When I saw the Instagram post for the slay festival, I knew nothing was going to stop me from attending. Personal development, meeting people, food, Please sign me up.
Then I saw that the event fell on my birthday and I started getting unsure but thanks to the fact that I didn’t have any birthday plans, there was no need to change my mind. I also have to give it to their marketing team, they were everywhere. Newspapers, blogs, social media, even whatsapp!!! I mean.. a round of applause. I need their team for my next marketing campaign.
I actually said to myself that I won’t go for over marketed or overhyped events this year, not because of the organizers but for personal reasons which I will share below but look who went…
Let me start my review with the not so fun experience, read till the end to get the full story.
I went to the festival with my amazing friend Eremi. I made her leave her house in Magodo by 7 am so that we could get to the venue on time. . which we did.. we got there by 10:00 am and we met a queue: first red flag but its ok.. we were still hyped up. Then there came this annoying drone that kept on pouring dust on everybody on the queue.. smh.
I love the railway venue charm in pictures but in reality, it was quite dusty/ musty. Eremi is asthmatic and she was very uncomfortable. We had to leave earlier than planned cos we both didn’t want any health issues for her.
We got into the venue and were like, where are the chairs? There were about 150 chairs for almost 400 people and more people were obviously coming. The vendors were also still setting up at 11am and we started to get annoyed. The organizers kept on talking about showing up early so naturally they should have setup a day before abi?
The sound was also still shaky.
We met up with some acquaintances and they shared the same sentiments, honestly, the morale was quite low. This was around 10:45- 11:30 am Unfortunately for some people, they got the oga madam ticket which was worth 10-15k depending on when you paid and they were expecting Vip treatment which never happened.
Then the weather started getting hot (as expected) and there was nowhere to stay hide and listen. There were tents, but space couldn’t contain everyone. To say we were angry was an understatement o.. lol
I know its starting to sound really bad but it wasnt all gloom!! After some complaining and hiding and hissing, we decided to make the best use of our 3k and our time. who comlaining don epp?
The first thing I did was to go back to the entrance, where the talking drum guys were still playing and I danced with them. It was so much fun. I’m sure some people thought I was high on something but those guys made sure I danced to my heart fill.. bless their soul. I now feel so bad that I didn’t give them any money. If I see them again sha!!
We waited for the vendors to set up and I connected with as many as possible. I took cards, flyers, asked questions.. they had really good vendors I must add. I met with people like diylaw.com, who will be helping me register a business name, so yummy had free popcorn, I had the most amazing smoothies, Ankara accessories yakpa everywhere, books, inverters… I went everywhere.
The event also started to take shape and the organisers had fixed some of the faults with the chairs and the sound. The talks got interesting and I started learning a lot. I left just after Toke and Areses talk and I gained a lot. ( I sat not too far away from a speaker beside the vendor’s cos I didn’t want to stay under the sun) I really like Toke Makinwas brand.
I haven’t read her book..( now I have.. Read a review here. I also have a review of Areses book, the smart money woman here) just because…… but I try not to judge her personality by what I see on social media, I really like her story and the fact that she can create value from her bad experiences!! I’m not sure I agree with some of her values but I admire her business sense.
update: Now i read the book and i have a review here
there was also an art exhibition by an SME consultant corner for free business consultations, a virtual reality creation lab, a Beauty in Lagos manicure bar( i love EZ) Henna designing by the Henna place (couldn’t wait my turn on the queue sadly) free natural hair styling by kinky Apothecary( unfortunately I had extensions on, saw some of what she did and she did a great job), makeup by House of Tara, makeup challenge by Beauty Rev NG, a Maggi Jollof bar and so many other goodies.
All in all.. it was a good event. The decor was beautiful, BellaNaija had a photo booth, people were very well dressed, the vibe was fantastic.
Would I go next time, maybe yes, as a vendor or a speaker (speaking it into existence) but I learnt valuable lessons from the event and during the event
- Not all that glitters is gold: (especially social media)
- Always find a way to make the best out of any situation you find yourself in.
- You need to work hard to be what you want to be… know what it is you want to become, work your way to it and fake it till you make it!!!!
- Always take advantage of an opportunity to network. ….
- Look good as much as you can… you don’t know who you will meet… you should be ready to sell yourself/ your market at all times…
- Don’t just do things because everyone else is.. (bandwagon effect)
- You are enough!!!
- Educate yourself… Ignorance is never an excuse.
She Leads Africa is committed to educating and empowering African female business owners. I love what they do and totally key to their vision. I stand with them!!
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Side note, Why don’t I attend over-marketed events even though some times I really want to.
First of all, I prefer intimate events where I have an idea of who’s there, do I fit in with the audience, are the speakers speaking to my needs etc. these are the things I usually look for but for the #slayfestival, I was completely sold when I saw TFD and her husband FD.. I really wanted to hear them speak!!! (silly me didn’t cross-check the time cos they were billed to speak in the evening and I had to leave in the afternoon).
Secondly, I have had bad experiences with free events. Free events attract a wide range of people from trouble makers to peacemakers. The mix isn’t very good. This might be good for the organizers but not for me. #slay festival wasn’t free btw, just thought to put this out there.
Next is overcrowding and social anxiety…, we still haven’t gotten crowd control right in this country and I get serious social anxiety when I am in a crowded room… with a lot of strangers.. *shudders*.
Lastly: when there’s a lot of hype around a product or an event, people start to get unrealistic expectations which the owners/ organizers would have to stretch to meet. Some events meet these expectations and some do not and that is fine. But when you can’t meet these expectations, it could result in high and then dashed hopes which is never good. This happened in the #slayfestival. I heard some people came all the way from Ilorin but left disappointed.
This sounds very bad I know (and the slay festival wasn’t bad o) I just needed to state my challenges first before going into the main thing… I created a guide on how to plan small intimate events based on my experiences… Subscribe to my email notifications at the bottom of this post if you are interested!!!!
I think lots of people had mixed reviews too. Their campaign is always on point though! And judging from the photos only, you’d think everything went according to plan. Glad you still picked up some lessons!
Yea.. their marketing is top notch!!
Lol. Just like my review.
They really didn’t get everything right. But they did their best to act like all was well, lol which is good.
And we shld all learn a thing or two from their social media hype.
I like how yu concluded it with words of encouragement. Weldone.
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I agree that their start was very shaky…I was there early too and met the queue.
Though I couldn’t stay till the end, I must say it was a good event.
My view on SLAY Festival – http://peridotlady.blogspot.com.ng/2017/01/slaying-slay-festival-2017.html
I’m glad you did the bad first and ended with the good gave a better impression of their brand… love your blog
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