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Growth for Africa’s largest packaging show

The largest ever Propak Africa trade show took place at the Expo Centre Johannesburg in March this year. Visitors were able to see hundreds of local and international companies displaying the latest products, equipment, machinery and services from the packaging, food-processing, plastics, printing and labelling industries.

Exhibitor numbers grew to 620 exhibitors from 450 exhibitors in 2013. “This also included a substantial increase in the number of international exhibitors,” says Joshua Low, Propak Africa’s event director. “There were 20 countries at the show, including the UK, France, India, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and China.

“There was an overwhelming response to the show, despite the tough economic climate. The industry has really pulled together to make this one of the biggest and best Propak Africa’s ever.”

Good attendance from quality visitors was also recorded at the show.  

“We had 11 682 visitors attending the show and, despite this being slightly under the 2013 numbers, our exhibitors were very happy. We have already booked 5 315m² (35% of the show) for the next show, which, considering they are booking three years in advance, is excellent,” says Low.

Camille Tricoire, senior trade advisor for Business France, described the quality of visitors as being “exceptional” and some of the exhibitors have generated leads and hope to be signing contracts soon.  

“The show has been great exposure for our French exhibitors. When we booked for the show we had ten stands and then requested four more stands – so in 2019 we’ll hopefully be even bigger!”  

Bidvest Afcom’s Cliff Rostoway says this year’s show had generated a number of quality leads.

“We are very positive about Propak Africa. We have already booked our space for Propak Africa 2019.”  

“This was our best Propak Africa ever and we have been participating in the show for over 12 years,” says Gerhard van Vuuren of Nampak. “We will be looking to expand our presence at the next Propak Africa in 2019.”

Many exhibitors commented on the excellent sales lead generation and also about the increased African visitor attendance.

Hestico’s Juanita Stiehlerbreits says that the previous 2013 show had been very good, but the 2016 Propak Africa was even better. “What I liked was the increased number of customers from Africa as this is assisting us to expand our business. We generated excellent leads from the show.”  

 “What was very pleasing about Propak Africa 2016 was the number of visitors from Africa,” says Lumka Skosana of Festo. “This was very relevant to our business as we are expanding into the Continent”.  

Visitors to the show were also able to benefit from the onsite conferences and workshops. These provided visitors with educational content including the latest trends in packaging, legislation and regulation amongst others.  

 “The show saw three conferences and a seminar running as well as on site competitions and a daily newsletter,” says Low. “We also introduced some new channels into our marketing mix, such as Facebook and Twitter. For the first time we also utilised a commercial radio station, 702, to target visitors as well as regional publications to extend our reach.”  

With many exhibitors already booked for Propak Africa 2019, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery has unveiled what’s new for the next show.  

“We will expand on the profile of the show covering the process from raw materials/ingredients and components to printing, transport, logistics and warehousing, and the recycling element,” says Low.  

“In this way the show will represent the entire packaging supply chain. We had a number of recycling companies exhibiting at the show this year, but we are aiming to expand on this for the 2019 event.”

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