1.Do your research
One of the most important things to do before exhibiting in South Africa is to do your research. Find out everything you can about the country and the culture before you attend the exhibition. By understanding more about the country and city that you will be exhibiting in will give you a deeper knowledge of your audience, and ultimately help you to showcase your product more effectively.
2. Know your audience
Just like knowing the city and country, understanding South Africa’s sectors, and therefore your target audience, is vital to ensuring the success of your exhibition. One way to do this is to contact the South African Chamber of Commerce, as they will have information on the companies relating to each industry. From there, you can contact SA companies inviting them to meet. The link below also provides an overview of South Africa’s key sectors which can help you gain a clearer understanding of your audience: (https://www.brandsouthafrica.com/investments-immigration/economynews/sa-economy-key-sectors). The Commercial Attaché at the Foreign Embassy’s will also be able to suggest some companies which will be interested in your products.
3. Find the right conference for you
Exhibiting is a highly effective marketing tool, but only if you are targeting the right people, and that means choosing the right event. There many exhibitions & conferences taking place around South Africa in 2017, and not all of them will be effective for your business. The Industry Sector Associations will be the best people to contact to ensure that you attend the right exhibition / conference for your industry. When considering an event look at factors such as location – is it somewhere people want to go? Who will be there, are they right for your business and is it financially viable? It is far more proactive to exhibit at one or two successful events a year rather than a large range which are not suited to your company. The exhibition & event association of Southern Africa (EXSA) will have all upcoming events listed.
4. Hire an expert
A professional exhibition freighting company such as Exhibition Freighting G.S.M, who specialise in transport and on site handling requirements for exhibitions, can offer an all-inclusive service which will help you with everything from customs clearance, to transport to the on-site management. Hiring an expert like EF-G.S.M to assist with your exhibition means everything will run smoothly, and you can focus on getting the most out of your event.
5. Know your timelines
Moving products to an event can be very technical, and this is where the knowledge and expertise of an Exhibition Freight Forwarder comes in. Knowing when to send your material is vital to ensure the entire exhibition process runs smoothly. To be on the safe side, EF-G.S.M recommends to pack and arrange the transport of your goods at least one month prior to exhibiting. It takes approximately one week to wrap and pack goods, another week to arrange the export formalities and airfreight travel (if coming from abroad) and approximately two weeks to comply with import regulations. This time line can vary depending on the products being sent, so it is advisable to keep in close contact with the sending process to ensure everything runs smoothly.
6. Abide by customs
South African custom regulations are in line with the rest of the world, especially when it comes to food products. Importing food is difficult, with many strict rules and regulations, even for an exhibition. South Africa follows the guidance set by the World Health Organisation, so it can be beneficial to check their website in regards to rules around meat, poultry and dairy. All food items must have a health certificate as Port Health will inspect the products prior to them entering the country.
7. Transport dangerous goods correctly
South Africa follows the rules set out by IATA & the Dept of Public Health & Safety, which means that any dangerous goods MUST have the following documents:
- The “Materials Safety Data Sheet” advises the authorities about the product & what to do in the case of an emergency.
- The “Dangerous Goods Declaration” is a document that is given to the Shipping & the Airlines & it advises them about the product & what to do in the case of an emergency.
Follow these tips to enjoy and fruitful and successful conference!