Mocktails, stylish bags and locally made beauty products were some of the products which caught this reporter's attention during the opening day of the 2018 Trade and Investment Convention (TIC).
Hosted by the TT Manufacturers' Association at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya from June 5-8, TIC is open to the public this weekend.
When the doors open, the public can taste samples of food and beverage products from local, regional and international companies. The final two days are also when exhibitors get to sell their goods, so there's likely to be some bargaining at the 267 booths and three pavilions this weekend.
There is an admission fee, $30 for adults and $10 for children while the opening hours are 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday.
Mocktails are being served at the Viva Sparkling Water booth – within eyesight of the entrance. Created by professional bartenders, each mock cocktail had real fruit at the bottom of the cup and was garnished with a maraschino cherry. With hundreds of booths to check out, these non-alcoholic drinks were quite refreshing. That may very well be why there was a little line up to get your free mocktail on day one of TIC.
Vitamin water "drips" was another interesting product. No actual intravenous therapy (IV) was taking place but the clear bags of coloured liquid were hard to miss, particularly as the Revive Medical Spa booth is to the right of the entrance. There are ten types of Revive Vitamin Drip IV treatments, each one explained in the brochures being given out at the booth. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/revivett
Champaign glass-shaped signs were another standout. Joey Sukhdeo, who launched his company, 800-SIGN, at TIC 2018 said this particular stand was proving very popular. He said a local beverage company had already spoken to him about getting some to market their products.
123 Kids Expo was a little different to most exhibitors, in that it was promoting its own expo next year. The event was founded by Kaisha Lee A Ping-Alfred, CEO of Trendy Trade Show Company, after she got tired of having to "hunt around" for affordable, quality products and services for her children.
Described as a marketplace for all things children and teens, the April 2019 edition will be held at the Centre of Excellence. There will be a Maternity and Baby Square Pavilion, NGO Pavilion, Kids Zone, Education Hub, Toddler and Kids Avenue and a Market Place Pavilion.
A large leather bag, with black and white mixed prints, was one of the standouts in the Tobago House of Assembly's section – the booths had a blue fabric background to distinguish them. Made by Cee Wee Designs using supple leather, the Crosswalk Butterfly Resort Bag, is described as large enough to hold your essentials and more while lounging poolside.
B Naturals' body butter, beard oil and soaps – all made using ingredients grown in Tobago – was another highlight. This was the first time B Naturals owner and Tobago resident, Mijanou Charles, has exhibited at TIC. Visitors to her booth were most interested in her turmeric and honey soap, turmeric and neem body butter and her beard oil.