Bloem Show an economic boost

2016-04-27 06:00

THE annual Bloem Show continues to thrive as an economic catalyst in South Africa’s central region, despite the economic downturn facing the country.

Marking the milestone of 133 years of existence this year, the show roars into life on Wednesday (27/04) with a series of children’s performances, which include the Little Miss Bloem Show and Little Miss Daisy Pageants.

A jazz festival on Saturday, 7 May, will bring down the curtain on the 11-day jam-packed event.

Elmarie Prinsloo, chief executive officer of Bloem Show, says the event has the ability to add economic value to Mangaung and the Free State of more than R30 million ­annually.

This is through spending at local businesses, accommodation, fuel and food companies.

She says diversity is one of the cornerstones which enables the show to thrive.

The diversity contributes to economic spinoffs, such as the presentation of 22 agricultural championships, attracting over 400 exhibitors and 2 800 entries for creative crafts, as well as record entries in the dairy section.

Prinsloo adds that the 12 popular national artists and groups who will perform in various events also add to the economic spinoff.

“Staging a show of this magnitude is always a challenge, especially under the present difficult economic conditions. But it is also a time of opportunity and the best time to create a marketing platform.

“Businesses realise that in difficult times you need to think new and use your best marketing skills to create more sales and business.

“Bloem Show creates a great platform for marketing, where businesses can deal directly with their clients. There is not a lot of platforms where you have visibility and sales opportunities to 100 000 people over ten days,” Prinsloo says.

She says the spinoffs of the show come via the approximately 20% of tourists who attend the show and sleep over in Bloemfontein, as well as 50% of exhibi­tors and 60% of agricultural participants coming from other provinces in South Africa who do the same.

“To ensure sustainability, you need to have innovative ideas, think new and keep up with market trends.

“Our key aim is to involve the community as far as possible and to put together a show that all parties can enjoy – especially in difficult times,” Prinsloo says.

She says innovations have resulted in partnerships with Absa, the public sector, the Mangaung Metro Municipality, Free State Tourism, the Office of the Premier and the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

Despite the huge increase in costs, tickets are sold for the same price as in 2015.

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