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Voice of the Business Events Industry in Africa

December 2017

A conference destination of sophistication



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Business Events Africa: Serving the business events industry for 37 years


VOL 37 NO 11 DECEMBER 2017



vents www.businesse

Voice of the

nts Industry

Business Eve

in Africa

December 2017


tination of sophistic

A conference des


Business Events Africa takes a look at aha Hotels & Lodges’ luxurious bush retreats in the North West province. This feature explores aha Ivory Tree Game Lodge, aha Shepherds Tree Game Lodge, and aha Thakadu River Camp.

10 AN EXPAT IN CHINA Smog, high rise buildings, congestion and poor living conditions; this is a depiction many Westerners envision when considering an expat’s life in China. While there are certainly areas within mainland China that leaves much to be desired, Joey Pather proves us wrong and shares his personal experience as an expat in one of China’s “National Forest Cities.”

About the cover This month, Business Events Africa turns the spotlight on Avianto, a well-established, highly-regarded events destination that has become one of Johannesburg’s conference, teambuilding and function venues of choice.


12 TOURISM IS KEY TO THE GROWTH OF SOUTH AFRICA’S ECONOMY Never mind the poor economic performance, even the weather in some parts of the country seems to have conspired to make 2017 a challenging year for South Africa’s travel and tourism sector. However, all is not lost. Mmatšatši Ramawela, chief executive officer of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, gives us her insight into the state of the local tourism industry.

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Business Events Africa

Editor’s comment

We live in


s I sit here typing my last comment for the year, I think back on 2017 and reflect on the highs and lows of the year. Luckily, the lows are generally short lived. It has been challenging, but is that really any different to previous years? If we aren’t challenged, would we consider making changes? These challenges keep us from being complacent. Complacency brings laziness and gives one a false sense of security. Financially, it has been a tough year, but so too have the last few years been challenging. So can I really say this is something new? What has happened is that budgets have been tightened, and people don’t spend on the fly. I don’t think this is a bad thing. You need to show your worth, which again, can be another positive. If you are doing a good job and your service or product has worth, you will remain successful. Keeping your product or service relevant is also key. The business environment is, more than ever before, driven by relationships. People buy from people. This hasn’t changed. If you don’t have a good relationship, you can forget the fantastic product or service you are offering. I honestly believe that half the sale is the relationship.

What stands out for me from 2017? Technology continues to change and transform the way we all do business.

New technology is constant, and this is a very exciting time to be alive. Technology however, has brought some negatives. Though we are ‘always’ connected, it has also made us less connected in some instances. We seem to watch people’s lives unfold on social media, and someone feel like we are closer for it. Honestly, nothing can replace the face to face personal time. I don’t think this will ever change. If I can be as bold to ask one thing from all of you this holiday, it would be to take an hour a day to turn off your devices and just be with your family and friends during that time. No selfies, no checking social media feeds, just be there with them. I am actually considering putting a box out on Christmas day where everyone puts their devices in it at the door – they can get it back after lunch. So much quality time is wasted due to screen time. The millennials are now being accepted as exciting, contributing individuals in the workforce but still quite ‘pampered’ in all sectors. I think the fact that they have always been told they are special makes them a lot more confident than I was when I joined the workforce. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I believe they are more than capable and don’t need the other generations pandering to them. It actually undermines their worth. Politically, we have had quite a year, and as I write this, we will know in the next few

Credit: Hein Liebetrau

exciting times

weeks who the ANC members have chosen as their new president. From a SADC perspective, Robert Mugabe is no longer the Zimbabwe president. The question is – how much has changed and will change under rule of the new president, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

Looking ahead Life continues, and we get stronger every year. The business events sector in South Africa remains more resilient than ever before. The South Africa National Convention Bureau, with Amanda KotzeNhlapo as its head, continues to grow the pie, and through its hard work continues to put South Africa as a business events destination on the global map. We live in exciting times. I have no doubt that 2018 will be an even better year. After all, it is what you make it.



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Expanded CTICC hosts an even bigger 20th AfricaCom An expanded Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has helped the world’s largest Africa-focused technology, media and telecoms event become even bigger.


t the end of November, the convention centre hosted the 20th annual AfricaCom, a conference and exhibition which gathers together senior decision-makers from global technology firms and reports on cuttingedge tech development and products. The 13 000 delegates who attended this year’s event included representatives from leading international brands such as Huawei, Microsoft and Ericsson, as well as digital start-ups, innovators, operators, content providers, and regulators from the tip to the top of Africa. The newly-completed CTICC 2 enabled AfricaCom to launch novel show additions and expand its offering, as the three day event occupied both CTICC 1 and CTICC 2 buildings. Tom Cuthell, portfolio director at Knet365, the organisers of AfricaCom, said: “The AfricaCom team was really excited about the launch of the new exhibition halls at the CTICC. The fantastic new space enabled us to launch the Technology Arena, a brand new events feature dedicated to accelerating Africa’s digital transformation. “For AfricaCom, this meant 100 more exhibitors, three brand new show floor content stages, and a new networking party to celebrate the socio-economic impact of digital connectivity. “As digital disruption sweeps through one industry after another, we look forward to expanding further into the

CTICC to offer even more opportunities for Africa’s tech leaders, mobile operators, large enterprises, and digital start-ups to interact, do business and innovate.” Julie-May Ellingson, chief executive officer of CTICC, said: “We were so inspired by the organisers’ confidence in the CTICC and Cape Town to deliver an even bigger AfricaCom. This was the first international conference hosted in the expansion and the first large scale event which used the entire venue complex. “CTICC 2 can provide complementary meeting and exhibition space or can operate as an exclusive facility. It’s been important for us to ensure that we can seamlessly integrate event operations across CTICC 1 and CTICC 2, as this will become a key feature of an expanded CTICC.” Exhibitors in the new CTICC 2 Technology Arena experienced good feedback and sales leads. According to Fortinet, an international ICT networking company focusing on cybersecurity and a repeat exhibitor at AfricaCom, the exhibition build-up went smoothly. Paul Williams, Fortinet country manager SADC and Indian Ocean Islands region, said: “The build-up was great and there was obviously a lot of excitement from our customers plus our partners with regards to the show itself. The uptake’s been great. I think the CTICC is a great venue and they have invested a lot of money. It’s a great location.”

Information sharing, networking, knowledge exchange, and deals were the order of the day at AfricaCom. Brands often decide to announce ambitious plans at the show. This year, Angola Cables, a telecommunications company which focuses on submarine cabling systems, announced that it will establish a Point of Presence (PoP) in Cape Town by the end of the year. Truecaller, a mobile application which enables unknown caller identification, announced that it will be expanding its African presence and hiring key personnel. The Swedish company is looking towards Nigeria and South Africa as possible locations to set up a regional office. “One of the CTICC’s central mandates is to maximise economic spin offs from events and contribute to job creation. These announcements underscore the centre’s important role in attracting international conferences and driving the knowledge economy. In fact, digi-tech has been identified by the City of Cape Town as a growth sector for the region,” Ms Ellingson said. She added: “Events such as AfricaCom tap into Africa’s fledgling but lucrative technology sectors. These events not only further the sharing of knowledge, but also expose our destination to trade and investment opportunities – outcomes which would be difficult to achieve if platforms such as the CTICC did not exist.”

Business Events Africa December 2017 5

Cover story

A destination of sophistication

6 Business Events Africa December 2017

Cover story

Avianto is a well-established, highly regarded events destination that has become one of Johannesburg’s conference, teambuilding and function venues of choice.


vianto offers a variety of options, from conferencing workshops to product launches and gala dinners. Avianto provides a relaxed environment with expert assistance, creating a meeting place that inspires constructive thought, camaraderie and positive action. Facilitators constantly remark on how effective their training sessions are at Avianto. Avianto’s 250 ha property has a vast array of options for teambuilding activities. Event Inspirations Teambuilding, Avianto’s preferred teambuilding supplier, offers a range of professional teambuilding exercises and corporate activities that meet the different needs of companies, and assist in improving team performance and efficiency. Backed by years of experience, they provide value for money, a positive return on investment, and a confidence in professionally-managed, high-quality events from beginning to end. The corporate teambuilding experiences are specifically designed to activate, develop and hone crucial inter-personal skills to improve team productivity and effectiveness. A highly professional and specialised team run the teambuilding activities, which are suitable for corporate groups from eight to over 1 000 people.

complemented by high levels of service. The rooms are decorated with understated elegance and features individual air conditioning, room service, mini bars, individual safes, plush bath towels and luxurious beds and linen. The rooms are designed with careful thought to conference delegates, allowing privacy when sharing, a coffee station, desk space and wireless internet access.

Functions and special celebrations Whether planning a small breakfast, luncheon celebration, matric farewell or a black tie event, Avianto is the venue for you. Our function venues can seat from two to 350 people. Smaller venues are available for kitchen teas, baby showers and milestone birthday parties. Packages can be tailor-made to your requirements and budget.

If you are looking for a relaxed and informal function, Avianto has different picnic areas set alongside the Crocodile River, perfect for a small function for up to 80 guests.

Leisure Besides the tranquil Café Cielo coffee shop serving great food under the oak tree, Avianto provides the public a selection of dining facilities and picnic areas. A variety of leisure activities is on offer at the Avianto Sports Park, including mountain bike trails and cross country running trails, all set along the meandering Crocodile River. Driefontein Road, Muldersdrift T: +27 (0)11 668 3000 E: W:

Accommodation Built with love and honesty in mind, the Village has 30 luxury rooms and five suites that provide an atmosphere of unassuming style and luxury,

Business Events Africa December 2017 7


Destination feature | North West

aha Hotels & Lodges

Luxurious bush retreats aha Ivory Tree Game Lodge, winner of the coveted Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2017, is situated in the north-eastern region of the Pilanesberg National Park. The luxurious accommodation offers four luxury suites, two family suites, one executive suite, and 60 standard rooms, which includes a fourroom villa.


friendly work situation and an exclusive

to explore the allure of the surrounding

participation, the group size is limited to

lowveld bushveld and Kalahari thornveld.

15 people per rhino. Where necessary the

This upscale tented safari camp has 12

group can be increased at the discretion

luxurious, tented suites surrounded by

of the Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust. In winter

untamed bush, and offers every touch

it is possible to notch four to five rhino

of modern comfort in a wonderfully

back to back. During summer months, the

designed space that exudes a strong

numbers are limited.

Afro-Asian safari milieu.

Interested parties need to make prior

Facilities include air conditioning,

arrangement with lodge management and

hairdryer and power 220vAc, and

there is an additional cost applicable. No

mosquito nets. This is one of the few

vehicle or any refreshments are supplied.

reserves in Southern Africa which is

aha Shepherds Tree Game Lodge is a five-star lodge located in the

malaria-free. Each tent has a sliding door that opens onto a private deck overlooking the

Pilanesberg Game Reserve. The entire

Marico River, where magical dawns and

ha Ivory Tree Game Lodge

lodge lies in an exclusive-use zone in the

sunsets can be observed with echoing

offers two state-of-the-

south-western portion of the 57 250 ha

sounds of majestic animals looming in

art, aesthetically-designed

reserve, awarded by the North West Parks

the distance.

conference rooms featuring Africaninspired themes exuding a warm and

and Tourism Board. The lodge offers impressive views of the

aha Thakadu River Camp comprises of an open plan lounge encompassed

inviting atmosphere. A variety of

distant bushveld plains, with magnificent

by warm and inviting dining and

configurations can be provided according

walking trails in a distinct environment.

reception areas. The bar and pool area is

to clients particular requirements. Larger groups can be accommodated

aha Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge recently won the The Lilizela Awards

the perfect spot to unwind. Meals and beverages are served in

in the main conference room, through

as Leading Lodge in North West in

the communal dining room, with rustic

various options such as cinema-style

the category of Service Excellence –

wooden floors and an engaging fireplace,

seating for 120 delegates, and banquet


offering much needed warmth on

and schoolroom-style seating to

The elegantly furnished rooms present

colder evenings.

accommodate 50 delegates. Boardroom-

views of the reserve and offer an en-suite

style seating can accommodate

bathroom, minibar, TV and tea-and-coffee

experience in the bushveld with

40 delegates.

making facility.

scrumptious breakfasts, lunches, high

The more intimate Durga Meeting

The lodge offers 26 standard rooms

Relish the ultimate banqueting

teas and dinners. Savour the ultimate

Room accommodates 30 delegates

(or 13 family suites), four spacious

African dining experience with exotic

in both cinema and banquet-style

executive suites situated adjacent to the

game meat that is organic and natural,

arrangements and a total of 20 delegates

magnificent main lodge, and one villa with

such as kudu and eland steak, that is

for boardroom, U-shape or schoolroom-

two bedrooms and a plunge pool.

perfectly prepared under the night sky on

style seating. The conference rooms offer Wi-Fi to

Guests can enjoy a drink at the casual lounge and bar, which provide

the braai at the boma. The game rangers at aha Thakadu

all conference delegates, flipcharts and

magnificent views overlooking the

River Camp are experts, and possess

markers, writing pads and pens, pull-

impressive landscape. There’s a spacious

an immense understanding of both the

down screens, surround-sound audio

entertainment deck with outdoor cocktail

fauna and flora, making a game drive

system, audio visual equipment, PA and

bar overlooking a spectacular pool,

extra exciting.

microphones, LCD projector and PC-

and guests can enjoy a rejuvenating

compatible interfacing with all equipment.

pampering session at the award-winning

savannah plains, along with giraffe, zebra,

Amani Spa.

blue wildebeest, impala, kudu and wild

The conferencing package includes an optional, once-in-a-lifetime rhino

The notorious ‘Big Five’ inhabit these

dogs, which are a rare sight to see.

conservation-oriented team-building

aha Thakadu River Camp is set

activity initiated by The Pilanesberg

in the Madikwe Game Reserve within

dynamic landscape, while indulging in a

Wildlife Trust.

the riverine canopy along the banks of the

pleasant, soothing body massage that

Marico River, and alongside the Botswana

eliminates life’s daily stresses.

It offers a rhino capture experience where guests actively take part and

border, about 20 km from Gaborone.

assist the vet and park crew during a

aha Thakadu River Camp allows

rhino-notching operation. To ensure a

visitors to become one with nature, and

8 Business Events Africa December 2017

Drift away in the surrounds of the

Experience an African bush retreat and safari like never before at this luxurious hideaway!

A luxurious bush retreat awaits at aha Ivory Tree Game Lodge

Take in the splendour of the Pilanesberg at aha Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge

Experience the ultimate tented safari camp at aha Thakadu River Camp

RESERVATIONS : 087 740 9292 | |

The Expat


An expat in China

What is your current role in China?

Smog, high rise buildings, congestion and poor living conditions; this is a depiction many Westerners envision when considering an expat’s life in China. While there are certainly areas within mainland China that leaves much to be desired, Joey Pather proves us wrong and shares his personal experience as an expat in one of China’s “National Forest Cities.” 10 Business Events Africa December 2017

I was appointed as chief executive officer of the GICEC (Guandong Tanzhou International Conference and Exhibition Centre) in Foshan, South China, and officially opened the venue in September 2016. Since inception, my role has entailed building a team, creating and implementing systems, corporate governance, a sales pipeline and company vision, values and mission. China’s business events industry is expanding rapidly, making competition fierce. Other responsibilities on a macro level include developing strong brand positioning and building a solid marketing strategy. I also head up the venue’s impressive expansion project, which has given me the opportunity to hone in on my construction and development skills. Phase 2 of the GICEC totals an investment of six billion Chinese Yuan, and spans an area of approximately 300 000 m2.

What was the motivation behind the move to China? China’s culture and economy have always been of interest to me. With Asia’s conference and exhibition industry on

The Expat

A stunning view of Foshan city, in southern China, by night.

the rise, it seemed like a perfect career opportunity to gain exposure in the international business events market. Being headhunted by Deutsche Messe, the consulting partner to GICEC, provided an opportunity to work with one of the oldest and largest exhibition companies in the world ,while expanding in an emerging market. Another key driver was the chance to share my knowledge and best practices of the industry.

What do you like most about China, in both your work and personal capacity? I am employed by the Shunde District Government, who is responsible for the social development of the surrounding community. One generally finds a government organisation to be somewhat bureaucratic in their approach and involved at an arm’s length. I have, however, been pleasantly surprised by their ability to make decisions quickly, and their commitment to adhering to their proposed strategy. The Foshan government also has a programme in place to attract international talent to the region. The GICEC team that I work with are incredibly hard-working and dedicated. It is their hunger for knowledge that keeps me driven on challenging days.

Online shopping has become an expat’s survival kit. Taobao, JD and TMall are the e-commence giants of China. With an expansive product range of just about anything you need, coupled with an efficient logistics network, online shopping has made life a little easier for us. Most South Africans live in fear of being a victim of yet another violent crime. China has an unforgiving judicial system; a significant benefit is their safety and security. We appreciate the freedom of night walks after dinner, trustworthy taxi drivers, and the fact that children play outside without threat. Foshan’s ideal location in South China allows us to travel to some of the world’s most exotic islands in just a few hours. Hong Kong, one of our favourite cities, is just a short ferry ride away. We frequent this cosmopolitan city when the confines of China become a little overwhelming. While some of the bigger cities are faced with rising pollution and congestion, Foshan was recently named a ‘National Forest City.” The government’s commitment to creating an ecological environment makes it a great city to live in.

What have been your challenges so far? Living in mainland China is undeniably a culture shock, and the lack of

communication has made adjusting so much harder. The majority of the Chinese population don’t speak English, and this has made for a very frustrating experience. Although translation apps have been our saving grace, direct translation can often result in awkward situations. In my professional capacity, while I have a dedicated interpreter, the language and cultural barrier can significantly alter the intended message as well as result in long, drawn out meetings. The food culture in China is significantly different to Western diets. Chinese people commonly purchase meat and vegetables from a fresh market. We took for granted the vast supply of fresh produce available in South African supermarkets, where one can peruse aisles of meat and poultry cut and packaged to perfection or an endless array of gourmet breads and cheeses in a clean, savoury environment. We are very fortunate to have an international supermarket about 30 minutes from our apartment, however these imported goods come at high prices. While the public transportation system in China is excellent, it is of little use if you can’t speak the language. During our first year in China, we struggled to get around. Fortunately DiDi, China’s Uber equivalent, has recently updated their mobile app to offer an English service which has transformed the way we travel. For the majority of the world, a social media presence is a way of life, not only personally, but is also key for most businesses in their marketing strategy. WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are banned in China, and can only be accessed via a VPN (virtual private network) at a fee. Foshan allows us to have a work-life balance, which the world as a whole is striving towards. We have been made to feel at home in China and we have been welcomed with open arms.

Business Events Africa December 2017 11


A local perspective

Tourism is key to the growth of

South Africa’s economy Never mind the poor economic performance, even the weather in some parts of the country seems to have conspired to make 2017 a challenging year for South Africa’s travel and tourism sector.


t one per cent in tourist arrivals by the middle of the year, expectations are that the increase in foreign travel to South Africa in 2017 is unlikely to match the 12.8 per cent increase of 2016, which was largely a rebound in tourist arrivals, boosted by the partial relaxation of new, onerous visa requirements that were introduced in 2014. Moreover, the slight growth we’ve seen thus far was largely driven by leisure holiday tourists. Preliminary performance figures that are currently available show that travel for business, visiting friends and relatives, religious and other purposes, shopping (personal and business), business events and medical, all saw declines.

The country’s political and economic quandary, heightened attention to issues of tourist safety as a result of the perceptions and realities of crime, healthcare alerts in Madagascar, the outbreak of avian flu, and water restrictions, particularly in the Western Cape, have not helped in strengthening South Africa’s competitive position as a prime tourist destination. As the economy falters, pockets and budgets are tightened, and both business and domestic leisure travel have declined. What has worked in South Africa’s favour as a destination, however, is the devaluing rand, which makes the country an increasingly affordable and

12 Business Events Africa December 2017

Mmatšatši Ramawela, chief executive officer of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa

A local perspective

value for money tourist destination with foreigners paying little for world-class accommodation, dining, experiences and tourist facilities. “The downgrade and subsequent repercussions have been double-edged as the destination has also become competitive in terms of inbound tourism,” said Mmatšatši Ramawela, chief executive officer of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). “South Africans, on the other hand, are holding on to their disposable income, opting to stay at home, or to explore more local tourism offerings, which is good for domestic tourism.” Domestic travel edged up 1.5 per cent in 2016, below the previous year, and the Stats SA domestic tourism survey released earlier this year shows a decline in local tourism over the past two years. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) expects domestic tourism to increase by 2.2 per cent in 2017, and by an average three per cent, compounded annually to 2021. “Capital investment is also negatively impacted. Money is tight and there is not enough investment in large infrastructure developments around the country, in roads, telecommunications, water and sanitation and so on, which benefit our citizens as well as the travel and tourism sector. Investor confidence, like consumer

confidence, is at a low level. On the sociopolitical and economic front, we are just not in a good space,” Ms Ramawela said. According to PwC’s hotels outlook 2017 to 2021, only 700 rooms were added between 2011 and 2016, and there were just over a handful of new large hotels opened over 2017. “We may be seeing cranes out there, but these reflect construction decisions made in the last five to ten years. What is important now are investment decisions on new stock going into the future,” Ms Ramawela said. While the glut of hotel rooms following the 2010 World Cup has dissipated, the growth in new hotel rooms is relatively slow in anticipation of sluggish tourism growth. With occupancy rates edging up slowly over five years to 61.2 per cent in 2016, and a poor economic growth outlook, the need for additional rooms is hardly pressing, and PwC expects the number of available hotel rooms to rise at a 0.9 per cent compounded annual rate to 2021. PwC’s forecast is for a 5.6 per cent increase in the number of foreign overnight visitors to South Africa in 2017, and then an average annual growth rate of 3.9 per cent until 2021. “Tourism is, however, one of the only ‘sunrise’ sectors that can help South

Africa break out of its economic malaise in the short to medium term,” Ms Ramawela said. “Tourism must be assisted by a conducive enabling environment which facilitates access through greater air access, easier visa regulation, a greater sense of personal safety for both citizens and tourists through increased visible policing, and a spirit of inclusivity and entrepreneurship “Tourism is one of the few vibrant, flexible and swift-reacting sectors that can generate quick growth and be immune to many of the local negative factors, provided that the visitor experience is not compromised,” Ms Ramawela said. “Tourism is a vibrant and vital economic sector whose total GDP contribution in 2016 alone was R402.2 billion or 9.3 per cent of GDP and accounting for 9.8 per cent of total employment, or over 1.5 million jobs,” she said. “Both are expected by the World Travel and Tourism Council to increase when we see 2017 final figures released early next year, despite South Africa being in a recession over some of this period.” “This dynamic tourism sector is critical for South Africa’s ability to increase its employment rates. Tourism is a sector with the ability to provide a broad range of job opportunities from management

Business Events Africa December 2017 13



A local perspective

“Tourism is a vibrant and vital economic sector whose total GDP contribution in 2016 alone was R402.2 billion or 9.3 per cent of GDP and accounting for 9.8 per cent of total employment, or over 1.5 million jobs” and technical to the soft-skills and the unskilled, and in both urban and rural areas,” she said. “Tourism is also a sector that encourages entrepreneurship opportunities, notably at the vital small and emerging business level. This would be so much easier if the promotion of tourism were a national priority.” The TBCSA’s most recent Tourism Business Index, which tracks the level of business performance across the travel and tourism sector, shows lower than normal business performance between January and June 2017, and anticipation of lower performance for the rest of 2017. “Insufficient overseas leisure demand, insufficient domestic business demand and increases in competitive supply are the top three factors cited as contributing negatively to performance. Other reasons cited include the downturn in the economy, increases in rates and taxes and continued water restrictions,” TBCSA said. “Competitive supply” surely encompasses the impact of the disrupter in the accommodation industry, Airbnb. Ms Ramawela said TBCSA believes South Africa will require some level of regulation with regards to the ‘sharing economy’. “Our regulatory environment is struggling to keep up with the impact of disruptors like Airbnb and Uber. There is a degree of concern that these new players are benefiting from not being subject to the same regulations as traditional and legacy businesses“ she said. For example, establishments that are listed on a platform like Airbnb would not necessarily comply with the safety regulations that are required by law for business operators in the wider industry. Relevant regulations that are appropriate to the affected businesses will protect both destinations and guests. “Our message as the TBCSA is that we must embrace the benefits that come with technological innovation in our sector. Regulations need to find a way

to balance protecting the reputation of the destination while at the same time not discouraging investment and the opportunities afforded to entrepreneurs as a result of the immense potential of the shared economy.” Airbnb’s success may be masking some positive trends as far as accommodation goes, although actual numbers of people coming through border posts are what they are. Airbnb will argue that they are encouraging more people to travel but there is a counter argument that it could be responsible for taking a share away from hotels, keeping their occupancies low and reducing the need for further investment in new hotels. South Africa’s biggest problem, however, is attracting more tourists. It is not alone. Factors like US President Donald Trump, who through his utterances has actively discouraged tourists from certain countries while terrorist attacks in major tourist destinations like France and Spain have affected travel. “As mature tourism destinations, these countries generally experience quick recoveries, Ms Ramawela said. Africa too, she said, has seen a gradual recovery in tourism over the past few years with major destinations like Egypt, before the last attacks, showing an estimated 27 per cent increase in tourist arrivals. But Africa has an additional challenge. It is both misunderstood and African countries tend not to communicate enough, as with the recent healthcare or safety issues. “Communication around these issues needs to be a lot better. South Africa also needs to communicate that it is still a very attractive and a value-for-money destination. Let us not forget that South Africa is a powerhouse because of how diverse our economy is,” she said. Ms Ramawela said that excellent facilities, tourism landmarks and a lot of expertise in the sector mean we will still attract ‘front of the airplane’ travellers.

14 Business Events Africa December 2017

“FastJet just moved its headquarters to Johannesburg. Amazon is sniffing around and is probably going to put its base in Cape Town. There has been a big improvement in airport infrastructure by the state. The Johannesburg/Cape Town route is among the busiest internationally, while OR Tambo has one of the world’s busiest car rental hubs,” she said, adding that the Western Cape and Cape Town is still pumping with tourist arrivals. South Africa still attracts over 10 million international tourists (2016), while tourism in total accounts for close on 10 per cent of GDP, and over nine per cent of total employment. “To keep the sector on track or growing, we must innovate our offering by harnessing the lifestyle, culture and food of our people to make our product more appealing,” Ms Ramawela said. “We haven’t scratched the surface when it comes to exploiting tourism’s potential, let alone the immense potential that lies in business tourism.” The review of the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) may provide some impetus to boost tourism. Ms Ramawela calls for a fresh approach, focusing on core areas which could significantly increase growth in tourism. Some of these areas include promoting growth in inbound and domestic tourism, and improving and integrating efficient, safe and convenient public transport systems. An enabling environment should be high on the agenda, where authorities performing gatekeeping functions should be facilitating, rather than inhibiting, growth of the sector. In conclusion, Ms Ramawela said: “Barring a political and economic revival, the outlook for 2018 is uncertain, but we remain cautiously optimistic. What is most certain is that tourism has an important role to play in steering South Africa’s economy going forward. We will require a lot of help and goodwill to do so.”

Personality profile

Worldly-wise Chad Botha takes nothing for granted Chad Botha, 51, national manager of Inspire Furniture, believes in perseverance. “Never give up and never let life’s knocks get you down. There is always a silver lining to every cloud; you just need to find it.”


had believes that his success is due to his hard work and ability to adapt and change very quickly. “I started Inspire Furniture together with Alastair Laing in 2014. We had a vision, and together we grew Inspire from my backyard in Modderfontien to the largest furniture rental company in Africa within three years. “We never sit back. We believe in the Kaiser Principle of ‘continuous improvement’. Our goals are to be the leaders in all sectors of business, not just product quality and service, but innovation, IT systems, HR, and marketing. This is what drives the Inspire team, and what I believe will keep us at the top of the industry. “The events and exhibitions industry in South Africa has great potential. However, we need to focus on increasing our efficiency and productivity, and ensuring we can offer a competitive products to the world. We have a beautiful country with some of the best weather in the world and First World infrastructure, and we need to focus and work on these strengths,” he said.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Boksburg and matriculated at Boksburg High in 1984. After that, I went to the army for two years and then joined the Fire Department. I worked as a fireman and paramedic for two years, and then backpacked for six years, travelling to over 90 countries to try and find my calling.

Where did you start your career? I have never had an official career. I started my first business at 12, as a DJ playing at small parties. During my six years of backpacking I worked in many industries. Cleaning toilets, moving furniture, driving trucks and buses, washing dishes, working on dive boats, farming, waitering, tree felling, and promotions. In my last year of travelling, I managed restaurants in Hong Kong.

When I returned to South Africa at the end of 1993 I started several companies over the years – chauffeur driver, golf tours, cell phones and various rental companies. In 1997 I was made an offer to manage Britz Africa, an Australian motorhome and 4x4 rental company which had just opened in South Africa. I gained an incredible insight to rentals in all aspects, with a lot of focus on IT systems, financial management and forecasting. After that I worked at Avis, where I gained further experience in the rental industry. In 2002 I had saved enough money to start my own marquee rental company called Domino Hiring with my cousin. This is where I started in the industry.

What role does your family play in your life? My lifestyle is not conducive to a great family life. I am always at work. I have a daughter who recently finished her studies at UCT and is a writing her board exam in January to qualify as a chartered accountant.

What would you change in your life if you could? I often think about that as I have made a lot of mistakes, but I realised a long time ago that life is a journey with many ups and downs. I would not be where I am today without making those mistakes, so I have no regrets.

Do you have any hobbies? I love hiking, swimming, and reading business and motivational books.

What do you do for leisure? I love work, it is very stimulating. Otherwise, I enjoy hiking, and I’m very social person and love meeting new people.

What has been your biggest challenge in this sector? Increasing pricing in line with consumer price index. It is very difficult in the rental

industry as people seem to expect prices to stay the same. Clients do not take into account that our costs increase every year, and are becoming more demanding with last minute orders.

What is the most memorable place you have ever been to? This is a difficult one as there are many, but if I had to mention the most memorable places I would say, Alaska, Nepal (Mount Everest), Galápagos Islands and the Inca Trail in Peru.

Who is your role model? Desmond Tutu. He always stands up for what is right and is not swayed by money and politics.

What advice do you have for anyone starting out in this industry? See a doctor first! You must have passion and enjoy what you doing if not you will not be successful. There are no shortcuts. Be prepared to work hard and always do your best to get things right the first time.

What is your dream for the future? One day when I sell, I would like to start a consultancy company and assist people with start-ups. It is my passion, and I would like to share my knowledge and help people out there with ideas to put their ideas into reality and fast track them. I would also like to open a bar on a beach with a yacht moored close by, and to be able to have lots of space so friends can visit.

Business Events Africa December 2017 15


Industry predictions

Business events industry leaders

take a look into the crystal ball to see what 2018 may bring…

NINA FREYSENPRETORIUS, president of ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), and managing director of The Conference Company. BEING ASKED to give a prediction on 2018 always fills me with complete dread! So having confessed this upfront, I also need to say that the thoughts and ideas expressed are entirely my own and based on my experiences. There are two ideas that I would like to share that I believe is and will continue to impact on business events and the sector we work in. Specifically, more locallyfocused and South African-based is the challenge of corruption. Often corruption is confused with the new political rhetoric of “radical economic transformation,” making reference to BBBEEE. I completely support and accept that our economy has to be inclusive and allow for previously disadvantaged citizens, all citizens, to have access to education, skills and opportunities. Without this inclusive,

collaborative approach our country and, in particular, the economy will continue in the negative spiral it currently finds itself. However, this inclusivity should not be a front for corruption. As a country, we are not only competing with one another, but we are part of the global economy and have to be in a position to deliver quality goods and services in a competitive manner. Awarding tenders and business to entities and individuals because of their “connections” and not their abilities is a travesty of justice. While it may seem okay at the time, the long-term ramifications and the perception of us as a sector, a people and a country is, and will continue to be, judged negatively. My reference is not to what I read in the newspapers, but rather what I as an SMME have to deal with on a daily basis. The corrupt practices erode the good work and reputation that we have built up internationally over the years. The second predication that I have is that we need to apply ourselves to how the 4th Industrial Revolution is going to impact on us. Perhaps here in South Africa we are slightly behind the trends and approaches of the first world countries in this regard, and we should use this to our advantage. But will we have the same jobs and need the same skills, approaching conferences and meetings in the same way as we have done? I think most definitely not. Already conference centres are being designed with large open spaces, free and uncapped wifi to encourage engagement and knowledge-sharing in another form. This is a revolutionary change that we should collaborate about and seek approaches that will not harm our labour market, prepare and train to have the right skills and not be afraid of the change as it is unstoppable.

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ESMARÉ STEINHÖFEL, regional director: Africa, ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) 2017 PROVED to be a very positive year for the association meetings industry in Africa. ICCA currently has members in 10 countries in Africa, which is an indication of the African meetings industry’s understanding of the importance of belonging to relevant industry associations, and increased focus on the business events industry versus only the leisure market. Africa’s business meetings industry will continue to grow, and more governments are starting to realise that the meetings industry is a catalyst to economic development and that business events must be integrated with a country’s economic development. There will be continued investments on infrastructure on the continent, with airport upgrades and new airport terminals being built. There has been an increase in the number of international hotel chains opening properties in Africa.

Industry predictions

Destinations are also seeing the benefit of having purpose-built convention & exhibition centres. Growth of dedicated meeting industry tradeshows is starting to happen to promote destinations and services of suppliers to both the African and international market. New regional and national industry associations are being formed, like the African Society of Association Executives and the Rwanda Association of Professional Conference Organisers. Many destinations on the continent still lack a city, provincial or national convention bureau to market and sell the destinations they represent to secure future meetings, congresses and exhibitions. I foresee the establishment of more Convention Bureaus in Africa during 2018. In 2018, the ICCA Africa office will continue to raise awareness on how the association meetings market works, and we will see a growing membership in emerging countries. Key to the growth of association conferences in Africa is getting more regional African meetings to take place and rotate. A focus therefore will be to work closer with the African association executives in assisting them with organising quality meetings.

RUDI VAN DER VYVER, chief executive officer of SAACI and (Southern African Association for the Conference Industry) WAYNE JOHNSON , chairperson of SAACI LOOKING BACK AT 2017 it felt like 12 months packed with three years’ worth of ups and downs. Typical to the business events industry, we’ve taken everything within the industry in our stride! 2017 has seen major political influences shape our business environment, like the Trump presidency and Zimbabwe’s

political change. In South Africa we had more than our fair share of disruption, with state capture reports providing for a rollercoaster ride in our economy, investor confidence, our sense of stability and even our currency. Competition has been fierce and the industry is more competitive than ever. It is, however, not all doom and gloom. We’ve seen large international groups still investing heavily in southern Africa and South Africa respectively. Where General Motors pulled out of the country, on the flip side we’ve seen hospitality groups, both international and national, invest heavily in new properties and venues as well as large scale refurbishment projects of current properties. There has been some aggressive expansion into Africa in a market some studies call “saturated”, and we continue to see growth and further investment. We have also seen the tremendous direct and indirect influence that the business events industry has on the South African economy through the stimulation of leisure tourism, the retail industry and other auxiliary elements which positively stimulates and influences the country’s GDP. Looking forward to 2018 we predict another year of ups and downs, not only owing to the volatility of our South African political environment, but also international influences, like terrorism threats which play havoc in securing and planning international business events on a large scale. We also predict government spend to decline as we head to the 2019 general elections. The threat of further downgrades in our investment status also places strain on our economic and business environments and the outlook thereof. This all being said, on the positive side we should see continued and potentially even accelerated investment into Africa, and from a business events perspective we predict a continued increase in international events (association and business conferences) to be hosted by African countries, including South Africa. With large infrastructure investment in countries like Rwanda and Ethiopia, we also predict southern African countries to be more successful in bids for future events. We see local corporates spending more nationally and less on international meetings and conferences with a focus on increasing training and learning

interventions through the business events platform. Competition within the South African market will remain fierce, with pricing being placed under severe pressure as cost cutting remains a focal point within business. We also predict increased pressure for inclusive growth, sustainable transformation, adequate training and true professionalisation of the business events industry. This will include elements like locally-sourced produce, products and services, and a balancing act would need to be maintained between cost efficiencies and social economic growth elements. We are positive that we’ll continue to see growth in the tourism as well as the business events industry, and we predict that 2018 will see a higher growth rate than 2017. With pricing and costs being an everpresent influence, we should see service levels starting to play a much bigger role in creating competitive advantage within the industry, combined with the updating of technology infrastructure (across the industry segments) to meet the standards of international as well as local clients. In summary, we predict further growth for the business events industry and at a higher growth rate than in 2017. Business will remain tough, but with a larger piece of the pie starting to come to Africa, those who are up for the challenge will reap the rewards come the end of 2018!

DOUG RIX, chairperson of EXSA (Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa) IF WE LOOK at the business events industry, it has a noticeable and impactful effect on the South African economy. As 2017 draws rapidly towards a close, we have seen business events taking

Business Events Africa December 2017 17

Industry predictions

a personal turn, where face-to-face networking and meetings are definitely preferred. From business meetings to trade exhibitions or even gala dinners, people prefer personal contact, or personalisation. We have also seen corporates investing in event and experiential marketing to engage and connect with their attendees to their events on different and memorable platforms. Venues have upgraded and enjoyed the fruits of such labour, such as Sun City and CTICC has increased its capacity with the new 10 000 m2 convention centre extension. We have seen new venues emerge, like the Galleria in Sandton. Grabbing the attention of the attendee, then keeping their interest and ensuring a memorable customer-centric experience is key in our industry and so we focus on creativity, innovation, sustainability, technology and entertainment, whilst maintaining our flexibility, a level head and adept hands on approach. The future is exciting and as technology swiftly moves forward into 2018 and beyond, it will prove to be an even more digitally saturated environment. Most significantly then, the way we create our business event experiences will be predominantly determined by contemporary event planning industry trends. Researching and staying abreast of the trends is critical to an organisations survival. Working with the attendees and not against them in the business event space, ensures that they are captivated. For

example, how many times do we look at our phones and devices whilst in a meeting space, or attending an event? Using these devices, coupled with the latest technology trends, helps to create the experience. Furthermore, let’s not forget to have interactivity, not forgetting the sustainable touch and use our new up and coming venues and spaces to create themed environments that create a demand for more.’’

incorporating incentive travel into their overall employee engagement and talent retention strategies. It makes business sense to include employee incentive travel as an integral component of employee engagement programmes, and increase performance improvement in teams and individuals. The uptake of this global trend has given rise to a multitude of opportunities for innovation and industry disruptions. The challenge for any destination is to stay ahead of the curve by finding innovative ways to capture this growing market and mitigate the risks relating to industry trends and disruptors.

Here are some of the trends to pay attention to as we get ready for 2018.

TES PROOS, president of Site (Society of Incentive Travel Excellence) Southern Africa NO-ONE COULD HAVE PREDICTED the global political disruptions and safety and security risks we faced this year, and as we edge closer to 2018, our local incentive travel industry has its work cut out to develop strategies that should include the learnings of a tumultuous 2017 and the promise of a more robust future as we consider global trends and innovations. One big positive we can take from 2017 is the increasing number of organisations

Technical innovation in our industry is happening at such a rapid rate and will be a key differentiator for operators wanting to stay relevant in this digital age. Advancement in artificial intelligence or machine learning is influencing the design of digital applications by becoming more responsive and predictive. The end-goal is to simplify the user experience and could mean the difference between a confirmed booking or missed opportunity. Digital nomads are the new breed of business travellers and it is estimated that there will be more than 1 billion digital nomads by the year 2035, roughly making up 25 per cent of the world’s workforce. The lifestyle of this global business traveller is influencing the work and living

What we’re all about: motivational experiences Why we do it? Business results! Site is the only global network of travel and event professionals committed to motivational experiences that deliver business results. Site provides insights and connections that inspire the utilisation of this powerful tool across diverse industries, regions and cultures. Site serves as a source of knowledge and best practices where members can make personal connections that sustain professional growth. Only one organisation sits at the critical intersection between those who seek the benefits of motivational tools and those who can provide these extraordinary experiences. That organisation is Site ...

18 Business Events Africa December 2017

Contact Tes Proos

Office: + 27 (0)21 555 3617 Fax: 086 698 7792 Email:

Industry predictions

spaces around them and encouraging destinations to invest in technology innovation and develop work and living spaces that complement their lifestyle. Leading brands such as Uber and Airbnb are tapping into this space with their business and group offerings. Millennials are set to make up half of the global workforce by 2020 and become one of the key influencers when it comes to product development. Ultimately, the goal of any incentive travel programme is to motivate, recognise and reward. Millennials, however, also want to be engaged. This population desires authentic, immersive experiences as well as inspiration to succeed, which is perhaps the most exciting philosophical shift of late. South Africa is just brimming with diversity and with its cultural, natural and historical attractions, offering operators enormous opportunities to develop locally infused programmes for incentive groups. Many incentive or association groups may visit a destination only once, but with a growing list of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, incentive groups could return annually, and have a different experience each time. Incorporating some of the abovementioned when it comes to product development and assure the global market that we are more than capable of meeting international travel incentive demands, without compromising on quality.

and automation is on the rise, people are increasingly valuing the face-to-face and personal interaction that exhibitions bring. As a result, the industry is not just cementing itself as a significant driver of sales and a platform for marketing, but exhibitions are also contributing massively to economies across Africa.

Reflecting on the overall industry developments associated with 2017: In the first quarter of 2017, The Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) released research results from an in-depth study it commissioned from Grant Thornton. The result confirmed something which any professional in the exhibition industry would have suspected all along: that the exhibition industry contributes greatly to South Africa’s economy, it employs a vast number of people, and it attracts tourists from all over the globe. To be precise, the exhibition industry was found to contribute a massive R75 billion (both directly and indirectly) to the South African economy in the financial year of 2016. It employed 152 748 people during the period and paid R13.5 billion in salaries to these employees alone. Despite volatile economies and slow growth in Africa, this industry continues to grow from strength to strength because of the significant return on investment and impact exhibitions have on business.

well as market the upcoming shows for the year at events such as the Exhibition of Exhibitions. From an exhibition industry trends perspective, 2018 is set to bring with it a renewed and deeper appreciation for the use of technology by organisers and exhibitors alike. While marketing tools such as social media are standard in organiser marketing plans, I expect to see clever, new uses of social media being introduced. Things like Facebook Live during exhibitions, virtual tours of the exhibition floorplan in anticipation of the event for exhibitors and virtual reality and augmented reality devices will be at the order of the day. Other predictions include the use of tracking technology to get people out of the aisle and onto the exhibition stands and a renewed sense of focus when it comes to having meaningful interactions with people once they are actually at your stand (rethinking how exhibitors engage with people, how they get their details, how they follow up on leads and convert).

Gearing for growth in 2018:

CAROL WEAVING, chairperson of AAXO (Association of African Exhibition Organisers) THE EXHIBITIONS and business events industry in Africa is showing positive growth. In an era where technology

I anticipate this growth to be sustained in 2018. Representing more than 85 per cent of the South African organiser community, AAXO will continue to offer noteworthy support, insights, training and more to help drive the industry forward. Our mandate goes beyond formalising and standardising the industry, to propelling growth across Africa as a whole – in a transparent and sustainable manner. This is why we have instituted ABCs (where our members’ shows get audited) as well as the AAXO Code of Conduct. We further offer regular training opportunities, such as the International Safety Training coming up at the end of January 2018. At the same time, AAXO creates a platform for our members to showcase their work at our annual ROAR Awards as

CORNÉ KOCH, head of convention bureau, Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP within the events industry was certainly the mantra for 2017. As competition increases fiercely on a global scale in the business events sector, meeting planners continue to shift their focus in targeted partnership, focusing on quality instead of quantity of projects. In the same breath, however,

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Industry predictions

meeting planners continue to be pressurised, like in all economic sectors, to increase ‘meeting sales’ and to do more with less. Increasing delegate attendance remained a key focus point during 2017 by destination marketers and meeting planners, with the focus on connections and unique experiences. The business events sector continued to be recognised by economies across the globe as a contributor to the Gross Development Product. However, authorities responsible for economic growth had a tough job in splitting their budget among other key growth sectors and this challenge remains on my prediction list for 2017. The art of persuading authorities on the real value of the business events sector to a destination and the beyond the conference impact will receive an even greater focus by this sector for 2018. With the increased competition in this sector during the year, more business leaders have embraced the meetings sector and many are launching their own conferences or training sessions. Destination marketing organisations (DMOs) and/or convention bureaus will continue to evaluate their role and relevance to meeting planners, and ensure that they create awareness of this role. A key contribution of DMOs is providing real-time intelligence, rather than just data as investors and meetings planners continue requesting this information to make their decisions. The meetings industry relies on many different industries as a source for growth. Based on the IBTM Trends Watch Report 2017, corporate meetings will continue to flourish based on performance by sector. The banking sector identified by innovation and emerging industry’s like FinTech will be a key source for leads to the meetings sector. Pharmaceutical meetings will continue to be regulated and it is up to those attracting these types of meetings, to be able to identify further value of hosting these types of meetings. The meetings industry needs to be able to both explain what it brings to the overall economy, and align the many interests that make up this sector so that a stronger and consistent message can continue to be built. The association market is entering incredibly interesting times. Meeting planners and associations themselves

are becoming more dynamic and sophisticated in their strategies of hosting events. They clearly see the business and strategic benefits of this market and are looking to use their meetings in a more interesting way. Incentive travel will continue to be the robust sector on this market, but remain dependant on performance by business and industry sectors. The value of incentive travel to destinations will receive even more attention in 2018, as a key contributor of economic impact to this sector. What is however constant is that no event takes place without investment of a business brand. The meetings industry in general will continue getting closer to business and this relationship will grow in 2018.

annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities’ Index since 2014 to date. This bodes extremely well for us on all fronts and is a great incentive to continue our efforts in showcasing Joburg’s credentials as a premier, global business events destination. This past year (2017) we hosted the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, 84th UFI Global Congress, Family Centred Early Intervention – Africa (FCEI) Conference, I CANN, among others. Things are going from strength to strength. I’m extremely positive, and believe that the trend is set to continue with 2018 a great year for business events in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the entire African continent. The recent partnerships between South African Association for the Conference Industry and the association of Africa Exhibition Organisers will play a pivotal role towards strengthening the business sector.

RENDANI KHOROMMBI, acting tourism director of Joburg Tourism THE PAST YEAR, while increasingly busy and hectic, has once again borne positive results for the Joburg Convention Bureau. Year on year, we’ve managed to keep abreast of developments on the international scene by participating in relevant roadshows and exhibitions, while also increasing our bid output to bring more convention business to our city. In the case of secured meetings, we’ve hosted numerous site inspections and we’re also working with local committees in an effort to offer onsite services. While I’m happy to report that we have a number of bids in progress for meetings to be held between now and 2021, I’d like to remind our stakeholders that our doors are always open to partnerships that can help increase the number of events we bring to Joburg. As a team, we’re thrilled with Joburg’s ranking as Africa’s most visited city in the

20 Business Events Africa December 2017

BRONWEN CADLE DE PONTE, general manager of CSIR ICC I FORESEE open and frank conversations within professional forums regarding industry standards and services fees, a decrease in the number of “conferences” and “meetings” with no real substance, formulated for purely commercial purposes, and a rise in competition, with hotels tapping into the meetings and conference space in 2017. The need for professionals to discuss, debate and share knowledge face-to-face continues to be essential and valuable,

Industry predictions

particularly in today’s volatile global working environment. There is a rise in unique or progressive conference, meetings and event experiences. We need to note that as the industry grows, it is followed with an ever increasing demand for quality, improved standards, value adding services and, not least, professionalism and unquestionable ethics. As venues we need to strive to achieve satisfying end-user experiences and fit-forpurpose facilities, services and products, that contribute to clients’ meeting objectives - venue infrastructure and destination brand alone no longer provide the only competitive edge when it comes to professional meetings and events. What is particularly paramount is the need for partnerships with government and industry in order to deliver holistic services and products, not only as venue but as knowledge hubs aligned with specific markets. I share the ethos of Aloysius Arlando, AIPC President, that “Convention Centres will move beyond being venue providers or even partners and solution providers, to become community builders.”

CRAIG NEWMAN, chief executive officer of Johannesburg Expo Centre and incoming UFI president 2019 ON THE BACK OF SOUTH Africa’s successful hosting of the 84th UFI Global Congress, I believe we are closing off 2017 on a high note and entering the new year with a great deal of positives, provided we take heed of global industry trends. One of the first exciting new trends is the influx of fresh young talent in the

local and global sector. The millennial generation is starting to make a real impact on the workplace, and will shape the world of work for years to come. Attracting the best of these millennial workers is critical to the future of any organisation and by 2020, millennials will form 50 per cent of the global workforce. What is becoming known as the digitisation of the sector in a new digital economy, means the accelerated use of new technologies and innovation for optimisation to improve on delivery, efficiencies and offer more value. The global industry is also experiencing growth as evidenced by the findings announced at the UFI Global Congress at the beginning of November which has seen an increase in new membership across exhibition venues, exhibition organisers and agencies in the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. Another major trend in 2018 will include the delivery of business events that engage delegates and visitors in multidisciplinary ways, similar to the current style of consumer exhibitions. Multidisciplinary engagement is aimed at driving personal and professional

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Industry predictions

development and helping visitors get greater value from attendance at events. The co-location of events is not a new trend, but we are likely to see more examples of co-located events in the new year, as ancillary events are hosted before, during or after major meetings and conventions. While security is always a major priority to take into consideration at local events, international trends show that this is now a major global consideration as well. This is no small part due to the number of terrorist-linked attacks we have seen taking place around the world over the past year, particularly where large numbers of people are gathered. So, aspects of security, including crowd control, surveillance and potential threats will become a major factor for consideration for meetings and events planners around the world. While South Africa’s economic and political landscape has seen its fair share of turbulence and volatility over the course of the past year, the one positive that the local business events industry has seen is the industry’s ability to have a lasting and positive impact on our country’s economic growth. Africa’s exhibitions, conferences and event industry have an important role to play in accelerating the growth of South Africa’s economy. Everything is ripe for South Africa to be the leading African country within the business tourism sector, and for the business events industry to become one of the biggest contributors towards the

growth of our local economy. I believe that this is the positive mindset that we need to take with us into the New Year.

ADRIAAN LIEBETRAU, Tsogo Sun sales and marketing manager – Sandton GLOBALLY, 2017 saw the impact of Brexit, the Trump administration, new leadership in France, and now Zimbabwe’s new president shaping a future. Locally, our economy has come to a virtual standstill with a ratings downgrade and very slow and low growth forecasts, with general hard business times. The optimist within me believes that things will turn, as it must at some point. The question remains: “when and how?”

2018 is a year of possibilities and will present the business events sector with many opportunities. For the most part, I believe trends in the business events industry will remain the same, and will mostly be driven by technology bringing about change. Food remains the focal point at any event, and healthy eating has moved on from being a trend to a necessity. With globalisation continuing to rise, delegates are looking for authentic South African cuisine that reflects the local culture and flavour. In terms of beverages, craft beer has become part of our culture, and gin has become the ‘in thing’. I am told that rum will be the next trend. However, few things beat a good South African wine perfectly paired with your dish. Growing in popularity, I won’t put aside Champagne, méthode cap classiques, sparkling wine, or as I call it, ‘bubbles’. Content is king. Carefully-designed programmes are the ultimate measure on ROI: what can we learn that we can bring back to effect change in our business? In my view, this will be a ground-breaking year for high demand on great speakers and delegate participation. Meeting design and how we make use of space in a conference room will become even more important, as people want to learn from each other just as much as from the speaker. The need for collaborations and cooperation will be the main drivers.

Industry predictions

Although many feel they don’t want traditional schoolroom seating in conference rooms, this is still the most popular way of conferencing. Decor and design has become a lot cleaner, more modern and green. Do you remember the massive backdrops at events? ‘Afro Chic’, they call it, and myself and many others love it. AV, sound and lighting can really make or break your conference. This will remain a big budget item, and has become part and parcel of event décor. The latest LED screen can produce high quality imagery and change at the click of a button. Greening is also a big trend. Not even five years ago, people were asking what it is, and now corporates and associations alike expect this to be part of the offering.

LINDIWE RAKHAREBE, chief executive officer of Durban ICC AS 2017 DRAWS to a close, I can look back on the past year with a sense of accomplishment at all that has been achieved. Despite sluggish economic conditions in both the local and international markets, the Durban ICC once again managed to produce solid financial results, growing its event numbers, revenue and profits in the past year. In the past twelve months, the Durban ICC also celebrated its 20th Anniversary. Since opening in 1997, this iconic institution has led the way for South Africa’s convention industry and pioneered the country’s ability to attract international events to its shores. Heads of state, royalty, captains of industry, celebrities and sporting luminaries are among some of the many

high-profile guests to have graced the centre’s stage over the years. During this time, the centre has also created tens of thousands of jobs and made an immense contribution to the country’s economy. This past year, it was a privilege to host the World Economic Forum on Africa and hear first-hand about the continuing impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and consider how we can stimulate inclusive economic growth for South Africa and Africa as a continent. As Klaus Schwab said, “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.” From an international event perspective, in order to continue attracting events of this calibre, the increasing concerns surrounding safety and security, threats of terrorism, health risks, political instability and responses to climate change will need to be effectively addressed. On the domestic front, we cannot ignore the reality of South Africa’s own economic challenges. The impact of the country’s credit downgrades have not fully yet been felt, nor the influence this will have on the private sector confidence. The economy is desperately in need of fresh impetus and stimulus in order to escape the bonds of inflation stagnation. However, I believe that the greatest challenges facing the world are also the areas of greatest opportunity. The real silver-lining is that our industry will play a critical role in facilitating the solutions to these problems. As an industry we need to be more than simply a collection of venues and services for holding meetings. We need to be the stage where meaningful dialogue and discussion can take place. We need to be the setting which catalyses progress and advancement. We need to provide the platform for the ‘meeting of the minds’ which can creatively resolve these complex challenges. We have to constantly consider how we can best impact the lives of our communities and deliver greater benefit. My hope is that, as industry, we will rise to the challenge in 2018.

GLYN TAYLOR and GARY KOETSER, joint chief executive officers of the Century City Conference Centre & Hotel A CLOUD OF PESSIMISM is permeating South Africa, largely due to the stagnant economy and political decisionmaking that, if nothing else, has made life interesting. Most people therefore view 2018 as a Fear Factor contestant might contemplate a hand-plunge box. It could contain a bunny, but there’s an equal chance of grabbing a snake. It’s not easy right now to see the wood for the economically-wilting trees, but our industry numbers are impressive. In June, Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa said the business events sector employed some 250 000 people, while a study by the SA National Convention Bureau noted that we contribute a staggering R75 billion to the economy. That’s the good news. The bad news is it will be increasingly taxing to sustain those numbers as corporates adopt further austerity measures. This means getting organised and making your establishment attractive to as wide a client-base as possible. On the paperwork side, ensure you do what’s needed to qualify for a high BBEEE rating to procure public sector business. The Century City Conference Centre (CCCC), for instance, has a Level 2. Think green. Growing numbers of corporates are instituting policies that prohibit the use of venues that aren’t energy-efficient and don’t offer sustainability outreach programmes to benefit local communities. Once everything has been done to secure sparse local business, where do we source new revenue streams? We’ll have to work harder, but the answer unquestionably lies beyond our borders. Long-haul inbound business travel is steadily increasing and we must leverage doors that are already ajar, but we cannot overlook the market on our doorstep.

Business Events Africa December 2017 23

Industry predictions

The CCCC has recently experienced significant interest from within Africa that has translated into firm reservations. Other emerging markets, too, remain untapped and for myriad reasons, now is the time to forge lasting relationships. A positive of our currency woes is that events here present value to the global market, and perceptions of SA are changing. We now present a safer option than the terror threat in Europe, but in efforts to promote the country to international travel, the two questions we still invariably face relate to crime and political instability. Put simply, the world is becoming more dangerous, and that’s not a foundation on which to build sustainable foreign business tourism. We are fortunate, though, in that the destination we market abroad is Cape Town, voted best African business tourism event destination for the fourth consecutive year. At the same time the CCCC, only in its second year of operation, is justifiably proud of being named 2017’s “Best Large Hotel Conference Venue in SA”. This industry-nominated award underpins one of the CCCC’s fundamental business tenets and also comprises the most essential piece of wisdom we can offer in such a tight economy. That advice is simple: nurture your relationships. Someone who is a small client today might turn into your biggest client tomorrow, so always go the extra

mile, train your staff well and get personally involved. That’s how you build brand loyalty and have clients return to you time and time again. If you have a foundation of repeat business there will never be a terrible year; just some that are a little tougher than others.

changes in the environment of this sector, Durban and KwaZulu-Natal has had a very productive year, hosting some of the most significant business events on this industry’s calendar. Some notable examples are the World News Media Congress, the World Economic Forum Africa, the Loeries Creative Week (now an African and Middle East event), the Royal Agricultural Show, the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry World Lab, and GovTech. In addition to these, there are more major business events which we will be hosting, namely the inaugural African Terminal and Port Operations Congress (TOC) and the Builders and Wood Workers International Congress. Durban and KwaZulu-Natal’s consistent performance in this sector also ensured that the Zulu Kingdom secured the World Travel Awards Leading Business Destination in Africa Award for 2017, and

JAMES SEYMOUR, chief executive officer of Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau

was ranked 45 in the world in terms of number of delegates attending ICCA related business events in 2016. 2018 is also expected to be a good year for this region in terms of the hosting of important business events. Some of the most notable of these being the

THE DURBAN KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau, together with its key partners, have noticed that the lead time for the release of request for proposals business events and the time frame required to deliver on such proposals appears to be shortening. However, despite such significant

1st Annual Africa Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, the 4th International STEMfest, Indaba, The International Association of Impact Assessment Congress, the 3rd International Children’s Palliative Care Network and the United Nations IT Congress – ITU.

Market news

Chef Dixie scoops award


he South African Chef’s Association (SA Chefs) has awarded Chef Sharmain Dixon the President’s Award for 2017. This award recognises her lifelong contribution to the growth and development of the South African hospitality industry, and her enduring commitment to training and uplifting undiscovered cooking talent. The SA Chefs President’s Award was introduced in 2007 and recognises and rewards hospitality industry professionals who have made an incredible, far-reaching impact on South Africa’s culinary and hospitality landscape. Affectionately known as Chef Dixie, Ms Dixon applied her years of practical and

academic experience to open the 1 000 Hills Chef School in 2005, establishing it as a FET-accredited college. Chef Dixie embraced the spirit of the National Youth Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP) created in association with the National Department of Tourism by hiking in the valleys around her school, where she met young people cooking for their families. She identified a ‘spark’ of potential in numerous young people, and offered them places in the school. The school has won local and international competitions every year since opening, and Chef Dixie invested any prize winnings back into the school, ensuring that it has sufficient facilities for learning and work experience.

24 Business Events Africa December 2017

SA Chefs’ President, Stephen Billingham, presented Chef Dixie with the 14th President’s Award.

“This award would not have been possible without the many remarkable students I have encountered over the years. Their commitment and dedication to achieving the best possible results with the opportunities they grabbed with both hands has inspired me to continue investing in the growth and development of the chefs of the future,” Ms Dixon said.

Market news

handy launches in South Africa to revolutionise travel and the hospitality sector Tink Labs Limited has announced its launch in the South African market to offer handy, a revolutionary hospitality IoT solution designed to uplift ancillary revenue, guest satisfaction and drive better cost efficiencies for hoteliers.


andy, first launched in September 2012, is a complimentary amenity that combines an in-room guest services platform to interact with hotels and an enabler to hassle-free travel experience. “With handy, a first-of-its-kind technology in Africa, it will serve as an integrative platform to fulfill hoteliers’ missions to enable better engagement, services and loyalty between guests and hotels. Our launch will further demonstrate handy’s unique offering in transforming hospitality and tourism at a global scale.” said Terence Kwok, founder and chief executive officer of Tink Labs. The tourism and hospitality industry in South Africa continues to thrive vibrantly with an overall foreign overnight visitors increased by 12.8 per cent in 2016. In today’s launch, handy presents a suite of tools and call-to-action functions that reshapes the way hotels engage, communicate and cater to guests and their modern travel needs. “A mobile-first strategy has become more critical than ever for an enriched travel experience in today’s digital age. Today, handy will connect travelers so they can enjoy South Africa as a premier travel destination, reveal local gems on the go and share their experiences.” said Steven To, managing director for Africa of Tink Labs. One of the first partners of handy in South Africa, Michelle De Faria, general

manager at Gardenia Boutique Hotel, said “At Gardenia Boutique Hotel, our guests seek for unique travel experiences and ultimate convenience when they explore the city. With the partnership with handy, we are able to increase the engagement with them, understand and address their needs in a deeper level, leading to boost their loyalty and satisfaction.” Guests who now stay at handy’s hotel partners in South Africa will enjoy the use of handy at no cost. Visitors will be able to stay connected with free local and international calls, internet access, speed

dialling to hotel services, as well as access to local emergency services and essential travel information. Travellers can also explore customised city guides, curated by experienced content provider LUXOS, to discover new experiences anytime, anywhere. To date, handy is already available in 70 cities, covering 500,000 rooms and helped 18 million global travelers to stay connected. The service is a trusted partner of other leading hotel groups including AccorHotels, Intercontinental, Sheraton, and more.

The Tink Labs team

Business Events Africa December 2017 25

Market news

Cape Town and Western Cape win four major bids WESGRO, Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, has announced that the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, a unit of the Agency, has secured 2600 expected delegates in the second quarter of the 2017/18 financial year (July – October 2017), emanating from four new successful bids. This is estimated to have an economic impact of R37 million.


f one combines the results from the first and second quarter (April – October 2017), the bureau has secured 18 new bids with an estimated economic impact of R157-million for the destination. Business events is an important component of the Western Cape’s economy. Not only does it bring in delegates from around the world who will spend money in our province, it also contributes significantly to the knowledge economy. This has an important impact on the investment potential of our region, as influential individuals, with important networks, are able to experience the diversity of opportunities on offer in the Cape. The Convention Bureau services include delegate boosting, hosting, lobbying and onsite support to new and existing clients, with nine such engagements taking place

The four successful business events bids secured in this quarter will all take place during low season (May – September) and are broken down as follows: • INTERNATIONAL WIKIMANIA CONFERENCE (September 2018) with an economic impact of

R9 630 000.

• SPACEOPS INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS (May 2020) with an economic impact of

in the quarter. The bureau also organised and hosted four site inspections. All of the hosting was done prior to the bid being awarded, which meant the site inspection was an important determining factor as to whether or not a destination is fit to and able to accommodate the bid requirements. Twenty-nine stakeholder engagements were also conducted, including attending the Stellenbosch 360 Business Tourism Development meetings and a hosting of a Legacy Workshop. In addition, the team attended the: • International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Meetings Programme, Japan 1-5 July 2017 • ICCA Africa Chapter Client Workshop, Pretoria, 20 – 21 July 2017. • SITE Youth Conference, Cape Town, 7 August 2017. • Annual Society for Incentive Travel Executives (SITE) Summit, 22 September 2017. Judy Lain, chief marketing officer at Wesgro, said: “On behalf of the team, I would like to thank the South African National Convention Bureau for their support. It would not be possible to land these important conferences without their contribution and help. And of course, the industry itself deserves a special mention.

They remain the backbone of the business tourism sector in the Cape.” Tim Harris, chief executive officer of Wesgro, said: “I am extremely impressed by the determination demonstrated by our convention bureau team. They are strengthening the business tourism industry, and helping grow the economy and create jobs, every single day. The fact that bureau is currently researching 93 leads, which should they be converted, would have an economic impact exceeding R2 billion is proof of this.” Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the figures were excellent news for the Western Cape’s tourism sector. “This is another indication of steady growth in our tourism sector. Projections for tourism arrivals for December and January also show a five percent year-onyear increase.” “We know business events is a lucrative niche, and that many business tourists often return for leisure with their families. I am encouraged by the news that the Convention Bureau has already submitted a further 13 new bids to the value of R134 million. I’d like to commend the team for their commitment to growing tourism, and our reputation as a worldclass business destination.”

R10 272 000.

R10 272 000.

• VOLVO TRUCKS CORPORATE INCENTIVE GROUP (September 2018) with an economic impact of

R6 876 000.

26 Business Events Africa December 2017

Credit: SA Tourism


Market news

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s hotels in Africa win big at World Luxury Hotel Awards The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel groups in the world, scooped seven winning trophies at the coveted World Luxury Hotel Awards, which took place on 2 December in Switzerland.


he World Luxury Hotel Awards is the pinnacle of achievement in the luxury hotel industry, offering international recognition as voted by guests, travellers and industry players alike. Luxury hotels participate by entering the hotel categories that showcase their unique selling points and destinations after which it is up to international travellers to vote during a four-week period to select the winners. In the Continent category, Radisson Blu Hotel, Sandton, located in the heart of Johannesburg’s upscale business district and best known for its spectacular views of the city skyline won the Luxury City

Hotel Award. Also in this category, the stylish Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis in Egypt was awarded the Luxury Eco/ Green Hotel, which was the first hotel in Egypt to be awarded the Green key label in recognition of its role in actively protecting the environment of the planet. Further awards were collected for the vibrant Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, also

located in the bustling Sandton business district in Johannesburg, being awarded South Africa’s Luxury Business Hotel and Luxury Hotel & Conference Centre. Moving slightly North East, another Carlson Rezidor African gem, located on the prominent Maputo beachside avenue, boasting scenic Indian Ocean views, Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Maputo received three awards, as Mozambique’s Luxury Business Hotel, the Regional Southern Africa Luxury Modern Hotel and Luxury Banquet/Event Hotel. “We are honoured to have four of our hotels, hailing from all corners of the flourishing African continent being recognised at the acclaimed World Luxury Hotel Awards,” said Tim Cordon, area senior vice president, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “We pride ourselves on our awardwinning hotel brands, each offering genuine hospitality with a personal human touch. It is humbling to receive this global recognition of sustained commitment to excellence in hospitality and wonderful recognition for our hotel teams,” he said.

Business Events Africa December 2017 27


Venue news

Tintswalo Atlantic plays its part

to save water

With the announcement by the City of Cape Town that level six water restrictions will be introduced on 1 January 2018, the tourism industry is sharpening their pencils to find innovative ways to further reduce water consumption in hotels to help alleviate the drought situation in the Western Cape.


part from obvious water saving practises already introduced earlier this year, Tintswalo Atlantic has invested in new technology to aid water saving with the installation of pressure reducers on all taps and showers.


This, together with other water saving measures, has brought down water consumption at the five-star lodge by about 50 per cent. Ryno du Rand, general manager, said that various other options are currently being explored to save water. “Tintswalo Atlantic is the only hotel located within the Table Mountain National Park, and we therefore exist very close to nature and in tune with the elements. “Apart from saving water, ultimately our goal is for Tintswalo Atlantic to go ‘off the grid’ and be self-sufficient in terms of the supply of both water and power,” he said. Tintswalo Atlantic has switched its laundry operations to Green Planet Laundry, a local commercial laundry operation which makes use of nonpotable, purified borehole water, which does not tap into the city’s precious municipal drinking water supply.

Other ways to reduce the hotel’s laundry operations include not changing bedlinen daily, and the use of top quality, recyclable paper napkins during meal service, and at guest basins. In addition, waterless hand sanitiser is vailable throughout the hotel. While the inviting oceanside seawater swimming pool is well-utilised by guests on hot summer days, the creative team at Tintswalo Atlantic goes to great lengths to inform and educate guests about the water crisis. Mr Du Rand said: “Our signature messages in ‘shell writing’ now also extends to the baths in guest rooms. A beautifully laid-out request in the bath to save water does seem to do the trick and usually manages to convince even the greatest bath lover to swop a soaking in a deep tub with a refreshing, quick shower.”

Advertisers’ index

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28 Business Events Africa December 2017


Conferences, workshops and exhibitions of interest to the conference, exhibition and special events market For free entries in this calendar, please supply information to: Contact Publications Tel: +27 (0)31 764 6977 | Email: LOCAL 2018 31 JANUARY – 1 FEBRUARY Safe Management at Exhibitions & Events Venue: The Ticketpro Dome More information: AAXO Tel:+27 11 794 5800

1 FEBRUARY: ROAR Awards Venue: The Ticketpro Dome More information: AAXO Tel: +27 11 549 8300 Email: | 2 FEBRUARY: Directing Safely at Events More information: AAXO Venue: The

INTERNATIONAL: 2018 JANUARY 22-23: AIME Dubai. Venue: Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Tel: +971 603 3300 Email: FEBRUARY 6-8: IBTM ARABIA. Venue: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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27-28 FEBRUARY: Meetings Africa Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg More information: South African Tourism Tel: +27 (0)11 895 3000 Email: 18-20 APRIL: WTM Africa 2018 Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

FEBRUARY 20-21: AIME 2018. Venue: Melbourne Convention &

APRIL 19-20: ibtm africa Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre 8-10 MAY: INDABA. Venue: Durban International Convention Centre Tel: +27 (0)11 467 5011 Email:

Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia. Tel: +61 2 9422 2500.

MAY 15-17: IMEX in Frankfurt Venue: Halle 8, Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt

15-18 APRIL: ICCA Congress Venue: Sydney, Australia Tel: +61 (0) 2 9254 5000 Email:

JUNE 29-JULY 1: ICCA Association Meetings Programme. Venue: Fukuoka, Japan. More information: ICCA Netherlands. Tel: +31 20 398 1902

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Chad Botha Inspire Furniture e: c: +27 (0)76 644 0271 Happy Makhate South African Airways e: c: +27 (0)11 978 6458

Integrity | Intelligence | Innovation | Sustainability BOARD OF DIRECTORS

National chairperson: Wayne Johnson, Sales Ambassador, Century City Conference Centre e: c: +27(0)83 448 1324 Vice-chairperson: Kim Roberts, The Forum Company e: c: +27 (0)82 652 2008 Treasurer: Glenn van Eck Chief Executive Officer Magnetic Storm e: c: +27 (0)82 800 2616 Public officer: Denise Kemp Director, Eastern Sun Events e: c: +27 (0)82 654 9755 Chief executive officer: Rudi Van Der Vyver e: c: 27(0)84 580 9882


Co-ordinator: Wendy Knott-Craig e: c: +27(0)73 201 8699 COMMITTEE: Leigh Myles-Rohroft JHGroup-Hotel Savoy e: c: +27 (0)83 228 3928 David Limbert Magnetic Storm e: c: +27 (0)82 906 4198 Alastair Stead Scan Display e: c: +27 (0)73 236 6618 Donna Peo Fish River Sun e: c: +27 (0)82 941 6911 Sadie Isaacs Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism e: c: +27 (0)82 990 7652

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Gill Dickie Bidvest Car Rental e: c: +27 (0)79 527 7619

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JHB chairperson: Lorin Bowen Synergy Business Events e: c: + 27 (0) 824338687 WC chairperson: Jaques Fouche Gearhouse e: c: +27 (0)83 607 2046 Tshwane chairperson: Robert Walker Jukwaa Group e: c: +27 (0)82 550 0162 C&E forum: Gwyn Matthews Southern Cross Conferences e: c: +27 (0)21 683 5106 Government representative: Nonnie Kubeka Gauteng Convention & Events Bureau e: c: +27 (0)83 571 7410


Chairperson: Lorin Bowen Vice-chairperson: Michelle Bingham Sandton Convention Centre e: c: +27 (0)11 779 0000


Chairperson: Robert Walker Jukwaa Group e: c: +27 (0)12 667 2074 Vice-chairperson: Melanie Pretorius CSIR e: c: +27 (0)82 410 1202 Treasurer: Emily Naidoo CSIR ICC e: t: +27 (0)12 841 3435


Dr Nellie Swart, CMP Unisa e: c: +27 (0)82 771 0270 Taubie Motlhabane City of Tshwane Tourism e: c: +27 (0)79 075 1560 Juan Quinn, Juan Q e: c: +27 (0)72 352 3598 Leon Pheiffer EPH Productions Monte de Dios e: c: +27 (0)82 924 9046 Jeana Turner Sales Manager Affordable Adventures e: c: +27 (0)83 400 2685 Anette Burden Owner, Casa Toscana e: c: +27 (0)82 787 614


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WESTERN CAPE Chairperson: Jaques Fouche Gearhouse e: c: +27 (0)83 607 2046 Vice-chairperson: Lerisha Mudaliar Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau e: t: +27 (0)21 487 8600 Treasurer: Jaco du Plooy NH The Lord Charles e: t: +27 (0)21 855 1040 Co-ordinator: Lara van Zyl e: c: +27 (0)82 223 4684

COMMITTEE: Zandri Swartz Century City Conference Centre e: t: +27 (0)21 204 8000 Cindy Ferreira Buser Mirchee e: c: +27 (0)72 192 5656 Andrew Gibson Magnetic Storm e: c: +27 (0)74 588 3054 Esti Venske CPUT e: c: +27 (0)83 482 9276 Esmare Steinhofel ICCA Africa e: c: +27 (0)84 056 5544 Thiru Naidoo Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau e: t: +27 (0)21 487 8600 Angela Lorimer Spier e: t: +27 (0)21 809 1101


Official Journal of the Southern Africa Chapter of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence President: Tes Proos e: c: +27 (0)84 682 7676 Daryl Keywood e: c: +27 (0)82 904 4967

EXSA OFFICE 19 Richards Drive, Gallagher Convention Centre, Gallagher House Level 2, Midrand, Johannesburg PO Box 2632, Halfway House, 1685 t: +27 (0)11 805 7272 f: +27 (0)11 805 7273 e: Admin Manager: Thuli Ndlovu e:


Organisers Forum: Zaida Enver t: +27 (0)114675011 e:

Peter-John Mitrovich e: peter-john.mitrovich@ c: +27 (0)82 318 1889

Chairperson: Ben Asoro Commercial Director, Calabar ICC, Calabar Nigeria t: +23 48173098930 t: +25 4722493146 e:

President: Nina Freysen-Pretorius The Conference Company t: +27 (0)31 303 9852 f: +27 (0)31 303 9529 e: Secretariat:  Esmare Steinhofel ICCA Africa Regional director c: +27 (0)84 056 5544 e: africanchapter

AAXO – Association of African Exhibition Organisers Reed Place, Culross on Main Office Park, 34 Culross Road, Bryanston, Johannesburg t: +27 (0)11 549 8300 | e: | General manager: Llewellyn du Plessis | t: +27 (0)11 549 8300 e:

Chairperson Carol Weaving (Reed Exhibitions) Senior co-ordinator: Johné Louwrens t: +27 (0)11 549 8300 | e: Vice-chairperson: Projeni Pather (Exposure Marketing) Treasurer: Phil Wood (TE Trade Events) Board members: Amanda Cunningham (The Wedding Expo); Amanda Margison (OnShow solutions); Leatitia van Straten (Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery); Dee Reuvers (SA Confex) Le-Ann Hare (Spintelligent)

ICCA – International Congress & Convention Association

Organisers Forum: Clive Shedlock t: +27 (0)31 303 5941 e: Organisers Forum: Lorin Bowen t: +27 (0)11 476 4754 e:

Chair/President: Andrew Binning t: +27 (0)41 363 0310 e:

Suppliers Forum – Chair: Doug Rix t: +27 (0)82 579 7071 e:

Immediate Past Chair: Neil Nagooroo t: +27 (0)11 8953040 e:

Suppliers Forum: Patrick Cronning t: +27 (0)83 281 5584 e:

Treasurer: Andrew Gibbs 0861 122 2679 e:

KZN Forum – Chair: Denver Manickum t: +27 (0)31 701 0474 e:

Venue Forum: Marlene Govender t: +27 (0)31 360 1000 e:

Western Cape Forum – Chair: Gill Gibbs t: 0861 122 2679 e:

Venue Forum: Daksha Vallabh t: +27 (0)11 779 0000 e:

Young Professionals Chair: Adele Von Well t: +27 (0)82 464 8702 e:

Johan Venter e: c: +27 (0)83 558 2349 Kyasha Bhoola e: c: +27 (0)72 614 0069 Barry Futter e: c: +27 (0)82 790 9015 Secretariat: Mariaan Burger e: c: +27 (0)82 557 8041



OTHER ASSOCIATIONS OF INTEREST TO THE INDUSTRY ABTA – African Business Travel Association Box 2594, Pinegowrie, 2123 t: +27 (0)11 888 8178 | f: +27 (0)11 782 3814 c: +27 (0)83 679 2110 Founder: Monique Swart ANTOR – Association of National Tourist Office Representatives President: Hélène Bezuidenhoudt Vice-president: Wendie White Box 41022, Craighall 2024 c: +27 (0)83 200 4444 | f: +27 (0)11 523 8290 ASATA – Association of Southern African Travel Agents PO Box 650539, Benmore, 2010 t: +27 (0)11 293 0560/61 f: 086 504 9767 | Chief executive officer: Otto de Vries c: +27 (0)76 140 7005 | f: 086 505 1590 Office manager: Barbara Viljoen EGF – Event Greening Forum 179 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North, Private Bag X7000, Parklands 2121 +27 (0)11 447 4777 | www. Chairman: Justin Hawes Vice-chairman: Greg McManus FEDHASA National Office – Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa | Box 71517, Bryanston 2021 t: 0861 333 628 | f: 0867 165 299 Manager – national office: Lynda Bacon PSASA – Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa t: +27 (0)11 462 9465 | f: 086 515 0906 c: +27 (0)83 458 6114 Executive director: Nikki Bakker SABOA – Southern African Bus Operators Association Postnet Suite 393, Private Bag X033, Rivonia 2128 t: +27 (0)11 011 9288 f: +27 (0)11 011 9296 | President: Mr A Sefala Executive manager: Mr E Cornelius SATI – South African Translators’ Institute Executive director: Marion Boers t: +27 (0)11 803 2681 SATSA – Southern Africa Tourism Services Association Box 900, Ferndale 2160 | t: +27 (0)11 886 9996 | f: +27 866832082 | Chief executive officer: David Frost Chief operations officer: Jenny Mewett SKAL International South Africa International secretary: Anne Lamb t/f: +27 (0)21 434 7023 c: +27 (0)82 708 1836 STA – Sandton Tourism Association t: +27 (0)83 558 5445 TBCSA – Tourism Business Council of South Africa Box 11655, Centurion 0046 t: +27 (0)12 664 0120 f: +27 (0)12 664 0103 | comms@tbcsa. travel or Member Relations Manager: Boitumelo Moleleki

TGCSA – Tourism Grading Council of South Africa Private Bag X10012, Sandton 2146 | t: +27 (0)11 895 3000 f: +27 (0)11 895 3001 TINSA – Interpreters/Translators Network of Southern Africa Co-ordinator: t/f: +27 (0)11 485 2511 c: +27 (0)83 249 0010 TPSA – Technical Production Services Association Box 2245, Pinegowrie 2123 t: +27 (0)82 371 5900 | Administrator: Tiffany Reed TTA – Tshwane Tourism Association Box 395, Pretoria 0001 t: +27 (0)12 841 4212 Chairperson: Bronwen Cadle de Ponte Secretary: Sithembile Nzimande Membership Co-ordinator: Liz Oosthuysen

Business Events Africa December 2017 31



The last word

Trends and opportunities for exhibitions in 2018 The New Year is almost upon us: budgets have been planned and exhibition calendars booked. The time is now to strategise how your display will stand out from the crowd.


dam Dembovsky, the chief executive officer of Innovation Factory, said: “Exhibition stands are no longer just a one-dimensional platform to sell your brand. In order to get people out of the aisles and into the booth, strive to create a memorable experience. “ Exhibitions are theatre; you’re putting on a show. Each attendee is an audience member waiting to be enthralled.” So when you’re creating an exhibition stand to put on a stellar performance, keep these six trends in mind. Here is the hottest exhibition trends forecast for the forthcoming year to ensure that your business will own the exhibition space in 2018.

Trend #1: It’s all about technology

Who is Adam Dembovsky? Adam is a bigger picture thinker and serial entrepreneur. After completing a BCom degree with majors in Business Management and Entrepreneurship Science, he went head-first into starting his own company from his friend’s garage in Woodstock, Cape Town. He monopolised a gap in the market, which resulted in a 15 000 per cent revenue increase and ultimately selling the business to a listed company. Mr Dembovsky ventured into two businesses with highs and lows before discovering a gap in the market and a demand for retail and brand space construction.

As a highly connected society, visitors are expecting information to be conveyed in novel and innovative ways. The information you deliver is equally as important as how you deliver it: attendees are looking to be wowed. The good news is that incorporating technology into your display doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. Your strategy can be as simple as including touch-screen interfaces or nifty devices like Bluetooth beacons to connect with consumer’s devices. The benefit of this is threefold: attendees will be drawn to your stand; there is an opportunity to capture their data, and convey your brand’s message in an innovative and exciting way.

Trend #2: Natural wood In order to juxtapose the sophisticated technology brought into your stand, one of the hot new trends of 2018 is to incorporate natural wood into your display. The effect is striking, especially when contrasted with more refined materials that are commonly used in exhibition stands.

32 Business Events Africa December 2017

Trend #3: Take the hands-on approach While technology is vital in attracting visitors to your stand, quality human interaction cannot be underestimated. An authentic conversation is still your most valuable asset. Your staff are, quite literally, the spokespeople for your brand and should therefore be well-versed in your brand story, warm, engaging and excellent listeners. A dynamic and interesting stand draws people in, while the people on hand deliver a message in a compelling way to endear consumers to your brand.

Trend #4: Keep it eco-friendly Consumers at large are adopting a green lifestyle, therefore incorporating ecoconscious designs and decor, repurposed materials and energy-saving fixtures creates an impression with visitors who already have sustainability in mind.

Trend #5: Clever use of lighting LED lighting is hardly a novel concept, but the innovation driving it is. Custom lighting options are the name of the game, incorporating a range of intensities and colour options to create the right mood and effects. In previous years, lighting has been very monotone and one-dimensional. For 2018, expect ranges of softer lighting effects to create an ambiance.

Trend #6: Less is more The trend set by international exhibitors is that their stands contain fewer AV screens and marketing. By bypassing pamphlets, Powerpoint presentations and the like, the emphasis shifts to engaging with potential consumers and talking to them about their needs and interests. The focus is on making your exhibition stand a memorable experience.

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It’s been said that size doesn’t matter, but when it comes to creating extraordinary experiences for your guests, delegates or attendees, we have to disagree. That’s why we recently expanded the CTICC with the sole aim of giving our clients and guests more…

More space. More flexibility. More award-winning cuisine. More attention to detail. More convenience. More breathtaking views. More parking. More facilities. All of which give you more opportunity to transform your meeting, event, conference or show into a truly extraordinary experience.

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Business Events Africa December 2017  
Business Events Africa December 2017