The EXSA Supplier Forum is a cooperative effort of industry leaders, representatives of the exhibition and event sectors that address current and future supply issues, writes Andrew Gibbs.

The exhibitions and events industry nowadays is integrated, ongoing and evolving and the EXSA Supplier Forum recognises the need to move forward accordingly.

Digital marketing and social media have contributed to the fact that exhibitions and events are no longer isolated events. Through these mediums, the requirements of the exhibition or event attendees can be swiftly and effectively identified and subsequently matched.

Simultaneously, these mediums allow for easier location and identification of the relevant attendees for networking purposes. Interaction between exhibitor and attendee is more effectively facilitated and a positive experience is generated, with the after-expo follow up process easier to manage. Information can be communicated through the use of QR codes and augmented reality – both impactful as well as memorable.

Why is this relevant to the EXSA Supplier Forum? The answer simply lies in the fact that through digital marketing and social media, the exhibition and event arena is alive, thriving and changing.

With this in mind, we cannot just provide an exhibition stand or just realise an event. As representatives of EXSA, we must be relevant and we must be spectacular. If we cannot be these things, then there is no point to having an industry association. We have to be better than the industry peers that are not EXSA representatives.

Through the backing of EXSA, the industry suppliers can network with their international peers, have relevant discussions and draw from international experiences, thanks to the introduction of the Supplier Forum.
The objective of the EXSA Supplier Forum is to establish a voice for suppliers and to encourage participation in EXSA related activities and programs, while supporting and strengthening the supplier network as service providers.

Andrew Gibbs is the Chairperson of the EXSA Supplier Forum. The forum discusses issues such as supply planning, health and safety and environmental stewardship