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AAAN, EXMAN Respectively Chart New Roadmap At Oshogbo, Abeokuta Conferences

By NtiaUsukuma.
It was conference galore in the month of July asthe Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, (AAAN)and the Experiential Marketing Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) used the last two weekends to organize their annual general meetings in Osogbo and Abeokuta respectively. EXMAN held their second annual general meeting and elections at Green Legacy Resort, Abeokuta while AAAN held their 42ndannual general meeting last weekend atLeisure Spring Hotel, Osogbo.
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The EXMAN AGM which attracted about 40 existing and newly registered experiential agencies featured lectures, discussions, excursions and a general election where new sets of leaders were elected to run the association.
READ ALSO AAAN Re-Elects Kelechi Nwosu As President At 42nd AGM/Congress
Bemoaning the present economic challenges that have affected players incalculably in the last decade, outgoing EXMAN President, KayodeOlagesin stressed in his welcome speech that the experiential sector, which controls over 40 percent of the estimated N150b budget of the integrated marketing communications industry in Nigeria must ensure that its value and functions are sustained if they must remain relevant. “We must constantly evaluate our capacity to provide quality services, examine our code of conduct to ensure that standards on ethics are maintained, while we rejig our strategies to overcome emerging challenges” Olagesin entreated.
The theme of this year’s EXMAN AGM was: “Institutionalizing the Business- Moving from Entrepreneur mode to Institutional Mode”.  According to Olagesin, it was the passion to move players ahead, from the current industry level of focusing on operational activities that motivated the planning committee to come out with this theme.
An expert in corporate re-engineering and Managing Partner of Blueprint Consulting, Anthony Agbonlahor was given the assignment of unraveling how marketing communications practitioners can institutionalize their companies and even move into the capital market for the investing public to share in their gains. While acknowledging the difficulties for entrepreneurs to willingly cede power, Agbonlahor advised all practitioners to plan for the maturity stage of their business where they will take the backstage.
During the elections, RotimiOlaniyan, Managing Director of Advantage emerged the new President of  EXMAN. Other members of the executive who were also elected alongside the President include Vice President-WoleOlagundoye, General Secretary- Kehinde Salami, Financial Secretary-KayodeIdowu and Publicity Secretary- AbiodunOshinibosi.
At the AAAN annual general meeting, the main issue was the future of advertising in Nigeria.The controversial 2013 APCON Reforms that put hurdles on the path of foreign agencies seeking to participate in Nigeria’s advertising business came into focus.   The reforms were evaluated by the CEO of Noah’s Ark, LanreAdisain a paper presented at the event. Adisasuggested that some re-considerationare urgently needed in line with current realities.
He specifically picked holes in the provision of the reform that stipulates only 25 percent shareholding for foreigners that want to play in the Nigeria’s advertising space and recommended that the industry needs to “move from the 25 percent foreign stake to 49 percent where the majority of 51 percent is held by Nigerians”
[ad id=”147″]Lanre’s comments is similar to earlier beliefs by some other stakeholders that some of the provisions in the reforms are counter-productive as they believed that the clause that places the  level of restriction on the practice of advertising and marketing by foreigners in Nigeria is not well defined.
Also speaking at the congress on the marketing of the future, Dele Anifowoshe, Marketing Director, Airtel said that clients are increasinglyrecognising the speed which consumers are evolving and therefore require agencies to keep pace, embrace digital marketing, redefine their value proposition and stay ahead.According to him, clients are looking for partners who see the trend and follow it. This is important as the business environment is driving clients’ decision-making and defining relationship with its partners.
READ ALSO Research Reports Predict Fast Transformation Pace for Africa’s Financial System
In his speech, KelechiNwosu, the president of AAAN stressed the importance of  deepening the association’s relationship with government. In his words, “as the market becomes more dynamic, the association needs to be on a good stead to do more business with clients and government”.
In his comment at the forum the Chairman of APCON, UdemeUfot said the reform was put in place with good intentions but after the introduction of the reform there was a lull in the activity of APCON because of the absence of a legitimate council. He stressed further that with the subsequent inauguration of the council, the body has set up committees with the view of strengthening the reforms.

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