Building and construction material exhibition fails to attract interest

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LAHORE: The first two days of a three-day exhibition of building and construction materials held by The Institute of Architects of Pakistan (IAP) at Lahore’s Expo Center failed to attract interest from the general public and relevant professionals alike due to organisational conflicts and mismanagement.

According to sources, a tussle ensued among different groups of IAP on the issue of recently held internal elections, which were allegedly marred by rigging. A meeting of the body aimed at resolving the conflicts was still underway on Saturday at the time of filing of this report.

“The turnout of people related to the field like architects, constructors and engineers has been low. There are lots of students here, but most of them are irrelevant to us as they are not here to buy anything,” said Mukhtar Ahmed from JB Saeed.

The turnout of the companies and dealerships at the exhibition also remained low, due to mismanagement and high cost of stalls. “The rent for a 10 by 10 feet stall at the exhibition is Rs150,000, which is way higher than what it was a year ago, said Mukhtar Ahmed.

The exhibition was supposed to be held in Hall 1 and Hall 2 of the Expo center, however, the low turnout meant that no stalls were set up in Hall 2.

“Until 2016, the exhibition used to attract a good number of people, however since than the market as a whole has gone down. In most cases, it is the architects who recommend our products, but the turnout of architects at the exhibition has been low,” said an official representing Beta Pipes at the exhibition. However, officials representing Fast Cables and Brighto Paints reported an upward trend in attendance at the start of the second day on Saturday, compared to the first day on Friday.

On the other hand, the customers at the IAPEX seemed less than impressed by the arrangements and the variety on display. Renowned construction companies like Banu Mukhtar, Izhar Construction and Gondal Industries remained absent from the event.

“I can get a better variety of building and construction materials in the market than what is on display over here. Most of the well-known brands are not present,” said a visitor to the exhibition, commenting on the conditions of anonymity.

IAP is the governing body of architects in Pakistan which has chapters in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The organization mainly hosts conferences, workshops and lectures, conducts competitions for professionals and students and organises local and international architectural exhibitions.

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