The Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower has promised to present a rejuvenated and more interesting northern trade fair this year.
BOCCIM Northern Regional Manager, Eileen Van der Est, told The Sunday Standard on Friday that the northern trade fair, which is scheduled for May 22 to 25, will bear much better improvements from the previous ones which had exhibitors grumbling about the poor attendance and the discomfort caused by dust.
Van der Est said on Friday that they have paved the area between the two main halls to reduce the problem that was caused by dust. She added that the fair continues to grow every year and this year’s fair, which will be held under the theme “making SMME’s competent for sustainable economic growth”, has attracted over 100 exhibitors. She also added that they have also attracted exhibitors from outside the country and they are expecting some from Zimbabwe.
While in the past exhibitors have complained that the fair does not attract members of the public, Van der Est revealed that this year they will provide entertainment from local artists, among them pint-sized kwaito sensation, Stompie, to attract record breaking crowds. RB 2 and Duma FM will also be broadcasting live throughout the trade fair.
The program will kick off on Thursday morning with a tour of the stalls and judging of the exhibits by the judges, followed by the official opening in the afternoon at which Local Enterprise Authority Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tebogo Matome, will be the guest speaker.
On Thursday evening, the Botswana Housing Corporation will host a dinner at which the exhibitor’s prize giving ceremony will be held. BHC Chief Executive Officer, Reginald Motswaiso, will be the guest speaker at the dinner, where he will also award prizes to winning exhibitors.
On Friday, the Botswana Training Authority will host a breakfast seminar on information on the vocational training fund at Thapama Hotel and gates will be open for the public the whole day at the show grounds. LEA will also hold a workshop on the same day.
Exhibitions continue until the evening on Saturday. In the evening BOCCIM will host a fashion show at Tati River Lodge. Entertainment and more exhibitions will continue on Sunday until exhibitors disperse.
According to information received from BOCCIM, the northern trade fair was inaugurated in Francistown in 1984 and is the only wholly private sector organized fair in Botswana under the auspices of BOCCIM. The fair provides a shop-window for manufacturers, industrialists and service providers from Botswana, SADC and beyond to showcase their products and services, meet new and potential clients and network and interact with other members of the business community.
Over the years public response to the BOCCIM northern trade fair has been growing steadily and the occasion has grown to become a permanent feature on Botswana’s business calendar.