Thumbs up for Windhoek Show
“The Show Society is happy with the figures this year. The numerous daily compliments and positive remarks received from exhibitors and visitors regarding the major changes brought about by the society’s implementation of ‘Theme Halls’, as well as the transformation of specific areas on the grounds has created a positive overall tone,” the Managing Director of the Society, Harold Schmidt said.
A total of 4,651 visitors were recorded on the first Friday, when the show began, compared to 17,191 on Saturday, 12,749 on Sunday and 4,455 on Monday, respectively. By the last day (Saturday, 7 October), the 2006 Windhoek Show had recorded a total of 95,682 visitors compared to last year’s 87,530.
The highlights for this year’s Show included an Entertainment Plaza which featured live entertainment programmes every evening till the gates closed. On the last Saturday, popular Namibian Kwaito icon, Gazza, gave a splendid live show on the enlarged arena.
Visitors also enjoyed the popular Merry-go-Round (Fun Park), Paint Ball, Laser Clay Pigeon shooting, Slides, Simulators, and a visit to the snake park. Much fun was had with Radio Cosmos’ helicopter flips over the city, as well as the treasure hunt inside the arena whilst children enjoyed the daily puppet shows.
According to President of the Windhoek Show Society, Theo Schoeman, the quality of the exhibition halls was raised to counter public complaints of the show being a flee market.
There was also a plaza for small and medium businesses. Schoeman said the plaza created a friendly and more sheltered environment for SMEs. The selection of SME exhibitors was done in collaboration with the City of Windhoek’s SME development division.
Over the years, the public had been complaining that the food was always the same; this time around the food outlets were selected on the basis of menu variety and prices. “The list of traditional food outlets were increased and had been placed at strategically important localities,” said Schoeman. The selection and placement of service providers was done in collaboration with the Health Division of the City of Windhoek.
A new feature was the Social Plaza with a seating capacity of 120 to 150 people, for those who wanted to relax and socialise while enjoying refreshments.
The front entrance, the Standard Bank gate, was revamped together with the gate on the Bell Street, called the Nedbank gate. There were three high technology information boxes, one at the Windhoek Show Office, one in the President’s Hall and the other at the Information Tower. These assisted visitors with information on programmes, exhibitors and products.
The number of surveillance cameras had been increased to assist crime prevention efforts. And above all, the fee had not changed. Still N$20 per adult, N$15 per child, while pensioners strolled in free of charge.
“The overwhelming positive responses from exhibitors and visitors clearly confirmed that the society has succeeded with its first phase of transforming the essence and face of the annual show,” said Harold Schmidt.
The annual most popular events of the show, the fireworks display and the Miss Show pageant, did not disappoint neither.
The large arena was packed to capacity and, judging from the cheering and clapping, the choice of fireworks appealed to the attending spectators. The 3-hour Karaoke Show, and Louis, the magician spiced the fireworks display on Thursday evening.
Lizaan Van Rensburg was crowned the Miss Windhoek Show, ahead of 21 other contestants. Kamire Markowitz and Shereen Gawanas took the first and second princess spots, respectively.
Schmidt explained that the exceptional high standard and quality of exhibits, both indoor and outdoor, have impressed both the show organisers and visitors.
He observed how the concerted efforts by the exhibitors and the society had achieved the objective of bringing about a face-lift to the show.
The quality of Large and Small Life Stock entries, also elicited positive remarks and judges faced a difficult challenge when selecting the show champions in the various breeds.
Some improvements for next year’s event have been identified and include amongst others, the layout and infra-structure for informal traders plaza; power cuts; a more acceptable method of access control for exhibitors; a broader variety of food dishes ‘ too much emphasis on hotdogs, hamburgers and braaivleis; encouraging exhibitors to use the show for product launches and discount prices; less participation of Ministries and more manufacturers and producers in the “Product of Namibia” hall; as well as proper control over the caravan and camping facilities during the show period.
“While the show society is most grateful for the support received from visitors, the primary objective set for this year was also achieved, namely, an increased satisfaction of exhibitors and visitors,” Schmidt concluded.