Slow start to ZITF

BULAWAYO - The 55th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) started on a low note here yesterday mainly because of the long holiday hangover which slowed completion for exhibition stands.

There was a last minute hive of activity as exhibitors hurried to spruce up their stands.  Unlike previous years, some stands still remained empty and exhibitors were beginning to set up shop by noon although ZITF officials kept the exhibition park open till late last night.

With a number of exhibitors citing the registration procedure as the main hindrance, Treger products marketing director Sithokozile Ndlovu said the day was accompanied by chaos.

“The day is a bit chaotic in the sense that everyone is trying to fix the stands on the last minute. The setting up I could say was affected by the holiday,” she said.

Ndlovu said there was no order in the registration process.

“Exhibitors needed to be given more registration information because the registration process affected exhibitors in terms of time.

“There were queues at the gates in the morning delaying many exhibitors,” she said.

But Ndlovu said her company was excited with the prospects of better business and looking forward to the next business days.

An exhibitor from the Kenyan Export Promotion Council declined to comment. She cited the presence of many people frantically trying to touch up the exhibitions at her country’s stand.

“There is no order at the moment, people are walking up and down and I can only comment on Thursday,” she said.

Phumla Makwaba, a South African embassy official, said although they faced a few problems, they were excited about the fair.

“We are happy but we have faced a few problems here and there, it is not that busy but we hope it will pick up.”

She said the change of dates contributed to fewer countries coming to the ZITF this year.

“This year there are only 31 countries compared to last year where there were 40 or so countries because the ZITF dates were changed,” she said.

“This is probably because of the change of dates. We are hoping that by the third day things would have shaped up.”

Shaun Kesoparsad, the director of Electrotech Electrical in South Africa, said they had experienced a few hitches when setting up shop at the fair.

“We had problems with the power, WiFi and the registration. But we hope the problems will be fixed as time goes on,” he said.

Some exhibitors, however, said the first day was exciting for them.

Yelet Sesay, the marketing manager of an Ethiopian shoe making company Tikur Abbay, said: “It is good as we have received inquiries from many people that want to know more about us. We have not faced any problems so far.

“People are coming to our stands to enquire and we are very excited.”

The director of Tianjin development zone, Zhao Shiua said although the  first day was a bit slow, some people especially those from foreign countries were expectant and excited.

The ZITF will end on Saturday April 26.

The exhibition, which will run under the theme “New ideas to new heights,” will feature product groups such as machinery and expertise for infrastructure development, manufacturing ideas, processes and equipment for innovation, automation and supplies for agro-processing, knowledge and services relevant to education and tourism and equipment and innovation to advance ICT development.

It will also include the international business conference which is slated for today.

Comments (1)

I would like to add my voice to that from an exhibitor's viewpoint the registration process was a nightmare, and the staff were very unfriendly and casual, i wander if they got enough training. I think next time exhibitors must be adequately educated,ZITF must test their systems too avoid delays, the staff should put on more user friendly attitudes.

Muprofita - 25 April 2014

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