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Voice of the Business Events Industry in Africa

Volume 41 No 5 MAY 2021

Stay Hilton, Stay Safe

groupreservations@fancourt.co.za www.fancourt.com

Business Events Africa: Serving the business events industry for 41 years

CONTENTS Voice of the Business Events

VOL 41 NO 5 MAY 2021

About the cover


Industry in Africa

Modern guest rooms and a host of amenities make the Hilton Sandton the ideal base for exploring Sandton.

Volume 41 No 5 MAY 2021

GLOBAL PERPECTIVE 22 American Express launches 2021 Global Travel Trends Report. FUTURE FOCUS 24 The future of event technology. CHEF’S PROFILE 26 Love and a pinch of salt are chef Earl’s favourite cooking tips.

Stay Hilton, Stay Safe

Cover Feature THE HILTON SANDTON 6 Remains a classic choice for conferencing.

On the pages… EDITOR’S COMMENT 2 Making memories. NEWS 4 Global tourism will only recover if countries work together. 5 Reed Exhibitions Africa has sights set on reducing landfill

SOMMELIER’S PROFILE 27 Elevating the dining experience with expert advice. SPOTLIGHT ON #KZNSOUTHCOAST 28 The #KZNSouthCoast’s top spots for ‘wellness tourism’. VENUE NEWS 38 Investment plans in a struggling SA tourism sector.

Association news EVENT GREENING FORUM 30 Why we should take the leap into a wellbeing economy. SITE

AAXO 34 Now is the time for young event professionals to future-proof their skills.

TRENDSETTING 12 Five booking trends for hotels and guesthouses.

SAACI 35 Changing gear and inspiring change.

A LOCAL PERSPECTIVE 16 The future we didn’t see coming. VENUE OF THE MONTH 18 Flagship four-star Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City now open. PERSONALITY PROFILE 20 Level-headed Phelisa Mangcu encompasses a quiet strength.

Published by the proprietor Contact Publications (Pty) Ltd (Reg No. 1981/011920/07)

HEAD OFFICE POSTAL ADDRESS: PO Box 414, Kloof 3640, South Africa TEL: +27 31 764 6977 FAX: 086 762 1867 MANAGING DIRECTOR: Malcolm King malcolm@contactpub.co.za EDITOR: Irene Costa gomesi@iafrica.com SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Vincent Goode vincent@contactpub.co.za DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Jackie Goosen jackie@contactpub.co.za SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Irene Costa +27 (0)82 558 7387 gomesi@iafrica.com PUBLICATION DETAILS: Volume 41 No 5 Business Events Africa has 12 issues a year and is published monthly. Due to Covid-19, the magazine is currently only available in digital format.

32 Why it’s good to be an incentive travel professional in 2021.

MARKET NEWS 11 Exhibitions generate €493 ($551) billion in business – driving industries.

FANCOURT 14 Rediscover the business playground of South Africa.

The authority on meetings, exhibitions, special events and incentives management

publishers of Business Events Africa, is a member of:

SAEC 36 #TrustUS – as we rebuild and recover. EXSA 37 Shifting our focus to growth and recovery.


Learning | Growth | collaboration

Official media partner

Official Journal of the Southern Africa Chapter of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence

Official journal of the Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa

39 Index of advertisers. 40 Directory and associations of interest. THE LAST WORD 42 The success behind family-run businesses.


Making memories The business events industry has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic… in South Africa, our sector is still far from full recovery. The vaccine roll-out in SA has been slow, which means that our sector is still in limbo.


imbo, means for me, as a Catholic, a place of contemplation. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means that it is a time to reinvent, reignite and restart with the tools we have, despite the restrictions we may have imposed on us. For the past month I have felt a renewed energy in the industry. We are all ready to make things happen, ready to start making memories with our clients. At the same time, I also have a sense that the imminent third wave hasn’t got the same stigma that the last two had on our communities. We are living in a Covid-19 world and have seen the effects it has, but we aren’t as scared as we were before. It is not as unknown, which means that there is less fear. This is a good thing. Many people seem to have accepted that Covid-19 is here to stay and we are going to be okay. Of course, there are those that are still very fearful and that is also okay. What it means is that the way in which we conference, exhibit, host events and incentive travel must cater for everyone. In this edition we look at quite a few trends, and also how the manner in which we travel and conduct business events have changed.

We have had to adapt and remain flexible. This is the only way we will endure through the next wave. Life must continue, we need to have contingency plans for what comes. This is something we have learnt over the past year. Perseverance remains key and partnerships are crucial, heading into the future. According to a recent UFI report: “As industries and economies across the globe look for recovery platforms on the heels of vaccine progress, exhibitions fill a void left by economic crisis and isolation. “Exhibitions, commonly referred to as trade shows or fairs, have a simple purpose – bringing industries together to build community and create supply chain opportunities. But the industry itself is not a simple one at all: with over €493 ($551) billion in business sales for attendees, exhibitions have an incredible impact on our global economy.” “In addition, the expenses of visitors and exhibitors generate a total impact of €299 ($334) billion for both the value chain of the exhibition industry (organisers, venues and service providers) and the tourism related activities (accommodation, food

and travel).” “While digital solutions have proven invaluable during pandemic times, as economies reopen in response to progress against Covid-19, data shows that both sides of the supply chain are eager to return to in-person platforms.” This report just looks at one of the business events sectors. Imagine what the collective economic value of the business events sector is? The business events sector remains key in the recovery of global economies. We are going nowhere and, quite frankly, everything we have been through has just made us more resilient. I cannot wait to start making memories again. How about you?


Email: gomesi@iafrica.com

yolande@mjunxtion.co.za www.mjunxtion.co.za

Credit: Hein Liebetrau




19 - 20 MAY















Global tourism will only recover if countries work together The global travel industry will only return to a new norm when the whole world is ready to travel under a unified system. In tourism there is no competition between neighbours.


his is the message from Dr Taleb Rifai, a former Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation and currently the Secretary General of the World Tourism Forum Institute. Dr Rifai was the keynote speaker at the recent eThekwini Municipality’s Tourism Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) webinar hosted by Tourism Investment Africa (TIA). “Countries will have to work together if tourism is to recover – one country cannot insist on quarantine while its neighbour demands a vaccination passport and a third simply requires 72 hours testing before arrival or at entry points,” Dr Rifai said. “We do not want to turn this into a political game of those who have and those that have not – we will all lose if we do so. No one would travel to a non-vaccinated destination, and no vaccinated destination would accept receiving anyone from a non-vaccinated destination. Travel is about connecting everybody everywhere, so it will not 4 Business Events Africa May 2021

work, until everyone is vaccinated, and this could take years. “What we need is a new multilateral system, a more harmonised, fair and equitable system, because it is not important how successful every country is on its own if one cannot travel from one place to another. Affordable testing may be more logical for a faster and more immediate recovery. The trick is not to do a perfect job on your own; it is to agree on minimum procedures.” He reiterated that there would be no coming back until people have peace-ofmind and trust and confidence in one international system: “They are not going to travel simply because their governments say, ‘you may now travel’.” He emphasised that the current winner in the Covid-19 travel crises is domestic and regional tourism and spelt out three stages for recovery: • Keep businesses alive, which requires direct support from governments or soft loans, just to ensure that businesses have enough time to adjust to the new reality and survive.

• Concentrate on domestic and regional travel, which requires the private sector to adjust quickly to the new realities of such travellers and offer new deals. Only then will governments be able to stop the direct support. • International travel that could start with young digital nomads and special travel insurance policies for foreigners with governments working together. Tourism Investment Africa 360 (TIA360) has partnered with Invest Durban, Durban Tourism and the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry to implement a tourism BR&E programme and roll-out. www.businesseventsafrica.com


Reed Exhibitions Africa has sights set on reducing landfill According to the Event Greening Forum, the typical conference attendee produces 1.89kg of waste each day, of which 1.16kg will end up in a landfill. Carmen Wagener, operations director of Reed Exhibitions Africa said the company’s waste reduction policy is continually reviewed and fine-tuned to implement solutions wherever possible.


hile Covid-19 has been a huge distraction to global progress on sustainability, it has also offered us an opportunity to reset and reshape our events, offices and local environments for maximum sustainability,” Ms Wagener said. “Our greening policy and procedures include seeking out and recommending venues that have a sound greening policy and monitoring the carbon footprint of events and implementing steps to counteract them.” Ms Wagener said Reed Exhibitions Africa is constantly stepping up energy saving and fine-tuning waste management, with a view to reuse or recycle waste wherever possible. “Our exhibition manuals provide operational guidelines for exhibitors at all events, and include environmental


checklists that cover sustainable stand design, waste management, energy consumption, carbon emissions, signage, catering and promotional materials. “This is a large part of our commitment to event sustainability, and knowing that we encourage exhibitors to work with us is an important factor in our initiatives.” Active participation in greening of exhibitions and travel Having been involved in greening for several years, Wagener notes that actively promoting the move from a culture of waste to one of sustainability sets the bar higher for corporations and individuals, generating a lasting positive impact on the planet. “Our travel shows, for example, go above and beyond what is expected to reduce

their own and their industry’s impact on the environment through initiatives such as World Travel Market’s Responsible Tourism Programme, the largest of its kind in the world that focuses on responsible tourism efforts in the travel industry,” she says. Reed Exhibitions Africa’s planned update of all its green guidelines will take effect in 2021, as events are allowed to return to the events calendar. These will set a benchmark against which the company may meet and improve their efforts as new solutions come to market. “One of our major drives is to promote the use of printed fabric graphics to our clients,” Ms Wagener said. “They provide the ideal solution for reusable exhibition display as they may be compacted for storage, transported in small tubes or parcels and installed quickly and easily without the need for tools.  “While some may argue that face-to-face meetings are a thing of the past in our digitally connected, globalised world, in-person meetings and trade events are of vital importance to get decisions made and drive progress in any discipline,” she asserted, adding that working with clients to reduce their ecological footprint means not only opting for digital where appropriate, but always following current best practise to outweigh the cons of travel and the materials involved.  Digital as a contributor to greening According to Ms Wagener, digital has enabled Reed Exhibitions Africa a number of opportunities to implement planetfriendly options. These include: • Digital signage at exhibitions. • Electronic brochures. • E-ticketing where possible. • Event apps to provide exhibitors and visitors with information. • Reusable printed fabrics. Reed Exhibitions Africa has encouraged the use of recyclable and/or reusable products among its exhibitors, as well as the industries that work alongside them to make the events enjoyable for attendees, such as plates, cups and eating utensils. “We believe that every small step towards greening any industry is a huge step towards reducing what ends up in landfills. As a responsible company, we constantly monitor ways to help exhibitors go green, while keeping an eye on our own sustainability. It is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a business imperative,” Ms Wagener said. Business Events Africa May 2021 5


Iconic Hilton Sandton - remains a classic choice for conferencing Set among landscaped gardens and suburban surroundings, Hilton Sandton is located just north of Johannesburg, in the city’s business district. Delegates and guests have easy access to the Gautrain, Stock Exchange, Global Banking Institutions and Nelson Mandela Square. Modern guest rooms and a host of amenities make the hotel the ideal base for exploring Sandton.


inda Reddy, general manager of Hilton Sandton, said: “My vision for Hilton Sandton is to ensure that we are the leading hotel in creating heartfelt experiences for our guests. My aim is to ensure the growth of a sustainable business with a positive impact on my team and in our communities. In one word, I would describe Hilton Sandton as ‘classic’.” Ms Reddy began working in the hotel industry at the age of sixteen, while she was completing a science degree. “I have worked across all aspects of the business operations from receptionist, finance to assistant general manager. My first general manager position was in 2007 at the Garden Court Sandton and I have been at 6 Business Events Africa May 2021

the helm of Hilton Sandton since July 2019.” “Hilton Sandton caters for all segments and markets, from families to large conference groups and the business traveller. We have the perfect location. But what differentiates us from other hotels is our people and the service culture that is instilled in them. Our commitment to Travel with Purpose ensures that we run a responsible business and give back to the communities in which we operate. “I believe completely in empowerment of team members to achieve a common vision and my personal motto is ‘Nothing works unless you do’. Hilton has six key values and the one which really resonates with me is ownership. It speaks to me of

owning every guest experience, every team member interaction and most importantly, being in control of your own destiny,” Ms Reddy added. Business in Covid times Considering how business has changed due to Covid-19, she said: “Foremost the volume of business has plummeted and there has been a good uptake of domestic leisure business. “Booking lead times have shortened, so planning has taken on a new meaning. We have had to look at our business in a new way and have become more flexible and adaptable to changing guest needs. Cleanliness is paramount but guests still travel for great experiences and that is www.businesseventsafrica.com


“Queenies” Shebeen – it is a pop up venue which was used during the Soccer World Cup but clients have used it before for functions.

what we must ensure that we get right. Our conferencing business is still limited in terms of the number of guests we may accommodate so we do more social and intimate conferencing events at the moment,” Ms Reddy said. Hotel cleanliness She said: “In line with us being a responsible hotel that regards the health and wellbeing of guests and team members as paramount, we go the extra mile when it comes to the Covid-19 operational protocols.” “We engaged with government and other stakeholders at the very beginning to ensure that our Hilton CleanStay programme exceeded the compliance levels mandated by government. Part of the CleanStay programme, ensures that the top ten high touch areas in a guest bedroom receive high attention


and that the entire bedroom and bathroom is sanitised before we seal the bedroom door. This ensures that, once sanitised, no one else enters the room until the guest does. We have a strict temperature control and mask wearing culture and enforce social distancing in all public and team member areas of the hotel. We have converted our food and beverage offerings to individual items and our buffets are served by team members. Over and above this, we ensure that our hotel is audited on Covid-19 compliance by an independent company and that random microbiological checks are done, not only in the kitchen, but in bedrooms, heart-of-house areas, public bathrooms and on commonly used equipment,” she concluded. Hilton Sandton provides guests with a complement of services and amenities, including 329 guest rooms, nine meeting

rooms catering for up to a thousand guests, outdoor swimming pool with gazebo offering al fresco dining, complimentary shuttle to Sandton City and the Gautrain Station, multicultural, all-day dining at the Tradewinds Restaurant and a variety of Asian cuisine at the Lotus Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar. For inhouse guests there is a 24-hour fitness centre, 24-hour complimentary business centre and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Hilton Sandton is also part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty programme for Hilton's eighteen distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors mobile app.

Business Events Africa May 2021 7


Conferences and events Who is Linda Reddy?


inda Reddy, general manager of Hilton Sandton, has been with the hotel for two years. The 23-year hospitality veteran, has led many teams in various hotels. Her more recent positions include leading one of the largest hotels in Gauteng, Garden Court Sandton City, the conferencing hub of Fourways, Southern Sun Montecasino and finally the Palazzo Hotel.


lena Ioannou, groups conference and events manager of Hilton Sandton, said: “I have always been excited to be part of this property. It has a majestic feeling when you walk through the lobby. The classic ambience is very warm and welcoming.” She said: “As event organisers we must ensure that we have thought of everything to make the experience unforgettable. We strive for our clients to shine. When they shine, we shine. Our guest experience is world class.”

“We try to do as much as possible for the client so that they don’t feel they need to look further. We also want our guest to feel at home when they are here and that we can take care of their requirements immediately,” she said. What makes Hilton Sandton perfect for conferencing, meetings and events is our location. “We are situated in the Sandton Business District in the heart of Johannesburg. Hilton Sandton features amenities for both business and leisure travellers. On-site features include a beautiful pool area and rose garden as well as one of the largest meeting facilities in the Sandton Area. Our convenient location offers guests easy access to large shopping centres, Nelson Mandela Square, Diamond Walk and The Marc, allowing for some leisure during business,” Ms Ioannou said. Hilton Sandton is also able to host beautiful events, small and large. “We have a beautiful rose garden and pool area which we can host up to two hundred guests. Our ballroom facilities are able to accommodate up to 450 guests, banquet style,” she said. In conclusion, she added: “We follow strict health and safety protocols with our safety manager overlooking on training and compliance. Hilton Sandton conducts an external supplier audit with FCS, which examines the hygiene and safety protocols followed by the hotel. We achieve 100 per cent on scoring. This audit is done quarterly.”

Our Facilities • Fitness centre • Outdoor pool • Business center • The meetings level offers an entire floor of meeting rooms and a business centre with full office facilities.

Hilton Sandton fun fact


ilton Sandton was opened in 1997 by HRH Prince Charles. It was one of the first International brands to open in Sandton and provided huge investor confidence in the tourism industry in South Africa.

8 Business Events Africa May 2021



Plans to expand


here are plans to have more Hilton hotels in South Africa and our development team, headed by Andrew Mclachlan, work rigorously on new opportunities that fit the various Hilton brands. Cindy Valentine, Hilton commercial director, said: “Hilton Sandton is very much dependant on international travel coming into the country. As a result of many airlines not currently flying into South Africa, we have had to realign ourselves and focus more on domestic business both in the transient and group segments.” Ms Valentine began her career with Hilton in March 1998 as a sales executive. She rose within the ranks of the Hilton sales team to the position of director of sales in 2009. Later in July 2012 she was promoted to cluster director of sales for Southern Africa heading up a team of fourteen people. She was promoted to Hilton commercial director in late 2019.

Cindy Valentine, Hilton commercial director.

Food trends


ith more than 23 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Stuart Cason, 39, executive chef of Hilton Sandton has a wealth of knowledge in the culinary arts. He was born and bred in Johannesburg. “Hilton has been great for me and my development. My five-year plan is to complete a management course with Hilton, and then move to a general manager role. My next step would be, after the programme, to be a director of operations for a while, and then move into the role of the general manager,” Stuart said. In terms of food trends, he said: “One of the major trends in recent times is that of whole plant-based diets. I find it fascinating. People are beginning to be a lot more conscious

of what they put into their bodies.” However, the world has changed. “The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating and challenging to our industry. As an industry, we need to make sure that we look after and take care of protecting our guests, clients and employees. Some of our clients would like us to return to normal operation, and don’t really understand the government guidelines and procedures we are facing, which is really challenging. “I have had to adapt during the pandemic, and I’m sure so have many other chefs. There was a trend for bowl food. What I have done now, is create a conference menu, based around individual portions, where possible, served in biodegradable containers. It is served buffet style, but also ‘grab and go’ style. We have had great compliments from it so far.” From a global trends’ perspective, he said: “Covid-19 has opened up opportunities that many people did not really think of before. A lot of establishments are now preparing meals for home. A lot of great restaurants are relying on it to pay bills. I think that this trend will possibly stay and transform into a new way of dining. Ancient grains are still trending as well as plant-based diets.” However, as much as things have changed, some things have remained constant. “The passion, understanding and commitment that everyone has in the industry has remained constant. Everything else is changing and evolving constantly. And we need to change and evolve with the times,” he concluded.

Conferencing and Meeting facilities

329 guest rooms, including 37 executive rooms, and 35 suites. Nine meeting rooms catering for up to 1 000 guests.


Business Events Africa May 2021 9


Meetings and Events • Enjoy our spacious meeting venues, personalised service and delicious catering options. • The ballroom and banquet facilities are connected to an outdoor terrace and are close to the pool – perfect for enjoying the sunshine as you celebrate your special occasion. • Our 6 460 sq. ft ballroom hosts up to 1 000 guests and may be divisible into three separate rooms. • Nine spacious and function meeting rooms; several with natural light. • Meeting additions available include breaks, lunch, parking, Wi-Fi and select equipment. • Parking space for up to 300 vehicles.

Hilton Sandton cannot wait to welcome back all our guests, and to serve and delight with the hospitality that the hotel is known for. Hilton CleanStay fully implemented in all Hilton SA hotels

Executive lounge



ilton announced, in April, a new programme, CleanStay, to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection in Hilton properties around the world. Hilton’s CleanStay programme is fully implemented in all three of Hilton’s South African hotels.

Contact details: Hilton Sandton: +27 (0)11 322 1888 Address: 138 Rivonia Road, Sandton, 2146 Email: sandton.reservations@hilton.com

ilton Sandton Executive Lounge creates a unique experience for our executive floor guests. With sweeping views of Sandton and Johannesburg, it is the perfect spot to relax, work and enjoy a complimentary breakfast as well as drinks throughout the day.

Background on Hilton Hotels


ilton was founded by Conrad Hilton in 1919 and, after 102 years, now operates in 119 countries and territories with 6 478 properties and over one million hotel rooms. Hilton Hotels & Resorts comprises of eighteen different brands (Hilton, Waldorf Astoria Hilton Garden Inn, LXR, Hampton etc), catering for every market. The strength of the brand is embedded in its values, culture and diversity. The current chief executive officer is Chris Nasetta.

10 Business Events Africa May 2021



Exhibitions generate €493 ($551) billion in business – driving industries As industries and economies across the globe look for recovery platforms on the heels of vaccine progress, exhibitions fill a void left by economic crisis and isolation.


xhibitions, commonly referred to as trade shows or fairs, have a simple purpose – bringing industries together to build community and create supply chain opportunities. But the industry itself is not a simple one at all: with over €493 ($551) billion in business sales for attendees, exhibitions have an incredible impact on our global economy. In addition, expenses of visitors and exhibitors generate a total impact of €299 ($334) billion for both the value chain of the exhibition industry (organisers, venues and service providers) and the tourism related activities (accommodation, food and travel). In the wake of a pandemic that has left commercial sectors and regional economies on the brink of collapse, trade platforms offer an opportunity to rebuild supply chains that have remained relatively stagnant throughout the pandemic, bringing buyers and sellers together to network, do business, learn and innovate at a time when they need it most. Trade shows have developed into far more than booths displaying product— they have become marketplaces amplified by educational opportunities, innovation launches, and data-driven qualified lead retrieval opportunities, supported by social networking activities that unite valuable digital progress with the now-yearned-for magic of interpersonal connection. Last year, many of the 33,000 exhibitions held worldwide transitioned to digital solutions which leveraged best-in-class technology to create those critical supply chain connections. But while digital solutions have proven www.businesseventsafrica.com

invaluable during pandemic times, as economies reopen in response to progress against Covid-19, data shows that both sides of the supply chain are eager to return to in-person platforms. Notably, eighty per cent of exhibition customers are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hit hardest by the pandemic, equating to nearly 4.25 million small businesses who regularly turn to in-person trade platforms to meet qualified product buyers. Ensuring health and safety remains a top priority, the trade show industry has taken a deliberate and collaborative approach to consistency and rigor in their return to in-person experiences. Together the world’s leading companies have developed an industry-wide and medically-vetted approach to safety known as the All Secure Standard, which has been effectively put into practice at shows across the globe this year, further instilling confidence in a successful and safe return to in-person B2B commercial opportunities as economies reopen. Europe is the third major exhibitions market after North America and mainland China, and the only market where trade shows have not been able to return at scale since the pandemic began. UFI, the global association of the exhibitions industry, notes “the business events industry is a ‘meta-industry’: It empowers literally each and every industry globally through the market places and meeting places that it operates around the world – from machine tools in Australia to consumer goods in Europe, from construction materials in Asia to consumer electronics in North America.”

In addition to creating marketplaces resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in business sales for thousands of global industries and millions of small businesses each year, exhibitions also deliver substantial economic value to regional economies, bringing 303 million visitors to host cities annually. The result is a meaningful infusion of revenue for the local economy, including small businesses such as restaurants, transportation services, boutique lodging, and more. Las Vegas alone attributes $11.4 billion in economic impact to the conventions industry. As the world begins to rebound from the devastating effects of a pandemic that has lasting impacts on both the economy and humanity, exhibitions offer a light at the end of the tunnel for both – platforms that provide economic recovery and celebrate the spirit of reconnection, at a time when economies, and communities, need them most. The sixth annual Global Exhibitions Day, celebrated annually, will take place this year on 2 June 2021 and recognises the important role that trade exhibitions play in driving economies throughout the world. To learn more about Global Exhibitions Day, visit www.ufi.org. List of #GED2021 partner associations under the UFI umbrella: AAXO, AEFI, AEO, AFE, AFECA, AFIDA, AMPROFEC, AOCA, AUMA, CAEM, CEFA, CENTREX, CFI, EEAA, EEIA, EFU, EMECA, EXSA, FAIRLINK, FAMAB, HKECIA, ECA, IDFA, IECA, IEIA, IELA, IFES, LECA, MACEOS, MFTA, PCEI, RUEF, SACEOS/ SECB, SCEIA, SISO, TEA, TECA, TFOA, UBRAFE and UNIMEV. Business Events Africa May 2021 11


Five booking trends for hotels and guesthouses The travel and tourism industry is in the early stages of its recovery but, as with practically everything else at the moment, the situation remains uncertain and dynamic.


eeping a finger on the pulse of emerging booking trends will aid hospitality providers in maximising their marketing campaigns and their guest-focused investments, as well as in optimising their profits. Tshepo Matlou, head of marketing and communications at Jurni, has a look at five important booking trends to watch out for – and to capitalise on – for the duration of 2021. The dawn of the ‘half tourist’ The ‘half tourist’ is the new buzzword within the industry, according to Mr Matlou. The term refers to an individual who decides to take a trip to an exciting destination with the intention of splitting his or her time on work-related and leisure activities. Due to advancements in 12 Business Events Africa May 2021

technology and the way in which we work nowadays, most people are able to work practically anywhere – if they have access to a laptop and a stable internet connection. Some might opt to embrace this new-found freedom to the maximum, opting to work on a warm, sandy beach with the ocean as background noise, as opposed to in their boring office at home. Numerous business owners are supporting the idea of workcations, as it is easy to see how a change of scenery and a more relaxed atmosphere has the potential to boost employee productivity. Mr Matlou said: “Now is the time for hotels and guesthouses to market to the ‘half traveller’, promoting free Wi-Fi, high speed connections, beautiful in-room views, and access to comfortable working spaces at every opportunity. It is also a good idea to anticipate an off-peak surge

Tshepo Matlou, Head of Marketing and Communications at Jurni.



in bookings as most ‘half tourists’ are likely to travel during the off season, when taking leave from work isn’t all that common.” The search for value-adds and flexibility The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt by everyone – not just businesses operating in the travel industry. With that in mind, it’s understandable why prospective travellers will be keen to optimise every single cent spent on their getaways, actively going in search of value-adds from various travel suppliers. Mr Matlou explained that the secret here isn’t to devalue your brand by reducing your prices to boost affordability, but rather to place a stronger focus on improving guest experience through small additions, such as a complimentary bottle of bubbly on arrival or a coupon to save on the services of the resident personal trainer at the onsite gym. Another value-add to consider carefully is amplifying flexibility in relation to all bookings. Fluctuating traveller confidence It is a reality that the revival of the travel and tourism industry won’t always be smooth sailing. As regulations and restrictions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic continue to change, so too will the average level of traveller confidence. It is because of this that hotel and guesthouse owners need to be proactive when it comes to collecting data and generating predictions. There is no point in comparing or turning to old data whatsoever, as data relating to last year, or even last week, is already considered outdated today. Therefore, up-to-theminute data, quick decisions, and making it possible for confident travellers to book with minimal effort, will be critical when it comes to creating and driving a future revenue strategy. It’s worthwhile to look into streamlining traveller bookings with the Jurni booking tool. The tool offers a simple, mobileenabled booking system, which makes it fast and easy to book and pay for a stay. A booking window that is growing and shrinking simultaneously Before the pandemic hit us, it was easy to predict when the majority of bookings would come in. However, over the last twelve months – and continuing well into www.businesseventsafrica.com

the future – the booking window, as we know it, will both grow and shrink simultaneously. Mr Matlou explained that due to concerns about changing restrictions, as well as to secure budget-friendly lastminute deals on offer by certain travel suppliers, a huge portion of travellers are opting to book between zero and seven days before departing for a trip. This tends to be extremely nerve-wracking for hotel and guesthouse owners and may make it challenging to get a handle on expected profits over the coming months. However, there are also plenty of prospective travellers on the other side of the coin. Those who do not yet feel quite comfortable enough to embark on a trip, but who are planning of time to do so in the future. In fact, countless individuals are starting to plan and put together trips a full year in advance – and sometimes even further in advance than that – for 2022. Leisure bookings dramatically overtaking corporate bookings While both business and leisure travel are now showing signs of recovery, data has shown that people are more likely to embark on a holiday as opposed to a business trip over the course of the next few months. This is not surprising,

especially when comparing travel industry revivals following economic downturns in the past. While it is expected for business travel to recover eventually, it’s predicted that this recovery will take place in phases and may only reach 80 per cent of previous levels. As such, it’s vital for hotel and guesthouse owners to adapt their marketing strategies accordingly, especially if the focus was previously on attracting corporate travellers. The final word Unfortunately, while there is no guidebook for travel suppliers to follow during these trying times. Having a general idea of what to expect in the coming weeks and months could make a tremendous difference to business stability, Mr Matlou said. His advice? Take action to enhance guest experiences, make it an effortless decision and booking process for them, take the time to nurture communications before, during, and after each guest’s visit, and prioritise health and safety above all else. Do all of this in conjunction with keeping the aforementioned booking trends in mind and your hotel or guesthouse will be one step closer to surviving and thriving throughout 2021 and beyond. Business Events Africa May 2021 13


Poolside cocktails.

Tennis courts with a stunning view.

Rediscover the business playground of South Africa Fancourt’s warm hospitality, understated luxury and enviable offering of activities and attractions have cemented its reputation as South Africa’s premier lifestyle resort. While Fancourt needs no introduction to keen golfers and holidaymakers, it is also the perfect choice for the business event’s traveller.


here’s no better time than now to rediscover the business playground of South Africa.

An ideal location with ample space Located just outside George, on South Africa’s Garden Route, overlooked by the majestic Outeniqua Mountains and surrounded by 613 hectares of pristine countryside, striking landscapes and a staggering coastline, Fancourt is the perfect place to mix business and pleasure. The hectares of lush countryside makes for stunning views and plenty of opportunity for outdoor pursuits. It’s not referred to as the business playground of South Africa for nothing. Activities in and around Fancourt Whatever you choose to do, you most probably won’t need to leave the Fancourt Estate. Fancourt will happily organise a round of golf (or three!) for your team or pop in for a treatment at The Spa at Fancourt (named the ‘Best Hotel Spa in South Africa’ at the annual Les Nouvelles

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Esthetiques Spa Awards in 2018). Adventure-seeking delegates may enjoy mountain biking, horse riding or trail running, or simply keep active by exploring the estate on foot or by bicycle. Two beautiful pools beckon (one heated, perfect for winter or early morning swims), while Fancourt’s fishing dams tantalise

anglers with big-mouth black bass. Following a meeting or conference, corporate travellers may explore the estate or chat to their team to organise an afternoon of wine tasting at one of the local vineyards. If you could manage to tear yourself away from the variety of activities

The 18th hole on Montagu.



Luscious lawns and lake of the golf course..

on the Fancourt estate, Fancourt offers guests the perfect base from which to explore the Garden Route and the leisure team is on hand to organise these experiences for you. Choose from a Big 5 game drive, an unforgettable beach braai or boat cruises along the Knysna Lagoon. Ease of access An easy ten-minute shuttle from George airport delivers guests to the Fancourt estate, where modern conference facilities (including a banquet hall, boardrooms, meeting rooms and breakaway options), 5-star service and beautiful accommodation awaits. Safety Delegates and guests will be greeted with plenty of big smiles at Fancourt – despite not being able to see them underneath

Serious me-time at the spa.

the masks. All of our staff wear masks and are well trained with the latest protocols. From sanitising your hands before entering the premises to filling in a wellness questionnaire to declare any symptoms that you may be experiencing, these Covid-related changes all assist in keeping you safe. For Peter Dros, sales and marketing director of Fancourt, safety is critical: “The days of spending eight hours indoors at a conference or event are over. Organisers are actively looking for venues which offer an indoor/outdoor flow, flexible configurations which may deliver social distancing with ease and spacious grounds for al fresco events.” The health and safety of you, your team and delegates and our staff are of utmost importance. Fancourt’s health and safety measures are in place to ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable

stay at Fancourt. Follow the link to our website for more information. Flexibility Flexibility is the name of the game at Fancourt. The many conferencing facilities, venue options and packages may be tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Conference facilities are equipped with modern audio-visual and computer equipment, full business services and video conferencing. Fancourt’s wide array of stunning venue spaces, from marquees to spacious outdoor areas, are ideal for safe and socially distanced events, conferences and functions. Our extensive 613 hectare grounds and conferencing facilities, particularly suited to outdoor functions, have become even more in-demand than ever before. Rediscover the business playground of South Africa – there’s never been a better time. Contact the Fancourt team today. For more information, visit www.fancourt.co.za or contact Reservations on +27 (0) 44 804 0010 for bookings.

Fancourt’s famous roman baths.


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The future we didn’t see coming The end of 2019 had us all looking forward to starting the new decade strong. With new clients in the bag and repeat work secured, we hired additional resources in anticipation of a record year of doing what we do best at idna – conceptualising big ideas and delivering spectacular events and conferences. But, oh boy, the “big year” we anticipated turned out to be big in ways we never imagined. 2020 was the disruption we didn’t want, but desperately needed. By Tamlynne Wilton, chief ideas officer, idna.


hen the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the event’s industry was caught with its pants down. We weren’t prepared for the fallout as country after country went into lockdown, bringing our industry to a standstill overnight. We realised quite quickly that we have been playing in the shallow waters of the fourth industrial revolution all along. To survive, the old faithful ‘out-of-the-box thinking’ was not going to be enough – we had to break the box and look for a circle. The one saving grace, in my opinion, is the natural resilience of the events industry to adapt at the drop of a hat. And we did, stepping out of our comfort zones to learn new skills and create new products. A year later and we are still here, post-pivot, looking ahead at a future of events that we did not see coming, but one that will accelerate much-needed resilience and sustainability. Taking a post-mortem on 2020 and 16 Business Events Africa May 2021

analysing the road ahead for the meetings industry, we must ask ourselves if the industry is in its death throes, as more and more people move online. The answer is a resounding no. Humans seek out human interaction. We are social creatures. We are not built for isolation, no matter how much ‘fun’ it is to work from home in your pajamas, we are built for emotional exchange. Virtual technology has provided us with an additional layer, another way of engaging our audiences, but it’s there to provide just that – another layer and additional value, it’s not a replacement for in-person events. The future is hybrid In 2020, it is technology we turned to when in-person events were on an indefinite hold. So, to move forward, we know that we need to achieve a happy medium between in-person and virtual events that work together to

meaningfully connect people. The future is in a hybrid offering that seamlessly combines the strengths of both in-person and virtual events: • Choice We have so many choices in every other sphere of our lives, why shouldn’t we choose how we engage with an event? We make choices based on our individual preferences and circumstances and will go where we feel most comfortable. • Inclusivity People who have previously not been able to attend, are now able to have access to content that they otherwise would not have been able to access. A hybrid model offers an affordable, flexible, and open solution that appeals to an even bigger audience. • Commercial Hybrid events – if done correctly – have www.businesseventsafrica.com


the potential to generate higher revenue and have a greater return on ROI. Companies are more likely to send additional delegates when virtual is an option, significantly reducing travel and accommodation costs, not to mention the carbon footprint of an event. The ability to offer on-demand content also offers additional revenue streams beyond an event. While the benefits of hybrid are clear, there are a bunch of considerations to take into account when organising one: • Deal with the fear factor Fear is a powerful emotion that is going to be a constant consideration for the events industry. For in-person events, the Covid pandemic has increased people’s fear around health and safety. Virtual events, on the other hand, strikes fear into people on a psychological level, especially regarding the online experience. How we utilise outdoor or indoor venues; implement health and safety measures; enhance online experiences and rethink programme structures are just some fear busters to take into consideration. • Virtual doesn’t mean boring The downside of online events is the perception that it may be extremely one-dimensional and tediously boring. This poses an exciting challenge to event planners as we pioneer new ways to deliver meaningful personal experiences and human connection. While it’s easy to cater to these needs in-person, it is trickier with virtual. New virtual event technology, however, is geared to engage the senses with enticing gamification features that www.businesseventsafrica.com

engage and connect attendees. • Find the right partners Limited in-person numbers has created a financial minefield as you either have to charge people more to cover costs or reduce the cost of the event. The former, in our current economy, is difficult as everyone is busy rebuilding. Finding the right venue and virtual technology partner is vital to achieving a win-win outcome for all. • Get creative A hybrid model is lush with opportunities to get creative. From restructuring your registration packages to suit the individual circumstances of delegates to tailoring sponsorship that taps into budgets that didn’t occur to you before (CSR for example) – the possibilities are endless! Moving on to the next I, for one, cannot wait to see how the events industry continues to embrace technology as a friend and not a foe. I also predict that we are going to see more hybrid events in the future and that these events will become a staple in the new normal. The next couple of months are going to be key as restrictions on large-scale events gradually ease, but there is no going back to the events industry as we knew it before. Thankfully, after a year of struggling and adapting, we are able to wade a bit deeper into the water and not just keep our heads above water, but tread confidently as an industry with an exciting future ahead of it.

Who is Tamlynne Wilton? Tamlynne Wilton-Gurney is the founder and chief ideas officer of idna (pronounced idea-NA) a strategic marketing agency specialising in association brand building and event and conference management. Her background in psychology gives her a deep understanding of the human mind and how it impacts the decisions we make. She believes that events provide a powerful platform to inspire change and influence policy and combines her knowledge of psychology, marketing and sociology to create touchpoints that are truly unforgettable.

Business Events Africa May 2021 17


The splendid exterior.

The Highline Restaurant at sunset.

Flagship four-star Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City now open The four-star 168-room Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City in Midrand opened on 1 March 2021, headed up by opening general manager Brendan Luttig. The hotel is located across the road from the iconic Mall of Africa and close to the Sandton and Midrand CBDs, Gautrain Midrand Station, major highways, Gallagher Convention Centre, Kyalami International Convention Centre and Netcare Waterfall City Hospital. It is also close to sister property, the 149-room City Lodge Hotel Waterfall City.


his is the 63rd hotel in the City Lodge Hotel Group (CLHG), 56th in South Africa and sixth in the Courtyard Hotel brand, bringing to 8 070 the total number of rooms in the group. The other five Courtyard Hotels are also situated in unique locations in Rosebank, Sandton and Eastgate in Johannesburg, Arcadia in Pretoria and Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), each featuring its own special décor and each ‘designed to impress’, as the brand’s slogan states. Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, chief operating officer of City Lodge Hotel Group, said: “Inspiration for this property, from its sustainability features to its cutting-edge design, has been sourced from and inspired by best practice in hospitality around the world. With luxury finishes and an open, airy feel, it should give great safety reassurance to guests as it opens amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and has excellent longevity as the tourism industry recovers.” When designing its new flagship Courtyard Hotel, the group conducted 18 Business Events Africa May 2021

extensive research locally and overseas. They brought onboard Louise Nogueira Dracopoulos, owner of Oniro Studios, to bring to life the interior design dream and the result is a hotel that takes its look and feel far into the future, while remaining timeless, and inspired by its proudly South African roots. Key features of the hotel include: • 164 rooms and four penthouse suites. • The Protea (ground floor) and The Highline (ninth floor) restaurants, plus Club Lounge (ground floor). • Three event areas cater for conferencing and banqueting of forty people each or combined for 120 people (currently twenty people each, combined for sixty people, as per Covid-19 regulations). • Boardroom that seats six people (currently three as per Covid-19 regulations). • Co-working spaces. • Lobby lounge. • Fitness room. • Swimming pool.

“Design is all about evoking emotion in us, so each space throughout the building was designed with careful consideration to ensure that it captured the essence of South African contextual elements merged together with a subtle Art Deco feel. The goal for the interiors was not only to create a space which celebrates a richness of layers, details and textures but it had to be functional and it had to transition from a light-filled cosmopolitan character, ideal for daytime meetings, into a night-time venue where lighting settings would shift the spaces into a moodier atmosphere,” Ms Nogueira Dracopoulos added. The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout; contactless check-in; QR codes for restaurant menus; an app that controls guest room doors, air conditioners and televisions; as well as free, secure underground parking; same-day laundry and dry-cleaning service; photocopy services; and 24-hour security. CLHG has long supported local artists. Nogueira Dracopoulos said: “Our local www.businesseventsafrica.com


Conference space.

The Highline restaurant.

The reception area.

talent is showcased all through the public areas.” “An artist was commissioned to create three beautiful custom artworks behind the reception, which depict the building’s coordinates, name and the physical address as abstracts, again highlighting the importance of contextual design. The local art theme continues through to the co-working space that has a rich ochre colour palette complimented with African patterns and details.” She added: “Just off the reception, the space flows into the pre-function and conferencing area. This is an extension of the reception that has striking petrol blue and gold accents. Arches designed in this area have created niches, which fills a functional requirement for food and beverages for the conference rooms but also fills an aesthetic value with carefully selected decor that reaffirms the South African flair.” The events area offers three separate rooms or one large space – Skyrocket, Sugarbush and Mountain-Rose cater for forty people each when partitioned off, and 120 people when opened into one space. These are pre-Covid-19 numbers, which are now reduced to twenty people in each space, and sixty people when combined. The elegant Pincushion Boardroom accommodates three people currently, as Covid-19 compliant, but is built to host six people. Restaurants include The Protea on the ground floor that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner off a sophisticated, contemporary menu and The Highline on the ninth floor that specialises in gourmet

light meals for lunch and dinner. The Highline is also the perfect place to watch the sunset with your favourite beverage from a wide selection on offer. The Club Lounge, also on the ground floor, offering guests an intimate space for relaxing, special events or private dining. Executive chef Keegan Maistry heads up the kitchen and has developed menus designed to delight the guests’ palate, as the group steps up its culinary offering to beyond breakfast. Guest rooms offer the following: • 164 rooms and four suites: spacious, air-conditioned rooms with queen or twin beds; suites have king beds; sixteen family rooms with interleading doors. • Secure key access to bedroom floors. • Well-appointed bathroom with spacious shower. • Mini fridge. • Tea and coffee making facilities. • Hairdryer. • Electronic safe large enough to accommodate a laptop. • Desk with lighting and sockets for easy connectivity. • Television with selected DStv channels and radio stations. • Selected rooms designed to meet the needs of the physically disabled. • Courtyard Ambassador rooming and assisting guests in suites. The hotel has opened with 84 rooms and four suites available, with a plan to open the remaining eighty rooms on a demand basis, which will take about six to eight weeks to complete, once begun. There is also space to expand the hotel with an

additional fifty rooms, as a separate wing, which was planned within the original design. In keeping with the group’s overall sustainability journey, the property was designed with environmentally friendly practices in place and received a green star four-star custom design certified rating from the Green Building Council of SA in February 2021. This is in recognition of its efficient water and electrical designs that conserve these resources; energy efficient lights and appliances; intelligent lighting management systems; and building monitoring systems. There is an automated mechanism for monitoring water consumption data, which also performs as a leak detection system. An example of eco-friendly operations is the hotel’s on-premises laundry, a state-ofthe-art facility taking care of all the hotel’s linen and terry products using energy, water and laundry efficient chemicals and equipment, which contributes to the environmental sustainability efforts while ensuring that guests have spotlessly clean bed linen and fluffy towels at all times. All of this adds up to a new hotel that is designed to attract business travellers during the week and leisure guests over the weekend, as well as a combination of ‘bleisure’ guests who are working remotely while taking a little time to themselves. The hotel is also open for day visitors keen to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants or a quiet space to work. All Covid-19 sanitising, wearing of masks and social distancing protocols are adhered to across the hotel, ensuring the safety of guests and staff.

The Club Lounge.

The Protea Restaurant.

The Protea Restaurant.


Business Events Africa May 2021 19


Level-headed Phelisa Mangcu encompasses a quiet strength Professional Phelisa Mangcu, 53, chief executive officer of Ugu South Coast Tourism, has over 26 years of strong tourism experience, including having worked at Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York.


er experience encompasses all areas of tourism and business events, from destination management to marketing, development and visitor information service. She joined Ugu South Coast Tourism as chief executive officer in August 2018. Ms Mangcu is passionate about taking the benefits of tourism, directly or indirectly, to all areas in the district. Part of her vision is the visible transformation of the tourism industry and to integrate SMMEs into tourism. Her qualifications include a master’s certificate in destination management from George Washington University and a master of arts degree obtained at the University of the Witwatersrand. Where did you grow up? I was born in Ginsberg Township, King Williams Town, Eastern Cape and I am the second youngest of nine siblings. I obtained my primary education at Brownlee Lower Primary and Charles Morgan Higher Primary School. I obtained my high school education at Thubalethu High School, a boarding school in Fort Beaufort, Eastern Cape. Where did you begin your career? When I registered for my junior degree, I did not know exactly which career path to follow, but I did not want to be a teacher or a nurse. My mother was encouraging me to study social work. I just did not fit into any of those, so I studied a BA as I wanted some time to think about my career. Over time, through studying sociology, it became clear to me that I had a keen interest in economic development/sciences. How did you get involved in tourism? Just after completing my BA degree, I travelled to the United States with my boyfriend (later husband) who was studying there. Through this travel experience I was exposed to the tourism industry. I remember seeing people holding maps in front of their faces, walking around in New York

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and seeing long queues of people at tourist attractions in Washington DC. We would notice kiosks selling maps, beverages and snacks; and I remember analysing this economic value chain, linking everything from how the person arrived, where they slept, ate, how they moved around (transport), visited attractions, etc. My strong interest in tourism began and I never looked anywhere else. In 1995 I enrolled for a master’s certificate in Tourism Destination Management at the George Washington University, where I met Professor Joe Goldblatt, who exposed me to the importance of the business events market in growing tourism in a destination. What was your first tourism position? After completing the programme, I was employed as an assistant (basically an intern) at the Washington DC Office of Tourism and Promotions, a municipal entity tasked to attract tourists to Washington DC. Working with experienced professionals in tourism, I was exposed to the developmental aspect of introducing youth to the tourism industry. Family reunions are an important aspect in African American communities. They become big events. I was also fortunate to work in a programme that was aimed at promoting Washington DC as a family destination, to

attract the African American market to hold their family reunion events there. When did you join Trump International Hotel & Tower? In 1996 I was fortunate to be employed at the newly opened and luxurious Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York. Located at Central Park, the hotel catered for the high-end market. This is where I got to meet many American (including international) celebrities and experienced the importance of service. Servicing the high-end market meant that the hotel was providing personalised service as guests had their own unique requirements. Such service requirements had to be seen to before and after they arrived. I still laugh about some of the strange requests that we had to attend to. One celebrity singer wanted his room heated to a high temperature and darkened before he checked in; another one would not be booked above the fifth floor, while another one wanted his clothes pressed in a specific way. When did you return to South Africa? Back in South Africa in 1999, I joined the Tourism Business Unit at the Industrial Development Corporation as a business analyst where I learned a great deal about www.businesseventsafrica.com


conducting due diligence and financing a tourism business. I later moved to the marketing and corporate affairs department, where I managed corporate social investments and shaped it to focus on poverty alleviation programmes. Through such programmes, I got to work directly with communities on tourismfocused initiatives. During this period, I graduated with my Master of Arts (Tourism Studies) degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. I was later appointed as the general manager: tourism development by the Johannesburg Tourism Company, an entity of the City of Johannesburg Municipality. Where do you see the business events industry in South Africa at present and where do you see it heading in the future? In recent years, the industry in South Africa had begun to take a positive turn, especially with the formation of the South African National Convention Bureau as a strategic business unit by South African Tourism. I remember when the Meetings Africa exhibition was first launched (I was the general manager: tourism development at Joburg Tourism at the time). It was a new, yet exciting public-private initiative that included South African Tourism, Gauteng Tourism Authority, Joburg Tourism Company and the Sandton Convention Centre. This led to major destinations paying attention to attracting business tourists and product owners catering for this market. We have the infrastructure and experience to grow this sector even further. How long have you been in the sector? I have been in the tourism industry for 26 years. What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in this sector? It has been reported that worldwide tourism is among the industries that have been hit hardest by the Covid-19 crisis and that the loss is eleven times more than the loss during the 2009 economic crisis. It has been very painful to watch some tourism businesses closing and people losing jobs. It has also been a learning curve for all of us – now we know the value of domestic tourism even more. Though it’s not easy, circumstances have forced us to think differently and adapt – we now understand that we may still have our meetings and www.businesseventsafrica.com

conferences virtually. Are you married? I am a divorced mother of four girls; the oldest is 27 and youngest 13 years old. What role does your family play in your life? I am a family-oriented and domesticated person. As a single parent, I constantly try to find the balance between being a professional and being a parent at the same time. So far, I have managed to do that successfully. Given that I come from a large family, I still enjoy being surrounded by family and doing things together. Growing up, we used to sit around the kitchen table and sing; one of my brothers would be the choir conductor. Passers-by would stand and listen. Such activities, though one may consider them small, created family bonds and we always reminisce about those days. What would you change in your life, if you could, when looking back? I trust people a lot. As a result, I tend to think that we share the same sentiments and agenda. Once I make up my mind I develop loyalty which becomes difficult for me to break if things turn the other way. Sometimes this loyalty is for a particular product or brand. Even if the brand disappoints me or becomes expensive, I still find reasons to use it, especially if I have been using it for a long time. I wish I could change this kind of thinking. Do you have any hobbies? I don’t have any unusual hobbies. I love cooking and listening to music. What is your secret to success? Listening to different opinions and, if necessary, find a balance before implementing. What has been your biggest challenge in this sector? The need to constantly convince people about the importance of transformation and the need to extend the tourist footprint to township and rural communities. Some major players do not seem to pay attention to this, they see it as a ‘by the way’ activity to tick a box. The same applies when there is procurement of services; it is rare for major hotels to consider using services in townships or rural communities; for example, hire the services of women in the township to wash and iron their linen – that

way, support the creation of jobs and alleviate poverty in those communities. That’s what is meant by direct and indirect benefits of tourism. What is your pet hate? A person throwing litter on the road; even worse, when a person throws it from the car. What is the most memorable place you have ever been to, and why? I once travelled to Lucerne in Switzerland. I enjoyed the calm and cleanliness of the city. What type of holiday would you avoid at all costs? I am not comfortable around animals so holidaying around animals is not top of my list. My family once spent a weekend at the Kruger Park; I could not sleep, I imagined things the whole night. What is your favourite film and TV programme? I love watching comedy; I still enjoy the Friends series even though it stopped a while ago. How do you relax? I love listening to music and radio. While doing that I unwind and try to avoid negative news. What is your favourite food? I enjoy Indian cuisine. Favourite movie star? Angela Bassett: I love her energy. Who is your role model? My late father. He was focused and a hard worker, who worked extremely hard to achieve everything he had, even though he was not educated. What advice do you have for anyone starting out in this industry and hoping to follow in your footsteps? Be prepared to start small and learn throughout the process. Nothing that you do is a waste of time, you gain something from every step you take. What is your dream for the future? As a woman and a mother of girls, I dream of a society where men respect women, whether it is out there on the streets or at work. Business Events Africa May 2021 21


American Express launches 2021 Global Travel Trends Report American Express recently released the American Express Travel: Global Travel Trends Report, which provides unique insight into consumer sentiment toward travel, nearly one year after the Covid-19 pandemic began. The findings in the report, grounded in survey research across seven countries, including the United States, Australia, India, Canada, Mexico, Japan and the United Kingdom, demonstrates that consumers are looking forward to travelling again and that they are planning for future trips.


ur latest global trends report shows that there is a pent-up demand for travel among consumers, with many people longing for and beginning to plan future trips.” Top insights include: • Strong pent-up demand for travel: 87 per cent of people surveyed said that having a trip planned in the future gives them something to look forward to, 76 per cent of respondents are creating their destination wish list for future travel, even though they might not be able to travel yet, and 63 per cent of respondents said that they are saving their credit card points so that they may 22 Business Events Africa May 2021

go on a vacation once they feel comfortable travelling. • Ready to book now: 56 per cent of respondents said that they miss travelling so much that they are willing to book a trip now, even if they might have to cancel it in the future. • Rise of the digital nomad: 54 per cent of respondents said that the freedom and flexibility of being able to live and work, while travelling the globe, is more appealing now than it was prior to the pandemic. • Safety is a priority: 65 per cent of respondents said that they plan to travel after they and their family members have received a vaccine for Covid-19. • Privacy is the new ultimate luxury:

75 per cent of respondents agree that the experiences that offer ultimate privacy are becoming a key sought-after feature of luxury travel. • Increase in sustainable travel: 68% of respondents agree that they are trying to be more aware of sustainability-friendly travel brands to support. “Our latest global trends report shows that there is a pent-up demand for travel among consumers, with many people longing for and beginning to plan future trips,” said Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel. “In addition, the pandemic environment is giving rise to emerging trends, such as the increasing appeal of working from anywhere while travelling globally, luxury www.businesseventsafrica.com


being defined as more personalised experiences, cleanliness and privacy as the ultimate luxury amenities, as well as a growing interest in the environmental and social purpose of their trips and travel companies.” Here’s a look at key findings from the report: Consumers are looking forward to travelling again People are finding hope and comfort in thinking about and even planning future trips. • Travel to uplift health and wellness: 78 per cent of respondents indicate that they are wanting to travel in 2021, to relieve the stresses from 2020. • Planning and paying for future travel: One in three say that they will more frequently use travel credits or points to pay for all or part of a trip in 2021 than they did prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. • Making up for missed travel: 61 per cent of survey respondents plan to spend more than they normally would on a trip in 2021, since they could not travel in 2020. • Consumers willing to make sacrifices to travel: 64 per cent of respondents miss travelling so much that they would be willing to give up social media for a month to be able to go on vacation. • Culinary tourism is here to stay: 62 per cent of respondents say that eating is the top activity they are interested in doing while travelling. American Express Travel booking data for January 2021 shows foodie-centric cities as top destinations for U.S. and International Card Members. Miami, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston are hot spots for U.S. American Express Card Members whereas Mexico City, Singapore and Tokyo are topping the list for international American Express Card Members.

help plan and customise their next trip and 80 per cent indicate they are willing to travel to destinations during the offseason so that it’s less crowded. • Surge in ‘second-city’ destinations: 69 per cent of respondents are interested in visiting lesser-known destinations and American Express Travel booking data reinforces this trend, showing a rise in reservations for second-city destinations. For example, Dallas and Charlotte saw a higher share of bookings from International Card Members in January 2021 than the previous year and American Express Travel consultants are seeing requests for smaller cities like Porto (instead of Lisbon) in Portugal, and Wellington (instead of Auckland) in New Zealand. Travelling with purpose Consumers are becoming more conscious travellers, are more aware of travel companies aligned with their values and will journey to destinations where they may have a positive impact on communities.

• Backing local communities: 72 per cent of respondents agree that they are passionate about travelling to destinations to help boost tourism revenue and the local economy. • Supporting travel brands that prioritise diversity and inclusion: 69 per cent of respondents agree that they want to choose an airline/hotel that values diversity and inclusion, and whose employees reflect a diverse customer base. • Carbon-conscious travellers: 60 per cent of respondents agree they want to book airlines that have a carbon neutral commitment. For additional findings and more information on the American Express Travel: Global Travel Trends Report, visit https://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id =smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fw ww.americanexpress.com%2Fglobaltravel-trends&esheet=52392774&new sitemid=20210309005322&lan=en-US &anchor=here&index=2&md5=d0fd b70230176d3682392cf24c2de5dd.

The new travel mindset With regular changes to booking policies, travel offers, and new destinations to consider, there is a new travel mindset today. • Luxury travel: The pandemic has changed peoples’ perception of luxury travel with personalised experiences (82 per cent), high cleanliness standards (81 per cent) and privacy (79 per cent) being the most desirable luxury amenities among respondents. 59 per cent indicate that they want to use a travel agent to www.businesseventsafrica.com

Business Events Africa May 2021 23


The future of event technology Covid-19 has sped up technological innovation and adoption across the event industries globally, with a focus on enhancing both virtual and hybrid event spaces.


ike Lysko, founder and chief executive officer of Flock Eventing Platform said: “The global pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of technology in the event industry in a bid to provide people with a way to communicate safely and efficiently, despite global health concerns. “One thing is for sure - technology and innovation is likely to remain a cornerstone of the ever-changed event industry,” he said. Mr Lysko takes us through a few of the existing and emerging event tech advancements making waves in the industry. 1. Virtual experiences and chat rooms Chat and Q&A functions are one of the top three features attendees want from virtual events. Being able to connect with other guests is part of what makes live events so valuable and what people tend to miss 24 Business Events Africa May 2021

most when attending virtual conferences. “It’s essential to create online environments that enable truly authentic virtual interactions that foster actual connections,” Mr Lysko said. 2. Translation technology One of the many merits of hosting virtual and hybrid events is the potential to tap into the global market and reach more international delegates. In-app electronic translations will make events more accessible to people connecting from different countries who speak different languages. “As this type of technology is streamlined it will become better at capturing the nuances of certain languages and even perhaps speak as well-known spokespersons,” Mr Lysko said. 3. Voice command technology People are steadily moving towards a contact-and-effortless way to obtain their

information. Voice command technology allows attendees to ask a simple question such as “When is the next seminar?” Event planners may program the voice command tech to make suggestions based on the activities and preferences of the delegates and by doing so, increase engagement. Mr Lysko explained that in the future we are likely to see event voice assistance or voice concierges become an essential component in online and hybrid events, guiding attendees through an event. 4. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) at events Virtual and augmented reality will become an essential tool in the event industry. These tools will allow attendees to immerse themselves in an event space or completely understand and dissect products through VR and AR headsets. As VR and AR becomes more advanced it will likely become an event staple and attendees will not only attend events to www.businesseventsafrica.com


engage with their favourite brands, but visit an event for a truly unforgettable experience. Computerising an event to enable the use of this technology is currently rather costly, but as the tech advances it will become a lot more cost-effective. Event professionals will use VR and AR to create unforgettable moments between attendees and brands. 5. Increased engagement through Artificial Intelligence (AI) AI tools are able to simplify and assist event planners create content that starts conversations and keeps attendee interaction high. Implementing AI is a great way to begin a conversation and keep it going. For example, chatbots create prompts or facilitate conversations with event attendees or even enhance networking by matching attendees based on shared interests. In the future we are likely to see event planners use AI to create tailored experiences for each attendee based on their information and using AI software to automate each unique experience. 6. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) People love to feel like they are part of something and that they have shared in something special. A good example of this is holding on to non-value items such as a ticket stub for the memory associated with an experience. The digital equivalent of this is nonfungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs have largely www.businesseventsafrica.com

been used as virtual credits for virtual assets in blockchain games. However, they are now becoming virtual event tickets or virtual experience memorabilia. The fact that NFTs use blockchain means that each token is authenticated, verifiable and has value. NFTs are likely to become part of the event industry by providing attendees with an experience badge or online experience snippet. 7. Managing event data securely Cyber security standards drive awareness and safeguard people’s personal information. Event planners are starting to realise the importance of protecting this valuable information and the responsibility of managing it securely. Digital hygiene will become a prerequisite for all those attending events with digital components in the future. Mr Lysko expanded on this point, “Those who do not realise the importance of data protection will unfortunately not be able to participate in the online event space, especially as more people become aware of the dangers of sharing information with people and organisations who do not take data protection and security seriously.” The future is now The fast-changing event space requires event professionals to embrace event tech, especially if they wish to remain relevant and in demand. This statement should not scare event professionals but excite them as the changing industry presents ample opportunities.

Who is Mike Lysko? Mike Lysko is the chief executive officer and founder of Flock, an online eventing platform that makes it easy to build websites, mobile apps and engagement tools – without any previous coding experience. He has been an entrepreneur from a young age and started his first events business whilst obtaining a BCom degree. Mike has experience in all areas of business having managed multiple teams across operations, business development and sales, software development, marketing and customer support. He founded Flock in 2013, which has assisted over four hundred customers across 36 countries in numerous industries including IT, finance, tourism, and pharmaceutical, amongst others. Mike loves events and technology, but when he is not at his desk you may find him at his turntables mixing and producing music or hiking and discovering new trails. Business Events Africa May 2021 25


Love and a pinch of salt are chef Earl’s favourite cooking tips Love is one of the most important ingredients in Earl Larkin, the newly appointed executive sous chef at Meropa Casino and Entertainment World’s dishes.


fter matriculating, the young Pietermaritzburg Earl was on a career day outing at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) when he was shown the hotel school campus. “It was a tough decision (deciding what to study), but I’ve never looked back.” Today he holds a national diploma in catering management. By rejoining Sun International, the chef comes full circle – he started his career in 1993 at the Wild Coast Sun. “We operated the Bengal Brasserie under the watchful eyes of the resident chefs,” he recalled. Following this, he completed his in-service training at a hotel in Port Alfred and at a five-star game reserve in the Eastern Cape. “An opportunity was then afforded to me to join a corporate catering unit, which I did until 1998, when I became executive chef at a Country Club in my hometown.” In 2007, the bright lights of Sun City beckoned, and he worked there as a chef until 2016. “This period was one of the most rewarding learning curves of my career,” Earl said. It was here that he experienced his proudest chef moment, being part of the team in the opening of Sun City’s entertainment centre. He left there to broaden his expertise, working at various hotels around the country and ending up in Gauteng. Earl was retrenched in June 2020, due to Covid-19 affecting the hospitality industry, and rejoined Sun International in early 2021. “I am hopeful that being back with Sun International will open more doors and ensure a rewarding career.” With Covid-19 health and safety regulations in full force, Earl said that all food was virtually contactless on the serving side. “Hygiene has to be paramount and food has to be individually wrapped and served to our esteemed guests and colleagues.” Current food trends are that people want to eat healthier food, “with lots of texture, colours and flavours. We also 26 Business Events Africa May 2021

have to look at our environment and animals with regards to meat and its exploitation,” he said. The hot kitchen is his favourite place to be. “I love to play with low and slow foods, slow roasted brisket, twice cooked pork belly, deboned leg of lamb stuffed with rosemary and garlic, together with gravies to accompany these foods. Recently I have begun producing my own signature aged chilli sauces which are absolutely delicious.” Earl is married to a Mauritian, whom he describes as “my soulmate” and the couple have two dogs, which are the “apple of our eyes”. His favourite meal is his wife’s chicken biryani with all the trimmings, but, he says he does not enjoy anything in the offal line-up. His favourite piece of kitchen equipment are his hands, and Earl says that he loves seafood and fresh ingredients – chilli garlic, white wine, cream. “This, paired with wonderful friends, is all you need for the perfect meal,” he said. What is your signature dish? My signature dish is a Thai-inspired prawn stuffed chicken croquette, fan filleted on a red peanut curry sauce with

sticky jasmine rice. Paired with a Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc. What trends are emerging in the conference industry regarding food? Individuality in food presentations and one-bowl items.   What has remained constant in this industry? People need to eat. What is your favourite beverage? Malibu and Appletiser. What is your favourite food? My wife’s biryani with all the trimmings, either chicken or mutton. What is your pet hate? Being pushed into a corner. Who is your great love? My late mum. Are you adventurous? Yes. I have swum with dolphins in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mauritius. www.businesseventsafrica.com


Elevating the dining experience with expert advice Jonathan’s love for wine and drinks developed while cruising the world.


or a Cape Town born and raised local, working at ‘Cape Town’s best address’ is extremely inspiring, and as sommelier for The Table Bay, Jonathan Jonathan is living his dream. “Not only is it the best address, but it has the best people. I love my work and enjoy my colleagues as well as our many regulars. As soon as you walk through the doors you realise the high standards the hotel holds itself to. It feels like being at home, but better than home, if you know what I mean. It is a special place,” said the 31-year-old, who was promoted to Sommelier at The Table Bay in December last year, after joining the five-star Sun International property at the V&A Waterfront in 2017 as a Food and Beverage Supervisor. His new role will see him responsible for everything beverage related in the hotel’s lounges, restaurants and the Union Bar, as well as overseeing the wine cellar. Jonathan has enjoyed working with


award-winning TV chef Siba Mtongana, who has operated her first restaurant, the eponymous Siba, which opened at The Table Bay at the end of last year. “Siba’s food is fantastic and wonderful to pair with wines,” he said of the pop-up restaurant. Siba has been so successful that its run has been extended until the end of April. “I have been interested in food, wine and spirits for as long as I am able to remember, but my journey started in 2013 while I was working on a luxury cruise liner.”Cruising the world to all seven continents while becoming a sommelier onboard the ship sounds like a dream job for many people, and Jonathan relished the experience. “I'd love to return one day but I'm married now, with a one-year-old, and it is a big job for someone who's single.” He holds a Court of Master Sommeliers certified level qualification and aims to complete the Advanced Level once

overseas travel is permitted. “I am building a new wine list, and I am looking forward to introducing new, lesser-known cultivars like Albarino or Pinot Grigio. While we cater for international guests and have a number of international wines, we do have a Proudly South African focus and stock local award-winning wines made on our doorstep.” Jonathan is excited to host private wine tastings in the wine cellar. Jonathan does not have a favourite beverage but says he is partial to a glass of red in winter, a glass of dry rosé in summer, “but won’t say no to a peaty whisky or a margarita”. “Becoming a sommelier was the next part of my personal journey with the industry. It is a specialised position that is recognised and respected globally. With the world of wine and food pairing constantly changing and evolving, there is very little chance of me ever becoming bored”. Business Events Africa May 2021 27


The #KZNSouthCoast’s top spots for ‘wellness tourism’ Health and holistic wellbeing are being prioritised in 2021, with many travellers looking to enjoy a rejuvenating experience while on holiday. The #KZNSouthCoast, with its natural abundance, outdoor activities and spiritual retreats is a must-try destination for those seeking personal enlightenment and physical health.


#KZNSouthCoast’s wellness tourism hotspots Eco-sanctuaries and retreats With many indigenous coastal forests set against the backdrop of soothing ocean waves crashing on golden sands, the #KZNSouthCoast is the ideal location to get away from the hustle of daily life and replenish the soul. The ocean is renowned for its ‘Vitamin Sea’ benefits, including reducing skin inflammation, assisting in pain management, improving sleep and 28 Business Events Africa May 2021

lowering anxiety. For many, just the simple act of sitting on the beach and allowing the ocean sights and sounds to wash over them is enough to bring about spiritual calm. For others, there are several retreats and eco-sanctuaries within #TheParadiseoftheZuluKingdom that welcome guests seeking a calming, yet revitalising eco-experience. • Highcroft Eco Sanctuary and Retreat in Umzumbe (contact: 079 506 8816 or whitbird@venturenet.co.za). • Bo-Yoga at Ramsgate Whale Deck (contact: 083 226 4579 or boyoga.ramsgate@gmail.com). • Hair International in Ramsgate: This eco-friendly salon promotes earthfriendly products and practices (contact: 039 314 4070 or abos@telkomsa.net). • The Sunshine Yoga Studio in Oribi Gorge: specialises in yoga, retreats, spiritual exercises and transformational workshops (contact: 083 271 7439 or sunshineyoga80@gmail.com). • Nakai Beach Homestay in Trafalgar (contact: 082 414 2269 or grant@nakai.co.za).

• Nia classes at the Heart Space in Clansthal, and half-day sessions of Womanity Connects where women can live their soul essence - in studio or online (contact 083 556 8108).

Photographer credit - Mindful Movemen

helisa Mangcu, chief executive officer of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) explains: “The incredible anxiety and stress that has emerged during Covid-19 has seen many looking to safe havens and naturebased retreats as a way to soothe and revitalise body, mind and spirit. The #KZNSouthCoast has long been revered as a coastal retreat, with many spirituallyminded venues offering tourists a chance to reset through meditation, exercise, healthy eating and by reconnecting with the natural world.”

Nia classes at the Heart Space.



• As Above, So Below yoga classes in Clansthal (contact: 072 207 5386 or 1abovesobelow@gmail.com). Organic eating and eco-tours Healthy living starts from within, and with the #KZNSouthCoast’s sub-tropical climate and fertile soil, there’s an abundance of organic produce and eateries throughout the region. From seaside cafés through to farm tours, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes. • The Green Net in Umtentweni: An organic produce farm (contact: 039 695 2916 or helendodge@yahoo.com). • Nemvelo Farm in Izotsha: An organic produce farm off the beaten track (contact: 071 303 6655 or farm@nemvelo.co.za). • Thrive Urban Farm in Uvongo: An organic produce farm (contact: 082 570 7661 or info@thriveurbanfarm.biz). • Good Life Café in Shelly Beach: A coffee shop selling deliciously healthy meals (contact: 082 322 3326). • The Farm Food Factory in Shelly Beach: A craft food, vegetarian eatery (contact: 064 856 4697 or thefarmfoodfactory@gmail.com). • The Earth Shed in Southbroom: a specialty grocery store (contact: 071 334 0820 or earthandcast@gmail.com). • The Farm Stall in Port Edward (contact: 079 059 4648 or jolenehooper81@mail.com).

Delicious craft food served at the Farm Food Factory.

• The Pack Shed near Margate (contact: 078 812 7272 or info@thepackshed.co.za). • Beaver Creek Coffee Estate in Port Edward: agri-tourism food and adventures (contact: 039 311 2347 or info@beavercreek.co.za). Nature-based exercise and eco-adventures Another important facet of the wellness tourism trend is participating in naturebased exercise and activities to improve wellbeing and release stress through physical fitness. The #KZNSouthCoast is a well-established sports’ and fitness destination where tourists are able to

Yoga time at the Heart Space.


engage in recreational sports activities ranging from surfing, stand-up paddling and golfing through to more extreme adventures like white-water rafting, trail running and biking, and cave excursions. Here’s a look at some eco-adventures to be had on the #KZNSouthCoast. • Red Desert Nature Reserve in Port Edward: Hike to the world’s smallest desert, home to archaeological discoveries. • KwaXolo Caves Nature Reserve: A guided steel cable climbing system to view ancient San artwork (contact: 074 887 3742 or kxcadventures@gmail.com) • Wild 5 Adventures in Oribi Gorge: Extreme adventures including The Wild Gorge Swing, Wild Abseil, Wild Water Rafting, The Wild Slide and the suspension bridge (contact: 082 566 7424 or info@wild5adventures.co.za). • Diving at Aliwal Shoal off Umkomaas and Protea Banks, off Shelly Beach: both marine protected areas with abundant ocean life. • Freediving South Africa: KZN’s first fully eco-conscious freediving operators (contact: 071 613 1953 or kent@freedivingsouthafrica.com). • There are extensive hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching and 4x4 trails and excursions through the region’s numerous nature reserves, conservancies and game reserves, including the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails. • ‘The Golf Coast’ is home to eleven stunning golf courses. Business Events Africa May 2021 29


Why we should take the leap into a wellbeing economy On 15 April, the Event Greening Forum (EGF) and the SA Events Council (SAEC) held a joint webinar with guest speaker Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti. Prof Fioramonti is a distinguished economics academic at the University of Pretoria who believes that the learnings from academia should be applied to real life, to benefit humanity.


onsequently, he has become a world-renowned proponent of the wellbeing economy and has entered politics to influence policy. He became a Member of Parliament in Italy in March 2018, which was followed by his appointment as Italy’s Minister of Education, University and Research in September 2019. What is the wellbeing economy? During his packed presentation, Prof Fioramonti explained that economic 30 Business Events Africa May 2021

growth was initially pursued to improve the wellbeing of humanity. However, at some point we lost sight of this goal, and economic growth became the goal in and of itself. Paradoxically, a consequence of this is that our wellbeing is often sacrificed at the cost of short-term economic growth. And, he adds, sometimes this also jeopardises our long-term economic growth, as we tend to defer costs forward, even if it means they will increase. One example he cited was that congested traffic is seen as an indicator of

By Greg MacManus, chairperson of EGF.

positive economic activity. However, heavy and slow-moving traffic is also associated with air pollution, and the World Health Organisation has estimated 4.2 million people die each year from poor quality air. Congestion also reduces the amount of time people are able to spend with their families, which may have other negative health and social impacts. These in turn have costs, while also reducing the quality of our lives. And yet, globally, we have become obsessed with economic growth at the www.businesseventsafrica.com


expense of all other considerations. It is how we measure the success of nations, and how developed or “advanced” a country is. He continues, “What does it mean for a country to be doing ‘well’? My conclusion is that we are fundamentally confused.” He points out that the US is considered one of the most developed nations and yet it has low life expectancies, high levels of illiteracy, and high levels of lifestyleinduced diseases. Why should this be the model we are trying to emulate? Taking the leap – the time is now “The Covid pandemic has made clear that there is no economic success without social wellbeing, which is founded on the health of people and ecosystems. When we imperil wellbeing, we demolish any economic activity, resulting in more poverty and destitution,” he explains. In proposing a shift to a wellbeing economy, the Professor instead invites us to put wellbeing first – both personal and environmental. It’s a model that aims to increase positive outcomes for all, and to decrease the negative ones. “It’s a banal but revolutionary idea,” he says. Essentially this concept means shaping our worlds to promote healthy people and healthy environments, which support social cohesion and ultimately improve the quality of lives that we lead. He believes this approach requires that, instead of producing and consuming more, we produce and consume better. Overconsumption is often unfulfilling and drives the pollution of our natural world, to our detriment. Focusing on quality will lead to producing goods and services in a www.businesseventsafrica.com

manner that our world is able to sustain, while still meeting our needs and supporting economies. How could it be done? Prof Fioramonti argues that our incentives are wrong. Companies do not take responsibility for their pollution, for example, so these costs are externalised. As taxpayers we carry the burden of cost to fix the problems that pollution may cause, and as humans we also often pay a cost with our health. The Professor cited Mpumalanga, home to twelve coal-fired Eskom power plants, as having the poorest air quality in the world. This dirty air blows across Mpumalanga and Gauteng, where it is responsible for an estimated 2 000 deaths annually, according to Green Peace. We need our government to change the legislation so that businesses are forced to include their pollution outputs on their balance sheets so it is a cost they must shoulder. This, in turn, will motivate them to find cleaner alternatives. Another way that Prof Fioramonti believes this shift may be encouraged is by the mandatory inclusion of sustainable development in school curricula, which was a piece of legislation he introduced in Italy on being appointed Minister of Education, University and Research. He believes that when children understand their impacts on the world, they become environmental ambassadors, take this knowledge home and influence their families. As a result, they have an immediate, positive impact on consumer behaviour.

To hear Prof Fioramonti’s full 30-minute talk, you may watch the webinar free of charge on the EGF website: eventgreening.co.za, by going to the ‘Resources’ tab and selecting ‘Webinar recordings’ in the drop down. [LINK: https://bit.ly/3uXCy9r] To ensure that you don’t miss out on future webinars like this, you may also sign up to the EGF newsletters under the ‘Contact us’ tab. [LINK: https://bit. ly/3soigEp]

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 wwweventgreening.co.za 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: lynn@eventgreening.co.za

Business Events Africa May 2021 31


Why it’s good to be an incentive travel professional in 2021 Like all incentive travel professionals, I’m looking forward to better times as we move into the second quarter of 2021. Realistically, it cannot get any worse as the pandemic has thoroughly devastated, decimated and destroyed the incentive travel industry – at least temporarily.


his was graphically illustrated by the Incentive Travel Industry Index (ITII)1 which showed activity down in 2020 by as much as 85 per cent. That only seven per cent of our industry shuttered their businesses completely in 2020 is credit to the dogged resilience of our collective character and, depending on where we are located in the world, on very welcome government supports.1

Key programme objectives switch from hard dollars to soft power However, if ITII depicts an industry on its knees, it’s not there only in desperate, 32 Business Events Africa May 2021

hopeless supplication. It’s also on its knees in active reflection, asking itself big questions around identity, meaning and purpose. In fairness, our self-interrogation pre-dates the pandemic. For some time now, many incentive travel professionals have been questioning what we do, particularly in the areas of equity, consumption, sustainability, climate justice and so on. The pandemic has now accelerated these thought processes and ITII, a snap shot of pan industry sentiment from September/October 2020, shows definite signs of this type of

thinking entering the main stream. Previous ITII reports noted an increase of focus on soft power over hard dollars. However, as already highlighted in a previous column, this year, for the first time, hard dollar returns (ROI, performance upticks etc.) are not ranked in first position as the ultimate metric for incentive travel success. This year soft power elements – engagement, relationship etc – dominate the ranking, confirming how the metrics around success for incentive travel are being actively redefined and infused with brand new identity, meaning and purpose. www.businesseventsafrica.com


Changes in programme design This new thinking may also be seen when we look at programme design for incentive travel. In ITII 2019 incentive travel programmes were structured around cultural experiences, group dining experiences, team building and luxury, ie, including something truly unique, a bucket list inclusion, in the programme. This combination of programme elements ensured both qualifier and corporate satisfaction. The programme was designed as a win/win for both qualifier, who got a brilliant travel experience and corporate sponsor, who got a better connected workforce. When compared with ITII 2020, however, a new, more purposeful incentive travel model is clearly emerging. Luxury and cultural experiences remain in the Top four rankings (with luxury now rising from fourth to first position) but group dining and team building are replaced by CSR and wellness. The rise of CSR, in particular, highlights this change in priorities as corporations continue to favour travel rewards as part of their reward and recognition programme but now, decisively, want to travel with a conscience. Overall, the top ranked programme inclusions, as selected by our global community in 2020, place the emphasis on the intrinsic joy of travel and put the qualifier centre stage,

building the programme around rejuvenation (wellness) and destination discovery and delight, all peppered by notions of responsible travel and giving back to communities. Everything gets washed away in the flood The ongoing impact of the pandemic has been like the biblical flood, with everything washed away without filter or discrimination. We have lost many precious things along the way and here I’m mainly thinking of the IP, the expertise and the great talent that may have migrated elsewhere, leaving our industry, in search of gainful employment elsewhere. But we’re also losing the unnecessary and downright harmful things that we accumulated along the way – our conspicuous consumption, for example, our wastefulness, our obsession with financial metrics and returns, our poor record at work/life balance. So, for 2021, I am looking forward to being part of a kinder, more balanced, more empathetic industry that walks the walk in relation to ESG (environmental/social/governance) and leverages only benefits from the awesome, transformational power of travel experiences.

Who is Pádraic Gilligan? Pádraic Gilligan is managing partner at SoolNua Marketing Ltd, a specialist agency working with business events enterprises and associations on strategy, marketing, training and research. He also serves as Chief Marketing Officer for SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.

1. https://www.incentiveindex.com/

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


Email: info@sitesouthernafrica.com www.sitesouthernafrica.com www.siteglobal.com


Now is the time for young event professionals to future-proof their skills If our industry has learned anything from the pandemic, it is that no future is certain, dramatic change can happen overnight, and that those who can adapt the fastest will fare the best in changing times.


or young professionals in the exhibition sector, now is a good time to hone existing skills and develop new ones – particularly in the digital arena. As many events develop a virtual conference component, demand is now emerging for resources, with both exhibition and digital skills, to assist in planning and executing flawless webinars and virtual trade shows. The planning, production, and marketing of virtual events is somewhat different from those of real-life events and requires expanded digital and technical skill sets and

creativity. Demand for virtual event technologists and technical support teams will likely emerge, in which companies and event planners need specialised staff to source or manage the technology for virtual events. Specialised virtual event production skills, and lighting and audio skills, will likely also become important as virtual event planners up their game and seek more polished and professional online events. Social media marketing skills are also increasingly important for both live and virtual events promotion. For MCs and moderators, now is a good time to polish your virtual

By Suzette Scheepers, chief executive officer of Messe Meunchen South Africa and board member of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) performance, as online events will demand a different approach to face-to-face events. Finally, now is a good time to make an extra effort to look after your key USP – yourself. Anxiety and uncertainty could undermine your confidence and your health. Engage in activities that are good for your soul, eat well, keep fit, and try to remain positive. You will need all your skills, energy and positivity as we build our industry back up and get growth back on track.


Changing gear and inspiring change The theme for this year’s SAACI National Congress – ‘Changing gear and inspiring change’ — confidence in business events – is designed to challenge and dare us to find solutions for the unusual times we currently live and work in.


outhern Africa – in fact, the entire globe – is facing challenging and unknown times. Our industry too, is affected by this. It cannot be business as usual, in fact it is business unusual. We could choose to embrace the challenges and face the uncertainty head-on by ‘changing gear and inspiring change’, or we may choose to become victims of the times we are faced with and put our heads in the sand in the hope that all the challenges facing our industry will simply go away on their own. Now, here we are more than a year down the line, having learnt a lot about ourselves personally as well as our industry. With the arrival of the vaccine we can now look forward to recovery coming. We all want to get back to the business of connecting people, ideas and opportunities. We also know that you want

answers and insights on what the future holds for your businesses and our industry. The theme for the SAACI 2021 Annual National Congress seeks to change the gear in which the business events industry finds itself in a postpandemic world. In partnership with the City of Johannesburg, we have a jam-packed programme designed to assist you in growing your business. The congress aims to provide an opportunity to collaborate, engage with one another and gain knowledge from the expert speaker program compiled, to ensure that, by attending the conference, delegates and their businesses will indeed survive in a disruptive environment. The Programme Committee has worked tirelessly to ensure that we: • Place a spotlight on where the business events industry currently finds itself.

By Glenton de Kock, chief executive officer of SAACI. • Have discussions to find solutions on key areas effecting our sector. • Hear from experts that have made positive changes in their environment and how you could adapt those changes to your personal life or business. We know that the industry has been disrupted and has accelerated trends in ways we did not see coming. It is time to change gear and inspire change in order to thrive in the future. Making connections is a cornerstone of why we all gather at events. By offering a combination of a streaming broadcast and an in-person live event, we look forward to connecting with you where, how, and when you want to participate.


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.


Visit our online community: www.saaci.org www.saacicongress.org www.saaci-academy.org

+27(0)11 880 5883 info@saaci.org

Business Business Events Events Africa Africa October May 2020 2021 35 Learning | Growth | collaboration



– as we rebuild and recover Confidence begins with the individual. Our industry needs key individuals at decision making level to #TrustUS as we build on the recovery of the business events and exhibition industry. What has not passed is the uncertainty, severe limitations and restrictions that are compromising our industry’s survival and pathway to recovery. By Glenton De Kock, chief executive officer of SAACI


he business conditions remain challenging, and in some cases, they have worsened for 2021. The industry still faces critical challenges over the next six to ten months whilst the market regains confidence to plan, deliver, book, and pay to attend events across the country. Investment in ongoing, targeted support is required, as an urgent priority, to ensure that we are able to sustain our sector and retain our event professionals into the future. We are not calling for hand-outs, but for government and corporate South Africa to book, meet in-person and do so regularly, on a small basis to begin the rebuild towards recovery. For the industry to return to its proven 36 Business Events Africa May 2021

position as a major economic driver for the South African economy, short term targeted support is critical for retaining core capacity and capability. Indicators for a return to in-person business events in the next six months are looking good. Furthermore, we need to survive now, to make it to the six-month mark. To do that, we need additional and targeted government support. The SA Events Council will continue its engagement with government towards achieving these critical outcomes. As a private sector collective, we have provided sufficient evidence throughout 2020, by hosting several proof-ofconcept events that demonstrated our ability to host, deliver and ensure stringent adherence to the Health and

Safety Protocols that are aligned to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) for business events and exhibitions. Now is the time to #TrustUS. Any further delays will not only see more job losses and business failures in the short term but also long-term ramifications for the economic potential of the industry. We will lose market share to other countries that may just never return. e: hello@saeventscouncil.org



Shifting our focus to growth and recovery Our industry’s recovery and growth is going to need more than just our grit, passion, drive, desire and dedication.


o take control of our recovery and growth and to make it actually happen, we also need a single, simple, unwavering and structured growth strategy that is able to ride uncertainty and change. One that may move around the obstacles to our growth, through decisive leadership, through a shift in focus and through growth cycles, to support our Industry value and marketability. While we await government talks to be finally concluded regarding the placement of a temporary waiver on certain intellectual property of Covid-19 medical tools and technology, until herd immunity is reached, which will serve to enable countries to produce Covid-19 vaccines on a large scale, at lower prices and to increase accessibility to the vaccine, what could we do in the interim? Time is our most precious currency and

waiting two to three years for vaccines to be distributed globally, is not feasible, nor is it acceptable. As we eagerly look for opportunities to rebuild our industry business in this Covid-19 era, knowing that exhibitions and business events will drive economic recovery, invigorate and ignite our individual businesses and the entire Industry, let’s look to domestic markets and lead with the value we bring to the table. We are all responsible for rebuilding our Industry and while we await the outcomes of each and every initiative that we have undertaken, what is required of us now as a collective, is a shift in our business model. Whilst travel restrictions are in place, and in that they may be for a while yet, and in that we face challenges posed with the re-emergence of the virus in varying degrees and waves, let’s shift our focus to domestic and get the ball rolling. As a

By Gill Gibbs, chairperson of EXSA

fraternity of creators, ideators, designers, organisers, suppliers, venues, planners and implementers, this is a call to action for all of us to rebuild and recover – locally. Offering contactless interaction and engagement and keeping up with technology developments continue to be critical components for our drive to grow business domestically in this new normal era. So too will be pricing systems that encourage local business interaction.


Premier Resort Cutty Sark.

Premier Hotel Quatermain.

Investment plans in a struggling SA tourism sector

Throughout 2020, while many hotel groups paused development, there were hotel chains that chose to boost the hospitality and tourism sectors to create more possibilities for guests.


nationwide hotel group has emerged from lockdown after a half a billion-rand investment bolstering two new-builds and four refurbished properties across South Africa, boosting the tourism sector after travel restrictions having been lifted. Premier Hotels & Resorts strategically chose to acquire land in Umhlanga and develop during the pandemic. This is certainly reassuring for the revival of the industry and the securement of jobs. Its significant R365-million spend covered the construction of two hotels on one precinct, high up on Umhlanga Ridge in KwaZulu-Natal. The new builds are a

four-star Premier Hotel Umhlanga with 127 bedrooms designed to maximise the use of its location, with all bedrooms having unrivalled Indian Ocean views and balcony access and a three-star Premier Splendid Inn Umhlanga that will feature 63 bedrooms, its own 50-seater restaurant along with a spectacular conference centre. “This marks another milestone as we expand and project the brand’s robust growth in the region, further showcasing the group’s strong commitment to South Africa,” said Samuel Nassimov, managing director of Premier Hotels & Resorts. “Low occupancy rates generated its own set of challenges, but we remain optimistic and

Premier Hotel Roodevalley.

38 Business Events Africa May 2021

relentless in finding efficiencies to maximise future opportunities.” An appetite for travel still definitely exists, with business travellers and travel confidence continuously increasing, but corporate travel can only be expected to recover considerably, to pre-pandemic levels, by June 2022. Covid-19 has pushed the tourism industry to breaking point. Unfortunately, research also indicates that the recovery process may still take years. It is estimated that while the average number of business trips per traveller was six to eight per year in pre-Covid times, this number is forecasted to fall to three to four trips per annum until the year 2023. According to Stats SA, income from accommodation decreased by 66,8 per cent year-on-year in November 2020, the result of a 52,7 per cent decrease in the number of stay unit nights sold and a 29,7 per cent decrease in the average income per stay unit sold. The largest decline in income was reported by hotels, down 69,6 per cent. “Our decision to invest in Umhlanga, even during this difficult time, is testament to the confidence we have in South Africa’s ability to recover economically,” Mr Nassimov said. “The Umhlanga project will position the Premier Group as a firm www.businesseventsafrica.com


favourite amongst holiday makers as well as corporate, government and international clientele – as we strive to secure a hotel presence in every major city.” Premier Umhlanga, a hospitality haven for discerning travellers, boasts a 120-seater restaurant and bar, swimming pool and a flexible, fully sub-divisible conference centre, accessible via the three-star property, catering for up to 300 attendees. It has a magnificent open-air timber view deck with glass balustrade, allowing conference delegates to enjoy views of the surrounding Umhlanga precinct from the tenth floor. The urban-styled, modern and contemporary Premier Splendid Inn Umhlanga will feature 63 bedrooms, its own 50-seater restaurant and conference centre. Guests in this seven-floor hotel are able to access the third-floor rooftop pool with main access from the four-star property. Premier also acquired two properties in Sandton (Premier Hotel Quartermain and Premier Hotel Fallstaff) to renovate during the downturn of business travel. “We also made significant investments into renovations of two of our resort offerings as well, namely Premier Hotel Roodevalley and Premier Resort Cutty Sark to support the appetite for local travel,” Mr Nassimov shared. The investment into Cutty Sark, a famous landmark resort in Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast, helped to restore it to its former glory, so that it could reopen in time for the holiday season late last year. It

Premier Hotel Umhlanga.

encompassed a complete refurbishment of all 59 sea-facing rooms, adding a further 39 rooms and upgrading furnishings, decor, and equipment. The resort is a completely reimagined mecca for holiday makers, leisure seekers, conference groups and diving enthusiasts with a dive school that specialises in the Aliwal Shoal Diving Experience. It now boasts a new swimming pool, outdoor terrace with spectacular views, cocktail pool deck experience, with direct access to the swimming beach – as well as upgraded bars, restaurants and pizza oven, new facades, extensive upgrades to the dining room, foyer and reception areas. The new, modern conference centre opened last month. “South Africans are now eager to travel locally and explore, looking for ways to

reconnect with family and friends in a safe environment,” Mr Nassimov said. “We are grateful to be welcoming new and returning guests to Premier’s four resort properties across the country, and we have taken every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our guests and staff.” "Last year’s challenging circumstances have driven our appetite to breathe life back into the South African hospitality and tourism industries and these major investments reaffirm our commitment to the sector,” he concluded. Condé Nast Traveller (CNT) has listed South Africa as one of the best holiday destinations for 2021. With South Africa listed as a top holiday destination for 2021 there’s still hope that the hospitality industry’s five-year history of being explosive, is set to change.

May 2021 Vol 41 No 5 ADVERTISER









Event Greening Forum









IFC, 14



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OFC, 6







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Business Events Africa May 2021 39



EASTERN CAPE Chairperson: Alistair Stead e: alastair@scandisplay.africa c: +27 (0)73 236 6618 Vice-chairperson: Melissa Palmer e: melissa@becbc.co.za c: +27 (0)82 437 7600

Learning | Growth | collaboration EXCO AND HEAD OFFICE Chairperson: Kim Roberts e: info@mise-en-placesolutions.com t: +27 (0)82 652 2008

Treasurer: Andrew Stewart e: andrew@periexpo.co.za c: +27 (0)82 578 5987 COMMITTEE: David Limbert e: david@magnetic.co.za c: +27 (0)82 9064 198

Mabuyi Mosia c: +27 (0)71 117 7509 e: mabuyi@ikhono.co.za

Bianca van Niekerk t: +27 (0)21 410 5000 e: biancav@cticc.co.za

Denver Manickum c: +27 (0)83 482 8525 e: denver@icube.co.za

Stefan Huggett c: +27 (0)83 740 8897 e: stefanh@spier.co.za

Kavitha Dhawnath c: +27 (0)83 607 2006 e: kavitha.dhawnath@gearhouse. co.za

Gheeta Payle t: +27 (0)86 123 7890 e: gheeta.payle@inhousevtm.com

Wiseman Mnguni c: +27 (0)78 220 2162 e: mboniseni.events@gmail.com Sandile Dlamini c: +27 (0)79 104 5510 e: sandile@anzomode.co.za

Vice-chairperson: Jaques Fouche e: jaques@formative.co.za c: +27 (0)60 993 7542

Gill Dickie e: gilld@bidvestcarrental.co.za c: +27 (0)79 527 7619

Treasurer: Glenn van Eck e: glenn@magnetic.co.za c: +27 (0)82 800 2612

Wanda Fourie e: registration@easternsun.co.za c: +27 (0)72 608 1641

Chairperson: Corné Engelbrecht e: corne@savetcon.co.za c: +27 (0)82 925 9241

Public officer: Denise Kemp e: denise@easternsun.co.za c: +27 (0)82 654 9755

Claire Kivedo e: claire@overallevents.co.za c: +27 (0)82 464 1504

Treasurer: Refilwe Nchebisang t: +27 (0)76 055 1346 e: rnchebisang@csir.co.za

Chief executive officer: Glenton De Kock e: ceo@saaci.org c: +27 (0)82 575 7565

Nabeelah Sharmar e: nabeela@greenroom.co.za c: +27 (0)83 661 4140


Membership services consultant: Alshanthé Smith t: +27 (0)71 299 0601 e: members@saaci.org BOARD MEMBERS Chairperson: Kim Roberts e: info@mise-en-placesolutions.com t: +27 (0)82 652 2008 Vice-chairperson: Jaques Fouche e: jaques@formative.co.za c: +27 (0)60 993 7542 Treasurer: Glenn van Eck e: glenn@magnetic.co.za c: +27 (0)82 800 2612 Public officer: Denise Kemp e: denise@easternsun.co.za c: +27 (0)82 654 9755 Eastern Cape Chairperson: Alistair Stead e: alastair@scandisplay.africa c: +27 (0)73 236 6618 KwaZulu-Natal Chairperson: Irene Vallihu c: +27 (0)79 692 4604 e: irenev@icc.co.za Johannesburg Chairperson: John Arvanitakis t: +27 (0)83 415 2774 e: john@chatr.co.za Western Cape Chairperson: Angela Lorimer c: +27 (0)74 550 1000 e: angelajacobson862@yahoo.co.za Tshwane Chairperson: Corné Engelbrecht e: corne@savetcon.co.za c: +27 (0)82 925 9241 Co-opted Youth Ambassador: Minister Kganyango e: mkganyago@csir.co.za c: +27 (0)79 513 8708 Co-opted Learning Ambassador: Lorin Bowen e: lorin@lorinbowen.co.za c: +27 (0)82 433 8687

Hayley Pretorius e: ec.za@saaci.org c: +27 (0)62 758 7933 JOHANNESBURG Chairperson: John Arvanitakis Chat'r Xperience t: +27 (0)83 415 2774 e: john@chatr.co.za Vice Chairperson: Emma Kumalo Potters Hand Activations t: +27 (0)84 250 6850 e: emma@pottershand.co.za Treasurer: Chris de Lancey Multi-Media t: +27 (0)82 854 2230 e: chris@multi-media.co.za COMMITTEE: Angelique Smith SAACI Johannesburg c: +27 (0)60 970 7653 e: angie@eventsynthesis.co.za Leigh Anne Luis, Upatone t: +27 (0)82 409 3680 e: leighanne@upatone.co.za Rendani Khorommbi Joburg Tourism t: +27 (0)11 883 3525 c: +27 (0)82 773 2999 e: rendanik@joburgtourism.com KWAZULU-NATAL Chairperson: Irene Vallihu c: +27 (0)79 692 4604 e: irenev@icc.co.za Vice-chairperson: Gill Slaughter c: +27 (0)83 269 0279 e: gills@turnersconferences.co.za Treasurer: Sibusiso Mncwabe c: +27 (0)83 477 5536 e: sibusiso@marketingwell.co.za COMMITTEE: Tarannum Banatwalla c: +27 (0)83 254 9462 e: tarannum@jellyfishcatering.co.za Kim Jackson c: +27 (0)82 378 2264 e: kimj@goldcircle.co.za

40 Business Events Africa May 2021

Lara Van Zyl c: +27 (0)82 223 4684 e: wc.za@saaci.org



Herkie du Preez c: +27 (0)82 839 3489 e: herkie@eventwizards.co.za Melanie Pretorius c: +27 (0)82 410 1202 e: melanie.pretorius@mweb.co.za Riaan Maritz c: +27 (0)82 899 7612 e: riaanm@atkv.org.za Tumi Tsatsi c: +27 (0)78 373 9790 e: tumi@eventwizards.co.za Heather Heskes c: +27 (0)76 321 6111 e: tsh.za@saaci.org

EXSA OFFICE www.exsa.co.za Chairperson: Gill Gibbs BluCube t: +27 (0)83 260 8035 e: gill@blu3.co.za Vice chairperson: Sibusiso Mchwabe (KZN) Marketing Well t: +27 (0)83 477 5536 e: sibusiso@marketingwell.co.za

Leon Pheiffer e: leon@ephproductions.co.za e: leon@montededios.co.za c: +27 (0)72 616 5390

Treasurer: Ishmail Antatasi GL - events t: +27 (0)83 212 7338 e: ishmael.atanasi@gl-events.com


Past chairperson: Doug Rix DK Designs t: +27 (0)82 579 7071 e: dougrix@wol.co.za Directors:

Chairperson: Angela Lorimer c: +27 (0)74 550 1000 e: angelajacobson862@yahoo.co.za e: salesmanager@ lagoonbeachhotel.co.za Vice-chairperson: Alex Wrottesley c: +27 (0)21 430 2060 e: alex@intoafrica.co.za Treasurer: Thiru Naidoo t: +27 (0)21 487 8600 e: thiru@wesgro.co.za COMMITTEE: Ansu Colditz c: +27 (0)82 457 8071 e: ansuc@millenniumtravel.co.za Esti Venske t: +27 (0)21 460 3518 e: estivenske@gmail.com Zimkitha Bavuma c: +27 (0)72 172 5746 e: zim@live.co.za

Sandile Dlamini Anzamode t: +27 (0)79 104 5510 e: sandile@anzomode.co.za Kerry-Lee Bester Brilliant Branding t: +27 (0)72 265 6600 e: kerry@brilliant-branding.co.za Jacqui Nel (EC) Exhibition Freighting G.S.M. t: +27 (0)21 552 7248 e: jacquinel@ef-gsm.co.za Liam Beattie Hott 3D t: +27 (0)76 577 0989 e: liam@hott.co.za

Esmare Steinhofel c: +27 (0)84 056 5544 e: esmare.s@iccaworld.org

Chad Botha Inspire Furniture Rentals t: +27 (0)76 644 0271 e: info@inspirefurniture.co.za

Andrew Gibson t: +27 (0)860 111 625 e: Andrew@magnetic.co.za e: andrew.msct@gmail.com

Beert Kuiken Octanorm t: +27 (0)82 387 5324 e: beert.kuiken@octanorm.co.za




Kim Roberts, SAACI national chair Kevan Jones, SACIA executive director


Justin van Wyk, SALPA chair Septi Bukula, SITE member Sharif Baker, TPSA chairperson; SACIA board member President: Tes Proos c: +27 (0) 84 682 7676 e: tes@crystalevents.co.za


International board member: Daryl Keywood c: +27 (0)82 904 4967 e: daryl@walthers.co.za Treasurer: Peter-John Mitrovich c: +27 (0)82 318 1889 e: peter-john.mitrovich@ grosvenortours.com Board member at large: Rick Taylor East Africa (Rwanda): Chris Munyao North Africa: George Fawzi North Africa support: Brad Glen Young Leadership: Clinton Els Secretariat & Events: Gauteng: Clare Neall c: +27 76 898 0420 e: clare@eventstuff.co.za Western Cape: Mariaan Burger c: +27 (0)82 557 8041 e: info@sitesouthernafrica.com


Chairperson: Greg McManus, Heritage Environmental Management Services 46 Waterford Office Park, Waterford Drive, Fourways, Johannesburg t: +27 (0)11 465 8955 e: aaxo@aaxo.co.za Association coordinator: Molebegeng Masote e: mole@aaxo.co.za Chairperson: Projeni Pather, Exposure Marketing e: projeni@exposuremarketing.co.za Vice-chairperson: Devi Paulsen-Abbott, dmg events e: devipaulsen@dmgevents.com Treasurer: Mark Anderson, Specialised Exhibitions e: marka@specialised.com Board of directors: Carol Weaving, Reed Exhibitions e: carol.weaving@reedexpoafrica.co.za Chanelle Hingston, Clarion Events Africa e: chanelle.hingston@clarionevents.com

e: hello@saeventscouncil.org Chairperson: Tes Proos, SITE president Vice-chairperson: Glenton de Kock, SAACI chief executive officer Interim treasurer: Glenn van Eck, CEPA chair Spokesperson: Projeni Pather, AAXO chair

Phetogo Kubheka, Synergy Business Events e: phetogo@synergybe.co.za Suzette Scheepers, Messe Muenchen South Africa e: suzette.scheepers@mm-sa.com


Members Tiisetso Tau, AAXO member Corne Koch, Best Cities Global Alliance chair

Mike Lord, Event Safety Council interim chair Sibusiso Mncwabe, EXSA board member; EXSA KZN Forum Chair; SAACI KZN committee member and treasurer Chad Botha, EXSA board member Doug Rix, EXSA board member Gill Gibbs, EXSA chairperson Taubie Motlhabane, ICCA Africa chapter chair Esmare Steinhofel, ICCA Africa, regional director Ellen Oosthuizen, PCO Alliance network chair Charlotte Kemp, PSASA deputy president


Vice-chairperson: Morwesi Ramonyai, Borena Energy Treasurer: Justin Hawes, Scan Display Secretariat: Lynn McLeod e: lynn@eventgreening.co.za Marketing: Pippa Naudé e: pippa@eventgreening.co.za OTHER ASSOCIATIONS OF INTEREST ABTA – African Business Travel Association Box 2594, Pinegowrie, 2123 t: +27 (0)11 888 8178 c: +27 (0)83 679 2110 e: monique@abta.co.za | www.abta. co.za Founder: Monique Swart ASATA – Association of Southern African Travel Agents PO Box 650539, Benmore, 2010 t: +27 (0)11 293 0560/61 e: barbara@asata.co.za e: general@asata.co.za Office manager: Barbara Viljoen Council of Event Professionals Africa M16 Ticketpro Dome Cnr. Northumberland & Olievenhout Roads, Northriding Executive Director: Kevan Jones kevan@sacia.org.za t: +27 (0)11 083 6418 c: +27 (0)82 555 5556 Chairperson: Glenn van Eck Magnetic Storm c: +27 (0)82 800 2616 e: glenn@magnetic.co.za

Carol Weaving, AAXO board member

Justin Hawes, Event Greening Forum treasurer

179 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North, Private Bag X7000, Parklands 2121 t: +27 (0)11 447 4777 e: info@eventgreening.co.za www.eventgreening.co.za

ICCA African Chapter Chairperson: Taubie Motlhabane Cape Town International Convention Centre t: +27 (0)21 410 5000 e: Taubiem@cticc.co.za

FEDHASA National Office – Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa PO Box 3853, The Reeds, 0157 c: +27 (0)82 552 9862 e: ceo@fedhasa.co.za www.fedhasa.co.za Chief executive: Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa

Deputy chairperson: Jacinta Nzioka Kenya National Convention Bureau t: +254 722464221 e: jacinta@kncb.go.ke

PSASA – Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa t: +27 (0)11 462 9465 c: +27 (0)83 458 6114 e: admin@psasouthernafrica.co.za www.psasouthernafrica.co.za

Secretariat: Esmaré Steinhöfel ICCA Africa Regional director c: +27 (0)84 056 5544 e: esmare.s@iccaworld.org www.iccaworld.com/dbs/africanchapter www.iccaworld.org

SABOA – Southern African Bus Operators Association Postnet Suite 393, Private Bag X033, Rivonia 2128 t: +27 (0)11 511 7641 e: saboa@saboa.co.za www.saboa.co.za

SACIA – Southern African Communications Industries Association M16 Ticketpro Dome Cnr. Northumberland & Olievenhout Roads, Northriding t: +27 (0)11 083 6418 c: +27 (0)82 555 5556 e: kevan@sacia.org.za Executive director: Kevan Jones SATI – South African Translators’ Institute Executive director: Marion Boers t: +27 (0)11 803 2681 e: office@translators.org.za www.translators.org.za SATSA – Southern Africa Tourism Services Association Box 900, Ferndale 2160 t: +27 (0)11 886 9996 e: pa@satsa.co.za www.satsa.com SKAL International South Africa Secretary: Anne Lamb t: +27 (0)21 434 7023 c: +27 (0)82 708 1836 e: anne@yebo.co.za www.skalsouthafrica.org STA – Sandton Tourism Association t: +27 (0)83 558 5445 e: secretariat@sandtontourism.com www.sandtontourism.com TBCSA – Tourism Business Council of South Africa Box 11655, Centurion 0046 t: +27 (0)12 664 0120 e: comms@tbcsa.travel www.tbcsa.travel www.tomsa.co.za 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 e: enquiries@tourismgrading.co.za TINSA – Interpreters/ Translators Network of Southern Africa e: info@interpreter.org.za t/f: +27 (0)11 485 2511 c: +27 (0)83 249 0010 www.interpreter.org.za TPSA – Technical Production Services Association M16 Ticketpro Dome Cnr. Northumberland & Olievenhout Roads, Northriding t: +27 (0)11 083 6418 c: +27 (0)82 555 5556 e: kevan@sacia.org.za www.tpsa.co.za Executive director: Kevan Jones TTA – Tshwane Tourism Association Box 395, Pretoria 0001 t: +27 (0)12 841 4212 e: secretary@tshwanetourism.com www.tshwanetourism.com Chairperson: Bronwen Cadle de Ponte Secretary: Sithembile Nzimande Membership coordinator: Liz Oosthuysen e: membership@tshwanetourism.com

Business Events Africa May 2021 41


The success behind family-run businesses Most of the largest companies in any economy are family-owned companies, and, on average, family-owned companies perform better and last longer when compared to other businesses. Clinton Armour, chief executive officer of ANEW Hotels & Resorts, shares why he thinks that being family-run has played a huge role in their success, even during a global pandemic.


any of the biggest businesses and multinational companies in the world are family-run, and most of us don’t even know it, including Nike, Volkswagen, Samsung Electronics and Walmart. Traditionally, family businesses are built on strong relationships and genuine care for one another, making for a more personal experience. When those characteristics are linked to hospitality, it makes for an exceptional product. While leisure travel is still rooted in location, there has been a trend towards visitors looking for more authentic experiences and a more hands-on approach, which, oftentimes, is what smaller, family-owned and operated businesses are able to provide. That said, there are considerable strengths in family businesses, but there may also be weaknesses. When running and operating a family business, there’s a lot to think about, especially when you consider the personal and business dynamics that come into play. At ANEW, we’re very fortunate to have a level of trust in each other, which is crucial when running a business. Open communication is also high on our priority list because, as the business grows and inevitably changes, so will the roles within the company. It is, therefore, vital to create a structure and formalise key roles. A deficit of designated roles within the family may lead to potential weaknesses, where people get involved in different business areas that won’t necessarily be of value to the growth of the business or the individual. So, businesses need to structure good communication and define key roles, ultimately eliminating any potential

42 Business Events Africa May 2021

weaknesses that stem from working with family members. Then, there’s only strength that follows. The benefits of family-run businesses should also be noted. There have been a tremendous amount of success stories with family businesses getting involved in communities. For years, family businesses have been tapping into those little pockets of excellence and have become a benefit to the community around them. It is vital, as a family business, certainly within a South African context, to realise the importance of transformation and assisting and benefitting the communities around where the sphere of influence is. It could also be said that family businesses certainly have a competitive advantage, especially in the face of challenges. Let’s look at the Covid-19 pandemic and compare a family-run business like ANEW to a major corporation. We could adapt very quickly and be more agile in our approach to mitigating a potential disaster. We could steer the ship much quicker and make rapid decisions because of the system we’ve created. In times of strife, most healthy families come together to support each other, and that’s what ANEW’s approach was. And, while everybody has undoubtedly felt the impact of the pandemic in one way or another, we hope that the vast majority of our staff have really felt comforted, being part of our brand and our family during this time. At ANEW, we’ve got a very particular set of values that we aspire to live and work by. These are honour, integrity, teamwork, excellence and courage. Honour and integrity in everything we do, how we

Clinton Armour, chief executive officer of ANEW Hotels & Resorts.

serve our guests, our staff and the community. Teamwork and excellence go hand-in-hand as we’re dedicated to being as meticulous as possible and exceeding expectations. Finally, the courage to not only face but embrace challenges in our way and use these opportunities for learning and growth. I believe that living by these values certainly contributes to our business’s success. As we grow the brand, we continue to make those characteristics and values a part of everything we do. Ultimately, if you believe in something and you’re determined and passionate about your business, it may become a success. Do your homework and speak to mentors and industry professionals from whom you may learn; people who’ve run the race for a long time and who have industry and business knowledge to pass down. Also, one of the biggest misconceptions that business owners have is that a company needs to be successful right away. There’s no quick fix to success; it doesn’t happen overnight. Everything is a learning process. As a business, ANEW has made a point of learning and growing from the challenges we have faced. I think that the biggest flame in those times of discouragement and hopelessness was our ability to push through and accept the lessons being learnt. Remember that, in those difficult times, without realising it, there are seeds that are being planted that will come into fruition later. So keep pushing through, and of course, don’t give up. www.businesseventsafrica.com



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