Setting aside the highly-entertaining public spectacle which the Roraima Group of Companies’ Wedding Expo has become, its organisers are holding it up as a worthwhile business venture for other equally important reasons.
The one that comes easiest to mind is the opportunity which the Wedding Expo affords local businesses that span several sectors of the country’s economy to pursue a collective effort to promote wedding tourism in Guyana whilst taking advantage of what is usually a well-supported event to promote their own products and services.
What is noteworthy about the businesses houses that will set out their stalls at the Roraima Duke Lodge from this evening until Sunday is both the range and sizes of companies that will be represented.
Numbered amongst the bigger, better-known business houses that will display their goods and services at the event from this evening are the jewellery giants Kings Jewellery World and the shoe shops Chetsons and Shoe Source. At the other end of the spectrum is a bewildering array of much smaller vendors offering items that range from cutlery to cake boxes. It is the range of businesses afforded a marketing opportunity by this unique event that the Roraima Group most wants to talk about.
Coordinator of this year’s Wedding Expo event Gerry Gouveia (Jnr) told Stabroek Business earlier this week that the concept of a collective effort out of which every participant benefits is exactly the idea which the Wedding Expo seeks to promote. He pointed out that weddings require the provision of a broad range of services and what the Wedding Expo has been doing since 2009 is bringing those services to a single marketplace.
This weekend may be about a fairy tale wedding, a feel good event and a host of giveaways, but it is equally about commerce and about using the Roraima Duke Lodge as a marketplace, a temporary mall where specialised business houses get a single opportunity every year to show off’ their goods to a captive market. In essence, the organizers believe that the event still provides some of the earliest glimpses of the emergence of a sector that can add another important string to the bow of local tourism.
What Gouveia says Roraima wants most is to continually broaden the base of local business participation in the event and the company is only too keen to enter into negotiated arrangements with small business houses that might not be able to afford the full cost of display space at the event. In lieu of that fee the vendor might be asked to make a modest product donation to a pool of giveaways. The company says the event is its way of gearing up for what it believes is the inevitable growth of wedding tourism in Guyana, an eventuality which, for the past few years, has been delayed mostly by sloth in amending legislation that would significantly reduce the time between couples arriving in Guyana and securing legal permission to marry here.
Over the weekend, apart from the unique event that will witness the winners of the ‘Race to the Altar’ receive their $2 million wedding prize, the Roraima Duke Lodge will cater to vendors and potential buyers, couples who will be scouting out service providers in dozens of sectors associated with the wedding industry. The list of exhibitors also includes dressmakers, photographers and taxi services, comprising a unique marketplace. As much as anything else it is a place where several wedding deals are almost certain to be struck.