Business persons in wedding-supplying industry hold an expo

Lilongwe:In efforts to try and grow the wedding business industry, wedding service providers on Saturday decided to throw their nets wide by organizing a two-day Wedding Expo at Latitude 13 Hotel in Lilongwe.

The expo, featuring several of the wedding industry suppliers, gave them an opportunity to interact among themselves and also showcase their products to customers.

Featuring more than 20 wedding suppliers, visitors to this expo were given an opportunity to sample the products, for example cake tasting, make-up, equipment, nail treatment, manicure and pedicure.

Brides and grooms-to-be couldn’t afford to miss the sunshine garden expo as all the service providers were brought at one place giving them an opportunity to ask questions too.

Organizer of the event, Kanji Nyambo of Castine Creations who is also a supplier of wedding dresses, said she decided to come up with the idea to increase the networking of wedding suppliers rather than just rely on the interactions on social media.

The main purpose of this event is to network as we bring our products together and share ideas that would help boost our businesses, she said.

Nyambo said the expo was meant to bring them together to sample the quality of the brands being provided in Malawi.

Most times we interact on the social media and we keep on recommending each other even before seeing what the person offers, so, we thought this would give a closer look of our products but also give a chance to customers to sample the products and know the service providers in the wedding industry, Nyambo explained.

She said the one-on-one opportunity will also help all upcoming suppliers to sell themselves but also learn from the experienced providers in the industry and be motivated.

According to Nyambo, that was the second time they held such an event and said would want to make it an annual event to keep on giving the suppliers a chance to showcase their new brands to customers but also share the challenges and help each other out.

I should also mention that the expo is meant to promote new service providers in the industry as we create a more wedding feel for them to settle and breakthrough, she added.

Sanna Katsichi of Sanna K Creations, the providers of all wedding outfits, said she would have loved if the expo was an annual event so that it attracts more people and give them a platform to showcase their productions to a larger community than just to the brides and bridegrooms to be.

She explained that there are a lot of challenges in the industry and they would love to have a platform where all service providers would come together to share ideas and progress of their business, especially the new brands being introduced on the market.

This is a very good idea as we expect to be an annual event so that we can share the experiences in the industry, she said.

Another participant at the expo, Nina Chigamba, a make-up artist who owns Touch of Glamour Salon said the expo had come at the right time when the industry is fast growing.

Chigamba who supplies Shekinah wigs, nail manicure and pedicure and a stylist was grateful to Castine Creations for organizing such an event that had given them an opportunity to showcase their products to a wide range of customers.

She said they were also able to interact with customers and hear them out when they sample their products.

Most times we don’t interact much with our customers the way we have done here because we have a lot of people to save on the queue and that the customers don’t have the courage to sample first before they choose what they want, she explained.

She further said the expo had saved as a learning platform because they had time to sample and interact with other make-up artists including Kgomotso Beauty House, the winner of the 2017 best make-up artist.

Godfrey Katsichi of Legacy Travel Tours said it is high time Malawi held such events to help create business opportunities.

Advertising is good to any business, but it is expensive and events like this one would give an opportunity for exposure to those that can’t manage to advertise. This also gives an opportunity to customers to learn of other things they can get, said Katsichi.

He said that was an initiative individuals were pursuing to encourage one another and would love government to support to make it an annual or international event that would put Malawi on the map.

However, he said the industry currently faces a lot of challenges that range from customers asking for lower prices when the things they demand are of high quality to the business itself facing out- of- season moments, like the rainy season.

The event attracted an entry fee of MK2, 000 and is expected to take place next year with a high number of providers joining to display.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA