OATF '22 goes digital

Bigger, better and more accessible
Namibia's largest trade and exhibition fair is stepping into a new chapter, and the excitement is palpable.
Yochanaan Coetzee
Preparations for the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF), which is set to take place from 26 August to 1 September, are in full swing, with organisers, exhibitors and eager attendees amped for one of Namibia’s leading national and international trade and exhibition events.

“2022 will mark the 20th anniversary of the fair, a significant milestone in the Namibia trade promotion industry. The 2022 fair, therefore, offers an opportunity to redefine the brand value of the OATF and explore new and innovative ways to create connections and networks of trade between local market players and Namibia and the world,” Rebekka Hidulika, the senior manager of economic development and community services at the Ongwediva town council, said.

Not only will the Ongwediva Trade Fair Centre once again roar to life after a short hiatus due to Covid-19, but organisers have made concerted efforts to reach even more 'attendees' through their new hybrid system, where exhibitors can now market their products, network their services and engage interested parties virtually.

“This truly embraces this year’s theme 'gearing up for a smart economy',” she said.

“The inclusion of the virtual exhibition platform cements OATF’s objective of being a proactive force of voice and vehicle of Namibia’s economic growth by promoting quality products and services through technological evolution,” Hidulika added.

The platform will offer an intuitive virtual experience along with interactive features such as audio/video chat. The virtual trade fair speaks to current realities dictated by various factors including the pandemic, the costs of attendance and the ever-changing technological environment, which will enable participants to reach an even wider regional and international market.

Made to market

As always, the OATF promises to be a hotbed for developmental activity as corporate entities, government, small- and medium-sized enterprises, local traders, entrepreneurs, international businesses, investors and organisations network, share ideas and enjoy the area’s standout hospitality.

“OATF expects to host local and international exhibitors from various economic sectors so as to consolidate economic activities and interests under one roof, taking advantage of both the Trade Fair Centre and the virtual platform,” Hidulika said.

“Some of the exiting attractions on the line-up include several business networking events, seminars and workshops – with emphasis to be made on resurrecting the local economy and propelling economic growth, she noted.

Hidulika was quick to point out the strategic importance of the OATF on the national developmental agenda.

“The OATF is Namibia’s largest and longest standing multi-sectional trade and business exposition, hosted annually by the Ongwediva Trade Fair Society in conjunction with Ongwediva town council and in collaboration with various public and private stakeholders.

"Over the years, the OATF has shown itself to be greatly successful in promoting trade, facilitate business interaction between various role players, both locally and internationally, as well as offering local traders a platform to engaging new clientele,” she explained.

Get involved

Complementing the activities of the OATF, the Ongwediva Trade Centre is strategically located, with excellent infrastructure, services and facilities. The total coverage area of the centre is 20 000m², boasting offices (some available to rent), a conference hall, three exhibition halls, a restaurant, entertainment kiosks, a kids entertainment area, ablution blocks and a vast open space for parking and future expansion of the centre.

Exhibition applications are already open, and exhibitors are encouraged to submit their application before the end of May. Applications can be obtained from the OATF website, oatf.com.na, or by emailing [email protected] / [email protected]

Details of the virtual fair will be available on the website.

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Republikein 2022-12-05

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