M&T EXPO – the International Exhibition of Equipment for Construction and Mining is completing its 20th anniversary with the realization of yet another edition in June 2015. Considered the largest business event for the sector in Latin America, and one of the main exhibitions for the segment of equipment worldwide, the trade show - which is promoted every three years - has its trajectory of success directly linked to the development of the equipment business in Brazil.
Conceived in 1994 by Sobratema – Brazilian Association of Technology for Construction and Mining, M&T EXPO was initially christened “I Mostra de Manutenção, Equipamentos & Tecnologia Aplicada” (1st Exhibition of Maintenance, Equipment & Applied Technology). The event was promoted at São Paulo’s Biennale Pavilion in Ibirapuera Park from the 16th to the 20th of September 1995, following the meticulous work of the show’s Organizing Committee, presided by engineer Afonso Mamede - Sobratema’s current president who, at that time, was the association’s vice-president. “Over thirty meetings were held between December 1994, when we officially announced the event, to the date of its inauguration”, Mamede recalls.
Participating at those meetings were the members of Sobratema’s board of directors at the time: Carlos Fugazzola Pimenta (president), Jader Fraga dos Santos (technical director), Mário Hamaoka (finance director), Antonio Roberto de Paula Ferreira (communications director), Jorge Sabak Vianna (supply director); and counselors: Egberto Rosa Campos, Gino Cucchiari, Jonny Altstadt, Permínio Amorim Neto and Sergio Palazzo, along with Nelson Costábile, the association’s current Special Projects manager, among others.
The first edition was a milestone for the area of equipment with the presence of 7500 visitors who were interested in learning about the new offerings brought to the event by 70 exhibitors, representing 95 brands. “The market had been demanding this since there were no trade shows aimed exclusively at this segment in Brazil”, Mamede says. “Until the introduction of M&T EXPO, companies in the sector had to exhibit their products at trade fairs devoted to other segments in an effort to try to reach their target public. Furthermore, internationally speaking, there were already exhibitions catering to our business”, he adds.
At that time in history, Brazil was experiencing a uniquely distinct period in its economy, with the opening of the country to imports and the suspension of Brazil’s so-called “market reserve” for locally-made computing equipment, which enabled access to new technologies such as ‘embedded electronic systems’, for example. “The moment was ideal to promote an event for our sector where manufacturers of equipment and providers of services would have the opportunity to display their products, increase the visibility of their brands and do business”, Mamede analyzes.
In its second and successive editions, M&T EXPO followed a trajectory of growth and, at the last edition - the 8th - held in 2012, the show achieved record figures with 1,042 brands and some 3,500 units of equipment, displayed by 494 exhibitors, both national and international, and a qualified visiting public of 54,597 professionals from Brazil and abroad.
M&T EXPO’s expressive expansion throughout these practically two decades denotes the consolidation of this show which, after having gone through a number of different economic periods, developed an outstanding characteristic: it came to be considered an important thermometer of activity for manufacturers and suppliers of equipment for construction and mining. In 2012, a number of buyers preferred to await that year’s edition of M&T EXPO to get to know what was new among the offerings brought to the show by manufacturers and, in addition, to negotiate their purchases of new equipment or to conclude deals that had already been initiated. That resulted in an estimated R$ 1.2 billion (approx. US$ 600 million) in actual sales. In 2009, on the other hand, in view of the economic uncertainties associated with the world financial crisis which affected the main nations involved in the sector, the show was an important watershed when it logged an estimated R$ 1 billion (approx. US$ 500 million) in business deals, thus helping to turn around the effects of this turbulent period in the economy.
“M&T EXPO is the main showcase for introductions and technological innovations in equipment for construction and mining in Latin America, besides having become a reference for the market. That’s why expectations are so high among all those involved - exhibitors and visitors alike - to know what the show will present and, only then, to define the direction their businesses will take”, Mamede explains. “The participation of the leading manufacturers of equipment combined with visitation by business owners, engineers and professionals from the main construction and mining companies reinforce this position”, he adds.
According to the president of Sobratema, this hallmark of contributing to change the direction and the mood of the sector of equipment for construction and mining corroborates in establishing the role of M&T EXPO as a driver of technological development and the development of the market in this segment. “It is an important distinction and an attribute that is exclusive to our show”, he underscores.
That’s why the campaign to communicate M&T EXPO 2015 will be entirely based on the attribute and role it plays as a hub for bringing together the sector’s technologies, innovations and businesses and as a reference for all the professionals involved. In addition, the celebration of the show’s 20th anniversary will also be emphasized during the preparations for the event, as well as during the five days of the trade show.
Lastly, Mamede underscores other characteristics of the show such as its pioneering nature, innovation and sustainability. “In 2012, we ushered in a new era in large trade shows with the introduction of electronic RFID chip-based registration,” he tells us. This enabled us to collect data, in real time, as to the exact number and location of visitors that participated in the event. As regards sustainability, Sobratema elaborated an environmental plan that included a series of sustainable initiatives. Among all the actions proposed, the main initiative was awarding a “seal of environmental compliance” to exhibitors who provided proof of having engaged in activities to reduce emissions from actions planned prior to, during and after M&T EXPO.