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EXPO: Co-located Exhibitions Are Utopia for FMCG Retailers


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With a combined total of over 1000 exhibitors from over 40 countries, the Southern African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX), co-located with Africa’s Big Seven Food and Beverage Expo (AB7), is a trade extravaganza where Africa’s retailers can discover thousands of exciting new products.

“There’s method in our madness!” says John Thomson, Managing Director of Exhibition Management Services, organisers of the two mega shows. “We are running SAITEX and AB7 simultaneously at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand for the third year in a row, to give exhibitors and visitors double the value they expect. They can participate in two massive trade shows, all in one place, at the same time.”

The two shows run from 17 to 19 July 2011 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Last year’s visitor statistics confirm Thomson’s assertion. The combined shows attracted over 12 500 visitors from around the world.

“SAITEX is celebrating its 18th year on the Southern African exhibition calendar and offers a vast range of products across almost every category, and caters for all markets in the retail and wholesale sectors,” adds Thomson. “Africa’s Big Seven is a seven-in-one food and beverage trade show, and it’s the biggest exhibition of its kind in Africa.”

“Last year’s SAITEX was fantastic,” says Shelton Timm, Channel Manager for Massmart Holdings. “There were many suppliers from a lot of different countries, all creating huge cross-border trade opportunities. That provided us with very valuable opportunities to identify potential suppliers and products for our stores. The show has improved substantially and has become a ‘must visit’ event on the expo calendar.”

"I thought the AB7 exhibition was brilliant, particularly for buyers, because we are really exposed to a lot of new products that we wouldn't otherwise see, especially from other countries,” says show visitor Lousea Meintjies, owner of South African company At Home Guest House.

Tshidi Makhubu is the CEO of Alkara 205, a general trade company. She attended last year’s SAITEX expo to source various products including food, tools and hardware, construction equipment and a petroleum supplier to expand her business offering. “SAITEX sets a high standard of what well organised exhibitions should deliver,” says Tshidi. “I deal with various industries and the show was a real eye opener in terms of new technologies available from exhibitors in developed countries. I was particularly interested in machinery from Italy. The show also gave me the necessary contacts to venture into international trade,” she adds.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the AB7 expo,” says Gemma Camozzini, owner of the Loggia Restaurant in Westcliff, Johannesburg. “There was a lot more substance to the show last year and it was a lot bigger. There were many interesting concepts and new exhibits which gave visitors a lot more to see. I’m looking forward to this year’s expo.”

Michael Mphuti owns Azani Construction and Projects and is impressed with what SAITEX has to offer small business owners. “I found several valuable international suppliers for my electrical business last year. Business is booming this year and I want to source green electrical supplies such as solar panels and water heaters, which are in great demand. I will definitely be going to SAITEX this year,” says Mphuti.

The number of exhibitor bookings has increased by 47% this year and two extra halls have been added to accommodate this increasing number.

Visitors can pre-register at and take advantage of the free internet-based business matchmaking programme, which provides exhibitors and visitors with pre-profiled, pre-selected and pre-scheduled matchmaking meetings for all three days at SAITEX and AB7. Visitors can also preview all exhibitors’ products on the same site.

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