Sep 21 , 2019

The Exhibition Centre, which was established in 1983, hosted 40 exhibitions last year and earned 75 million Br in revenue.

A service rendering company under the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia won a bid with the record high price to host the upcoming Christmas expo at the city's oldest exhibition venue.

Commercial Nominees won the bid by offering the highest price of 38.3 million Br to rent the venue from the Addis Abeba Exhibition Centre & Market Development Enterprise for 17 days. Century General Trading, a veteran holiday exhibition organising company, has also secured a deal to host the upcoming Easter holiday expo to be held for 15 days for 28.8 million Br.

Re-floated on August 11, 2019, the financial opening for the bid was held on August 27, 2019. A total of 12 companies bought the bidding document, but only half of them submitted their financial offer.

Commercial Nominees, Eyoha Addis Entertainment & Event, Habesha Weekly, Century General Trading, Henok Bekele Printing and Bisrat Entertainment & Events are the companies that vied to organise the two expos for the Christmas and Easter holidays.

Before the latest bid, another tender was floated on July 15 to organise both holiday exhibitions. But out of the seven companies that bought the bidding document, only two of them placed their financial offers on July 30, 2019. However, the Enterprise cancelled the bid, since the procurement law requires a minimum of three bidders to proceed with a bidding process.

In the latest bid, Commercial Nominees, which took part in the holiday exhibition bid for the first time, won the Christmas expo, while Century secured the deal to host the Easter holiday exhibition and expo.

For the Christmas expo, Eyoha Addis was the second-highest bidder with a 38 million Br offer, while Commercial Nominees offered the second-highest offer of 27.1 million Br to host the Easter holiday expo.

The winners were announced on September 9, 2019, after the Enterprise reviewed the complaints from bidders against Commercial Nominees, stating that the company did not follow the procedure in placing its financial offer. The Enterprise also had doubts about whether the business license of the company enables it to engage in event organising.

The Enterprise went through checking processes including cross-checking the business license of the company and the procurement law of the county, according to Aynadis Zewdu, head of procurement and property administration at the Enterprise, which administers the Exhibition Centre that was established in 1983.

The venue, which hosted 40 exhibitions last year and generated 75 million Br in revenue, rests on a 27,000Sqm area that incorporates four pavilions of different sizes. The first hall can accommodate 90 minimum-sized booths, while the second and third pavilion can hold 48 exhibitors each.

The fourth one is outsourced for gymnasium services. The open space inside the premises of the Centre can hold up to 140 booths. There are an additional four cottages and one traditional restaurant inside the premises.

"We discovered that the discrepancies were not major and could not be a reason to dismiss the company from the bidding process," Aynadis said.

After the Enterprise announced the winners, Commercial Nominees has started registering companies that will participate in the upcoming Christmas expo, according to Awegechew Abiye, the operations manager at Commercial Nominees, which was established in 1958 by Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Construction & Business Bank.

Commercial Nominees operates with 33 branches, more than 27,000 outsourced employees and 385 permanent employees. It engages with event organising, employment and management services, provident and employees benefit funds administration, real estate administration and agent services for Western Union Money Transfer.

The continuous price increase to rent the venue shows that the Exhibition Centre is becoming a point of interest for business organisations and the people, according to Tadesse Mengeste (PhD), a lecturer in the Marketing Department at Bahir Dar University.

"However, the price escalation could affect the exhibitors and visitors," said Tadesse. "Venue rental prices for exhibitors and entrance fees for customers will go up."

Tadesse also suggested the organisers begin organising exhibitions and expo at an international standard, which will also make them internationally competitive.

PUBLISHED ON Sep 21,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1012]

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