DID YOU KNOW? DISTRICT CORNER
PROJECT FAIRS MIX
Sonia Uribe, a member of the
Rotary Club of Nuevo Medellin, in
Antioquia, Colombia, says hosting
a project fair is an effective way to
find an international partner for
your global grant project.
In February, Uribe coordinated
the first Uniendo America Project
Fair in Cartagena. More than 190
Colombian Rotary clubs exhibited
their projects to dozens of potential
“Rotarians in Colombia don’t
necessarily have the resources
to travel the world looking for
international partners. This
created a problem for our
clubs that want to develop the
relationships needed for a global
grant project,” says Uribe, who is a
past governor of District 4271.
“By hosting a project fair, we
brought the global partners to us.”
In addition to giving local clubs
the opportunity to showcase their
projects to potential partners,
these regional events also enable
visitors to shop for projects that
meet their clubs’ requirements.
But for a project fair to succeed,
Uribe says, it must include a
balance of business and pleasure.
Participants want to socialize and
enjoy the host country’s cultural
attractions as well as find Rotary
project partners, she points out.
“You must make the event
attractive to international visitors.
In our case, and in most of Central
and South America, we schedule
our fairs during the cold months
in North America. The 2017 fair
will be in February. People want
to travel to warm destinations
during this time,” Uribe says. “The
project fair, offering friendship
and fellowship, is the reason
international visitors come.
Cultural attractions and vacation
packages are the reason they stay.”
Robert Atta, a member of the
Rotary Club of Accra, Ghana,
has been involved with the West
Africa Project Fair since its start
in 2002, serving as chair in 2011.
He says that clubs and districts
must display projects that are
interesting, and present them in
an attractive format. Atta also
says that after the fair, it’s vital for
exhibitors to stay in contact with
visitors to their project booth.
“[Exhibitors] need to be patient.
It takes a long time to raise funds
and build relationships,” Atta says.
OTHER TIPS INCLUDE:
Make sure your project fair
won’t conflict with official
Rotary activities and holidays.
Develop a program that is
simple and that provides ample
time for participants to meet
and discuss their projects.
opportunities so attendees can
share project experiences.
Take visitors to project sites to
provide firsthand experience.
Host afternoon and evening
fellowship activities, and leave
one evening free for attendees
to explore the local area.
Learn more about project fairs
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More than 190 Rotary clubs exhibit their projects at a project fair in Antioquia,
Colombia. Project fairs bring multiple international partners
to a single site to find Rotary clubs to partner with.
OFFICIAL DIREC TORY