And, by all accounts, it was a resounding success. The three-day exhibition was based at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg in September, where more than 110 national and international exhibitors and wholesalers took part, including Bandag, Ceat, Continental, Leaderquip, Malas, Maxxis, Michelin, Silverstone, Stamford and Vipal.
A total of 2,738 quality tyre trade visitors attended the show over the three-day period, representing 44 countries. In addition to visitors from within South Africa, others came from Botswana, Burundi, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Samoa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Overseas visitors came from Australia, China, Europe, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, U.A.E. and the U.S.
The show featured the very latest in tyres and tyre technology, retreading and tyre production equipment, wheels and wheel alignment technology, tyre repair/tyre changing equipment, fast-fit and garage equipment, balancing, nitrogen inflation, valves, tyre recycling and disposal, tools and accessories.
When it came to stand design, the majority of exhibitors made a concerted effort to showcase their products and services in a professional manner, a trend that was particularly evident amongst the local exhibitors. Conversely, it was felt that some of the smaller, international concerns that did not display similar levels of professionalism, might well have suffered the consequences with many visitors simply bypassing their stands. It would certainly explain why some stands were constantly buzzing with life and activity while others were not.
For the best stand design, Bandag SA came out tops, winning the coveted Gold Award. In second place (Silver Award) came Indian-based tyre company Ceat, followed by another locally-based company, Malas, in third place with the Bronze Award.
Bandag SA seized a prime opportunity to launch its latest inspection technology Bluetooth ProFleet Tools state-of-the-art equipment built to ensure accurate information is captured and processed for dependable reporting. Using an electronic means of data collection not only reduces the time of the total capturing effort but increases the precision and reliability of the data collected, as finger errors can be avoided.
The process, a simple one at that, involves downloading the fleet information onto a Pocket PC. From there, the vehicle and wheel position is selected for inspection on the Pocket PC, the tyre details including the brand number are confirmed and the tread depth and air pressure readings recorded via the Bluetooth functionality.
This and other innovations were demonstrated to press, trade and end users alike over the three-day period via a succession of focused media launches and events. More than 500 invitations were sent out to Bandag’s client base, a fortuitous move on their part as it served to ensure the presence of the country’s most important transport operators on the show.
Continental Tyre SA, which has already pledged its support of the 2008 event, did not use the show as a launching platform but claimed its presence at this first time event was important in declaring and cementing its position as a local new tyre manufacturer, particularly given the growing number of imports that were entering South Africa.
Some of the comments made to the organizers after the event included:
Laurent Colrat, marketing director of Bandag SA, commented: “As the first ‘tyre-only’ international exhibition on the African continent, it was pertinent for Bandag Southern Africa to use Tyrexpo Africa 2006 as a platform to showcase our latest innovations. Bandag SA committed to Tyrexpo Africa 2006 as early as October 2005 and it proved to be not only a good marketing decision but also a significant strategic move. Taking a stand but also making a stand for Bandag SA proved fruitful, as the SA market is highly competitive and sophisticated. The experience of the organizers was evident and Bandag SA will definitely be back for Tyrexpo Africa 2008.”
Audrey de Albuquerque Pirelli Novi, international trader, Borrachas Vipal SA & Plasticos Vipal S.A., commented: “Tyrexpo Africa brought our company not only good business, but a great knowledge of the African continent, as well.”
Toni Elderfield of Monarch Vulcanising Systems (Channel Islands) had this to say: “We were pleasantly surprised at the vibrant interest shown by the South African tyre repair community and were pleased that we had produced product lines that can readily be employed to repair the large number of damaged tyres that have accumulated. The show was an excellent forum in which to demonstrate our products and we were very pleased with the number and quality of the contacts we were able to make.”
Rob Sowry, managing director of Nitralife SA (Pty) Ltd., commented: “Tyrexpo Africa 2006 was one of the most successful we have exhibited at. It was well organized by ECI and we look forward to exhibiting at Tyrexpo Africa 2008.”
“Thanks for arranging an excellent event.” Airtec Corp.
“I need to say that Tyrexpo Africa 2006 was one of the best shows we have ever had the pleasure of exhibiting at. Congratulations to you and your staff for the great way in which you had it all under control. Your friendliness and always willing to help attitude really made it a great show. We had a great time.” ChemVulc Marketing
“Supercool was very well received by many visitors gathered enmasse at Tyrexpo Africa. Supercool first established a footprint in Africa in 1999. Since then, many retreaders and end users have been reaping the benefits of using Supercool compound and retreaded tyres. Thousands of business visitors, retreaders, end users as well as exhibitors made the effort to visit our booth for more information and business opportunities.” Goodway Rubber
Exhibition Hall 1 was sold out for this exhibition, and as a result, two halls have been booked for the 2008 event. The organizers, ECI International, were very optimistic about the response to the show and confirmed that their main objective is now to firmly establish Tyrexpo Africa as a biennial event in South Africa.
Show dates for Tyrexpo Africa 2008 will be announced shortly. If you did not exhibit this time around, make sure you book your stand space early. If the 2006 event is anything to go by, prime stands are likely being secured as we write.
Tyrexpo Africa complements the Tyrexpo Asia (Singapore) and Brityrex International (U.K.) series of events organized by ECI International Ltd.