Business COMMENTARY:Getting the best out of the ‘expo’

It is that time of the year again. The Rwanda International Trade Fair is underway once again. Even without a reminder, the prevailing dry weather conditions now seem like a stark reminder of the time when people flock to the Gikondo expo grounds not for a music concert but to check out what is on exhibition at the trade fair.
Allan Brian Ssenyonga
Allan Brian Ssenyonga

It is that time of the year again. The Rwanda International Trade Fair is underway once again. Even without a reminder, the prevailing dry weather conditions now seem like a stark reminder of the time when people flock to the Gikondo expo grounds not for a music concert but to check out what is on exhibition at the trade fair.

Like the previous years, the expo still runs from the end of this month to the beginning of August. At this point, I am compelled to commend whoever suggested these dates as a true genius. The event always happens when school children are home for their holidays and if you look closely it starts just around the time when workers get their July pay cheque. More so, it falls during the dry season which simply means there is no rain interruption.

The numbers of people who take time off to visit the Expo grounds is reported to be increasing by the year. This is good news for the exhibitors but only the smart ones can exploit it to the maximum it. Below are a few tips on achieving just that.

The first thing to do is to book for space early enough and prepare your stall so that you are present during the opening ceremony. The event is usually presided by a big shot. Thereafter, he/she goes ahead to tour the grounds with the media following close like hungry hounds. This could be your chance for your stall to feature on national television, a free ad if you ask me.

With the expo entering its seventh day, there are things that you can do to ensure you get a better deal at the end of the day. Displaying your products in a colourful way will have show goers stopping by to find out what you are into and probably open their wallets to pay for something or to simply store your business card.

To further get the best out of this year’s expo, a smart exhibitor must have folks who are willing to respond to customer’s queries eloquently and in the various languages especially those predominant. Every now and then you will have a show goer who needs explanations in French, Kinyarwanda, English or Swahili.

It is also important to note that an exhibition is more about marketing yourself that making sales. With this is mind, it is vital to have clear displays, brochures and lots of business cards to hand out to potential clients. Of course some companies are already brand names and their focus will be on sales.

To ensure that more people make it to your stall, it may be wise for you to advertise on local FM stations and on TV with ads that point out where exactly you are located and what you have on offer at the stall. This will get people looking forward to visiting your stall.

To top it up, you can have a public address system that draws people to your stall either with nice music or witty talk from an MC. In other words, you have to do all you can to get people to your stall and to get them to know what you have on offer.

 

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