The Herald (South Africa)
East Cape virtual business exhibition in pipeline
● Hope for expo to boost sales during tough time for many enterprises
The Eastern Cape’s first virtual business exhibition is in the works, with the hope of holding the expo before June.
Inkanyezi Events CEO Andrew Binning said the exhibition was in response to calls from organised business and the government to support businesses in obtaining sales and orders during the spread of Covid-19.
Binning, through the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, sent out an expression of interest to businesses in an e-mail yesterday.
“This virtual expo represents a powerful opportunity to connect and trade despite social distancing,” he wrote in the e-mail, which was sent on behalf of the chamber.
“We trust then that you will register or speak to us about joining the Eastern Cape’s first virtual expo that is expected to draw thousands of visitors, providing exceptional exposure for your brand or business.”
He said the expo would take place this month or next month over two days — but no date had been scheduled yet.
The package, which has also not yet been priced, will include a virtual brochure holder with downloadable company profiles or a link to a website or Facebook page and a virtual TV screen with playable company DVD or recorded video message.
It will also include a live chat and instant messaging facility for visitor interaction and a listing in the virtual directory that will be distributed to all visitors while also being marketed widely.
Even before the tough lockdown regulations, hundreds of exhibitions and events were being postponed in SA, including in Nelson Mandela Bay.
This has forced many businesses to go more digital with a large focus on virtual exhibitions and conferences around the globe.
When contacted, Binning said his team had already started to develop the software for the virtual expo.
“We are also putting out feelers to see if any funders see the value of such a virtual business exhibition as well as to businesses that desire to be a part of this.
“Even if we get no funding, we will take the risk and do this,” he said.
This, Binning said, was because early indications from a number of businesses were positive.
“It is all very exciting. “This will also help small businesses get themselves into the limelight.”
He said the cost to be part of the exhibition would depend on the response from businesses as well as if any funders came on board.
“We have already put the idea to the government, banks, some investment companies and the cellphone companies.
“If any funding comes through, we will reduce the costs,” he said.
Binning said even if everyone returned to work on April 17 — if the 21-day lockdown was not extended — the exhibition would still take place.
“This will be an Eastern Cape event that is not specific to any industry.
“It will be across all sectors,” Binning said.