“Record attendances at our events are important to show growth and momentum but knowing that we are relevant to the industries that we serve and are also making a difference outside of our business is equally, if not more, important” – this is according to David Ashdown, MD of Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.
During 2016, Spintelligent will host 15 events in the energy, infrastructure, mining, agriculture, education and real estate sectors across the African continent. “The company is performing positively against a volatile backdrop after the first half of this year” says David Ashdown, “and we are looking forward to an even busier and equally successful second half of the year, including a number of exciting launch events”.
Projects that the Spintelligent MD is particularly proud of includes an outreach programme at the Golden Valley Basic School that is situated next to the massive Agritech Expo in Chisamba, in Zambia. Some 610 learners and 17 teachers have been reaping the benefits of the Agritech Expo Outreach Programme, from the renovation of school buildings, to a solar power installation and the mechanisation of the schools working farm, from which the profits fund the school. Furthermore, a new school build project in Lubumbashi, DRC, associated to DRC Mining Week, will provide a modern school infrastructure environment for up to 500 junior students.
“Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality and lays a foundation for sustained economic growth, as such we have invested in schooling projects in both Zambia and the DRC. These projects are where the magic happens for us as a business, as we have the opportunity to give back to the communities that support our events. We are committed to these development projects,” says David Ashdown.
Other Spintelligent event highlights from this year so far include:
* Most recently the DRC Mining Week hosted a record number of more than 1500 visitors in the mining hub of Lubumbashi, more than double compared to last year’s figures. During this conference and expo, the third annual DRC Mining Industry Awards also honoured the leading people and projects in the sector.In May, the 16th edition of African Utility Week, the flagship pan-African power and water platform organised by Spintelligent, took place in Cape Town and gathered a record 6445 attendees from 81 countries, including 27 African nations, as well as 250 exhibitors and 299 conference speakers while 79 power and water utilities were represented.
A notable presence at African Utility Week this year was Sierra Leone’s Dr Kandeh Yumkella, UN Under-Secretary-General and Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General and CEO, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), who not only delivered an inspired address during the opening day’s keynote session, but also won the Lifetime Achievement category at the African Utility Week Industry Awards.
* The Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo and Conference (CBM-TEC) in Kitwe also performed solidly in May with more than 1400 visitors and 100 local and international exhibitions to retain its top position as full mining indoor and outdoor expo and conference experience in the region. High-level speakers included the Hon. Christopher Yaluma, MP, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development in Zambia and the Hon. Margaret Manakatwe, MP, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry in Zambia.
* The Zambian President H.E Edgar Lungu officially opened the third edition of Agritech Expo Zambia which in April attracted a record-breaking attendance of 17 605 visitors, a 50% increase compared to last year. The event is organised in partnership with the Zambia National Farmers Union and has firmly established itself as the leading outdoor agri event in the region.
* All indications are that the upcoming 10th edition of the SABC Education EduWeekpowered by Intel from 29-30 June at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg will also reach new attendance and participation levels from thousands of teachers and suppliers to the education industry. The Department of Education has also committed to a five-year partnership with the event.
* In March, the fifth edition of Career Indaba in Johannesburg attracted 19,381 visitors over two days, up 160 per cent from last year.
Busy second half of 2016
During the second half of the year Spintelligent is hosting well-known and long running flagship events as well as launching new titles. Returning successful events include the East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) in September in Nairobi, iPAD Rwanda in Kigali in November and the West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) in Lagos in November.
New events that will be launched by Spintelligent include the Kenya Mining Forum in Nairobi in September, the African Real Estate Summit in November in Cape Town and Agribusiness Uganda in Kampala in November.
The Spintelligent Publishing division, with market leading titles that include Metering International & Smart Energy, ESI Africa, Mining Review Africa and Mining Elites, has also been growing from strength-to-strength over the last six months.
Says David: “we have had an increase in the frequency of our ESI Africa magazine, our staff complement has grown and we have begun significant work on refining our database and building on our publication digital platforms with a view to continue to grow and align these with the growing trends in digital media.”
The Spintelligent Training Academy is in its second year of operation. According to theSpintelligent MD David Ashdown: “we have already seen a 33% growth in delegate numbers from year one, running public and in-house training courses every month throughout multiple regions. Currently, our most popular topics include; Effective Financial Modelling, Financing Power Projects, Power Purchase Agreements as well as Infrastructure Finance – all relating to current industry challenges. An exciting portfolio development is the leadership and culture change courses that are in demand across the African continent as economies develop from emerging to established market status.”