Conferences still vital despite tough trading conditions

31st January 2020 By: Mc'Kyla Nortje - Journalist

Conferences still  vital despite tough trading conditions

TRENDS When planning events, it is important to be aware of the prominent trends in all the sectors

Despite a challenging trading environment over the years, trade shows are well supported, which indicates their relevance across various industries, says event organiser Specialised Exhibitions MD Gary Corin.

“Although exhibitors are cautious about the way in which they participate at exhibitions, they still feel the urgency to participate. The fact that most of our shows either take place yearly, biannually and/or triennially enables the sectors that the shows serve to plan for the shows so that they are relevant to the target market.”

Corin explains that, when planning events, it is important to be aware of the prominent trends in all the sectors, as they reflect what is happening in an industry and, hence, Specialised Exhibitions’ spending so much time on research.

“An example of the latest trends would be how exhibitions have shifted away from solely focusing on a product and/or industry towards the inclusion of a variety of industries that are relevant to its product offering,” he notes.

Exhibitions have also started to offer attendees more in terms of content – such as conferences, workshops, dialogues – instead of companies only exhibiting.

“At exhibitions, the focus should be on the visitors, as they add value for exhibitors. It is not enough to display the latest technology and products on the floor, there have to be other attractions as well.”

Further, Corin says digital and social media is another trend that companies should learn to integrate into their operations.

He adds that, although the world is becoming more digitalised, there is still demand for human contact – that is why events and exhibitions have their place, and why it is so important to ensure integration between the two to ensure optimal functioning.

Events for 2020

Specialised Exhibitions has about nine events planned across industries that include mining, industrial, electrical and power generation; packaging, food processing, plastics, print and labelling; food and hospitality; building, construction and building services; occupational health safety and security; as well as marketing, advertising, design and promotions.

Moreover, Specialised Exhibitions and events management company Afrocet Montgomery have announced the launch of Ghana’s premier mining, industrial, automation, packaging, and occupational health and safety trade expo – the West African Industrial Trade Exhibition.

The event will take place at the Dome of the Accra Trade Fair Grounds from April 21 to 23.

The exhibition has been designed to support industry and business growth in Ghana by creating an environment where business partnerships can develop and trade exchanges can take place.

Meanwhile, Caminex brings the mining, agriculture and industrial sectors together and is an important trade platform that showcases the latest in products, machinery, technologies and services that these and associated industries can offer. Caminex 2020 will be held at the Kitwe Showgrounds, in Zambia, from June 2 to 4.

Further, for a second time, the Facilities Management Expo 2020 will run alongside Securex South Africa 2020 and the A-OSH Expo 2020, which will take place from June 2 to 4 at Gallagher Convention Centre, in Johannesburg.

Visitors to the expos will gain insight into new solutions to multi-industry challenges while exploring the latest trends and debating various business issues and challenges.

Specialised Exhibitions will also launch its new show, AfriBuild, in October, to provide practical advice and solutions for the building industry.

AfriBuild will take place from October 13 to 15 at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec. The trade-only expo will be a biennial event taking place over three days, with the aim of becoming a hands-on building solutions show for the sector.