Record Expo projected
With interest in the decades-old Expo Jamaica at an all-time high, the next staging, scheduled for later this month, is expected to draw a record number of patrons, the expo's co-chairman, Richard Coe, has said.
The four-day expo will be held from Thursday, April 19, to Sunday, April 22, for the second time at both the National Arena and the National Indoor Centre in Kingston. Telecommunications firm Digicel returns as the title sponsors.
Coe told a Gleaner Editors' Forum yesterday that he was upbeat about the prospects of the expo, which is likely to pull a record 20,000 patrons into the twin venues during the four days. In addition, he said that all 365 booths have been completely booked in anticipation of a great expo.
"Up to yesterday, we had about nine booths remaining, and then we had a flurry of requests. We are happy to report now that we are completely booked out," declared Coe.
"We were tagged to have as many as 600 buyers, and today, we can report that we have 604 buyers from 26 countries. We are well on our way to ensuring that this expo is a complete success and we are encouraging as many families to come and benefit from the different things we are doing," he added.
Of the 604 registered buyers, 51 per cent are repeat buyers and 49 per cent new buyers, according to Coe. More than 2,000 Jamaican products and over 350 exhibitors from 20 industries will be on hand to showcase their goods and services.
"This number of repeat and new buyers is a good balance for the event as it shows that we are renewing and improving enough for previous buyers to remain interested, and, of course, we are generating new interests. We are very pleased with that," he stated.
Justin Morin, Digicel chief executive officer, told The Gleaner that he was anticipating another record-breaking expo.
"Under the theme 'Advance Breakthroughs', I think it's quite appropriate that Digicel, as a leading technology partner for many businesses across Jamaica, partner with the JMA (Jamaica Manufacturers' Association) to deliver on that theme.
"So we are going to be implementing a number of things, including a really large Digicel booth, where we will be showcasing a lot of the products that Digicel produces," Morin said.
He added that Digicel would have quite a number of business solutions on display as well as bringing data fibre into the arena so that the patrons would have "a great Wi-Fi experience".
Expo Jamaica 2018 is staged through exclusive partnerships among the Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO), the JMA, and the Jamaica Exporters' Association (JEA).