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

“Trends indicate that exhibitions remain a valued part of overall marketing strategy across industries.” Gary Corin, managing director of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery

• showcase • GREENING ConCept G goes beyond the brief to create the best possible solution to not only promote but enhance a brand

Greening efforts across the industry and how to green your exhibition

Vol. 5 2019/2020


your demands, your expectations

+27 (0)11 494 1920

Expo Centre, Cnr Rand Show and Nasrec Roads, 2000, Johannesburg


The Johannesburg Expo Centre welcomes you to Southern Africa’s largest, fully contained, multipurpose events venue

+27 (0)11 494 1920

Expo Centre, Cnr Rand Show and Nasrec Roads, 2000, Johannesburg

As one of the largest conferencing and exhibitions venues in South Africa, anything is possible at the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC). Hosting one of South Africa’s largest annual events that attracts in excess of 200 000 people and generates R50 million in spend towards the local economy, the JEC has capacities that not only meet your demands but exceed your expectations.

Hall 5


Hall 6


7 362 5 600 5 600 2 400 3 600

12 304 9 400 9 400 4 000 6 100

Hall 8


Hall 10


4 890 3 700 3 700 1 500 2 400

2 420 1 800 1 800 1 000 1 200 MAN Suite







Bateleur A & B


1 000

1 000



Bateleur A






Bateleur B






Black Eagle A, B & C






Black Eagle A






Black Eagle B






Black Eagle C














4 890 3 700 3 700 1 500 2 400

6 532 5 000 5 000 2 000 3 200

1 620

850 800 800 500 500

20 000



615 420 420 300 350


The Planner



TRENDS 17 A holistic solution There is currently a major emphasis on the customer experience as a key opportunity for the growth of every business. The question is where to start with an effective strategy.

31 The global exhibitions industry by numbers 32 M  ultiplatform marketing While email might be the platform with the most effective statistics in



04 T he Venue Partner The Johannesburg Expo

18 Design with a difference ConCept G was tasked

BIG INTERVIEW 08 Adaptation and evolution “Putting your marketing spend into the right marketing channel that delivers a high return on investment is the best decision you can make,” says Gary Corin, managing director of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery.

FOCUS 10 Greening gains Everyone is greening and you can too. We explore efforts being made in this regard and talk to the experts on how to best green your exhibition.

with the design and installation of Hikvision’s

Antois-Leigh Botma Financial Manager Andrew Lobban Bookkeeper Tonya Hebenton Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina Distribution Coordinator Asha Pursotham Advertising Vanessa De Waal +27 (0)84 805 6752

member of

EVENT ADD-ONS 23 Bar-nation We explore Barmotion’s offering and

302 m2 South African showroom, which recently

understand what it is about this industry player

relocated to Bramley, Johannesburg.

that makes it so unique.



34 W  hen it comes to events, sourcing dependable

24 ROAR Awards

event organisers and reliable suppliers is no easy

26 Celebrating 5 years of Women in MICE

task! Read who is Leading the Pack.

29 The OG Marketing Expo



13 Go Greener

35 Are you a slave to tech?

15 Stand Out


20 Engage

03 Ed’s Comment

TOP 10

06 Expo Shorts

21 Fast facts you didn’t know about Specialised

30 Talking Point

Exhibitions Montgomery

published by

Editor Shanna Jacobsen ( Digital Editor Mpinane Senkhane Chief Sub-Editor Tristan Snijders Head of Design Beren Bauermeister Contributors Jane Stevenson, Leatitia van Straten Operations & Production Manager

multiplatform approach is key for consistent, effective communication today.

COVER STORY Centre is a seasoned industry player whose success is underpinned by its networks, people and forward-thinking approach. We talk to its CEO, Craig Newman, about how these move the venue and industry forward.

terms of recipient engagement, an integrated,

Publisher Jacques Breytenbach

Novus Print (Pty) Ltd t/a 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 The Exhibition Planner 2019/2020 © Copyright. All rights reserved 2019 subscription R50 per annum (incl. VAT) ISBN 978-0-6399369-6-3

36 Miss Xzibit

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.

in collaboration with


A showstopper ow quickly a year goes by in this industry! After taking on the role in April last year, I can barely believe I’m already writing my second editor’s note for The Exhibition Planner. But, when I reflect on the year gone by, I have a much clearer sense of where all the time has gone. I have been fortunate enough to have learnt a great deal coming into the industry a relative ‘newbie’ and I increasingly understand just what potential exhibitions have in terms of stimulating and driving discussions across all sectors. Our challenge as both exhibitors and show organisers is that each show is absolutely one of a kind and exists only in a moment in time and space – and we have just one shot to get it right. Having spent time with a lot of the key role players at not just an association and venue level, but also with the guys who working tirelessly on the ground to make it all come together, I can see how the exhibitions industry, in particular, is one where everybody knows everybody. And there is nothing quite like it – it is the very basis of what makes our industry thrive and so it is crucial that our very valuable product and service offerings come together as a whole, like the most slickly oiled machine, and that the models and applications we use are of world-class standards. I believe this is what this annual publication endeavours to do for the industry – peruse our pages to pick up some useful tips and tools in our useful ‘How to’ sections throughout the mag and hear from the experts on considerations during each show and how to build your strategy, well ahead of time. AAXO chairperson Leatitia van Straten provides a superb overview of some of the biggest shows that took place in South Africa over the past year on page 30. 

While these provide a splendid showcase of creative executions, we are also reminded that there is an evergrowing need for us to exercise responsibility towards the sustainability of not only our industry but our planet and its people. A major focus of The Exhibition Planner this issue is on sustainability and greening (page 10) and while, as Grace Stead from Steadfast Greening says, “It’s not rocket science”, the point is for us to start somewhere and build momentum towards cleaner, greener practices. Those who are not in the know in terms of just how resource-intensive and waste-generating the exhibitions industry is would be astounded once they start thinking about just the paper material and printed matter used at exhibitions. Now consider how it is all discarded or disposed of. As I look forward to getting to understand all that this industry has to offer, I hope that you find this issue interesting and useful – you can also get more regular industry updates in our sister publication Meetings and online at, as well as The Planner Guru’s social media pages. Until next time,




c o v e r st o r y

The partner The Johannesburg Expo Centre is a seasoned industry player whose success is underpinned by its networks, people and forward-thinking approach. The Exhibition Planner talks to its CEO, Craig Newman, about how these move the venue and industry forward. n the south of Johannesburg, South Africa, lies a sprawling venue that has hosted some of the nation’s most important events. With major dignitaries regularly in attendance, and a private helipad, the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) knows how to manage an event that calls for VIP treatment while still remaining a firm favourite among its family visitors. The JEC is Southern Africa’s largest, fully contained, multipurpose venue and a tour around its grounds, which cover an impressive total square meterage of more than 150 000 m2 across its versatile indoor and outdoor spaces, reveals just why the venue is so popular. Each year, around the Easter weekend, the JEC puts up one South Africa’s biggest and longest-running events. The Rand Show attracts an average of 200 000 people over nine days and in 2018, it generated a spend of R50 million towards our local economy. The JEC’s facilities support largescale events like the

Rand Show and the venue boasts an assortment of exhibition halls with versatile spaces and varied square meterage; its largest being 12 304 m2 and its smallest 615 m2. And with 20 000 secure bays available, visitors have ample space to park. The venue also provides on-site medics and security, and with no shortage of service provision available on the premises – from technical to catering – just about all aspects of your day will be taken care of.

Growing local support Notably, the JEC has the support of some of the leading authorities in the MICE and exhibitions industry. “During the 2019 Global Exhibitions Day, the Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) committed to taking the lead on having a true representation of exhibitions in the country that combine all sectors of the industry – venues, associations, organisers and service providers. It is this true representation that must come together to drive the value and importance of exhibitions within the region,” Craig explains. Global Exhibitions Day, or GED, takes place each year on the first Wednesday of June and is an initiative being spearheaded by UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry). Now in its fourth year, #GED19 took place on 5 June 2019. This year’s GED placed a strong emphasis on the exhibitions industry being a key global economic driver by supporting millions of jobs and creating a more sustainable means of doing business. The partnership between the JEC and the GTA is an exciting one of true industry experts.

Craig Newman, CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre


The GTA is the official destination marketing agency for Gauteng and is one of the leading authorities for the MICE industry in the province, as well as in the exhibitions industry. The GTA aims to develop, promote, coordinate and facilitate responsible and sustainable tourism that contributes to job creation and economic growth and they have first-hand experience with how this can be achieved. “Exhibitions are an effective way of doing business and offer a variety of sustainable job opportunities,” which is a significant benefit that will be highlighted at #GED19, says Nonnie Kubeka, head of the Gauteng Convention &

Leadership in an ever-changing world Craig has a very busy schedule between his day job of JEC CEO and his role as UFI president. He is well aware of the ever-changing world we live in and is sensitive to how this affects the way in which the JEC operates and models its business. “Our business needs to respond to these changes, as has always been the case. Exhibitions are a reflection of the markets they serve, and economic development in our home markets as well as internationally is at the top of our minds. Also, the UFI Barometer shows that competition in our industry is increasing in many markets – driven by consolidation as well as a shift to more digital events and exhibitions. For businesses such as my home venue, investment in technology as well as in top security is high on the agenda,” Craig says.

Johannesburg Expo Centre

c o v e r st o r y

Machine Tools Africa

Electra Mining Africa

Interbuild Africa

“As with any other event, lastminute changes were needed and we were accommodated in this regard by the JEC’s helpful team. They granted us early access to the venue, which was really beneficial. Our exhibitors were pleased with the venue, its accessibility, as well as the ample parking space available. We have a long-standing relationship with the JEC and look forward to building on it in future.”

“We participate in a number of international mining exhibitions worldwide and have been supporting the Electra Mining brand for a number of years. The venue has always been remarkable from an accessibility point of view, considering the size of the equipment we bring in.” Cindy Bailing, marketing services

“The service we received from the JEC was excellent and the precinct was well-kempt, tidy and conducive to a fantastic event. We were also very happy with the quality of food served, and the cleanliness of the ablution facilities, not to mention the special touch of sending us a memento to wish us luck. Thank you, Johannesburg Expo Centre!” Gary Corin, managing

representative, Joy Global

director, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery

Lebogang Motswaledi, marketing assistant, Machine Tools Africa

Gauteng Youth Programme

“The Expo Centre is a onestop shop for every event. The support staff were not only professional, but they were more than prepared to go the extra mile.” Simon Molefe,

deputy director under Harry Gwala (Youth Development)

Events Bureau. Craig believes that it is these networks that can improve how the exhibitions industry functions, particularly by including smaller players. “In everything that we do, as far as delivering events and exhibitions goes, we try to find ways to bring the smaller organisations and service providers into an advantageous position where they can deal with top clients,” he says.

Putting Africa on the map As the current president of UFI and Africa’s

#  Johannesburg Expo Centre

very first candidate to be chosen for the role that spans a total of three years, Craig is driven towards ensuring Africa is recognised as a contender among international markets and is upbeat about the future. “Yes, new business models and the transition to modernity are global issues that also concern the African market but we are known for finding an ‘African way’ – leapfrogging whole stages of industry developments, like moving straight to mobile technologies around payments,” he concludes.

+27 (0)11 494 1920



The ins and outs of the exhibitions industry Fujifilm’s global photo exhibition comes to South Africa

South Africa demonstrates strengths at Offshore Technology Conference In early May, a major South African delegation was in Houston, Texas, for the Offshore Technology Conference to showcase the country’s capabilities in the steel and fabrication, engineering, electrotechnical, as well as oil and gas sectors. With delegations from 42 countries attending the event, our local contingent was led by the Department of Trade and Industry and its director of trade promotion, Luke Govender. Noting that oil and gas in particular is a key focus for the government, Govender noted: “The South African government is working tirelessly on policy certainty, a transparent regulatory environment, a conducive investment climate and other support measures for the oil and gas sector. In an attempt to realise the country’s full potential, government is working with a number of stakeholders to support separate legislation for the oil and gas sector from traditional mineral.”


Comic Con Africa to make a splash in the Mother City in 2020

One of the world’s largest photo exhibitions – the Fujifilm PrintLife Exhibition – is coming to South Africa. It is the first time the PrintLife Exhibition will be hosted in Africa. The exhibition is encouraging photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, to submit their best shots. These will then be printed and displayed to the public to promote the beauty of printed photos. The event runs from 18 to 24 June 2019 and is taking place at Sandton Convention Centre. More than 3 000 photos from across the country are expected to be displayed. Fujifilm South Africa will be printing and displaying all the photographs during the exhibition, which is free to enter.

South Africa is looking forward to the second instalment of Comic Con Africa in 2019 after it made its debut in 2018 and more is on the cards for the future of this exciting event. Comic Con Africa will continue to take place each September in Johannesburg, with Comic Con Cape Town taking the Mother City by storm in May 2020. “Following on from the success of Comic Con Africa 2018, Cape Town, the movie capital of South Africa, was aptly chosen as the setting for this brand-new event, in a unique destination with its own personality, which aims to focus more on films and series while showcasing the artistry of our local comic community. With the rise of pop culture in South Africa, conventions such as Comic Con Cape Town serve as fantastic platforms for enthusiasts to immerse themselves in all things pop culture, making this a not-tobe-missed event,” said Reed Exhibitions, organisers of Comic Con Africa, in an official press release.

Every year the CTICC event team go above and beyond to help us deliver year on year success for our international clients. Chris Hall Group Event Director Africa Oil Week

Nestling in the shadow of the majestic Table Mountain, and overlooking the spectacular Atlantic Ocean, the CTICC is a magical place where the imagined becomes real, visions turn into strategies, consumers become customers, and strangers from across the globe become colleagues, partners and friends. So much more than a multi-purpose event destination, this African icon combines expansive venues, impeccable service, cutting-edge technology and the finest global cuisine, to transform your convention, conference, exhibition, banquet or meeting into an extraordinary experience. For more information, or to book your event at the CTICC, call +27 21 410 5000, email or visit


Exhibitions adapt and evolve to meet market needs ccording to the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), exhibitions are important for marketers to satisfy critical goals in identifying new customers, reaching sales leads, and building product and company awareness. B2B exhibitions are the face-to-face marketing channel of choice for brand marketers and are highly valued in achieving marketing and sales objectives. “Trends indicate that exhibitions remain a valued part of overall marketing strategy across industries,” says Gary Corin, managing director of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery.


Putting your marketing spend into the right marketing channel that delivers a high return on investment is the best decision you can make.” “Although exhibitors may not be taking the very large stands of the past, they are still visibly active and present, as exhibitions enable them to showcase their brands and enjoy a good return on investment. Earlier this year, an exhibitor sold four machines within the first two hours of the show opening. Another exhibitor sold most of the equipment on his stand during the show, totalling almost R40 million in value. A positive upside to the reallocation of space is that new opportunities have been created

Gary Corin, managing director of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery


for an additional number of companies to participate, bringing an even greater number of products and new technology to the fore.” Visitors continue to attend exhibitions in high numbers, attracted by the opportunity to connect with industry experts, discover the latest industry trends, learn about the latest range of products and technologies, and garner more knowledge through the many seminars, conferences and workshops running alongside the events.

with you. People are still tactile and you need to give people something tangible.”

The future of exhibitions

Exhibitions continue to evolve Exhibitions have evolved to meet the changing needs of buyers and sellers. Although Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery has been organising exhibitions for over 50 years, the company is not old in its thinking. “As a company, we have adapted over the years and continue to innovate and rejuvenate the business to create a vibrant, energetic and forward-thinking environment that keeps us at the forefront of our industry. This applies to our people and our exhibitions,” says Gary. “I have a young team chasing me for the top job! We embrace their energy and empower them to grow and to take on new challenges. “Adapting to new ways of marketing, embracing the digital era, creating content, building partnerships, and streamlining operations and accounts are key to continued exhibition success,” he explains.

Embracing the digital platform The purpose of exhibitions is to bring people together. Where you attract a lot of people, business happens. How you attract your audience is by embracing the digital age. The number of tools, technologies and channels marketers can now select from has had an impact on the traditional way of doing business but, when it comes to the B2B environment, marketers still believe in the value of engaging with potential customers face to face. Exhibitions have the ability to create an interactive environment that can tap into all our senses through real or virtual experiences. Buyers can connect one on one with exhibitors while also 

watching the action of live demonstrations. At the same time, social media delivers highlights of what’s happening across the exhibition halls. “Principles that underpin communications are still the same and much of the traditional marketing is still relevant, but instantaneous messaging through digital platforms and social media offers a whole new world of opportunity. Embracing both delivers a powerful integrated mix of communications that positively influences decisions to attend exhibitions. This includes the development of an app for each show,” says Gary. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter are among the most popular to motivate visitor attendance and to actively engage with visitors while at the show. Social media captures the experiences in video and pictures, instantly drawing attention to the event. “We can reach more potential attendees by growing our online audience. Communication tools are used that perform best at converting pre-registered visitors to actual attendees. Pre-registered visitors are also prompted to invite friends and colleagues that are part of their network. “In travelling extensively to visit exhibitions in developed and developing countries, it has been interesting to see that everyone still utilises a mix of the traditional with the new. Alongside the new apps and Wi-Fi, you still get the printed materials that can be taken

According to the January 2019 UFI (Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) Barometer, 74% of companies researched globally reported an increase in turnover in the second half of 2018, with 63% anticipating an increase in the first half of 2019, and 69% for the second half of 2019. Specific to South Africa, 86% of exhibition companies reported an increase in turnover for the second half of 2018, with an anticipated 38% for the first half of 2019, and 27% in the second half of 2019, with a further 40% unsure about the latter part of the year. This is likely linked to the current state of the economy in the home market, cited by 33% of companies. The survey also looked at the ‘entertainment’ component of exhibitions. Results highlighted a good match between the views of exhibition companies with those of the visitors around the inclusion of talks and presentations delivered in different ways, new technology such as virtual reality, and informal networking. Future exhibitions will feature new activities and other live or virtual events running in parallel. “Consumers are hungry for knowledge and enjoy the journey that exhibitions take them on, from the time of pre-registration to the conclusion of their visit,” Gary adds. “We have seen this journey being enhanced even further with the new features we have added to our shows over the past year, and future virtual reality experiences with simulators are likely. Visitors will continue to see, touch and feel the products and machinery on the stand and see live demos, but virtual reality will enable visitors to further experience machinery in action in its working environment.”

For further information, contact Leatitia van Straten, marketing director at Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery:

+27 (0)11 835 1565 |




Greening gains Everyone is greening and you overview

can too. The Exhibition Planner explores efforts being made in this regard and talks to the experts on how to best green your exhibition.

he world of exhibitions has always held appeal – from sheer size and variety, coupled with exquisite and eye-catching exhibition stands, to potential business prospects and networking opportunities that can be established as a result of being in the right place, at the right time and with the right people. Time and again, exhibitions have proved to be an important platform for industry engagement.

It is a very exciting time for the exhibitions industry and while we may have understood the important role we play in being able to facilitate a day during which business can come together under one roof, the impact made is unfortunately not always a positive one, or even immediately obvious to anybody in attendance. By their very nature, exhibitions are hugely resource-intensive; without careful management, they can be excessively wasteful; however, Dr Harold Goodwin – professor emeritus at the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan

University as well as managing director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership – says this presents us with a golden opportunity. “Event organisers now have an excellent opportunity to engage both their clients and the attendees in the effort to achieve triple-bottom-line sustainability – South Africa needs to see all organisers raising their game and getting closer to the best; given that the best are securing business, it is difficult to argue that the burden of sustainability is a crippling one. On the contrary, sustainability can provide a commercial advantage and raise quality,” he

Most greening interventions are not rocket science, but people are encouraged to think about the impact of their actions and consider what can be done to reduce any negative environmental impact, while creating a positive social impact. We find the best solutions are often those that are the simplest and that make sense and save money.” Grace Stead, owner of Steadfast Greening


Making a case for it The Meetings Africa Green Stand Awards, now in its fourth year, seek to identify and acknowledge the most sustainable stands at the event. These stands are judged against criteria informed by the EGF, which consider the design, materials, operations, transport, communication and innovation used for the stand. These criteria can be found on the EGF website. Exhibitors were afforded the opportunity to participate in the competition by showcasing their stand at the exhibition and submitting a written motivation explaining why their stand is green. The assessment included demonstrating knowledge about greening principles and the practical implementation thereof. The panel of judges included professionals with event greening experience and an independent moderator. The following stands were recognised as the most sustainable stands at Meetings Africa and received awards in their respective stand size categories, with comments from the panel of judges:

says, with the triple bottom line, or 3BL, referring to the sustainability of the three Ps: planet, people and profit.

Picking up momentum There is growing awareness within the exhibitions industry of the impact

certain practices and processes can have. Grace Stead from Steadfast Greening is a prominent figure in the sphere of greening and sustainability. Through her consultancy, Steadfast Greening, Grace banded together with Justin Hawes, owner and managing director of Scan Display, to establish

Category: Small Stand Winner: Resource Design These winning stands innovatively made use of Xanita board, as well as printed fabric. They had no printed collateral and gave sustainable gift options including bamboo straws, seeds, and memory sticks with information. The exhibition staff could engage around their sustainability principles. Runner-up: Two Oceans Aquarium Category: Medium Stand Winner: Cape Town International Convention Centre The competition was tight in this category, with many contenders; however, the winning stand embraced greening principles in their procurement processes through engaging with stand designers. They used natural materials that were compact and lightweight, with a lower impact on transport, and had locally made gifts with a positive social impact, providing their collateral electronically. Fabric banners will be repurposed into drawstring bags and used as corporate gifts. Runner-up: Legend Hospitality Group Category: Large Stand Winner: Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau The winning stand continues to keep ahead with creativity, trends and sustainability principles. The modular stand materials comprising a mix of Xanita board, wood and steel frames have been used at 12 events over the last three years. Their exhibition team is knowledgeable about greening and the value thereof. 




the Event Greening Forum (EGF), with the key objective of promoting sustainability within the exhibitions industry. Among its other areas of focus on greening and sustainability within the events industry as a whole, the EGF, along with other key players, is working to ensure that not only does green stand adjudication become its own feature at each exhibition but also that the guidelines issued and recommendations made are followed. “We encourage every exhibition that provides stand awards to include a category for green stand awards, or alternatively to ensure that sustainability criteria form a core part of the overall awards. The EGF provides various educational opportunities to encourage change, while working with industry role players to encourage the use of more sustainable materials,” says Grace.

Green Stand Awards The introduction of the adjudication of stands in particular has meant that businesses who are exhibiting can now be recognised for their work in the area of sustainability. It is hoped that this will further bolster and encourage greening and sustainability efforts, as has been done at the previous annual Meetings Africa events,


in the form of the Green Stand Awards. “We have tried to determine the key areas that need to be focused on to ensure that they are addressed through various mechanisms such as the Green Stand Awards. We encourage all exhibitions to adapt the criteria to their needs, but consider the 3BL approach,” says Grace. The Awards first took place at Meetings Africa in 2016 and have made significant strides, with Meetings Africa 2019 being its greenest yet; with the assistance of

the EGF, organisers were able to purchase renewable energy certificates. This took a load off the local grid supply and allowed the event to be powered using much cleaner and greener means. “The easiest way to grasp the concept of greening lies in applying the following three words: reduce, reuse and recycle. Going green does not always mean cutting back on the good times. Green events still enable one to enjoy events, while being healthy and environmentally friendly at the same time,” highlights Justin. Exciting times lie ahead for the future of the industry, and any change we hope to effect begins with each of us.

We have legacy projects where most of the exhibition stands are reused to create desks at preschools. Kids have got desks to sit at, which are completely non-toxic and lightweight, and they go back into recycling, so that there is nothing that ever goes into landfills.” Gary van der Watt from Resource Design, winner in the Small Stand category at the Meetings Africa 2019 Green Stand Awards


How To…

Go Greener Exhibitions require a lot of resources to bring together. With the planet very nearly at a tipping point, where the effects of climate change will be too far gone to ensure survival, it is up to everyone to do their part.

Have you considered… Most large-scale events have an event app, so use this as far as possible to drive people to your stand Be sure to have an efficient means to collect contact details, as well as an opt-in for attendees to receive communication that can drive further traffic to your stand 


2 3

Get yourself clued up

Who is doing what?

Make an effort

Understand how your existing activities, internal processes and procedures could have a potentially negative impact on the environment. Educate yourself with the guidelines issued by the professionals – the Event Greening Forum has a range of useful information and tools under its Resources section online. This includes its Minimum Standards, which serve as a reference for how we should put together an event using the most sustainable means possible, in addition to a carbon calculator to help you understand what your carbon footprint looks like and where it can be minimised further.

Look at what has been done thus far by the industry in terms of sustainability initiatives and how you can possibly implement any new, or different, improved practices. Develop a sustainability strategy that means you can start phasing in greener ways to either run an exhibition or build an exhibition stand, being realistic about what is viable from cost, operational and time perspectives. Start with your waste management, as there is a lot that can be done in this particular area; then start looking at the resources used to see that these are environmentally friendly.

Once you have committed to being more sustainable, stick with it. The trickiest part about successfully going green is: a) starting and b) sticking to it. It is natural that some will find incorporating greener habits more challenging than others, especially if this is new territory, but keep chipping away to make sure that only the most environmentally friendly products and materials are used during a show and that waste is properly collected, sorted and disposed of. By doing this, you are already making good inroads but endeavour to come up with your own solutions and innovate – wherever possible.




Engage and measure audiences In addition to showcasing new products, services and important industry innovations, audience engagement is among the top objectives at an exhibition. We explore some of the cool, creative, yet simple ways in which we can interact better with our attendees.

n a world that is increasingly defined by metrics, we need to be able to both quantify and qualify who our audiences are. It’s no longer good enough to just do a head count of attendees; we have a burgeoning need to be able to understand who we are engaging with. While our ability to measure audiences can still be refined, we are already able to paint a picture of who we are talking to. 


2 3

Opting in

Walk the floor

Technology is among your greatest tools when it comes to both engagement and measurability, as it has allowed for data to be captured on the spot, with far more accurate insights than ever before. South Africa’s revised laws protecting the consumer and their personal information means you now need to ensure that whoever you email/SMS/ send a push notification to has opted in to receive your communication. This is far more valuable in the long run because building your database from optins enables you to create greater talkability with your audiences – these are individuals who want to engage with you, which also allows you to pose relevant questions to them and garner the necessary feedback to keep improving on your existing offering and model.

Do your own assessment of what the uptake is at your exhibition and how successful this is by walking the floor and speaking to both exhibitors and attendees across a wide demographic. Unless you are intending on roving the floor and getting people to answer questionnaires, keep your questions brief enough so that answers can deliver short powerful insights: “Are you enjoying the event?” and “What is the best part?” are good starting points. You will also be able to gauge almost instantaneously whether people are having a positive experience or not, based on their facial expressions and body language. It will also give you an opportunity to ask more probing questions and possibly identify and address fundamental issues.

Incentivise audiences to engage Sometimes, the glory of tweeting one’s opinion in 280 characters or less is all that is needed to get audiences engaging on social media. Make announcements around some of the more colourful posts or create a stream for social media posts where they can be viewed – either on your website or app, if you have one. Further incentivise your audience to engage by having a competition for most retweets or reposts, with an attractive prize or giveaway. This not only creates an opportunity to promote a potential prize sponsor, who might be quite happy to participate in exchange for the exposure received, but it also provides further insights into what motivates and excites your audience.




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A holistic solution

There is currently a major emphasis on the customer experience (CX) as a key opportunity for the growth of every business but the question for many is where to start with an effective CX strategy.

ustomers no longer primarily base loyalty on price or product; instead, they stay loyal to companies because of the experience they have with them. Research by Gartner predicts that, this year, more than 50% of businesses will redirect their investments to CX innovations. Lynn Baker, a self-confessed CX fanatic and owner of CX Connexion, a consultancy that advises on customer experience, has spent the last few years immersing herself in

identifying the factors of CX that increase sales, reduce customer churn and drive brand loyalty. “I have spent time consolidating everything I have learned about CX into a simple customer experience roll-out process that every business can follow. Although some seasoned CX professionals may not like that I have simplified the concept to this degree, this is for those executives who just want to get an understanding of the concept – of where to start and how to implement a customer-first culture in their organisation,” she says, offering a few key points to consider in this process.

THE 7-STAGE CX STRATEGIC ROLL-OUT FOR THE UNINITIATED An exceptional CX cannot be delivered without equal focus on improving the employee experience; therefore, each stage of this CX strategy must be designed with these two key focus areas in mind.

STEP 1 - DECIDE: EXECUTIVE & EMPLOYEE BUY-IN & COMMITMENT Introducing a customer-focused strategy requires an overhaul of all the policies, procedures and processes throughout an organisation. It is imperative that every person in the company be on board with the changes that will need to be made.

STEP 2 - DISCOVER: SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS – WHERE ARE WE NOW? Do an analysis of the current CX by gathering all the information and customer feedback data you can, to clearly identify how the current customer journey looks, feels and is perceived by the customer. The same is true for the employee experience. STEP 3 - DEFINE: GAP ANALYSIS – WHERE ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT? This stage can be overwhelming. Start with a list of all the current pain points decide

and challenges, knowing that they will be addressed in time. In the short term, identify three quick fixes for prompt implementation.

STEP 4 - DEVELOP: IDEAL EXPERIENCE DESIGN – WHAT DO WE WANT TO DELIVER IN THE FUTURE? Begin with the outcome in mind and consider how your business, products or services could add more value to your customer in the future by mapping out what the ideal CX should look like going forward.

STEP 5 - DESIGN: CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESS – HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET THERE? Cultivating a customer-first culture requires that you focus on three key aspects: • PEOPLE What do employees need to know and learn to deliver the ideal experience? •P  ROCESSES How can we improve or simplify processes that support employees to deliver the ideal experience?







STEP 6 - DELIVER: LAUNCH A CX CAMPAIGN – HOW DO WE SUPPORT THE CX INITIATIVE? What isn’t documented doesn’t get done! Design and deliver an internal communications campaign for the whole business that continuously reinforces the company’s commitment to delivering on its brand promises. STEP 7 - DEEP-DIVE DATA & DELIVERABLES: HOW DID WE DO, WHERE TO FROM HERE? This process to date would have taken a few months but it will all be in vain if management does not deep-dive the data to establish if deliverables have been met. If you follow this process, you will be well on your way to creating what is commonly referred to as an ‘inside-out’ company: one that focuses on customer and employee needs, and builds an agile business that is committed to delivering an exceptional CX. DELIVER





4 3




• TECHNOLOGY How does our current technology ‘enable’ employees to deliver the ideal experience?








A design with a difference

ConCept G was tasked with the design and installation of Hikvision’s 302 sq.m South African showroom, which recently relocated to Bramley, Johannesburg.

onCept G Exhibitions and Events is a specialist turnkey provider of awardwinning designs, manufacturing, project management and project realisation, dedicated to personalised and solutions-driven exhibition, event and retail services. The company also offers unique, contemporary and innovative designs when refurbishing and renovating showrooms, spaces or retail environments.


THE BRIEF The client required an elegant and functional space appropriate to its status as a global brand leader, where it could showcase its various security products, and educate customers. Going beyond the ordinary By working closely with clients in the project process, ConCept G is able to achieve a greater understanding of a client’s requirements, enabling the company to go beyond the brief and create the best possible solution that not only promotes but enhances a brand. As the world’s leading provider of innovative security

products and solutions, Hikvision required a functional space that reflects its values and commitment to the industry, while showcasing a variety of its products. The objective was to create a space that not only showcases the products, but incorporates the brand as a part of the room’s function and design. The concept design promotes effective spatial planning and flow, and only utilises products and materials that highlight the company’s direction and focus.

CHALLENGES To achieve its objectives, the starting point was


overcrowded environment proved to be tricky to navigate, but both teams worked together in the best interests of the project’s success.


ConCept G fast facts The company turns 10 in 2020. It has a team of contemporary and innovative designers who specialise in exhibition, event, interior design and shop-fitted structures. Using the latest software, ConCept G designers create bespoke, tailored solutions for every project. The company ensures that the transportation of the project goods and infrastructure is done in a controlled and timely fashion. ConCept G offers a turnkey solution – from design, to project management, realisation and completion – no matter the challenges. 

to generate an understanding of the client’s products in order to determine the best way to showcase the various ranges – a challenge in itself, with each product requiring its own space and display unit. Strategic and careful planning was necessary, as was paying keen attention to the layout, in order to ensure spatial and product flow in the design. Hikvision is an established and reputable development, design and support supplier, with its core technologies being focused on audio and video encoding, video image processing, and related data storage, as well as forward-looking technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and deep learning. As a result, the requirement for the design led to the design team conceptualising a space that would meet the specific and detailed requirements of Hikvision. That same intense focus was implemented to shine through in the selection of the colour palette, room design, and the way in which the products are showcased. Another challenge was the extremely tight deadline – as with any permanent installation, preparation and planning are key. With an installation time of 10 days and sign-off only a week before first moving on to site, the ConCept G team had to share the site space with the contractor appointed to construct the showroom shell. The shell was still in the final phases of completion, while team ConCept G continued to finish the interior. The

The design and implementation solutions offered by ConCept G were to include key elements of Hikvision’s corporate identity (CI) and products as part of the design itself. The result is a contemporary and sophisticated showroom, capturing the ethos of this world leader in the security and video surveillance industry. Through incorporating flourishes of the Hikvision CI red pantone in elements such as the custom-designed award display showcase, surrounding a large screen wall at the entrance of the showroom, and the contemporary custom bulkhead that was mirrored to the floor through the use of two different wood grain finishes, a warm and inviting ambience was created for the showroom. The clean, angular lines create a positive flow through the space, with the darker wood grain inlay in the floor providing a seamless walk-through of the client’s products, enabling attendee immersion in the showroom and everything Hikvision has to offer. A timeline at the entrance to the showroom is dedicated to reflections on the Hikvision products and past, and the start of the customer journey to various product activations. With seamless panel walls featuring various powerful, state-of-the-art monitoring systems, Hikvision is clearly on show as a global powerhouse in diversified engineering. A strong brand presence is effortlessly maintained through the use of distinctly branded graphics and signage, lit by strategically placed, effective lighting. Regardless of the scale of the event, the scope of the requirements, or the budget parameters, ConCept G will go beyond the ordinary to exceed expectations with attention to detail and continued on-site support.




Making your stand as attractive as possible to entice exhibition attendees doesn’t take a lot but it does take the right mix of ingredients.

Standing out


BONUS TIPS Most large-scale events have an event app, so use this as far as possible to drive people to your stand Be sure to have an efficient means to collect contact details, as well as an opt-in for attendees to receive communication that can drive further traffic to your stand


Be seen


Crowd pleasers


Think like an attendee. What is the first thing about your stand that is going to be noticed? This will need to be built into your stand concept from the onset to ensure it features prominently enough to be seen at a bit of a distance. Stands with scale work well for this because by sheer virtue of their size they are easily seen; clever, eye-grabbing tactics such as additional lighting, screens and decorative elements are also easy means to attract people to your stand. Define your objectives well ahead of the design process. If your company’s values and offering are not clearly expressed in your design, it is a missed opportunity that has burnt extensive resources.

Freebies abound. People love gifts – both giving and receiving them – and this very simple act can immediately create a platform that ensures visitors to your stand are receptive to interacting with you. This is a business based on human engagement, so send out your best representation and most personable staff to meet with various potential buyers and speak to attendees about your company. Creating small but meaningful engagements at your stand – such as a networking session cocktail hour towards the end of the day or a meet-andgreet with a prominent industry player within your network – will encourage further foot traffic. So get resourceful about what you can implement.

Keep up with the times but don’t reinvent the wheel. What worked at exhibitions 5 to 10 years ago might not be applicable today – a basic shell scheme stand with only a table and chairs with clunky brochures being shoved under people’s noses may partially do the job but the experience for the attendee isn’t ideal. There are certain tried and tested ways of doing things at exhibitions that will consistently work but don’t ignore the trends either, because these will almost certainly provide a means for you to create deeper engagement and understand your audiences more intricately. These insights are crucial to how your business model grows to meet the needs of clients.

What works


TOP 10




Celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018.


Largest trade show organiser in South Africa, offering a wide portfolio of world-class shows.


Brands grown regionally across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

4 7


Experience in cross-border markets, with African expansion into Botswana, Ghana and Zambia. In 1996, former President Nelson Mandela delivered the opening address at Electra Mining Africa.

First show in 1968 was an industry showcase for the building and construction sectors.



Company growth achieved through organic growth and acquisitions.

Specialises in trade exhibitions across heavy, medium and light industrial sectors, in addition to niche consumer shows.


Member of the prestigious Montgomery Group, one of the most widely respected exhibition companies in the world, with trade shows, consumer shows and specialist projects currently spanning Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

A founding member of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO). +27 (0)11 835 1565






Don't miss out - join in on the exceptional Barmotion experience taking South Africa by storm, one mobile bar at a time.

Barmotion has been rocking out at major events, large-scale exhibitions, corporate gigs and private functions for a decade. The Exhibition Planner explores the company’s offering and understands what it is about this industry player that makes it so unique. ith its distinctive bright green branding, Barmotion is easily identifiable wherever it goes. Barmotion offers event organisers and corporates a unique way to captivate and engage their target market by tailor-making bar experiences exactly suited to their requirements. The company not only offers a wide range of mobile bar services to tickle the taste buds of your guests but also provides customised branding of its bars and goodies to suit the look and feel of both your event and messaging. “There is a major trend towards more unique, interactive and creative ways of delivering the ‘normal’; for example, having our baristas produce a top-class cappuccino with our client’s logo imprinted on to the froth, or turning our bar into a colour-coordinated, customised doughnut wall, where delegates can pick and choose their confections and refreshments while networking, creates a whole new 

dimension for this experience,” notes Alexia ‘Lex’ Swart, managing director at Barmotion. With Barmotion’s skilled team and state-of-theart equipment providing solutions for exhibition hospitality, product launches, organisational incentives, conferences, corporate and private functions, roadshows, and more, you can rest assured that your event will run smoothly with this add-on. “We understand the importance of delivering your message across as many brandable platforms, for the maximum impact and intended effect,” highlights Lex.

Across the nation Barmotion has a nationwide footprint, with offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, enabling the company to perform seamless executions when it comes to rolling out roadshows and activations or campaigns. “After close on a decade of experience and knowledge in the events, marketing and hospitality sectors, this gives us the edge in knowing what elements are key to achieving your desired results, as well as the best way to deliver your message,” says Lex.

The team at Barmotion believes in sharing its good fortune and contributing to the community. Each year, the team takes part in a Santa Shoe Box experience for underprivileged children; as part of its ongoing efforts to support the local communities, Barmotion donates excess stock to a number of homes that care for the elderly and mentally disabled, including St Anne’s, Avril Elizabeth Home and Little Eden. More recently, the company donated learning materials to and repainted a crèche in Soweto, and set up some of its mobile bars for the children to enjoy.

DID YOU KNOW? Barmotion is now fully green! All elements used are fully recyclable and biodegradable.

We create the platforms to allow you to interact with your target audience at expos, events, conferences and product launches.” Alexia Swart, managing director, Barmotion



sh o w case

A ROAR worth hearing ELIGIBILITY •A  ll AAXO-approved members who have organised an exhibition in Africa during 2019 are eligible to submit entries into the AAXO ROAR awards. • Companies may submit more than one entry, as long as the exhibition was held in the year 2019. • It is compulsory that all entrants are approved members of AAXO. • The judges will be comprised of a panel of distinguished exhibition, communication and marketing specialists. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence may be entered into. • All entries should be completed in PowerPoint presentations and follow the order of the guidelines provided. AAXO will send a link to all organisers directing them to the ROAR Awards portal, where submissions can be made.

Under the banner of the Exhibitions Industry Alliance, the African Association of Exhibition Organisers, in conjunction with Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa, hosted the prestigious ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards. We check out the winners of this year's iteration of these annually hosted industry awards. he ROAR Awards are aimed at acknowledging and recognising excellence within the exhibitions space and providing organisers with a platform to showcase their event, positioning their exhibitions as award-winning and allowing for further growth opportunities. The success of each entry is critiqued on its exhibition strategy as well as what marketing, public relations, operations and activation this incorporated. The annually hosted AAXO ROAR Awards, which runs alongside Exhibition of Exhibitions (EoE) and recognises

All trophies for the AAXO ROAR Awards were sponsored by Sandton Convention Centre


excellence within the exhibitions industry, took place on 31 January 2019 at The Ballroom at Montecasino, during a Great Gatsby-themed evening attended by more than 350 industry professionals. See the 2019 Winners table to find out who took top spot in their respective categories in 2019. The industry can look forward to the 2020 ROAR Awards being held on 31 January 2020, during a gala dinner taking place at Gallagher Convention Centre. With major industry players and media in attendance, winners can expect to receive not just national media coverage of them receiving their award on the night but also industry recognition.


After the announcement that WTM Africa has been named as the Best Trade Exhibition in its category, our team is excited about sharing an even bigger and better 2019 with the travel trade, as we grow WTM Africa year on year.”

2019 Certificates of Excellence

Megan Oberholzer, GM: Travel, Tourism and Sports Portfolio, Reed Exhibitions The Exposure Marketing team with their accolades at the ROAR Awards

Best Venue 2018 Voted By Organisers

Gallagher Convention Centre

Best Cleaning Company Voted By Organisers

ZF Cleaning

Best Supplier

Expo Guys

Best Security Company

Lodge Security

Best Logistics Company

La Rouxnelle

Stand Design

Scan Display

2019 Award Winners

Sandton Convention Centre team accepts the Best Venue EXSA-llence Award

Best Trade Exhibition 6 000 m & under

Madex, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery

Best Trade Exhibition 6 001–12 000 m

WTM Africa, Reed Exhibitions

Best Trade Exhibition 12 001 m2 & above

Electra Mining Africa, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery

Best Consumer Exhibition 6 000 m & under

The Getaway Show JHB, Ramsay Media

Best Consumer Exhibition 6 001–12 000 m2

MamaMagic Cape Town, The Baby Expo, Exposure Marketing




Best Consumer Exhibition 12 000 m & above 2

MamaMagic JHB, The Summer Baby Expo, Exposure Marketing

Best Trade & Consumer Exhibition 6 001–12 000 m

Decorex SA Durban, Reed Exhibitions

Best Trade & Consumer Exhibition 1–6 000 m

Fire & Feast Meat Festival, Reed Exhibitions

Best Trade & Consumer Exhibition 12 000 m2 & above

Livestock – Die Groot Plaasproe, Agri Expo

Best Social Media

Comic Con Africa, Reed Exhibitions

Africa Bound

Caminex 2018, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery



Best Overall Exhibition Winner 2018

MamaMagic Cape Town, The Baby Expo, Exposure Marketing

Best Stand 36 m & below

Scan Display, Madex June 2018

Best Stand 37–140 m

SSQ Design, Mobile – SHC, Electra Mining 2018

Best Stand 140 m2 & above

EFAM, ITR Africa, Bauma Africa 2018



Recipients of these awards are held in high esteem by industry peers, as they recognise a truly elevated level of professionalism in a variety of categories.” Leatitia van Straten, chair, AAXO 



Celebrating 5 years of the Top 40 Women in Mice Awards In 2019, the Top 40 Women in MICE Awards celebrates five years of recognising female excellence within the MICE industry. We reflect on the success of this beautiful event, which celebrates the achievements of the industry’s most powerful players.

“Programmes like Women in MICE have people who are thinking of doing much more than awarding people. They are looking at mentorship programmes. And these will help us.” Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, chief convention bureau officer at the South Africa National Convention Bureau

“Women are nurturers and creative, and MICE really needs people who are gatherers… You can tell when an event has had a woman’s touch.” Johanna Mukoki, group CEO of Travel with Flair and a Top 40 Women in MICE 2019 judge

“Women are often referred to as mothers of a nation. The saying ‘You strike a woman, you strike a rock’ shows resilience – that we can withstand anything thrown at us.” Lindiwe Rakhurebe, CEO of the Durban International Convention Centre, and keynote speaker at the launch breakfast of Women in MICE 2019

in MICE 2019

The Top 40 Women in MICE Awards is set to reach new heights in 2019. With the high calibre of nominees and a beautiful awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of these women, we are looking forward to the next instalment of this exceptional event.

To nominate your candidate, download the nomination form from and send your nomination to Nominations for the Top 40 Women in MICE Awards close on June 28 2019.


2018 2018’s Top 40 Women in MICE Awards, hosted at Avianto, gave us more food for thought than ever before, with pertinent takeaways from the women making a marked and valuable contribution to both the industry and our economy.

2017 In August 2017, the iconic Rand Club hosted the Top 40 Women in MICE event, with women from across all walks of life applauded and celebrated at a glamorous luncheon.

2016 By 2016, the Top 40 Women in MICE had become an industry highlight that was not to be missed, with this year’s celebrations taking place at the beautiful Monte De Dios.

2015 The second annual Top 40 Women in MICE celebration took place at Hackle Brooke Conference Centre. With a significant growth in industry buy-in, the celebration honoured the achievements of MICE’s remarkable women.

2014 Inspired by the best in the industry and South Africa’s Women’s Month, August 2014 saw the genesis of Women in MICE. Meetings started a nationwide search for the top 40 women in the MICE industry, in order to pay tribute to them at an event hosted at the renowned Crowne Plaza.




Tel: +27 (0) 31 792 6200 - Durban Tel: +27 (0) 21 929 7200 - Cape Town Tel: +27 (0) 11 216 3000 - Johannesburg



Expert content and networking opportunities made for standout Markex and Madex 2019 experiences.

#TheOGMarketingExpo andton was the marketing hotspot of the country in June, with thousands of marketers and promotional product resellers flooding the Johannesburg business district to see, experience, touch, and breathe in all things marketing at Markex 2019, Africa’s premier promotional products exhibition, and the colocated Madex 2019 (#TheOGMarketingExpo). The two shows took place on 5 and 6 June at Sandton Convention Centre, and brought together more than 80 supporting companies within the collaborative exhibition area, providing a space-in-time for visitors to get to grips with the latest in products and services on offer. Says Nick Sarnadas, event director at Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery: “We saw a strong showing of sustainable products and services this year, in keeping with an increasing requirement for more environmentally friendly options within the marketplace, as well as interest in the cutting edge of MarTech, featuring interactive solutions such as 3D holographic LED fan displays, virtual reality (VR), as well as edible printing and more. “Several of our exhibitors also aligned their own events to the expos, with Barron South Africa, one of the largest and most trusted product media brands in Africa, running its second annual Barron Africa Summit on the first day of Markex, aimed at the continent’s 

resellers. Scan Display, a leader in the Southern African exhibition and stand building space, welcomed distributors from 14 African countries to join them at Madex 2019, designing a two-day workshop focusing on what the local industry can offer. In addition, local product design, manufacturer and retail home goods and gifting company Carrol Boyes celebrated ‘30 years of design’, running a VIP event at the show.”

Content kings Content was once again a major draw card for this year’s shows, in the form of two seminar theatres – The Fundamentals and The Academy – which saw more than 50 sessions, featuring speakers including comedian John Vlismas, Jacaranda FM’s Kevin Fine, East Coast Radio’s Boni Mchunu, Dave Rampersad from SNIPR South Africa, and Retroviral’s Mike Sharman. For the first time, experts also made themselves available for free-ofcharge deep-dive workshops, providing small groups of 20 people with the opportunity to gain additional insight and ask their burning questions directly. The Mentorship Challenge’s Marc Wainer was on-site for both days of Markex and Madex 2019, broadcasting live from Sandton Convention Centre, providing the audience a chance to connect with local leaders, including ‘The Pitbull in Heels’ Farah Fortune, founder and director of African Star Communications. Says Sarnadas: “Both shows received excellent industry support, and we would particularly like to thank our partners,

including Barron, Resellers of South Africa (ROSA) and Abelanani on the Markex side, and ChatFactory, Whacked Entertainment, Nex Media, the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA), the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO), Inspire Furniture Rentals & Sales, ProductionX, Meetings magazine, Everlytic, Screencom, and the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa for Madex 2019.” Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery also acknowledged its exhibitors, with several Markex and Madex supporters receiving recognition for their marketing efforts and outreach around the two expos. Notable Markex 2019 winners included Amrod, a leading importer and brander of corporate clothing, corporate and promotional gifts, promotional clothing and headwear, and Barron South Africa. Amrod was named as the exhibiting company that had both invited the most visitors to the show, and also converted the most leads, while Barron South Africa was praised as having the expo’s ‘Best Marketing Campaign’. On the Madex side, Carrol Boyes won the ‘Best Social Media’ award, Scan Display received the ‘Best PR’ title, and Inspirit Inspirations, creators and manufacturers of innovative original product concepts, took the ‘Best E-mail Campaign’ award. Finally, Headwear24, a leading manufacturer of caps, hats and beanies in Africa, was recognised as the ‘Show Standout’ across both Markex and Madex, for the team’s all-around excellent attitude and willingness to engage.




INDUSTRY views AAXO reviews the year gone by for the exhibitions industry

Showing off Despite a tough economic climate, it’s encouraging to know that it’s not all doom and gloom in the exhibition space, writes AAXO chair Leatitia van Straten.

rom the growth of established trade shows and conferences to the highly successful launch of new events, it is clear that professional exhibition organisers know exactly how to attract business to our sector. With success stories like these, we’re optimistic about the future of exhibitions in Africa. Armed with enthusiasm, we look forward to helping our industry grow for a long time to come!

African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa “The event has grown significantly, and this year’s 19th edition utilised both CTICC 1 and CTICC 2 and had a record-breaking 350 exhibitors. As organisers, we are based in Cape Town but our clients come from all over the world, especially from the rest of the continent. They love coming to Cape Town and the CTICC is a world-class venue,” says Annemarie Roodbol, senior communications manager, African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa.

WTM Africa World Travel Market (WTM) Africa 2019 concluded on Friday 12 April, with new connections, continent-building deals and a sense of excitement about where African travel and tourism is headed in the future. Once again, WTM Africa 2019 was privileged to partner with the City of Cape Town as its host. The continued support of the City is a key factor in the success of the show, and the involvement of the City of Cape Town is


testament to the importance of WTM Africa within the tourism landscape. The team already has its eye on WTM Africa 2020, with next year’s event announced to take place in Cape Town from 6 to 8 April.

Propak Africa Held every three years in March, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, this year’s Propak Africa saw an increase in visitors with purchasing decision-making power and attracted over 500 international attendees – boosting not only local trade, but also business-driven tourism. “Packaging and labelling are at the very heart of our economy, crossing over industrial, manufacturing, packaging, recycling and retail. It’s the only show of its kind in Africa that offers the full supply chain in one, and both our exhibiting and visiting clients see the value in attending this world-class show,” notes Gary Corin, managing director of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery.

Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo The launch of the Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo bodes well for our manufacturing sector. Organised in conjunction with the South African Capital Equipment Export Council, and with the support of local government bodies, the launch saw over 120 exhibitors meet an audience of more than 3 700 business buyers, over just three days! The fantastic visitor turnout is unheard of for such a niche first-time show, which proves just how hungry our manufacturing sector is to boost employment and the economy as a whole.




The global exhibitions industry is very LARGE‌

303 million visitors each year

32 000 exhibitions take place annually

4.5 MILLION companies exhibit

1 217 VENUES


with a minimum of 5 000 m2 gross indoor exhibition space

visitor and exhibition spend each year

Exhibitions have a strong impact on territories and support growth and development by generating significant social and economic benefits Global Exhibitions Day


3.2 MILLION directly and indirectly supported jobs



in total output (business sales), generating more than industries such as machine tools and medical and surgical equipment

contribution to GDP, including direct, indirect and induced GDP impacts, meaning that if exhibitions were its own economy, it would rank 56th in the world and be larger than Hungary and Kuwait


WeChat ID: UFI_Official |


Making a case for

multiplatform marketing While email might be the platform with the most effective statistics in terms of recipient engagement, it is critical for marketers to understand that an integrated, multiplatform approach is key for consistent, effective communication today.

arketers have their work cut out for them when it comes to audience engagement. As trustworthy as email is, it is also valuable to consider combining it with different forms of communication, at different stages of the customer life cycle. “The integration of different channels will be key for the future of meaningful communication, providing a 360-degree view of the customer and their preferred choice of engagement,” notes Katherine Marriott, sales manager at digital communications platform Everlytic.


A compelling case for email Karyn Strybos, marketing manager at Everlytic, states that although email is often considered a more traditional form of communication, it remains a powerful business tool. “It has been said previously that email is a dying form of communication, but the opposite is true – over 281 billion emails were distributed over 2018, according to Statista, with more than 347 billion estimated annually by 2023. There are 30 million internet users in South Africa and most of them have an email address; this is a massive opportunity to captivate your audience,” says Karyn. Research conducted by Everlytic found that 86% of the 2 000 people (of varying ages and demographics) surveyed prefer to

receive promotions via email. In addition, 84% of respondents said that they trust email as a platform to receive invoices, statements and other sensitive information. “Everlytic sent four billion emails from our servers in 2018 – a number that has already been surpassed just short of halfway through 2019. And although brands have been sending more emails, the engagement rates are still high. This shows that subscribers are finding the content relevant to them.” According to Karyn, Everlytic’s recent consumer research showed that email also prevails across age groups, including younger people. The general trend is that subscribers prefer to receive short emails with links to more info if they want to read more.


Interestingly though, the youth are more likely than older generations to prefer longer format email content. “This could be because today’s youth tend to use their mobile phones for everything, including reading emails, and longer content in one palatable chunk helps save on data usage.”

Email and SMS: a winning combination A strong influencing factor in combining the use of email communication with an SMS campaign is the fact that a text message can be effective in driving people to read their emails, explains Katherine. “We’ve seen that SMSes improve email open rates. For instance, text messages can entice people to open and read emails on their phones first, responding to and actioning them on their computers later,” she says. To put things in perspective, of the 38 million mobile users in South Africa, 51% actively use SMS. “SMS is also one of the most cost-effective communication tools. We have customers who are paying a maximum cost of around 22 cents per message.” Katherine adds that, despite growing popularity, the cost for brands to send a WhatsApp is 60 cents per message, and there are still the data charges to consider too. “Furthermore, WhatsApp cannot be used for bulk messaging, which takes it out of the equation for mass marketing.”

Automation for time-saving, strategic communication By automating your messaging, Katherine 

says businesses are able to save time on communicating, while ensuring that information is personalised. “Through automation, it is possible to create and automatically deliver a series of predetermined emails and SMSes that are aligned to the customer journey. This means that companies who understand their target markets are able to build audience ‘personas’ and create content based on their specific pain points. And you don’t have to create different emails or SMSes for each persona either; it’s far easier to use dynamic content, which can pull the relevant information in to each individual email depending on which persona the reader is categorised as.”

Personalisation: bulk messaging with a personal touch Automation ties into another growing trend: hyper-personalisation. “It’s no longer enough to use an individual’s account number to customise communications – people want content that is more relevant to them as an individual,” says Katherine, who notes that this is delivering results. “We’re already seeing success in this space by local retailers, financial services organisations, and hospitality groups who are targeting customers according to products purchased or used and loyalty status levels.”

Where is the spend? With the digitisation of Africa, the abandonment of advertising on traditional media in favour of online is likely to spread across the continent. As the number of internet users in nations such as Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa grows each year, one can only expect an increase in online spend and revenue in the coming years. Online advertising across the majority of African countries is showing promising trends, with growing expenditures. Across the entire continent, many nations are experiencing their strongest spending growth on internet ads, rather than through traditional media such as print. Source: Statista




LEADING the industry When it comes to events, sourcing dependable event organisers and reliable suppliers is no easy task! So, here are two of The Exhibition Planner's top picks:

Ukushisa Services

A leading polystyrene supplier

Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery delivering shows of excellence

A leading polystyrene supplier

Ukushisa Services, based IN the south of Johannesburg, is a leading supplier of all things polystyrene. We offer individualised solutions to event, exhibition, corporate, conferencing and wedding organisers and companies in the entertainment industry.

We specialise in polystyrene signage, large-format lettering, 3D logos, branded centrepieces, as well as unique exhibition displays. We offer various coating options, from plain or painted to resin and concrete coatings. Sustained new product development and our in-house production capabilities enable us to

provide tailored, cost-effective solutions for all your requirements, as well as comprehensive support to our customers. New challenges are our forte. We pride ourselves on our excellent personal customer service and our ability to supply high-quality products at competitive prices. Our staff are always prepared to go the extra mile, with service that is fast, efficient and friendly, and we strive to find solutions that fit within tight deadlines and budgets. | +27 (0)11 907 9305 /


Tech too much? We love tech, but have we become a slave to it, asks Jane Stevenson. e do tech in a big way, every day. We love what it allows us to do, how people can connect, communicate and collaborate. But in today’s world, we’re always on, always plugged in, hiding behind a black mirror. But for an authentic relationship to happen, we need to connect in person. So, are we becoming slaves to technology? Is it making us less happy, less ‘us’? Decades ago, there was an optimism about the digital age, but it appears to have gone full cycle. People are looking to unplug, to be mindful and switch off from an always-on world. Psychologically, that’s a game changer. For nearly all of human history, people have been able to find silence and solitude; it was just part of the human condition. Now, we're reliant on apps like Calm, which is currently valued at US$250 million (R3.7 billion), by the way, to find a moment of quiet. Yes, there are many things about the internet and tech that are amazing, but there are certain kinds of communication that shouldn't be via data or video; and people are starting to feel the consequences. Building trust as an individual or brand can only be done in real time and is the outcome of building relationships. If you want an authentic relationship, you need to connect in person. The same goes for 

brands looking to communicate with consumers; we need to stop hiding behind technology and social media and remember the days of business when there were handshakes. Simply, we need human connections. Many question the future of events because of our altered communication platforms, but I believe the future of events isn’t at risk. It’s certainly going to be disrupted, and for the better, because people are looking for deeper, more meaningful experiences and connections. Events will be measured on return on engagement; it's no longer a numbers game and is now a question of quality, not quantity. Consider how we have become actors in our own story: we're living through our screens, always performing, projecting our image and our story. People talk a lot about authenticity, but actually what we’re doing is curating the ego, and that’s eroding the self. If there is no connection between the brand and the individual, an event may get your brand on social media as photos are uploaded and shared, but is there meaningful engagement that creates loyalty? I’m not anti-technology – in fact, I love it. However, I’m pro-relationships and pro-conversations and procommunities. I encourage tech-savviness but use it wisely to enhance not replace. New technologies can be empowering and help us connect, but they can also divide us and make us more lonely and isolated than ever before.

About Jane Using innovation and dynamic thinking as her driving force, Jane Stevenson, strategic director for Magnetic Storm, is passionate about developing people. Named as South Africa’s Most Influential Businesswoman in the SME Sector by CEO Magazine in 2012, Jane has also served as a board and exco member of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.



Miss Xzibit

Rocking out Miss Xzibit shows us there is so much more in just bringing an exhibition together and cautions us on not getting stuck in the same old habits.

y colleague, Miss Meet, wrote about the challenges of getting people to show up for an event in her column titled ‘Rocking up’ in the May/ June issue of Meetings magazine. However, if we look at this more carefully, while we expect delegates and attendees to flock to our shows and events in their droves, what are we doing to get them there? How much of this traffic is organic and how much a result of your show being properly marketed, with boosts to boot? Each industry is different and what appeals across one market on one channel might not necessarily appeal to another, so the key is to ensure we don’t just follow the brief as

far as possible but also use our own savvy to make informed choices on what would result in the best possible outcome; in this instance, massive attendee turnout with major engagement, both on the ground and on social media that takes place before, during and after the event itself. This seems almost impossible but I’ve been to many exhibitions and trade shows where there is so much to see that is of interest. If I can give any insights in this regard, it is to try to make sure that there is something for everyone – of course we’re not talking about jumping castles and face-painting at your next big industry trade show, but make sure everything relevant within this market segment is given consideration. If you are able to achieve this, it means that your role within this value chain is pivotal, as you have

representation from an entire industry under one roof and the connections that can be made here are invaluable and unique. The world is changing so quickly that yesterday’s trends are today’s norms, which will be ancient history by tomorrow, so keep on top of the trends. Throughout this, there will be a common thread of what works – being in a people-oriented industry takes precedence over all else because it will always be all about creating a platform for engagement and interaction, and for constructive conversations to take place. Lastly, sometimes a show comes but once a year, so making a lasting impression – for all the right reasons – where you have been able to provide something far more meaningful within your space, will ensure that the opportunity continues to yield benefits.

Gearhouse GL events JEC Khoja Group


index to advertisers Barmotion ConCept G CTICC Drums & Rhythm


22, 23 18, 19 7 16

28 14 OFC, Gatefold OBC

Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery Ukushisa Services


8, 9, 21, 34 34

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The Exhibition Planner 2019  

The Exhibition Planner is an essential tool for exhibitors. Information is packaged in an easily digestible format addressing the entire pro...

The Exhibition Planner 2019  

The Exhibition Planner is an essential tool for exhibitors. Information is packaged in an easily digestible format addressing the entire pro...

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