The Malta Independent 24 August 2019, Saturday

Quality matters more than Quantity

Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 12:47 Last update: about 3 months ago

The first ever Gozo Expo trade platform was officially launched on the 31st May 201 at the Grand Hotel, Mgarr, Gozo, acting as a regional hub for Gozo businesses and further foreign investment to the Island. George Carol reports

Together with the Gozo Business Awards, the Gozo Expo was a focused B2B trade show for the fast growing food, commercial, industrial, manufacturing, tourism, travel, hospitality, ICT, building and construction, real estate and property development, and other business clusters, with the main objective of creating bigger opportunities and successful businesses for companies and trade professionals in Gozo, and also trading Maltese companies.


This first ever endeavour was by no means easy to plan and organize, let alone to affront the many trade barrier mentality existent on the Island, where a change of mindset and temperament had to be dealt with, since a change resistant factor was prevalent throughout. Right from the outset, we knew that the going was going to get though and notwithstanding these difficulties, in the end we managed to bring together a mix of quality and quantity of buyers and traders, offering Gozitan, Maltese and international brands a wide spectrum of opportunities for business networking and partnerships with established players and buyers in the local markets.

Both the Expo and the Gozo Business Awards are two sister events and have contributed for the birth and development of this first edition, working hand-in-hand, advertising and cross-promoting as one event,together with the Ministry for Gozo and the Gozo Business Chamber. "We are extremely pleased with the preliminary feedback and first results of this foray into the Gozitan business market. Our first business venture in Gozo has resulted in a participation of over 38 companies and these businesses have participated way beyond our expectations, were able to make up most of the opportunities offered to them and were full of praise for the way both events were organized," commented Martin Vella, organiser and the brains behind these business activities. "Of course, we did not expect to have a huge turn-out for the first edition, and we were very cautious about what to expect, although, being realistic, I would have expected more footfall. We foresee that the positive feedback received is a significant endorsement of the MBR brand, as well as  recognition of the investment opportunities and the beauty that Gozo holds within. The participation of all exhibitors also signifies the great confidence shown in what we have created, as well as what we have dared to do, and I am positive that we will eventually satisfy the regional and international expectations next year, as we are determined to go further beyond, since we had Embassy representations visiting from the Netherlands, Italy and other countries, preferring to participate this year and see first. I have been in contact with foreign Embassies and I am certain they will be getting a business delegation next year," told us the organiser of the Expo.  

"This is a very exciting turn and remarkable start for all the Gozitan businesses and industry community, and I am confident that these two events will grow rapidly in the next few years to become the leading trade platform in Gozo, and maybe a role model for other peripheral Mediterranean Islands," reaffirmed Mr Vella.  

Commenting about the event, Daniel Borg, CEO of the Gozo Business Chamber highlighted the local Gozitan dimension and the fantastic opportunity for Gozo and Gozitan businesses to confirm their leading role as regional hub for tourism, eco-green initiatives and mobile sustainability, saying, "Co-organising this event with MBR Publications Limited has certainly provided us with a great chance to develop a proper springboard for a relevant business sectors of the industry and to give the Gozitan companies the right professional platform to expand regionally and internationally. There is a lot of potential for the entire Island and it is up to the local businesses to tap into the strategic location and industry strengths of Gozo, invest and expand their businesses throughout,. I wish to thank MBR Publications for their commitment, great work and sacrifice " Mr Borg said.  

Visiting the Expo on Saturday morning, HE the President Dr George Vella went around each stand in the Lady Suite hall and spoke with all exhibitors, taking well over two hours to do so. The President noted that, "It is the first time a small business enterprise has forayed into staging of an international trading event in Gozo and it appears to have achieved considerable success in view of the challenges it has faced in order to come up and commit to organize such an activity. We all know the difficulties Gozo has and yet this is proof that by providing a quality trade platform with various business initiatives and opportunities,  It is quality rather than quantity that matters, and there is a lot of quality from what I can see in this Expo," HE remarked. Dr Vella went on to mention the fact that he was there to encourage al Gozitan and Maltese businesses not to be afraid t participate in such exhibitins and he pledged his unconditional support toward such endeavours. 

"For next year, we have very much higher expectations in terms of venue location, trade, visitor numbers and trade volume," told us Martin Vella. "I hope this will be the beginning of a truly regional platform for the Gozitan businesses, so I urge all in the industry, business and commercial sectors to make full use of our events, which are truly cost-effective yet provide a quality gateway," he concluded, as Margaret Brincat, Sales Director and Managing Partner, presented a contribution of Euro 650.00 to the Malta Community Chest Fund as part of their CSR fund raising activities.

With over fifteen years, MBR Publications Limited specializes in trade fairs and events for businesses in niche various industrial segments, with accent on quality and high standards - from planning through to execution. The Company's mission is to provide adequate trade fair infrastructure and ambience enabling enterprises to interact with one another and transact business with significant competitive advantages of a well-planned event.

Most of MBR's events, be it a trade show or business event, were being organized for the first time in the region, which meant that the company often had to overcome enormous planning and organisational challenges which it did successfully and have been responsible for creating trailblazing B2B exhibitions, conferences or award galas . Within a few years the team had become quite confident and started looking only at very niche vertical business or industry subjects. Quality, not size, became the buzz word around the key team and management.

"We lose focus on what's really important: the quality of the people who do follow us; making sure that we seek out and attract our ideal customer; and that we create meaningful relationships with our partners and online communities, and engage with them with integrity. The people with loose tongues who think they are clever by making noise, can only sink ships by so doing!  With the newsfeed algorithm measuring how often people engage with your posts, and ranking which posts Facebook serves to newsfeeds in order of likely interest to our audience, our success depends on constant engagement with our customers. So, better to lose those who are not interested, than have them lurk silently on our page, or come to our events with a hidden agenda. It is the same with any of the events visitors. Rather than focus on the numbers, focus on building your accounts with people who will support you, and who fit your ideal customer profile most closely. Better to have 100 engaged, loyal customers, than 12,000 who have no real interest in doing networking, developing business or creating investment.

Most of the trade exhibitions organised by MBR Publications are hugely successful and have become the industry standards. The company has also been the Event manager for selective third party private events. And the success can be measured by the repeat customers willing to participate again, albeit in different location and with different strategies.



What they said:

 "I would like to thank you for the great opportunity provided to us, as well as for a great organization, both for the expo, as well as for the superb gala evening. Moreover, we wish to continue building further collaboration and positive networking which did during the event." Denise De Gaetano | Data Scientist & Business Consultant


"Dear Margaret and Martin, I would like to thank you for offering us such a good opportunity to integrate and promote our business. I really appreciate all the organization, effort and, the great event yesterday evening. We had a great show during the expo and the evening was exceptional! Thaaaank you!" Marta Obiols and Tomas Hed


"Hi Margaret & Martin, The feedback I received from most of the exhibitors has been definitely positive and encouraging, with affirmative B2B networking having a beneficial outcome, and the gala awards were a complete success from start to finish, proving that quality is better than quantity! I have still to hear one negative comment! Well done, keep it up and surely one of the best events I have been to."

Jean Paul Abela, Manager, Business Restructuring Unit, Bank of Valletta


"Dear Martin and Margaret, Just wanted to say Thank You to both of you for the invite to the Gala Dinner. Me and my wife had a very good time and the whole event was very well organized.  We're looking forward to seeing more photos on Facebook 😊"

Jeffrey Romano, Marketing & Communications, Steward Healthcare


"We congratulate you on taking this bold initiative and we had superb networking opportunities and sales enquiries. We shall surely participate next year."

Ing. Marco Anfuso, Amministratore, REGRAN SRL, ITALY

"Dear Martin and Margaret, Just a little note to congratulate you on the great job done for the Gozo Business Expo and Gozo Business Award 2019. Personally I believe it was  a very fruitful experience...Were there any things that can be improved? Sure, there always are and there will always be people who criticise in an offensive and far from constructive manner...But leaving all negativity aside, one has to remember that this is a journey that we have all embarked on, and together we have managed  to take that very important first step,  thanks to your hard work, vision and dedication....Chapeau!"

Daniela Sabino, Assistant Director, Ministry for Gozo


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