With preparations for the 2015 Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF) on course, the Ongwediva Town Council says it is expecting to attract more than the 110,000 visitors who flocked to the exhibition grounds last year.
The OATF is scheduled to take place from August 21 to 29. As is tradition, the fair will be preceded by a fundraising dinner and official launch, scheduled for this coming Saturday, July 25.
In an interview with New Era, Ongwediva Town Council, corporate communications officer, Andreas Uutoni, said part of the preparations include renovating the Queen’s Hall, which is near completion.
He also said the exhibitors have received confirmation letters and payments are coming in. Meanwhile, service providers for security, catering, maintenance, cleaning, public address systems and partitioning of stands have also been appointed.
Uutoni says with 440 confirmed exhibitors they have reached their maximum capacity and the focus is no longer on attracting exhibitors, but on providing diversity to the trade fair.
“Our emphasis is not on increasing the number of exhibitors, but to embrace greater diversity and to facilitate quality exhibitions. We had just over 110,000 visitors last year and we expect the same number of visitors at OATF 2015,” Uutoni said.
Additionally, he said there will be new products and services on display, but the major attraction will be the re-organisation of exhibition stands to give prominence to the diverse exhibitors on show to represent the vast range of economic activities.
This year marks the 16th edition of OATF and the 15th year of its existence. The fair will be held under the theme, “Inspiring Change to Build World Class Business Leaders”.
The theme was developed as part of a three-year marketing plan for OATF, which aims at propelling the fair to greater heights. The “OATF is on the forefront to embrace change and to motivate change in order to transform itself and its customers as leading institutions and individuals who can compete internationally,” said Uutoni.
In order to bring relevance to the theme, OATF should spearhead and represent change, he says.
Some of the highlights will include the official opening, stakeholders’ cocktail function, an exhibitors’ award ceremony and some product presentations by MTC, Standard Bank Namibia, Social Security Commission, and the Namibia Tourism Board.
The Namibia Film Commission will also screen local movies, while the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, as well as the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development will make presentations.