Social Media Week Lagos 2016 has come and gone, leaving on me an indelible impression. I had to go the whole nine yards of taking a work leave to attend this year’s event. Overall it was both fun and impactful (not sure if it is profitable yet).
I’d try to encapsulate my experience in this blog post, hoping that it doesn’t end up being verbose.
On being Star-struck, and the few meetups
One of my few reasons for attending #SMWLagos2016 was “to meet people”, and I’d say I performed ‘fairly’. While still being agnostic to ‘wefies’ I met and chatted with a few people. I had a deep chat with Colin Udoh, showed my poetry to Wana Udobang; had a short chat with Bankole Oluwafemi, Ikechukwu Ofili and Miss Techy.
Somehow my upfront strategy got blown off by whatchamacallit. I passed NaetoC three times to confirm he was the one, and notice how fresh he was (money is good). I couldn’t ask for a chat from Tolu Ogunlesi, and didn’t have anything to say to Tunde Kelani. I stood beside Japheth Omojuwa, and was within talking distance of Noble Igwe.
To say the truth, these guys are a lot cooler in real life – and normal too. I saw other people, but the people I have listed were people I really wanted to see, and perhaps talk with.
The Nescafe Girls
The Nescafe stand was close to the registration stand. Apart from being strategically positioned, something else made it attractive. So attractive that the Senate President stopped by on his way out after his session.
The Nescafe girls.
The Nescafe girls were amazing. They were warm, natural, friendly, chatty, boisterous, and fun to be with. I went to their stand many times, not for the coffee, but for their personality. Ordinarily, you’d expect good-looking hostesses to be edgy or show some sense of superior class, but these girls were not the type.
They were never prim and proper. They laughed out loud a couple of times with themselves and with people who came to drink coffee or play the fun games they came up with.
State of Church. Matters Arising
The climax for me, was on Thursday. The event held by The Elevation Church in her premises was the most impactful. From the State of Church report to the panel session to the break out classes, every segment was ‘a hit’. I met with Subomi Plumptre, and had a short chat that would produce results in a short time (watch out on this space).
The report was eye-opening, and as Leke Alder said, it is empirical information enough to stop the Church from returning to anecdotal knowledge.
In the end, their small chops was better that the what was served by #SMW on Day 1.
I didn’t attend the previous #SMWLagos events, but 2016’s was more than I expected. The ambience. The turn out was massive. Everyone came.
…but some improvements would suffice…
Many panel moderators ‘freestyled’ their sessions. As a result, some sessions were boring, some didn’t have a direction or structure. Some sessions just fizzled out before they ended.
Moderators need to plan their sessions before hand. Give it direction. Write out the script they want played out. List out questions. Wana Udobang did this so well. Peace Hyde read her questions from an iPad. The Senate President’s session moderated by Ebuka Obi Uchendu played out well, despite that it felt like a freestyle. Probably worked because the panel had one panelist per mini session.
In the same vein, Senator Bukola Saraki wrote down the questions thrown at him, and went ahead to treat them one after the other.
‘Take Away Packs’
For what it is worth, #SMWLagos is not the kind of event you attend and go home empty. In addition to the gift packs flying around different event venues (most had notebooks and pens in them), there was something to learn. The Google Hangout with Claude Grunitzky, and the TrendWatching (ContentWood) events made me take notes.
Amidst the flurry of irritating fake foreign accents, I still enjoyed my time at the impressive Landmark Centre. Having the beautiful Mosopefoluwa Odeseye as an accomplice meant there was ‘no dull moment’.
I will definitely return in 2017, but not as an attendee, I pray.