THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company says bookings for the 58th edition of the annual trade showcase have risen to 80 percent as more local and international exhibitors register their participation.
The exhibition will run from 25-29 April at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo under the theme “Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development”.
The multi-sectoral event aims to provide a principal forum for networking and key opportunities so as to further propel exponential growth for the country’s economy.“To date, over 37 500 square metres have been reserved, which represents close to 80 percent of space available for sale,” marketing and public relations manager Ms Stella Nkomo said.
She said efforts to engage the international community were underway with more inquiries coming in from as far as Europe and Asia. So far 13 countries have confirmed their participation, Ms Nkomo added. These include Botswana, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Turkey with provisional bookings from Indonesia, India and United Arab of Emirates.
“ZITF Company is cognisant of the fact that exhibitors want value from their participation at this premier tradeshow, hence different strategies have been put in place,” she said.
As such, Ms Nkomo said, the ZITF Company has launched the “Exhibitors Masterclass”, a highly interactive and informative session, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe targeted at individuals and companies wishing to make the most of their participation locally and internationally.
She said the inaugural “Exhibitors Masterclass” session will be held on 14 March at Rainbow Towers in Harare to equip exhibitors with strategies on how to participate successfully at any exhibition around the world with tangible results.
Ms Nkomo said the region’s renowned regional exhibition strategists and guest speakers, Ms Joy Donovan from Expo Expertise and Mr Patrick Cronning from Expo Guys all from South Africa, would complement the ZITF team during the training programme.
Ms Donovan has over 43 years’ experience in exhibition planning and training. She has organised well over 200 events and trained approximately 8000 exhibitors, while Mr Cronning, a specialist in exhibition and event infrastructure design and supply, has over 20 years extensive experience in the Southern African and international markets.
“The objective of this ‘Masterclass’ is to make the latest and best exhibiting knowledge available to every exhibitor, at the right time in the tradeshow execution cycle so that all exhibitors can experience the incredible results available from effective exhibiting,” said Ms Nkomo.
“This programme will therefore address issues such as effective before, during and after-show marketing, selecting and training the right people to man your stand and practical aspects of exhibition participation,” she said.
Other issues to be addressed include designing and executing an effective lead retrieval and conversion strategy to ensure that leads made at the show are followed up and converted to actual sales, utilising social and other new media such as the event app, to boost your exhibition strategy.
To maximise networking and engagement among participants during ZITF 2017, Ms Nkomo said the ZITF Company has scheduled a number of concurrent activities. Some of the key events include the ZITF International Business Conference on 26 April that is organised in conjunction with the National Economic Consultative Forum, which will set the tone on how to leverage global linkages and partnerships.
There will be a ZITF Charity Golf Challenge on 27 April where participants will get an opportunity to combine work and leisure as they take a round on the Bulawayo Golf Club. The ZITF 2017 official opening ceremony will take place on 28 April, at the start of the second-day public visitor period while the Bulawayo Agricultural Show will run concurrently with ZITF 2017 from 25-29 April.