Made in Wairarapa

June 16, 2011 New Zealand,Wairarapa

A couple of local businessmen have taken it upon themselves to organise a showcase for Wairarapa businesses to market themselves to the wider public and network with other manufacturers who are doing cool stuff in this region.

Photographer and picture framer Pete Nikolaison, and furniture maker Alastair Dickson are putting on the Made in Wairarapa Expo 2011 in late August at the Genesis Energy Recreation Centre.

“There’s some very very cool stuff being made here,” says Pete.

Unlike other marketing expos, this one is free entry for visitors and low cost for stallholders so people can get involved without breaking the bank.

Pete and Alastair are enthusiastic about promoting local producers so they have donated their own time to stage this non-profit expo. It will showcase manufacturers making everything from engineering to joinery, furniture, food, wine and fresh produce. There will be upholsterers, welders, cabinet makers, beer brewers, printers, picture framers and many more.

Pete says traditional avenues of marketing have become expensive or diluted and this is a cheap way for manufacturers to let people know what they are doing. It is also a great way for businesspeople to network and find others who can help them get their products to market.

“I see huge potential for inter-business relationships to grow,” says Pete.

Pete and Alastair say it’s important that local business does business locally when and where it can.

“There’s a huge amount of business that leaves the area. It should be that money stays in the region.”

In his own enterprises Pete has gone out of his way to use local companies as much as he can when getting products made. Last year he created the popular pictorial book Wairarapa The Place and it’s People, which was produced and printed locally to an excellent standard.

He says often local businesses are not even aware of other companies that could help them with various aspects of production. An expo like Made in Wairarapa on August 27 and 28 is just the vehicle to create these networks.

With free entry, it’s also an excellent opportunity for local people to come to an interesting exhibition. Pete and Alastair say they are trying to get site-holders to bring an interactive element to their exhibitions. The Masterton District Council has donated the use of the Genesis Energy Recreation Centre stadium and the South Wairarapa District Council is giving $500 towards the expo. Printcraft is providing a lot of promotional material. A $1000 door prize will be awarded to one lucky winner, with the proviso that the money be spent with one of the site-holders.

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