Jamie Hill is the Managing Director of Back to Blighty,(B to B) as well as a show organiser. In his keen to shape beauty tech business and expand the West Africa Beauty Market, using art and science innovations to create employment and empowerment he delve into the an annual exhibition event that began a year ago “Beauty West Africa.
Where did the Beauty West African Exhibition originate from?
Personally, I was previously involved in organising a beauty exhibition in Nigeria for my previous employer. The event was always well attended and created a real meeting point for the industry leaders. Unfortunately the event didn’t live up to its full potential but I truly believed in the potential of the West African beauty sector, and Nigeria in particular – that is why I set up BtoB Events and launched Beauty West Africa, to give the global sector a platform to engage with the knowledgeable, exciting and lucrative West African market. I am interested in shaping the future of beauty tech business in Nigeria through innovations using art and science.
*What is the aim of Beauty West Africa?*
The main aim of Beauty West Africa is to help promote and support Brand Nigeria. We have specific SME Zone set up throughout the exhibition enabling smaller local companies the opportunity to showcase their products amongst some of the leading companies from across the world. With such a wealth of natural resources here in Nigeria, Shea butter and Moringa oil, which have their own amazing properties exclusive to the region- they need to be exported to the world. The increased exportation of such products and resources can really help grow the Nigerian economy. We will also invite our international exhibitor to sample the market and learn about the amazing opportunities here. Our short term focus is to bring new products to the market and long term we hope aim to promote local manufacturing here in Nigeria to our internal exhibitors.
*Is there a gap in the beauty industry that the Exhibition and Conference is looking to bridge?*
I feel that there are always gaps that need bridging, irrelevant of the industry you work in- especially with all industries constantly evolving and growing. With the local beauty industry we hope to empower our attendees through first class knowledge sharing an insight. Typically it would be restricting financially for some of Nigeria’s beautypreneurs to be able to witness demonstrations and want to bridge the gap from the leading business professional to the start-ups and aspiring celebrity stylists of tomorrow. The conference is designed to offer important insight into key business areas which will really empower those looking to establish- covering areas such as finance, registration, social media and more.
*What was the experience of last year’s BWA and how is this year’s event going to be different?*
Last year’s Beauty West Africa was a huge success. So much so that we have expanded the exhibition to encompass both halls of the landmark Centre due to increased demand for exhibitors and significantly higher number of attendees. Many of our local exhibitors forged new partnerships across the country and we have a number of success stories from our international brands such as Naturally Tribal and Botelux France who managed to sign lucrative deals with big local player onsite. It is fantastic to also see that a number of our SME exhibitors from 2018 have moved up the chain to take full size exhibition booths this year, highlighting the growth that the exhibition has provided to business. The conference was also really well received, so we have invested more time and resources to bring some of the most exciting names from overseas, such as Dionne Smith, and local superstars like Banke Meshida Lawal to present this year.