There are five trends affecting the fortunes of South Africa’s exhibitions and events industry. They are:
- The era of frugalism – budgets are tighter and it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. As a result, infrastructure suppliers are ‘creating their own work’ by getting involved in conceptualising and starting their own exhibitions.
- The era of repetition – there are too many of the same exhibitions, which dilutes the pool of exhibitors; for example, every man and his dog seems to be organising a ‘green’ expo.
- The advent of new organisers – show organisers in Europe and America are looking for new markets to conquer and are bringing their shows to Africa.
- The demand for smarter work flow – organisers are demanding higher and higher levels of service, plus they expect greater levels of communication given the ever increasing connected environment in which they work and play.
This is the view of Conrad Kullmann, sales and marketing director of the 3D Group, who believes that the most impactful trend at the moment is the foreign interest in South Africa’s markets for staging shows that have been successful in Europe or America. Either these show owners are setting up offices here, or they’re investing in existing companies, or they’re using South Africa as the host country for those shows that find a new home every few years.
He points out that this trend particularly impacted business in Cape Town. However, its growth was threatened because of the limited size of Cape Town and surrounds’ major venues. The pending expansion of the CTICC and the new venue at Century City will go a long way to lifting this threat, and see many new and larger conferences and exhibitions making their home in the Mother City over the next few years.
To capitalise on demand for smarter processes and systems, 3D Group has launched its online services portal – EaziXpo. This enables it to manage and service ever increasing volumes in a seamless manner, while simplifying the organiser’s interface with company exhibitors.