EC virtual expo takes business to next dimension
20 May 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202019114
EASTERN Cape business will be under the spotlight on June 11 and 12 when a much-anticipated virtual exhibition is expected to connect record numbers of buyers and sellers.
Organiser, Andrew Binning of Inkanyezi Events, said the 3D, virtual exhibition was developed as an innovative way to keep business networking and marketing alive in the face of social distancing and an embargo on events, both of which are likely to characterize the business landscape for the foreseeable future.
Participants are expected to include 100 companies of various sizes and sectors and more than 10 000 online visitors, including consumers, business and government, most of them from the wider Eastern Cape Province.
He added that the unique, online event - hosted with the support of media partners Algoa FM, Eastern Cape Industrial and Business News, and organised business - was part of a COVID-19 response measure to support the local economy.
"Most businesses, from manufacturers and professional services to retailers and trades, have suffered heavy financial losses. The virtual expo was created to assist firms in the region build brand, orders and sales through a dynamic, interactive and entertaining gameplay like experience.''
The price for firms to exhibit is R1500, which includes a branded, virtual exhibition stand with the capability of visitors to view firm company profiles and videos as well as instant chat.
"Our virtual exhibition platform, is a powerful marketing tool and has received global interest and we are happy to provide these capabilities to business based in the province, which has been our head quarters for over 20 years,'' Binning said.
The event is being supported by organised business in the province and support from corporates is being called upon to assist companies, who cannot afford the fee, to participate.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber CEO Nomkhita Mona said the chamber recognised the significant disruption to business and individuals that has been caused by the pandemic and the subsequent national lockdown.
"The measures and interventions announced by government are necessary to curb a widespread outbreak of the virus. It is therefore important for businesses to embrace technology of some form to ensure business continuity where possible.
"The Business Chamber thus acknowledges the importance of the virtual business exhibition initiative and hope it will create an alternative platform for businesses to showcase their products and services beyond the Metro region,” said Mona.
Binning said visitors, using any device that accesses the internet, would enter the expo for free, navigate through the floorplan, read company profiles, view video reels, visit a company website and live chat or mail exhibitors, while browsing through various 'pavilions' and areas of interest like The Auto Showroom or Wine Tasting, Coffee Bar or Food Court.
He said the Expo will be open and live only on June 11 and 12 between 8.30am and 5pm.
"We acknowledge that some companies may not be able to afford the fee and therefore call on corporates or bigger companies to show support to their suppliers or clients by purchasing exhibition space on their behalf.
"Opportunities to sponsor and purchase branding opportunities also exist'', Binning said.
Companies can sign up to exhibit and individuals can pre-register to attend the show for free at https://www.inkanyezi.co.za/virtual-expo/. For queries, email email@example.com or contact Catherine Baron during office hours at 071 618 0211.