By Petronella Sibeene
The 48th Windhoek Agricultural and Industrial Show has been described as a resounding success with over 90 000 visitors entering through the gates during the nine-day event.
The Vice-President of the Windhoek Show Society, Harald Schmidt, told New Era yesterday that feedback from the exhibitors was overwhelming.
This is evident in the figures of exhibitors who signed up for next year’s show.
About 50 exhibitors, according to Schmidt, applied for consideration to participate at next year’s annual event.
“This has been one of the best shows. About 90 057 paying visitors came to the show. We look forward to start planning for 2008,” said the vice-president of the show.
Although the show gates were opened to the public on September 28 and the show officially opened on October 4 2007, the number of people who visited the show grounds on the first day was slightly low.
Exhibitors however reported that many people visited their stalls during the weekends, especially the first Saturday, that reported good business sales.
Meanwhile, small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) commended the show society for creating a platform where they can get ideas on improving their businesses.
Walton Domingo, an entrepreneur from Grootfontein, said: “This is a platform where I can get some ideas on improving my products and expand my business.”
Despite most exhibitors expressing satisfaction, the show vice-president said some exhibitors complained of low turnover at their stalls.
Schmidt attributed the situation to perhaps lack of creativity in marketing and display of products. He said there is need for exhibitors to be creative in marketing their products in order to attract more people to support them.
Schmidt added that the exhibitors, especially those from neighbouring South Africa, were professional in their marketing strategies and as such they attracted huge numbers of people to their stands.
He added that the show is not only about acquiring knowledge about how others do business, but should also be used as a platform where participants display their creativity and secure customers that would keep contact even after the show.
No major hiccups were experienced at this year’s show. However, the last day saw an increase in pick-pocketing with about 18 cellphones and purses reported stolen in one evening.
This prompted the show society to close the show halls at 21h00, an hour earlier than the usual closing time.