HELD between 16 and 18 February at the Durban Exhibition Centre, the KwaZulu-Natal Industrial Technology Exhibition (KITE) 2022 was the first trade show of its kind in South Africa to open its doors after a pandemic-imposed hiatus of almost two years.
That’s according to Gary Corin, Managing Director of the event organizer, Specialised Exhibitions, who said the tangible excitement among the 80 exhibitors and the long queues for registration underlined the pent-up appetite for an event which allows visitors and suppliers to interact on a more personal level.
“We are thrilled to have initiated the reopening of trade shows in a controlled manner, with all COVID-19 safety regulations in place,” Corin said.
Charlene Hefer, Portfolio Director at Specialised Exhibitions agreed, adding, “We have had extremely positive feedback from both our exhibitors and visitors, who unanimously agreed that the expo provided them with the unique opportunity to cement existing relationships, develop new relationships and network with peers”.
One of the exhibitors, Stevan Elion from Switch Technique said the expo gives the public the opportunity to see new products to the market in an easy to access manner. “The long-term benefits of the momentum created by being at KITE are immeasurable. There is a lot of competition in Durban and because we can showcase our current and new product lines, KITE provides us with a definite edge. We had a brilliant response to our PV/solar systems and fire detection products.”
Werner Das and Peter Thomson from Omron said they were impressed by the qualified leads they received. “Some of the larger, blue-chip companies have shown great interest in our technology, with specific emphasis on the robotics, the vision camera and our quality control products. The latter is of specific importance to companies like the large automotive manufacturers, where each component has to be correct and accounted for.”
Melissa Govender of RS Components said this was the company’s fourth, consecutive KITE show. “KITE has always been a premier event for RS and we’re glad that it finally had the chance to take place. It has allowed us to finally reconnect with many customers in Durban and discuss how we can help them improve their businesses and achieve their design, production and maintenance goals. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up with other industry players and share information about new products and solutions. We’re already looking forward to the next one,” she said.
“There was such an excited and contagious vibe at KITE 2022 and it was great to be back at a trade expo,” said Lyndall Farrer of Platinum sponsor, Dromex. “Nothing beats the personal, direct contact with consumers of our products that expos like KITE offer. We introduced a new safety boot and our formal corporate wear range to the market at the expo and the response was extremely favourable.”
Visitors were equally upbeat about the return of KITE in its traditional format.
“We are regular visitors to KITE, so it’s really refreshing to have trade shows open again. Well done to KITE for taking this initiative,” said Andre Jansen of Compunet Automation.
“What a worthwhile visit. The condition monitoring equipment was very sophisticated. What an eye opener!” said Alan Bartholomew, llovo.
“The willingness of the exhibitors to be at KITE is extremely positive and I am very impressed with the operational procedures followed by the suppliers I visited,” said Pranesh Haripersad, Toyota Tsusito SA Processing.
“The products and service on show are excellent for growing businesses like mine and I’ve made some great contacts here,” said Nhlanhla Tembe, NWT Construction Services, while Richard Davies, Dizonet said, “KITE gave me a great opportunity to reconnect and network with my current suppliers”.
“We find that we often feel excluded from current trends in technology in Durban, but KITE proved that we can be kept in the loop just by attending. We were tasked with finding solutions that will make things much easier at the DoPW, and KITE has provided us with many of the answers we need,” said Martie Barrett and Phumlani Mdlalose from the Department of Public Works (DoPW).
Seminars and conference
In addition to a diverse array of industrial technology products and services, visitors were able to expand their knowledge base at the free-to-attend SAIMechE (The South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering) Seminar Theatre sessions and the well-attended, paid-for LEEASA (Lifting Equipment Engineering Association of South Africa) conference.
“We are thrilled with the success of KITE 2022 and we are already well into the throes of preparing for KITE 2023, which will take place at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 19 to 21 July 2023. A number of current exhibitors have already signed up for the next Expo, so we encourage suppliers of industrial technology products and services to reserve their exhibition stands as soon as possible,” said Hefer.
For more information about exhibiting at KITE 2023, visit the website at www.kznindustrial.co.za.