Business Events Africa — March 2023

Page 1 Vol 43 No 3 MARCH 2023 Voice of the Business Events Industry in Africa Live, work, play: All at one convenient address

Business Events Africa: Serving the business events industry for 43 years


VOL 43 NO 3

MARCH 2023

About the cover

38 New executive chef at the helm of The Palace kitchens.

39 Inclusive tourism in the spotlight. SUSTAINABILITY

40 Energy crisis impact on South African events and exhibitions industry. A LOCAL PERSPECTIVE

42 The future looks bright for SA’s business events industry.

Cover Feature


6 Conferencing excellence at Acsiopolis Precinct’s @Sandton-Hotel.

On the pages…


4 Are we really ready to face ‘normal’?


5 Fairmont expands its footprint in sub-Saharan Africa.


12 Meetings Africa 2023 — a resounding success.


19 Bringing conferences to Nelson Mandela Bay.


20 Sandton Central precinct launches #WFHSandton campaign.

21 Who is the Sandton Tourism & Business Association?

22 Sandton’s Maslow hotel turns 10.

23 City Lodge offer over 600 rooms in Sandton.


24 The countdown has begun for WTM Africa.

26 Top luxury travel buyers look forward to ILTM Africa’s exciting lineup.


28 Northern Cape — an extraordinary meeting and incentive destination.


32 Exhibition and event innovations showcased at EuroShop 2023.


35 What is the Tourism Investment Forum Africa (TIFA)?


36 The art of resilience.


43 Chef Jabulani — “You need a lot of discipline and dedication”.


44 A luxurious safari retreat opens in Kenya. VENUE NEWS

45 ANEW Hotels & Resorts welcomes its sweet sixteenth property.

46 Business events holds the potential to bolster the continent’s economy.

48 Wine Tourism Conference — set to expand current thinking.

49 Durban ICC announces transition to ISO: 45001.

Association news


50 Meet the 2023 EGF Management Committee.


51 The delegate economy. SITE

52 Site Africa wins the Best Chapter Virtual Engagement Award. EXSA

54 How important is logistics to the exhibition industry?


56 AAXO launches CEM course in South Africa.


57 How aparthotels are replacing Airbnbs. DIRECTORY

58 Directory of associations. THE LAST WORD

60 Trends to look out for in 2023. INDEX

61 Index of advertisers and contributors.

TEL: +27 31 764 6977

FAX: 086 762 1867


EDITOR: Irene Costa




+27 (0)82 558 7387


Volume 43 No 3

Business Events Africa has 12 issues a year and is published monthly. This magazine is currently only available in digital format.

Published by the proprietor Contact Publications (Pty) Ltd (Reg No. 1981/011920/07)
authority on meetings, exhibitions, special events and incentives management
Official Journal of the Southern Africa Chapter of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence publishers of Business Events Africa, is a member of: Official journal of the Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa Official media partner HEAD OFFICE POSTAL ADDRESS: PO Box 414,
Kloof 3640, South Vol 43 No 3 MARCH 2023 Voice of the Business Events Industry in Africa Live, work, play: All at one convenient address
A relatively new addition to the conferencing and event landscape stands out on the Sandton skyline.

Are we really ready to face ‘normal’?

Living in the present is something that I’m finding quite difficult at the moment. There is so much on the go — following the pandemic we have all been thrown into a fast-paced existence.

The workdays have become somewhat overwhelming, with the amount of work to be done and, at times, I really just need to take a step away from my laptop, even if it is for a few minutes to regroup.

During Covid, we went through something rather traumatic. At the time, we were all focusing on how to survive and didn’t really have the time to think about emotions.

Now that we are back to ‘normality’, I am wondering if this is at all ‘normal’.

The last few months have been filled with many meetings, events, industry shows and various destination workshops.

To be quite honest, I am finding it difficult to get back into the ‘normal’ frame of mind. Honestly, before I attend any event, I find I have to give myself a quick pep talk to get into the right mindset. Is this just me, or are other people finding this too?

However, once I enter the venue, the hotel, the hall, I find that I am ready to engage and I

actually really do enjoy interacting with people, old colleagues and new acquaintances.

I am wondering if organisers should consider adding a pre-event/pre-exhibition/ pre-function element to assist guests and delegates?

I would love to hear what your thoughts are — am I overthinking this? Should we just get on with it and eventually we will return to ‘normal’?

Meetings Africa, the South Africa National Convention Bureau’s annual African business events exhibition, took place at the Sandton Convention Centre. Wow, what an awesome show, and on many levels, it was back to what it was pre-Covid. At this event, where I felt very much at home, I really enjoyed reconnecting with the local and African industry. The atmosphere was welcoming and there was a lot of excitement on the floor. From speaking with exhibitors and hosted

buyers, a lot of good business was concluded over the two days. Well done to the Meetings Africa team for an outstanding show. The Meetings Africa’s new branding gave the show a fresh new look and feel.

Meetings Africa is also successful because of its location in Sandton, which is a business events hub. From amazing hotels and venues, to its accessibility with the Gautrain as a great option. In this issue, we take a look @Sandton Hotel as a great option to host conferences and events, as well as a few other hotels in Sandton.

As we get back to the business of business events, remember: it is acceptable to be overwhelmed from time to time. Stay resilient, we are in it together.

Hospitality Junxtion Alliance is a full-services Sales & Marketing Representation company. We dedicate ourselves to promotiong Venues, Hotels, Lodges and Event services through dynamic sales, marketing and networking endeavours. Passionately Promoting, Hotels, Lodges & Event Services EDITOR’S COMMENT
Image courtesy of Blueberry Hill Hotel, Johannesburg
Irene Email:

Fairmont expands its footprint in sub-Saharan Africa

The Cape Grace Hotel has recently been purchased by Kasada Hospitality Fund LP, the leading independent real estate private equity platform dedicated to hospitality in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Featuring an extraordinary location, on the vibrant V&A Waterfront, between an international yacht marina and the working harbour, with the breathtaking Table Mountain as a backdrop, the Cape Grace Hotel will transition into a fully branded Fairmont property by the end of 2023.

Guests staying at the hotel can choose to stay at one of its 120 luxurious rooms, take advantage of two food

and beverage outlets, enjoy the diverse vibrant tourist attractions available at the V&A Waterfront, located a short walking distance from the hotel, or take in the relaxing and private surroundings offered by the undisturbed ocean view from the property. Cape Grace’s meeting and event spaces are ideal for executive retreats, small meetings and private events.

“We are noticing a real momentum in South Africa for luxury hotel brands, and we

couldn’t think of a more iconic hotel than Cape Grace to establish our footprint in the country,” said Mark Willis, chief executive officer of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

“The world-class service of the brand, combined with the unique location and unparalleled level of luxury the Cape Grace Hotel will be featuring, offers the promise of an unforgettable experience to any guest or visitor coming into the property,” he added.

Business Events Africa March 2023 5 PAGE STRAP NEWS
Cape Grace Hotel, 2-bedroomed suite lounge. Cape Grace exterior by Belinda Amoedo. Cape Grace Hotel, Table Mountain luxury room.

Conferencing excellence at Acsiopolis Precinct’s @Sandton-Hotel

A relatively new addition to the conferencing and event landscape stands out on the Sandton skyline. It can be found at the @Sandton-Hotel, located at Acsiopolis, a mixed-use development. If you’ve driven along Benmore Road in Sandton, you would likely have noticed an impressive high-rise building with a red @ marking the pinnacle of the structure. This is Acsiopolis – pronounced {ak-shop-oh-liss} – which means ‘city of worth’ in Greek.

Anthony Batistich, general manager of @Sandton-Hotel, says the precinct is gaining ground in repeat business in events and conferences for corporates looking for an all-in-one offering that guarantees quality and variety. “The strength of our offering, particularly for conferences, is multifaceted. As a mixed-use precinct, we have a wide range of top-class venues to suit conferences, business meetings, and banquets. What sets our offering apart are the other elements within our offering, including an auditorium, restaurants, a

spa, private cinema, private gym and pool, pool deck, clubhouse bar, deli, and 561-luxury hotel rooms. Our team are well-versed in developing packages to suit the needs of specific events, which will mean delegates can arrive at Acsiopolis and not have to leave the property for the duration of the conference or event.”


Boasting a view of Benmore Road, the conferencing space can be divided into three distinct venues, all of which open up to the spacious conference centre

lobby and terrace where tea breaks and light meals can be enjoyed. The Ballroom can accommodate 300 pax in a gala dinner set-up, 400 pax for cocktails and 500 pax cinema-style, or it can be divided into two sections for smaller breakaway meetings.

Four boardrooms with seating capacities of eight to fourteen people each are perfect for smaller gatherings, lively discussions and brainstorming. What really sets conferencing at Acsiopolis apart from other venues in the surrounding area is an 80-seater auditorium equipped with graded 6 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE COVERSTRAPSTORY

seating, superb state-of-the-art sound and electrical points for easy laptop charging. A wide range of tech and AV demands are catered for:

• Full HD projectors

• Built-in PA systems with microphones and wireless connectivity

• Seamless laptop connection

• High speed Wi-Fi

• Smart interactive TVs with built in PC boards to easily access Windows applications

• Kandao 360º hybrid camera

• Wireless Conference Caller for external calls

Mr Batistich said that the versatility which comes with such a broad offering means a choice of beautiful locations as the perfect backdrop for almost any event: “Why not host a cocktail function on our Clubhouse pool deck, with an incredible view of the sunset over Sandton? Or a magical night under the stars event on our central piazza, with plenty of space to spread out? For those looking to host a more exclusive event, our incredible Penthouses and Presidential Suite all boast phenomenal views, ample balconies, fully kittedout kitchens and the most luxurious of fittings. Our flexibility really is only limited by imaginative planning.”

The private conferencing facilities are available at a daily fee, which includes venue hire, standard conference equipment and refreshments. A full range of services ensure that every requirement is catered for along with the support of the hotel’s conference team.

Business Events Africa March 2023 7 PAGE STRAP COVER

Extraordinary events

With access to multiple dedicated conferencing and business venues and the luxurious lifestyle amenities within @Sandton-Hotel, no two events @Sandton-Hotel are the same. A banqueting team is standing by to tailor-make your dream event, whether it’s a conference or wedding, birthday, Bar mitzvah or Bat mitzvah, baby shower or book launch, trade show or cocktail party.

Some blue-chip companies have recently selected Acsiopolis as the location to meet their conferencing demands. It was the ideal location for the Competition Commission’s annual conference, which attracted 500 attendees; Multichoice’s Big Brother Titans Media Event for 120 members of the media; and Joburg Tourism’s 26th WASME ICSME Conference for government officials. @SandtonHotel was also the hotel of choice for delegates from out of town.

Food and beverage

The world-class food and beverage offering at Acsiopolis gives event organisers a range of offerings to suit every occasion and budget. The food philosophy @Sandton-Hotel is simple: use only the best ingredients and prepare everything. From their own biltong and Peri-Peri sauce to sushi, all of it is prepared in on-site kitchens. The result is a delicious array of mouthwatering meals that delegates will rave about. The executive chef has created a variety of menus for events, including buffet, plated and canapéstyle offerings, but can also develop a personalised menu for a function.

Over and above the ballroom, there are plenty of food and beverage options, including three restaurants (@SandtonRestaurant, the Clubhouse and Pool Bar) and an additional intimate function venue perfect for a Chef’s Table or private dinner, The Tasting Room, with a capacity of ten seated, which will be

completed soon. @Deli on the Piazza boasts shelves conveniently packed with luxury food, wine and liquor.

Value-added amenities

An event @Sandton-Hotel is made even more special thanks to the wealth of incredible lifestyle amenities to be found within the Acsiopolis Precinct, each offering an element that can be incorporated into your event or a delightful and convenient add-on for guests staying within the hotel.

@Sandton-Spa offers a variety of pampering, aesthetic and grooming treatments, as well as a sauna and steam room, and for fitness enthusiasts there is a Pilates studio and gym.

Childcare is provided by @Sandton-Kids and a new addition to the precinct is a private cinema. Retail offerings include Regalia Laundry and Postlink on the Piazza, while @Sandton-Medical Suites provides a host of services, from a dentist and GP to aesthetic surgery and 8 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE COVERSTRAPSTORY

IV drips.

The conferencing facilities are available at a daily fee, which includes venue hire, standard conference equipment and refreshments. The conference rooms offer privacy and a full range of services, ensuring that every requirement is met. The hotel’s conference team is also available to assist with the planning of any event — be it a board meeting, banquet or conference.

The CoWorx co-working space, located on the ground floor of the hotel, offers office pods and hot desks for corporate clients and small enterprises. Conference guests will be able to make

use of this serviced office space for any business needs. Free high-speed Wi-Fi rounds off an impressive offering.

Conveniently located Location is everything, and Acsiopolis checks all the boxes. The Sandton Gautrain Station, Benmore Shopping Centre, Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton City, and the numerous surrounding corporate offices that make this the financial centre of Johannesburg and Southern Africa, are all conveniently close by.

Back up utilities Service delivery challenges have

become a part of everyday life for the foreseeable future in South Africa, which means checking loadshedding schedules is as much a part of our daily routine now as checking our diaries each morning. But at Acsiopolis, seamless transitions during loadshedding are barely noticeable. As a multi-use development, Acsiopolis is perfectly suited to conferencing and meetings with access to all the world-class facilities and amenities which @Sandton-Hotel offers. Conferencing at Acsiopolis makes perfect sense when every need is met under one roof… conferencing just got better. Seamless. Simple. Succinct.

For more information go to Acsiopolis, go to the Acsiopolis website, visit 5 Benmore Road, Benmore Gardens, Sandton, Johannesburg, or call +27 (0)11 395 4777 (Hotel).

Get Social

Follow us on our social media platforms to be the first to know what’s happening at the Acsiopolis Building lifestyle precinct: Facebook: and @atsandtonhotel and @SandtonApartmentsAndLifestyle Instagram: sandtonhotel and sandtonapts

…and don’t forget to tag us when you are sharing your unforgettable @Sandton experiences.

Business Events Africa March 2023 9 PAGE STRAP COVER

Get that old connection in a new place

Familiar workspaces are essential to our everyday lives, whether in an office or at home. However, sticking to one environment could cause a slump in your pursuit of business excellence. A setting change can effectively boost productivity and get your team on the right track. Here are some reasons to meet outside conventional spaces.

1. Immerse your business in the local market environment

It’s no secret that your end-user is not with you in the office boardroom or listening in on that Microsoft Teams call. Meeting in the market environment can help gain vital insights into consumers’ lives, unlocking a better understanding for your team. Exposure to their daily reality is one of the best ways to gain knowledge of what consumers want from your product.

2. It’s serious!

Meeting off-site brings a sense of importance to the occasion. Participants are more likely to be on top of their game for off- site meetings as the moment is considered more significant – the organiser put in a lot of time and effort to make this happen! The excitement of new surroundings brings about positivity, which helps in making your team more relaxed and more likely to engage.

3. Get involved

Visibility out in the market environment is a must, not only for your end-users, but for your team’s betterment as well. On-the-ground visibility helps improve your relationship with your market while gaining the golden opportunity to engage with your audience. With many small communities in the country reliant on local tourism, your off-site meeting goes a long way in helping the livelihoods of stakeholders in the tourism industry (who also might happen to be your consumers).

4. Uninterrupted engagement

Encouraging participation and engagement is easier when you’re all in the same room. The elimination of technological distractions helps keep your team in the moment – focused solely on the task at hand. And, of course, everything is taken care of, so there is no need to worry. It may be a meeting, but you’re a guest. No need to worry about if there will be enough coffee for the morning.

5. Unlocked inspiration

A new setting can bring some much-needed inspiration to your team. The beauty of the hidden gems in our country can spark exciting creative thinking within your team. New and unfamiliar environments have proven to result in better brainstorming sessions resulting in more exciting ideas/solutions.

Whether it’s productivity, creativity, or chemistry, give your team, or business, a new opportunity to connect – off-site. Discover our country’s beautiful places, ready to host your next business event. Whether it’s a meeting, conference, or exhibition, let one of our partners set the venue for you. Do better business with the help of one of our country’s hidden gems, and let’s make meetings a moment of connecting again.

Arrive Inspired. Leave Connected.

Meetings Africa 2023 — a resounding success

The 17th edition of Meetings Africa, Africa’s premier business events show – a flagship of the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB) – brought together some 325 exhibitors from 23 African countries and over 375 hosted buyers from more 60 countries. The event took place from 27 February to 1 March at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Showcasing a fresh look and feel through its new logo, Meetings Africa 2023, created opportunities for Africa’s business events sector so that the African continent can regrow more vitally than ever before “Our new look represents this new injection of energy and is an emphasis on the importance that we place on connections,” Mr Themba Khumalo, acting chief executive officer of South African Tourism said. This energy was certainly felt on the pulsating Meetings Africa trade floor opening ceremony on 28 February.

All hosted buyers went through a globally benchmarked vetted process to ensure the best quality buyers for this market.

Fish Mahlalela, keynote speaker and deputy minister of tourism, South Africa, emphasised the importance of collaboration to fast-track development in Africa. He said: “We must explore potential areas of collaboration and partnerships in the African convention and exhibition industry to achieve globally benchmarked standards.”

Mr Mahlalela explained that Meetings Africa is a trade show that brings the African continent’s business events, products and offerings under a single roof, with a specific focus on SMMEs and their value chain to the entire tourism sector. The deputy minister also commended the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB) for securing 34 of the 79 bids for international meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions for the first three quarters of the year. The secured bids, he said are estimated to contribute R288-million to the South African

economy between 2022 and 2025, a great return on investment on the 17.3-million the SANCB had invested in the bid support programme.

Fresh ideas boost the economy

Zinhle Nzama, acting chief convention bureau officer of the SANCB, said the show’s new theme Africa’s success built on quality connections is about connecting people and ideas that will drive Africa forward. “Expanding African representation means that we are looking to bring in fresh ideas and to show our partners that this platform is serious about boosting Africa’s economic development.”

Ms Nzama referred to Meetings Africa’s new logo and positioning as a symbol of developing new perspectives that can restore the business events industry to profitability. “To stay relevant and fresh, we would need to deploy a bit of elasticity to our thinking. That means we would 12 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE COVERSTRAPSTORY MEETINGS AFRICA REPORT
Lynn McLeod, Event Greening Forum; Nomaswazi Tinus, African Mamas Crafts; Caro Morgan, NMB conferences; Greg McManus, The Heritage Environmental Management Company; Lee-Ann Alder, EXSA and Pippa Naude, 3S Media and Event Greening Forum. Lee-Ann Alder, EXSA; Sibusiso Mncwabe, Marketing Well and chairperson of EXSA and Evi Moller, Journey with Evi. Greg McManus, The Heritage Environmental Management Company and Nomaswazi Tinus, African Mamas Crafts. Nonnie Kubeka, Gauteng Tourism Authority.

need to share our unique differentiators and stories in person and learn from our peers and industry leaders on how to succeed in the future.”

Ms Nzama, added: “The trade show is all about buyers meeting suppliers, resulting in real business opportunities and sales, some of which materialise years later.”

She emphasised the importance of sustainable tourism practices, explicitly mentioning the Green Stand Award and Sustainability Village.

One of the highlights of the event was the Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDAy), which featured tourism industry experts, disruptors, and data specialists.

BONDay, is an educational opportunity for newbies and seasoned campaigners in the tourism sector to share ideas, engage and collaborate.

BONDay also included the first African edition of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Summit, as well as the standing feature which is the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Association Day.

In addition, BONDay delegates were spoiled for choice, with over 30 experts across four stages tackling current industry challenges and ideating towards innovative solutions to propel the industry and the continent.

7,000 meetings were confirmed using the online diary system this year, compared to 3,000 in 2022.

The business exchanges and connections made at Meetings Africa 2023 are expected to have a

African countries represented at Meetings Africa

23 African countries exhibited at Meetings Africa 2023, with seven countries showcasing for the very first time: Angola, Gabon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, South Sudan and Togo.

long-term impact, leading to policy changes, new partnerships, and increased business opportunities to benefit Africa’s business events industry for years to come.

During the opening ceremony, Thozamile Botha, the South African Tourism Board chairperson, highlighted the importance of quality connections for Africa’s success.

Exhibitor Feedback

“Our mission is to grow Africa’s business events sector and work alongside our partners across the continent to drive the continent’s growth,” Mr Botha said.

He highlighted the ‘plug and meet’ pavilion, which allowed 20 SMMEs full access to Meetings Africa 2023, and the platform for 45 SMMEs to showcase their products.

Frank Murangwa, director of

Destination Marketing, Rwanda Convention Bureau

Meeting s Africa was a huge success for Rwanda. Not only did we generate solid leads that we are converting, Rwanda won the best Green Stands Award in medium stands. The award is a true testimony of Rwanda’s efforts towards environmental protection, which is an important action towards achieving UNSDG’s goals. In addition, to a successful Meetings Africa, we can highlight other important events Rwanda is hosting this year, which solidifies Rwanda’s positioning as a preferred hub for business events on the African


Kivedo, creative director Overall Events & Communications

Meetings Africa 2023 felt like it was filled with more purpose and focused on creating an open flow for tourism engagement. The quality of the connections and interactions is a source of encouragement and inspiration. I loved it

Business Events Africa March 2023 13 PAGE STRAP COVER

This year’s Meetings Africa was not only categorised by creative and eco-friendly exhibition stands, extraordinary performances, inspiring talks and speeches from industry leaders, and loads of networking opportunities amongst industry peers. It was also encouraging to see the increase in the number of meetings requested and held by the teams. Meetings were not just a tick box exercise, but we got to see leads being generated and deals being done, meaning that business confidence is on the rise. It was also motivating to see the number of walk-in enquiries, showing that the business of travel is back. It is important to keep the momentum post Meetings Africa, by forging meaningful relationship and effective partnerships by delivering quality products to both business events and leisure aggregators and consumers.

Meetings Africa — the place to be!

Connections, stimulating discussions and lucrative business opportunities unlocking possibilities to restart and increase our business.”

Meetings Africa 2023 was a worthwhile investment. It gave us, as role players, the opportunity to get a real sense of the buyer’s appetite so that we better align ourselves and our product to meet their needs. We went in understanding that relationships are better than transactions. Therefore, from that point of departure, we strived to establish strong foundations with the identified buyers across the globe, trusting that good results will come out of our efforts in the foreseeable future. It is indeed exciting to see that the industry is well on its way to full recovery and we are optimistic about what lies ahead.

Meetings Africa 2023, what a buzz! With a multitude of educational events, networking events, productive meetings, and building connections with national and international clients and stakeholders, Meetings Africa undoubtedly reignited the business events industry.

As a destination, Mozambique is ready to host the inbound business events market. Meetings Africa delivered on all levels of our expectations regarding quality of buyers and organisation of the tradeshow. It was encouraging to see more African countries participating, too, which offered further networking opportunities and meaningful discussions to collaboratively strengthen our presence internationally for inbound business events into Africa.

Great to see so much interest in what our country still has to offer to tourism and the business events industry and sure, it means we are steadily back on track to recovery. 14 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE COVERSTRAPSTORY MEETINGS AFRICA REPORT
Phenyo Marumo, regional marketing and communications manager, Minor Hotels Minister Kganyago, Business Development Manager, CSIR ICC Elmarie Swanepoel, sales manager of Southern Sun Liezel Haarhoff, general manager of The Kelway Hotel Irene Vallihu, sales and business executive, Durban ICC Nikki Wiedemann, co-founder, Destination Mozambique

Seen at Meetings Africa 2023

Business Events Africa March 2023 15 PAGE STRAP COVER MEETINGS AFRICA REPORT
Bronwen Auret, Tourism Grading Council South Africa, Themba Khumalo, acting chief executive officer of South African Tourism and Sonto Ndlovu, chief operating officer of South African Tourism. Ruth Baldwin, Missing Link and Herkie Du Preez, Strong PR. Willie Williams, Valor Hospitality Partners and Elaine Jesseman, Voco an IHG Hotel. Merryl Fairfoot; South Africa National Convention Bureau; Angela Lorimer, Hotel Sky and Irene Vallihu, Durban ICC. Siphiwe Ngwenya, Maboneng Township Arts Experience. Collin Thaver, Southern Africa 360 Luxury Holidays and Bunny Bhoola, African Link Travel. From Minor Hotels: Sma Gcabashe, Dawie Mullins and Mabel Modipa. Lerisha Mudaliar, Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau and Angela Lorimer, Hotel Sky. Gugu Pam Motsumi, Bontle Thusi and Minister Kganyago, CSIR ICC. Mpho Mokgethi, SA Tourism; Verushka Rugbeer, South Africa National Convention Bureau; Sadiq Dindar and Raymond Mabuela, SA Tourism. Marnie Tait, Sun International and Glenton De Kock, SAACI. Neliswa Nkani, South African Tourism; Thandubuhle Mgudlwa, Johannesburg Tourism Company; Pat Telela, City of Johannesburg and Lulama Ndlovu, City of Johannesburg. Itshekeng Lamola, SANParks; Oriel Nokwali, Park; Kaula Nyilenda, SANParks. Cameron Hutchinson and Leigh-Anne Luus, Thaba Eco Hotel. Mandy Watson, Sandton Tourism Association; Lee-Ann Alder, EXSA; Greg McManus, The Heritage Environmental Management Company; Kathy Lavery, Euromic and Presley Mokotedi, Garona Communications and Projects. Sibusiso Mncwabe, Marketing Well and chairperson of EXSA and Bongiwe Nzeku, South Africa National Convention Bureau. Yolande Otto, Mjunxtion and Jeana Turner, Hospitality Zone. 16 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE COVERSTRAPSTORY MEETINGS AFRICA REPORT
ANEW Hotels & Resorts team: Corné Visser, Tshepang Mokowe and Alan Campbell. Paul McConnon; Melisa Tsotetsi and Cathy Johnson, Unique Speaker Bureau. Kagiso Mosue, STH, University of Johannesburg; Kutlwano Finger, Student, STH, University of Johannesburg and Percy Morapedi Koji, Travel With Confidence (TWC). Sharron Lewis, Northern Cape Tourism Authority; Owen Coetzee, Mittah Seperepere International Convention Centre and Dianna Martin, Northern Cape Tourism Authority. Claire Kivedo, Overall Events & Communications; Sadie Isaacs, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and Liezel Haarhoff, The Kelway Hotel. Sarudzai Muza, Airports Company of Zimbabwe, Winnie Muchanyuka and Esnath Mboma, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. Elmarie Swanepoel, Southern Sun and Shaun Bird, Sandton Convention Centre. Bheki Twala, TEBCO-SA; Jessica Allen and Mike Lysko, Flock Eventing Platform. Claire Kivedo, Overall Events & Communications and Bjorn Hufkie, South Africa National Convention Bureau. Esmare Steinhofel and Agnès Maignien, ICCA. Linda Ben, Leshauas and Linda Ngcipe, Ugu South Coast Tourism. Rob Kucera, Radisson Blue Hotel & Convention Centre, Kigali and Caroline Thissen, Radisson Hotel Group. Molebogeng Masote, Synergy Business Events and Portia Mabena, Poweronic Meds. Lorin Bowen-Petersen and Rob Mickel, Indaba Hotel. Mpho Mphago and Bjorn Hufkie, South Africa National Convention Bureau and Yoshni Singh, Europa Organisation Africa. Gavin Burgess, Technology Partners. Durban ICC team, from left: John Aritho; Patricia Dunn; Lindiwe Rakharebe and Irene Vallihu. Rob Kucera, Radisson Blue Hotel & Convention Centre, Kigali; Linda Benwell, XL Millennium Travel; Mariska Walters, Century City Conference Centre; Mark Wernich, Taj Cape Town and Gary Koetser, Century City Conference Centre and Hotels.
Business Events Africa March 2023 17 PAGE STRAP COVER MEETINGS AFRICA REPORT
Londi Khumalo, Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau and Jeffers Miruka, the African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE). Derek Houston, Houston Travel Marketing Services. The Kenyatta International Convention Centre team, from left: Shantelle Engebrecht, Nabila Almass, Silvia Mochorwa and Neo Mohlatlole, 7 Colors. Sean Bradley, Travelwings and Tes Proos, Crystal Events and Site Africa. Claudia Armstrong, Hotel Sky and Lauren Hooper, Extraordinary. Jaco du Plooy, The President Hotel, Cape Town. Belinda Aslett, Mauritius Incentive Connection, Darshana Bhoola and Daryl Keywood, Walthers DBS Jen Wulff and Alex Wrottesley, Into Africa and Bruno Reis Neto, Sandown Tours & Incentives. Rick Taylor and Colette Taylor, The Business Company. Frank Murangwa, Rwanda Convention Bureau and Taubie Mothlabane, Cape Town International Convention Centre. Sonto Mayise, Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau and Lilian Hlabangane, Cape Town International Convention Centre. Janet De Kretser and Liana Barnard, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. Nfi Mungai and Gregg Talley, AfSAE. Minor Hotels, from left: Laura Kanda, Lindi Mthethwa and Phenyo Marumo. Hannes Venter, Johannesburg Expo Centre and Craig Newman, GL events South Africa Group. 18 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE STRAP
From The Capital Hotels, from left: Laura Lourens, Lisa van Wyk, Garnet Basson, Amy Olckers and Carien Hammond. Glenton De Kock, SAACI; Mmatsatsi Ramawela, GTA board member and Dave Milne, Peermont Global. Marc Knuelle, MICE Consulting Manager for international associations and federation of sports; Carlos Mamudo, Mozambique National Institute of Tourism (INATUR) and Maxisole Mange, NSA. Francina Mavuso, Malicaba Marketing and Miller Matola, Millvest. James Robb and Pearl Mohapi, aha. Londi Khumalo and Corne Koch, Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau and Madeleine Mitchell, CECO Stellenbosch University. Hermina Sennelo and Amrita Craig, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. Charmaine Chinappan, Vivari Hotel and Spa by Mantis. From Hotel Sky, Melanie Du Preez, Claudia Armstrong and Angela Lorimer. Karin Sieberhagen, Serena Hotels, Lodges and Resorts and Nikki Wiedemann, Destination Mozambique.
Nuno Fortes Mozambique National Institute of Tourism (INATUR), Mozambique; Nikki Wiedemann, Destination Mozambique; Dalma Chirute JCICC, Maputo; Esmare Steinhofel, ICCA; Aderito Mario JCICC, Maputo; Cordelia Masher, Destination Mozambique and Carlos Mamudo, Mozambique National Institute of Tourism (INATUR). In Front: Luis Santana, Mozambique National Institute of Tourism (INATUR).

Bringing conferences to Nelson Mandela Bay

NMB Conferences, a new business dedicated to promoting conference tourism in Nelson Mandela Bay, has officially launched. The company’s mission is to attract more conferences to the region by providing introduction services to event organisers, from connecting them with local suppliers to organising site visits.

With its strategic location, excellent infrastructure, and abundance of natural beauty, Nelson Mandela Bay is a prime destination for conferences and events. However, many event organisers struggle to find the right suppliers or simply don’t consider having their event there, resulting in lost opportunities for the region.

NMB Conferences aims to bridge this gap, by providing a one-stop-shop for event organisers. The company’s team of experts will work closely with organisers to understand their needs and preferences and connect them with the best local suppliers, such as venues, catering companies, AV equipment providers, local organisers and transportation companies. By providing comprehensive support, NMB Conferences hopes to make organising events in Nelson Mandela Bay seamless and stress-free.

In addition to connecting event organisers with local suppliers, NMB Conferences will also offer site visits to help them explore the area’s many attractions and facilities. The company will consult with organisers to create customised itineraries that suit their preferences and schedules, ensuring that they get the most out of their visit to the region.

The NMB Conferences team consists of Caroline Morgan, Melissa Palmer and Natasha Carmody. These three are well-connected in the local industry, active members of SAACI, NMBBEA, The Event Greening Forum and other industry organisations.

Ms Morgan, said: “We are excited to launch NMB Conferences and to promote Nelson Mandela Bay as a premier conference and event

destination. Our goal is to boost our local economy by bringing more business events to our Bay. We look forward to working with event organisers from around the world and showcasing the many wonderful things that Nelson Mandela Bay has to offer."

Despite being freshly-formed, NMB Conferences has already run a successful site visit and supplier session for a prospective client, and are pleased to announce that the Public Health Association will be coming to Nelson Mandela Bay for its 2023 conference. “We value the support of our Province (ECPTA) and our Municipality (NMBM) in helping us win over this client. Cooperation and collaboration makes us all stronger,” Ms Morgan added.

Ms Palmer said: “Business tourism

generates significant revenue and economic growth for our city. It attracts large numbers of professionals and academics to our city for conferences, meetings, and events, leading to increased demand for local accommodation, transportation, dining, and entertainment.”

Ms Carmody said: “We recently represented Nelson Mandela Bay at Meetings Africa 2023, where we pitched to nineteen local and international buyers.” NMB Conferences is now accepting enquiries from event organisers who are interested in hosting their events in Nelson Mandela Bay.

For more information, please visit the company’s website at or contact them at

Seen at Meetings Africa 2023, from left: Natasha Carmody, Caroline Morgan and Melissa Palmer, of NMB Conferences.

Sandton Central precinct launches #WFHSandton campaign

The Sandton Central precinct has long been admired as the country’s business capital, housing not only the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and numerous listed companies, but also many of South Africa’s most prolific thinkers and highly sought-after retail experiences.

Now, a new campaign is being launched to remind the public of the unique attributes, remarkable benefits and unbeatable commercial opportunities presented by Africa’s centre of excellence.

Titled #WFHSandton, the campaign poses the question: Why work from home, when you can work from here? It’s a tough one to answer if you think about it. While South Africans hunkered down for lockdown, Sandton Central surged forward, making improvements to the 15-minute city, for when brighter days returned, and they have.

Roads were widened to accommodate universal access, security enhanced,

batteries fitted to traffic lights at selected intersections, sustainable architecture pursued, new retail stores polished, trendsetting restaurants opened, art galleries expanded and office buildings renovated, all to cater to shifting trends and stay at the forefront of innovation. The result is that there has never been a better time to live, work, dine, shop, stay and play in Sandton Central, and this core message is at the heart of the campaign.

The above-the-line campaign is being underpinned by a strong editorial strategy that showcases the dexterity and thought leadership that the city is built on. The public relations aspect of the campaign will remind the local and broader African

business community of exactly why Sandton Central is unrivalled in its superiority and remains an incubator of excellence that puts businesses in a position to flourish. Whether it’s for business or pleasure or both, there has never been a better time to be in the epicentre of African business and leisure, and this campaign will remind people of exactly why.

The #WFHSandton campaign is the result of a collaborative effort between all of the property owners and landlords in the Sandton Central precinct and supported by their respective tenants. For more information, visit 20 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS SANDTON OVERVIEW

Who is the Sandton Tourism & Business Association?

The Sandton Tourism & Business Association is a privately managed Section 21 non-profit Company. Established in 2000, it is believed to be the longest standing privately managed tourism association in the country. It is managed by a volunteer management committee and board of directors, comprised of senior leaders within our membership base.

As an Association, we are passionate about promoting Sandton as the business, tourism, leisure and retail hub of Gauteng. The area has long been recognised as the richest square mile in Africa, and we are one of the driving forces responsible for ensuring it remains top of mind to local, regional and international travellers visiting Gauteng.

Sandton is a destination of choice for many, and our membership includes everything from five-star hotels to guest houses, transport providers, conference centres, shopping centres, as well as varied retail offerings.

Our members are our friends, and we work hard to build relationships with them. Many of our smaller members are entrepreneurs who run one-man businesses and would not have access to the many opportunities we offer them to promote their business if they were not part of our membership.

As a one-stop shop for everything to do with Sandton and surrounds, we are a central hub for reaching various businesses easily and painlessly. For example, we can connect you to conference venues, accommodation vendors, transport and tour operators and more; all at the same time. Furthermore, because of our relationship with our members, we connect you directly to the decision maker in the business so you can receive the answers you are looking for, effortlessly.

The Association works to assist members to promote and market their businesses within the tourism and hospitality industry as well as to the public. We do this through our website, a bi-monthly newsletter which is emailed to a database of local, regional and international readers, and social media platforms.

In addition, we run regular member events which members and

The Sandton Tourism & Business Association members have

this to say:

"We all have our own stories; enchanting stories of our families, and stories of how we grew up; the games we played, the clothes we wore, and the food we ate. Mine is a culinary story, by far, the workshops gave my story a beneficial wholesome podium for both my book and business.”

"It’s fantastic being a member of STBA as there’s a large network of members to draw on to fulfill most of my company’s needs, as well as other of my business interests."

"GATHA is a trusted local tourism association, Sandton Tourism and Business Association have given us free membership, therefore our members, affiliates, private sector, Alexandra Community and business, and government have confidence in GATHA. Thank you for the ongoing support and exposure."

non-members are invited to attend, for a fee. Many of these are pure networking events, while some have interesting and relevant guest speakers.

Prior to the Covid-pandemic, we ran two industry workshops annually. Members were able to reach 100+ members of the retail travel trade, PCOs, corporate buyers and more at every workshop.

We recently launched online auctions on our website, through the commercial arm of Sandton tourism ventures. These are a means to raise additional income for the Association to do more for our members. The new Member-to-Member programme will launch later this year and it will be geared at encouraging members to make use of each other’s services. Just another way of growing members’ businesses.

If you would like to know more about the Association or becoming a member, please email

Business Events Africa March 2023 21 PAGE STRAP VENUE NEWS SANDTON FEATURE

Sandton’s Maslow hotel turns 10

The unexpected garden oasis of The Maslow has been welcoming guests to Sandton’s financial district for the past decade, and while small details might have changed, it is still focused on doing hospitality simply, but exceptionally.

The 281-room property opened its doors in December 2012, after a R250-million refurbishment, and has had three general managers at the helm — beginning with Johan Scheepers, Ashwin Jose and the current incumbent, Herman Swart.

Before transforming into The Maslow, it was the Southern Sun Grayston Hotel, and a Holiday Inn in the 1980s. The Maslow became Sun International’s first business-centric hotel in their portfolio - a personalised four-star experience which balances work and play.

According to, The Maslow has more repeat guests than most other properties.

Over the years, prominent guests have included the likes of Nelson Mandela, The Waterboys, The Cure, Bonang, Baby Face, Brian McKnight and various Miss South Africa contestants who have stayed during the competition over the years, as well as leading soccer and rugby players.

Mr Swart believes the quality of the

Maslow’s guests influence his staff’s performance. “We have a three-year contract with an airline and our staff love serving them. They have become loyal regulars who bring their favourite waiter or front of house staff member birthday gifts, a motivating factor for the team, who love their energy, as they frequent the swimming pool or dining areas.”

Mr Swart attributes the many repeat guests to his staff’s interaction with guests, the quality of service, as well as the Maslow’s stunning garden environment.

Mr Swart expected conferencing to be slow to return, instead surprisingly, bounced back fast as businesspeople find value in face-to-face interaction. “As a result, our conferencing venues are sold out weeks in advance.”

“In what is a new trend, we are seeing businessmen staying for periods of up to 30 days. For these guests, who may tire of our menu, we have ‘chef on call.’ They tell our executive chef Omar Menhouk what they feel like eating, and it is prepared to their taste.”

The Maslow’s Lacuna Bar and Bistro challenges the conventional thinking that hotels are not known for exceptional food. “Our menus are in line with what the Maslow is all about — simple, but quality food.” Chef Menhouk has refreshed the hotel’s dining options, bringing a lighter, fresher fare with

on-trend ingredients to the fore.

The Africology Spa at The Maslow is popular with Johannesburg locals and regular guests, who are savvy enough to know to book in advance. One of the most popular treatments is the 90-minute ‘The Maslow Journey’, a bespoke massage and facial which is exclusively available at the hotel. Besides the usual manicures, pedicures, massages and facials, the spa has its own hydrotherapy area, with a Rasul Chamber, steam room, ice walkway and heated pool.

In Mr Swart’s many years with Sun International, The Maslow is the smallest property he has managed, but, he says, the most rewarding to be involved in. “I see myself as the conductor of the team. We have turned things around since the pandemic, to become profitable, and my team is motivated and happy. It is an honour to represent the Sun International brand in such a competitive environment as Sandton, and for our next decade, we aim to grow occupancy levels to 75 per cent using our excellent customer satisfaction rates as a base.” 22 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS SANDTON OVERVIEW

City Lodge offer over 600 rooms in Sandton

City Lodge Hotel Group has four hotels, offering 601 rooms in Sandton: Courtyard Hotel Sandton; City Lodge Hotel Sandton, Morningside; City Lodge Hotel Sandton, Katherine Street; and Road Lodge Sandton.

Collectively, they provide guests with a choice of properties from the budgetfriendly Road Lodge to the luxury Courtyard Hotel, and two comfortable and stylish City Lodge Hotels. They are complemented by several other Group hotels in neighbouring suburbs, including Courtyard Hotel Rosebank, City Lodge Hotel Fourways, City Lodge Hotel Bryanston and Road Lodge Rivonia.

Swimming pools surrounded by gardens give corporates an outdoor space ideal for functions and guests a place to relax in the Highveld’s sunny weather, serving as a welcome break from the ‘concrete jungle’ that is any financial district. The Sundowner Bar is also a great place to relax after a day’s work, shopping or exploring.

The Courtyard Hotel and City Lodge Hotels each has a smart 12-seater boardroom for meetings and events, and, as with all the Group’s

hotels, offer fast and reliable Wi-Fi, free secure parking, 24-hour reception and check-in, and environmentally-friendly bathroom amenities. These three hotels also feature fitness rooms, an essential offering for today’s health-conscious travellers keen to maintain their exercise routine.

The Group is in the process of installing new state-of-the-art ovens at its City Lodge Hotels and Courtyard Hotels, and several of the Sandton hotels have received theirs. Lunch and dinner menus have been revamped as a result — think delicious grills, healthy options, and more vegetarian dishes. City Lodge Hotel Sandton, Morningside has introduced a ‘Dish of the day’, with its top sellers being hearty, wholesome oxtail and lamb curry dishes. City Lodge Hotel Sandton, Katherine Street reports increased bookings of their boardroom thanks to the new menu. The cocktail menu has also been given a

modern, zesty twist using more fresh, flavourful ingredients. The famous breakfast buffet remains popular across the Group’s hotels.

Road Lodge Sandton was rebranded from Town Lodge in 2021, giving travellers an affordable, comfortable place to stay at one of the best rates in the region — it has all the brand standards of a Town Lodge at Road Lodge prices. The launch of the Eat-in menu last year means this hotel, as well as all Town Lodges and Road Lodges across the group, now offer freshly prepared, tasty dishes for lunch and dinner.

These hotels are within easy reach of the Gautrain, major highways and business and entertainment destinations, and a shuttle to and from the airport can be arranged at a nominal fee. Generators ensure the power stays on and the City Lodge Hotels have water tanks storing potable water in case of municipal outages.

Business Events Africa March 2023 23 PAGE STRAP VENUE NEWS

The countdown has begun for WTM Africa

• At least 500 top-end ‘king buyers’ will visit WTM Africa this year.

• The content programme has seen a complete revamp with new speakers and formats.

• Sustainability will be a priority with the introduction of a new sustainability village.

The countdown has begun for Africa Travel Week, which takes place from 3-5 April at the Cape Town International Conference Centre in the host City of Cape Town.

The trade show, which includes flagship shows WTM Africa and ILTM Africa, will allow travel industry leaders to reconnect and catch up on trends and developments in the African tourism space. Exciting content sessions hosted by experts and speakers are to be augmented by several bolt-on conferences, including EQUAL Africa, the African Tourism Investment Summit (ATIS), the Responsible Tourism Africa Conference, Travel Tech and IBTM Africa.

Megan De Jager, portfolio director

— travel, tourism & marketing RX Africa, shares an overview of what to expect at WTM Africa 2023:

A killer content programme

Do you want to get inside-knowledge into Africa’s hottest source markets? Would you like to hear all about the tech innovations that will revolutionise the tourism industry in Africa? Or do you want to know if the African tourism industry is getting inclusivity 24 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE NEWSSTRAP
Meghan de Jager.

right? This year’s content programme brings fresh ideas, new speakers and exciting new formats and partners. Speakers include industry stalwarts like Mandisa Magwaxaza, Jean Scheltema and Colin Bell, among others. Partners for EQUAL Africa now include the IGLTA Foundation and Afrigay. Check out the preliminary programme here

The most prominent global buyers Africa Travel Week is expecting to welcome over 500 top-end ‘king buyers’ from across the world, which will be hosted at the Southern Sun Cullinan Hotel, The Vineyard, the Westin, as well as other selected hotels in the city. Buyers this year range from our tried-and-trusted source markets such as the US and the UK, as well as some exciting new markets such as Malaysia, Bangladesh and Romania.

Exciting media partners

The interest from the media for WTM Africa 2023 has been phenomenal and we’re proud to be partnering with Afritraveller, Voyages Afriq, Zambia Travel Magazine, SA Profile, Business

Integrator, Rove SA, India Outbound, Plett Tourism, The Planner Guru, Gallivant Africa,, iAfrica, SA Commuter, Travel News East Africa, ATC News, Bizcommunity, The Aviators Africa, Luxury Xclusives, Euronews, Byolife Media, Nzira Travel Magazine, Afro Tourism West Africa, Business Events Africa and Euromonitor.

Inspiring young minds

World Travel Market (WTM) Africa

2023 have collaborated with Katie King — published author and CEO of AI in Business, to launch an inclusive programme aimed at upskilling highschool students in Cape Town on the impact artificial intelligence (AI) will have on careers in the tourism industry. The most promising young minds will share their technology solutions with us at Africa Travel Week.

Making a difference

Expect a range of exciting new features at the 2023 show. We’re particularly excited about our new Sustainability Village where attendees will be able to make a difference on the spot. The Sustainability Village, a new and unique

walk-through hub, will feature a variety of eco-focused pop-up exhibitors, each showcasing what they do through interactive displays and communicating how they can assist other businesses in prioritising the environment and the support of local communities. The pop-up exhibitions include Growing Paper, Painted Wolf Wines, How Many Elephants, E’Yako Green, and Uthando South Africa among others.

And the winners are…

Who told the most inspiring story about Africa in 2022? And who are our responsible tourism champions? One of the highlights of the show will be the announcement of the winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards and the Africa Travel and Tourism Awards.

“Africa Travel Week is the show that everyone in the travel and tourism industry wants to be at. The industry’s most influential names become the talk of the town as they create exciting new itineraries, do business, and build lifelong bonds during three days of high-quality appointments, educational sessions and networking parties,” Ms De Jager concluded.

Business Events Africa March 2023 25 PAGE STRAP NEWS

Top luxury travel buyers look forward to ILTM Africa’s exciting lineup

Leading luxury travel buyers, including Virtuoso and Select, will arrive in Cape Town at the end of March for ILTM Africa 2023. Impressively, 88 per cent are new buyers with representation from Brazil, Canada, Finland, Israel, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and more.

We are excited about the dramatic increase in new buyers, making up 88 per cent of participants at ILTM this year. The event programme showcases some of the best Cape Town has to offer. To everyone coming to ILTM Africa this year — enjoy one of the greatest cities of the world, we love welcoming you again,” said Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Held in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, this year’s ILTM Africa will once again bring high-value, one-onone meeting opportunities with king buyers from around the world. This beautiful natural venue is conducive for exceptional business meetings for the tourism industry. Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is internationally acclaimed as one of the seven most magnificent botanical gardens in the world.

ILTM Africa delegates will be able to enjoy activities such as a picnic lunch in

the Kirstenbosch Sculpture Gardens as well as chocolate tasting with Hippolytas chocolates, high tea at the Mount Nelson and a visit to The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands. An exclusive networking event powered by Shimansky and Zeitz MOCAA will also take place at the exclusive Zeitz MOCAA. There will be numerous spoils for delegates including beautiful gift bags supplied by The Joinery and exciting surprises organised by ILTM Africa.

“We’re so excited to be able to put together an amazing itinerary for delegates and media in the Host City of Cape Town. A special thank you, as well, to MLT Car Hire who will drive our hosted media to a range of attractions to showcase our beautiful region,” said Megan De Jager, RX Africa portfolio director: travel, tourism & marketing.

Speakers on luxury travel trends and LGBTQ+ travel will be a key feature of the event. Almost 20 per cent of the confirmed buyers are interested in the

LGBTQ+ travel category and interest in golf tourism came from buyers in seven countries, including Singapore and Germany.

International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Africa is an exclusive annual event showcasing a curated selection of luxury travel and tourism providers in Africa to buyers from across the world. It is an invitation-only event and provides opportunities for leaders in the industry to network, expand their knowledge, gain insight and discover new business.

“ILTM Africa has gone back to its roots. We are focusing on our core mission: to be a niche, boutique, invite-only event where luxury tourism players can connect and exchange ideas. Our intimate event has incredible things planned for you alongside quality meetings — we cannot wait to share these with you,” Ms De Jager concluded.

ILTM Africa will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from 31 March to 2 April. 26 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE NEWSSTRAP

Northern Cape — an extraordinary meeting and incentive destination

Welcome to the Northern Cape, one of Southern Africa’s fastest growing incentive destinations. This province, the largest within South Africa, features a landscape brimming with dramatic beauty, a rich culture and history with ancient wisdoms, warm hospitality, and some of the world’s greatest ‘bucket list’ experiences on offer.

Inspirational Incentives — unique and memorable

Travel incentives are highly desired rewards.

In comparison to cash, travel rewards are experiences incentive delegates will remember for a lifetime. There really is no better way to reward your incentive groups than an unforgettable, life enriching trip to the Northern Cape. Splendid natural beauty, diverse and iconic cultures, warm hospitably, award-winning food and wine, luxury accommodation, natural wonders, spirit of Ubuntu, fascinating wildlife and a select range of products and services within the province, combined with an efficient infrastructure makes the Northern Cape an excellent choice for your incentive and meetings programmes.

Find new passions in an unspoilt paradise

The Northern Cape is home to some of the country’s most sought-after tourist spots, as well as some of the most starkly beautiful untouched landscapes in the country. There is

arguably no other place like the Northern Cape, making it the perfect destination for incentive travellers who prefer to take the road less travelled.

Experience unforgettable tours

• See the flowers of Namaqualand: In August and September, the dusty desert area of the Namaqualand springs to life with an incredible bloom of wildflowers. Visitors travel from near and far to get a glimpse of the phenomenon that breaks out into a fantastic display of wildflowers. Choose to tour the area on horseback or join an ever-popular digital photography tour.

• The Big Hole: The diamond town of Kimberley is home to one of the Northern Cape’s most popular tourist attractions. Visit the Kimberley Mine Museum, which pays tribute to South Africa’s diamond rush. Visitors can view the remarkable Big Hole from the museum’s viewing decks.

• Food and wine route: Eat and drink your

way through one of the country's emerging food and wine destinations. The Kokerboom Food and Wine Route takes travellers through the quaint towns of Keimoes, Kenhardt, Hakoneiland, Augrabies, Upington and Marchland. Stopover at the many brandy and wine tastings along the way and treat yourself to the finest of Karoo lamb. This is a wine and food experience like no other.

• Search for shipwrecks: Incentives travellers can experience the unique coastlines of Port Nolloth and Kleinzee where you will find several shipwrecks and ruins. Tours in this area take travellers to see the various sites and end on the beach with a crayfish braai (when in season).

• Kimberley ghost tours: For those interested in the supernatural, Kimberley has many a ghost-sighting story to share. The eerie tours begin at the Honoured Dead Memorial in the centre of the city before heading off to visit several historic houses and 28 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE STRAP

monuments. From the lady in white on the balcony or Percy Rudd the first owner at Rudd House, the ghostly waiter serving at the old Kimberley Club or the phantom dog whose howl can be heard coming from the porch at the old De Beers boardroom.

• Trek with the Kalahari Bushmen or San People: A unique opportunity to experience the way of life of the first people of Southern Africa. Take a guided trail in the Kalahari with the world's best indigenous trackers and learn how they survived the desert landscapes for over 20,000 years. Gain insights into their medicinal plants, amazing hunter-gatherer skills and their culture and traditions.

Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites and National Parks

• The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape: With dramatic landscapes of the desert and mountains, the renowned national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is an exceptional example of partnership between nature and people. The area is uniquely owned, managed and conserved by the Nama community descendants of the historical Khoi-Khoi people and boasts some of the richest succulent flora in the world. Known as “a desert frontier for adventurers” visitors can enjoy 4x4 trails, hiking, camping in the soulful desolation of the desert and learning about the myths and legends of its ancient inhabitants.

• The Augrabies Falls National Park: Near the border of Namibia, some 120km west of Upington in the Northern Cape, is a landscape like no other. While it is the spectacular Augrabies Falls that brings visitors here, the park also offers aridadapted animals and plant life, intriguing rock formations, hiking trails and more. From the steep gorges and thunderous waters, particularly when the Orange River is in flood, one really shouldn’t visit the Northern Cape without visiting this spectacular park.

Enjoy outdoor adventures

• Paddle down the Orange River: As the longest river in South Africa, the Orange River offers watersports enthusiasts an incredible opportunity to paddle down its waters, one of the most popular activities in the Northern Cape. Choose between a half-day trip to a full 5 days sleeping along the riverbanks.

• Stargazing in Sutherland: Sutherland, while well known for its icy winter temperatures,

Business Events Africa March 2023 29 PAGE STRAP

The Northern Cape Tourism Authority — our services

The Northern Cape offers a full spectrum of event support services to ensure a successful and memorable event. As a local expert, we work closely with hand-picked suppliers to provide innovative and professional services. The Northern Cape Tourism Authority’s expert local knowledge will ensure that you have the best incentive conference, meeting or event in Southern Africa. We assist planners with finding the most appropriate venues and service providers, and provide destination information that will be suitable, based on event profiles.

• Bid support for national and international events/conferences/ meetings.

• Current databases of Northern Cape products

• Negotiating rates with hotels, tour operators etc.

• Airport welcome and departure desk.

• Delegate boosting, hosting and site visits.

• Pre- and post-tours and accompanied person’s programme.

• Assisting with local logistical arrangements.

has something much more awe-inspiring to offer. Aptly nicknamed “the Gateway to the Universe” for the breathtaking views that its clear night skies offer, Sutherland is a top destination for stargazing. The town is home to the South African Astronomical Observatory and the Southern African Large Telescope.

• Dune boarding: With the incredible dunes found at Witsand Nature Reserve, the place of the Roaring Sands of the Kalahari, the Northern Cape is a popular sandboarding destination. The area has many local operators that offer both sandboarding lessons and tours; all levels are welcome.

Contact info


Web: 30 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE STRAP




Exhibition and event innovations showcased at EuroShop 2023

EuroShop is the largest retail trade fair in the world, taking place every three years in Düsseldorf, Germany, and covering all the latest developments in retailing, merchandising, shopfitting, displays, and exhibitions and events. One of the halls at the show is dedicated to the exhibition and events sector.

The 2023 show drew 81,000 visitors from 141 countries, and the 15 exhibition halls showcased 1,830 exhibitors. These figures give some idea of the scope of the show and its significance to the retail, display and expo sectors. It’s no small feat to see it all within the allotted five days.

Scan Display at EuroShop

Scan Display, a leader in the Southern African exhibition, events and display industries, has taken a team to the show since 1999. Again, this year, Scan Display representatives were able to network with colleagues from around the world, build the company’s international client base, and take in

all the latest innovations in design, lighting, carpeting and technology.

This was the third time that Scan Display has exhibited as part of the International Federation of Exhibition & Event Services (IFES) pavilion. Scan Display became the first African member of the global stand building association in 2006, and its managing director, Justin Hawes, was the association’s first African president during 2021-2022.

Scan Display has found being part of the pavilion an easy and effective way to exhibit at EuroShop. This year, the IFES pavilion was well-positioned near one of the main entrances to the show, resulting in a constant stream of visitors. 32 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS
The Scan Display team at EuroShop 2023.

Exhibition and event innovations showcased at EuroShop 2023


There was greater use of colour on the stands, compared with the dominant monochrome palette and natural materials of the last few shows. It felt like - postpandemic – exhibitors wanted their products and services to be showcased with more vibrant, colourful exhibits.


The lighting on the stands was bright (sometimes too bright) and really made a statement.

Exhibitors used extensive backlighting, enhancing the bold colours. The backlighting quality was better than ever before, and the graphics really ‘popped’. Some exhibitors also used uplighting and mood lighting very effectively.

The quality of lightboxes was also better than before, creating eye-catching displays.

There were quite a few stands that used a combination of semi-transparent or gridded structures paired with different lighting techniques, which created a whole new visual layer in the stand presentation.


There was extensive use of LED walls. Plasma screens and monitors have become outdated and were used in a limited way.

The risk of damage has historically made exhibitors reluctant to use LED panels. However, the latest LED panels incorporate technology which protects them. The cost of LED screens has come down over the years, making them more affordable.

Scan Display’s Cape Town branch manager, Jacob van Zyl, said that the creativity of the content used on LED screens stood out for him: “Exhibitors used beautiful, abstract, colourful content on

Business Events Africa March 2023 33 PAGE STRAP VENUE NEWS
Boldly-coloured stands. Clever mood lighting casting shadows. Lighting combined with semi-transparent structures.

their LED panels. The videos were created specifically for the show and tied in with the look-and-feel of the stand. The videos changed over time to give the impression of the stand being alive.”


Sustainability has been a part of EuroShop for a while now, but this year it was more mainstream, and it was incorporated into everything: product offering, marketing messaging, stand materials and lighting. The sustainability of products and services was the primary marketing message — way ahead of any cost saving messaging.

The top three Innovation Award winners showcased their sustainability projects. The winner of the Innovation Award, US-based Moss Inc, showcased how they upcycle waste plastic recovered from the ocean to create the fabric for the tension fabric products the company makes.

The Gold Award winner in the XL Category (more than 200 sqm), Hans Boodt Mannequins, repurposed raw scaffolding and containers to create its stand.


There were very few double decker stands and private meeting rooms on stands. Exhibitors and visitors were interacting right there on the stand, in the midst of the activity. There was a sense that people were looking for connection after years of relative isolation.

At previous EuroShop shows, it looked like Virtual Reality (VR) was set to take off at exhibitions and events. However, at this year’s show there were hardly any VR elements. Exhibitors engaged directly with their visitors and demonstrated their products face-to-face without any VR tools.

There were only a few stands that used Augmented Reality (AR) - one example was the projection of images of moving parrots onto a wall.

There were also fewer 3D holograms used.

Interactive elements including games and activities, and the more conventional coffee and snack bars, were used to draw visitors to the stand.

Justin Hawes, Scan Display’s managing director, sums up the EuroShop 2023 experience: “The dominant feeling was about human interaction. People wanted to connect and chat. Bright colours, powerful lighting and LED walls were the stand-out features. Sustainability and telling a story in a novel way made for award-winning stands.” 34 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE STRAP
Interactive games on stands. Augmented reality of birds and a presenter on the stand.
Raw scaffolding and reused painted containers.

What is the Tourism Investment Forum Africa (TIFA)?

South Africa’s tourism and investment sector is well poised to take advantage of the improved global appetite for tourism, to optimise its contribution to the country’s economic objectives.

As part of this heightened optimism, a new flagship event, will be added to the annual calendar. The inaugural Tourism Investment Forum Africa (TIFA), will make its debut in the Northern Cape from 7-9 June 2023.

The Forum will be held under the theme ‘Forging Global Partnerships for Inclusive Local Economic Development Through Sustainable Investment’, at the African Vineyard Hotel on Kanoneiland, Upington, South Africa.

TIFA was conceptualised as a vehicle to promote trade, investment and finance solutions and opportunities between South Africa and the continent. As ‘a global platform for local action’, the Forum also aims to afford the host destination the opportunity to promote investment into priority sectors of its economy and, in particular, the tourism sector, thereby contributing to inclusive and sustainable local economic growth and development, particularly job creation.

In addition to promoting investment projects and opportunities in the travel and tourism industry across the SADC and other regions, the TIFA will promote transversal projects and investment opportunities in critical sectors such as infrastructure, transport, real estate and the green economy, which are key to the development and growth of tourism

through their stimulation of development in related sectors.

A key pillar of the platform is the facilitation of meaningful business-tobusiness (B2B) and business to government (B2G) exchanges to facilitate investment, networking, sharing of knowledge and market insights as well as other trade development opportunities.

Why the Northern Cape?

The choice of hosting the Forum in Upington is strategic and aims to expose international and domestic delegates to what the Northern Cape has to offer investors, with a view to increasing the opportunities for investment, job creation and economic growth within the province.

This is aligned to the priority focus of South African Tourism (SAT) which aims to showcase all of what the country has to offer, and diversify the supply side of South Africa’s tourism economy.

The Northern Cape is also considered the home of the San people who are also found in parts of Botswana, Namibia and southern Angola. The San are one of 14 known remaining ‘ancestral population clusters’ (to whom all known modern humans genetically relate). The southern group living in the Kalahari are the Khomani San and is the last remnant of the extensive indigenous San of South Africa.

The choice of Kanoneiland is also significant because it is the biggest river settlement in the country.

In 1928, a group of 52 private settlers began to clear the land for cultivation. The irrigation scheme that has been set up now supports the thriving vineyards that contribute significantly to the economic objectives of the province.

Agriculture in the Northern Cape Kanoneiland, with its thriving vineyards highlights a different side of the Northern Cape which is generally most well-known for its Kalahari Desert and |Ai-|Ais/ Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

In fact, agricultural development takes place along defined corridors within the province. In the Orange River Valley, especially at Kakamas, Keimoes, and Upington, grapes and fruit are cultivated intensively.

High-value horticultural products such as table grapes, sultanas and wine grapes, dates, nuts, cotton, fodder and cereal crops are grown along the Orange River. Wheat, fruit, groundnuts, maize and cotton are grown in the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme in the vicinity of Hartswater.

For more information on the Forum, to participate or exhibit, please contact Boitshoko Shilakwe +27 (0)82 685 0715 or

Business Events Africa March 2023 35 PAGE STRAP VENUE NEWS

The art of resilience

recently in Cape Town.

The 2021/22 financial year was a challenging one for everyone due to stringent Covid-19 restrictions, but the CTICC is pleased to announce that it has emerged from this trial-by-fire, stronger and more inspired than ever. The year under review began with the centre only hosting small, local events, due to government-mandated pandemic regulations, but, with the relaxation of restrictions in the fourth quarter, the final barrier to hosting large events was removed. A clear example of this was Decorex in June 2022, which brought over 36,000 visitors to the CTICC. With the influx of events, the CTICC hosted 226 events compared to 53 in the previous financial year, and overall delegate and visitor numbers rose to over 127,000 in the year under review — a massive and welcome improvement.

The art of resilience

Resilience means ‘to jump back’. It describes a material’s ability to return to its original shape after bending, stretching or compression. It also talks to a person’s ability to bounce back after a shock. Covid-19 most certainly stretched every aspect of our lives, and shock is definitely an appropriate word to describe South Africa’s response. But what matters most is how one responds to these shocks and how, despite them, one bounces back. With the events sector and the CTICC’s business seriously affected by the pandemic, the centre had to quickly learn how to master resilience. Fynbos is a perfect example of resilience, and none more so than the protea.

“Sometimes known as the ‘phoenix flower’, proteas literally rise from the ashes… it is inspiring that beauty, colour and life can reemerge from destruction. To come out of the fire – changed and 36 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS
The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) Taubie Motlhabane.

renewed – is the inspiration for our 2022 Integrated Annual Report. We are mastering the art of resilience,” said Taubie Motlhabane, chief executive officer, in her presentation to the media on the day. To further develop the concept of resilience, the CTICC used watercolour as a design element throughout its annual report. Watercolour embodies energy and boldness — and to create a masterpiece, one must act quickly and clearly. This perfectly describes the CTICC’s ability to adapt and change with the times.

Business General Annual results across the board

Despite the challenges, the CTICC improved on its 2021 financial figures. The company achieved a revenue of almost R100m compared to just over R52-million in the previous financial year. A turnover of more than R98-million was also attained — a steep increase compared to the R43-million in the 2021 financial year. The CTICC thought it would return an EBITDA loss of just over R91-million. However, the company managed to cut the expected loss by 63 per cent, achieving an EBITDA loss of only R34-million — a definite improvement on the target. The CTICC also continued to contribute positively to the provincial and national economies. Its contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as Gross Geographic Product (GGP), was R1.1-billion respectively. Since the CTICC opened its doors in 2003, it has contributed over R54-billion to the GDP and more than R46-billion to the GGP. On top of this, the CTICC created or sustained over 2,000 jobs nationally in the 2022 financial year, bringing its total number of jobs created since inception to 145,000.

Embracing resilience to reimagine the future.

The pandemic provided an opportunity for the CTICC to pause, think out of the box and build on what they already offered, to create a new and flourishing future for themselves and others. This resulted in a redefined purpose, vision and mission:

• The new purpose, the CTICC’s ‘why’, is all about accelerating economic prosperity, opportunity, inclusivity, creativity and innovation

• Its revised vision, the ‘what’, includes the CTICC being respected as the enabler of Africa’s smartest community of creativity, opportunity, sustainability and excellence

• The redefined mission, the new ‘how’, will be accomplished by establishing an integrated smart hub model that unlocks innovation, collaboration and transformation, creating opportunity for all. Community is at our core. Underpinning the CTICC’s new way forward is its commitment to community. Ms Motlhabane commented in her foreword in the 2022 Integrated Annual Report: “People are also a key focus in our business operations. The communities we live in, do business in and impact, reflect the character of the CTICC. We are very proud to say we continue to balance our business operations with care, responsibility and integrity for people, along with the planet.”

activations over the years have included the CTICC’s hosting of the Vaccination Centre of Hope during the last two quarters of 2022, where an estimated 136,000 people were vaccinated, which followed the Hospital of Hope at the onset of the pandemic.

As a result of donating space to the Gift of the Givers and supporting Local Community Partners (LCPs), the CTICC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contribution rose considerably during this period — to R2.5-million.

Focus on people, planet and integrity

With a strong commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, the CTICC continued to focus on improving its dedication to these values. This included aligning itself with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During the year under review, the CTICC supported 15 out of the 17 goals during the financial year. Furthermore, the company continues to meet all ten of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) principles, by which they measure their commitment to ESG values. Innovation — the way forward. The CTICC’s new strategy will be adopted over the next two years, positioning itself as a significant global player in the fields of technology and innovation, aligning with the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Development Plan & Strategic Economic Sectors.

This is perfectly reflected in the CTICC’s donation of space to the Gift of the Givers. In April 2022, KwaZulu-Natal experienced severe floods, leaving countless people destitute and at risk without clean drinking water. The Gift of the Givers answered this call and the CTICC partnered with them. The CTICC provided three halls, for nine days, as a secure drop-off and storage facility for donated water that was trucked to Durban. An estimated one million litres of water was donated by the people of Cape Town and the CTICC “was very proud to have been given an opportunity to be part of the solution,” said Ms Motlhabane. Other innovative community

“If these challenging times have taught us anything, it is that change is necessary and it opens the door for innovation and reinvention,” said Ms Motlhabane in her foreword in the 2022 Integrated Annual Report At the end of her presentation, Ms Motlhabane revealed that its forward book is healthier than ever.

“We currently have over seventy international events confirmed up to November 2029. We believe the results will be as striking as the protea itself.” After thanking her staff, management and executive team, Board, Shareholders, service partners and clients for their support during the year under review, Ms Motlhabane reminded us all that the future is looking bright indeed — especially for the CTICC. To read the full report, browse the CTICC’s 2022 Integrated Annual Report site to find out how it is embodying ‘The art of resilience’.

Business Events Africa March 2023 37 PAGE STRAP VENUE NEWS CTICC AGM REPORT
Watercolour embodies energy and boldness — and to create a masterpiece, one must act quickly and clearly. This perfectly describes the CTICC’s ability to adapt and change with the times

New executive chef at the helm of The Palace kitchens

Dedication and passion for the hospitality industry have seen Wesli Jacobs climbing the cheffing ladder, and the 33-year-old can now proudly claim the position of Executive Chef at Sun International’s flagship property, The Palace at the Lost City.

Durban-born, Mr Jacobs cooked alongside his mother and grandmother from the age of seven and holds a three-year diploma in cookery and kitchen management from the International Hotel School in Durban and is studying a bachelor’s degree in business administration in hospitality management. He was previously executive chef at Sun International’s The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town and moved to Sun City with his wife and two children in November 2022.

“At The Table Bay, I learnt how to deal with five-star guests and VIPs from around the world. I would meet them to discuss menus for private events on their yachts parked in the V&A Waterfront, and work at a five-star level to create unique dishes.”

He now brings these learnings to his new position at the helm of Sun City

Resort’s biggest kitchens.

“It’s hot,” is his reply to how he is finding Rustenberg. “I’m enjoying the new culture and languages — from Xhosa and Afrikaans in the Cape to Setswana and Sesotho here. I am adapting to my employees and understanding what they need to do to perform their jobs well.”

His portfolio includes eight departments, with 85 people reporting to him. Mr Jacobs is responsible for feeding guests at the 30-seater Tusk Bar, 240-seater breakfast buffet Crystal Court, 300-seater Banqueting space, 50-seater Croc Lounge at the golf course and 70-seater The Grill Room. “I also oversee catering staff, where we can prepare 300 meals each day.”

In keeping with the ethos of the legend of a lost African tribe, The Palace’s menus lean heavily on local dishes, with Mr Jacobs keen to incorporate more locally-produced vegetables such as

African spinach and mielies as he refreshes the menus.

“In the North-West Province, we are surrounded by the Big Five, so it’s all about serving the country’s finest game meat.” The Grill Room features ostrich, kudu, impala and springbok, and once the new menu is introduced, dishes like tripe, chakalaka and pap which are unique to South Africa, will be added.”

Mr Jacobs describes the menu as “Contemporary Afro-Asian Grill” as he looks to create experiences which guests will not have anywhere else.

“Our pool menu now offers Neapolitanstyle wood-fired sourdough pizzas, and we have played around with flavour profiles to offer luxurious combinations – think caviar, smoked salmon, cream cheese and pickled cucumber for something different.”

Tusk Bar, a social environment, offers a number of tapas platters for two – a meat platter with boerewors wheels, steak, as well as salmon poke bowls. “We changed up the burgers to include pulled beef short rib, smoked bacon and mature cheddar, and when you order a drink, you receive a corn snack, game biltong and spiced nuts to add a luxurious touch.”

High tea at The Palace will have a new menu in March, with a chocolate-focus ahead of Easter, while the breakfast menu also sees the introduction of new, on-trend dishes including chia seed pudding and charcoal bread.

Each day is different and presents its own challenges from both staff and guests which Mr Jacobs views as opportunities. “I have daily meetings with the floor manager, where we discuss what training is required for waitrons.” Staff ‘master classes’ are held, where training on new dishes and cooking techniques, such as using nitrogen, foams or sous vide cooking, is done. “We are bringing modern day chef techniques into the kitchen and teaching the team.”

He applied for the job at Sun City hoping to be part of the team re-establishing The Palace as a “six-star level” property within South Africa.

“We want to be known as the pinnacle in luxury and set the standard for others in the industry to follow.” The hotel’s rooms and suites have enjoyed a make-over, and a new spa opened. “I am influenced by the legacy of Sol Kerzner, who was a trend setter, and I look to replicate that in food and service,” Mr Jacobs concluded. 38 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE MARKETSTRAPNEWS

Inclusive tourism in the spotlight

Growing tourism’s economic footprint in the hinterland region remains a priority for national, provincial, and regional tourism bodies. In an effort to find meaningful ways to create a more inclusive tourism economy, the Department of Tourism hosted an Imbizo at Port Shepstone’s Ugu Sports & Leisure Centre on Thursday, 2 March.

Themed Leave No-One Behind, this post-SoNA (State of the Nation Address) engagement brought stakeholders and communities together to encourage active citizen participation in government-led programmes. The highly successful Imbizo sought innovative ways to advance rural and community-centric tourism in the sector.

The Imbizo was attended by Fish Mahlalela, South Africa deputy minister of tourism; TT Hlophe, Ray Nkonyeni municipality chief whip; VM Chiya, Ugu deputy mayor; Nhlakanipho Mkontwana, chief director of tourism development from EDTEA; alongside representatives from South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) and several other public officials,

businesses, media, and community members.

“This was a very productive Imbizo where challenges within the industry were laid out and solutions suggested through a collaborative engagement,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, chief executive officer of SCTIE. “One of our primary objectives as SCTIE is finding ways, and developing products, that bring our rural communities into the tourism economy. We’ve managed to achieve this through business support and guidance, as well as the establishment of our Great Drives Out, the Umzumbe River Trail, and Weza Trail – among many others – and we look forward to expanding this reach even further.”

The Imbizo was a great opportunity to

introduce delegates to the KZN South Coast and its many tourism offerings while continuing to position the area as a top MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and events) destination. The top conferencing facilities and teambuilding activities are a welcome change for businesses looking to inspire productivity among employees. With the KZN South Coast home to Blue Flag Beaches, quality golf courses, extensive nature trails, and world-class facilities, it’s ideal for attracting bleisure tourism.

SCTIE launched the Meeting Planner Guide as a resource to assist corporates and conference organisers in accessing information for business conferences, meetings, teambuilding events, and accommodation requirements.

Business Events Africa March 2023 39 PAGE STRAP MARKET NEWS
Traditional dancers. Crafters peddling their wares. Students from Esayidi TVET College, Gamalakhe Campus. Maxwell Mhlongo from South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE). The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr. Fish Mahlalela.

Energy crisis impact on South African events and exhibitions industry

Dire statistics recently released show that economists predict 45 per cent chance of recession for South Africa in 2023 with load shedding to continue until at least 2027.

Whilst the events and exhibitions industry in South Africa has celebrated the return of business tourism and investment into the sector following the pandemic, the current energy crisis is affecting business operations across the entire value chain: from organisers, to venues, to exhibitors. Devi Paulsen-Abbott, chairperson of the African Association of Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) and vice president of dmg events – together with members of AAXO – shared her observations on the effect of load shedding on the industry.

Reduced attendance

Load shedding has caused disruptions to electricity supply, which impacts congestion on the roads, resulting in traffic build-up and, thereby, reduced delegate attendance at exhibitions and events. On the other side of the spectrum, exhibitors need to ensure that the equipment they intend on exhibiting is able to be run off the back-up power supplies from venues, which – in some instances – may mean exhibitors choose to not exhibit or reduce their presence due to the unreliability of power. The financial success of events is reliant on attendance: of both delegates and exhibitors.


Load shedding impacts the use of technology – particularly on digital devices – which can cause delays and disruption to events (particularly if there is a delay in switching over to back-up power), from mobile service signals through to Wi-Fi connection.

Mark Anderson, portfolio director at Specialised Exhibitions, owned by the prestigious Montgomery Group, said: “During our trade shows, the generators that the venues supply are only suitable to power up the lights and are not suitable for running any machinery. Our exhibitors are not able to demonstrate and run their

Building back Exhibitions and Events together!

The founding Associations of the SA Events Council have consistently provided essential information and support on event safety, business relief and venue capacity. Ensure you are ready for business by engaging with your association today.

machines during load shedding, which is not only disruptive to the show, but may impact the number of deals they secure.”

Increased costs

Load shedding has led to increased costs for event organisers, in order to manage the disruptions — such as renting generator equipment or investing in alternative energy sources.

“We have installed a generator that runs our entire building and ensures that we are able to work effectively during load shedding. The side effect, however, is the obvious cost of additional diesel that we now pay, on a daily basis, to keep the generator running,” Mr Anderson said.

Charles Wilson, chief executive officer of the Gallagher Convention Centre, a premier events destination venue in Gauteng, adds: “As much as having full power generation back-up for the Gallagher Convention Centre is an advantage, it does, however, have a devastating effect on the cost of not only running the venue, but also for our event organisers. The unfortunate reality is that no venue can absorb the cost of diesel as well as the increased maintenance costs and we begrudgingly must pass some of the diesel costs on to the event organiser. It goes without saying that the entire situation has made doing business much more expensive.”


Load shedding can cause safety issues, such as the risk of fire or electrocution, and may cause delays in emergency services responding to events.

Event and exhibition organisers are legislated by health and safety requirements as stipulated by two sets of guidelines and legislations: Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act 2010 and Regulations 2017 ; and local city events by-laws (Joint Operating Committee). Whilst no changes have yet been made to these to increase safety measures, discussions need to be had with venues, suppliers and health and safety managers onsite to mitigate the additional risks posed.

Negative publicity

The exhibition and events industry is striving to promote Brand South Africa as a world-class destination for business tourism.

Organisers are focusing their efforts on attracting international visitors and exhibitors to their events, to drive inbound investment to the local economy; however, ongoing challenges such as concerns around safety, xenophobic attacks, lockdown restrictions, droughts, and load shedding – and the world’s perception of the country off the back of this publicity – has an impact on international visitors looking to do business in South Africa.

In spite of these challenges, the industry is doing its best to promote and market South Africa as a destination of choice for international events and will continue to thrive and be an important contributor to the economy.

Ms Paulsen-Abbott, added: “It is difficult to make predictions, particularly in South Africa. However, given the industry’s proven resilience over the past few years, I am certain we will continue to be adaptive and innovative in finding creative ways to overcome issues like load shedding. While we know that our venues are making substantial investments in reliable backup systems, organisers should be proactively exploring, encouraging, educating, and engaging suppliers, attendees, exhibitors, and stakeholders in the use of energy-efficient products, other technologies and best practices in the reduction of energy consumption.”

She continued: “AAXO is determined to ensure that we do not accept 200 days of loadshedding, as experienced in 2022, as ‘normal’. We must lobby our leaders for an urgent resolution to this issue and, in the meantime, take proactive steps to reduce our energy consumption. By doing this, we can ensure that our industry is adaptive and innovative in finding creative solutions to overcome the challenges that we face as a collective.”








Western Cape: Premier Hotel Cape Town, Premier Resort The Moorings, Premier Express Inn George Eastern Cape: Premier Hotel EL ICC, Premier Hotel Regent, Premier Resort Mpongo Private Game Reserve, East London International Convention Centre (ELICC)

Kwazulu-Natal: Premier Splendid Inn Port Edward, Premier Splendid Inn Pinetown, Premier Resort Cutty Sark, Premier Hotel The Richards, Premier Splendid Inn Bayshore, Premier Resort Sani Pass, Premier Hotel Umhlanga, Premier Splendid Inn Umhlanga

Gauteng: Premier Hotel Midrand, Premier Hotel Pretoria, Premier Hotel Falstaff, Premier Hotel Quatermain, Premier Hotel Roodevalley

Mpumalanga: Premier Hotel The Winkler

Free State: Premier Splendid Inn Bloemfontein

The future looks bright for SA’s business events industry

February’s National Budget provided some encouraging signs that South Africa’s economy could turn around, including thorough incentives to stimulate short-term investment. This contributes to a fruitful outlook for the business events industry (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), as various provisions align with promoting tourism and events locally.

Among these is the incentive for businesses to reduce their taxable income by investing in renewables. Placing no limit on the size of projects that qualify can only help to encourage investment sooner than later, with the 125 per cent tax rebate valid for two years. I believe this boost will carry through to event organisers and venues who are doing all they can to counteract the effects of Eskom’s loadshedding, while doing what is best for the environment.

ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) plans are on the horizon in the event industry through the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO), which strives to encourage investment and participation from businesses into events and exhibitions. It’s important to make sustainable choices towards the longevity and success of the global event industry, in which South Africa is a key player.

Plunged into darkness at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the business events industry must work even harder to manage the present loadshedding pandemic, while building back the industry and attracting further interest in South Africa as a top business events destination.

Improving infrastructure is crucial here and was high on the budget agenda beyond the provision to reduce Eskom’s debt. Transport and logistics received an estimated R351.1- billion commitment to SANRAL to enhance SA’s road infrastructure network. Additional plans projected to cost R132.5-billion over the next three years will improve water and sanitation services. These are excellent steps towards making the country more resilient, capable of managing an influx of business and leisure tourists balanced with a growing population.

The country offers so much potential from its landscape to its blend of cultures, with a well-developed tourism and events industry boasting many high-quality venues, suppliers, and service providers to support any type of event.

Worldclass convention centres and exhibition venues, such as the Cape Town International Convention Centre and the Durban International Convention Centre can — and do — host large-scale international events. There is also a diverse range of accommodation and extra-mural activities available locally to cater to the needs of tourists and event attendees, including natural attractions, great restaurants and shopping malls.

South Africa is an appealing and competitive destination for hosting events with the favourable advantage of the Rand’s exchange rate, making it more cost-effective to hold African or international events here. While the total spend on an event will depend on many factors, items like accommodation, transportation, and food and beverage are generally lower in South Africa than in many other developed countries.

But due to loadshedding particularly, the business events industry is feeling the pressure. Food for example is a major component of any event, so it was great to see the budget recognise how tough it has been through extending the Road Accident Fund levy refund for diesel to help manufacturers of food stuffs, compensating for the cost of generators and the impact of the electricity crisis on food prices[1].

South Africa has its struggles, but it is still among the most developed and stable destinations on the continent, which reassures event organisers and attendees. If the budget provisions

and tax-saving measures can help to keep the lights on and make it easier to do business in South Africa, we should expect to see more events coming to our local shores.

[1] Govt extends diesel fuel levy refund to foodstuff manufacturers (

Who is Projeni Pather ?

Projeni Pather is the founder and managing director of Exposure Marketing. Her 20-year career in exhibitions and marketing, her active leadership, and her engaging personality have allowed Projeni to position the exhibition and events industry’s challenges and triumphs on national media channels. Currently, she is a board director and spokesperson for AAXO, the Association of African Exhibition Organisers and the spokesperson for the SA Event Council. She is passionate about the power of exhibitions and business events as a strategic marketing platform. 42 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE STRAP A LOCAL PERSPECTIVE

Chef Jabulani — “You need a lot of discipline and dedication”

Jabulani Makhubele, 45, executive head chef of Protea by Marriott Hotel Johannesburg Wanderers, is driven by ambition and commitment. He has been in the hospitality industry for over 24 years, having established his career at the Protea Hotel Waterfront Centurion.

Jabulani was born in Giyani, a town situated in the north-eastern part of Limpopo province. After school he completed a certificate in cooking. “Growing up in a rural area was not easy,” he said.

While I was in high school, I won a bursary (R700) from a fast-food company. At this stage he told himself that one day he would work in a hotel. “My mother inspired me to become a chef. She was not a professional chef but knew how to mix ingredients,” Jabulani said.

“I started from the bottom, as a cook, then was promoted to a chef de partie, to sous chef and now I am an executive chef,” he said.

Jabulani said: “Two people that have been inspirational to me and helped me along the way are: Mr Meyer, former general manager of Protea Hotel Waterfront Centurion and Chef Allister Esau, former executive chef at Protea by Marriott Hotel Johannesburg Wanderers.”

Before joining Protea by Marriott Hotel Johannesburg Wanderers, he was part of the opening team of the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice by Marriott Melrose Arch.

Jabulani’s goal for the next five years is to travel around Africa and help in the development of upcoming chefs in Africa.

“As an executive chef, I don’t see myself as a boss, but rather a leader. I lead my team by example, and they put their trust in me.”

“I enjoy teaching and motivating upcoming chefs. I also believe in allowing my team to have a say in my kitchen, because I believe this is not a one-man show. I am very fortunate to have a great team around me. Protea Hotel Wanderers is the place to be — come and experience the love from our staff, and our outstanding food and drink.”

After Covid-19, he said the industry lost a lot of experienced and knowledgeable people. Jabulani said this is one of the challenges currently facing the sector.

In terms of trends, Jabulani said guests are more health-conscious and there is a number of people who are becoming vegan and gluten free. “Globally, there is a move toward plant-based foods,” he added.

His advice to PCOs organising a conference and event is: “Provide the dietary requirements on time, so everything can go smoothly.”

Jabulani has been married to Nkhensani for 23 years, they have three children: Hisekelani is 22; Jabu Makhubele is 17 and Hihlurile is 6.

For leisure he enjoys spending time with his family and going back to his village. I also enjoy going to the stadium to watch soccer.

Jabulani’s advice for newcomers is: “It is not an easy job. You need a lot of discipline and dedication. It is a very demanding career. It is also rewarding for

those who are passionate about food. You must have the ability to be creative and produce recipes and execute them consistently. You need leadership skills, but most importantly, you must enjoy it.”

What is your signature dish?

Slow-braised beef short ribs; it goes well with red wine, for my guests and sparkling water for me.

What food trends are emerging in the conference industry?

Food is art, guests want to eat with their eyes first. People are leaning towards healthier food choices. Also there seems to be a preference to plated food over buffet options.

What has remained constant in this industry?

The love of food and my love for teaching the chefs of tomorrow.

What is your favourite beverage? I don’t drink alcohol; so I enjoy my meal with sparkling water.

What is your favourite food?

I’m a meat eater, so please invite me to every one of your braais. I also enjoy Mopani worms (lots of proteins) with sour pap.

What is your great love?

I love my family and my work team.

Business Events Africa March 2023 43 PAGE STRAP CHEF’S PROFILE

A luxurious safari retreat opens in Kenya

JW Marriott, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s global portfolio of thirty extraordinary hotel brands, is set to unveil the highly anticipated JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge next month. Located in the belly of Kenya, the hotel is a scenic two-and-a-half hour’s drive away from leading business travel destination, Nairobi. Extend your stay by a few days and unlock the wonders of relaxation and well-being at its finest.

Set to welcome guests from 1 April 2023, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will mark the brand’s very first luxury safari lodge and will sit within the Masai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya. Overlooking the famed banks of the River Talek on the edge of the reserve, the mindful retreat will offer guests a harmonious backdrop from which to discover the Reserve’s stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and endless plains, balancing the thrill of a game drive with opportunities to switch off and relax.

“With an abundance of natural beauty and calming surroundings, the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is a perfect retreat for the mind, body, and soul,” said Candice D’Cruz, vice president luxury brands, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will offer guests a serene backdrop to make once-in-a-lifetime memories as they connect with nature and leave feeling revitalised following a holistic, wellness-forward stay”. Capturing the essence of relaxation and rejuvenation, The Spa by

JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will emulate the serenity of the Reserve and offer tailored experiences that nourish the mind, body and spirit.

JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will feature twenty private tents, including a Honeymoon tented suite with a private plunge pool and two interconnecting canopied suites, each with a private terrace and jacuzzi overlooking the river and the Mara plains. In addition, the lodge will offer a restaurant, lounge and bar, swimming pool, and fire pit area. 44 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS

ANEW Hotels & Resorts welcomes its sweet sixteenth property

Leading South African hotel asset management company, ANEW Hotels & Resorts, is excited to announce that it will be welcoming guests to its sixteenth property, ANEW Resort White River Mbombela, which is currently known as The Ingwenyama Resort.

This impressive, yet tranquil conferencing and sports resort in the Lowveld, is an incredible feather to add to the group’s proverbial cap in a prime strategic location.

In just a short space of three years, ANEW Hotels & Resorts has soldiered on through the devastating pandemic and grown its portfolio from three properties in March 2020, to sixteen properties.

Clinton Armour, chief executive officer of ANEW said: “This is a remarkable property that we are very proud and excited to include in our ANEW family. We’re thrilled to work with the owners of

the property and have an extensive ongoing refurbishment plan in place, one that has already commenced.”

“What really makes us excited about ANEW Resort White River, in addition to its close proximity to the Kruger National Park, are its incredible sporting facilities. From sports fields and swimming pools to a state-of-the-art high-performance centre and gym.

ANEW Resort White River is a great location for sports teams and professionals looking for a training location with the benefits of mediumhigh altitude training. Lying at an

altitude of 1,375m above sea level, the gym offers the latest sports and fitness equipment,” he continues.

Nestled in a beautiful setting, the property boasts 149 stylish rooms with all modern amenities. It is the perfect backdrop for a wedding ceremony and the modern conferencing facilities can host a variety of functions.

Mr Armour added: “We look forward to welcoming you to ANEW Resort White River soon and we’re very excited to be announcing a seventeenth property at this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba in May.”

Business Events Africa March 2023 45 PAGE STRAP VENUE NEWS
ANEW Resort White River.

Business events holds the potential to bolster the continent’s economy

Worth US$650 billion to US$700 billion, according to The World Travel & Tourism Council, the global business events (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) sector is not only one of the fastestgrowing sectors, but one that holds the most potential to propel Africa’s economic development. Having witnessed an increase in the number of MICE-related bookings over the past few months, Radisson Hotel Group believes that the business events industry plays a pivotal role in the continent’s economic growth.

Awhite paper released by Corporate Traveller revealed that, by the end of 2022, business travel in South Africa had exceeded 2019 levels. But what trends have emerged that are likely to dominate business travel in 2023 and beyond?

Sandra Kneubuhler, country director of sales and district director for Radisson Hotel Group South Africa, shared at Meetings Africa, the continent’s premier business events industry gathering, “We have witnessed a number of trends and observations when it comes to business

travel in South Africa and across the continent as a whole, which is why we have representatives from approximately 26 of the group’s hotels joining us at this event. This marks our largest stand at the show, which is reflective of its very large African footprint as well as the value and importance of the continent to the group.”

“For example, there is a return to pre-Covid trends such as the return of international business travellers in large quantities, with increased enquiries and confirmations from all our key international markets, including the USA, UK, Germany

and more recently, Australia. Within these groups, we have also seen the return of the classic incentive group as companies seek to retain their top-performing team members.”

Ms Kneubuhler reported: “We have also noticed that business travellers are hosting smaller events in multiple locations across the continent as opposed to larger events in a single country. This could be attributed to a number of reasons including the fact that teams are more dispersed as companies around the world have adopted a hybrid and ‘work from anywhere’ arrangement. 46 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS
Radisson Hotel Convention Centre, OR Tambo — Ekurhuleni Auditorium.

Owing to our footprint in key areas across Africa, we are primely positioned to cater to this trend.”

The expectations of business travellers have also changed. “Where the world was once happy to meet in classic conference centres, many are now looking for experiential events that highlight the destination, involve community engagement and implement responsible business practices,” Ms Kneubuhler explained. “This applies to our food and beverage offerings as well, because guests increasingly expect authentic menu options,” she added.

For example, at Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, Johannesburg OR Tambo, which has a state-of-theart convention centre and the largest freestanding spa in Johannesburg, there are a number of bespoke experiences on offer to guests visiting the hotel, such as the ‘wellness breaks’ where the hotel offers health inspired menus and the onsite spa therapists offer mini head and hand massages.

Another unique meeting break idea was hosted recently at Radisson RED Rosebank, where the group prepared their own lunch via a tailored cooking class on the hotel’s beloved rooftop.

“Extending beyond South Africa, trends within the MICE industry on the continent indicate a return of meetings from the government, oil and gas, healthcare and sports industries, which has also given rise to smaller events as a result. In addition, climate change and food related meetings have seen a noticeable increase as well,” shared Vickie Muyanga, regional director of sales, Africa at Radisson Hotel Group.

“As part of a longstanding effort to promote economic cooperation in order to raise living standards and promote economic development on the continent, heads of state belonging to unions such as the Africa Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), have and continue to come together to drive tourism. More recently, they have geared their efforts towards pushing for business events to less popular regions on the continent. We expect to see this trend grow as we fight to recover from the economic losses caused by the pandemic,” she added.

Whilst Rwanda, part of the African Union, is one of the countries on the continent that has been successful in bidding to host some of the world’s

largest summits and events owing to its infrastructure and the fact that economic policy has encouraged massive business growth in the region.

As a result, the Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre in Kigali has become more popular with business events groups in the last couple of years. It also helps that the hotel is just five kilometres from the bustling city centre and Kigali International Airport (KGL). The contemporary hotel is situated opposite the Kigali Convention Centre, which has room for up to 5,000 delegates.

Radisson Hotel Group is one of the fastest-growing hotel companies in Africa. It has the ambitious goal of reaching 150 hotels and 25,000 rooms within the next five years across the continent, making Africa a key region for growth. Currently, the group has

close to 100 hotels and 16,000 rooms in operation and under development in Africa. Despite the challenges that emerged as a result of the pandemic, in the last two years alone, Radisson Hotel Group has opened 14 hotels in the region and signed over 25 new hotels, representing the potential of more than 4,800 additional rooms into its portfolio.

“If you look at travel into Africa, it was historically marketed as a leisure destination, and while that is still very much the case, we are seeing increased business travel to the continent as countries actively pitch for big events, summits and conferences. I believe that the business events industry holds the potential to bolster the continent’s economy, which is why this sector will remain a priority for Radisson Hotel Group,” Ms Muyanga concluded.

Business Events Africa March 2023 47 PAGE STRAP VENUE NEWS
Radisson Blu Hotel Convention Centre, Kigali. Sandra Kneubuhler. Vickie Muyanga.

Wine Tourism Conference — set to expand current thinking

“Brands, brand building and brand distinction” is the theme for the 2023 Wine Tourism Conference, sponsored by Wesgro, Delta Air Lines and WWF, that takes place on 17 May at Lanzerac, Stellenbosch. Margi Biggs, convenor of the annual event, now in its seventh year, has marshalled an impressive list of international and local marketing, branding and tourism experts and innovators as speakers for the event.

On the whole, local wine tourism is doing well and is approaching recovery to 2019 levels,” Ms Biggs said. “While we fervently hope this trend will continue, the global economic outlook remains uncertain. If we are to continue to attract long-haul international visitors as well as those closer to home, including domestically, we are going to have to be that much smarter, nimbler, and more compelling in our offerings and the way we deliver them.”

Andile Ntingi, founder of GetBiz, writing for Business Day, said that the South African government hopes to attract 21-million international visitors a year by 2030. In 2019, a total of 10,2-million travellers entered the country.

“Prominent wine commentator Michael Fridjhon highlighted last year how useful attendance at the conference can be for winery CEOs and managers. As he stressed, now, more than ever, we must find convincing new ways to take our wineries to customers. We believe delegates will come away inspired and enthused by what they learn this year.”

The keynote address on brand building and brand distinction will be delivered by Pepe Marais, co-founder and group chief creative officer of Joe Public United, one of the country’s foremost branding and communication agencies. A leadership and self-development mentor, he is

also the author of Growing Greatness: A Journey Towards Personal and Business Mastery

A much-in-demand Australian to take the podium will be Peter McAtamney, who heads Wine Business Solutions (Australia), global specialists in wine market research, wine education and direct to consumer (DTC) wine business. He works actively in the South African, Australian, New Zealand and Spanish markets.

Another major drawcard will be Australian wine tourism suprema Robin Shaw. Founder of the celebrated consultancy Wine Tourism Australia, she is a popular speaker on the global wine tourism circuit and the brains behind Wine Australia’s newest Growing Wine Tourism programme. She works with a range of wine and tourism bodies, not only in Australia but globally, and has even consulted to VinPro.

Mike Ratcliffe, chief executive officer of the Stellenbosch Wine Route, who has been a leading player in re-establishing the pre-eminence of Stellenbosch as a centre of excellence, will be addressing ways in which to build collective brand identities. He was a major contributor to the success of Warwick Wines and more recently, Vilafonté, established as the first South African/US joint wine venture. Stellenbosch Wine Route is also a sponsor of this event.

The day-long event will feature several other prominent tourism and branding specialists. They include Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, chief executive officer of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa; Katlego Flocart Ditlhokwe, founder of brand strategist agency, the Hyphen; Chantel Botha, MD of Brandlove Training, who will discuss cultivating brand warriors; and Hardy McQueen, executive producer, The CyberCellar Wineshow, who will be talking about diversity and inclusion of audiences.

Wesgro will open the conference. Delta Air Lines will discuss changing trends in air travel.

While Paul Siguqa, chief executive officer of Klein Goederust in Franschhoek, will be looking at building a new South African brand; DTC futurist, Andrew Douglas will be moderating a discussion on rebuilding established brands. Panellists to appear will be wine personalities Hein Koegelenberg, Kevin Arnold and Pieter Cronjé.

A panel discussion on how eco-conservation can impact brand building will be moderated by André Morgenthal, project manager of the Old Vine Project. Panellists will include Shelly Fuller of WWF South Africa, Jeremy Borg of Painted Wolf Wines and Kathryn Cilliers of Spier. For further details, please visit 48 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS

Durban ICC announces transition to ISO: 45001

The Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) is proud to announce that it has transitioned its Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) from the national standard OHSAS: 18001 to the internationally recognised ISO: 45001 certification.

The new certification demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy working environment for its employees and visitors, while also meeting global standards for occupational health and safety.

The decision to transition to the ISO: 45001 standard was based on the company’s desire to align with global best practices for workplace health and safety. The ISO: 45001 standard is an internationally recognised framework that helps organisations to manage risks and improve their overall OHSMS. The standard takes

a proactive approach to hazard identification and risk assessment, helping companies to prevent accidents and incidents before they occur.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our employees is a top priority for the Durban ICC,” said John Arithro, chief operating officer. “By transitioning to the ISO: 45001 standard, we are taking a proactive approach to workplace safety and risk management. We are confident that this certification will help us to achieve our goal of providing a safe and healthy working environment for all of our employees.”

The certification process for ISO:

45001 involved a thorough audit of the company’s OHSMS by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). The auditor assessed the company’s policies, procedures, and processes for managing workplace health and safety. This certification will be valid for three years, with a review conducted annually to ensure the standard is being complied with.

Durban ICC believes that this move will help it maintain the best global workplace health and safety practices, reduce workplace incidents, and maintain a safe and healthy environment for all of its employees.

Business Events Africa March 2023 49 PAGE STRAP VENUE NEWS

Meet the 2023 EGF Management Committee

The Event Greening Forum (EGF), a non-profit organisation, held its AGM on Tuesday, 28 February at the Sandton Convention Centre and online, where the new 2023 management committee was elected.

Congratulations to the following committee members:

• Chairperson: Morwesi Ramonyai (Borena Energy)

• Vice chairperson: John Arvanitakis (Chat’r Xperience)

• Treasurer: Justin Hawes (Scan Display)

• Secretariat: Lynn McLeod (Individual)

• Neo Mohlatlole (7 Colors)

• Gavin Burgess (Technology Partners)

• Grace Stead (Steadfast Greening)

• JP van Schalkwyk (Up-A-Tone Events)

Co-opted members:

• Louis Nel (Louis THE Lawyer)

• Mbali Mduli (Event Greening Forum)

Associate member representatives:

• AAXO: Anthea Buys

• EXSA: Doug Rix/Lee-Ann Alder

• Fedhasa: tbc

• IFEA Africa: Janet Landey

• The MICE Academy: Helen Brewer

• PCO Alliance: Ellen Oosthuizen

• SAACI: Glenton de Kock

• SACIA/TPSA: Kevan Jones

• SA Roadies: Bernard Sebothoma This means that the 2023 management committee remains largely unchanged, with only one new representative joining the team – new EGF member JP van Schalkwyk, and the loss of two representatives who resigned in the past year – Chantal Croaster, CTICC and Geraldene Parmassar, Technology Partners. However, there are two open seats currently remaining on the committee, so if you are an EGF member and are interested in holding office, please contact

About the EGF

The Event Greening Forum (EGF) is a non-profit organisation that promotes sustainability within the business events sector. It does this by hosting educational sessions for industry and lobbying government in an effort to implement sustainability principles into the daily operations of the events industry.

The EGF was established through dedication and support of eight industry associations who are recognised as founding members. The founding members are key industry associations working together to promote South Africa as a destination for various types of events.

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about event greening, visit where you can browse the free resources, sign up to the monthly newsletter, or contact them directly with any queries.

Contact: Lynn Mcleod

T: 082 891 5883

E: 50 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE EVENTSTRAPGREENING FORUM
Pictured left: Neo Mohlatlole, Pippa Naude, Morwesi Ramonyai, John Arvanitakis, Anthea Buys, Lynn McLeod and JP van Schalkwyk.

The delegate economy

Growing the next event professional.

The IMEX - MPI - MCI Future Leaders Forum, a dedicated youth-focused business events forum, was recently held at Meetings Africa. Several members of the SAACI Youth Council, and a selection of top students from various South African and African academic institutions, attended the business events forum. The Future Leaders Forum is a unique and free opportunity for students to gain expert insight into the business events industry, learning from and connecting with inspirational industry experts and fellow students.

As an association, SAACI and its members are experiencing a challenge in finding skilled event professionals to deliver meetings and events. We, as an association, understand the need

for much needed training and skills transfer to the next generation. This balance of getting both done simultaneously, is one that we are all seeking, through a workable solution. Hence, the SAACI Youth Council, which is working with the tertiary institutions in South Africa in preparing the final year students, that have shown great interest and promise, to build a career within the meetings and events industry. Ensuring workplace readiness has always been a matter of concern. Industry members have expressed this as one of their challenges, once the students arrive for workplace training. We know that this is where a significant amount of time is spent, to the extent that the actual training only commences when the students are placed with a

company and battle to find that balance of delivery, while learning, as they are working on a meeting or event.

SAACI calls on all experienced professionals to join SAACI in being part of the solution, by creating a process with the tertiary institutions and students on how to best prepare the students for workplace absorption.

As an association, we understand there are financial and practical challenges in every industry and organisation. However, the future of the events industry needs to include a game-plan to engage and attract next-generation participants.

Business Events Africa March 2023 51 PAGE STRAP SAACI NEWS
Business Events Africa October 2020 Learning | Growth | collaboration THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONFERENCE INDUSTRY LEADERS Visit our online community: +27(0)11 880 5883 CONNECT SAACI unites , supports and educates the business events industry in southern Africa by creating sustainable environment for business growth THRIVE Join SAACI and enjoy access to an inspiring network of industry professionals, while giving your business the professional status it needs to attract the attention of business leaders. GROW Become the business events professional you’ve always wanted to be. Access the SAACI Academy and enter a world of inspiration, connections and world-class skills development.

Site Africa wins the Best Chapter Virtual Engagement Award

SITE Africa is super proud to have been awarded the Best Chapter Virtual Engagement Award during the recent SITE Global conference that was recently held in New York City.

Tes Proos, president of Site Africa, said: “We have not been afraid to take on challenging topics such as contracting and cancellations with suppliers under Covid-19 circumstances. We also tackled the very touchy topic of DMC fees during the proposal process and it was virtually attended, not just by Africa, but globally. The topic was continued during a panel discussion during the SITE Global conference and was far from exhausted.”

The award was received by former SITE Africa and SITE global president, David Sand. He said: “We are doing something so much greater than ourselves and our destinations. We are pioneering a collaboration across Africa, which I believe will bear much fruit for our continent in future.

“The initiatives that SITE Africa is putting out there to engage young people in leadership roles across Africa is really what is going to make a massive difference. As much as we are in a very challenging situation now, there is great hope for our continent.”

president and international board member, stated in a letter to Tes Proos, president of Site Africa: “As our team continued to work remotely for most of 2022, it has been so important that we have been able to participate in The Walk for Love and other chapter events on a virtual basis. Not all members are based in the major centres and, with travel budgets limited, we are not always able to attend in person. Thank you and the organisers for enabling attendance, it was great to see members and industry colleagues online and to interact.”

Doris Parsons, SITE Africa board member and moderator for the Walk for Love and other virtual sessions said: “It was a privilege for SITE Africa to have been involved with the inaugural edition of The Walk for Love event that took place in February 2022. This event brought together over eighteen African countries to walk simultaneously for a single purpose: “Walk for the love of Africa”.

“Rebuilding, Recovering and Repositioning Tourism in Africa was the common theme resonating across the

continent, and numerous conversations on this had been had, but not much had been done. The event sought to bring Tourism industry stakeholders together to ‘walk’ together with one voice; Africa must love itself, and join hands in repositioning Africa as a Mighty, single tourism destination. We’ve talked the talk, now let us walk the talk.”

“As SITE Africa, this was a great opportunity to put a spotlight on the brand, raise awareness of what SITE entails and hopefully raise the interest of potential new members. As this will be an annual event, it would be great for SITE to continue being a part of it, positively influencing the face of Incentive Travel Excellence around Africa,” Ms Proos said.

“A massive Thank You to all our panellists and moderators who made these virtual events successful with their insights and sharing.”

“We are looking forward to the next Walk for Love Africa event which will be announced in the very near future and hope to see you all there, supporting our industry and encouraging intra-Africa business events,” Ms Proos concluded. 52 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS SITE NEWS
WFL Botswana.
Business Events Africa March 2023 53 PAGE STRAP SITE NEWS
about: motivational experiences
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... Contact Email:
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WFL Durban. WFL Swakopmund, Namibia. WFL Cape Town. WFL Zambia. WFL Nigeria. WFL Zimbabwe.

How important is logistics to the exhibition industry?

The 11th edition of the IELA Winter Seminar, a 100 per cent funded event as part of IELA’s 2023 membership benefits programme, took place earlier in the year at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. The event offered 31 students a high-quality educational programme focused on the daily responsibilities of exhibition freight forwarders and on-site operations businesses.

Under the motto ‘Building the Future’ and based on three event pillars: Connect, Learn and Succeed, the 2023 programme at this training event for young adults and newcomers clearly profited from the strength of IELA’s history and many years of extensive experience. The attendees learned why IELA plays an important role in the industry as well as why currently, the association is a trusted brand, recognised by the entire exhibition and event industry.

Following on from the IELA Conference held in Cape Town, EXSA asked two of our logistics members to discuss the importance of what they do and how it impacts the industry.

Jacqui Nel from GSM Exhibition Freighting and Leon Roux from LA Rouxnelle, both members of IELA, gave us the following input.

It is very important to belong to an association, as it keeps you relevant to change in the marketplace, upto-date with your industry and it keeps you connected to your peers within the industry. It is a great place for networking, not to mention the education programmes that are on offer by many associations. IELA is very much the same in that IELA members within the working groups work hard to run the various training programmes to upskill the staff within their members’ companies.

Jacqui Nel said: “The Winter Seminar is one of the platforms where young students can attend a three-day intensive training course, face-to-face with their peers from around the globe, and learn about the various aspects

of logistics. IELA has 165 members from 52 different countries around the world. This shows how important it is to use an IELA Member when moving Exhibition goods around the world, to ensure that goods arrive in time for the event. IELA is an association of logistic specialists, as their members have to deal with all aspects of logistics, such as:

• Collecting of cargo from the exhibitor and ensuring that it is wrapped and packed correctly

•  Ensuring that if sent by air/sea freight, that the cargo arrives in time at the destination’s air/seaport

• Clearing the cargo, and in most cases, as temporary importation, therefore temporary bonds need to be set up;

• Being aware of the various countries’ customs, rules and regulations, as each country is different

• Once all the customs procedures have been completed, the cargo is stored, until the build-up date

• Once the logistics of the event is being discussed, the IELA member becomes part of the logistic discussions

• The correct staff and equipment needs to be booked, so that the cargo can be delivered to the stand successfully

• In many cases, machines need to be positioned on the stand and, in some cases, assistance needs to be provided in assembling the machines on the stand, in order for them to work.

With the above in mind, it is vital for the IELA members to upskill their staff and keep their knowledge and skills 54 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE STRAP EXSA NEWS
Jacqui Nel. Leon Roux.

relevant, in order to provide a five-star service to the exhibitor. We are constantly governed by deadline dates, ensuring that the cargo arrives in time for the event and delivered to the Exhibitor’s stand.

Usually, the Winter Seminar is hosted in Zurich, however, with Covid, all of this changed and instead of hosting the IELA conference in South Africa, it was decided to bring the Winter Seminar to Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town. The students were able to enjoy the rich diversity that South Africa has to offer, and it made their learning experience an enjoyable journey. IELA has an MOU with AAXO, EXSA and SAACI, which shows their support and commitment to South Africa.

Leon Roux from LA Rouxnelle, said the following: “In 2020, prior to Covid, South Africa was the host destination for the IELA 2020 Congress in Cape Town. However, due to the lockdown, the original venue closed its doors and we, as local members, had to find

an alternative venue that was able to host approximately 250 delegates from 50 countries from across the world. As Cape Town is very high on delegates’ bucket lists, the decision was made by the board to host the event at Century City. Due to Covid, this did not happen and was postponed indefinitely, but, with the deposit still in place, the suggestion was given that instead of hosting the Winter Seminar in Switzerland, why not utilise these funds and host the Winter Seminar in Cape Town. This seminar is for young members and a great opportunity to meet new junior members and share thoughts throughout the seminar.

“The Winter Seminar has basically paved the way to host the IELA congress again in South Africa in 2025/2026, as was suggested to the board. We first need to find our feet again and have the exhibition and events industry perform well again and make the Congress a success.”

He said: “LA Rouxnelle Logistics

and Consulting has been a member of IELA since 2011. Since joining the association we have made a number of new friends and agents that prefer to work with an IELA agent, as we all strive towards the same goal, which is to deliver a professional service where health and safety remains key. We learn from one another and share our thoughts, and you know that you can dial any IELA member’s number abroad for assistance. Through our membership, LA Rouxnelle has signed a SLA with another agent, Kuehne & Nagel Events, Germany and their other offices requested to work with LA Rouxnelle due to the long-standing relationship and due diligence that formed part of the agreement.”

Mr Roux added: “We are in a niche market, and I started my career in exhibitions way back in 1989, and to me, service to the client is most important. We respond to requests as we live and operate in a 24/7 industry, thus no reason to let clients wait.”

Business Events Africa March 2023 55 PAGE STRAP EXSA NEWS

AAXO launches CEM course in South Africa

Devi Paulsen-Abbott, a CEM alumni, encourages the local exhibition industry to take advantage of the CEM Learning Programme’s significant benefits.

Worth approximately US$890billion in 2020, the global events industry is expected to grow to more than US$2-trillion by 2028, whilst South Africa’s rapidly developing economy at present contributes more than US$409.2-million to the global figure, with an expected annual growth rate of 4.67 per cent expected from 2023 to 2027.

As a growing industry that employs thousands of events professionals, professional development is crucial in supporting members of the business events (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry in opening doors to more opportunities, elevating credibility, distinguishing from competitors, and supporting in earning potential.

Currently, in South Africa, there are only 10 CEM graduates in the country that

form part of the total 3,700 designation holders worldwide.

Demonstrating the highest professional standard

Together with the IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events), the African Association of Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) has announced the opening of the coveted Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) Learning Programme in South Africa, beginning in April 2023.

The CEM designation is a globally recognised designation that demonstrates the highest professional standard throughout the exhibitions and events management arena.

The eight-part adult learning and certification programme is an education programme first, and a designation programme second, to

Let’s grow the exhibition industry by investing in our young

enable students to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to their careers after their first class.

The CEM Learning Programme comprises of eight-parts, including: conference and meeting management; consumer show management; event marketing; event operations; exhibitions and sales fundamentals; finance, budget and contracts; security, risk and crisis management; and strategic planning and management.

To find out more about the CEM Learning Programme, and to sign-up for it, visit or email

56 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE STRAP

How aparthotels are replacing Airbnbs

There was once a time when checking into an Airbnb was one of the best hacks for travellers who wanted value for money. The rates were lower, and the rooms were quirkier. These days, however, smart money is on aparthotels.

Having made strides ahead of the trend, The Capital Hotels and Apartments has used its innovative business model to give its clients suave, reliable and convenient accommodation options at rates that rival many Airbnbs. The result is that the group has become the fastest-growing hotel group in the country and, until recently, the only one that was still constructing new buildings.

Jurie Bezuidenhout, managing director from The Capital Hotels and Apartments said: “The travel and accommodation space has changed over the past 15 years with the number of options mushrooming when Airbnb arrived and then falling flat when the pandemic hit. During that time, we had to consistently pivot. The discerning travellers wanted more than just a roof over their heads.”

The beauty of reliability:

Recently, rumours have swirled that the loadshedding worst-case scenario could reach as high as level 16. Most Airbnbs are ill-equipped to deal with loadshedding as it currently stands. Many aparthotels, on the other hand, have the resources to run for days without interruptions to their power or water supply, meaning that a guest’s stay isn’t interrupted by your local state-owned entity’s woes. The same applies for Wi-Fi. The quality of a Wi-Fi connection is often dependent on the Airbnb itself. This means at times, the line speed can be painfully slow or non-functional. These are problems you’ll rarely face at an aparthotel. What’s more, because they tend to have higher occupancy rates and can house more people, aparthotels can make themselves ‘loadshedding proof’ without overburdening the consumer with the cost.

You always know what you are getting: If you have been to enough Airbnbs, then there is a good chance you have fallen

victim to accommodating catfishing. This is where you fall in love with the pictures only to unlock the door and find that your accommodation does not match up. Experienced Airbnb users will also know the annoyance of having to memorise a whole host of complicated check-in and key collection procedures. The beauty of aparthotels is that it does not matter which one you visit or when, everything is consistently sophisticated. You get exactly what you are looking for and when you check in, all you have to do is walk up to the receptionist, give them your name and then bask in the convenience of receiving a key and having a porter walk you up to your room.

Safety always comes first: When travelling, safety is paramount. No one wants to run into an incident while on holiday. Unfortunately, the safety of Airbnbs is often dependant on a variety of factors, including location, time of day and price point. Aparthotels are required to take security seriously. That is why they always have 24-hour security, CCTV surveillance and secure parking. Some will even go as far as to have measures in place to ensure guest safety should incidents of civil unrest occur.

Location + vibe = your chance to live it up

Have you ever arrived at your Airbnb, finished your day’s work and then realised that there wasn’t anything fun to do nearby? Or that it was far from a central location where you could have meetings? Often, securing cheaper rates at an Airbnb may mean having to find one that is further out and less centrally located.

With properties in key city and business hubs, most aparthotels provide their guests with an enticing range of entertainment, dining, meeting options and the option of being able to take the party to their rooms should they need to.

There may have been a time when urbane and discerning travellers could have set their sights on a nice Airbnb property and that they were getting the best deal, but, like the fax machine, those days have passed. As the bond payments for the Airbnb owners have gone up, loadshedding has worsened and low occupancy rates have taken a toll, aparthotels have emerged as the new travel go-to for savvy travellers.

Who is Jurie Bezuidenhout ?

Jurie Bezuidenhout is the managing director of The Capital Hotels and Apartments, a South African group of hotel and apartment properties intent on disrupting the market with its alternative accommodation. He joined the group in June 2022, taking over from founder Marc Wachsberger, who continues to lead the group as its chief executive officer. Jurie joined The Capital Hotels and Apartments from Ultimate Sports Nutrition South Africa, where he was Managing Director, responsible for group strategy and building the company’s annual turnover to exceed R2 billion. He has more than 24 years’ experience in FMCG, pharmaceuticals, sports nutrition, food and beverage, retail and procurement, manufacturing, and supply chain.

Business Events Africa March 2023 57 PAGE STRAP TRENDS



Kim Roberts


c: +27 (0)82 652 2008


Minister Kganyango


c: +27 (0)79 513 8708


Jaques Fouche


c: +27 (0)60 993 7542

Public officer:

Alistair Stead


c: +27 (0)73 236 6618

Chief executive officer:

Glenton De Kock


c: +27 (0)82 575 7565

Membership services consultant:

Alshanthé Smith

t: +27 (0)71 299 0601




Kim Roberts


t: +27 (0)82 652 2008


Minister Kganyango


c: +27 (0)79 513 8708


Jaques Fouche


c: +27 (0)60 993 7542

Public officer:

Alistair Stead


c: +27 (0)73 236 6618

Eastern Cape Chairperson:

Melissa Palmer


t: +27 (0)82 437 7600 +27 (0)41 404 2431

KwaZulu-Natal Chairperson:

Irene Vallihu

c: +27 (0)79 692 4604


Gauteng Chairperson:

Neil Nagooroo

c: +27 (0)82 929 5241


Western Cape Chairperson:

Angela Lorimer

c: +27 (0)74 550 1000


Coopted Youth Ambassador: Minister Kganyango


c: +27 (0)79 513 8708

Coopted Learning Ambassador:

Esti Venske


c: +27 (0)83 482 9276



Melissa Palmer


t: +27 (0)82 437 7600 +27 (0)41 404 2431

Vice-chairperson: Claire Kivedo


c: +27 (0)82 4641 504

COMMITTEE: David Limbert


c: +27 (0)82 9064 198

Gill Dickie


c: +27 (0)79 527 7619

Wanda Fourie


c: +27 (0)72 608 1641

Claire Kivedo


c: +27 (0)82 464 1504

GAUTENG Chairperson: Neil Nagooroo

c: +27 (0)82 929 5241


Vice Chairperson: Mary Mahlangu

c: +27 (0) 81 574 9493



Rendani Khorommbi

Joburg Tourism

t: +27 (0)11 883 3525

c: +27 (0)82 773 2999


Zaida Enver

Pure Grit Events and Exhibitions


t: +27 (0)82 555 1049



Chairperson: Irene Vallihu

c: +27 (0)79 692 4604


Vice-chairperson: Gill Slaughter

c: +27 (0)83 269 0279


Treasurer: Sibusiso Mncwabe

c: +27 (0)83 477 5536



Tarannum Banatwalla

c: +27 (0)83 254 9462


Mabuyi Mosia

c: +27 (0)71 117 7509


Kavitha Dhawnath

c: +27 (0)83 607 200


Wiseman Mnguni

c: +27 (0)78 220 2162


Sandile Dlamini

c: +27 (0)79 104 5510



Chairperson: Angela Lorimer

c: +27 (0)74 550 1000




Alex Wrottesley

c: +27 (0)21 430 2060



Ansu Colditz

c: +27 (0)82 457 8071


Esti Venske

t: +27 (0)21 460 3518


Zimkitha Bavuma

c: +27 (0)72 172 5746


Esmare Steinhofel

c: +27 (0)84 056 5544


Andrew Gibson

t: +27 (0)860 111 625



Gheeta Payle

t: +27 (0)86 123 7890


Lara van Zyl Paragon Africa

t: +27 (0)82 223 4684




EXSA Association Manager

Lee-Ann Alder

t: +27 (0)82 550 0349


EXSA Chairperson and KZN forum


Sibusiso Mchwabe (KZN)

Marketing Well

t: +27 (0)83 477 5536


EXSA Deputy chairperson, Head of WC forum:

Jacqui Nel (EC)

Exhibition Freighting G.S.M.

t: +27 (0)21 552 7248


Deputy head KZN forum:

Sandile Dlamini


t: +27 (0)79 104 5510


Deputy Head WC forum:

Liam Beattie

Hott 3D

t: +27 (0)76 577 0989


Immediate past Chairperson:

Doug Rix

DK Designs

t: +27 (0)82 579 7071



Kerry-Lee Bester

Brilliant Branding

t: +27 (0)72 265 6600


Beert Kuiken


t: +27 (0)82 387 5324

e: 58 Business Events Africa March 2023 DIRECTORY


President: Tes Proos

c: +27 (0) 84 682 7676


Treasurer: Peter-John Mitrovich

c: +27 (0)82 318 1889

e: peter-john.mitrovich@grosvenortours. com

Sustainability: Daryl Keywood

Southern Africa Development:

Brad Glen

East Africa Development:

Chris Munyao

Young Leader Programme:

Peter Mwanja

Africa Convention Bureaus:

Rick Taylor

North Africa Development:

George Fawzi

Board member at large: Rick Taylor

East Africa (Rwanda): Chris Munyao

North Africa: George Fawzi

North Africa support: Brad Glen

Secretariat & Events: Mariaan Burger

c: +27 (0)82 557 8041





Raylene Johnson, CEO: TEBCO-SA

Vice-chairperson: —

46 Waterford Office Park, Waterford Drive, Fourways, Johannesburg

t: +27 (0)87 265 5840


Association coordinator:

Anthea Buys



Devi Paulsen-Abbott, Dmg Events



Tiisetso Tau, Synergy Business Events


Venue Committee Chairperson: Charles Wilson, Gallagher Convention Centre



Mark Anderson, Specialised Exhibitions



Board of directors:

Chanelle Hingston, Clarion Events Africa


Sandra Barrow


Projeni Pather, Exposure Marketing


179 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North, Private Bag X7000, Parklands 2121 t: +27 (0)11 447 4777


Chairperson: Morwesi Ramonyai, Borena Energy

Vice-chairperson: John Avanitakis, Chat’r Xperience

Treasurer: Justin Hawes, Scan Display Secretariat: Lynn McLeod


Executive director: Kevan Jones

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


SKAL International South Africa

Secretary: Anne Lamb

t: +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

Chief executive: Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa Box 11655, Centurion 0046

t: +27 (0)12 664 0120



ABTA – African Business Travel Association

Box 2594, Pinegowrie, 2123

t: +27 (0)11 888 8178

c: +27 (0)83 679 2110


Founder: Monique Swart

ASATA – Association of Southern African Travel Agents

PO Box 650539, Benmore, 2010

t: +27 (0)11 293 0560/61



Office manager: Barbara Viljoen

Council of Event Professionals Africa

Kevan Jones

t: +27 (0)11 083 6418

c: +27 (0)82 555 5556

Interim treasurer:

Glenn van Eck, Chairperson: CEPA


Projeni Pather, Chairperson: AAXO


Kevan Jones, Executive Director SACIA

Sharif Baker, Chairperson TPSA

Tes Proos, SITE President

Justin Hawes, Managing Director: Scan

Display & Event Greening Forum Treasurer

Sibusiso Mncwabe, Chairperson EXSA

Justin van Wyk, Chairperson SALPA

Mike Lord, Chairperson ESC

Arthur Goldstuck, PSASA Exco Member

Esmare Steinhofel, Chairperson: ICCA

Africa Chapter

Advisory Members:

Prof Nellie Swart, Associate Professor: Tourism Management

Corne Koch, Head: Convention Bureau (WESGRO)

Tiisetso Tau, AAXO member

Daryl Keywood, SITE Member

Bheki Twala, TEBCO-SA Executive

Kim Roberts, SAACI Representative

Western Cape

Robyn D’Alessandro, PR/Social media, Vivo Visual Voice CC

ICCA African Chapter Chairperson:

Taubie Motlhabane

Cape Town International Convention Centre

t: +27 (0)21 410 5000



Esmaré Steinhöfel

ICCA Africa Regional director

c: +27 (0)84 056 5544


Chairperson: Glenn van Eck Magnetic Storm

c: +27 (0)82 800 2616


FEDHASA National Office –Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa

PO Box 3853, The Reeds, 0157

c: +27 (0)82 552 9862


PSASA – Professional Speakers

Association of Southern Africa

t: +27 (0)11 462 9465

c: +27 (0)83 458 6114


SABOA – Southern African Bus Operators Association

Postnet Suite 393, Private Bag X033, Rivonia 2128

t: +27 (0)11 511 7641


SACIA – Southern African Communications Industries Association

c: +27 (0)82 555 5556


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


t/f: +27 (0)11 485 2511

c: +27 (0)83 249 0010

TPSA – Technical Production Services


c: +27 (0)82 555 5556


Executive director: Kevan Jones

TTA – Tshwane Tourism Association

Box 395, Pretoria 0001

t: +27 (0)12 841 4212



Bronwen Cadle de Ponte

Secretary: Sithembile Nzimande

Membership coordinator: Liz Oosthuysen


Business Events Africa March 2023 59 DIRECTORY

The evolution of event design

As a professional event strategist, I have witnessed the evolution of event design in South Africa. Today, event design is more than just creating visually appealing spaces; it’s about crafting an unforgettable experience that resonates with attendees on an emotional and psychological level. Therefore, it’s critical to have a STRONG audience engagement strategy that covers pre-, during-, and post-event activities.

The pre-event engagement strategy should involve activities that create hype, anticipation, and excitement for the event. Utilising social media, email marketing, and other digital platforms to create and share content that promotes the event, such as teasers and behind-the-scenes footage, can help build buzz and create a sense of exclusivity. Creating branded hashtags and encouraging attendees to share their experiences on social media is also a great way to increase engagement and build a community around the event. During the event, it’s essential to use technology to enhance the attendee experience. Event technology such as virtual and augmented reality, mobile apps, and live streaming can help create a fully immersive experience. Moreover, technology can help manage and track attendee behaviour, improve crowd control, and optimise the event’s operations. These tools can help us as event planners gain valuable insights into attendee preferences and behaviours, which we use to make informed decisions about future events. Post-event engagement should be designed to keep attendees engaged long after the event has ended. Surveys, polls, and questionnaires are great tools to collect feedback and gauge attendee satisfaction. These tools help us understand what worked, what didn’t, and what attendees would like to see at future events. Additionally, creating post-event content, such as videos and blog posts, can help extend the event’s

lifespan and keep the conversation going.

Data tracking is another crucial aspect of event design. Data tracking can help us understand attendee behaviour, preferences, and demographics, which we can use to make data-driven decisions about future events. Analysing data can also help us identify areas for improvement and optimise event operations, to increase attendee engagement.

Event design strategies on an emotional and psychological level using brain science is a relatively new approach to event planning, but it has already shown promising results. Brain science focuses on understanding how attendees process information and how they respond to different stimuli. Event planners can use this knowledge to create events that resonate with attendees on a deeper level. For example, incorporating elements that trigger emotional responses such as nostalgia, humour, or excitement can create a lasting impression on attendees. We are currently in the midst of planning a launch premiere event for a television series featuring youth-related content. As part of the watch party, we plan to offer guests nostalgic sweets from their childhood. Our philosophy is to strive for emotional engagement with attendees — as the saying goes, “if you can make someone laugh or cry, then it’s a win.” By tapping into the power of nostalgia and evoking strong emotions, we hope to create a memorable and impactful experience that will resonate with

guests long after the event has ended. In a world where digital technology dominates, taking a back-to-basics approach to event design can also be effective. Creating physical spaces that inspire and engage attendees can be a powerful tool. Incorporating natural elements such as plants, water features, and earthy materials can create a calming and inviting atmosphere. Additionally, creating spaces that encourage conversation, collaboration, and networking can help attendees connect on a personal level. During a recent conference, we implemented interactive cocktail tables that featured designs for guests to colour in while engaging in conversation. Additionally, we introduced the crowd-pleasing game of Giant Jenga, which was a success with everyone in attendance. The combination of these elements provided a fun and engaging atmosphere, encouraging guests to connect and enjoy the event to the fullest.

Embracing change is another important aspect of event design. We are always willing to adapt to changing trends, technologies, and attendee preferences. Keeping up with the latest developments and understanding emerging technologies help us stay ahead of the curve and deliver innovative events that captivate attendees. We recently produced a conference with the theme ‘Adapting to Change’, aiming to deliver a truly unique and engaging experience for guests. To achieve this, we began with an immersive opening 60 Business Events Africa March 2023 PAGE STRAP THE LAST WORD

performance. Upon entering the venue, wearing headphones and listening to a pre-recorded ghostly voice, guests found themselves in an intentionally unfinished space with screens off, furniture upside down, and an atmosphere of chaos. This was all part of our planned experience, as we gradually transformed the venue into an immersive entertainment experience that adapted to change around them.

Over the course of the two-and-a-halfday conference, we continued to surprise and delight attendees by changing the venue’s colour and theme four times. Every time they entered the space, it felt like an entirely new experience.

Our approach fostered a dynamic and engaging atmosphere that kept attendees excited and involved throughout the event, earning high praise from the client.

Finally, the human element is the heart and soul of event design. The success of any event depends on the people involved, including event planners, vendors, and attendees. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritise the human element and ensure that attendees feel valued, respected, and appreciated. This can be achieved through personalisation, customisation, and exceptional customer

service. When working with corporate clients, I highly recommend involving their employees and teams in events. One memorable example was a conference for 1,200 attendees, where we designed a spectacular opening act using employees from the client’s company. We rehearsed with them and provided support for the performance. The audience had no idea what was coming, and as their colleagues started entering the stage as part of the act, the excitement was palpable. It was a huge success, and the client was thrilled with the outcome.

In conclusion, event design is a rapidly evolving field that requires a multifaceted approach. A robust audience engagement strategy, the use of event technology, data tracking, emotional and psychological event design strategies, taking a back-to-basic approach, embracing change, and prioritising the human element are all critical aspects of event design.

At STRONG PR, Marketing and Events, we leverage these techniques to execute successful events. Additionally, it’s important to remember that events should be enjoyable and fun, regardless of their seriousness.

Index of advertisers and contributors

Who is Herkie Du Preez ?

Herkie Du Preez, owner and director of STRONG PR, Marketing and Events, has a passion for event strategy and design. With years of experience, he is an expert in creating and executing successful events that engage and captivate attendees. Herkie’s dedication to the industry has earned him a reputation as a leading event strategist.

Business Events Africa March 2023 61 PAGE STRAP THE LAST WORD
ADVERTISER PAGE EMAIL WEBSITE @Sandton Hotel FC,IFC,6-9 AAXO 56 Event Greening Forum 50 EXSA 54-55 Meetings Africa 12-18 Mjunxtion 4 Northern Cape 28-30,31 Premier Hotels 41 SAACI 51 SA Events Council 18 SANCB 10-11 SITE Africa 52-53 WTM Africa 24-26,27



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