WoodEX for Africa, Deck & Flooring Expo 2018: Above and beyond
Long established as the gateway to Africa’s timber trade, WoodEX for Africa’s milestone fifth edition, which took place from 11-13 July 2018 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg, alongside the inaugural Deck & Flooring Expo, was a resounding success for all stakeholders and bodes well for the show’s next instalment coming up in 2020.
A dynamic and lucrative platform in Africa for the public and industry to connect with specialised dealers, stay abreast of the latest industry trends and innovations, secure new business contacts and compare the best deals in the timber trade, WoodEX for Africa 2018 showed near on 100% growth in its exhibitors and brands on show compared with 2016.
“Since we launched WoodEX for Africa in 2012, the show has grown robustly year on year and increasingly enjoyed a strong African visitor profile, which makes up a substantial percentage of our international trade visitors this year,” remarks Stephan Jooste, WoodEX for Africa Director. “WoodEX for Africa 2018 was a much larger event than the 2016 show, with almost double the number of brands and exhibitors on show; it also showcased a notably more diverse offering and enjoyed unprecedented exposure to both visitors and exhibitors from close to 30 different countries. This was in part due to the inclusion of the launch edition of the Deck & Flooring Expo, which broadened the horizons of the shows combined and added significant value for exhibitors and visitors alike.”
The organisers of WoodEX for Africa saw an opportunity in the market for deck and flooring suppliers and professionals to showcase their products and services to a tuned-in audience. “This gave us the impetus to launch the Deck & Flooring Expo in 2018 alongside the fifth instalment of WoodEX for Africa. The outcome was a tremendously well-received and successful new expo brought to market and a rich diversification in offering for WoodEX for Africa. Our exhibitors have shown immense support for this co-location and visitors were delighted to have so much more to see, learn and buy in the decking and flooring space. Even though the Deck & Flooring Expo has only just launched, its first show far exceeded our expectations. The two shows combined are poised for exceptional growth in the coming years and we look forward to driving this success,” Jooste comments.
WoodEX for Africa | Deck & Flooring Expo 2018 visitor profile & feedback
Visitors at WoodEX for Africa and Deck & Flooring Expo 2018 hailed from across the globe, including Algeria, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Italy, Kenya, Maldives, Lesotho, Mauritius, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Swaziland, Turkey, Tanzania, Ukraine, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Visitors are excited to see more of the following in 2020:
- Hand & power tools
- CNC/laser machinery
- Tools & equipment for smaller workshops
- Finishing tools & equipment
- DIY products & interactive workshops
- Wood-turning materials, equipment & advice
- Flooring & decking materials & equipment
- Fittings & materials
- Steel components for wood-based furniture
- Wood coatings
- Arts & crafts materials & tools
WoodEX for Africa | Deck & Flooring Expo 2018 exhibitor feedback
Survey feedback from exhibitors at the show was overall very positive and indicated that over 70% of exhibitors found the show to be successful, with nearly 100% of these indicating that they gained high quality leads through the show, and the balance indicating that the quality of their leads would be ascertained at a later date. Exhibitors rated the quality of the visitors 7 out of 10, with a 75% likelihood that they would exhibit again at the 2020 instalment. All exhibitors indicated a need for a key industry trade show in South Africa that attracts both local and international visitors and a quarter of exhibitors would like to see the conference component reinstated at the show.
Conferencing & workshops
Survey feedback from both visitors and exhibitors has shown that both would find significant value, not only in a full-scale conference programme delivered by industry expert speakers, but that a practical workshop element would make an ideal addition to both shows. “The invaluable feedback received from our stakeholders has confirmed for us that educational features and information-sharing have become vital elements of today’s successful industry trade show. As such, a conference with top international speakers will be reinstated for both events with the addition of workshops, where visitors can benefit from a more practical showcase and live-action demonstrations for the general trade, industry professionals and DIY enthusiasts,” Jooste notes.
Visitors & exhibitors prefer expo over in-house show
In a bid to keep on improving the show, the organisers distributed a survey to visitors to gauge visitor satisfaction and gather insights on how to bring bigger, better shows to the industry in 2020. An overwhelming 90% of visitors indicated that they found greater value in attending an industry expo with a wide variety of exhibitors on show under one roof, as compared to an in-house show, where only a limited few brands are showcased. Both visitors and exhibitors showed a strong preference for the show to remain a biennial event for reasons including a longer cycle to prepare the highest quality exhibits and release new products to the market.
“Based on both quantitative and qualitative feedback from all our valued stakeholders as well as internal assessments, the milestone fifth instalment of WoodEX for Africa and the launch of the Deck & Flooring Expo were resounding successes, made possible by the immense support the shows enjoyed from all stakeholders, including sponsors, show and media partners, exhibitors and visitors,” Jooste remarks.
“While the current economic climate in South Africa has impacted on all business in the country, the turnout at the event and the enthusiasm of all involved reminds us that South Africans are a resilient bunch that do not allow much to get in the way of success. WoodEX for Africa 2018, combined with the Deck & Flooring Expo, represented, yet again, an essential platform for dynamic networking with a high-quality and appropriate audience, which is poised to yield very lucrative business opportunities well into the future,” he concludes.