North Sumatra Trade Fair 2011, in my review

This is an annual events in North Sumatra Province, Indonesia, and is always held by the North Sumatra Province Government with partnering Event Organizer. Yet this event still apparently get a big popularity among North Sumatra citizens, I called it modest/good and not bad in term of popularity and results.

The goal of this event is actually to introduce the wide variety of North Sumatra cultures and traditional/modern products courtesy of more than 30 districts and towns, and the second is to attract traders and investors to commit their moneys and values onto the province. However it seems that the stronghold of this event is always about the first one. It can be seen from 2 perspective, the visitors to the Fair and the stakeholders, the Local Governments (districts, towns). From the official statistic issued by the government, most of the visitors looking for a cultural entertainment in visual or knowledge, paying attention to what are exist in a particular district/town by visiting each local stand. That’s why students and families dominated the 28 days event. That is one successful story for this event. But then you can’t say they want to invest, don’t you? Second, from the event organizer and stakeholders point of view. People can see that the event is a really trade fair and not investment fairs. All areas are focusing on presenting the products, the pictures, and everything to introduce about their culture and place, but with a few information about what is potential and how is the procedure to invest. If exist, then they would be just a banner with potential areas and some local regulation with nobody inside the stand can explain about those two explicitly and detailed. The stand-guys and receptionist plus some civil servants only know about their products, cultures, traditions, development progress, but they are not ready to answer specific questions about trading, law, and investments.

So yes, the event is more of a culture tourism place for North Sumatra citizens. The number of visitors, yes it is growing year by year. The Event Organizer prepared it well, adding some performances and contests plus providing more spaces to traditional traders and brands to sell their products surrounding the main place where the local area stands are located. In the evening, the place is very crowd and of course a lot of money circulating during the event. Maybe in 5 years, a more strategic approach from the government can be expected to raise a lot of investments to every region in North Sumatra. I think we North Sumatra people just enjoy the event as an entertainment.

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