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PetroForum Africa smashes expectations at Durban debut

Last week, the industry’s premier networking event opened its doors on Durban’s sunny shores, welcoming delegates from across the continent on behalf of its finest Fuel Retailers and Suppliers.

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Author: openroom

The event is moulded by ten years’ experience in the Oil and Gas sector- delivering an unbeatable and intimate networking experience for attendees. Its unique model matches decision makers through a bespoke program of speed-meetings. Five star locations, guestlists and speakers are to be expected.  

This year, broadcasting legend Iman Rappetti kickstarted the conference, speaking candidly with Hloniphizwe Mtolo (Chairman, Shell Companies South Africa), in a formative discussion around ‘Future-Proofing the industry’. Shell’s vision of the future for fuel retail should, rightly, be observed. Mtolo highlighted the necessity for retailers to cultivate revenue streams beyond servicing their client demands. Currently, partnerships with supermarkets and coffee shops, loaded with rewards programs, are working well towards achieving full service treatment. Using the advent of hybrid and EV as an example, Mtolo explained how new challenges present new opportunities to redesign and expand the provision of prolific and reliable services.  

Keynote speaker John Bradshaw (Head of Marketing, Pick n Pay) wow’d the crowd with a trailblazing analysis of the customer journey - shedding light on the importance of loyalty and opportunities to improve customer communication. One such example; the manipulation of data to deliver consumer-specific discounts. ‘A relevant deal can probably change consumer behaviour,’ noted Bradshaw, ‘getting more basket spend from your light shoppers.’ Another valuable insight came from Gilbarco’s Eric Denivelle, who in their sponsored boardroom session announced the launch of the first EV machine for the continent. Across two-days, the content alone made for an unparalleled and impressive learning opportunity. Balancing the days’ work with some much deserved relaxation, delegates bonded over an energetic game of beach volley ball and soaked up the sunset over drinks and dinner on the terrace. Evidently, there is as much value to be taken from these golden moments of opportunity- cementing relationships beyond just the meeting room.  

The event consistently hails praise from its participants, described by one as "a fantastic platform for networking and meaningful stakeholder engagement, affording participants an excellent view of the industry, locally as well as globally." Mohamed Carrim (VP Marketing & Sales, Strategy & Corp Affairs, Sasol)  

"PetroForum offers accessibility to decision makers which is not easy - offering the opportunity to spend two intensive days with almost all of them. We have always seen a positive return on investment form this event.’ Hans Van Rooyen (Sales Manager Sub Sahara Africa, SloanLED).   

The event is set to return in 2021, its location soon to be revealed.

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