ATW targets buyers from emerging markets

Mar 18, 2014

Africa Travel Week says it will deliver many new buyers from emerging markets for its inaugural show in Cape Town from April 27-May 3 this year.

Exhibition Manager for WTM Africa, Polly Magraw, said this was in response to market demand. “While we have confirmed some strong traditional buyers, we are also bringing lots of fresh names to South Africa for the show.” She stressed that the new buyers would also be subject to a strict qualification process.

Africa Travel Week, which is being organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions, will use the same online diary system used at its flagship events, such as IBTM and ILTM Cannes, to ensure exhibitors have the opportunity to meet with key buyers that are already doing business with African suppliers, or have the potential to place future business.

ILTM Africa Event Manager, David Paterson, explained how the system works. “We ask each of the exhibitors and buyers to write a profile, which should be very specific in terms of what makes them special or unique. Then, about eight weeks before the event, all exhibitors can log onto the system to view the buyer profiles. They pick 60 buyers they would like to meet and rank them in order of importance. We ask the buyers to do exactly the same for the exhibitors. The system then generates a highly targeted diary of appointments,” he said.

This same system is used across all three Africa Travel Week events: WTM Africa, ILTM Africa; IBTM Africa; Paterson said it was essential that both buyers and exhibitors invested time and made the most of the pre-scheduled appointment matching process. “They need to review profiles to determine whether they are the right match for their business,” he said. “What they put in is what they will get out in terms of the quality of their diary of appointments.”

WTM Africa is the only one of the three Africa Travel Week shows that invites both hosted, and non-hosted buyers. Magraw said the non-hosted buyers would also form a core part of the show. “They will also be prequalified and will have access to online exhibitor profiles but it will be up to the non-hosted buyers to make their own appointments,” she said. There will also be on-site networking sessions that will provide an additional opportunity for meetings.

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