20th May 2013
Nampo is the largest show of agricultural machinery and livestock in the Southern Hemisphere. It attracts about 70,000 visitors from Africa and all over the globe and if you are in the agricultural trade it is simply the show to visit.
This show just pops out of the mielie fields outside a small Free State town. Quite incredible. The crowds are just as big every day, for 4 full day's trading.
At Karoo Lavender Fields most of our daily orders are for the hospitality industry: supplying guest houses, hotels and game lodges with room amentities. Our split is about 80% hospitality supplies and 20% gift shop supplies so this seems a very "different" show for us to exhibit at, doesn't it?
This show is incredible! Almost military precision and organisation. It is really, really hard work, we are on our feet all day without a break but we sell a lot of product on this show so its worth it for us. Here, as well as general sales, a lot of game lodge and guest house owners come to chat, see whats new and submit their orders. My friend Julie comes to help me and she works like a slave, just the sort of partner one needs on a show like this and its a pleasure to work with her.
This is our stand .... and Julie getting ready for the day, complaining bitterly about the photos I am taking! Also complaining, not quite so bitterly, about the fact that she cannot get out of the stand for 2 minutes ..... we are just too busy.
When the crowds hit they hit ! To keep our display neat and tidy is very challenging. NAMPO organisation is out of the top drawer - the show mostly caters for farmers and business people but they have a smaller section to keep the women entertained. Two or three halls, filled with artwork, clothes, jewellery, decor etc etc is where we fit in. They run a daily "Ladies Program" so that the women are well cared for. I mean, if you are not a lady mielie farmer just how many tractor tyres can one get excited about in one day? This is a business show - thank heavens no jumpy castles, candy floss or clowns (other than my neighbouring artist exhibitors!)
Our market here is mostly women involved in agriculture: the men come to the show to buy their 2, 5, 10, 25 million rand tractors and machinery and their wives, whose eyes are now glassy, come and stock up on their lavender supplies for the year. So heartening to hear them say "I am back for my year's supply of lavender products". Makes it very rewarding for me. We also have loads of harried-looking men, dashing in at the last moment in panic mode "Give me a gift pack quickly before I leave." For them we make ready-made pretty gift packs to grab on the run.
The next few pictures show a few stands at the show, sorry and thanks to this lady who was not terribly sure why I was photographing her mint-condition sheep:
I kid you not, these are what these chaps buy ..... the machines, implements and vehicles seem to get bigger each year ......
And so its "Totsiens" en "Dankie" to another NAMPO show. It was an exhausting, exciting, satisfying week for me but always good to get back to KhakiCladLad, Karoo veld, dust and sheep, our endless skies and our late afternoon walk around our farm dam ..........