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t h e e x h i b i t i o n Your essential guide to successful exhibitions

The JEC does it again for Africa

Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery shares insights on trends within the exhibitions industry and touches on how the company has continued to achieve notable successes for over 50 years

• showcase • top tips Industry experts

Exquisite Exhibits

show off their beautifully executed events

Making it easier to green your event

Vol. 4 2018/2019 ISBN 978-0-6399369-4-9









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Hall 10 A






Bateleur A & B






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Bateleur B






Black Eagle A, B & C






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Black Eagle B






Black Eagle C












MAN Suite

Main Arena Lower Restaurant Boardroom (Admin) Exhibition rate per sqm, per day Terraces & Esplanade (all outside) Turnstiles



Over OVER 2 50 000m 000M2 50 INDOOR indoor SPACE space









The Planner








10 Don’t predict the future, create it Specialised

24 EPH Productions shines at SAFTAs 28 The preferred partner

Exhibitions Montgomery has a rich history and is now more optimistic about the future than ever before

35 COVER STORY 06 The Africa exhibition industry Craig Newman, CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre, talks to us about his undertaking of UFI’s 2018/2019 presidency

FOCUS ON 08 A continental win We delve into how the exhibitions industry and sector have taken form over the past few years and what the outlook is for the future

Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Shanna Jacobsen ( Online Editor Mpinane Senkhane


Journalist Pippa Naude Chief Sub-Editor Tristan Snijders Sub-Editor Morgan Carter Head of design Beren Bauermeister Design Ramon Chinian Client Services & Production Manager

Jayshree Maharaj

Financial Manager Andrew Lobban Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina Distribution Coordinator Asha Pursotham Advertising Vanessa De Waal

+27 (0)84 805 6752

BEST PRACTICE 14 EXSA-llent exhibition stands We explore the EXSA-llence Stand Awards and get the opinion of the judges on what goes into putting together a spectacular stand

19 Putting the pizazz into presentations Parrot Products is bringing the boardroom into the future with its range of LED touchscreens

REGULARS 03 Ed's comment A new dawn 04 Expo shorts 31 Leading 34 20 Questions 36 Talking Points 40 Miss Xzibit

HOW TO 22 Attract people to your stand


26 Green your event

18 Your exhibitions marketing tool of the future

30 Time your event

20 7 reasons why exhibitions are still relevant

35 Professionally staff your exhibition

published by The Business Exchange, 150 Rivonia Road, Morningside, Johannesburg PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/75

NOTICE OF RIGHTS The Exhibition Planner is published yearly by 3S Media. This publication, its form and contents vest in 3S Media. All rights reserved. No part of this book, including cover and interior designs, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. The authors' views may not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation and compilation of this publication, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, completeness or accuracy of its contents, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. While every effort has been taken to ensure that no copyright or copyright issues is/are infringed, 3S Media, its directors, publisher, officers and employees cannot be held responsible and consequently disclaim any liability for any loss, liability damage, direct or consequential of whatsoever nature and howsoever arising.

The Exhibition Planner 2018/2019 © Copyright. All rights reserved 2018 subscription R50 per annum (incl. VAT) ISSN 1684-9264

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A NEW DAWN In celebrating the shifting sands of this dynamic industry, we welcome you to this year’s instalment of The Exhibition Planner.


he past month and a half has been an absolute whirlwind with the flurry of exhibitions currently taking place. The Exhibition Planner, along with sister publications Meetings and The Meetings and Event Planner, were recently at the Madex and Markex shows, where I was fortunate enough to gain some critical industry insights and hands-on experience – and what an experience it was! The events and exhibitions industry is unlike any other; the value behind the engagement really is a crucial aspect for our marketers, the industry itself and broader commerce as a whole. Giving a description of a product or service online or over the phone is often not enough to secure buyin. However, the exhibition space not only showcases a business’s offering and provides an education of this but it also presents an ideal opportunity for interaction between potential clients and industry peers. Nothing will make an impact quite like having a live demonstration with a face-toface human interaction, as this creates a long-lasting impact of your brand in the minds of your audiences. The knock-on benefits of this are potentially enormous: a well-executed exhibition will draw crowds, become a talking point and if the media like it enough to create a story from it, it means the exhibition has achieved all it can. 

In this issue of The Exhibition Planner, we place a lot of emphasis on greening within the eventing and exhibition sector (see page 26 for event greening tips). In a bid towards sustainability, it is not just here that we are seeing an upswing. Let’s face it: everyone is going green and while greening an event does take a little more effort and a few more alternative resources, it is a no-brainer. We can clearly see and understand that the pros far outweigh the cons and, in this sense, our affiliates at the Event Greening Forum (EGF) are doing fantastic work through their organisation. They have set guidelines for the industry to help get us started, which are comprehensive and geared towards ensuring that each and every event, from the venue to the drinking straws, is as eco-friendly as possible. Further to this, in early June, the EGF launched a database of green suppliers and service providers so industry players can make an informed decision on who they work with when putting together their event. This is a recommendation and optional for exhibition and event organisers alike but it means that within this particular space, there will be preference among those who are also going green. In addition to our fantastic tips and coverage on sustainability, we are seeing how Africa is gaining global recognition. We

look at the state of exhibitions on the continent, where we talk to industry leaders and experts on their experience working within this territory (see page 8 for more). In a similar vein, The Exhibition Planner talks exclusively to the Johannesburg Expo Centre’s CEO, Craig Newman, who is now the incoming president of UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry). This is a first, not just for the JEC and South Africa but for the continent as a whole, and we should all be extremely proud of this achievement. I look forward to this exciting era within the exhibition space and hope you will enjoy this issue of The Exhibition Planner! Regards,



The ins and outs of the exhibition industry

WTM Africa 2018 records 18% increase in attendees After a successful three days in the host city of Cape Town, WTM Africa is pleased to report that its pre-audited statistics show an 18% increase in visitor numbers in comparison to 2017, with over 600 companies exhibiting at this prestigious travel trade exhibition. “We have had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from exhibitors, buyers and attendees of this year’s WTM Africa,” explains Chardonnay Marchesi, portfolio director: South Africa for Reed Exhibitions’ Travel, Tourism & Sports Portfolio. “We saw an increase in exhibitors, visitor numbers, media and countries represented, and are eagerly awaiting the release of the audited numbers for WTM Africa 2018!” Hosted buyers for WTM Africa 2018 represented a cross section of over 50 different countries from across the world, with a particular increase in buyers from Africa, who are looking to grow tourism on the continent. The event also saw buyers from a range of new markets present, including Algeria, Argentina, Greece, Hong Kong, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain and Zimbabwe. A total of 37 African countries were represented at WTM Africa across a variety of exhibitors and tourism boards, says Marchesi. “We continue to strengthen our presence as the ultimate African travel trade exhibition, and the trust of these exhibitors is testament to that.”




AAXO launches news portal

The Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) has launched a news portal dedicated to news and information covering exhibitions and events. The news platform, African Exhibition News, publishes and curates news from across Africa and abroad, relating to the big business of exhibitions and events. African Exhibition News is an initiative to showcase Africa’s exhibition potential, open new business channels for African stakeholders, and support international partnerships. This open platform is designed to network Africa’s exhibitions industry and showcase Africa’s successes to the global exhibitions industry. The site will also direct and link visitors to the latest news in Africa’s leading exhibitions and event media, allowing them to follow global trends and be inspired. Submissions from African exhibition business stakeholders are welcome, and opportunities to promote and advertise businesses and services are available. View the new site at

The Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) has now been confirmed as one of 17 finalists in the 2018 edition of the prestigious AIPC Apex Award competition for Best Client Rated Convention Centre. The final determination of the Apex Award winner will be made in advance of its presentation at the 2018 International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Annual Conference in London, UK, in early July. This award, which has been maintained by the AIPC for over 20 years, has achieved international recognition and respect due to the fact that competitors are rated entirely on the basis of a comprehensive set of ratings from centre clients, tabulated by global market research company Ipsos. “The AIPC Apex Award has a long and highly respected history in the meetings market, which means the winner gains a great deal of respect from peers and leverage in the market,” said AIPC president Aloysius Arlando. “This, of course, translates into better business prospects – but experience has shown that it doesn’t end there. It is also a source of pride among staff and a boost in community appreciation, both of which are also of great benefit to a centre, and that’s why being a finalist is, in itself, a real accomplishment.” Commenting on the announcement of the finalists, Lindiwe Rakharebe, CEO of Durban ICC, noted, “The Apex Award is an outstanding accolade for an international convention centre to win, which is why it is so fiercely contested. As we celebrate our 21st anniversary this year, we are extremely proud to have been named in the list of finalists once again. This accolade affirms our position as Africa’s leading convention centre – a title that our passionate and dedicated team strives to live up to every day.”

Local Excellence Global Appeal

So much more than merely a multi-purpose conference and exhibition destination, the iconic Cape Town International Convention Centre combines flexible venues, impeccable service, cutting-edge technology and the finest global cuisine to transform your event into an extraordinary experience. So, whether your attendees are from around the world, or around the corner, give them world-class experience they deserve with the uniquely African flair they desire, at the CTICC. For more information, or to book your event, exhibition or convention at CTICC, call +27 21 410 5000, email or visit

co v er stor y

The Africa Exhibition INDUSTRY Craig Newman, CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre, has a mammoth undertaking ahead of him over the next year. Aside from his day-to-day duties, Craig has now assumed the role of UFI’s 2018/2019 president. He speaks to The Exhibition Planner.


aving the title of CEO brings with it a wide and rather full job

spec but Craig Newman, CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC), is rewriting the rulebook on efficient multitasking by taking it one step further. Craig has taken on the role of 2018/2019 president of The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) and will oversee its mandate to bring about unification of “the world’s market places: trade show organisers, venue owners and operators, service providers, and national as well as international associations of our industry”. Quite a task considering this is all balanced with his existing responsibilities as JEC’s CEO, but Craig is hardly

fazed as he is usually the first one to report for duty at the JEC with his day at the office starting before 07:00.

Continuous continuity The UFI presidency is structured in such a way that it ensures sustained leadership while accommodating the existing roles of its highlevel presidents, with the term spanning three years. For the 2017/2018 period, Craig has had the responsibilities handed over to him by the outgoing president, Corrado Peraboni, who is the chairperson for Fiera Milano in Italy. From November this year, Craig is in full tenure as UFI president and from November 2019, he will start the process of handing over to the next incoming UFI president, Mary Larkin, executive vice-president of Diversified Communications, based in Portland, USA. “This is done for continuity along leadership, so that tasks and strategies don’t lose momentum, as there is a definite handover,” says Craig.

A continental first What sets Craig’s appointment as UFI president aside from all the rest is that it is an all-time first for Africa – nobody from the continent has ever led the organisation and this is indicative of the direction in which Africa is headed. “This is where the market lies,” says Craig. The trend over the years, he notes, has been one where a lot of the major


industry leaders are investing heavily into Africa-based events, mostly in South Africa, with the intent to grow into the rest of Africa through the SADC region. The same growth opportunities are evident in West Africa, with major investment into Nigeria, as well as in North Africa, through both Egypt and Morocco. The region as a whole faces its own challenges, such as political instability and a lack of infrastructure to support the type of large-scale events that are increasingly in demand but in being at the helm, Craig is determined to ensure broader inclusion and integration of the industry, particularly within the emerging markets. “It will be one of my challenges; I’m not going to get it right in three years but at least I can set the wheels in motion,” he says enthusiastically.

The integration aspect In addition to his focus on Africa, one of Craig’s greatest challenges in his role as UFI president will be bringing about greater cohesion in the Middle East. The fragmentation of the MICE industry within the Middle East is apparent, with the leaders of each nation clamouring for the same piece of the pie. While these goals are challenging, they are not impossible, and we can look forward to a positive turnaround spearheaded by Africa’s first UFI president.

Craig Newman, CEO

Johannesburg Expo Centre

The role of the UFI president – as explained by Craig


The UFI president chairs and runs the UFI board, which is comprised of members within the exhibitions industry from all around the world. While this is focused on venues and exhibition organisers, it is not restricted to just these.


In no order of priority, UFI and its Executive Committee look at a resolution to challenges facing the industry worldwide: political instability challenges facing emerging market economies and governmental support towards the industry. UFI plays a very high-level role in this and is well recognised throughout the UK, Asia, Europe, North and South America.


UFI has the ability to meet with heads of cities, regions and states to talk about and address industry challenges faced within these places. The UFI president will often be accompanied by a delegation from the board when visiting various countries.


The president is also responsible for the physical operational running of the UFI office. The UFI office, based in France, has a managing director, chief operating officer, and a chief financial officer. During the presidency, the UFI office reports into the president. The MD runs the office. Every quarter, a board meeting takes place, where that office reports to the president.

Southern Africa’s largest fully contained exhibition conference and events venue 




A continental win The eventing and exhibitions industry has come along in leaps and bounds in Africa. We delve into how the sector has taken form over the past few years and what the outlook is for the future. By Shanna Jacobsen


his year will mark a decade since world markets imploded

following the 2008/09 global financial crisis – a torrid time during which governments and businesses the world over were left scrambling to establish improved structures and policies to counter the effects of the economic fallout. While no one was spared, it is important to note that even during the height of the crisis, with global GDP declining at -1.7%, sub-Saharan Africa recognised this only as slowed growth of 2.9%. Overall, but unlike many developed parts of the world, Africa did not go into a recession. This demonstrates incredible resilience, and with the demand to create engagement on the continent currently being at an all-time high, Africa-themed events and exhibitions are successfully driving the conversation. Two to three decades ago, the largest exhibition to take place, certainly within Southern Africa, was the Rand Show, held annually at the Johannesburg Expo Centre.


The exhibition first made an appearance in 1894 and has since become a behemoth. It is impressive for its sheer scale, with organisers laying claim to hundreds of thousands of visitors at the event each year, which places a great deal of emphasis on the consumer.

Unique experiences “Our research shows that consumers are looking for a unique experience – one where they can find the same variety and bespoke offerings that they would at smaller, niche events, at a larger consumer show that caters for the needs of every member of the family,” notes analyst Dave Nemeth of Trend Forward, Rand Show’s research partner. “Our exhibitors are looking to gain maximum return on their investment and, with immediate access to an audience of 200 000 people across the upper LSMs, there is no better platform than the Rand Show,” he says. While this is positive and, by typical economist terms, indicative of a growing consumer market in the form of a burgeoning

middle class with more disposable income, an indicator of Africa’s success story is in its trade and exhibition events – more so those taking place outside of South Africa, where logistics and infrastructure are somewhat less challenged than in other parts of Africa. Samukelo Madlabane, GM: Energy and Resources at Terrapinn, the global conferencing and exhibition major, sees his company fulfilling the need for engagement with Africa. “Essentially, what we do as an industry is we respond to opportunities on the ground. Our value proposition is such that

“Our value proposition is such that we will identify an opportunity in the market and then respond accordingly.”


Exhibitions by numbers If you want to lay claim to the number of attendees at your event, consider becoming a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa. The body has issued guidelines for various types of events, namely: • trade exhibitions • consumer exhibitions • trade and consumer exhibitions • conferences. The submission and audit follows a stringent process that includes a systems appraisal that is conducted before the exhibition, an inspection during the event, the submission of data and a full analysis and review of your database post event. For more information, visit

we will identify an opportunity in the market and respond accordingly. If you look at the growth of the trade exhibition industry in places like Ethiopia, you will increasingly see exhibitions popping up around agriculture processing, for instance, which is a direct response to the incentives being offered by the government,” he says.

Pulling the crowds Terrapinn has an interesting model when it comes to putting together its events, and within the African space, it is pulling in crowds. Power & Electricity World Africa 2018, an event that Madlabane is currently responsible for coordinating, is expecting the participation of 40 African countries with 8 000 attendees. The two-day event will be a hybrid of exhibitors with a full-on conference agenda. Ahead of the event, Madlabane has been travelling extensively to meet and engage with governments, industry players and key stakeholders in the power and energy sector, to identify what they want to achieve from the event. This also informs the sort of dialogue that would take place during panel discussions and speaker sessions. Pulling off a large-scale event at a worldclass standard in Africa isn’t straightforward but certainly not impossible. And while the landscape is improving, exhibition organisers still face challenges, particularly with the availability of venues. Larger hotels might offer their ballroom as an option, which 

would be appropriate for a conference but not an exhibition or trade show, as the eventing needs are clearly quite different. “Our aim is to use as much local content and materials as possible. This needs to become the norm across the continent; many of the international organisers import all goods, providing little opportunity for the growth and development of local business and people. This must change and African people need to take ownership of this,” says Liz Hart, who heads up management at Siyenza.

Samukelo Madlabane, GM: Energy and Resources at Terrapinn

Expanding capabilities and embracing trends Slowly but surely, governments in Africa are responding to the need to position their cities as attractive meeting destinations and are focused on growing capacity towards this. The completion of projects such as the Calabar International Convention Centre in Nigeria and, more recently, the Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda has meant greater viability for this type of event within local borders. While it is apparent that there are a few pockets within Africa where an exhibition can be hosted, a well-built venue and good lighting alone cannot ensure the success of the event. Madlabane believes we should turn to those trends and formats that work well to create engagement, with the standard shell-designed product stand simply not doing enough to serve the exhibitor.

“I have a client in the green buildings environment that has used a stand for a number of years. It’s not fit for purpose and does no justice to their brand. They now want an interactive technology element as part of their exhibition and are looking at how to incorporate AI, with virtual reality tours and live demonstrations, to give users a complete experience of what the company does,” says Madlabane. Moving away from the staid, box-type exhibition format to a rich, interactive experience that can offer unparalleled engagement on an international standard is no longer a distant vision on Africa’s horizon but an on-the-ground reality.



b i g inter v iew

Don’t predict the future, create it With a reputation for consistently delivering shows of excellence, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, South Africa’s largest trade show organiser, has a rich history and is now more optimistic about the future than ever before.


stablished as a locally registered business in 1967, Specialised Exhibitions (Pty) Ltd held its first exhibition in South Africa in 1968. The acquisition of Exhibitions for Africa (EFA) in late 2007 by Specialised Exhibitions created a major force in the business-to-business (B2B) trade exhibition market in Southern Africa. Today, after five decades of serving the exhibitions industry, the company is the leading trade show organiser in the country. Gary Corin has been at the helm as managing director at Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery for 8 years, and what is evident is that his accumulated experience, knowledge and the outstanding expertise of his vibrant team have become a huge part of the company’s success. “I actually joined the company in 1996, so I’ve been with Specialised for 22 years; I entered in the role of marketing services coordinator with the intention to start a marketing department because, at the time, the business didn’t have one. We had portfolio directors

at the time and they undertook all marketing functions of the business. The idea was to create a focused  marketing department – which served us well,” says Gary. He says the creation of B2B exhibition platforms like no other through impressive shows that add value and serve the customer, but also deliver quality visitors, is central the Specialised business.

Adapt or die The exhibitions industry has seen a tumultuous decade with the economic dip and the incessant need to spend budgets responsibly, but Specialised has certainly ridden the wave. “There have been tough times for I’d say about a decade now, and now that we are coming out of the tough times, I can say there are some definite trends that we have experienced and I know that our peers in the marketplace have as well. “An example is the biggest show in our portfolio, Electra Mining Africa. When I did my first Electra Mining in 1996, there were about 180 exhibitors in Hall 6 (Johannesburg Expo Centre),

which is the biggest hall at the JEC. Today, we are looking at about 300 exhibitors in the same space. So what that means is that a lot of companies have taken smaller stands and that trend has prevailed across most of our other shows,” Gary explains. But it isn’t all bad, he says. “The positive aspect of that statistic is that instead of having 180 exhibitors, we’ve got 300; this has given us another 120 companies in the same space talking about the event, sharing ideas with industry and bringing alternative solutions to the market. And that market adaptation has added value,” Gary says. The Specialised portfolio

Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery portfolio Electra Mining Africa

A-OSH Expo South Africa

Hostex and Food and Hospitality Africa

Interbuild Africa

Machine Tools Africa

Markex and Madex

Propak Africa

KZN Industrial Technology Exhibition

Securex South Africa



The Specialised team (L to R): Sven Smit, Portfolio Director; Emmanual Patty, Operations Director; Gary Corin, Managing Director; Nick Sarnadas, Portfolio Director; Johan de Bruyn, Finance Director; Charlene Hefer, Portfolio Director; and Leatitia van Straten, Marketing Director

boasts a healthy combination of successful older shows and newer shows, but whether old or new, the retention of shows is almost always guaranteed. Gary says the above-average show retention is attributed to the fact that the exhibition business has always applied effort to understanding its customer and making sure it puts said customer at the centre of it all. “Our portfolio has grown a lot. As a result, we decided to adopt satellite events outside of the main event throughout the year because we used to talk to our clients maybe once a year; with the new offering, we are engaging with them two or three times a year. Having these conversations with our customers has made it easier to

Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery is a member of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) and has developed exceptional relationships with leading industry associations and media partners Visitor numbers are audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa (ABC). The ABC logo is a valued seal of trust that provides confidence in the market 

understand their needs and adapt our offering accordingly,” Gary shows.

An exciting future Last year, Specialised celebrated 50 years in the business. This year, however, Gary says the company is looking ahead to develop, grow and refine the business so that it can eventually celebrate another 50 years. Through its unparalleled innovation, integrity and a professional approach, this provider of worldclass exhibitions is now more excited for the future than ever before. “In the last couple of years, we have gone through a company rejuvenation of sorts; we like to see ourselves as a company that adopts a more youthful and vibrant approach to doing business. We’ve had a significant change in culture, making us a lot more nimble and adventurous. The young, ambitious team is largely responsible for this energy. We have embraced it,” Gary jokes, adding that he is now the oldest in the business. Looking into the future – Gary says Specialised is focusing largely on growing the shows it already has and possibly acquiring new shows. “We are at a place where we have become a specialist at what we do, but in the same breath, we realise how important it is to maintain a world-class standard. Yes, we need to grow – but we also need to make sure that the shows that are successful and have been around for

a while always improve and remain relevant. We are constantly looking to innovate and change within the confines of our business model. Gary says that, at the moment, there is a fine balance in the business between organic growth and acquisitional growth, while still maintaining worldclass standards with existing product portfolios and events. “We continue to grow our brands regionally across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western and Eastern Cape, while also expanding our African footprint into Botswana and Zambia,” he explains. Gary ascribes this strong growth to always being open to new business opportunities and the continuous renewal of the shows through incorporating the latest market trends. A combination of a successful past with a vision for the future is what will continue to drive the success of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery – a company that aspires to the highest possible service standards, with a focus on paying attention to the customer’s needs, and getting stuff done.

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b est practice

Heidi Sparks

EXSA-LLENT exhibition stands What it takes to create an award-winning stand Exhibition Stand #1

Heidi Sparks, head of design at Hott 3D

equal exposure. On top of that, each brand is created to stand out in the crowd. This presents a great challenge in maintaining a golden thread in terms of artwork aesthetic. Each brand needs to stand out while, at the same time, the general look and feel needs to be maintained. This kind of contradiction is always a great challenge to resolve. 

The brief & the design solution

I’m most proud of…

Maxtec required a design solution that would host themselves, as the primary exhibitor, and four other exhibitors under one Maxtec ‘roof’. Naturally, the concept was inspired by the shape of a stereotypical house. A strong concept, excellent brief from the client and aesthetic freedom resulted in a design solution that featured all five exhibitors with the maximum exposure available. The dark grey colour, creative use of LED fluorescent lights and red string resulted in the stand being a major feature exhibit at AfricaCom 2017 – a contrast to the usual white corporate exhibits. This monochromatic colour palette ensured each exhibitor’s brand was prominent. Creating a double-storey structure added a different dimension to the exhibition altogether and allowed us to incorporate a shared casual meeting space and lounge area upstairs, with the four other exhibitors occupying the space on the ground floor.

Resolving the challenge mentioned above! I was fortunate that the client’s graphic designer working on the artwork shared my views with regard to maintaining the golden thread throughout the stand. Hence, the artwork created for the stand really brought each exhibitor’s section to life while maintaining the integrity of the design aesthetic. A great collaboration and result.  

Maxtec stand at AfricaCom 2017, by Hott 3D. Best custom-built stand of 51 m2 – 100 m² *


Overcoming challenges Whenever there is more than one exhibitor on an exhibition stand, the greatest challenge is always to give each exhibitor


The Judges’ Comments Andrew Ross: “The Maxtec stand is a great example of design impact marrying display functionality. The central double-storey section is open and inviting, and for a stand of this size, the overall impression is welcoming without feeling intimidating.” Carlos Mota: “Bold, direct design; the key marketing elements stand out and it really is welcoming. I attribute that to its homely structure!”  Dave Nemeth: “An architectural masterpiece resembling a wire-frame rendering. This stand had great flow, balance and proportions, and used lighting magnificently.”

overview “The EXSA-llence Stand Awards are seen as a highlight of each year, and provide recognition to those companies and individuals that push themselves to achieve and deliver quality products and services so as to further enhance our industry,” says Doug Rix, chairperson of the Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa (EXSA). He adds that the submissions for the recent 2017 awards were of an incredibly high standard – as you’ll see on the following pages. However, one criticism Doug concedes is that he would like the awards to be more inclusive: “We are only able to judge the work of those who participate in the process and submit entries. I believe that we need to really look at ways to effectively involve and include a wider range of industry companies in this process. Healthy competition between one another will stimulate further innovation and success, and our industry will be the ultimate winner.” So get inspired by these awardwinning stands, and plan your 2018 EXSA-llence entries now.

*One of four stand award winners in this category.

stand showcase Exhibition Stand #2 SANParks stand at Tourism Indaba 2017, by Scan Display. Best custom-built stand of 51 m2 – 100 m² *

Meet the judges A panel of industry experts was selected to judge the 2017 exhibition stand entries. We spoke to three of the external judges for this piece.

The Designer’s Comment Adam Kwan, head exhibition architect at Scan Display Johannesburg

The brief & the design solution The client wanted an award-winning stand that highlighted the company’s corporate and business ideologies. The stand needed to have a fresh look and feel, and focus on the activities at each of the parks, including hiking, river rafting and abseiling. With carefully selected images and largeformat prints incorporated into the bulkhead, we created a visually impactful stand that showcased SANParks’ activities. The double deck ensured that the space was used effectively. The top section was converted into a hospitality area for private meetings with clients, while the lower section was more informal. Environmentally friendly considerations were also given, in terms of the reusable graphics and using less timber in the bulkheads and actual structure. Indigenous plants, CNC cut panel details and light fixtures were incorporated to soften and finish off the stand.

Overcoming challenges SANParks won the 2016’s Gold Show Winning Stand award at Tourism Indaba 2016, and wanted to win again in 2017. It had a new stand size and orientation allocation, so the challenge set was to come up with something new but just as good as, if not better than, the last stand.

I’m most proud of… How the stand came together, largely because the client allowed and trusted me enough to take full

Andrew Ross control of the stand design. As a result, there was a natural progression of the design evolution.

The Judges’ Comments Andrew Ross: “The colour palettes and choice of large seamless graphics really make this exhibit stand out. The natural beauty and appeal of SANParks’ product is the visual highlight of this design with all other elements complementing and enhancing the focal points. A great design well executed.” Carlos Mota: “A great example of form following function, this design captures what the client intends portraying, that of wide open spaces.” Dave Nemeth: “This immediately speaks to nature and the brand it is representing. Clear, direct and without looking at any branding, the strong brand message is communicated. Beautiful aesthetic.”

is the group MD of Chaos Theory. He has 20 years’ experience in experiential and global sponsorships and events. He sits on the EXSA Board, has an affinity with the local exhibition industry and passionately advocates for the strategic use of the medium within the broader marketing mix.

Carlos Mota is an interior design professional who runs a design studio, Tilt Design, which specialises in both commercial and residential interiors.

Adam Kwan

Dave Nemeth is a design thinker, innovator, business redesigner, trend analyst, speaker, writer and crystal baller. He owns Trend Forward. 




a new counter with concrete finish feature panel, elements that are much like that of the actual venue. The new concept has warm yellow LED lighting, also taken from the actual venue’s lighting.

Overcoming challenges Reusing, recycling and repurposing an existing stand shell is labour intensive, especially since the stand had already been realised four to five times prior to us taking the contract over. As we strove towards greening, we had a vested interest in providing a long ‘shelf life’ solution, while incorporating new elements and focal passion points that aligned with the venue’s passion, drive and commitment to sustainability and to the environment.

Exhibition Stand #3 CCCC stand at Meetings Africa 2017, by ConCept G. Best custom-built stand of 25 m2 – 50 m² **

The Designer’s Comment Ruhi Tabassum Kader, designer at ConCept G

The brief & the design solution ConCept G was contracted by Century City Conference Centre & Hotel at the end of 2015 to take over and repurpose its existing stand structure for Meetings Africa 2016. The structure was refurbished for this event, and then stored for future events. Top on the list of priorities was sustainability, so the stand was designed to ensure its longevity. In 2016, we redesigned the new concept and revitalised the stand in order to showcase this beautiful venue with its iconic finishes. The back wall and iconic wood-grain-slatted wall feature were carried through from the original design concept. The new stand concept was then enhanced with a concrete finish wall and

I’m most proud of… The passion points! The CNC national anthem that is recessed vertically into the beautifully crafted, cement-screed-finished wall showcases a replication of the national anthem that is displayed in the foyer of the venue’s conference centre. Our team is also extremely proud of the fact that this stand has been rebuilt three times since 2015, and we are proud of our client for instilling their drive and passion through everything that they touch and do.

Exhibition Stand #4 Belgotex stand at Decorex Joburg 2017, by Compex. Best external stand from 51 m2 – 100 m²

The Account Executive’s Comment Simon Lace, account manager at Compex

The Judges’ Comments Andrew Ross: “I like the classy and sophisticated lines of this stand. I felt the design married the tone of the properties perfectly, while ensuring practical use of space enabled the exhibitor to host and meet at the same time.” Carlos Mota: “I enjoyed the simplicity, symmetry and focus of the design. It ticks all the right boxes.” Dave Nemeth: “A beautiful use of a combination of elements. This was a simple division of a relatively small space divided in three, but creating three different experiences all working in unison. Great use of lighting, materials and colour.”

Ruhi Tabassum Kader

** One of two stand award winners in this category.

Simon Lace

The brief & the design solution This external stand award category is quite unique, as it was awarded to Compex for a collaboration between ourselves and another agency, Marot and Sanders. We designed the stand together, where essentially we came up with the structure as a clean space, and Marot and Sanders came up with the fixtures and features that supported the client’s product portfolio with appropriate textures and coverings on the stand. The Compex team then built the stand. The client’s objective was to match international exhibiting standards and engage both the flooring B2B trade and consumers in a single, dynamic space. We reflected the 3D brand equity of the Belgotex ‘B’ device to create slanted walls topped with rounded curves, allowing spaces to fold into one another and making the space utterly unique and the talk of the show. We also wanted to showcase the client’s product in real-life scenarios, which we did through warm and engaging lifestyle areas, and through the use of Belgotex products in the artwork and coverings on the stand. Our vision was to make the entire stand purposeful, with touchscreens with apps on them to make it easy to distribute product information. Creativity and tech features showcased Belgotex as a market leader in product innovation and they won the accolade of Best Overall Stand Build at the show. 16 • MEETINGS l MARCH/APRIL 2018

#EXSA-LLENCE Exhibition Stand #5 Multotec stand at Coal Expo 2017, by DK Design. Best system-built stand <12 m²

these constraints were partly why a system stand was proposed.

I’m most proud of… The Designers’ Comment Doug Rix and Sonya Emmett, designers at DK Design

It was a design and structure that was interesting to look at from multiple views and angles. It met the key requirements and the client was very happy… which is always our ultimate aim!

The brief & the design solution The client requested an unmanned stand to be positioned at the main entrance and registration for the Coal Expo. It had to show company branding from all sides, and include five display screens showing a range of company product animations. Space for some printed literature was also needed to allow delegates to take information from the stand.

Overcoming challenges

Overcoming challenges For us, ensuring the double-storey structure fit into the desired look and feel of the stand was a challenge. And we both found the timelines were tight for such a large and detailed stand. For example, Marot and Sanders needed to create and test all of the crafted bespoke items made for the stand. They also set up the tech, which required a lot of programming and file linking to specific product ranges throughout the stand.

We’re most proud of…

There was a limited footprint to get a lot of content effectively included, and the location of the stand needed to work effectively with the main traffic flow from multiple sides. There was also a limited timeline at build-up to get this quite complicated structure assembled and completed, and there was a limited budget – all of

The Judges’ Comments Andrew Ross: “A bold and striking design in a very small space, perfectly executed to balance branding and practicality. Often, being innovative in small exhibit design is much more difficult due to the compromise between practicality and aesthetics. This design perfectly balances both.” Carlos Mota: “It’s eye-catching to find a complex natural structure in such a limited space… It’s intriguing.” Dave Nemeth: “Small and compact, yet an absolute show-stopper. Every element works together creating a stand that can compete with even the biggest budgets, and great use of lighting.” Visit for a full list of the EXSA-llence Stand Award winners.

Sonya Emmett

The teamwork that went into this stand, between Marot and Sanders (the agency), Compex (the stand builders), Thebe Reed Exhibitions (the organisers) and Belgotex (the end client). We all pulled together to achieve an unbelievable result. The collaboration between all parties ensured an exciting outcome that we are all proud of.

The Judges’ Comments Andrew Ross: “A well-designed, impeccably executed exhibit that showcases perfectly the client’s product range. The dominant and bold central structure manages to look welcoming instead of imposing, and small details such as the backlit counter logo talk to the level of detail in this project’s great execution. A worldclass example of a great booth.” Carlos Mota: “What grabs you about this stand is its shape, texture and scale, giving you a sense of FOMO [fear of missing out]… It draws you in to take a closer look; you just have to!” Dave Nemeth: “Pure scale here; size was seriously impressive.” 

Doug Rix



best practice

Social media

Your exhibitions marketing tool of the future Pulling off great exhibitions amid changing economies isn’t easy or cheap, so adapting to new ways of doing things may be your saving grace. Social media can be incredibly useful in promoting an exhibition or event, and is a powerful tool that must be part of your marketing arsenal.


on’t get us wrong, we love traditional forms of marketing – like mail shots, flyers and good old word of mouth, but the power of using social media to expand audience reach and generate buzz and anticipation for your event online is uncontested. After 18 years in the industry, Gary Corin, MD of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, says he’s noticed some new trends taking hold. For one, the measurement of return on investment is more pertinent than ever. Social media is one way to measure outcomes through engagement. “Our exhibitors are increasingly looking closer at ROI and one of the trends I think we can watch out for in the future is how exhibitions are


Some say this is the B2B Holy Grail. With over 330 million active users, LinkedIn is an ideal social platform if you’re looking to spread the word about an event or exhibition within your industry. The easiest way to get your event out there is to post a status update. Make sure to include eye-catching visuals and consider how your event will add value to your network and express those ideas in your post. LinkedIn is a great way to reach your industry peers and it has a paid-ads facility you can make use of. Otherwise, share until your fingers hurt!

adapting – particularly from a marketing perspective – with cool things like social media and digital becoming so crucial to what we do,” Gary tells The Exhibition Planner. Speaking to this very point, Specialised introduced Madex; in June, the expo brought together thousands of knowledge-hungry marketers, providing an opportunity for ad agencies, PR consultancies, design businesses, marketing companies, social media firms – you name it – to share who they are, what they do, and what they bring to the ever- changing industry. Social media tools were huge! We put together some cool ideas about how you can use social media platforms to market your exhibition.


If used correctly, Facebook can be a vital part of promoting your expo. With over 650 million active users, creating a Facebook event is probably the most effective way to gain exposure, retain attention and manage engagement for your exhibition or event. Many, if not most, users will have their Facebook calendar synced to their smartphones – which is awesome for you – because your event will pop up. When naming your event on Facebook, make sure it’s witty yet informative. Post interesting and informative blog posts, videos and polls to keep interest going on Facebook. You will want to share, share and share some more here too.


Video on Instagram and Snapchat

Video as a marketing tool is growing at a rapid rate and the industry is feeling its effects. Using video marketing as part of your exhibition promotion strategy can help drive engagement among people who have already confirmed attendance, as well as persuade and create conversations among possible attendees. Try offering a teaser beforehand, which gives users a taste of an upcoming experience. A cool tip for video is to include short and sharp testimonials from a range of different people.

Tweet about your event for a good while before it takes place, using polls, videos and pictures, which are great on Twitter. Live tweet during the event and generate hype around your event. Retweet what others are saying about your event too. Make a Twitter list, so that you can easily access all visitors on the day. Also, some ‘see you there’ tweets will go a long way.

DON’T FORGET TO CREATE A HASHTAG This is a great way to make your exhibition the social event of the year. It’s a must to tweet out, share on Instagram and post on Facebook (most of which you can do at the same time!) – hashtags are connected across social media and all online platforms for that matter. Thousands of business exhibition and event campaigns use them. Keep it short and punchy, and stay consistent across all your marketing.


Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are great hosts for fun and out-of-the-box content, while LinkedIn is ideal for more professional content.


DAZZLING DESIGNs 7 reasons why exhibitions are still relevant Exhibiting is not just a way to keep an eye on the competition and get out of the office; more than anything, it is a fantastic way to attract potential customers and provide increased exposure for your products and services.





Exhibitions provide unique opportunities to raise awareness of your business among the people who count. Think of your stand as a shopfront for your business; it’s an opportunity to reflect all of your brand values in a way that you can never do in your office. Your brand’s message can be sophisticated but should also be brief and easily processed by the audience.

the right strategy, every exhibition is an opportunity to drastically expand your company’s customer base. With organisers advertising directly to your target market, every visitor is a potential client, and they are often ready to commit to a deal on the spot. With this in mind, remember to interact with all visitors to your stand, as they could turn into future customers. Keep notes of all your interactions during the expo so that you can follow up after the event.


CONDUCT MARKET RESEARCH Market research for product development is a necessity, and what better place to do that than with all your customers? This is a good way to find out directly from your customers just what they are looking for – and help develop your next best product.


Build brand awareness



Seize a competitive edge

Establish beneficial business partnerships



A major driver for visitors attending exhibitions is that they want to keep up to date with all things new. This includes products, trends and ideas, as well as being able to interact with these products and experts in the field, all at the same time. Hands-on product demonstrations with the people who are most likely to purchase from you will not only create a buzz among the community about your new product, but can also provide useful information as to how a prototype might be modified or improved before its final release to market.

Exhibiting is a great way to get some muchneeded face time in any business. Research shows you can reach more sales prospects in three days at an exhibition than your sales team can in three months through correspondence. Meeting prospects and engaging face to face are also the fastest ways to build relationships, which can always come in handy.


Taking time to explore an exhibition or trade show and talk to other exhibitors, as well as networking at any workshops and conferences at the exhibition, may reveal potential, mutually beneficial relationships with businesses that complement or are affiliated with your own.


your company another opportunity to stand out from the crowd. You can outshine the competition with welltrained stand staff, great pre-show promotion, eye-catching stand design, and conscientious follow-up after the show. Also, event attendees use the opportunity to ‘comparison shop’. So this is your opening to point out where your product is superior – in performance, pricing or service.

Meeting prospects and engaging face to face are the fastest ways to build relationships, which always come in handy Generate new sales leads 





TO YOUR STAND We know attracting exhibitors to your stand is easier said than done, never mind attracting the right breed of visitors – i.e. potential customers. We’ve put together a great little list of nifty tricks you can combine to make sure your customers are flooding your stand. Before the exhibition Don’t worry if your stand is not significantly big, or hard to miss, there are still some clever ways you can get your customer’s attention without breaking the bank.


USE YOUR IN-HOUSE MAILING LIST TO CONTACT EXISTING CUSTOMERS If some of your existing customers will be attending the same trade show as your business, reach out to them using your in-


house mailing list to tell them where to find your exhibition stand and why they need to be there. Invite them for coffee (or something a little stronger)! Many people attend trade shows in groups, often with friends or colleagues that could turn into valuable prospects for your business. Let them know ahead of the show and you could attract an entire group of prospective customers or clients – who would say no to that?



The Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) provides a wealth of research studies to show the effectiveness and efficiency of exhibitions as a marketing tool. A report from 2015 confirmed:

During the exhibition

MAKE SURE YOU STATE THE OBVIOUS Customers know what they want and often don’t have much time to spend browsing stands. Provide a clear indication of what product or service you are offering in order to optimise stand efficacy. You can do this by making marketing material clearly visible and available on the stand. Be sure to have product samples on display as this will invoke interest and give stand staff the opportunity to promote the product.





of visitors go to exhibitions to buy

go to learn

are interested in live demonstrations and interaction with the products

want to talk to new potential suppliers

what else do Visitors want? 60% want to see new technology and new products 50% want to compare brands 90% want to find solutions to meet their business needs

30% want to have the opportunity to talk to experts


MAKE USE OF TRENDY TECHNOLOGY – GET INTERACTIVE Appeal to all five senses and give customers a comprehensive experience by incorporating leading technological elements at your exhibition stand. Not only will this draw people in but it will also demonstrate an advanced and up-to-date company image, as well as successful change adaption. Making use of touchscreens, iPads, flexible LED screens that wrap around corners, and audiovisual displays in a strategic manner will encourage more people to visit a stand. Do not neglect mobile phones and make a mobile show app available to make interaction between visitors and exhibitors more convenient. Online ticketing systems and service manuals will not only make exhibitions a more sustainable business practice by reducing the amount of paper used, but will allow for smoother business transactions. Include social media as well by offering promotional products in return for a like or follow.


DESIGN A SEXY STAND – IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE One of the simplest ways to attract attention with a stand is to use the stand’s design and location to reach your specific goals. The stand structure should be open and accommodating, creating room for easy traffic flow and interaction. Make your stand alluring to the customer by creating height and using lighting to enhance features on the stand. Add to aesthetic appeal by using colour, motion and bold graphics as well as incorporating international trends such as using unfinished timber.


YOUR STAND STAFF WILL SELL YOU Stand staff are responsible for promoting a product in the most accurate and efficient way, and can change a great stand into an outstanding one. Brief your staff daily on targets, key messages and the role of each team member. Ensure that they are well informed, motivated and presentable. They should be approachable and able to draw customers in. Steer away from the norm of promotional staff in plain clothes and make an exhibition stand interesting by adding innovative and unique aspects to your brand. Dress staff in funky clothes that will make visitors curious and want to enquire about the product. Make sure they collect as many business cards as possible.

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After the exhibition

SEND OUT A POST-EXHIBITION SURVEY A cool way to maintain engagement post exhibition is sending a survey out to guests that came by your stand and finding out what their takeaways from the exhibition and especially your stand were. Keep the momentum. Like 

Comment Like

Comment Like


Share Share Share



show showcase case

The client Andrew Thabo Television (ATTV)

The show 12th Annual South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs)

The brief To supply the full technical and dazzling set for the SAFTAs show, as well as for the smaller Technical Awards, held a few days prior to the main event.

EPH Productions shines at SAFTAs Celebrating quality, excellence and talent, the 12th Annual South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs) were hosted at Sun City’s Superbowl on 24 March 2018.


he 12th Annual SAFTAs were designed for camera and, with 2.3 million viewers tuning in to watch the live, SABCtelevised production, the execution had to be immaculate. Danie Janse van Rensburg has had many years’ experience in the industry but considers himself a bit of a dreamer. He has done it all – from bass guitarist to running technical for theatre and acting. He loves his work and creating magical experiences. “You start with an empty page in a way… I usually look around to see if there are any ideas that would work. I’m also a relatively practical designer. When I design, I look at the audience, the camera and what equipment is available. You have to work within budget and parameters,” says Danie. With the


television audience in mind, he had to consider which screens would fit the camera better. “The technical team did an awesome job and worked endlessly to get it right. The way everything came together was brilliant,” he says.

Light it up For the lighting, Danie called on the services of Kurt du Preez from Pan Tilt. “I knew Kurt was a good television lighting designer and he fitted the profile for this event,” says Danie. An added benefit was that Kurt had worked at the Sun City Superbowl earlier in his career and knew the venue well, but highlights the challenge of having all the screens at different angels, “because where do you put the lights?” he quips. “I tried to keep the


A space as expansive as your imagination

The design team

EPH Production’s Danie Janse van Rensburg wore three hats during the SAFTAs, namely those of project manager, technical director and set designer. For the proposal, and with a lot of support from Leon Pheiffer, CEO of EPH Group, Danie came up with the idea to use cleverly suspended LED screens as the main feature, knowing that when complemented with the graphic material supplied by the client, diverse looks would take the audience on a journey – from awe-inspiring glamour to triggering emotions with bright and patriotic colours. A special screen in remembrance of former South African president Nelson Mandela marked the centenary of the legend’s birth.

The client lighting fixtures off the stage floor because of all the moving screens and the band trucks,” says Kurt.

The set-up Nine LED screens were hung on motors while two automated screens at the back of the stage closed to create a 7 m x 3 m screen. When the screens opened, serving as an entrance for artists to walk on to the stage, an additional 5 m x 3 m screen was revealed in the background. “Spacing was the biggest challenge, followed by producing a uniform, yet not symmetrical, look,” says Danie. To do this, he positioned the screens at different angles. “It gave a more natural appearance without being too rigid. It offered extra depth and created a 3D feel.” The set included a 300 m and 600 m level

used for the choir and dancers and steps, which were lit up with LED strips. An artist hand-painted a SAFTA watermark logo on the stage floor that was highlighted during the production. The lighting rig consisted of 140 fixtures in total. “The Robe BMFLs were awesome. I used two as followspots and I will definitely do that again! I had another 10 to light up the audience for the awards. And for reverse shots, they worked like a bomb,” Danie enthuses. Eight Robe 600 wash fixtures were responsible for front lighting. There were 12 Robe LEDBeam 1000s, 24 Robe LEDBeam 100s, 24 Robe Pointes, 24 Robe LEDWash 300s and 15 Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures sneaking through beneath the screens, as well as numerous PAR cans.

ATTV (Andrew Thabo Television) is a television production company with its business focused on two key areas: broadcast and corporate. ATTV has received numerous accolades for the various shows it has been involved in, which have ranged from variety shows and documentaries to soapies and sitcoms. Its involvement in shows includes Crux on SABC 1, Overdrive on SuperSport, Life 24/7 on SABC 2, C.I.G.A.R.E on SABC 3, and The Coconuts on M-Net. ATTV’s corporate clients include major blue chips such as the FirstRand Group and Rand Merchant Bank. It also counts Eskom, aerospace and defence conglomerate Denel, and Netcare among its corporate clients, some of which have worked with ATTV for more than a decade.

+27 (0)12 345 5278 info@ephproductions 



g r e e n e x h i b i t i ons


EVENT GREENING What is event greening?

Why bother?

Event greening is the process of incorporating both socially and environmentally responsible decision-making into the organising, implementation and participation of an event.

There are a lot of positive benefits to event greening, aside from promoting positive outcomes for environmental conservation and social upliftment. For example: • Saving money in the short and long term, through better planning and efficiency • Building a positive reputation for your brand and event • Gaining a competitive edge over other events • Helping to raise awareness about the need to host sustainable events • Pushing innovation and creativity


• Do this by searching for ones with environmental certification, like the Heritage label, or Event Greening Forum membership. • Ask how they manage their waste, water and energy use sustainably.


PROCUREMENT Adopt an eco-procurement policy. Things to consider include: • Is the product made locally? • Does it have any environmentally friendly features? E.g. What material is it made from? • Does it have any socially responsible outcomes? E.g. Is it creating employment for historically disadvantaged people? • What will happen to it after the event? E.g. Can it be reused, donated or recycled?

Include event greening planning at the beginning of your event planning.

• Decide how much you can do. If it’s your first attempt, choose only a few things to focus on. You can build on this with later events. • Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based) goals. • Communicate your goals to your team, venue, suppliers and subcontractors from the beginning, and make sure everyone understands their responsibilities. • Appoint an event greening officer or team to oversee progress.


Use the Event Greening Forum’s supplier database to find green products and services for your event:

TRANSPORT Minimise unnecessary travel, to limit your event’s carbon footprint. • Use local suppliers and businesses. • Limit your delegates’ travel, e.g. book direct flights; select a venue on a good public transport route; offer a shuttle collection service from a central point; encourage guests to car pool.



Minimse energy use to limit your event’s carbon footprint (from burning coal for electricity). • Find ways to use less electricity, e.g. use natural lighting in your venue; switch off electrical appliances when they are not needed (airconditioning, lights, screens); use energy-efficient technology like LED lighting. • Consider buying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to power your event. Many RECs also have a social upliftment angle.


Limit the amount of waste you send to landfill.

• Avoid single-use items that quickly become waste, e.g. create generic (date-free) branding that can be reused each year; don’t serve food in disposable containers; avoid unnecessary packaging that can’t be reused. • Have clearly marked recycling bins and an on-site recycling system. • Recycle food waste, in the form of a composting service like Bokashi. • Donate unwanted post-event items to charities that can benefit from them.


Conserve water.

• Choose a venue with a good water management system. • Serve water in jugs rather than bottles. (Each bottle of water uses roughly 7 litres of water to create it. More water is also needed to recycle the bottle.)

EXHIBITORS Encourage exhibitors to have green stands.

• Offer eco-friendly stand packages. • Share guidelines on how exhibitors can practise event greening. • Acknowledge exhibitors who do this well with Green Stand Awards and prizes.

SOCIAL UPLIFTMENT Create benefits for your local host community.

• Employ local people or suppliers. • If you are donating goods or implementing a CSI project, choose local beneficiaries.

CATERING Create sustainable menus and reduce food waste.

• Select foods that are locally produced, seasonal, and organic (in that order of priority). • Look out for certification labels, such as: SASSI approved sustainable seafood (Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative); BWI wines (Biodiversity Wine Initiative); and fair trade coffees, chocolates and wines. • Reduce or eliminate meat from the menu, as animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. • Reduce food waste by not over-catering, and have a plan to redistribute excess food.

MARKETING Communicate your event greening goals.

• Tell people what you are doing/ did, as well as why and how. • Do not claim your event is green. You can only do this after the event has ended, if you are able to prove it was green.

POST EVENT Measure and report on your event greening success against your objectives.

• Measure and track your procurement, energy use, waste production, water use and all other relevant data points throughout the event. This gives you an objective view of what you have achieved. • Learn from your report. See what worked and what didn’t, so you can improve on it next time. 


There is no one-size-fits-all approach to event greening. You need to find solutions that make business sense for you. But keep trying, because the rewards when you get it right are worth it!



The Preferred Partner

A non-government organisation in South Africa has chosen to work with Shai Boi to host its upcoming gala dinner in July. The Exhibition Planner explores the synergies.


Shai Boi offers multiple and diverse services and has managed projects on behalf of some of Africa’s top blue chip companies and governments.

THE CLIENT A South African and global NGO focused on sustainability THE SHOW Annual fundraising gala dinner THE BRIEF Create an eco-friendly, totally green,

A South AfricaN NGO will

spectacular gala dinner for 250 guests.

be hosting its annual gala dinner on 28 July 2018. The brief is straightforward but the success of the event will be contingent on the execution, which is multifaceted and very detailed. The client eats, breathes and sleeps sustainability, and this will be reflected during the event in everything from the food to the decor. The decor, for example, cannot include draping, as washing the

This needs to reflect the efforts made towards sustainability by the NGO not only locally but also globally, with a common thread throughout the event that clearly upholds these values. From the venue to the products used during the event, down to the very last detail, the gala dinner needs to come together using the most sustainable means possible without losing any ‘wow’ factor.


fabric is heavy on water and electricity usage. Cut flowers, unless sustainably harvested, will also not be present anywhere during the event and, instead, will be replaced by living, potted plants. Other decor will be made by local artisans who use eco-friendly products and lighting will be kept down to an absolute minimum. And nowhere will the use of plastic products be permitted. The catering will also follow stringent guidelines, with all

produce being organic and locally sourced.

Bidding for the business Shai Boi Project Management was chosen because it understood the brief better than any other event organiser. After many meetings to ensure everyone was on the same page regarding the execution of the event, the client and Shai Boi were happy to take the relationship further. The client also took the time to conduct



Mabusang Malotane with Dr Vusi Ntshangase


The project management team at Shai Boi is comprised of: Mabusang Malotane, project director; Dr Vusi Ntshangase, structure manager; Mmapaseka Modibane, project manager; Mpo Lebona, events manager; and Neo Malotane, digital and creative manager. The team is dedicated to adding value to each project by ensuring both its service providers and staff are able to buy a table or seats at each event – thereby, supporting events with their attendance and table sponsorship. They can then experience the function first-hand while also having an opportunity to interface with the client directly.

The vision

Through consumer transformation, Shai Boi’s vision is to champion the growth of marquee structures not just in South Africa but trhoughout Africa and beyond. In addition, it aims to create and implement a unique conduct that redefines the art of project and structure management.

its own background check on Shai Boi Project Management to establish that the people who are employed there are treated fairly, remunerated sufficiently and that Shai Boi is a good company to work for.

GUARANTEEING THE future of shai boi Shai Boi aims to ensure that, for each of the projects it puts together for its clients, it guarantees the client’s brand has a platform to engage with its target audience in a way that is captivating and entertaining, elevating 

the brand and enhancing its ethos. Over and above ensuring each of its events comes together as smoothly as possible and meets all the requirements of client brief, Shai Boi can provide a full turnkey solution for each of its clients. “We set standards of efficiency, profitability and bottomline success through a unique synthesis of insightful strategy, compelling, creative and modular event management tools,” says Mabusang Malotane, project director at Shai Boi Project Management.


Contact: Mabusang Malotane +27 (0)81 390 1691 |




A TIME AND PLACE for everything

In marketing terms, timing is everything and each campaign should meet the objective of being in the right place, at the right time, to achieve its desired effect. For all the whizzbang embellishments in preparation of the most glorious exhibition to ever take place, if this is poorly timed or in a venue that detracts from the exhibition itself, it could compromise your entire show. The Exhibition Planner weighs in.


Reason or a season? Despite there being no set hard-and-fast rules on the best months to put on a big show, certain elements within this will affect the number of attendees you attract to your event. January and December are never good months for business or corporate events; industry as a whole shuts down for the holiday season in December; while in January, the masses are still slowly trickling back to work. Warmer, summer months are also generally better for attendance – people don’t like venturing out into cold, wet weather so your venue should also be able to cater for this.


2 3 4

What is the competition doing?

What is your turnaround time?

Hitting the nail on the head

You may be in competition with other events that are similarly themed and aimed at an almost identical target market. Apart from ensuring your exhibition has all the bells and whistles to set it apart from the rest of the humdrum, you will need to make sure that your show will not dilute the market offering. This is a risk when you are running a similarly themed event in the same month, in the same area. Timing your event to be as far away as possible from what your competition is doing will ensure better uptake and attendance.

Any event, no matter the size or scale, requires planning. Within this, there will also be pre- and post-campaign elements that are centred on the exhibition itself. This will need to be factored in to your planning. This includes when save-thedates and invites go out and when your attendees list is finalised. The tighter the turnaround, the more pressure it will put on when the various aspects of your planning are rolled out. This extends to securing your venue and all your different service providers, so work towards confirming these as soon as possible.

Once all the details of your exhibition have been finalised, pump up your media and marketing elements. Engage with as many media houses as it makes sense to, send out newsletters and press releases and make sure your website has absolutely every single necessary detail you can think of that will help inform anyone, media and attendees included, about your event. Create a social media strategy ahead of, as well as for after, your exhibition (see page 18 for more on this) and put in place analytics to gauge your ROI.

L ead I N G the industry Read about the leading organisers, venues and suppliers in the eventing and exhibition industry.


Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery delivering shows of excellence





NO SHRINKING VIOLET Shai Boi may not be the biggest hitter in the eventing and exhibition industry but they certainly are fast making a name for themselves with their unique value proposition for their clients, incredible leadership, out-of-the-box thinking and flair for beautifully executed events.

For more on this powerhouse woman, please refer to 20 Questions on page 34

Putting together an event is no mean feat by any standards – budgets are often tight, the turnaround times nigh on impossible and client demands exceptional – but Shai Boi doesn’t shy away from the challenge and not only meets the benchmark but takes it to the next level. Each Shai Boi event is totally unique and stands out completely from all the rest. There is a massive amount of planning that goes into individually theming a Shai Boi event and this is specifically done according to either the client’s corporate identity and branding or their brief. Led by Mabusang Malotane, the Shai Boi team focuses on only one individual client brief at any given time so they are fully entrenched in the project. This ensures maximum quality control and complete attention to detail. Mabusang also has an inclusive approach when it comes to how she engages with her client during their event. For her, relationship building and growing her people is absolutely essential and forms a pivotal part of her modus operandi – come time for the client event, Shai Boi will ensure its production team has either a table or a presence at the event and, in doing so, adds value to the event from a sponsorship perspective. It also gives her team first-hand experience on how the event has been executed.

A Specialised offering MARKETERS VALUE THE

excellent opportunities trade shows provide for on-site sales, valuable sales leads, and increased brand awareness. They also know the importance of selecting the right show and, particularly, the right show organiser. That is exactly what Specialised is. MD Gary Corin says this is not by accident; the company’s level of success is attributable to its commitment to excellence. “Our experience and strong reputation bring confidence to our exhibitors and visitors; our brand is synonymous with innovation, integrity and professionalism. “Over the last couple of years, we have gone through a company rejuvenation of sorts; we like to see ourselves as a company that adopts a more youthful and vibrant approach to doing business. We’ve undergone a significant change in culture, making ourselves a lot more nimble


and adventurous; the young, ambitious team is largely responsible for this energy,” says Gary. The team at Specialised is committed to providing innovative exhibition solutions and developing new, vibrant ways to do business. Just ask any of the company’s clients, who can attest to the delivery of this promise.

After five decades of serving the exhibitions industry, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery has accumulated experience, knowledge and expertise that have become part of the company’s DNA. It is this DNA that earns them leading exhibition organiser status.

Trade shows are a great way to generate sales leads

+27 (0)11 835 1565 |


Leading the way The Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) is in a category of its own. Still often referred to by its old name, Nasrec, the JEC premises have become synonymous with the city of Johannesburg. To keep up with eventing and exhibiting trends, the JEC is constantly innovating to provide the best bespoke offerings for its growing client base. The Rand Show, which now attracts approximately 200 000 visitors each year, is certainly one of the longest running and largest annual events taking place at the JEC. However, the JEC has a much wider service offering, which means any and all types of events can be held at the Centre.

With a dedicated team of service providers based permanently on-site, the JEC has 150 000 m² of space available across both its in- and outdoor facilities. There are more than 20 000 parking bays, as well as a helipad. The JEC is just 30 minutes away from all main airports and easily accessible from all major highways. At the end of 2017, South Africa was watched by the world as the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference was held at the venue.

Other notable events previously hosted at the JEC include bauma CONEXPO AFRICA and the Ultra SA Music Festival. Beyond its service offering, the JEC is affiliated to all major industry associations, such as the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO), the Exhibition Association of Southern Africa (EXSA), the South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), and the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), which will soon see JEC CEO Craig Newman take the helm as president for 2018/19 (see page 6 for this exclusive).

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20 questions

Shai Boi Always Wins 

Mabusang Malotane, project director at project management agency Shai Boi, shares her personal insights.

Mabusang Malotane 1. Where do you see the events industry currently?

7. What has been a recent career highlight for you?

Currently, in South Africa, it has grown and shaped itself into a formidable industry, which is now universal in terms of style and trends. So far, so good.

Being at Meetings Africa 2018 – among some of the biggest names in the hospitality industry – and the only black female to showcase. We also won the exhibition’s award for Best Medium Eco Stand of the Year.

2. Where would you like to see the industry in the next five years? I would like to see creativity and technology working together more, briefs being knocked out of the park, and attention to detail, among other things.

3. What role or influence do you believe Shai Boi plays in this? We have made it our mission to always overdeliver and create trends of our own. By doing this, we separate ourselves from the rest and find new ways to keep our clients happy. This ethos has opened international doors for Shai Boi.

4. What was the most interesting client request you’ve had? We’ve had to execute a wedding in 48 hours, with limited spacing, coffee and a total lack of sleep. A happy bride burst into tears of joy.

5. What do you most enjoy about what you do? Getting to test our creativity as the Shai Boi team, meeting different clients with their own unique requests, and travelling the world to learn and become more insightful in what we do.

6. What drives you both personally and professionally? It may be cliché, but I’m driven by passion for the work I do and making an impact – creating events and projects that become a brand. Personally, I strive to be a mentor for young ladies from disadvantaged backgrounds; I want them to know where you come from doesn’t determine where you are going and who you will be.


8. What is your special talent?

Mabusang Malotane is the leader of the pack at Shai Boi Project Management. She has had more than a decade’s experience in the event and entertainment industry and has held various roles in branding, where she has been responsible for developing and rolling out strategies to enhance the client’s image. She has, through her work, been pivotal in the success of many international and national events.

I am a multitasker and am always hungry to learn new skills that will make me more efficient in my business and line of work.

14. What was your best holiday?

9. Who were your superheroes growing up?

15. What is your most prized possession?

My late father was my superhero; I was a real daddy’s girl. I learned how to change a car tyre, oil and fix certain parts, which led to a shared love for Formula One. This then led me to working on F1 – something that is still awe-inspiring for me.

10. Who do you currently aspire to be like and why? Felicia Mabuza Suttle, with her business ethic, power and the clout she has in the entertainment and business industry.

11. What quote best describes your outlook towards life? “Each life’s journey is unique, so best to be present to enjoy its full ride.”

12. What are values you will not deviate from?

For someone who is in a relationship with her passport, I’d have to say Italy and Rwanda.

My late mom’s pearls and fur coat.

16. What is your favourite read? I love reading all sorts of autobiographies, and enjoy everything from crime and mystery to business.

17. What do people most often wrongly assume about you? That I’m unapproachable and strict. Not true!

18. What is your spirit animal? A Siberian tiger.

19. What is your guilty pleasure? Champagne and sushi.

20. Yanny or Laurel? Yanny.

Transparency, building great business relationships, and integrity.

13. What are some of your ‘bucket list’ items? To host a proper F1 Grand Prix again here in South Africa, as well as a Sade, Beyoncé or Bruno Mars concert.

Contact us on +27 (0)81 390 1691 |

tips and tools

Exhibitions are an important part of the marketing activities of most business types. Research confirms that opportunities to get face-to-face time with current and potential clients remain an incredibly valuable tool for developing new business. So, make the right impression

5 tips to professionally

staff your exhibition stand Investing in an exhibition stand costs a lot of money, from booking the space, to building and staffing the stand. Strangely, this third cost is also one of the biggest assets that an exhibitor is likely to overlook and underprepare. And yet priming your staff to man a stand is straightforward and easy. Just follow these five tips. Get the right person for the job It’s critical that you have suitable staff on your stand. Pick only those people who you know will serve your company well as brand ambassadors, and who have the right knowledge and expertise required for the exhibition. If possible, always having at least one senior person on the stand at any time, to handle important prospects and generally ensure the team stays motivated and professional throughout the show. If you are hiring promotional staff to man your stand, ensure they are very well versed on your company and what you are promoting at the show.

Have adequate staff Manning an exhibition stand can be tiring work. It’s only fair to make sure you have enough staff on the stand to relieve each other for breaks, and that their shifts are not too long that they are drained and not performing well towards the end. Make sure they know what time to arrive, which should be some time before their shift starts.

Share your objectives This is probably the most important piece of advice, so if you only do one thing, do this: brief your staff clearly on your objectives for the show, 

and what they need to do to help you achieve those objectives. For example, let’s assume you are exhibiting because you want to capture leads. Explain to your staff what kind of leads you want (e.g. for a specific product), how they need to be captured (e.g. on iPads), who will follow up with them (e.g. the person who captured the lead will follow up on it), and how they will do follow-ups (e.g. an email the day after the show, and a follow-up call a week later). It is also a good idea to run over the message you want them to convey – giving them a rough script of what benefits they should focus on, for example, while talking to prospective clients. If you have set targets, share these with your team. To motivate them, consider offering incentives. For example, any team on a shift that collects 15% of your lead target gets a prize, or the staff member who collects (and possibly even converts) the most leads gets a cash bonus.

Have a uniform or dress code

attire, and so forth. It needs to be suitable for the exhibition, as well as for the kind of company image you want to portray.

Train your staff Train your staff on how to behave on the stand. For example, they must: • t alk to attendees and not colleagues •g  reet attendees who are passing by • s mile and be polite and friendly •o  nly sit down if you are talking to an attendee who wants to sit down • t hank everyone for their time, after talking to them •n  ot slouch or lean against the furniture •n  ot eat or chew gum on the stand •n  ot answer their phone on the stand •e  nsure the stand looks neat and tidy at all times – don’t leave rubbish, business cards or notes lying around •m  ake sure senior staff lead by example, and enforce these rules throughout the exhibition.

Make sure your team looks presentable, professional and recognisable. A branded uniform is a popular and effective way to do this, but alternatively have a dress code. This could be smart causal in black, or it could be business




INDUSTRY views AAXO on the importance of industry associations

AAXO concludes reciprocal agreement with Indian counterparts A new partnership expands global channels for the African exhibitions industry in 2018 and beyond.


he Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) has signed a reciprocity agreement with its counterpart in India, the Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA), at the flagship IEIA Open Seminar and Expo 2018 in Hyderabad, India. The mutual cooperation agreement is designed to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing, promoting the industry as a whole, and maximising industry networking and business opportunities for both countries. India’s exhibition industry, presenting over 800 trade shows annually, is showing growth at a rate of 8.8% per annum and is seeking enhanced collaboration with global counterparts to support growth. In turn, AAXO, representing pan-African trade fair organisers, is proactively working to enhance international growth opportunities for the African exhibitions industry. The latest agreement comes only two months after AAXO signed a strategic agreement with the Italian Exhibition and Trade Fair Association (AEFI), to support bilateral growth and collaboration. The partnerships are in line with stepped-up efforts by AAXO to promote African opportunities to the world through collaboration, as well as by creating global expo pavilions for Africa in the rest of the world and for foreign exhibitors at African events. Llewellyn du Plessis, association manager at AAXO, travelled to Hyderabad to attend the IEIA Open Seminar and Expo, and signed the partnership agreement on behalf of AAXO, alongside Shupinder Singh, honorary secretary of IEIA. Du Plessis reports that there is keen interest in Africa from Indian business: “India provided exceptional hospitality in hosting AAXO, and attending the Expo itself was a remarkable and humbling experience. Africa was in the spotlight at the event, both on stage and as a central focus


ABOVE AAXO association manager Llewellyn du Plessis (third from right) stands proudly among members of the Indian Exhibition Industry Association at the signing of a reciprocity agreement between the two associations

amongst 32 other participating countries and professionals in the exhibition industry.”

About AAXO The Association of African Exhibition Organisers is the sole reference association for the organisers of trade fairs throughout Africa. AAXO represents trade fair event organisers thanks to a network of trade and consumer exhibitions and conferences like Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, Messe Munchen SA, Hypenica, Reed Exhibitions, Spintelligent, Terrapinn, The Wedding Group, SA Confex Services, TE Trade Events, Exposure Marketing, Agri Expo, On Show Solutions, Expo Promotions, The Wine Show, Synergy Business solutions, ZITF and Media 10. AAXO aims to promote industry, encourages investment in the sector and participation in trade fairs, as well as offers members tools and resources to organise successful events. In addition to introducing a code of conduct – to be fair and ethical while offering solutions and confidentiality – AAXO supports members with a series of tools such as: training programmes; equitable and critical conflict resolution; specific research to provide organisers and exhibitors with growth and business opportunities; commitment with the government for greater recognition of the sector; and a network of trade fair organisations for discussing common issues.

Talk i n g po i n t s

Five SA exhibition companies to sponsor research for the industry

industry views African Graphix, bluClube, Inspire Furniture Rentals, New World and Scan Display look to make a sustainable difference

Five South African exhibition suppliers have committed to sponsoring research into the use of wood and wood products in exhibitions, with a specific focus on how much of this material is used, how it is disposed of as waste, and how it can be used more responsibly. By Pippa Naude


his move, by a few companies funding a project for the greater good of the industry, is unprecedented, and indicative of a growing conviction among business that more needs to be done to promote responsible practices within the industry. The five companies are: African Graphix, bluClube, Inspire Furniture Rentals, New World and Scan Display. Says Gill Gibbs, one of the directors and owners of bluCube, “We have to ensure that any negative effects of what we do are minimised, and that behaviours that positively impact the environment are emphasised. In the context of our industry and timber, our mantra is ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’. We cannot maintain our quality of life as human beings, and the diversity of life on earth or its ecosystems, unless we embrace sustainability.” Leruo Sandamela, director at African Graphix, agrees with this mindset, and says, “African Graphix believes in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals issued by the United Nations to transform our world, and has pledged to strive to achieve these goals. We want to be part of the movement that will build a better future for the world.” The research was initiated by the non-profit organisation the Event Greening Forum (EGF), after its committee members noticed a trend towards more custom exhibition stands being commissioned. These stands are generally made from MDF board (which is derived from wood), are single use and end up in landfill. The EGF’s primary objective is to promote sustainability within the business events industry, and it sees research 

“I believe that it is important for all of us to give back and make the world a better place for everyone.”

and knowledge as the foundation to being able to advise best practice alternatives. The research will also include findings on what creative solutions, both locally and overseas, the industry has innovated to minimise wood waste. Out of a number of proposals, the University of Pretoria was chosen to conduct the research. To cover the cost, the EGF invited the industry to sponsor the research. Six sponsorships of R10 000 each were proposed. With five sponsorship spots already being taken, one still remains should any company be interested. All sponsors will be acknowledged for their financial support in the published research. Chad Botha, the founder of Inspire Furniture Rentals and recently nominated EGF treasurer, adds, “I believe that it is important for all of us to give back and make the world a better place for everyone. We need to consider our future generations and ensure that we do whatever we can to this end. Every bit of input, no matter how small or big, will contribute to this, and Inspire Furniture wants to be able to look back and know that we contributed to a better world.”





Exhibition Excellence


Sandton Convention Centre

About Sandton Convention Centre

Meeting a wide range of event needs

Sandton Convention Centre is located in the heart of Sandton’s hotel, business and entertainment district. The centre offers easy access to more than 5 000 hotel rooms (ranging from economy to deluxe), and is adjacent to some of the country’s premium shopping and entertainment complexes (Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square), which provide over 10 000 secure parking bays among them.

Sandton Convention Centre’s unique levels of service and convenience are unparalleled in the country and set it apart as a preferred venue for a wide range of events.


andton Convention Centre’s ideal and easily

accessible location in the hub of South Africa’s financial and commercial district, surrounded by world-class hotels and infrastructure, makes hosting any event an easy proposition,” says Shaun Bird, GM at Sandton Convention Centre.

addition to his vast expertise and team of talented chefs, Sandton Convention Centre is unique in that it is not a stand-alone property. Bird explains: “Additional input is on hand through our neighbouring hotels, allowing us to offer clients superior quality when it comes to banqueting in terms of menu design  and production.”

Conference package deals Sandton Convention Centre takes a holistic approach to conferencing. The property is unique in that it is linked via a skywalk to Sandton Sun and InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers, and is within walking distance of Garden Court Sandton City, located right next door. This proximity to hotel rooms is not only convenient when it comes to conferences, but also means that Sandton Convention Centre can offer very competitive pricing through its packages, which can be tailored according to the requirements of the conference organiser.

F&B offering Sandton Convention Centre is fortunate enough to have the president of SACA (South African Chefs Association), James Khoza, as the executive chef on the property. In 

Special events – weddings Another forte of Sandton Convention Centre is creating and hosting customised celebrations, special occasions and weddings that deliver memorable experiences. The grand Pavilion can host up to 1 500 guests in a banquet setting. Sandton Convention Centre also has four affiliated hotels within the upmarket Sandton precinct that offer a range of excellent accommodation options for guests as well as the bridal couple. Bird says: “We’re proud of the vast diversity of events on every scale – local and global, trade and consumer, special events and weddings – that we attract to Sandton Convention Centre, but more especially, of the fact that the majority of our bookings are repeat business, which shows a strong level of satisfaction with our overall offering.”

Sandton Convention Centre offers unlimited potential, with over 22 000 m² of state-of-the-art meeting, exhibition and special event space. Purpose-built to international standards, the centre is able to host meetings, conferences, exhibitions and special events of virtually any size and nature. It offers some of the most advanced technology available for convention and exhibition centres anywhere in the world. Multiple events can be staged simultaneously on four main levels, and 10 000 visitors can be accommodated at any one time. A team of highly trained staff is on hand to provide support services. Its central position in Sandton provides easy access to O.R. Tambo International Airport, the Sandton Gautrain station, the Sandton CBD, major hotels and shopping centres.

+27 (0)11 779 0000 Twitter @sandtonevents Facebook SandtonConventionCentre



M i ss X z i b i t

Xzibit for the win Let’s be frank – exhibitions are fantastic for showcasing your brand. But how can we ensure we maximise the level of engagement with our attendees?


2 3 4 5

The set-up

The script

The sentiment

Your exhibition stand serves as a showcase of your business – a bland shell design with a couple of pull-up banners and brochures isn’t going to attract very many people. Even if you don’t have a tangible product, think outside the box in terms of how you can best demonstrate your service offering, utilising either a VR tour or a truly riveting description. Ultimately, you want to create a long-lasting impression and your set-up needs to be aligned to this.

What are you going to tell visitors to your stand? Make sure your script is succinct and on point with the right type of content to educate and inform people of your product or service offering. Hit on the most important notes of your business – what is the bottom line behind why you’re exhibiting? Be aware that you will lose any potential captive audience if you keep them too long and – at all costs – avoid having people feel like you’re shoving information down their throats!

Put some heart into your exhibition. Ensure that you have your most energetic and knowledgeable company representatives working your stand – and they have to be passionate about the brand they are representing. Ultimately, you want your reps to resonate with the crowd and the best way to do this is to create a genuine connection. Endear your audiences to you by ensuring they feel warm and comfortable in your presence.

The stand… and so much more

If your stand’s foot traffic is dwindling, don’t forget that you have an entire floor at your disposal, so don’t be afraid to work it. This will take a degree of discernment, as you need to be sure people will be receptive to being approached, particularly if they are not approaching you already. But if your stand is in an unfortunate location that doesn’t see many visitors, then take the initiative and venture out to see who you might be able to talk to at the show.

The sale

Every interaction is an opportunity that could yield a sale or bring in new business. Capitalise on the opportunity to engage with visitors to your stand in this way, but be careful not to push this unless you are certain that whoever you are pitching to is on the same page as you. Seek out the alignment between you and your next potential client: ask questions, find out more about their business, and be prepared to do an impromptu pitch that ties in with their objectives!

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JEC OFC,IFC,1,6-7,33 Khoja Group OBC Moove 33 Parrot Products 19

Sandton Convention Centre Shai Boi Project Management Specialised Exhibitions Montegomery

39 28-29,32,34 10-11,32

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The Exhibition Planner 2018  

The Exhibition Planner is a reference guide packed with essential info for exhibition stand organisers & a platform for industry suppliers.

The Exhibition Planner 2018  

The Exhibition Planner is a reference guide packed with essential info for exhibition stand organisers & a platform for industry suppliers.

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