As Chairman/Founder of RK’s Eco-Star Motos and RK’s Dragnet Satellite Tracking, I was excited about the invitation to participate in the Linden Expo. We went with much zeal and dynamism. However, the turn-out was extremely poor, especially for the official launch. The launch itself, though late, was entertaining and educational, even motivating.
This is an expensive venture for companies, small and large, and many participants there appeared to be cottage industries, hence, such exposure is supposed to be good for them. The US Embassy was there, about which I felt a personal pride. I am very appreciative of the USA marketing strategy. There was also for the first time, the Guyana Forestry Commission. The Guyana Tourism Authority, I understood, was also disappointed. Everyone we spoke to said they were surprised and most disappointed with the turn-out. I doubt my company will go there again.
The citizens of Linden told us that the event was poorly advertised. A former staff member of our company living in Amelia’s Ward told us she knew nothing about it; not even her mother who lives and works in Linden. When we entered we could see no banners, and my reps at the event told me that they saw a small banner hoisted so high, they could not see the information clearly.
I have two suggestions: 1. Refund not only the rental fee for space to all participants, but their expenses, inclusive of meals and hotel costs; and 2. issue a written undertaking to unhappy exhibitors that next time an Expo is held in Linden, they will not be charged fees.
For us at RK’s, it is not about the costs really, but disappointment in the turn-out. The organizers should have been more proactive with advertisements. The Linden Chamber of Commerce did not do their work in advertising the event to their people. They should have done more television promos, radio advertisements, interviews on television and radio, and even made use of free discussion and call-in programmes where possible. A very important asset in towns such as Linden, Corriverton, etc, is a motor vehicle fitted with a loudspeaker, which can go around announcing the Expo. They could have distributed flyers and put up posters that are visible on posts and walls around the town, in the same way people highlight dance and barbecue events.
As I am writing, my staff at the Linden Expo just returned stressed, distressed and annoyed. The turn-out was an embarrassment they said. It robbed them of their zeal. I suggest the Linden Chamber of Commerce ask the Regional Chairman of Region 10, Mr Sharma Solomon, for aggressive marketing techniques, similar to the ones which were used to get people out to vote in the last elections. He and his team did an amazing job at that.