Business News of 2014-03-08

Trade Fair exhibitors bemoan high cost of stands, gate fees

A number of exhibitors at the ongoing 18th Ghana International Trade Fair have stated that the high cost of the stands and gate fees are adversely affecting patronage of the event.

According to them, the cost of a stand is too expensive, thereby discouraging potential exhibitors from patronising the event.

One of them said, “people are saying the products being exhibited here are already on the market so why should they pay to come and patronise products they can always buy from the open market.”

Feedback

These were the feedbacks received when the Daily Graphic interacted with a number of exhibitors at this year’s trade fair.

The fair, which is on the theme; “Development through Trade and Investment,” has attracted over 400 local and international exhibitors, according to Mr Abdul-Shakuru Zakaria, Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited.

It is being organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) in collaboration with the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).

The number of exhibitors notwithstanding, believe this year’s fair could have been better if a number of steps had been taken.

At the Akosombo Paper Mill stand, attendants said there was no effective pre-fair publicity to create awareness in order to boost patronage.

This sentiment was also shared by attendants at the Ghana Publishing Corporation stand who said that compared with previous years, this year’s fair had not received the needed publicity that should enhance its success.

Representatives of the Northern and Volta Regional Co-ordinating Councils, which presented an umbrella of exhibitioners from those regions, said that their expectations in terms of traffic to their stands had not been met and expressed the hope that next time more publicity would be undertaken to attract more clients to the fair.

They were also of the view that with the high rate being paid for the stands, it would have been better if the gates had been opened freely for patrons, because the gate fee of GH¢3.00 was on the high side.

Successful fair?

According to Mr Zakaria, the fair has been very successful because what is important for the Ghana Trade Fair Company is to offer a unique platform to both local and international economic operators to exhibit whatever goods and services they have.

“We expect that the exhibitors should determine and define their objectives of participating in the exhibition, whether it is about making sales or wanting to create future business prospects with potential customers,” he said.

As part of the outcomes of the fair, he said, they expected exhibitioners to interact with potential clients, exchange contacts and follow up on them after the event.

“But on the whole, it has been very successful. We have had no challenges. There is regular power supply with a standby generator, adequate security presence and support services from the Ghana Trade Fair Company,” he stressed.