When I was growing up, I heard of shows and exhibitions which took place in various parishes in Dominica. Most of these were associated with village feasts and other festive celebrations. During the summer of 1978, I attended my first “big” exhibition which showcased local work as a prelude to Independence on November 3rd. This was the biggest expo I had seen at that time, and as a child I was convinced that Dominica had enough going for it in trade and investment. I supported the move for Dominica to become an independent nation. Subsequent to this other trade expos were held and generally exhibitions seem to be the order of the day at many events. Even today, cultural and entertainment activities are structured in a way to invite businesses to have booths and use that opportunity to market products.
Over the years I have realized that this is not a unique situation to Dominica, but in every corner of the globe, trade expos are extremely common and also an obvious solution to the promotion of investment and tourism destinations. Governments must ensure their budgets allow for participation in trade shows, which by the way can be very costly. The need for participation has become so aggressive that the quite a bit of competition exists in these events. Countries plan the best they can to attract the best companies and investors to their booth. The list of confirmed participants is available long before the actual event so investors view who they are most likely to visit. Countries and companies can forecast on prospective clients and in some cases have pre-arranged meetings at the event. This has certainly brought a new feel for investment promotion.As a matter of fact, participation in trade shows is a requirement for investment promotion and in many cases will determine whether some countries will make head way in closing investment deals, and which site selector or Master Plan Company is going to be at your door step in the next few weeks.
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