Exhibition organiser Reed Exhibitions will host the AATF Virtual Connect! online virtual event, scheduled to take place in September 2021.
The virtual event will be held in place of the live event, which has been postponed to May 9 to 11, 2023.
Owing to the feedback that was gathered from exhibitor and visitor surveys, as well as collaborations with industry stakeholders, Reed Exhibitions decided to postpone the live version of Africa Automation Technology Fair and host virtual events in 2021 and 2022 as a build-up to the live event in 2023, explains Reed Exhibitions portfolio director Chardonnay Marchesi.
“The AATF Virtual Connect! virtual event will enable visitors and exhibitors to engage and network while participating in content sessions over the three-day period in September.”
She notes that AATF Virtual Connect! will feature activities such as speed networking, virtual product demos, podcasts, a virtual conference, one-on-one meetings, exhibitor showcases and a dedicated African buyer programme and lead-generation opportunities.
In addition, the virtual event will enable exhibitors, industry decision-makers and visitors to connect, and share content.
Engineers and industry professionals can also earn their continuing professional development points through the content sessions.
Reed Exhibitions’ aim is to take what would normally happen in a live format and transform it into suitable content for a virtual platform, Marchesi adds.
“We are looking to connect the industry through Africa's most comprehensive industrial automation technology platform. We are looking to maintain the messaging around our theme: ‘for Africa, from Africa’.”
Marchesi highlights that Reed Exhibitions sees the virtual event as an opportunity to transform the automation and technology industry and unite Africa as a continent.
The industry knows that there is growth in Africa and that Covid-19 has resulted in the industry’s gaining some momentum and growth through innovation.
Companies are considering processes and systems to assist them in working smarter and how they can be innovative businesses through technology and automation.
“I think Africa's time to get educated is now. I think Covid-19 has taught us that there isn't a good time to get educated, many companies have closed down as a result of the effects of Covid-19.
“However, for those companies that are still operating, such situations create opportunities for them to increase potential customers based on their offering,” she concludes.