ICA Expo 2012, the global trade show for co-operatives, will give exhibitors the chance to tell their co-operative story and build new contacts.
ICA Expo has been created to increase business opportunities for co-operatives from around the world. It was established by the International Co-operative Alliance in 2006 in order to provide a more business orientated service to its members and with the plan to hold an international co-operative trade fair once every two years.
In this way, co-operatives can showcase their unique values based business model to a world tired of valueless neo-liberal economics. Although co-operative business can exhibit, exhibitors can do business with the general market as well as practice inter co-operation.
At ICA Expo exhibitors get visibility for their co-operatives. They are ‘seen’ by the ICA, other co-operative businesses and other markets as well. The Expo raises the profile of the ICA image within the co-operative sector as well as outside through the media, the business world, governments and international organizations.
The trade fair attracts co-operative businesses, companies, institutions and the general public, promoting the co-operative sector and other markets/co-operatives learn about the ICA and co-operative activities through the trade fair.
The trade fair has been growing and creating business opportunities as most organizations which attended the previous events have made a decision to return.
It is predicted that 2012 will be the strongest year yet, not least because of the UN’s International Year of Co-operatives and its grand finale in concert with Expo in Manchester. This gives a huge potential to increase business opportunities with the Hosted Buyer Programme and selected Business Presentations and buyers will be present from the Co-operative Group as well as a host of other businesses.
At ICA Expo 51% of the visitors share information with 1 to 6 persons and 52% of the prospective customers require no subsequent visits to close a deal. Furthermore, for 91%, participation is a key factor to making a decision and for 85% of the participants, the fair provides reduced selling costs.
ICA Expo is an important tool to develop business opportunities in the next Co-operative decade. It is intended that ICA Expo becomes a permanent fixture in the global co-operative calendar and becomes a powerful tool in the further development of the co-operative sector.