When launched recently, Conference Gear, a division of Gearhouse South Africa, with the pay-off line of "Affordable, flexible, fast", indicated to potential clients that they offer high-quality Daily Conferencing Packages and tailor-made solutions to fit small to medium Gauteng-based conferencing needs.
From a marketing point of view, this new division was pitched as a division with highly competitive rates and adaptability with the implicit promise that they'd treat you in a professional manner, make sure they deliver on time, and if a crisis arises, think on their feet to solve it for you.
The staff of Conference Gear have years of conferencing and venue management experience. "We feel that the client and technical staff should work together as a team towards achieving the expected result and our staff are happy to assist with technical and venue consultation as well as CAD facilities for scale drawings and venue layout," says Helen Surgeson, Technical Manager, Conference Gear. The team enjoys what they do and this shows in every aspect of their offering. They will go the extra mile and present you with a focused and personalised result.
A month or so down the line, the corporate market has responded positively to Conference Gear's competitively priced service offering. "Existing Gearhouse clients are happy that we now have a division which is competitive in the small to medium size events - they can now use Gearhouse for all their events," says Helen. The client base that was built up over the five years of managing the Gearhouse Venue Technical Management branch at Sandton Convention Centre, is happy to continue their working relationship with Conference Gear.
Their marketing strategy has taken on various forms. E-mailed adverts are sent to venues and PCOs advertising the unique service offering, while considerable emphasis is also placed on "showing off", says Helen. To this end, they technically facilitate functions on a complimentary basis for associations and training programmes where they grab the opportunity to market themselves. It is a strategy of "seeing is believing".
Asked where they see Conference Gear in time to come, Ryan Kinman, Operations Manager, Conference Gear said that, "the ultimate goal is to have branches nationwide. The conference market is a rapidly growing market. Our goal is to be able to service that market. Whenever, wherever, and with the best possible service at the best possible price."
Helen shares this vision. "We hope to be preferred suppliers to venues that do not warrant a full-time Gearhouse Venue Technical Management branch and then of course also in a supporting role for the GVTM branches, especially those that do not own in-house equipment.
After doing some research, Conference Gear found that they are, price wise, in the middle ranks when they compared their prices to competitors, of whom there seems to be a few.
"Yet," says Ryan, "what sets us apart from other AV companies is our service. Every company has equipment, but the service we offer ranges from scaled three dimensional room layouts, to complete technical solutions. Our clients have a sense of ease when dealing with us. And we have the advantage of the huge intellectual capital backup of Gearhouse." This undoubtedly gives Conference Gear the edge in the technical delivery of the product.
In the end, all of these factors contribute to make Conference Gear's pay-off line ring true: Affordable, Flexible, Fast - Conference Technical Solutions.