JMEA plans return of Expo Jamaica
An aerial view of booths at a past staging of the Jamaica Expo trade show

AFTER a two-year hiatus due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) is now fast-tracking plans for the staging of its biennial Expo Jamaica trade show which returns in April 2023.

Back to in-person format, the event is scheduled to take place April 27-30 at the National Arena and the National Indoor Sports Centre.

"Expo Jamaica 2023 marks a return to the scale and breadth of pre-pandemic events. Unfortunately, Expo Jamaica was cancelled in April 2020, and only a virtual event was held in October 2021 so the association is extremely excited for the first in-person expo since 2018," stated Kamesha Blake, JMEA executive director.

With the JMEA as lead organiser Blake said the entity is highly focused on ensuring the event provides opportunities for increasing trade, exports, and investment — which is also a part of the association's mandate especially with it being the country's largest business development organisation for the productive sector.

With the theme set around the clear goal of 'Connecting the World to Jamaica' Blake said the expo — through the wide variety of booth exhibitors, industry influencers and brands expected to be on showcase — is to represent well for the local industry make-up, showcasing the prowess of the local productive sector and will feature a carefully curated display of Jamaican products and services.

"The event provides an excellent opportunity to discover and learn more about Jamaican products and services, as it offers an excellent platform for local businesses to market their products as well as strengthen their brands and participate in high-value networking by connecting with both local and international buyers to solidify business expansion and exports," she stated.

The four-day event will be divided across buyer and consumer days, allowing buyers and businesses to make business-to-business (B2B) connections during the first two days and afterwards opening its doors in the last two days to thousands of consumers to participate in booth exhibitions, product sampling and purchasing activities.

Deemed one of the largest and most impactful trade shows of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean, the expo, since its first staging in 1971, has over the years grown in size and reputation, usually welcoming participants from mainly the region, North and South America and Europe. At its 2018 staging the event attracted over 220 exhibitors, 570 buyers, and 21,500 consumers.

"As the world gets over the [novel coronavirus] pandemic, which sees tourists rushing to our shores and large-scale events returning to in-person staging, the JMEA expects a massive turnout for Expo Jamaica," a news release stated.

Kamesha Blake, executive director of the JMEA

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