This year the Bloem Show demonstrated once again that it is an enabler for economic activity and hosted many exhibitors and scores of visitors attended from 25 April to 7 May.
Bloemfontein, one of the FIFA host cities, may not be in the news as frequently as other jumbo-sized metropolitan cities but, with a population of nearly 400,000, it boasts its own advanced commercial and industrial infrastructure. The Free State is considered South Africa's agricultural hub hosting one of the world's largest agricultural shows, as well as the Bloemfontein Show which enjoyed national attention with more than 400 exhibitors and 100,000 visitors.
Says Bloem Show Chief Executive Elmarie Prinsloo: "With the support of many well known brands from sectors such as food and beverage, retail, automotive, finance, hospitality and the media, we are fast tracking the Bloem Show to achieve national status in the very near future. We have a great brand and the blend between business-to-business, agriculture and entertainment allows for a professional marketing platform, also attracting exhibitors and visitors."
Prinsloo and her 15 member team has a philosophy of 'continuity and change' and adjusting to market demand in every annual planning cycle. This is in contrast to similar shows in other provinces where the offering of the same as last year no longer delights exhibitors and visitors. "The success of a show of this nature largely depends on the quality of the communication platform and the effective use of advertising and public relations to elevate the brand and the offering to all relevant audiences. Spending the bulk of the marketing budget during the show is of little value," says Prinsloo.
Commenting on the show, Carl Woodland, Oasys Exhibitions Chief Operating Officer says that any show away from a supplier's home base is a challenge. "Logistics and supply chain management are of particular relevance as we cannot simply go up the road for additional stock. The Bloem Show is evolving in physical dimensions year after year and requires modern infrastructure including shell scheme and carpeting. Tight liaison with the organiser and professional briefings are strategic for our preparations. In addition we also built custom booths for end users for the show and attention to detail, ensuring that all the 'nuts and bolts' are accounted for before we leave for the journey, is part of our project management initiatives."