Pretoria - This year's edition of Soccerex, arguably the biggest business convention for the global football community, has wrapped up in Johannesburg.
The event has taken place annually for the past three years in South Africa, in the run up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This year's exhibition took place on the eve of the 2010 Final Draw which will take place in Cape Town on Friday.
Soccerex consisted of a two-day football festival and a three-day conference and exhibition. Top travel agencies, equipment manufacturers, radio and television broadcasters, sports agencies and agents, tourism bodies, and charity organisations related to football were in attendance.
Many of the leading clubs of the world, from different continents were represented as well as South Africa's Premier Soccer League clubs.
Organisers said over 30 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) had had an opportunity to exhibit their products and interact with international players and partners during the three events.
"Some of the companies have now formed partnerships with international entities. The involvement of SMMEs is important since they play a significant part in the success of economies of governments or countries," said Thembela Mgudlwa of Gauteng Enterprise Propeller.
He said not only had the Gauteng region and big business received exposure but the SMME sector had also benefited from the event.
At least 13 SMME's had the opportunity to profile their products and services to the delegates during this year's Soccerex. Further to this, 40 additional tickets were procured in favour of the SMME's that attended the event as delegates.
"We are therefore encouraged and humbled to present SMME's this opportunity to experience the unique soccer exhibition," Mgudlwa said.
England's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup was promoted during the event, while the Netherlands and Belgium as well as Russia promoted their joint bid for 2018 and 2022 editions of the World Cup.
Further to this, the 2009 expo served as a blueprint for Brazil, the 2014 FIFA World Cup host.