Electra Mining Africa and its line-up of conferences and free-to-attend seminars will be taking place from 5-9 September at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, in Johannesburg. Hundreds of exhibitors are ready to showcase their latest innovations, technology, products and services at Southern Africa’s biggest mining, electrical, automation, manufacturing, power and transport trade exhibition.

Industry stakeholders were disappointed that the opportunity to interact face-to-face at Electra Mining Africa in 2020 was not possible, due to the Covid-19 hiatus. It’s an exhibition viewed by industry as one of the most important events on the calendar.

This year, Specialised Exhibitions, organisers of the show, are promising an exciting interactive event with many activities planned by exhibitors and industry partners, and to also celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary.

In an effort to promote the importance of Forklift Operation and operators in the Supply Chain & Logistics industry, Lifting Africa and LEEASA (Lifting Equipment Engineering Association of SA) will be hosting a Forklift Driver competition during Electra Mining Africa. The event will provide forklift operators with an opportunity to prove their driving skills, compete with others around Johannesburg, win prize money, as well as achieving recognition as a champion.

Entries are open for all operators who have a valid Forklift license and can drive either a reach truck or a counterbalance Forklift Truck in racking. The focus of the competition is on accurate, safe driving skills and knowledge, not on speed. The first round of heats for counterbalanced forklift operation will be an online test to assess entrants’ practical skills, theoretical knowledge, attitude and efficiency. Lifting Africa and LEEASA want to assist in promoting the importance of inspection, safety and training and to reward the safest forklift drivers at Electra Mining Africa.

As in previous years, many respected Associations and industry organisations will be partnering with Electra Mining Africa. Charlene Hefer, Portfolio Director at Specialised Exhibitions, has confirmed that the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), Society for Automation Instrumentation Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC), South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC), Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (MEMSA), South African Mineral Processing Equipment Cluster (SAMPEC), the SA Institution of Mechanical Engineering (SAIMechE), Women in Mining South Africa (WIMSA) and LEEASA are on board as partners.

Electra Mining Africa and co-located shows Elenex Africa, Powerex, Transport Expo and Automation Expo will be supported by a programme of content-rich conferences including SAIMC, WiMSA Women in Mining Workshop and LEEASA Lifting Equipment Conference and SAIMechE free-to-attend seminars. Industry experts will be speaking on a range of topical and important issues. The seminars will be live-streamed to enable a wider audience to participate in the learning experience.

The new ‘Theme Days’ concept launched at Electra Mining Africa 2018 was enjoyed by both exhibitors and visitors. The ‘every day a theme day’ experience will again be part of this year’s event with Automation Day, Innovation Day, Safety Day, Future Skills Day and South African Day confirmed.

Following global trends, exhibitions are adopting more technology and moving to hybrid events. Whereas exhibitions remain a face-to-face, in-person event, technology can make the exhibition experience even more enjoyable, driving many aspects of the exhibition from registration to live streaming of events. What is clear from the February 2022 UFI Global Exhibition Barometer Report is that the majority of respondents agree that virtual events will not be replacing physical events.

The Report also indicates an optimistic outlook for the exhibition industry; data from the barometer backs this up. Says Monica Lee Muller, President of UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry: “the Barometer results highlight the accelerating pace of the industry’s recovery in 2022, following the severe impact of COVID still felt on activities in 2021. There is strong anticipation that the sector, primarily driven by physical exhibitions and business events, will bounce back quickly.”

UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf added that “in most parts of the world, this year is seeing the exhibition and business events industry busier than ever. Shows are back and calendars are tight.” He confirms the importance of live events, saying that “business events drive the recovery and re-connection of industries, sectors, and economies”, and their importance cannot be underestimated.

Electra Mining Africa is a much needed platform for buyers and sellers to connect face-to-face again. It presents an opportunity for industry networking to take place, to build business partnerships and new connections, and for new products and services to be launched.

For further information, visit www.electramining.co.za