EXPO TORREVIEJA INTERNATIONAL 2011; the International Commerce and Services Fair, is the latest initiative by Torrevieja’s small and medium business association, APYMECO and Councillor for Commerce Agustina Estev, to help boost trade and commerce within the city.
Scheduled to take place from Wednesday March 30 through Sunday April 3, 2011, this first exhibition is the latest awareness campaign from the association, aimed towards the International Community.
Offering 140 stands and housed within two Marquee Tents in the fairground area, it’s double the size of the Outlet Fair from last year, at 2,800 square meters! September’s outlet fair attracted 22,000 visitors and it’s hoped that over 30,000 will visit this.
Although APYMECO have been involved in a number of other exhibitions over the years, this is the first International fair that they have promoted. In order to participate, each entrant must have at least one English speaker on their stand, so the English speaking community need have nothing to fear about not being understood.
Although the show features members of APYMECO it is not limited to just its members and they would like to attract more local International business groups to the event. At present, the majority of stand holders are Spanish and Scandinavian offering both sales and services including car and property sales, legal and gastor services, pools and construction, furniture and advice, plus a whole lot more.
There is also a stage, which shall feature fashion shows, demonstrations, music and dance over the five days. For those that may feel a little peckish doing the rounds, no problem as there shall be a number of offerings from the Hostelry Trade at the show, to ensure you never go hungry or thirsty during your visit.
Except on opening day, when it’s expected to open officially around noon, the show shall be open from 09:30 to 21:30 each day.
Entrance is free for all visitors and for those wishing to exhibit, they are offered excellent prices to do so. For non Members of APYMECO it’s only €498 for a stand space and for members just €398. For local business thinking that joining APYMECO may be of great benefit to their business, it’s only €180 to join, so if you do the math, you could exhibit at the show, enjoy the savings and in reality, pay just the extra €80 to enjoy the benefits of membership for a full year!
Unlike the majority of expatriate groups and organisations around the Costa Blanca South, APYMECO is not based upon Networking, although that is encouraged amongst members.
APYMECO’s goal is to promote business services and commerce within the town through a series of campaigns and promotions that they run throughout the year. And since Torrevieja’s International population outnumbers the Spanish by about an official 6%, the focus of the fair is to build confidence within the International community by allowing them to see for themselves what services are on offer around the city.
It’s hoped that the International community will discover new services from Spanish companies, whom many expatriates seem a little reluctant to visit, mainly due to worrying about their lack of knowledge of Spanish! But since all stands have an English speaker, this show should be easy to find out more about Trade and commerce in Torrevieja.
An example of an APYMECO and Town Hall initiative is the I-Mas card, a loyalty card, which has been around since July 2009, has over 3,500, but is virtually unknown in International circles.
However, the International Community have yet to seriously involve themselves with applying for or using the cars, which offers discounts, monthly lotteries to win €200, an annual €600 prize and in 2010, one lucky couple won a Mediterranean cruise with MSC Cruises.
Normally, after you make your application, the card is posted out to you a few days later, but at the show, you can apply directly and within a few minutes it’s ready for you to enjoy a world of discounts around Torrevieja.
For those interested in joining APYMECO, Alfonso and Antonio, both of whom speak English, are the ones to ask for. There are 248 members of APYMECO at the moment but they would like more International Business people to become involved. To find out more about displaying at the first expo, just send Alfonso an email at [email protected] or drop into their offices located close to the Virgen del Carmen Cultural Centre at 145 C/ Ramon Gallud, telephone 96 670 59 09.
By Keith Nicol