The Roraima Group of Companies-staged annual Wedding Expo and what the company anticipates will be a high turnout at the 10th staging of the event next weekend provides an “ideal opportunity” for small businesses whose goods and services are in demand in the wedding sector to “establish their credentials and win a share of the market,” Roraima’s Chief Executive Officer Gerry Gouveia has told the Stabroek Business.
With a week left before the staging of the event Gouveia says that the company’s team assigned to the planning and execution of the event has indicated that there are still some display and vending spaces left at the Roraima Duke Lodge, the customary location for the event.
“What we have decided is that it would be good for small businesses offering goods and services linked to the wedding sector to take up those spaces. The Wedding Expo is the only event of its kind held locally that focuses on a specific sector. What we have found is that whereas in earlier years the event attracted high numbers of people simply wanting to have a good time and while that remains the case our own ongoing evaluation tells us that greater numbers of people are showing up at the Wedding Expo looking for services for family weddings. These days, a significant percentage of the visitors to Wedding Expo who stop at a stall do so because they are genuinely after a particular service. The event has really come to symbolize the captive market,” Gouveia said.
Next weekend’s Wedding Expo programme will include the high-profile tying of nuptials between the winners of the “Race To The Altar” event. “That is our centerpiece event, the dream wedding. It is witnessed by hundreds of visitors to the Wedding Expo event and the sponsors of the various wedding-related events as well as the vendors who display their goods and offer their services have also come to be associated with the excellence of what it offers,” Gouveia said.
According to Gouveia the “real value” of the Wedding Expo to the business community, “has to do with the sheer number of sub-sectors that can find a potential market at the event.
He named wedding planning, wedding fashion, food and beverages, wedding décor, transportation photography and videography and printing as areas of enterprise that could all benefit from participating in the Wedding Expo. “All of these are likely to derive some sort of business from the event. Sometimes it has a knock -on effect so that recommendations from persons who have already used a service and have been satisfied with it could result in multiple contracts. Frankly, with a few vending spaces still left I’d love to know that those go to start-ups looking to invest in growth.”
Gouveia had earlier said that going forward, Wedding Expo could offer even more to local businesses in the future if the process of amending the country’s Marriage Act to reduce the residency requirement from fifteen days to two days for non-nationals wishing to marry in Guyana is accelerated.
“I have spoken on this matter on numerous occasions. We need to have a look at other wedding destinations in the Caribbean where the wait by visitors for permission to be married is much shorter. Guyana is as good a wedding destination as any. That includes the potential for creating employment in the various types of businesses in the wedding industry.”