Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Expo Jamaica 2016 to generate big bucks

Published:Monday | April 11, 2016 | 4:00 AMNeville Graham
Expo logo
Breese McNab
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The most conservative estimates are indicating that Expo Jamaica 2016, where the island's products will be put on show for the world, will generate no less than $300 million in economic activity over its four-day staging, starting Thursday.

During the 2014 expo, an estimated 20,000 persons attended, in addition to the 476 buyers who stalked the floor, generating 105 business leads.

The five-person standing committee, drawn from the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association and the Jamaica Exporters' Association and chaired by Aswad Morgan, has been working overtime for the past year to put on this year's show.

Held under the theme 'The Business Hub of the Caribbean', this year's event, at the National Arena and National Indoor Sports Centre, will be the 43rd.

The organisers are spending $43 million to showcase the best of Jamaica and to surpass the numbers of the 2014 show.

"We have a big responsibility to our exhibitors. They spend a lot of money to come in and rent spaces, in addition to putting up their booths to get ready for the 15,000 to 20,000 attendees that are expected to come through the doors, and I think we're going to surpass that this year," Morgan said.

The 'lot of money' that Morgan is touting comes from a calculation of the basic numbers.

Booth space will cost between $90,000 and $140,000 for each of the 350 exhibitors.

Just to hold down space at Expo 2016, exhibitors will be shelling out no less than $31.5 million.

Sponsors have plunked down cash totalling just over $12 million, but there are no real numbers regarding support in kind such as advertising and publicity and technological support.

Title sponsor is Flow, which donated $6.05 million. Other sponsors include Caribbean Broilers; the Jamaica Public Service Company; Jamaica Yellow Pages; The Gleaner; National Commercial Bank; the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture; Caribbean Airlines, GraceKennedy; and JAMPRO.

There are other sponsors, by way of kind, including Lithographic Printers, Jamaica Urban Transit Company, Bazzle Amusement, Creative Media and Events, and Pure National Ice.

Each of the 350 exhibitors will spend at least $700,000 to prepare their booths, and that is not taking into account payments to staff and allied services.

Expo 2016 coordinator Imega Breese McNab believes that even thinking conservatively, the exhibitors' spending for Expo 2016 will be a big shot in the arm for the Jamaican economy.

"If a company spends approximately $700,000 to just execute being in that show, you're talking about goods and services. This is over $200 million that is generated in economic activity for that four-day period, and that's a very conservative figure," Breese McNab said as she addressed a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the company's North Street, Kingston, offices last week.

The 20,000 persons going through the turnstiles will pay $700 for adults and $300 for children.

At a mean average of $500 per head, the gate should generate about $10 million.

JAMPRO estimates that about 250 buyers will spend about $200,000 (accommodation, food, and transportation).

The organisers have doubled the venue space in anticipation of massive support.

"Expo Jamaica has evolved into what we consider to be an unprecedented event, where we're going to use two arenas to showcase what we have to offer locally from the local productive sector, and, of course, the service sector," Morgan said.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com