Outori’s Experiential Masterpiece: Transforming Dangote Refinery Launch Into An Unforgettable Experience
The Launch of Africa’s Largest Refinery
On a momentous day in May 2023, Africa witnessed the birth of its largest oil refinery, nestled in the heart of Nigeria’s Lekki Free Trade Zone. With a staggering investment of $19 billion, this monumental project was the brainchild of Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest individual.
The commissioning event for the Dangote Refinery was not merely an industrial milestone but an extraordinary spectacle that captured the attention of the entire African continent and beyond. The sheer economic significance of the project, coupled with the presence of influential dignitaries, transformed this occasion into an unparalleled gathering of industry titans and visionaries. Presidents such as Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Macky Sall of Senegal, Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic, and Mahamat Déby of Chad graced the ceremony, emphasizing the importance of this historic achievement.
Orchestrating this grand event was Outori, a leading consumer experience agency affiliated with the renowned Dentsu Aegis Network. As the flagship company within the Red Slate Group—a distinguished Growth Marketing and Investment Management Group—Outori demonstrated its unwavering commitment to excellence and its profound understanding of the significance of the Dangote Refinery launch.
Wole Olagunjoye, the visionary leader and CEO of Outori Limited, in a chat with Brand Communicator, reflected on the pivotal role his company played in ensuring the success of the Dangote Refinery launch from an experiential perspective. With enthusiasm and pride, Olagunjoye shared the meticulous planning, creative insights, and standout moments that made this event an extraordinary experience for all.
To become part of this great project, Olagunjoye, stated, “Dangote Industries Limited has been one of our strategic partners. We have handled several of their high-profile events in Nigeria spanning from one of the biggest weddings in Africa, that of Fatima Aliko-Dangote in 2016, to their Distributors Awards, and so on. Not to leave out the commissioning event for the Dangote Fertilizer factory which was held in February 2022. I can say we have sort of earned the trust of the Dangote Group to successfully put together their events. Of course, you know such trusts can only come with the dynamism in our creative thinking, planning, and excellent execution strategies.”
Planning & Executing the Launch
When evaluating the overall success of the formal unveiling, Olagunjoye emphasized the key deliverables Outori aimed to achieve. He explained, “For an event of that magnitude, the key deliverables for us were to propose a compelling theme that captured the essence of the refinery, provide end-to-end event and vendor management to ensure a cohesive and professional event, create the ambiance to deliver a world-class experience that excites guests, projects the stature and potential of the refinery, and to ensure a secure and seamless event from start to finish.”
From the outcome of the event, it was evident that Outori had met and exceeded these goals. Olagunjoye elaborated, “The essence of the refinery was to provide energy for all, which was captured in the event theme and depicted in the life-size iconic pieces that were deployed. The seamlessness in the execution plan from the arrival experience to guest registration and validation, access control, movement of guests, and the ambiance created at the event area was something to behold. Every point, every act was a message depicted about the purpose of the refinery. In all, we can agree that it was an event well executed.”
Creating such a remarkable experience requires meticulous planning and preparation. Olagunjoye revealed the level of dedication that went into crafting unforgettable experiences for the guests. He emphasized, “To put together that kind of event requires an intense level of preparation. The refinery commissioning event that the world witnessed took over nine (9) months of critical planning. Yes, nine (9) months. Like Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.'”
When asked about the highlights and standout moments during the Dangote event, Olagunjoye admitted that it was challenging to single out a specific moment. He exclaimed, “To be honest, I will say it was such a breathtaking experience seeing everything that we had planned come to life. However, the standout moment for me was when the guests were taking pictures near the iconic pieces, the fun fact media wall, and the unique fractional distillation animation wall. You could tell the level of excitement on their faces as they took with them memories of the event via the still images on their phones. We felt fulfilled even when guests started asking team members to assist in clicking a photo for them.”
Engaging participants and ensuring an interactive and immersive experience was paramount to the success of the event. Olagunjoye explained how Outori collaborated with an exceptional team of vendors who understood the objectives and had extensive experience in executing events of this nature. He shared, “The way we planned the event was for guests to be self-assisted. What I mean is to invite them to an atmosphere where they can be themselves and interact with their fellows without their entourage or protocols on their shoulders.”
Outori crafted an experiential journey for guests, starting from the moment they arrived. The validation areas at the gate welcomed guests with the sight of hosts and hostesses dressed as refinery workers, setting the tone for an exciting experience. Guests parked their cars and embarked on air-conditioned buses, enjoying the captivating sights of the refinery en route to the event area.
Upon entering the event area, guests were greeted by a 12-foot-tall barrel depicting the refinery and life-size icons representing different energy products. These visual elements served as powerful symbols, conveying the purpose and message of the refinery. The meticulously decorated marquees provided an exquisite backdrop for the event, with each detail carefully crafted to create an immersive atmosphere.
In the grand unveiling of the Dangote Refinery, Outori faced unforeseen challenges that put their mettle to the test. “The biggest challenge for us during the refinery commissioning was during the set-up,” recounted Olagunjoye. With just two days remaining until the event, disaster struck when heavy winds caused a portion of the main marquee to collapse overnight. This setback not only affected the marquee but also caused damage to installed lights, stage settings, sound equipment, and décor. Suddenly, the meticulously planned set-up, which initially took six days to complete, was thrown into disarray.
“The task was to rectify the damage and get back on track,” he shared. The Outori team, vendors, and the Dangote planning committee rallied together, determined to overcome the challenges they faced. Their unwavering commitment and tireless efforts were focused on repairing the marquee, reassembling the stage, replacing damaged equipment, and rearranging other assets and props. With the implementation timeline rolled back, every resource was channeled into restoring the setup.
“Set-up continued round the clock till the morning of the event, but eventually, everything was fine,” stated Olagunjoye. The team worked tirelessly, displaying remarkable resilience and dedication to ensure that the event would proceed flawlessly. Hours turned into a blur as they laboured relentlessly to rectify the damage, working against the clock to reinstate the infrastructure and ambiance that had been disrupted.
A tradition of excellence
At the core of Outori’s success lies its exceptional team of 35 talented and innovative enthusiasts. These individuals, hailing from diverse backgrounds, bring together a wealth of intellectual diversity and creative energy that fuels Outori’s problem-solving and forward-thinking mindset. Passionate, dedicated, and highly motivated, the team at Outori is renowned for creating experiences that not only inspire employees but also captivate clients and consumers alike. Their commitment to innovation sets them apart from the competition, making them the driving force behind Outori’s exceptional track record.
Beyond that, Wole further describes the agency as a collective of people who result oriented: “Like our name, Outori which stands for Output Oriented, we are about the “outcome” of everything that we do. The management team consists of people with “can do” spirit, goal getters, and self-motivated. Our biggest motivation is in ensuring that we bring to life the vision and aspiration of our various Clients by ensuring that we focus on their set objectives and end goals.”
In the world of brand experience and marketing solutions, Outori Limited stands as a shining example of excellence, guided by a philosophy that connects brands to their targets. Operating under the principles of P.A.C.E I.G., Outori embodies passion, agility, commitment to excellence, entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth. These core values drive their relentless pursuit of delivering exceptional experiences and driving growth for their clients, consumers, and themselves.
Outori’s vision extends beyond boundaries, aiming to establish itself as a leading brand experience and marketing solutions company in Africa. The agency’s ambition is to elevate Africa to the center of the world in terms of experiential marketing activation, always keeping the consumer journey and the end goal at the forefront.
When it comes to consumer events and corporate launches, Outori has consistently increased mindshare for clients. By orchestrating world-class events such as the Dangote Fertilizer factory launch, Dangote Distributors’ Awards, Liquid Intelligence Technology Launch, Tropical Christmas Wonderland for Eko Hotel & Suites, Samsung Unpacked event, MTV Shuga season premieres, and The African Center, New York, the agency has left indelible marks on the industry.
Furthermore, Outori Limited proudly holds a Guinness World Record for the largest cupcake mosaic, which comprised 60,011 cupcakes forming Nigeria’s official 60th-anniversary logo. This incredible feat, achieved in celebration of Nigeria’s 60 years of independence, exemplifies Outori’s commitment to making an impact that transcends borders and puts Lagos State on the world map.