High costs affecting business events: Makotose

by Editorial Team
3 minutes read

Steep charges and the prevailing currency temporary instability related to the
recent de-dollarisation are negatively affecting the local business events
industry. This was said by the SME International Expo Chief Executive Officer,
Delight Makotose in an interview with Business Events recently.
“There are issues (and) challenges which face a lot of people. It’s about rented
space whereby it’s not easily accessible or available and the costs are huge.
Because of the fact that we really want this event through, we find means of
getting the funds required so that we do justice to our exhibitors,” said
“Profiteering is there even in the sale of event space. Some of the prices we are
being charged are exorbitant. Look at the cost of a plate of food, the cost of a
table or the cost of a marquee. People are profiteering but I think that with time
this will stabilise. (Economic) stability is what we are looking for so that we can
have the proper running of a business. These are part of the risks that we face as an
industry,” he said.
“As much as we are saying we’ve moved away from the USD, people are still
benchmarking (their prices and charges) on the value of the US dollar and some
are saying OK, we’ll charge you the equivalent of such (and) such US dollar at
the prevailing rate of a particular day. Still, there is that volatility. Our monetary
aspect hasn’t stabilised. It will take a bit of time and the sooner that stability is
in place the better because we don’t want these people who are speculative. We
need to move away from that,” said Makotose.
The show manager expressed dismay at the clashing of business events dates
which creates counter attractions for some events and sees reduced space uptake
by exhibitors and low visitor and delegate numbers.
“I’ve also noted, which is something we need to address, that we need to come
up with a proper calendar of events. There’s room for stepping on each other’s
toes (as there can be) two functions going on at the same time. That to me is a
big challenge where we need to stagger events.
“What we have done (is that) for bigger events like our own we actually know
is coming in when. It’s only when we get some of these people who can disturb,
who would want only to slot in an event between two major events or they may
just want to take away a venue. There becomes a challenge but nonetheless, I

think for the bigger events we are capable of managing ourselves,” Makotose
As a way forward, Makotose suggested the formation of a business events body
to regulate the calendar of events and champion the various challenges facing
the industry among other things.
“I said we need to come up with an apex body. You know internationally there
is the (global exhibitions body) UFI, South Africans have their own, EXSA and
(as) Zimbabwe we don’t have any. I think it is something we need to come up
with,” he said.
Despite the challenges, Makotose was upbeat about the future of his industry.
“The events industry is going to be huge. It will grow…I tell you (especially)
with the re-engagement drive by government and also the invitation for
investment. The moment we get more players coming in to invest, we’ll have
more people coming to showcase their products and even buy products and
services” said Makotose.

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