Cape Town Time:


Taking established events to the next level in Cape Town

29 November 2018

Messe Frankfurt, one of the world’s biggest trade fair and exhibitions companies, has listed Cape Town’s superb locations among the reasons why they chose to host three international events in the city.

Events recently acquired by the Messe Frankfurt South Africa include the Cape Automotive Forum, based on the Automechenika concept, the Cape Town International Boat Show and the ATF Trade Exhibition, Africa’s premier sourcing event for international suppliers, manufacturers and buyers.

“Cape Town is a top tourism destination and offers a variety of great locations for exhibitors and event organisers,” says Joshua Low, Group Exhibitions Director of Messe Frankfurt SA.

We wouldn’t host these events anywhere else. Cape Town is now the financial hub of South Africa. While these events already existed before Messe Franfurt acquired them, we’re making them bigger and better. We are trying to increase international visitors, with a focus on the African visitor market. For the boat show, we did research on yacht clubs in SADC and sent them free invites to the show. That’s an area we would like to grow.

Every year Messe Frankfurt organises over 134 trade fairs around the world with over 90 000 exhibitors and roughly 3.5m visitors. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

Says Low: “Many people don’t know that Messe Frankfurt is a government-owned entity and so our drivers are very similar to that of the City of Cape Town. Going forward, we hope to further develop our partnership and relationship with the City. Our mission is to create sustainable events. We are taking a long-term view in terms of growing the events in Cape Town. Obviously, the benefit to the City of Cape Town is that it helps in terms of drawing more tourists to the city and the economic impact is significant. If you look at an event like ATF, we have 150 companies coming from outside of Africa to exhibit. The knock-on benefits are huge.”

Messe Frankfurt’s portfolio of Events in Cape Town include:

The Cape Automotive Forum

Based on the Automechanika concept, this event incorporates a two-day conference and exhibition that caters to the needs of the automotive aftermarket and commercial vehicle market in the Western Cape. With technology shaping the future direction of the industry, the two-day conference tackles topics with a global perspective on challenges and opportunities facing the local automotive industry. The free-to-attend exhibition gives delegates access to view the latest in product innovations, connect with new and existing suppliers and industry professionals, and network with industry peers to grow your business in the region.

The Cape Town International Boat Show

The annual Cape Town International Boat Show, presented by Mercedes-Benz and set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mother City, is South Africa’s premier boating and luxury lifestyle event. The show brings together manufacturers and buyers of luxury boats, accessories and marine equipment to gather, share, and explore the many facets of the boating and related industries. The 2018 event is set to continue its legacy as the leading international boat show on the African continent showcasing products and services from premier industry suppliers.

The International Apparel, Textile & Footwear (ATF) Trade Exhibition

Over the past nineteen years, the ATF Expo has become the premier sourcing event on the African continent, bringing together international suppliers, manufacturers, service providers and buyers all under one roof. The main objective of ATF is to offer foreign manufacturers as well as local importers and service providers in these industries the opportunity to meet Southern African buyers. More than 200 exhibitors from 10 different countries are represented at this highly focused trade event. The international platform offers a wide product range covering the entire textile spectrum. From casual apparel to functional fabrics, kids wear, latest trends and formal clothing, attendees discover textiles of innovative structure, material mixes and colour palettes.