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Extra special expo

BMA director Bobbi McKay during a BMEX planning meeting.

BMA director Bobbi McKay during a BMEX planning meeting.

This year’s Barbados Manufacturers Expo will be extra special for manufactures.

That is because as a way to help further market their products, the Barbados Manufacturers Association is launching a special “competition”.

The new product showcase, as it is being called, will be opened to all ages and commodities – the only stipulation is that they must be unique.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Executive Director of the BMA, Bobbi McKay, explained that of the entrants, the 10 which were deemed by a committee consisting of qualified people from both the private and public sector, showcased the best new and interesting products, would be selected.

The 10 would receive mentorship and have access to technical services as well as other perks in preparation for their showing at BMEX, which will be held from June 27 to 30 this year at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. The competition begins on March 1.

McKay said that over the years viewing booths on displayed at BMEX they noticed that many manufacturers were moving away from strictly the production of the traditional pepper sauces and condiments to some of the most creative items and she anticipated the response to this initiative would be overwhelming.

She said she expected a wide range of products including food, children’s book, computer application and shoes to be displayed.

“Last year, particularly, we found the most amazing new products, many I have never seen in Barbados before, so we were quite excited,” she said.

“People are coming with new fresh ideas so we are trying to find out what is out there, then select them and work with them. Over the years there have been very interesting and unique products but we don’t find them until people get in trouble. We want to know who is out there and how we can help develop and make their product successful,” she added.

This year BMEX had to be postponed to accommodate the renovations at the LECS, however, McKay said that had not dampened the interest since “the booth sales are going like crazy”.

Other additions to the card for the exhibition include the expansion of the food and beverage pavilion, furniture and design and the Botanical offerings. The official launch will be held in the second week of March. (KC)†

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