The positive turnout at the triannual Propak Africa exhibition at the Nasrec Expo Centre, in Johannesburg, in March, has created hype for next year’s regional show, Propak Cape, as stands are already selling fast, states Propak Africa exhibition organiser specialised exhibitions company Montgomery.
“Propak Cape will take place from October 21 to 23, 2014, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, in the Western Cape. Many stands were already booked even before the end of Propak Cape 2011 and sales have intensified after the recent and highly successful Propak Africa,” says Montgomery MD Gary Corin.
Propak Africa showcased the latest products, machinery, equipment, consumables and services that the industry has to offer.
With Propak Africa attracting 13 010 local and international visitors, the event delivered a great return on investment for the 530 exhibitors who used Propak Africa as a platform to introduce their latest machinery, equipment, products and services, states the organiser.
“Exhibitors reported interaction with high-level decision-makers, which translated into many sales being made from the stands and additional sales leads generated for postshow follow-up,” notes Corin.
Feedback from Propak Africa exhibitors highlights that the show served its purpose and afforded exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products to the international and local market.
Coding and labelling equipment company PackMark GM Brandon Pearce says the company is overwhelmed by the number of enquiries it received, which is about 50% more than those in previous years. PackMark also notes a great deal of interest from African countries. Pearce added that 15% of all enquiries received pertained to export.
“Our machinery was fully operational at the show, as we felt that this would better demonstrate products’ capabilities, and we are still following up on all the queries we received several weeks later,” he states.
PackMark showcased its latest coding and labelling equipment at the four-day exhibition, with its new labeller from Harlands being a key attraction for visitors to the stand. “We had an expert from the UK demonstrate the various functions of the machine and it received a great deal of attention,” says Pearce.
Other exhibitors also reported on their successes, pointing out that Propak Africa is the largest show in the industry on the African continent and that it is growing each time the event is held.
Plastics machinery company Maritime Marketing director Jeff Cawcutt highlights that the company used Propak Africa as a branding exercise, which proved to be a good opportunity to create and build relationships.
Meanwhile, pressroom and finishing sup- plies solutions company Thunderbolt’s objective was to increase its profile in packaging by showcasing digital printing and its expansion into the packaging industry.
Thunderbolt MD Peter van der Walt notes that the company had a positive response at Propak Africa and received triple the number of enquiries that it expected from the expo.
Corin points out that Propak Africa will return to the Expo Centre from March 15 to 18, 2016, and has already taken early bookings. By close of business on the last day of this year’s show, about 20% of the exhibitors had booked exhibition space for 2016.
Also, the Montgomery Group’s East African division, Montgomery ECO, has announced the geocloning of the Propak Africa exhibition for the Kenyan market. Propak East Africa will be the first dedicated international industry exhibition that will draw upon the success of last year’s Propak West Africa launch, in Nigeria, as well as the long-serving Cape Town and Johannesburg events.
East Africa contains 20 countries with nearly 400-million people. Kenya, the location of the event, is the largest economy in East Africa and is a major alternative to South Africa for corporations wanting to enter the African market. The Kenyan economy has consistent yearly growth of 4% to 5% that has been relatively unaffected by the global economic downturn, Montgomery points out.
The Kenyatta International Conference Centre, based in Nairobi, which is considered to be the region’s hub, is the most populous city in East Africa. Its airport is the largest in the region and acts as a gateway for internationals coming into Africa, therefore, it was a logical decision to host Propak East Africa in Nairobi and select East Africa as the next geographic location to expand the Propak brand, explains the exhibitions company.
Montgomery business development manager Alexander Angus says, having spoken to all the African and international exhibitors, interest in the East Africa event was better than ever expected.
“We recognise that there are many companies looking to launch and expand in different markets across Africa and they wish to do this through a platform that they know and trust. In launching Propak East Africa, we have created this platform so that companies can launch, grow or even dip their toe into the market. Propak East Africa is the extension of the Propak footprint from Southern Africa – Johannesburg and Cape Town – and West Africa in Nigeria.
“It is clear that our clients are greatly inter- ested in the East African region and this event will provide them with a trusted platform. Propak East Africa will run from April 1 to 3, 2014, at the Kenyatta International Con-ference Centre, in Kenya,” he concludes.