By Nikki Jafari
By all accounts, the 2nd annual Iranian Business Trade Show last month was a great success. This year’s event managed to double both the number of vendors and attendees from our previous year, and also saw the addition of new, fun activities such as a kid’s corner with crafts and face painting, live music, as well as a cafeteria area featuring delicious authentic food.
While this event is a fun community gathering, it also serves an important business need. For a lot of immigrants, the work culture in Canada is very different than in their home countries; even if they are naturally savvy business people, it still inevitably takes them a while to learn the ropes.
That’s why this event is a great opportunity for newcomers – it gives them a chance to enter into the Canadian trade show scene for the first time, and in an environment that is filled with supportive business people just like them. For smaller family-run immigrant businesses, it’s often too expensive to attend larger events. This is actually one of the main reasons why the Iranian Business Trade Show was created. With a price point that is reasonable for small businesses, our event opens the door to those who cannot afford the expense of traditional shows, giving them a chance to establish networks and expand their contact base here in Halifax.
Building a Welcoming Community
The trade show also encourages more multiculturalism and an attitude of inclusion here in Halifax. Our event is open to all members of the community - not just those of Iranian heritage – meaning that it represents a great chance to celebrate and learn about our culture. This helps to foster an attitude of appreciation and acceptance, something that goes a long way in making immigrants feel welcome and at home in our city.
Looking forward to next year, we’re already imagining ways to build on our success. Our goal is to expand both our reach and our focus, something that will be accomplished by opening up the trade show to all international small-businesses. We also plan on developing an event website to help with promotions and improving this year’s immensely successful Iranian Business Directory.
As always the event will be free to the public, and also a fantastic way to have fun and celebrate Halifax’s diverse cultural make-up. We hope to see you there!
Author: Nikki Jafari
Nikki Jafari is a Mobile Mortgage Specialist for TD Canada Trust and one of the producers behind the Iranian Business Trade Show