[Interview] Stephen Oehley, CEO, Xtendevent, South Africa
Could you please introduce your company?
The Xtendevent team has decades of collective trade marketing, trade show management and digital marketing and development experience. The Company has developed Xtendevent.com that is a virtual trade show and conference platform that presents customizable virtual environments for event owners, customizable booths for exhibitors and the ability for event community participants to attend conferences, network with peers and video call exhibitors.
You have built an impressive infrastructure for online conferencing and trade expositions in Africa. What has been the market response?
International trade promotion agencies, exporters and manufacturers are excited by the opportunity to exhibit virtually as this presents a sustained and affordable opportunity to introduce their businesses, products and services, and to get to know potential partners in advance of traveling to meet in person.
Nearly 14,000 visitors, increasing hourly, have pre-registered to attend our upcoming events and once they open, we look forward to presenting these communities sustained and increasing value as the events grow.
You have two events coming up. Please introduce the Africa Trade Expo and Future Food events and tell us who can participate in them.
The Africa Trade Expo (TATE) is a multi-sectoral virtual Trade Show. Companies from every sector can participate. TATE is ideally suited to International Trade Promotion Agencies, exporters and manufacturers keen to introduce their business to potential partners in Africa.
Companies can exhibit on a sustained basis to meet and engage visitors from across Africa as potential business partners.
Industry-focused events and communities will be launched out of TATE, the first of which is Future Foods.
Future Foods is a food and beverage industries focused event. Exhibitors are invited from the Agri food sector and ingredient and other suppliers to food and beverage manufacturers, food processors, manufacturers of packaged products for retail, manufacturers of baked goods, as well as manufacturers of confectioneries and snack foods who want to reach customers as event visitors engaged in the food trade.
Visitors invited include importers, agents and distributors, food professionals, chefs, professional caterers, category buyers at retail chains, owner operators of independent supermarkets and liquor outlets and F&B managers at hotels, lodges across Africa.
What, in your opinion, do exhibitors and participants stand to gain from being part of these events?
B2B relationships require time to nurture. For this reason, both events endure as ‘Always On’ virtual events. This presents a sustained opportunity for trade participants to network, to video call, to get to know one another and to share the journey of the development of business in Africa.
We understand that you are still open for speakers?
The launch of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement on January 1, 2021 has accelerated intra-Africa trade interest as well as international business interest in doing business in Africa.
The evolution of practice knowledge is an ever changing dynamic and Always On events open a world of extended opportunity for experts to continuously engage our event trade communities via livestream.
We look forward to speaker and speaker panels and themes that track ongoing developments, that inform, educate, and entertain our communities, and we welcome every speaker and or speaker panels willing to share their knowledge, expertise, and good humor.
Food security and agri-trade have become a matter of urgency not just in Africa, but globally. How do these events influence food sustainability in Africa?
The United Nations has initiated the UN Food Systems Dialogue that addresses food sustainability and many other related themes. This has resulted in developing international conversations. We will strive to support this monumental initiative, in a humble way, where we plan to introduce exhibitors and their solutions and ongoing conference programs, new speaker introductions and developing new themes that reflect community interest.
Future Foods and Africa Trade Expo will be running for one year. How can participants stay engaged in the community for this time period?
These events run in perpetuity, and we look forward to increasing participation over time. This means that visitors will be able to connect with an increasing number of exhibitors, network with an increasing number of peer professionals in their good time, and benefit from ongoing, new and developing conference themes and speakers. These will serve as an accessible video on demand record in support of industries growth and development on the continent, and will be promoted and communicated to Communities as these develop.
events to aquire your free tickets and register to exhibit your business.