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SMEs trade exhibition attract mixed reactions

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The just-ended trade exhibition organised by National Association for Small and Medium Enterprise (Nasme) Blantyre Chapter has attracted mixed reactions from the participants.

The week-long fair which ended on Sunday, saw poor patronage which did not excite the exhibitors.

One of the exhibitors who did not want to be named said the idea of the fair was good, but publicity was a problem.

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The exhibitor said patronage was disappointing and sales were very limited.

“We expected something big,but the turn up was disappointing. I would like to encourage the organisers to publicize the event vigorously next time,” said the exhibitor.

However, Queens Bakery representative Julia White said the exhibition has helped them to get more customers.

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White said being a home-based business; they could not expand because of limited customers.

“Through the exhibition, more people now know us and we managed to get some orders. The fair has helped us to learn a lot and it will help grow our business,” she said.

Nasme Southern Region Chapter Chairperson Nizia Chilenga said the association has taken into account all the issues raised by the exhibitors.

She, however, said there is a misconception of a trade exhibition among Malawians.

“The problem we are facing is that most exhibitors do not differentiate between a trade exhibition and a trade fair. An exhibition is meant to showcase products or services in order to attract more customers and not to sell products,” said Chilenga.

She said there is a need for civic educating exhibitors because the same problem applies during the International trade fair.

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