Local authorities have been urged to desist from hosting trade fairs on the same dates “or in the same timeframe” as this is counter-productive and has a negative bearing on potential investors, supporters and show-goers. This is according to MTC’s manager for sponsorships and promotions, Joseph Mundjindi.
While addressing delegates at the recently ended Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF) fundraising dinner, Mundjindi said that this “unnecessary competition” will force investors to select which show to attend, to avoid putting severe strain on their planning and operational processes.
“Over the years we have noticed a counter-productive trend of trade fair associations and local authorities, regarding duplication and hosting of shows on dates that either clash or which take place on consecutive weeks. Local authorities and trade societies seem to be in the business of outwitting and outmanoeuvring each other. This undertone competition can scare away potential investors and supporters – as they are forced to re-strategise and select which shows to attend, owing to finances and resource allocation,” said Mundjindi.
He added that trade fairs that take place too soon after each other “hamper the planning and operational process of corporate supporters, such as MTC”.
“This puts a strain on our human capital, leading to exhibitors having to be more selective about which shows to support given the haphazard nature in which they are organized. There needs to be a body that ensures that the various trade show dates are streamlined and allows for exhibitors to plan logistics properly, by not demanding key staff having to be out of office for more than two consecutive weeks, etc.” The telecommunication giant MTC committed N$400 000 to OATF.
During the just ended Okakarara Trade Fair, the show’s director of agriculture and coordination, John Uazukuani, complained that some organizations book and even pay for stalls but then do not participate in the actual event. “Some of these companies are public institutions and when they fail to show up they also fail to deliver essential services to the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) said that this year they decided not to participate in the Okakarara Trade Fair, again bringing to the fore the clashes brought about by conflicting trade fair dates. “We have in previous years supported and participated in the Okakarara trade show however this year we took a strategic decision not to participate because we have just returned from the Outjo Trade Fair where we attended to our members’ needs in the Kunene and Otjozondjupa regions. So far GIPF has taken part in the Outjo and Ongwediva trade fairs and is preparing for the upcoming Windhoek Agricultural Show, as well as the Erongo Expo,” explained GIPF’s manager of corporate communication, Daylight Namene.
MTC’s Mundjindi further highlighted that town councils should use their exhibitions to showcase and improve their branding.
“These are events that can influence the image of a community or organizing country, which leads to a positive perception as a potential travel destination. Few towns are however taking advantage to improve their image, and especially regarding cultural events, to bring about positive effects for the towns, by enlivening the city streets and making the residents proud. MTC expects local governments to use such events as a tool to improve the local people’s perception of the region, town and area. The positive impact of trade fairs on the image of towns where they take place is often underestimated,” he said.
In his closing remarks Mundjindi said that trade fairs are developmental events that should be part of the development strategy of town councils.
“Trade fairs are usually characterised by longevity and good media coverage; they also seem to receive strong community support because of the beneficial effects they bring to the local economy. However, if such events are to be successful at town image enhancement, they must also be part of a long-term development strategy that links them to the current economic and social environment of the town and to its own identities and core values.” New Era Reporter
2015-09-09 10:06:18 | 5 years ago