Exhibitors at Trade Fair lament low turn out

Exhibitors at the just ended 19th Ghana International Trade Fair have expressed dissatisfaction at the low turnout.

The exhibitors attributed the low turnout to poor organisation and publicity by the organisers.

Speaking to some exhibitors, an Italian, Kamal Kattout, who for 15 years had participated in Ghana’s international and local fairs, complained about the poor organisation and inadequate publicity as a defect to this year’s edition of the fair .

Another participant, Raja Babar Hussain, from Pakistan, also said he secured 10 stands during last year’s edition of the fair; unfortunately he had to take only one this year, because even Ghanaians did not even know that the fair had commenced.

He said as a result of the poor publicity by organisers only a few people were at the fairs.

Mrs. Rita Akrong, Public Relations and Advertising Manager of Gratis Foundation, corroborated the same reasons given by the other exhibitors, noting that as compared to previous fairs this year’s fair had not much to write about.

“If Ghana Trade Fair Company will salvage its image at the 20th edition next year, it needs to embark on a comprehensive campaign plan and start publicity early since the 20th edition is very important to the country,” she said.

On the Other hand Mr. Abdul Shakuru Zakaria, Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited, debunked the claims made by the exhibitors saying, “the fair was successful and the company met its projected target audience”.

He also explained that, the main aims of international fairs were not for sales but for exposure adding that, the fair was well advertised and that it was attended by patrons.

However, he admitted that the current power crises and the Ebola disease did not encourage people outside the continent to partake in the fair, though there was no recorded case of the disease in this country.

Mr. Zakaria also stated that attendance from member countries from the ECOWAS sub region was very low due to the deadly disease, but despite these anomalies the fair was a good one.

The 19th edition of the Ghana International Trade Fair began on February 26 and ended on March 8 and was themed, “Trade — The bridge for industry and research”.

The fair was aimed at exposing Ghanaian businesses to the international community and also to create opportunities for Ghanaians to partner with these foreigners and attract investments for sustainable development

However, out of 500 exhibitors being expected at the fair, only few participated and reasons assigned for the low participation was poor publicity by the orgainsers.

By Joy Addae-Madzi

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