Businesses vie for spot at show

2010-05-22 00:00

AGRI-BUSINESSES, industrial equipment companies, automotive manufacturers and other national and city businesses participating in this year’s Royal Agricultural Show are more upbeat and willing to shrug off the painful effects of the recession by spending more time and money on intensive marketing.

The show’s organisers told The Witness that for the first time in many years, they have an “A-list” waiting list of top companies that wish to participate in the show.

However, the demand for a spot at the country’s premier mixed commercial and industrial show is such that these companies will probably lose out on participating in the event.

The show is 100% full in terms of exhibitor space.

General manager of the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS), Terry Strachan, told The Witness that they have a waiting list of more than 10 major A-list businesses.

The total waiting list amounts to more than 70 businesses.

Strachan said the A-list group consists of the highest quality potential exhibitors.

“They [businesses] feel that they need to regenerate business in the city … and let people know that they’re still active.”

As expected, the 420-exhibitor strong commercial and industrial component will be dominated by agri-businesses, automotive companies and equipment manufacturers.

About 4 000 farmers are expec­ted to attend the show.

A substantial proportion of exhibitors are based in Pietermaritzburg.

Strachan said major automotive brands such as Toyota and Land Rover are pulling out all the stops to create impressive exhibition stands.

Harley Davidson is another premium brand that will exhibit at the show.

A premium brand in its industry, the Finnish brand Valtrac Tractors, will also make its first appearance at the show.

The show is also expected to generate a fair amount of “tangible” sales — probably amounting to millions of rands.

Strachan believes that between 170 000 and 210 000 people will visit the show this year.

“This depends on the weather, as well as the consumer market and consumer trends.”

Notable halls and exhibitors at the show include The Witness Beautiful Homes Expo, featuring the latest trends in home décor and home improvement.

The Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB)/KZN Department of Economic Development hall, the Msunduzi Municipality’s “development” hall, as well as Tourism KZN’s South African cuisine showcase at the Food Hall are also notable drawcards.

The 2010 Royal Show will take place from May 28 to June 6.

Terry Strachan, RAS general manager

They feel that they need to regenerate business in the city.

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