Harvey Norman conference kicks off in Melbourne

By James Wells

MELBOUNE: Over 150 proprietors from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Slovenia have joined dozens of electrical suppliers at the 2007 Harvey Norman conference at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre this week.

Once again the conference features a set of structured workshops for proprietors as well as an exhibition-style event. In addition to attending the workshops, proprietors are required to visit each exhibition stand and obtain a sticker for proof of visit.

Among the larger stands at the event which represent an investment for several suppliers over $100,000 in terms of time, labour and exhibition costs are seven exhibitors with stands over 72 square metres.

Whirlpool, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Omega and Electrolux all featured stands measuring 72 square metres, while Fisher & Paykel’s stand is the largest at the event at 84 square metres.

All suppliers reported positively on the traffic flow to their stands and the interest from Harvey Norman proprietors, although the event became quiet once proprietors left the floor to attend the workshop sessions.

For the small appliance companies, key categories include the demonstration of coffee, blending and juicing as well as personal care products including shaving and massage products.

For whitegoods suppliers, a substantial investment has been made by many companies in the mid to high end of the market into their exhibition stands which feature a strong emphasis on cooking and high end dishwashers, refrigeration and washing machines.

For audio visual suppliers, the high definition message is clea across the board with a strong range of digital imaging and camcorder products as well as flat panel products which are complemented at the high end with home theatre and increasingly Blu-ray player hardware.

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