The 15th edition of SMOPYC, International Show of Public Works, Construction and Mining Machinery, to be held at the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center from 5 to 9 April 2011, will see a number of important changes and innovations.  Intensified international promotion, a new adjusted pricing policy and substantial improvements to facilities and services are just some of the initiatives being taken by the Steering Committee to ensure that SMOPYC 2011 is even more successful than previous editions.

Nine months separate us from the 15th edition of SMOPYC, the most important event of the year for both the Spanish and international construction sectors. The figures for the previous edition in 2008 speak for themselves and underline the significance of this Show. The event has both strategic and sales value for companies, as it represents the key to accessing the markets of Europe, South America, Africa, the Mediterranean Arc and Asia. Despite being held at the beginning of the recession, the last edition obtained the best results in the history of the event, with over 100,000 visitors and 2,014 exhibitors from all over the world. It was a great success, with a total exhibition space of 400,000 m2, including the essential outdoor areas which offered the scope required to facilitate live demonstrations of the capacity and power of heavy machinery. It should be borne in mind that more than a quarter (27.15%) of exhibitor companies belong to the earth moving and road construction sector, making it absolutely vital to have sufficient space available to companies participating at the Show.

Experience and excellent results, the best recommendation for SMOPYC 2011 SMOPYC not only enjoyed record-breaking growth in 2008, but there was also unanimously positive feedback from exhibitors. More than 90% expressed an intention to participate in 2011, 85% achieved their objectives, 92% felt the level of professional visitors to be of high quality and 75% established international contacts. SMOPYC is aware that the event is a tool of primary importance in increasing the competitiveness of companies. With an air of realism and despite these difficult times for the sector, the organisers have taken up the challenge of sustaining the trend of continuous growth which began 30 years ago and has made SMOPYC one of the top three fairs in the world within its sector. The Steering Committee of SMOPYC 2011, made up of the leading companies and sectoral associations, has adopted the primary objective of offering support to the sector in its quest to recover impetus and drive.

SMOPYC refuses to rest on its laurels and so its promotional campaign began at the last edition of Bauma, in Munich, where it had its own stand, made a spectacular presentation and carried out a number of sponsorship actions. Following the same promotional strategy, the Show also participated last May at the annual convention of the Spanish Association of Leasers of Aerial Work Platforms (Anapat), one of the most representative and influential associations in the sector. In addition, SMOPYC 2011 recently launched the “Technological Innovation Awards”, with a closing date for applications of 12 November 2010. These awards are now a classic part of the event and offer reward and recognition to the R&D&i work of the sector’s leading companies.

Beneficial price adjustments

Mr. Sergio Diloy, Director of SMOPYC 2011, has outlined the main innovations and actions thus far presented for the purpose of guaranteeing the success of this edition. One of these is a reduction in prices. SMOPYC has always been sensitive to the needs of the sector and the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center has made a great effort to adjust its prices to the current climate, with a 30% reduction in rates compared to the previous edition. This, allied to a discounts policy for exhibitors, which can reduce participation costs by up to 43%, brings prices close to 2002 levels. In addition, Mr Diloy said: “we can announce that we have signed agreements with the great majority of the Zaragoza hotel sector, which as we know has doubled its capacity, to ensure moderate maximum prices, adjusted to the class of hotel”. In parallel to this, and for the purposes of increasing the choice of accommodation, an option to create accommodation and transport packages in cities served by the AVE (High Speed Train) is being studied, as is the possibility of offering accommodation in private houses.

Greater promotional effort

While prices for the event are decreasing, activity on the promotional front is being stepped up in order to ensure the success of SMOPYC once again. For this purpose, a three-phase communications campaign has been designed. This will be managed by the leading agencies both in Spain and abroad and supported in the main media. All this allied to a major advertising campaign (television, radio, newspapers, online, outdoor) “will make SMOPYC the sales platform and meeting point we all need to drive the sector forward” adds Mr Diloy. The communications campaign revolves around the following strategic objectives: to lend prestige to the sector, to transmit the relevance of this industry in terms of general economic recovery and to obtain media coverage, both in Spain and internationally.  It is important to emphasise the intense promotional work being carried out since the end of SMOPYC 2008. SMOPYC has been present at all events, awards, congresses, association assemblies and presentations of public works, construction and mining machinery worldwide and plans to be present at those events yet to take place. As the Director of SMOPYC points out: “In addition to all this we have the SMOPYC 2011 National Presentations tour, which from next September will travel throughout Spain to promote the event in more distant regions such as Galicia, Extremadura, Asturias, Andalusia, Murcia, etc.”.

Furthermore, this edition will see the introduction of the “Guest Country” initiative. Algeria has been proposed on this occasion due to the great interest it holds for the sector at this point in time. Finally, with respect to international promotion, a decision has been taken to select a number of countries for the purposes of intensifying promotion and optimising results. The countries considered most suitable are: Morocco, Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Mexico.

New internationalisation initiatives

According to Mr Diloy, “throughout these years we have been working hard on the internationalisation of the event. These efforts are now bearing fruit and we are in a position to announce a great innovation in the form of a program of interviews and customized schedule for exhibitor companies at SMOPYC 2011”. This program is organised under the auspices of the Enterprise Europe Network, in cooperation with CREA (Employers Confederation of Aragón), which belongs to the CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Employers Organisations). The program is approved by the European Union (Enterprise and Industry-European Commission) and there will be in the region of 800 interviews. In addition, there is an international enterprise visit plan to coordinate the participation of international companies through ANMOPYC (Spanish Manufacturers Association of Construction and Mining Equipment). Following high-level political and business representations, the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center will also invite three emerging, strategic markets for the public works and construction sector worldwide: North Africa, Asia and South America.

Great support from the sector

SMOPYC 2011 will boast the support of the main sectoral associations. These associations will also organise different business meetings, conferences and work seminars during the course of the Show. Currently, a total of 34 such events have been confirmed. As Sergio Diloy emphasised, “We would like to highlight the utmost commitment and confidence of all actors in the sector with respect to the Show. This is underlined by the fact that practically all the leading associations in the respective sectors are confirming their attendance and that of their members. Furthermore, within the framework of the fair, they are planning the conferences, meetings and seminars that will make SMOPYC a launching pad for the sector”. Mr Diloy concludes, “We would like what has to happen in the public works and construction sectors of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe and the world in 2011 to happen at SMOPYC”.

Better services and infrastructure

Two initiatives are underway to facilitate access to the grounds of the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center. The first is the establishment of a special entrance and exit security unit, which will work in coordination with the Guardia Civil. This system was used successfully at FIMA 2010. The second is the possible creation of an access to the Z-40 outer ring road, availing of the construction work to the 2nd AVE station. Talks are taking place with the different local and regional authorities with a view to speeding up the project. Furthermore, there will be enhancements to the exhibitor car park, which will have independent access for both pedestrians and vehicles. Improvements will also be made to signposting in the visitor car park in order to facilitate vehicle location. In addition, there will be improvements to air conditioning systems with power requirements being reviewed and increased. With respect to logistics, work has begun to improve transport to Zaragoza and bus services between Zaragoza, the Trade Fair Center and hotels. Discounts offered both by Iberia and Renfe to exhibitors and visitors have been maintained. There is also a new initiative which has already operated at other fairs organised by the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center. This consists of the exclusive hiring of an AVE carriage at two departure times in the morning from either Madrid or Barcelona and the hiring of a carriage for the corresponding return journey. Sales of these tickets, which carry discounts of between 35% and 40%, close 15 days before the date of travel. On arrival at the station and on returning from the Fair, clients will enjoy exclusive transport and a hostess will be on hand to provide assistance. Transport links to the Zaragoza Trade Fair Center will include the normal services from the city centre and the AVE Station. It is hoped to establish direct routes or services to the Trade Fair Center from different hotels and from the Plaza complex and also to provide a shuttle service to and from the airport.