This year’s Ghana International Trade Fair officially opened on Thursday with some exhibitors expressing concerns about poor publicity of the 27th edition of the event.
They said awareness creation on the event was poor and urged the organisers to do more on that.
“I think the timing is not the best. It is too early in the year and the publicity…a number of people who came to my stand said they were in the area and saw the tents and came here without knowing about the trade fair, ” said Madam Sylvia Fafali, an exhibited, in an interview.
The exhibitor who owned Faivich Enterprise, a detergent manufacturing outfit, said though the concept of having the Fair in “Ghana month” was great, people had just returned from long holidays with less disposable income to make purchases.
She said changing the time to the middle or end of the year, as had been the case with previous fairs, would be beneficial.
“My expectation is that majority of people get to know about the trade fair happening now and come and look around to see what we are making in Ghana so the importation slows down, ” she said.
Madam Getrude Adjavon, another exhibitor, who traded in beads accessories, said publicity for the event was important for the businesses to recoup their investments.
“Because it is an International Trade Fair, we paid GHS 1800. So, if after seven days you are not able to make enough sales to cover cost of the stand and then for your labour then you will be running at a loss.
“The publicity must go on for us such that there should be some live interviews ongoing at the moment so that people would get curious enough to want to pass by, ” she said.
She said the choice of the location for the Fair-Westhills Mall-which for her was on the outskirt of the capital, Accra, had been problematic for many people who complained of the traffic situation.
Madam Rita Dampson, a Tamale-based dealer in shea butter and cosmetics, observed that not enough time and planning had been dedicated to creating awareness of the event.
“When I came to Accra, I asked people do you know we are exhibiting at the Westhills mall, and they ask what exhibition is going on there?
“I can see Accra people are very busy, so I am expecting that may be Saturday being the weekend when they are out of work, they will come to visit, ” she said.
Dr Agnes Adu, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited (GTFCL), organisers of the event, appealed to the public to visit the Fair grounds to patronise Made in Ghana goods during the Ghana Month.
“When you come and you support these exhibitors on the ground. We are helping Small Medium Enterprises (SME) to help the economy rebound, ” she said.
She said work was ongoing for the renovation of the Trade Fair site for future fairs.
The theme for the event, which will end on March 7, 2023, is “Strengthening Small Medium Enterprises: A Key to Economic Recovery”.