Business Events Africa March 2019 Vol 39 No 3

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SANCB | Meetings Africa 2019

Hosted buyer feedback

Magdy Ibrahim, managing director of Smart Solutions Consultants, United Arab Emirates “To me, 2019 was the most successful round for Meeting

Africa, and by far the best in Africa. It was rich in the number and variety of exhibitors, and at same time worked as an international travel market – I met travel and MICE professionals from all over the world. It is the same as when I visit IMEX or IBTM World, but it was much better in hospitality, taking care of small details, and the variety of pre- and post-tours which introduce the real country and real product richness and variety to buyers. I am planning to attend Meeting Africa again because it is the right hub for MICE industry in Africa.”

Heather Dow, association manager of Events & Management Plus Inc, Canada “Meetings Africa is a great way to expand your depth and

breadth of knowledge and bring your events to exciting new destinations. Meetings Africa is the number one trade show for networking, gaining industry insights, and learning about new destinations in South Africa! I really appreciate the delegate experience in new locations; to experience South Africa first hand! This is when I realised that Legends is exactly where I need to bring my group. It is much easier to advocate for a location when you have experienced the food, culture and sights.”

Sustainability Village

Exhibitor Nomaswazi Tinus, founder & director of African Mamas Crafts

“Exhibiting at the Sustainability Village at Meetings Africa 2019 was a great opportunity for African Mamas Crafts. 2018 was our first year of exhibition. We were excited, but didn’t really know what to expect. One of the highlights were the media opportunities as we got to speak on Morning Live and do a review with Business Events Africa. Although hard to quantify,

the value of these media opportunities has been immense and has increased our brand visibility and media profile. Besides growing revenue and making good sales through the voucher system, we’ve also established and are building good relationships with various stakeholders such as Gauteng Tourism, Tshwane Tourism & the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB). These relationships have helped us increase market access opportunities. As a result, we were invited to provide delegate gifting for IMEX Frankfurt 2018 and participated as part of the village at the World Choir Games 2018, hosted by the City of Tshwane. Last year we applied for and received subsidised membership for the Event Greening Forum (EGF) sponsored by SANCB for

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10 SMMEs. This has exposed us to other opportunities such as the EGF conference 2018, which was a great learning and networking opportunity. We have subsequently renewed our EGF membership for 2019 and look forward to being involved in the work the EGF is doing. In conclusion, we have seen immense benefit from being a part of the Sustainability Village at Meetings Africa. More importantly, we were excited to be part of the EGF AGM and to hear that the concept of the village is becoming more widely adopted. The potential socio-economic impact this has if all South African MICE events are done this way is huge. We would like to thank the SANCB and the EGF for inviting us, and we look forward to participating again in 2020.”

16 vendors, an increase from 12 in 2018.

The Sustainability Village gives small business owners an opportunity to sell their goods to hosted buyers and visitors through vouchers, cash and credit card. Exhibitors at the Sustainability Village indicated that besides the financial support, other value adds included promoting their products to additional markets and making connections.