The Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) is making great strides towards achieving its mandate of adding tangible benefits and value for exhibition organisers. AAXO has kicked off with a busy schedule of activities and events, beginning with an Exhibitor Training Day in October. This event is a fantastic opportunity and an absolute must for any exhibitor wishing to get the maximum value out of their show experience and exhibitors are encouraged to register and reserve their seat in order to avoid disappointment.
The Training Day is a free event for all exhibitors affiliated with AAXO members. The comprehensive programme will cover a broad variety of topics to fully prepare exhibitors for a show, including how to plan and budget for a show; how to design a stand, plan demonstrations and create collateral material; training staff in preparation for a show; attracting the correct target market; working with the media; and following upon leads in order to generate sales, as well as many others. The day will be facilitated by expert consultant Frank Tilley, who helps businesses to develop the skills and practices that they need to navigate increasingly challenging markets. The day will be highly interactive, with question and answer sessions after each module, and will also give exhibitors the opportunity to discuss issues and queries with organisers.
The Training Day will be held at the Sapphire Room of the TicketPro Dome on Wednesday, 14 October, from 8.30am onwards and will be a hugely beneficial event for organisers to promote to their exhibitors. Seats are limited and will be on a first come, first served basis. Contact Cindy Wandrag on to book your seat!
AAXO has also reached out to exhibition venues, and will host a different venue at each monthly AAXO meeting. The venues are encouraged to give a presentation to discuss developments and relevant information, as well as give feedback around issues that need to be addressed. This is part of AAXO's ongoing commitment to proactive stakeholder engagement. The first presentation by Julie-May Ellingson, CEO of Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), provided useful insight into the CTICC 2017 extension plan and how this will affect exhibitions in that time. The next venue presentation will be done by Charles Wilson, General Manager of Gallagher Convention Centre, at the AAXO meeting on Wednesday the 23rd of September at 14h00 at Thebe Reed Exhibitions (Culross on Main Office Park, 34 Culross Road, Bryanston, Johannesburg).
Another pressing issue that AAXO is currently tackling is that of commissioning research into the impact of the exhibition industry on the South African economy. The lack of local research over the past decade has resulted in large gaps in the industry's knowledge base and obtaining current and relevant information is a critical step in informing business strategies for organisers going forward in a rapidly-evolving African market. According to Gillian Saunders from Grant Thornton, the company undertaking the research, "We are very excited to be working with AAXO on this project. The research that AAXO has requested will equip exhibition organisers with the insight to position themselves for growth and profitability and will be of enormous benefit to the entire industry." The research is already underway, beginning with a number of surveys conducted at various exhibitions, such as the MamaMagic Baby Expo, the Professional Beauty Expo and the Business Entrepreneurship & Franchise Expo. Another 9 exhibitions will be surveyed. Once the information has been analysed and modelled, it will be made available to AAXO members.
According to Amanda Cunningham, Managing Director of the Wedding Group and member of AAXO, "This progress highlights the dynamism and energy that embodies AAXO and how it intends to work for its members. We have achieved a great deal since our inception and we will maintain this to promote our industry and assist all of our members to grow and thrive."
For more information on AAXO visit www.aaxo.co.za or contact Cindy Wandrag on 011 549 8300 or . For membership inquiries, including a full list of membership benefits and information on how to join, contact
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