Celebrating 50 years this year, Electra Mining Africa saw thousands of buyers and sellers coming together at the Expo Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg from 5-9 September to meet in-person and see the latest innovation and new products, services and technologies that were on display at the show.

During the five days of the event over 30,000 thousand people connected across industries, thousands of products were on display and thousands of face-to-face interactions took place. Live demonstrations and competitions also kept visitors enthralled. Buyers were able to get up close to the products, see and feel the quality and speak to technical experts. The show also offered visitors the opportunity to compare products and brands together under one roof.

“It was amazing to be back after 4 year years and we were blown away,” says Gary Corin, Managing Director of Specialised Exhibitions a division of the Montgomery Group. “The industry came out in full force in support of the show with over 650 exhibitors occupying just less than 30,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor exhibition space, and with over 30,000 visitors through the gates. Although we’ve come out of a very tough period following the pandemic, the sense of anticipation and the positivity that has been expressed on the floor of the exhibition throughout the show has been enormous. It was back to meeting face-to-face, making connections, client facing – people loving the exhibition environment that has been missed. It’s been great to welcome people to Electra Mining Africa again from all parts of the globe including many visitors from neighbouring African countries.”

“The quality of stands has been outstanding with exhibitors representing large and medium companies as well as start-ups and SMMEs, each wanting a chance to be at this year’s Electra Mining Africa. Some of the companies have exhibited with us for the 50 years of Electra Mining Africa, many starting with a nine square metre stand and some of them now having a couple of hundred square metre designer stands,” says Corin. “What better way to bring a brand to life on the floor of an exhibition where you are engaging with your target market and your potential target market. It’s really a unique, value-proposition to come to an event like this, to bring your brand to life.”

There were many innovative new products, services and technologies launched at Electra Mining Africa. Congratulations went to ABC Ventilation Systems, overall winners of the Electra Mining Africa 2022 Innovation and New Products Awards for their latest innovation. They were also winners of the ‘Local Manufacturing Innovation: New Product Mining category Award’. On receiving the awards, Terry Pearce, MD of ABC Ventilation Systems said that “running a business in South Africa is tough and an award like this makes the last 16 years worthwhile.” The Awards were presented in partnership between Electra Mining Africa and the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC). Recognising the high levels of innovation at the show, this year’s Electra Mining had 21 entries that were adjudicated with 18 winners and runners-up named, including the overall winner. These were across various local and international manufacturing categories. The awards were adjudicated by SACEEC’s CEO Eric Bruggeman.

The new forklift driver competition organised in conjunction with Lifting Africa and the Lifting Equipment Engineering Association of SA (LEEASA) saw many forklift operators, all in possession of a valid forklift license, competing for the coveted title of Forklift Driver Champion. Exceptional forklift driver skills were put to the test with the competition aiming to recognise and reward highly skilled and safety conscious operators. The winner of the competition was Ian Roux who received the Champions trophy and a cash prize of fifteen thousand rand.

The automation technology hall was a big addition to the show and as expected drew a lot of interest with the automation focussed free-to-attend seminars also popular amongst visitors. The seminars were hosted by the Society for Automation Instrumentation Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC).

Also well received were the South African Institute of Mechanical Engineering (SAIMechE) free-to-attend seminars which saw over forty speakers presenting a variety of content-rich topics aligned with the show’s theme days of automation, innovation, safety, future skills and South African Day. Connections were made and knowledge gained at the Women in Mining South Africa (WiMSA) Workshop and at the LEEASA Conference, both of which took place at the show.

International participation included the Austrian, German and Italian Pavilions as well as exhibitors from India, Chile, France, Australia, USA, Taiwan, Turkey, Switzerland, UK, Poland and Canada.

“We are so thankful that exhibitions are taking place again,” says Charlene Hefer, Portfolio Director at Specialised Exhibitions a division of the Montgomery Group. “We are grateful for all the effort our exhibitors have put into their stands which are of a very high quality, and to all of the visitors who took the time to come to the show. As a 5-in-1 trade show experience, it covered everything from mining, electrical and automation to manufacturing, power and transport. The feedback that we’ve been getting is so positive, with the message that ‘business is back’. The energy that we’ve seen – exhibitors and visitors, everyone involved – was palpable. The exhibition stands, the halls, the outside exhibit areas were pumping the whole week! We had high expectations but we were also mindful that we were coming out of Covid, but we really hit the mark with over 30,000 visitors!”

“Sales were made on the stands, many new leads generated, and positive connections made. The visitors were high quality purchasing decision makers; the show attracted the right focussed people. There could be no better endorsement of the show than the almost 50% of exhibitors who had already rebooked their stands for the 2024 show, even before the gates had closed on the 2022 show,” concludes Hefer.

So where does Electra Mining Africa see itself in the next few years?

“We are a people business,” says Corin. “We go where the industry takes us. Where the trends emerge we follow, and express those trends at our events; emerging trends out of mining, manufacturing, automation, all the industry sectors that are the crux of the South African economy. Every two years those industry sectors gather together under one roof at Electra Mining Africa and we look forward to our next show in 2024 where we will again showcase the latest trends, innovations and new products to all industry stakeholders.”

Electra Mining Africa 2024 is taking place at the Expo Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg, from 2-6 September 2024. For further information, visit www.electramining.co.za

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