The scorching heat which replaced last year’s rains at this year’s Belize Trade Expo hosted by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (B.C.C.I.) did not dissuade more than 18,000 people who thronged the Expo over the weekend of September 15-16.
This was thousands more than last year, and the Expo also had more booths: 152, which was 12 more than last year.
Telemedia’s Digicel introduced the latest devices to access its new 4G service, but Smart gave them a run for their money with bargain prices on cool phones like the Samsung Galaxy SIII which undercut the Digicel price by more than $600, as well as the Apple iPhone 4S, tablets and other devices.
The secret to success was good marketing as Image Pro, Aroyal-Tees, Dolphin Productions, and the new kid on the block, Rochelle Reneau of GRRaphics, showed.
All these groups are well known for offering services such as graphic designs of business cards, logos, fliers, signs, etc.
Dolphins Productions and Aroyal-Tees also offer screen printing of t-shirts and embroidery as well as other business promotional items to help customers remember thecompany name and phone number.
The Technological Advancement Services of Belmopan also had offerings to help make that connection.
For the best in Belizean apparel, you could not go wrong with anything from Rebecca Stirm Designs, the eponymously named company of the young designer who made a name for herself on Jamaica’s Mission Catwalk show.
Stirm is back home to launch her own product line.
Rochelle Reneau is a young entrepreneur who got started with the help of Youth Business Trust of Belize, who also helped Karen Crawford start her “K Pasta” business, making all sorts of fresh gourmet pasta.
Marvin Meza of Omega Art Design from Orange Walk offered colorful Mayan pottery and artwork. The Women’s Department has also been actively encouraging single mothers to become their own boss by learning to make jams, jellies and sauces to market and generate income.
Belizeans are creative; as the work of the Belizean Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (BSCAP) will attest. The Society’s booth offered the works of many local artists like Tanya Carter, Melanie Eiley, Pen Cayetano, Chico Ramos, Supa G, Jason Guerrero, Nelo Player, “Bredda” David, to name a few. Many of these local artist also performed on the sound stage during the two days of the Expo.
Everyone was stepping up his game as Central Cable Vision introduced its new DiBo Digital Boss, which offers over 150 digital and high definition channels to supplement the 115 analog channels, which the company already offers.
The DiBo can also be programmed to record digital video onto a hard drive for later viewing, fast-forwarding through ads, freeing the customer to watch what they want when they want.
In this cornucopia of new products and services, there was no shortage of food and drink, with the Bowen & Bowen company offering special deals on its soft drinks, Full Throttle energy drink and Belikin beer and stout.
Also making sure Belizeans did not go thirsty in the heat was Western Dairies, with their cold refreshing milk, ice cream and fruit juices.
Not to be outdone, Caribbean Pride juices and Old Master Rum offered their libations. Karl Menzies Ltd, agents for Heineken Beer, actually won best Booth award, offering cold Heineken at 3 for $10. Grace Kennedy Belize went one better, with Carib Beer from Trinidad at 4 for $10!
Belize Camping Experience won second prize in the Best Booth competition while the Belize Insurance Centre Ltd took third place.
Other organizations also exhibiting their services included the Y.W.C.A., Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities, Ya’axche Conservation Trust, Belize Red Cross, BELTRAIDE, the Development Finance Corporation and the Embassies of the United States and Canada.
U.S. Ambassador H.E. Vinai Thummalapally addressed the opening ceremony, remarking that his government denounces the You Tube video that has sparked so much controversy and uprising in Libya and Egypt. He also said he was happy to participate in the Expo and that the Embassy has partnered with B.C.C.I. to promote businesses interested in exportation. B.C.C.I. President Ms. Kay Menzies, and Ms. Desiree Arnold, country manager for Maya Bags in Belize, also addressed the opening.