Last year certainly was a unique one for just about the entire world and presented a host of obstacles to overcome. On the one hand, things began to return to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic and businesses across SA and other countries were able to breathe a sigh of relief with face-to-face interactions once again being a possibility. On the other, 2022 gave us the currently unresolved Russia-Ukraine conflict as well as many other global challenges. On the local front, MTE had its own set of difficulties faced in the course of organising our travelling exhibitions, all of which we were able to overcome through creativity and determination.

One such challenge was with our Kalumbila show and the civil unrest which took place in Zambia in September. An unresolved dispute between one of the mines and the nearby residents caused a major shutdown for several mines and the MTE Kalumbila expo nearly had to be cancelled. Our team was already in the area at the time and operations manager Andrew Macnamara remained in constant contact with mine management and the local authorities in order to monitor the situation. Once the situation was resolved we were able to go ahead with the show – mostly thanks to the efforts of our two stand builders, Trust and Artwell, who steadfastly made sure that the stands were up and ready to go. Despite a small delay, the show went ahead and ended up being very successful, with most of our registered visitors still able to make it.

A similarly challenging situation arose when we had our Richards Bay expo in June. Mere hours after the show ended the team discovered through the news that a major shutdown was to occur the next day due to protest action taking place. This would have left the MTE team stranded in Richards Bay and unable to return to Gauteng until resolution could be achieved. The team immediately sprang into action to get all the equipment packed and they set off on the road that same night and fortunately made it home by 3am the next morning – missing the protests by only a few hours.

Other challenges have involved the process of breaking into previously unexplored arenas, such as the power generation and the paper/pulp industries. This was more of an administrative obstacle but nonetheless presented the team with new tests to their capabilities. Thanks to the team’s collective efforts however, we were able to add new clients to our family through the addition of new suppliers and shows catering for several SA power stations as well as our very first Sappi SAICCOR show. This is just another example of the flexibility which MTE displays and our ability to adapt to the needs of local industry.

No matter the weather or obstacles, the MTE team always finds a way. Image credit: Mining and Technical Exhibitions (MTE)

No matter the weather or obstacles, the MTE team always finds a way. Image credit: Mining and Technical Exhibitions (MTE)