TrendWatching's Insight Network touches down in Lagos!

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Earlier this month, TrendWatching's Insight Network (tw:in) embarked on an ongoing world tour, bringing together trend-hungry professionals in various cities and locales to debate and discuss  our trends and the wider concept of Trend-Driven Innovation.

As we touched on before the event, Lagos - Nigeria's bustling hub - was the perfect place to kick off our first African meet-up. What went down? We'll pass the baton on to Emeka Obia, long-time tw:in Super Spotter and long-time TrendWatching collaborator, to run down the ins and out of what proved to be a fruitful session.

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Saturday rolled around and it was time to introduce TrendWatching to a bunch of savvy folks who didn’t quite know what to expect from a tw:in meet-up. They trickled into Café Neo in Yaba (see featured image), filled with expectations on a hot Lagos afternoon.

Fifteen professionals were on the ground for the meet-up, all from varying backgrounds – from a 9-5 guy at a financial services firm, to a lady who works with an advertising agency, to a former MD of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry, to a freelance photographer. This mixture of attendees, all registered spotters and TrendWatching subscribers, were ready to plunge into the discussion (and find out more about tw:in along the way ;).

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Lola Pedro, TrendWatching's Africa Regional Director, kicked off the session as people settled before I stepped in to get everyone introduce themselves. Lola then went straight into her presentation, diving into TrendWatching and the methodology that shapes everything we do.

Following this, we formally introduced the tw:in community before identifying how to spot local trends (and the benefits local spotters could attain via the tw:in reward system. I even managed to find some time to show off some my own rewards (because, well, why not!), which include an invitation to the Amsterdam Trend Event on November 23. 

After this? Time for attendees to get their hands dirty.

We split into groups and asked to come up with a trend for Lola’s end of year bulletin, based on their understanding so far in the session. In addition to this, participants also had to support their new trends with sufficient local innovation examples.

It was energizing seeing how excited everyone was about this activity and eventually, Lola stopped the clock to have each team present their unique trends with recent examples.

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One of the trends identified by attendees was the recent rise of local tourism in Nigeria (NaijaLoco), observing that the so-called millennial crowd are now becoming more interested in the local leisure industry. A few examples cited included Social Prefect, an independent local tourism expert service that organises trips and tours for people, and Hotels NG: an online travel agency specialising in hotel bookings within Nigeria, who recently launched the package – #BuyNaijaToGrowNaira service – to entice both Nigerians that are worried about the economy (and also the ridiculous foreign exchange rates) and those who typically have never been able to afford travelling outside of the country yet still deserve vacations.

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After each team presented their trends, by vote of cheers, a winning group was selected, rounding up Lagos’ first ever trend meet-up.

What's next for tw:in in Africa?

We'll be picking up the pace ;) and diving straight into example-sourcing for actual trends currently being tracked by TrendWatching. Watch this space!

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TW:IN is a global network of marketing and business-savvy spotters. Think you've got what it takes to become part of the trend revolution? Apply to join today.

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