“Bigger and better” has for years been the slogan under which events like the Guyana Trade Exposition (GuyExpo) are held. The event usually comes down to a regular trade exposition which sees exhibitors seeking to garner as much sales as
But this year the event is expected to be one with a very noticeable difference.
At least this is according to its Coordinator, Ms. Tameka Sukhdeo-Singh.
During an interview with this publication, she related that “this year there are a lot of differences.”
A primary difference, she disclosed, is the event will be held under the purview of the Ministry of Business. Previously it fell under the Ministry of Tourism.
A key slogan of the Ministry of Business, Sukhdeo-Singh noted, is that “Guyana means business,” and is this very slogan that event will embrace this year.
“There are segments that will be focused on business,” said the Coordinator, as she spoke of planned workshops intended to help enhance the business knowledge of micro, medium and small enterprises in the area of packaging and promotion, social media marketing, access to financing and how to prepare a business plan.
This tactic was in fact deliberate, as according to Sukhdeo-Singh, many of the exhibitors are young entrepreneurs.
“Some of these entrepreneurs they only know how to start a business, they have never really sat down and did a business plan.”
According to the Coordinator, a business plan is generally crucial to any business, because it is a road map for the business over the years. With a business plan, she explained, entrepreneurs would better be able to budget; determine how they could project their income; learn how to break even; determine where they can get financing and how many years they would need to repay that loan.
A business plan can therefore help to guide an entrepreneur marketing plan and show how growth and development occurs.
“Many of our companies don’t do that and we are hoping to guide them, or at least show them various aspects that are important to them. Many times when you go to access financing you are asked what is your plan, so that goes hand in hand with access to financing,” Sukhdeo-Singh underscored.
In addition to sharing information on how to prepare a business plan, the Coordinator added that entrepreneurs will also be enlightened about the various types of ways to access finances through loans or grants that are available.
In fact, Sukhdeo-Singh noted that in light of the fact that the business sector has been gradually moving away from the traditional modes of advertising, the planned workshop will incorporate this evolution.
“Everybody is into social media…so we are going to be showing them as well ‘this is how you use social media’, which is the most advantageous or optimum way to use social media to promote your business,” she stressed.
Packaging, she related, will also be an important feature of the planned interactions with the entrepreneurs.
“When you see a Fruta tin, for instance, you know what it is right away…that image is already embedded in you. So one of the things we will emphasize is the importance of packaging and promotion,” Sukhdeo-Singh added.
GuyExpo this year is catering to 400 exhibitors and, according to the Coordinator, all of them will be eligible to attend the workshops.
Sukhdeo-Singh is convinced that local exhibitors will be able to take away a great deal from the event this year.
While the majority of the exhibitors are local businesses, Sukhdeo-Singh did note that there are some overseas businesses that are also on board. A team of businessmen from Florida are expected to attend the four-day event, and they will be gearing to look at businesses with which they can network or even help to develop, the Coordinator informed.
She pointed out that while GuyExpo is about promoting Guyanese businesses, it is also designed to promote businesses that have invested in Guyana.
“We will be promoting everybody across the board,” said Sukhdeo-Singh as she pointed out that GuyExpo this year will not merely be about the amount of sales exhibitors can get but rather, it will be “a more value added experience for exhibitors.”
GuyExpo is slated to commence tomorrow and culminate on Sunday.
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