Before joining the events and expo industry, Miguel Spiteri’s career began in catering, where he gained valuable experience running restaurants in Malta and the UK. “I started working in Malta and moved to the UK for seven years, where I ran a number of restaurants and bars,” he recalls, before moving back to Malta and embarking on his next big adventure.
Today, he is Director of Sales at 242.group – which comprises MYeventplanner, Print&Merchandise (formerly Merchandise Malta), and TurnkeyExpos to act as a one-stop-shop for event, merchandise, and conference needs.
Focusing our chat on TurnkeyExpos, Miguel explains, “we are a design and build company for brands attending expos around the world. A client will come to us, tell us where they are exhibiting, their ideas and budgets, and we will look at the country where the show is, as well as the brand itself, and how best to represent it at the expo.”
As an ancillary expo solution worldwide, TurnkeyExpos offers a diverse range of services alongside their core work of stand design and stand building, including furniture rental, bar set-ups and staff, promotional staffing, baristas, merchandise and printing, photography and videography coverage, as well as side-event organisation, through its sister companies.
The aim, he continues, is not just to build something attractive, but also to create something that functions well, showcases the brand, and draws people in. “There’s no sense in building a beautiful, expensive stand that no one understands,” he affirms.
This is TurnkeyExpos in a nutshell, Miguel maintains, adding, “we have offices in Malta, Dubai, and Cyprus, and we’re planning to open one in Spain next year.”
Comprised of an energetic group of people that bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the table, the company prides itself on doing much of their work in-house, handling their own design, architecture, and construction drawings. They also boast several strategic partners all over the world that help with construction as needed.
It is this combination of factors and the team’s holistic approach, Miguel says, that gives them the edge over other companies offering similar services.
“We are quite a young team and have achieved all that we have through our own hard work – we’ve shed quite a bit of blood, sweat and tears to get where we are today,” he smiles, adding, “what sets us apart is our energy, our creativity and innovation, as well as our ability to turn projects around quickly in a fast-paced industry.”
Since its inception four years ago, TurnkeyExpos has grown and developed, gaining a wealth of experience which they bring to bear on every show they participate in, bolstered by research which keeps the team up to date on the latest trends and innovations.
Describing the process behind completing a project, Miguel says it all begins with a client brief, which will include the space they have assigned in the expo’s floorplan. Next comes the concept, which can either be dictated by the client, or developed by TurnkeyExpos as part of the job. “The majority of companies don’t have a concept and would want us to come up with ideas for them. This is really where we shine. After that, we take it to our design studio, where our designers design the stand in 3D. After any necessary changes are made and once the final agreement is approved, we move into construction,” he explains, noting that timelines also vary from weeks to days, so each design is made to suit the timeline before the show.
Speaking of plans to grow the company further internationally, Miguel attests that even now, most of the shows they cater for are overseas.
“We have several business partners and strategic partners overseas, in different parts of the world that make it easier for us. Currently we do around two shows a month in different parts of the world, all the way up to Mainland Asia and Latin America,” he says, noting that going into different markets would be the main aim moving forward.
Their one-stop approach and strategic partners also make it easier for the team to go international, Miguel adds, as it enables them to avoid transportation costs. “If we are doing an exhibition in Sao Paolo or Rio de Janeiro for example, using local production and local materials makes us a lot more competitive.”
Setting his sights on the future, Miguel says that moving forward, the focus will primarily be on helping more clients in different markets. Acknowledging that this will require bigger investments to cater for the knowledge and expertise required by different industries and shows, he is undeterred, smiling, “this is a very exciting time for us, and we are looking forward to what the coming year will bring.”
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