By Wesley Rousseau – Managing Director, Mega Fortis South Africa (Pty) Ltd)
As a SME or QSE it is always a tough decision to make when deciding to exhibit at a large and reputable exhibition. Budget constraints, pulling staff out of their daily duties and routines, planning with limited resources for months and then having 4 or 5 days to pull off the best show you possibly can…daunting, exciting, nerve wracking are a few emotions you experience but then again, excitement, confidence in your product and brand and a true sense of contribution make it all worth it in the end.
We decided in 2017 to exhibit at the 2018 Electra Mining exhibition, as a small business with limited resources we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pay for all the costs involved over a year in monthly installments. We wanted to make an impression. We wanted the mining industry to understand what our industry does and why our products and services are needed in their industry. We didn’t go there to sell, we went there to tell a story. We went there with three main objectives;
- Creating Awareness – For us creating awareness of how Tamper Evident products such as security seals and bags can solve many of the problems mining companies experience when it comes to theft and pilferage. Mining is a major industry we should be serving but unfortunately are not. This wasn’t so much about promoting the Mega Fortis brand but rather promoting an industry with simple solutions to complex problems. “Foundation security” as we like to refer to it as.
- Getting to know the industry – If we want to create awareness in the mining industry we understand we need a higher level of understanding and knowledge of how the industry operates and the players involved. How do you convince any industry or company that they need your products if you don’t understand THEIR industry? You can’t. Know your customers and/or target audience and you’ll soon know what challenges they are facing and how you and the industry you operate in can solve these challenges. Too often companies go in with an articulate sales pitch, plenty of promises, beautiful presentations and show off their products and/or services without knowing much about the company they are talking to and the industry they operate in as a whole. The Electra mining Expo taught us an abundance of information in the mining industry we previously simply didn’t know.
- What are others doing to help the industry? – This is my personal favorite, we exhibited at Electra mining in 2016 so I had a great opportunity to really see how far along the industry has come and what new technologies are available, the progress in 3 years has been nothing short of astounding. Basically, I could compare the progress not only the exhibition has made but the mining industry and those that support it have. Needless to say there’s a lot of good stuff out there.
Overall it was a great experience and my message is for industries and companies who have products and services that can help the mining industry not only in South Africa but throughout our vibrant continent, get out there and do it. Our mining industry needs it!