Danks conference

Danks conference

The countdown clock has started again, as the Australian hardware industry prepares itself for one of the biggest trade shows on the calendar. The 2013 Danks National Trade Show and Conference is set to be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 5 to 7 this year. Aimed at arming retailers and suppliers with relevant business insights and networking opportunities to help them gain a competitive edge in the hardware and home improvement environment, the biennial event is designed to ferment plenty of interaction among the guests and participants. Organisers say the event will be an “unforgettable” experience with a host of new initiatives set to be unveiled.

The previous event in 2011 enjoyed exceptional success, with more than 1,500 delegates in attendance. This year’s event is set to break all records with an unprecedented number of Danks group members and key suppliers having already secured their places. Building on the success of previous years, Home Timber & Hardware Group general manager, Mark Burrowes, says a key focus for the Danks Group in 2013 will be to highlight the strength of its value chain, and the opportunities available to independent store owners through the continued growth of the Woolworths Home Improvement group.

“We’ve got some great news to share around our ‘Strengthen and Grow’ strategies and that’s why we’ve gone with this year’s theme of Building Momentum. It captures the energy we’ve built as a group over the last four years and that will continue well into the future as we gain further traction with our hybrid business model,” Burrowes said. He added that the trade show and conference offered a unique opportunity for all Danks members, from across the Home Timber & Hardware, Thrifty-Link Hardware, and Plants Plus Garden Centre groups, to unite, learn and enhance their businesses.

With more than 150 exhibitors on display, the trade show is expected to showcase all of the latest hardware and garden products under the one roof, with special trade show-only deals on offer to retailers. In addition, the Danks’ exclusive private-label stand will see the launch of new season ranges to give members an added advantage in value and choice.

Other new initiatives being introduced in 2013 include:

The “Innovation Zone”, hinting to future industry trends and technologies with a showcase of new and innovative products; “Pallet Lane”, special bulk-purchase deals exclusive to Danks retailers; and the Danks Seminar Theatre, a series of retailer presentations from some of the industry’s leading suppliers. The keynote speaker program and business sessions on 7 March will feature insightful presentations from well-known identities, and senior executives from within the Danks and Woolworths business will offer comprehensive updates on the growth strategies and opportunities available to its group members.

Aside from the important business rewards, the social aspect of the Danks National Trade Show and Conference is another element valued by group members, Burrowes said. But this year those elements also extend to the youngest delegates. The free-of-charge Danks Kids Club will keep children entertained and is available to all group members. The Gala Awards Dinner will ceremoniously close the event, with special recognition of the year’s most outstanding suppliers and retailers, and headline performances from some of the country’s most talented music artists.