WINDHOEK, June 26 (Xinhua) — The Namibian Wedding Expo has offered optimism for the growth of local businesses battered by the impacts of COVID-19.
The southwestern African nation held its first wedding expo since the pandemic outbreak from June 25-26 at the Safari Hotel Conference Center in Windhoek.
Exhibition booths displaying wedding attire, decorations, legal services and flowers, among others, attracted a steady stream of more than 500 visitors.
Akirina Malunga, the founder of Elements by Akirina, a company specializing in personalized jewelry and accessories, used the exhibition as a platform to market her products.
“I specialize in making accessories, which customers often like to see before committing payment. So I decided to exhibit my products. I hope my products will be successful through this exhibition,” Malunga said on Sunday.
Malunga’s optimism is justified. Entrepreneurs said business had declined under the lockdown and COVID-19 measures over the past two years. At the time, the government limited festive gatherings such as weddings to a small number of people.
“It meant less demand for our products. But before that (COVID-19), we could provide bespoke accessories to more people. So you can imagine the impact. But business is gradually picking up,” he said. she stated.
She’s not the only entrepreneur to have taken advantage of the Wedding Expo, as more businesses have maximized the available platform to reach new clientele.
Maria Uushona, who runs Isabella’s bridal boutique, has been inundated with customers inquiring about her wedding dress rental services.
“Coming here presented a great networking opportunity. I came here with over a hundred business cards, but I have none left. I am optimistic about the growth of the business,” he said. she said, adding that forming strategic partnerships with other companies in the same industry will help propel the small venture into big business.
Selma Titus, who exhibited decoration events and services, said the exhibition was an excellent platform for negotiating business deals.
“COVID-19 has interrupted the business of event management companies due to low demand and low budget events. Through this exposure, we have secured new business, which will propel us to prosperity” , added Titus.
Exhibitors, for their part, sought to forge new partnerships to revitalize their activities.
Shavonne Burger, the organizer of the wedding fair, said the event aims to serve as a one-stop-shop for people planning to get married, making it easier for couples to plan their weddings and showcase their products for companies.
“The wedding industry is now at a turning point as it recovers, attributed to the COVID-19 easing measures. Weddings and receptions have resumed, leading to growing demand for the products,” Burger concluded.