Three times lucky
Yet again, OSH Expo Africa attracted all the right exhibitors and guests. SHEQ MANAGEMENT had no plans to miss out.
Since its inception in 2011, OSH Expo Africa has illustrated the importance of the occupational safety and health sector in the African and South African workplace. Once again, it was held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, between 18 and 20 June, co-located with the IFSEC safety and security expo.
For the third year in a row, the OSH Expo grew in sheer volume. An extra exhibition hall was added for the 96 exhibitors and 3 513 visitors (including cross-over visitors from IFSEC) who came to see, hear, touch and smell all that was on offer. That’s a great improvement over the 47 local and 21 international exhibitors and 2 548 visitors at the 2012 expo, which itself had grown over the preceding year.
Hailed as a platform for excellence and advancement in the occupational health and safety environment, the show boasted some of the most respected local and international names in the field including: Nosa, 3M, AJ Charnaud, Honeywell, HSE, LexisNexis and more.
“This year people were looking for innovation,” says Charlene Hefer, events director at UBM Montgomery, organiser of OSH Expo Africa. “We believe we gave them that. We certainly saw a notable increase in senior executives and senior decision-makers at the event.”
Hefer attributes the success of this year’s event to three factors – increased investment and visibility from exhibitors, delegates eager for education and innovation, and occupational health and safety buyers trusting the OSH Expo Africa brand as a proven marketplace for new products and services.
“We’re proud of the growth of the OSH Expo Africa brand – it communicates to us that we’re addressing the issues of the safety, health and environment community,” she says.
The growth is such that the organiser was pleased to welcome The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (Nebosh) as the show’s official international supporting body. “It definitely added prestige to the event and takes our brand to another level,” notes Hefer.
Visitors were also treated to an education-rich experience that included highly interactive events. The First Aid Demonstration Zone, sponsored by Emergency Care Training, proved to be a crowd puller with its lively music and enthusiastic, experienced trainers. Visitors had an opportunity to try out their CPR skills in real time and learn the dos and don’ts of handling life-saving situations. “In fact,” says Hefer, “some exhibitors attributed the success of their respective stands to the extra traffic around the First Aid Zone.”
Other attractions were the Nosa-sponsored Working at Heights Theatre and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Conference held alongside the expo. This proved to be a resounding success, equipping and educating delegates to find success in the health and environmental professions available.
According to exhibitors, taking part in the show proved to be a successful marketing strategy. “First time exhibitors showed excitement at the response from delegates, while established exhibitors believe that the show offers high value for money,” Hefer says.
“Safety is important to help any organisation stay competitive in the marketplace but more than that, there is an ethical and legislative duty to protect employees. The take-out of OSH Expo Africa this year was that there is the right way, and the right product, to meet both these imperatives,” says Hefer.
The 2014 instalment of OSH Expo Africa is scheduled to take place between May 13 and 15, 2014.