Expo, Still Finding Favour With Consumers
This past weekend was the busiest on the September celebrations schedule, from the Belikin Bash to the Carnival King and Queen to the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Expo.
Each event has its own pull and its own fans, but the Expo crosses all demographics - because, after all, who doesn't want a deal? At this year's opening of the trade show, Chamber President Arturo "Tux" Vasquez talked about how the expo came about some 19 years ago:
Arturo "Tux" Vasquez - President, BCCI
"The Expo over the years evolve into its new name and identity: "Expo Belize Market Place." The largest consumer trade show in the country and a significant and welcoming addition to the September celebration calendar. This year marks our 19th anniversary after starting back in 1996. What a long way to have come, despite its yearly difficulty face by the chamber in putting this event together. September as you all know is a month of celebration with many different activities happening to commemorate our month of Independence and 10th celebrations. We have managed to organized ourselves with the September Celebration Committee schedule in order to properly fit into such a busy month. Focusing on
this year's event we are happy to see that in addition to the usual medium and large business supporting the event, the participation of our micro business sector continues to grow. They are also seen the importance and benefit of being a part of this consumer trade show. A wide variety of businesses continue to participate in the Expo Belize Market Place, seeing a continuous growth in participation each and every year. We have this year some 214 booths compared to 197 from last year. 109 companies are represented this year, compared to 95 from last year. For the first time this year, the Merida Chamber of Commerce is participating. This will no doubt promote business between our two countries. We would like to publicly thank them for making the effort of participating and bringing a new dynamic to this year's event. Consumers can always expect the beat in deals and promotions as they visit the various businesses and booths throughout the grounds."
We spoke to Tux Vasquez on the phone today and he told us that while the final tally of visitors to the Expo is still being put together, preliminary estimates are that about 16,500 visitors went to the Expo this weekend. That would be down from last year when over 19,000 people attended the Expo and more in line with 2013 when only fifteen thousand visited.
Expo Market Place
I have been attending our Chamber of Commerce's Expo Market Place for many years. Each year I notice the trend of the type of businesses participating shifting to more cellular phone companies, beverages companies, a lot of alcohol, plenty of food stalls, clothing and a handful of services.
The traditional businesses like the productive sector such as Hummingbird Rattan Furniture, cabinet and other furniture builders, nurseries, agriculture sector, agro-business, wood carvers, artists/painters, etc. were absent. There were approximately 214 business booths registered. Lots of music, food and booze. It felt like a big Bazar.
I did miss the traditional businesses that used to attend and I wonder the reason for their absence.
I picked up a few deals. Plenty of discounts and so the party continues today Sunday. I did enjoy myself and hope you too.
After walking through the Expo grounds for one round, my bestie and I took off for a ride in the old capital and couldn't but help notice the cleanliness around and the national spirit feeling coming from all the September decorations.
Close to 17 thousand visitors came out to annual Expo Belize Market Place over the weekend. That is according to the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Opening Ceremony was held on Saturday where the guest speaker was US Ambassador Carlos R. Moreno who spoke on trading with the United States and briefly addressed the corresponding banking issues facing the banks in Belize. Awards were presented to the winners of the Western Union Back to School Art competition. Justin Chen, junior category winner, and Evander Vasquez, senior category winner, received cash prizes for their artwork submissions, of $500 and $1000 respectively. According to the President of the Chamber, Arturo Vasquez, new to the Expo was participation by the Merida Chamber of Commerce, the auto pavilion, optical services, Ready call center and micro businesses promoting handicraft, agro-products and environmental literature. One of the attractions was the drawing of the BCCI/Western Union Gate Prize Raffle, where 21 prizes were raffled to lucky visitors to the Expo. Winners will be announced in this week’s newspaper and published on the BCCI’s website and Facebook page.