When the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2020 in Rwanda was postponed, the RX Global Africa team didn’t need to ‘pivot’. They already had a Virtual Trade Fair in place, which the Chinese Government was keen to support.   

IATF brings together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, and explore business and investment opportunities in Africa. Organised in partnership with the African Export Import Bank and African Union, the fair was held for the first time in December 2018.  

From the outset, it has combined a physical event with a Virtual Trade Fair which enables participating businesses to showcase their products and connect with buyers remotely, year round. With the postponement of IATF 2020 in Kigali, the team quickly transferred their efforts to the virtual trade fair to continue to support their customers.  

As a consequence, the Chinese Government invested in a Hunan Province Virtual Pavilion. Focusing on medical pandemic supplies, the pavilion brought together 68 exhibitors in virtual booths to showcase their relevant medical products.  

As part of their engagement, the Hunan Pavilion requested a live event, to launch their pavilion and increase virtual traffic to their virtual exhibitor booths. Held on 22 June, this event took the form of a ‘Virtual Roadshow through Hunan Province’, which was hosted on the ON24 live event platform. Registration was via the Virtual Trade Fair.  

The session was hosted live, with a pre-recorded video from the Hunan Province. The video showcased the products available in the pavilion and included a welcome message from Carol Weaving, Managing Director of RX Global South Africa. A poll was run via the platform during the presentation and a Q&A session followed at the end, with questions submitted and answered via the text functionality. 

93 people registered for the live event of whom 78 attended. They included government officials and technology, medical and freighting companies from Tunisia, South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Egypt and China. 71% of attendees said they found it exceptionally or very helpful.  

The roadshow webinar remains available to view on the Virtual Trade Fair. Such was the overall success that Hunan Province has confirmed it wants to hold another virtual roadshow at the end of September.  

IATF is now scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 6-12 September 2021.