It is often said that one should not mix business with pleasure. But at , this rule was broken for a great cause, as hospitality industry practitioners from all over the world, and cocktail enthusiasts converged for 2 days of learning, networking, and loads of fun!
The Lagos Cocktail Week kicked off with a fun and spirited Bar Crawl on the 11th of October, with influencers and celebrities on a ride through popular bars in Lagos sampling various drinks and cocktails, courtesy Fayrouz. On the ride was Bam Bam, Denola Grey, Zina Anumudu, among others. The bars visited were Atmosphere Rooftop, Nok by Alara, and Brass & Copper.
On October 15th, the Bar Crawl continued courtesy of Johnnie Walker. The brand’s mixologist, Berg Baboyan, thrilled cocktail lovers with his eclectic creations, as they took an exhilarating journey across LCW partner bars. After the Bar Crawl, the ma event took place from October 16th – October 17th at the Balmoral Hall,Federal Palace Hotel. It was an especially memorable event, as founder of Lagos Cocktail, Lara Rawa’s cocktail services company, Event Cocktails, celebrated its 10th year anniversary.
Some memorable sessions during the event include the “Coffee Lifestyle Meets Cocktail Hour” panel, that featured industry leaders including Fikayo Durosinmi-Etti (MD, Café Neo), Adeyinka Tekenah (Founder, Happy Coffee), and Toluwalope Omidiji (Founder, 19.8 Drinks & Cocktails), who spoke about innovative developments pertaining to the subject matter in the Nigerian market.
Another memorable highlight was the practical workshop on New Trends in Mixology by Malika Saidi of Amsterdam-based Bartending Academy, “Bols Bartending.” During her session, attendees got to learn firsthand, the art and science of current and future mixology trends.
During the Marketing & Branding session, some renowned experts shed light on techniques mixologists and entrepreneurs in the industry could use to differentiate their brands in the crowded marketplace. Franklin Ozekhome (Group Strategy & Planning Director, Insight Redefeni/Publicis One), Idiare Atimomo (Co-founder, Up in the Sky LTD) and Oluseyi “SDJ” Jolayemi (COO SwiftThink LTD), who were panelists, shared invaluable tips, which attendees found very useful.
The workshop on Creative Ways to Style your Mobile Bar, was a very practical session, as right in front of us, Yewande Rwang-Dung of Saro Events, styled a bar to show some easy ways to go about it, and make setups more attractive. Business of Photography’s DIY Photography session was a huge hit! Facilitator, Kola Oshalusi, showed attendees some tips and tricks on how to create spectacular images for food and drinks photography with the use of a mobile phone camera and strategic lighting techniques.
In addition, the panel about the Future of the Nigerian Event Industry was quite thought provoking. Funke Bucknor (CEO, Zapphaire Events), Bola Okolie (CEO, Bonix Drinks), and Gbemisola Ope (President, APPOEMN), shared their insights about the current state of the industry, preferring innovative means of advancement. Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Honourable Shuli Olufunke Adebolu, was also present at the event.
Oh, and can we talk about the grand finale of LCW? It was so much fun! Celebrities and influencers including, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Elizabeth Elohor, Uti Nwachukwu, Anto Lecky, Ono Bello, Latasha Ngwube, Denola Grey, Bolly Lomo, Efa Iwara, Shine Begho, and more came out to celebrate the big night and witness the Bar Battle.
After a truly epic battle, a representative of South Social, Gbenle Olawale Shalom, emerged winner and won the amazing prize of an all-expense paid training/trip at Bols Bartending Academy in Amsterdam. After the 6-month training, he will become their local brand ambassador.
Speaking on the success of Lagos Cocktail Week 2019, Lara Rawa says, “The 6th edition of the Lagos Cocktail Week is proof that the Nigerian Cocktail Industry has grown beyond Nigeria and Africa, and is raising industry experts that infuse both indigenous and international knowledge to grow their individual brands as well as the industry as a whole. This year’s turnout was exceptional. We had hospitality industry practitioners from all around Africa as well as Europe, in attendance, learning from our practical workshops, and also making valuable connections through networking opportunities. We’re so grateful to all our sponsors, supporters, and partners for their contributions to making the event a great success.”
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