The second edition of AfriMold attracted 84 exhibitors from South Africa, Germany, China and Portugal in late September. More than 2,850 visitors were present at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, for AfriMold 2011, which the organizers judged to be maturing and gaining wide acceptance.
AfriMold presents itself under the sobriquet of "the trade fair for tooling, mould making, design, and application development," which declares its affiliation with EuroMold and five other regional versions of the EuroMold trade show concept that are staged worldwide under the umbrella oversight of the trade show organizer DEMAT GmbH.
According to AfriMold exhibition director Ron MacLarty, having more than 65% of the exhibitors from the 2010 inaugural exhibition returning this year, many with larger stands, helped lend the show an impressive look and feel.
"AfriMold definitely reflected the buoyancy and pickup in the economy, and there was a general atmosphere of optimism," says MacLarty. "We experienced a lot of interest from Asian countries, and it was pleasing to note that more than 30% of exhibitors were international companies." MacLarty expects that percentage to increase next year.
Exhibitor feedback regarding the second AfriMold was quite positive. One local supplier of processing machinery and mould components noted that the many overseas suppliers gave the show a "cosmopolitan atmosphere." Representatives of several other companies commented on the high quality of the contacts and leads, and exhibitors from Europe held promising discussions about possible alliances with South African toolmaking shops.
The Tooling Association of South Africa (TASA) was prominent at AfriMold 2011 as the driving force behind an initiative to increase the number of students and apprentices focused on entering the industry. Aligned with the TASA initiative was a well-attended three-day conference on "Tooling Technologies, 2011 and Beyond."
The next AfriMold is scheduled for July 12-14, 2012.