So, if you have such a huge industry, I think it’s right for it to be serviced. Beauty West Africa has organised this exhibition as a platform for the experts to come together and discuss perspectives, knowledge sharing and also do some businesses and drive the GDP and the economy forward,” Hill added.
He revealed that the company was looking forward to introducing news ideas into the exhibition in the coming years, noting, however, that the firm was pleased with the current content of the exhibition and would follow up in 2023.
Earlier in his welcome letter, the Exhibition Manager, Beauty West Africa, BtoB Events, Ken Baber, explained that the exhibition “is a once a year opportunity for the beauty and cosmetics sector of West Africa to come together, network, forge new opportunities, discuss best practice and, of course, do business.”
Commenting on the event, one of the exhibitors, Feroze Khan of Ahmed Al Maghribi Perfumes, United Arab Emirates, described the African continent as one of the best in the world, saying the firm was looking forward to a great response from the African market.
“This is the first time we are exhibiting here. Talking about Ahmed Al Maghribi, we have been in the business of perfumes since 20 years. We are the manufacturer; we also have our own retail chain. We have about 150 retail chains all across the GCC. We have very good ‘fan’ following in African regions. Nigerians love our perfumes because of the quality; they are all of natural origin. They are strong; they are good, very long lasting and they simply love it. As I said, this is our first time in this exhibition and we are looking out for a great response,” he said.
Speaking, specifically, about the Nigerian market, Khan described it as very diverse, adding: “The best part is that it has a huge population of 220 million. We have a few vendors here who are very loyal. But we are looking out for some bigger distributors who can do justice for this brand.”
Another exhibitor, Chee Lee of the Global Team, O’U International, South Korea, said: “Our brand is One-day’s you. I work in the global business team. We produce seven different categories of skin care products. We are, right now, selling the best in Japan. We are looking at expanding into different countries. We are trying to penetrate into the African market; this is our first time of coming to Nigeria. So, we are looking for opportunities; we are looking for distributors and buyers in Nigeria.”