Jakarta Fair ends with much higher business transaction

JAKARTA (JP): The 2007 Jakarta Fair, which ended Sunday, was deemed successful due to the increasing number of visitors as well as business transaction.

Head of the 2007 Jakarta Fair organizing committee Siti Hartati Murdaya said at the closing ceremony on Sunday night that the one-month fair had attracted three million visitors this year, up from 2.5 million last year.

Business transaction was also expected to reach over Rp 1 trillion (US$110 million), much higher than last year’s transaction of Rp 500 billion, she said, adding that automotive sector booked the biggest transaction with Rp 800 billion, followed by electronics sector.

Two vendors in the fair told the Jakarta Post that they were indeed able to meet their sales target, but two other merchants were upset with their sales, meaning that not all traders were successful in selling their products in the fair.

“This year is better, more people have come to this booth,” said Nardi, a salesman with electronics distributor Ridista.

With a prime spot near the central hub of activity in Hall A, Nardi has little to complain about. He and his team have already hit 75 percent of their sales target of 2,000 units, focusing on promoting mp3 and mp4 players. Having been in Hall D twice before, Nardi credits the better location this year with the rise in sales.

Septyanita, the fair coordinator for a cell phone distribution company, concurred with Nardi.

“Sales are over our target and higher this year,” said Septyanita, 22, who managed both the Sony Ericsson and Motorola booths. “The place is more spacious.”

She gave much credit to the location of both booths, positioned diagonally across from one another near where Hall D and Hall A meet. The booths attracted a steady stream of young buyers and families alike.

Unlike Nardi and Septyanita, Jonathan Pranadjaja, 39, the owner of Naglasui sportindo who displayed his products at his booth in the Exhibition Hall D, said his sales were decreasing this year.

Although he already has enough money to cover the leasing fee for his booth, which costs more than Rp 100 million , Pranadjaja recalled the last two years of the Jakarta Fair as being more profitable.

As a 10-year veteran of the Jakarta Fair, Pranadjaja claimed his current booth’s location was not very strategic compared to that of last year, contributing to a slimmer profit margin.

”This is the worst selling booth,” said Pranadjaja, pointing at the rows exercise machines. He estimated sales of his health equipment were about half of last year’s.

Furniture distributor Pujiati echoed much of Pranadjaja’s sentiments, lamenting the location of her booth and the layout of Hall A.

“The new hall has too many doors and entrances,” said Pujiati, 40. Like Pranadjaja, she has made enough to cover the leasing fee of her booth but is disappointed by the amount of business she’s garnered. A specialist in fairs and trade shows, Pujiati is no stranger to selling her wares amongst a forest of other vendors, making her situation ever more perplexing.

For fair attendees, the situation was much more carefree, though not without criticisms. Pak Triono, 38, attended the fair with his wife and two young children.

“I think it’s good because it gives an alternative place for me and my family to have fun during the school holiday,” said Triono, a civil servant with the Ministry of Industry.

An attendee of the Jakarta Fair for several years, Triono was dismayed to see ticket prices increase.

Teguh, an insurance company employee, agreed that tickets to this year’s fair were too expensive. He saw no overall difference in the fair from last year but was frustrated with the parking lot situation, which he felt poorly accommodated motorcyclists attending the event.

“If you ride a motorcycle, there are not enough lockers for your helmet and jacket,” said Teguh, 26. (Tiffany Wan)

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