Singapore fair seeks Cebu exhibitors

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Saturday, July 27, 2013


WITH the world’s focus trained on Asia, the organizers of an international exposition are hoping for a high Cebuano participation at an event in Singapore next year.

Worldwide Exhibitions Linkage Services (WE-Link) general manager Wilbert Novero said he hopes to see more Philippine players at the International Furniture Fair Singapore in March, saying Philippine companies can benefit from participating by pitting their products against the world’s best.

There are 300 square meters of space delegated to the Philippine Pavilion of the show, which will be held on March 13 to 16 next year. Last March, 12 Philippine companies joined the show.

Candice Chiang, IFFS executive for sales and marketing, admitted there are many other international fairs that companies can join, but said the IFFS has the benefit of over 30 years of experience.

She urged local companies to consider IFFS over other trade expositions, saying they have the highest country count among others being organized.

They are also improving their business matching program by having participating exhibitors nominate the buyers they want during registration.

To ensure buyer attendance, Chiang said they will be sponsoring the stay of the buyers, providing them with shopping vouchers, welcome gifts and other services. She revealed that they met with the Philippines’ Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions to discuss the best way to highlight design elements unique to the Philippines and offer an effective platform for Filipino companies.

The show has seen visitors from 102 countries, with 33 percent from Asia and Oceania, 31 percent from Southeast Asia, 21 percent from Europe and 10 percent from the Americas. They saw a total 20,893 visitors, US$297 million in spot orders and US$3.3 billion in follow-up sales.

Asked how other western trade shows could affect the attendance of IFFS, Chiang brushed these aside and said they do not consider French-based Maison de Objet and the New York-based International Contemporary Furniture Fair in Singapore at around the same period as threats to the IFFS. She noted that with Europe and the US economies still struggling, their aim in locating to Singapore is to get a slice of the lucrative Asian market.

Novero added that visitor groups of the IFFS and Maison de Objet will be converging at one point and urged companies to take the opportunity of showcasing their products to these visitors.

The IFFS also features the Décor Show and the newly launched Hospitality 360, a venue for suppliers in the hospitality industry.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 27, 2013.

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