Travelling exhibition hosts Mining and Technical Exhibitions (MTE) treated some of its exhibitors to a breakfast at the company’s offices in Bedfordview.
Most of the time the MTE team interact with exhibitors in offices during meetings, over the phone or at exhibitions. As such, the breakfast was an opportunity to network with exhibitors in a different, more relaxed setting.
After interaction over warm beverages, MTE operations manager Andrew Macnamara formally welcomed all the exhibitors who were present and explained the purpose of the MTE breakfast – to provide feedback about MTE and the launch of Tete expos in Mozambique.
For the exhibitors’ benefit, Macnamara introduced the team and explained each member’s role at MTE. Then it was down to business where he explained MTE’s refresh strategy.
“About a year ago, MTE went through a refresh. Previously what we did was I used to go to all of the mines and chat with the general managers to get their buy-in to host the show on site or in the relevant areas,” Macnamara explained.
Following changes in the mining industry over the years, MTE has also moved with the times to become innovative with the expos. “I’ve taken a more horizontal approach with management. I don’t only go and see the general manager.” Macnamara said that in addition he also meets with other managers including engineering, mining and procurement managers during MTE preparations for the expos. Meeting with different managers is beneficial for the shows as it means that they are endorsed by different managers from various departments at the mine.
During these meetings Macnamara investigates what the mine issues are and what exhibitors they are interested in seeing. MTE then relays the feedback to the market. He also added that MTE is a perfect platform for exhibitors wanting to showcase new products or services and touched on the quality of visitors that attend the shows. Visitors are usually management level and have major influence in decision making for purchasing products or services at the mines.
During the morning exhibitors also picked up a few helpful hints from Macnamara on how to get the most out of exhibiting at an MTE expo.
Tete expo in Mozambique
Early in 2019, Macnamara visited Vale’s offices in Mozambique to discuss the possibility of hosting a show in the country. He gave exhibitors feedback about the trip.
“I flew to Tete and engaged with procurement, engineering and mining. They are very happy to support the exhibition again; they say its time.” He added that some of the areas of interest from Vale included efficiency, materials handling, drones and other new technology. MTE has a support letter from Vale’s head pf procurement in Maputo, which supports the expo. “This is basically saying and confirming that we have engaged with Vale and that they are happy to support the exhibition,” Macnamara said.
Macnamara further explained that the two-day expo will take place on 31 July and 1 August 2019 from 12:00 to 17:00. The venue for both shows is the Baobab hotel (previously Radisson Park Inn) in Mozambique.
Exhibitors at the breakfast were given an opportunity to book for the Tete expo and were also offered valuable advice on how to adequately prepare for the Tete expo and other cross border expos. Macnamara offered the best route to take when travelling to the expo venue and the required paperwork to get across the border. He also mentioned some of the challenges that could be expected along the way. “We will be giving you border requirements and packs closer to the time,” he said.
Macnamara handed over to Sheldon Greybe, MTE’s external sales agent, who talked about other exciting opportunities for exposure in addition to MTE. Hannes Jacobs, junior operations manager, also engaged with exhibitors to gain feedback on what they felt MTE could improve on in other areas when hosting exhibitions.
In the latter part of the breakfast, exhibitors shared their thoughts on potential areas for expos such as hosting an expo further north of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region. During the discussion, countries such as Namibia, Malawi and the DRC came up as potential countries for MTE to host expos.
Exhibitors also mentioned some of the challenges they experienced at all shows (local and cross border). Apart from challenges and concerns, possible solutions and other ideas to get around the difficulties were also discussed. Overall the breakfast was a worthwhile session for everyone where valuable information was shared between exhibitors and MTE.