We normally avoid any city bound trips (we'd really much rather be in the bush). But a recent visit with the ZTA team at Gwango got us keenly interested in ZTA events and in particular, the Sanganai/Hlanganani Expo. The event was slated for 6-8 September 2018. We signed up for an exhibit booth and blocked off several days for the big trip to the city of Bulawayo for the event..
I really didn’t know what to expect, after all, this was a locally organized event which had not been hosted in Bulawayo for several years... but my excitement grew as we started planning. First there was the design of our postcard – the first time Gwango has had to create any form of print advertising (most of our guests find us through word-of-mouth referrals).
We worked with a local print shop in Bulawayo to produce the backdrop for our ‘stand’ or exhibit booth. Gary, from Sandford Signs was just super patient and full of advice and when I stopped into his shop to approve the design, I could see that there were several other tourist destinations ramping up for the big event.. (excitment growing!!!)
The event has been well worth the effort. Just some of the highlights included a speed networking session during which Danny and I met one-on-one with tour operators and travel agents from all over the world. Also of great benefit was the opportunity to get to know Zimbabwean tour operators and travel industry representatives. For example – I got to chat with some of the ZTA Board members when they stopped by our booth (they’d heard about us from ZTA's German Brand Ambassador, Virginia Mukwesha Hetze). Several of the Zimbabwe National Parks representatives passed by to learn more about Gwango - and there were lots of publicity contacts in attendance.
My favourite conversations were with the hotel and catering students and also the local school children that stopped by to chat with us. It was like our first dance... a chance to speak with everyone about Gwango (and boast a bit about our progress).
Thanks, ZTA for putting on a great event! We look forward to participating again in 2019.