The occupational health and safety, security, facilities management, and fire protection sectors proved once again that face-to-face interaction cannot be beaten, with excellent industry support seen at the recent co-located trade shows.
The exhibitions took place from 31 May to 02 June 2022 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, with the ‘four-industries-one-roof’ offering from Specialised Exhibitions, the largest trade show organiser in Southern Africa, drawing in more than 8 300 visitors over the three-day period, and featuring over 200 exhibitors.
Says Mark Anderson, portfolio director at Specialised Exhibitions: “It has been a long two years since we’ve been able to hold larger live events and exhibitions in South Africa, so 2022 was a landmark year for these trade shows in many ways. “Not only was it the first year since 2019 that we were able to bring Securex, A-OSH Expo and Facilities Management Expo back to the industry after a two-year hiatus, but we were also able to introduce the very first Firexpo, focusing exclusively on fire-related products and services. As Africa’s biggest security exhibition, we were extremely proud to celebrate 29 years of Securex this year, with its continued focus on all elements of the security sector, from physical and retail security to access control, vehicle and personnel tracking, cybersecurity and more, while A-OSH marked more than a decade of being Africa’s leading occupational health and safety expo. 2022 also commemorated the second year that Facilities Management Expo, the trade show that brings together all aspects of facilities management, has run alongside these two sector stalwarts.”
The show floor was buzzing over the three-day period, and it was clear, for both visitors and exhibitors, that the industry was more than ready to re-engage and reconnect on an in-person basis.
While there was a very small drop in visitor numbers comparatively with the 2019 figures, reflecting the same trend already seen this year both locally and globally, the quality of visitors across the board was still extremely high.
“Securex, in particular, attracted a high ratio of purchasing decision-makers and influencers, at 82,9 percent of those attending,” clarified Anderson.
The four trade shows also brought in a number of visitors from outside South Africa’s borders, with an excellent turnout from neighbouring African countries in particular. This included visitors from Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ghana and Eswatini, as well as Angola, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar. Attendees from further afield hailed from across Europe, the US and more.
Visitors’ reasons for attending highlighted that exhibitions continue to be a powerful sales, marketing, and general business platform. On the Securex side, 71,8 percent of visitors came to the show expressly to source new products and solutions, with 18,8 percent wanting to view technologies showcased by local manufacturers and distributors.
Excellent feedback from exhibitors was received across all four shows, continued Anderson. “It’s clear that this type of live event is now more important than ever in terms of building face-to-face connections and relationships, as well as allowing for a first-hand experience of new offerings.”
“Securex has been phenomenal, even better than expected,” said Western Digital’s Brad Bennett. “We thought we would be busy, but the response and footfall through our stand has been beyond expectation. We have been engaged in quality conversations and fielded many questions on our solutions offering, receiving many good leads, and quality engagements with a number of people from beyond South Africa’s borders, including Togo, Tanzania, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which shows the reach of the show. We are very excited to see where it goes in the future.”
“This was our first time exhibiting at Securex and it has been most enlightening,” added Phophi Marara from Dwyka Mining Services. “We were very pleased to be able to show that our technology, which was introduced to the local mining market, can be easily adapted for other industries as well, for example for security patrols and bomb detection services, simply by switching out the payload on the top of the mobile robot. The visitors have been very enthusiastic about our offering.”
“Firexpo was a fantastic experience – we have already signed up for next year’s show,” explained Fireball’s Le Roye van der Merwe. “I’ve been extremely pleased with the quality of the visitors on our stand – certainly the decision makers from the companies have been coming through.”
“The BBF Safety Group is very committed to A-OSH Expo, and we are very pleased that we have had a busy stand,” disclosed BBF Safety Group’s Ruan Breedt. “We had a brilliant turnout and I’m very happy with the attendance. There has been significant appreciation from the visitors, who have been very interested.”
Said Mel Barends of Broll Facilities Management: “Our experience of the Facilities Management Expo – as the main sponsor of the 2022 show – has been excellent. The foot traffic has been plentiful, and the seminar theatre has been great; there have been some fantastic talks that were very well received. I’ve been most impressed with the atmosphere and the level of technology that has been showcased. After the COVID-19 lockdown, I take this as strong evidence of our economy getting back on its feet.”
Securex South Africa, A-OSH Expo, Facilities Management Expo and Firexpo will return from 06 to 08 June 2023 at Gallagher Convention Centre.