IATF Virtual: Tech-enabled convenient exhibition experience

by Editorial Team
2 minutes read

The second edition of the continental trade show, the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) is set to be held in Rwanda from 1 to 7 September 2020 and the event’s accompanying virtual show, which was launched in 2018 in Egypt, is also going to be part of the fair.

IATF, which is an African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) project in conjunction with the African Union (AU) to drive intra-African trade, is already marketing the virtual trade fair through various platforms such as its website and Facebook to enable both exhibitors and visitors to benefit from its advantages such as saving on travel, accommodation and other participation expenses such as freight without losing out on the benefits of attending or exhibiting at such an event.

“IATF Virtual provides visitors (who are) unable to attend the event in person, a dynamic, convenient and cost-efficient way to visit the IATF, network with exhibitors to identify investment and business opportunities and source products. In real time during the event. And for a sustained period after the event,” says the IATF on its website.

The experience for which visitors are currently registering for free enables them to    participate in the full program of live speaker simulcasts and watch all missed speaker presentations on demand. It also enables them to visit exhibition stands virtually and collect brochures as well as visit the virtual Networking Lounge and reach out to relevant business contacts, initiate private conversations and join special interest groups.

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The virtual fair also enables businesses to showcase their products and services on the virtual platform which enables them to extend the event for six or 12 months for a fee of US$400 and US$750 respectively. This means that their virtual exhibition will remain live for half a year to a year making it more beneficial compared to a brick and mortar show.

“(The virtual show is) A virtual booth – created, branded and customized to your specific preferences allowing you to showcase your products and services and/projects. Platform visitors can explore your booth and you can chat with them in real time,” says IATF.

The virtual exhibition packages enable exhibitors to “visit the auditorium and participate in the full program of live speaker simulcasts, watch speaker presentations on demand and stay ahead of the rapidly changing African business landscape.”

The platform enables exhibitors to carry out group or private chats at their booths, to send e-mails and conduct business card exchanges and to meet new business contacts. It enables them to invite private conversions and join special interest groups in the exhibition’s Networking Lounge.

Exhibitors and media houses can live stream the IATF 2020 Conference from the exhibition’s auditorium for free.

Virtual business events are one of the trends which are increasingly taking centre stage as the industry moves to harness the benefits of technology.

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