Annual Event Went Online in November To Reach International Buyers
COMOX VALLEY – COVID-19 may have postponed the 2020 BC Seafood Festival, but it didn’t knock it out.
Instead, Invest Comox Valley organized a team to put together a Virtual, online event November 17-19.
“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and I’m very pleased that our team pushed forward to create the event virtually, which provides continuity for 2021,” states Invest Comox Valley Executive Director John Watson. “We know seafood companies have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we wanted to do whatever we could to help them connect with new international buyers.
“We also wanted to provide a bridge between our last live BC Seafood Festival and our next one, hopefully next June. It is such a great event and it’s been building every year since we started it, and we felt we had to continue that momentum somehow.”
Trademodo provided all the logistics, web development, conducted traffic and hosted the event through their platform for the two-day event.
Executive Director of Business Development Kenton Liu says “In general, everyone I have spoken to and the survey has showed that the event went quite well. The overall event rating was 8 out of 10, with people really liking the presenters, and for the most part, being successful with their networking/marketing activities.”
Liu adds: With this whole COVID 19 situation, the industry needs to be more open about investing a bit of time in technology and online solutions. Something as simple as listing their business and filling out their information on Trademodo only takes about 10 minutes and can help them create an online presence for free.”
New contacts were made by 19 participants in the BC Seafood Festival Trade Show, which gave them a Virtual Booth and the opportunity to meet directly with international seafood buyers and customers during the event, or set up Zoom calls.
Interest was generated throughout North America and Asia, from as far away as Australia, China and Vietnam.
“In these trying times of COVID-19 we have to have creative ways to keep the economy going,” notes Rob Arthurs of Robert Arthurs International, which recruited international buyers to the event. “BC is heavily reliant on the seafood industry we needed to do something virtually to keep our seafood companies meeting and greeting potential buyers globally.
“The BC Seafood Festival global event was well executed and a huge success. As many organizations are now looking at 2021 opportunities, how many of them will be virtual? I’m proud to be part of this inaugural event and look forward to many, many more.”
Mark MacDonald of Business Examiner helped coordinate the Trade Show, and noted, “I think we can call this event a success, and it gives us something to build upon for next year.”
The BC Seafood Festival is held each June in the Comox Valley.