Knysna, 26 July, 2016 – Two small local businesses, Glass Roots and Liberty Lockers, are getting ready to scale their operations to meet new levels of demand for their products in the wake of their participation in Markex Johannesburg earlier this month. Markex is Africa’s Premier Promotional Products and Corporate Gifting exhibition and presented the perfect platform for both Glass Roots and Liberty Lockers to profile their offerings to business buyers.
Over 6,500 visitors attended Markex this year looking for innovative marketing, branding and merchandising ideas. And they found them on the Glass Roots and Liberty Lockers stand.
“This was our first specialised trade show and the dynamic of marketing business-to-business is invaluable. People were quicker to ask informed questions, wanting to get down to business and see an application” said Helga Stassen of Glass Roots, who showcased a selection of art glass creations chosen specifically for corporate buyers - including designer homeware, African animal trophies, sub-surface engraved crystals and their ever-popular glass jewellery. “We had a great response as most visitors had not seen products like ours before – this was something new and fresh to take to clients”.
Serial entrepreneur, Malcolm Katz, chose the opportunity to exhibit at Markex to launch his latest invention – Liberty Lockers. His idea for high-security lockers for public places (beaches, events, conferences etc.) was seeded when a friend was robbed whilst taking a swim in the sea a year ago and the design has been in development ever since. Markex provided a goal to work towards in terms of prototyping and a full size set of lockers was ready for show visitors to see and test for themselves. The lockers, which are moulded from high-end UV resistant and weatherproof plastic, provide a high-profile indoor or outdoor branding platform for businesses wanting to stand out in densely populated environments.
The response to his lockers far surpassed Malcolm’s expectations: “The road ahead is looking very exciting. I’ve made a few modifications to the design based on feedback from interested buyers and will soon be sending my lockers all over the country and the world!” Locals will be able to try the lockers out for themselves on Plett’s beaches this summer.
Both Helga and Malcolm prioritised using the exhibition to build a database of potential customers and positive leads – special scanners made it easy to capture the contact information of visitors to the stand so that leads could be followed up quickly and easily after the show. “It is definitely easier to market your company to people who have already shown a positive interest” says Stassen. The donation of a complementary weekend for two at The Lofts Boutique Hotel made it possible to run a competition at the show – entry forms were handed out at the registration desks and entrants had to come to the stand to post them in the competition box, which also pulled feet and attracted interest. She and Malcolm are now liaising with the +350 high potential contacts they made in the 2 days. Requests for quotations and follow up meetings have been coming in for both businesses and proposals are already being prepared for some significant client prospects.
The opportunity for Glass Roots and Liberty Lockers to participate in Markex 2016 was facilitated by The Gift of Knysna, who secured complementary space and services at the show to the value of R200,000.00 and acted in an advisory capacity throughout their preparation and participation.