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Nairobians shun trade fair

The just-ended Nairobi International Trade Fair was a disappointment to hundreds of exhibitors.

The Agricultural Society of Kenya however ripped big from the 500 participants.

The number was up from 290 exhibitors in 2011, a 42 per cent increase.

Despite paying hefty fees to secure space at the Jamhuri grounds, the event was largely attended by pupils and students in quest for knowledge and adventure.

The exhibitors parted with a minimum of Sh20,000 for space with every nine-square-foot cubicle going for Sh13, 050 according to the ASK public and communications officer  Juliet Karung’o.

ASK said the show was a success even as various exhibitors voiced concerns at the low attendance by adults.

“The number of exhibitors increased tremendously. Actually, those who arrived late failed to get space for their items and or services,” said Ms Karung’o.

The annual event is usually a favourable ground for the exhibitors to cut deals and create business networks. However the low adult attendance was a big disappointment.

Security scare

“The situation has not been any better from the start of the week,” said Jane Albert Marwa, marketing officer of Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement.

The disappointment was attributed to a number of factors including security scare after the Westgate Mall attack.

The   numerous security officers on the ground did little to reassure Kenyans. The high cost of life has also been blamed for the low attendance.

However, school children had their time with numerous face painters, entertainers and food vendors making a kill as the number of children surged.