Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company is working on ensuring its exhibitions become one of the major contributors to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
ZITF Company marketing and public relations manager Miss Stella Nkomo said on 31 May the exhibition organisation joined the rest of the exhibition industry across the world in celebrating the 2017 edition of the Global Exhibitions Day.
The Global Exhibitions Day was launched last year in an effort to connect the global exhibitions industry to raise awareness about the value offered by the show cases while also celebrating the professionals who make the industry a success and promoting the many unique opportunities offered by this booming industry.
The theme for this year’s Global Exhibitions Day was “Think Global, Act Local” which put a special focus on the human aspect of exhibitions; highlighting the wide spectrum of opportunities, careers, interactions, and investments created by the global exhibitions industry.
“ZITF Company’s long term strategic focus is to identify ways of growing the exhibitions industry such that it becomes one of the main contributors to the country’s GDP. Countries such as Germany have done this well with 60 percent of national revenue being generated from exhibitions. We believe that with the facilities and human capital that Zimbabwe has, this feat is achievable for us as well.
“Exhibitions are a major stimulus for industrial and commercial development driving industrial development and technology transfer, boosting regional and national industries, stimulating foreign investments in industry and infrastructure. Thus every major industry benefits from exhibitions,” said Miss Nkomo.
As part of marking the Global Exhibitions Day, the ZITF Company staff spent the day at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport.
“The choice to spend the day with the staff and passengers of JMN International Airport was because as the gateway to Bulawayo for most of the participants in our shows JMN International Airport is a valued strategic partner. In fact, the airport is the first touch point of the exhibition experience for the majority of our customers.
JMN International Airport is also symbolic of a larger group of stakeholders which is all the service providers who work behind the scenes to make our exhibitions a success. It was thus fitting that we spent this day of celebration there. As people leave the city, we want them to carry the message that Bulawayo is open for business by telling them of all the trade exhibitions which are on the City’s calendar and how participation in these events will positively impact their businesses and lives,” said Miss Nkomo.
Latest statistics shared by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, show that over 4,4 million exhibitors take up 124 million square metres of space in 31 000 trade shows annually; showcasing their brands, products and services to 260 million visitors.
The $109 billion spent in the exhibitions industry directly creates approximately 680 000 full time equivalent jobs and 1,8 million jobs in tourism-related activities (accommodation, transport, food and beverage, gifts among others).
Meanwhile, preparations for the next ZITF-Company organised event, Mine Entra, are progressing well.
The premier networking and sourcing platform for the mining, engineering, transport, building, construction and related sectors will be held from 19 to 21 July.
This year’s exhibition runs under the theme “Exploring Linkages in the Mining Value Chain”.
“The marketing campaign is now at its peak with the company embarking on an aggressive exhibitor drive targeting both producers and suppliers to Zimbabwe’s extractive industry. The exhibition will be housed in Hall 4 and surrounding areas,” said Miss Nkomo.