A local event organiser has placed a record high offer to host the upcoming New Year Bazaar and Expo at the city's oldest exhibition venue.

A local event organiser has placed a record high offer to host the upcoming New Year Bazaar and Expo at the city's oldest exhibition venue.

Eyoha Addis Entertainment & Event Plc offered 32 million Br to rent the venue from the Addis Abeba Exhibition & Marketing Development Centre for 23 days. The financial opening of the re-tendered bid was held on April 17, 2019.

During the financial opening, Eyoha vied with six other event organisers and promotion companies, including Habesha Weekly and Century General Trading.

Habesha Weekly, a local event organiser and promotion company responsible for this year’s Easter Expo, placed the second highest offer of 28 million Br. The veteran holiday expo organiser, Century General Trading, offered the third highest price of 25 million Br. The lowest bidder, Demere Coordinate Works, made a 21.5 million Br offer, which is even higher than last year's highest bidding price for the New Year expo.

The initial tender for the New Year Expo was floated on March 18, 2019, and the financial offers of the five bidders were opened on April 5, 2019.

However, the bid was cancelled as the companies didn’t fulfill the criteria, according to Tamirat Ademasu, general manager of the Centre, which is owned by the Addis Abeba City Administration and administered by the Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association.

During the financial opening of the cancelled bid, the management of the Centre added a new requirement that compels winners to pay the full value before the exhibition concludes. Previously, the winning company made full payment after the exhibition closed. If the full payment is not made in the stated time, the event organiser could not take part in another tender, according to the new requirement.

"The new requirements weren't included in the bidding document," said Samson Shiferaw, public relations head of Habesha Weekly. "We were informed about it during the financial opening, and when we complained about that, the bid was cancelled."

Founded in 1983, the centre rests on a 27,000Sqm area that incorporates four pavilions of different sizes. The first hall can accommodate 90 minimum-sized booths. 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.

In the past fiscal year, the venue has hosted 40 exhibitions and generated 75 million Br in revenue.

Eyoha, which was founded by Ayu Alemu six years ago with 50,000 Br in capital but is now capitalised with 30 million Br, has hosted six-holiday exhibitions so far. It has also hosted last year's New Year expo after winning the bid for 20.6 million Br. The management of the Centre is also planning to expand the facility with over 10 billion Br.

Siraji Wasihun, marketing manager of Eyoha Addis Entertainment & Event plc, didn't respond to phone calls and text messages from Fortune.

Five years ago, Habesha won the bid with the highest offer of 9.5 million Br, which is more than three times lower than the current winning price.

The Centre has been the lone exhibition venue until Millennium Hall, built by Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi, entered the business a decade ago.

The third venue is on its way as the City Administration, city chamber and private investors are constructing the Addis Africa International Convention & Exhibition Center with an investment of over one billion Birr.

Such expos play vital roles in promoting the city and trade activity as several non-national companies and traders are participating in this expo, according to Bedilu Yismaw, assistant professor at the School of Business & Economics at Bahir Dar University.

"Thus, the number of expos the Centre hosts has to increase," Bedilu suggests.

Also, the Exhibition Centre & Market Development Enterprise has to increase the number of expos, he adds.

The Centre will be floating a tender for the coming Easter and Christmas holidays within two months, according to Tamirat.

PUBLISHED ON Apr 26,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 991]

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