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3D Group, Not just another exhibition company!

The marketing space is filled with a plethora of companies offering varied and specific services. In the exhibitions and display sector there are exhibition stand builders, shopfitters, events companies, brand activation companies and furniture hire companies. Each one of these functions demands a dedicated approach to the clients’ needs and requirements. Attention to detail is a necessity and every element is vital.

Now consider combining all of these different and sometimes disparate elements together into one company which handles all of these functions and so many more. Such a company could be a logistical nightmare to run. The 3D Group with its head office in Linbro Business Park in Johannesburg embodies just such a company capable of handling all these services plus many more besides. It provides customers with a full turnkey solution to meet their needs.

What sets the 3D Group apart is that it comprises separate and autonomous companies to provide specific services. This makes the different projects more manageable with each of the divisions handling their own clients and projects. However, when the need arises, the entire company comes together to meet the needs of a client. The Group comprises six different companies each with its own manager and staff.

3D Design is one of the largest exhibition stand design and construction companies which specialises in custom modular and wood exhibition stands, shop fitting and event infrastructure and management. In addition to all these services it can also provide certificates of compliance and engineers certificates where required.

3D Shell provides an exhibition infrastructure service to exhibition and event organisers. Managed by Director Dylan Solomon, it executes approximately five projects a month with a total of 5000sqm of shell scheme. The recently launched EaziXpo on-line exhibitor and organiser management system, is first for South Africa. This system simplifies the process of exhibition management for organisers and exhibitors alike.

3D Furniture Hire, as the name states handles all of the furniture hire for exhibitions, events, activations, in-store/mall activations. This company is run by Director Tony Cantatore and started out more than 15 years ago with just three tables and six chairs. It now has a full range of furniture and equipment with more than 8000 items in stock including tables, chairs, coffee machines, couches, display cabinets and fridges to meet even the most demanding requirements.

3D Events is managed by Paula Fernandes and specializes in roadshows, Gala dinners, product launches, Sales conference and golf days. 3d Events also supplies clients with promotional items and corporate wear.

Switched-On-Electrical falls under the leadership of Japie Van der Linde and specialises in the supply of lighting solutions to the Group and also to external exhibition stand builders and event companies. It also handles all other electrical requirements including distribution boards, plug outlets and specialised lighting. It also provides electrical testing and certificates of compliance.

There is one other company in the group, which is slightly different. 3D Cape is run by Andrew Keymer and offers the full repertoire of services in the Cape Town market but on a much smaller scale. Where required for larger events or exhibitions, staff and infrastructure can be moved from Johannesburg.

Over-and-above these services the 3D Group also has offers many associated services such as board cutting and spray painting in order to be able to assist with the design and construction of bespoke exhibitions stands, shopfitting and custom-made, point-of-sale display units. The company also has a full team of graphic designers and a printing plant capable of printing large-format graphics for use on stands and also smaller formats which complement the overall exhibition or store visitor experience.

Commenting on the scope of the company, Conrad Kullmann, said, ‘We offer clients from all sectors of business or industry a one-stop solution. We do not outsource anything, this way each company in the group, or the group as a whole is able to offer the client a dedicated service without any of the problems associated with dealing with third-party suppliers.’

For a company to be able to offer such a broad range of services to its clients, it must have the size, not only in terms of manpower but also in terms of infrastructure, capacity and resources. Add to this the expertise and knowledge required to take even the most unusual of requests into its stride without so much as a blink.

The 3D Group ticks all the boxes and a few besides. The company was formed by brothers John and Conrad Kullmann in a garage in Bramley in 1998. These humble beginnings were preceded by John moonlighting from 1996 using a vinyl cutter – funded by his grandmother – to create branding solutions for a few customers on a very small scale. By the time Johan and Conrad formed 3D Designs, John was at the point of make or break, either he went fulltime with this project or he had to give it up.

Once the decision to proceed was made and John and Conrad had committed there was no looking back and growth came as naturally as designing stands. Today, the group spans across four production factories in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town. It employs 275 permanent staff members across the six companies, it has a fleet of 30 vehicles ranging from normal bakkies right up to 8 tonne trucks and it handles more than 5000sqm of infrastructure per month.

All of these milestones have created a company with the knowledge and expertise to facilitate everything from a single-function event through to a full nationwide roadshow, from an instore or mall launch to a full brand activation or even the creation of a full shop design. Every aspect is planned and executed with meticulous attention to detail. The result has been unprecedented growth which will see the 3D Group moving into new custom-built premises at the end of this year. These 4800sqm premises will allow all the different companies to be housed under one roof in one facility. All the production and preconstruction will be handled in this one venue. It will also provide more than 1000sqm of storage space for all the furniture and hire equipment.

Conrad concluded, ‘We have created an all-encompassing solution for clients where we can meet their every need. We have the expertise and the creativity to be able to turn an idea into a vision and vision into reality. The 3D Group truly is a one-stop solution for all event, branding, shopfitting, exhibition, activation and display requirements and our clients can rely on us to handle everything. The only thing we will not do is move into exhibitions organisation. We are experts in the fields we address and we believe in sticking with what we do well.’

In order to keep up-to-date with the latest international trends in design, construction, materials and services the 3D Group visits the largest international trade show in the sectors which it addresses. This ensures that it is able to offer its local clients the very best and latest innovations.

So while its size and position in the market make it a force to be reckoned with, the 3D Group is not resting on its laurels when it comes to ensuring that its clients receive the very best. Evidence of this can be been at numerous shows and events but will definitely be on display on its own stand at Markex.

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