The number of companies, engaged exclusively in organising fairs and expositions, has marked a substantial rise over the years on the back of an ever-growing demand for the country's businesses and industries to promote their products and trade services both at home and abroad.
Industry insiders say although there were only a few such organisers merely a decade ago, the number of such companies emerged specially after 2004 in the wake of organising a mega business promotion show titled 'Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (BATEXPO)' by the country's largest export-earning sector to promote their business and thereby create an avenue for greater affiliation with their foreign buyers and other stakeholders.
More than 100 fairs and trade shows on different products and services representing various industries and sectors were organised by some dozens of fair organising companies in the country over the period of last two years, they said.
Exhibitions and trade shows were held on products and services representing the textile and garments machinery, accessories, dyeing and chemical, fabric, food and agriculture, agro chemical, fire equipments, motor and bike, auto companies, medical equipment, health tourism, construction material, solar and power, real estate, poultry, dairy, plastic and packaging, leather and leather goods and so on.
"A fair brings on display all the latest equipments and technologies, designs, developments, and fashion trend in different promising sectors where buyers and sellers can find those under a single umbrella without having faced with any hazard," said Rubaiyat Ahsan, Chief Executive Officer of exhibition management firm Alliant.
The annual turnover of the fair management sector is estimated to be at least Tk 4.0 billion, he said.
His company Alliant is a joint-venture between entrepreneurs based in Bangladesh, Taiwan and Malaysia and has been organising fairs over the period of 19 years. The company did organise the annual BATEXPO twelve times since 1998, he added.
According to Abdul Kader Khan, President of Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA), "Participants and visitors - both are important to make a trade show or fair successful and organisers can do the management in a better and organised way as they have experience and good communication."
The sector's annual exhibition namely 'Gapexo' is jointly organised by his association and the Ask Trade and Exhibition Pvt. Ltd.
It's not possible for entrepreneurs to go to several countries to see the latest technology as it is time-consuming and costly, but they can find all the latest developments in their sector by attending such shows, he added.
Meherun N Islam, Group President and Managing Director of CEMS-Global, USA and Asia pacific, said there was hardly any competitor in the sector over the decade, but a number of firms are working as exhibition organisers these days.
"Exhibition is a direct marketing tool which is very necessary in context of the present world as innovations and new items are coming through exhibitions," she said, adding, such shows are very much needed for Bangladesh as the country does not produce all the raw materials required for its industries.
"We think Bangladesh is on the route of growth with steady political climate and constant growth rate," said Nanda Gopal K, Director of ASK Trade and Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd, another company that organises trade shows in the country.
The success of RMG sector was followed by the leather sector and gradual growth in the engineering, wood work and building construction sectors are the clear indicators of the potentials and growths here, he observed.
Trade shows also present opportunities to the sellers who are at a distance from the market, he said, explaining that for these companies, the buyers usually don't have easy access to them because of the long distances, because they might be a third party vendor, or because they do not typically need to directly speak to the client.
Trade shows provide access to buyers in such a way that no other marketing strategy can match, he added.
Bangladesh Denim Expo which is held twice a year showcases denim fabrics for which buyers from across the world come to visit it and this show has been significantly contributing to increase denim exports, said Mostafiz Uddin, Managing Director of Denim Expert Ltd, also a show organiser.