Exhibitors at the just ended Malawi International Trade Fair have expressed mixed views on outcomes of the exhibition this year.
This comes amid concerns of poor patronage at this year fair, mared by the current political situation.
Some small-scale exhibitors said they did not make the most of the exhibition.
They say the fair was ill-timed and have asked organisers, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), to consider changing the time during an elections year.
One of the exhibitors, Managing Director of Allos-Par International Phoebe Towongo, said organisers should get back to the drawing board to review the impact of the fair.
“This fair was ill-timed. With the current political impasse, no one wants to come here to see what we are selling.
“Secondly, this is mid-month and, with mid-low disposable income, we did not have buyers here,” Towongo said.
However, some medium and large-scale companies were of the view that the fair was beneficial.
Prime Insurance Company Marketing Officer, Charity Chikumbu, said they were able to raise product awareness on their new policies which, they believe, will enhance the company’s business.
Raiply Management Secretary, Catherine Kaponda concurred with Chikumbu, stressing that they met with prospective customers.
MCCCI Head of Communications, Millie Kasunda, said the chamber would solicit views from stakeholders on best approaches to the fair.
“We believe the fair has ended well and was significant because the main purpose is to initiate linkages and offer a platform for exhibitors to show their products. That has been achieved but, on the patronage side, we acknowledge that it was the downside but we will take the advice on how best to improve future events,” Kasunda said.
The fair started on August 8 and ended on August 15.