Flexibility in the current volatile socio-economic climate is a critical survival tool. The Africa Automation Technology Fair (AATF) has demonstrated a resilience and ability to thrive, despite the constant challenges that face the trade show sector. Following feedback gathered from in-depth exhibitor and visitor surveys and close collaboration with industry stakeholders, the AATF management took a decision in April 2021 to postpone the September 2021 in-person event to 9-11 May 2023.
“The decision was met with positivity and enthusiasm by the industry, and in the interim, we will host Virtual Connect! in September 2021 and a series of technology Tuesday and Thursday virtual events in 2022,” said Carol Weaving, managing director of Reed Exhibitions Africa – organisers of AATF.
Following these announcements, the news broke that the iconic Ticketpro Dome venue, the home of the AATF event for a number of years, had been sold to a third party. “While the news was a blow to both AATF and other trade show organisers who host events there, we are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting AATF 2023 at the well-known Johannesburg Expo Centre (NASREC) in the south of Johannesburg,” said Weaving.
Johannesburg Expo Centre is South Africa’s largest purpose-built exhibition, conference, convention, and events venue and is one of Johannesburg’s best-known landmarks. The venue is also quite self-sufficient with its own banks, post office, and telecommunication services.
“We are thrilled that this venue change will allow us the opportunity to innovate the show and extend the elements currently on offer,” concludes Weaving. “The well-established infrastructure, versatility and the extensive experience of the Johannesburg Expo Centre staff make the venue the perfect new ‘home’ for AATF.
“Whilst the expo centre is a large venue, we have specifically chosen to host the exhibition in Hall 5 to provide our AATF exhibitors and their visitors with a more intimate ambience. In addition, the conference centre is situated close to Hall 5 for the convenience of visitors attending the seminar sessions. We will erect ample signage that directs visitors from the parking area to Hall 5 and the conference centre. To enhance the AATF expo experience for both exhibitors and visitors, all and any social distancing protocols will be implemented and maintained in accordance with regulations current at the time of the expo.”
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