Interest in Southern Africa’s biggest trade exhibition Electra Mining Africa continues to grow with exhibition floor space across six halls and outside precinct areas selling out months before opening day on September 15.
To accommodate the growing demand for exhibition space at Electra Mining Africa, which takes place at the Nasrec Expo Centre, in Johannesburg, the existing outside showcase areas have been extended and an additional two exhibitor marquees have been added.
“The support received from exhibitors and general business for the 2014 show has been outstanding,” comments Gary Corin, MD of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, which organises the biennial show.
Exhibitors did not hesitate to book early and, by the time Electra Mining Africa 2012 drew to a close, nearly one-third of exhibitors had already jumped to secure their spaces at this year’s exhibition.
“Floor space has continued to be snapped up fast and stands inside the halls and across the outside precincts have all been sold, once again demonstrating its status as a world-class event that draws high volumes of exhibitors and visitors,” Corin says.
Ranked as one the world’s largest mining shows, Electra Mining Africa 2014 will host over 850 exhibitors showing off their innovations, products, services and technologies across 38 000 m2 of exhibition space.
Corin says visitors will see many leading-edge South African companies in the packed halls, marquees and outside precincts. High-profile international exhibitors are also lined up from countries such as Australia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US. Chinese and Turkish pavilions are confirmed, as well as the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment and Services for Export pavilion.
“The visitor experience at Electra Mining Africa is like no other trade show on the continent,” says Corin. “We are active in two other African countries with the Electra Mining Africa brand, but the Johannesburg show remains the flagship event and we have ensured that it embraces all five senses and it boasts world-class outdoor and indoor exhibits.”
Engaging the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch is a growing trend across exhibitions and enables visitors to fully experience what the show has to offer. Even with trade shows such as Electra Mining Africa, the use of simulation booths, live demonstrations, on-site entertainment and fun activities are being used. These additions support the ‘high-tech, high-touch’ need of visitors.
“Technology has taken us into a new world of marketing with many advantages, especially digital media, but when concluding sales in the business-to-business environment, ‘face-to-face’ is still preferred,” Corin says.
Feedback from exhibitors indicates that many visitors to Electra Mining Africa shows are influential decision-makers from the mining, electrical and machine tools sector. The show regularly produces off-the-floor sales, sales leads and business connections for its exhibitors.
“Exhibitions remain a powerful medium to source new customers, engage with existing customers, build brand awareness, launch new products and generate sales and sales leads.”
Corin says the economy has forced greater scrutiny of how marketing budgets are spent and companies have been more selective in their choice of exhibitions. However, a survey by the Centre for Exhibition Industry and Research has indicated that marketers still value exhibiting at business-to-business events, especially their role in driving the sales process. “A significant amount of their marketing budgets continues to be allocated to this medium, despite the fierce competition for marketing budgets and the economic downturn.”
Globally, the economy has affected the size of stands at exhibitions and Electra Mining Africa 2014 has also seen some exhibitors reduce the size of their stands. However, this has given other companies the opportunity to also secure floor space at Electra Mining Africa, which sells out months in advance of the show.
Conferences taking place alongside Electra Mining Africa 2014 include a Surface Mining and Naturally Metallurgy Conference hosted by the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the International Infrastructure & Invest Convention, the Powering African Industry Conference and the Women in Mining Workshop hosted by Women in Mining South Africa. In addition, the South African Institute of Mechanical Engineers will be hosting an exhibitor product showcase at the MAN Building throughout the show.
Electra Mining Africa has accreditation from UFI, which is the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, while Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery is a member of the Montgomery Group and is also a member of the Exhibition Association of Southern Africa.