Business Events Africa — May 2024

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Vol 44 No 5 MAY 2024 Voice of the Business Events Industry in Africa MEETING YOUR DEMANDS EXCEEDING YOUR EXPECTATIONS

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Sales and Events Coordinator


M: 073 896 6700

Sales and Events Coordinator


M: 073 896 3835

Tumi Setshedi Kimendrie Pillay


About the cover

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

The Johannesburg Expo Centre, south of Johannesburg, is renowned as one of the country’s most sought-after venues.

8 Johannesburg Expo Centre –a versatile canvas for events.

On the pages


4 Finding inspiration.


5 South Africa’s Tourism sector continues a positive trajectory.

6 Global Exhibitions Day 2024 celebrates exhibitions.


7 Beyond Borders — ICCA’s digital snapshot of how business events have shaped the world, and what’s coming next.


12 ANEW Hotel Parktonian — A prominent venue for business travellers.


14 Mandela Bay Development Agency offers facilities for every occasion.


17 City Lodge Hotels’ Clifford Ross inducted into FEDHASA Hall of Fame.


18 The Tourism Investment Forum Africa 2024 — generates solid leads.


20 Michelle Booth launches MICE Management.


22 Choosing the perfect setting for your next conference?


24 Meet, interact, connect, and network at JSE venues.


27 Industry leaders gather in Kigali for the UFI Middle East & Africa Conference.


28 Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 generates over R500-million for Durban.


30 Implementation is the focus of Net Zero Carbon Events in 2024.


32 BlackBrick expands its footprint. significant increase in attendees.

33 Hilton Sandton to be rebranded to NH Sandton.

34 Radisson Hotel Group launches visionary Radisson Meetings Unbound.

35 Durban ICC nominated for Africa’s top award at World Travel Awards.


36 South Africa’s global reputation surpasses expectation.

37 Redefining hospitality: Hotel and Hospitality Expo Africa 2024.

38 Rainbow Tourism Group and Grand Metropolitan Hotels in joint venture.

39 Registration for 11th International Adventure Conference 2024 — now open.

40 Record-breaking WTM Africa 2024 signals surging interest in African tourism.

Association news


41 Ensuring a fulfilling employee experience.


42 Immersive experiences in abundance.


44 The essential role of reputable suppliers in event and exhibition planning: a perspective from EXSA.


46 Driving change: embracing sustainability in events.


47 Events and exhibitions are vital.



48 Directory of associations.


50 Building hope and confidence: Cape Town’s post-pandemic renaissance. INDEX

50 Index of advertisers and contributors. THE LAST WORD

51 Collaboration in hospitality and tourism set to strengthen South Africa.

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 (0)31 764 6977 FAX: 086 762 1867


EDITOR: Irene Costa



SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Irene Costa +27 (0)82 558 7387


Business Events Africa May 2024 — Volume 44 No 5 Business Events Africa has 12 issues a year and is published monthly. This magazine is currently only available in digital format. Official Journal of the Southern Africa Chapter of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence publishers of Business Events Africa, is a member of: Official journal of the Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa Official media partner
VOL 44 NO 5 — MAY 2024 Business Events Africa: serving the business events industry for 44 years
Cover Feature
Vol 44 No 5 MAY 2024 Voice of the Business Events Industry in Africa

Finding inspiration

The fast-paced world we find ourselves in today certainly creates new challenges.

Challenges that are, at times, overwhelming.

I often think of myself as juggling a set of balls up in the air, trying to keep each one afloat, with the risk of at least one falling. This is because we are living in an exceptionally busy time.

This year is moving at lightning speed for the business events industry. Business events are definitely back in full force, but why is it that we are feeling overwhelmed?

From what I gathered, and what I have seen within our own organisation, we went from a big team, to a small team during Covid-19. Even with companies expanding their teams, they are not employing the same amount of people as they did pre-Covid, and the people that they are recruiting lack the skills required, as they are from outside the sector. Furthermore, what has also happened is that people are doing more than one person’s job, in a company.

The good thing is that the industry is seeing an increase in new blood, but on the

downside, do we have the time to upskill people in this fast-paced environment? The fact is that you need to find the time or look for industry short courses, via a university or training institution. Trade associations would also be able to assist with information on these training courses.

In the go-go environment in which we find ourselves, we can definitely see people are tired, and something has to change.

As we head into the sixth month of the year, we need to stop and re-strategise. We need to find the inspiration which we lost, as we are all on autopilot, making things happen.

To add to the pressure, budgets are so much tighter. People want the same conference, event, or service that they received a few years ago, but for less.

Where do we recoup what we lost during the lockdowns?

Then, add to the mix, sustainability — which I totally agree is a non-negotiable, and the introduction of AI into companies’

communications, without losing the personal touch. These are just two of the trends that are top of mind at the moment.

In addition, maybe for just a moment, let’s put away all those balls we currently have in the air.

Remember, your people are your biggest asset — stop, take the time to listen and communicate with them. Then, slowly start again, maybe you don’t need all those balls in the air.

The business events industry is a small sector, made of inspirational people. Take the time to reconnect where you can — and listen to one another. Make use of the upcoming industry events to do this. We are definitely not alone.

This is where the trade associations can play a pivotal role.


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

South Africa’s Tourism sector continues a positive trajectory

The latest official release of international arrival figures by Statistics South Africa for January to March 2024 points to a robust and growing South African tourism sector.

International tourist arrivals from January to March 2024 totalled 2.4 million, representing a remarkable 15.4 per cent increase when compared with the same period in 2023.

Africa leads the way

• South Africa welcomed 1.8 million tourist arrivals from the rest of the African continent between January and March 2024, marking a significant 74.5 per cent of all arrivals.

• Zimbabwe and Ghana stood out for their remarkable growth, with Zimbabwe experiencing a 21.8 per cent increase in tourist arrivals to South Africa when compared to the first three months of 2023, totalling 613,675 arrivals, while Ghana recorded a 249,4 per cent increase when compared to the same period in 2023, reaching 7,904 arrivals for January to March 2024.

Minister de Lille expressed further appreciation of the continued remarkable growth in arrival numbers from the African continent, especially Ghana.


She adds, “Ghana’s immense performance can be attributed to the fact that South Africa and Ghana announced a visa-waiver scheme on 1 November 2023. The visawaiver allows for travel for periods of up to 90 days within a calendar year, for purposes of business or tourism. This coupled, with

targeted integrated marketing initiatives executed by South African Tourism to attract visitors from this market makes for a winning formula for the growth of our sector.”

Travellers from other parts of the world also continued to show their appreciation and love for South Africa.

Strong momentum from the Americas (North and South America)

• Tourist arrivals from the Americas registered at 118,194 from January to March 2024, reflecting a 12.4 per cent growth compared to the same period in 2023.

Strength in European markets

• From January to March 2024, South Africa saw 420,727 tourist arrivals from Europe, an 8.6 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2023.

• The United Kingdom remains the top European source market, with 125,420 tourists choosing South Africa, marking a 5.3 per cent growth compared to 2023.

• Germany experienced a 9.9 per cent increase in arrivals compared to the same period in 2023, amounting to 98,954 tourists.

• This was followed by the Netherlands, which saw an increase of 9.9 per cent when compared to 2023, amounting to

37,548 tourist arrivals between January and March 2024.

• Russia exhibited a dramatic growth of 9.6 per cent when compared to 2023, contributing 9,329 arrivals in 2024.

Noteworthy growth from the Asia markets

• Asian markets also showed significant growth with a total of 49,741 arrivals from the region, representing an astounding 25.4 per cent when compared to the same period in 2023.

• We welcomed 16,209 tourists from India, a 0.9 per cent lower compared to 2023.

• Notably, South Africa received 11,017 visitors from China registering, a massive 82 per cent increase in the first three months of 2024 when compared to the same period in 2023.

Middle East arrivals

• South Africa received 2,387 arrivals from Saudi Arabia in 2024, marking an increase of 31.7 per cent when compared to 2023.

• The United Arab Emirates saw 321 arrivals to South Africa in January to March 2024. “The tourism sector is a significant contributor to the economy and job creation. We are determined to continue with this momentum. South Africa remains attractive and accessible for all travellers to enjoy,” Minister de Lille concluded.

Business Events Africa May 2024 5 PAGE STRAP NEWS
Photo Harshil Gudka on Unsplash

Global Exhibitions Day 2024 celebrates exhibitions

African associations, the Association of African Exhibitions Organisers, the Event Greening Forum and the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa partner to recognise the contributions of the African events and exhibition sector as economic enablers.

Business events are essential for Africa’s economic development, creating jobs and improving infrastructure. In fact, the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) and the country’s business event industry have secured 63 bids for international meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions between 2024 and 2029, with an estimated economic value of R1,205,248,000 (US$65 million) and the potential to attract 46,470 global delegates.

To honour the contributions of the local events and exhibition sector, and to mark Global Exhibitions Day (GED) – an initiative led by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry – AAXO (Association of African Exhibition Organisers), EGF (Event Greening Forum), and EXSA (Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa) are proud to join in this global celebration on Wednesday, 5 June 2024, under the theme: Exhibitions are catalysts to sustainable futures.

GED 2024 aims to emphasise the crucial role of exhibitions in promoting sustainable development through four key messages, including: Exhibitions drive progress and serve as platforms for discussing, creating, and showcasing solutions to universal challenges; exhibitions facilitate economic

growth, connecting industries and driving job creation; by providing a sustainable way to drive business and development, exhibitions gather communities in one place and manage environmental impact effectively; exhibitions are community builders, bringing people together face-toface to connect, collaborate, and contribute.

Embracing the Ubuntu principle of I am because we are, the GED South African Experience will showcase various activations centred around the three pillars of Ubuntu: Compassion, Cooperation, and Community.

“This initiative aims to highlight the essence of the Ubuntu philosophy, emphasising the interconnectedness and shared humanity among individuals. Through a series of engaging activities and events, the GED South African Experience seeks to promote understanding, collaboration, and solidarity within the community, fostering a spirit of togetherness and mutual support,” says Devi Paulsen-Abbott, Chairperson of AAXO.


From 30 May until 4 June, AAXO is hosting collection points nationwide, urging the events industry to donate old banners or lanyards which will be gifted to Skills Village in Johannesburg on the morning of GED,

5 June 2024, who will repurpose the items to create school bags, making a positive impact in the community.


AAXO will host their Leadership Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 4 June under the theme Empowering Economies: Unleashing the Power of Industry Success and Economic Growth in 2024 and Beyond. The Summit aims to explore how exhibitions drive economic growth and will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, and workshops, offering learning opportunities and networking sessions. View the programme for the Leadership Summit here


The GED South African Experience concludes on Global Exhibitions Day, with an adrenaline-fuelled event on the skidpan. Organised by AAXO, JEC, MasterDrive, EGF, and EXSA, attendees will enjoy thrilling adventures, delicious food, and networking opportunities while expert instructors will guide guests through driving challenges, ensuring an unforgettable experience. To register for the Leadership Summit or GED South African Experience, click here to complete the registration form. 6 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE NEWSSTRAP



1 9 6 3 - 2 0 22

Beyond Borders — ICCA’s

digital snapshot




events have shaped the world, and what’s coming next

With a radically different approach, ICCA publishes Beyond Borders — How Associations’ Business Events Bring the World Together … a digital report exploring the significant global impact of business events across 60-plus years.

Using video interviews, data, and animated graphs, Beyond Borders features expert opinion and analysis from inside – and outside – the international associations’ meetings industry. This innovative approach utilises ICCA’s expertise, reach, and standing as the industry leader, and includes contributory input from key figures from IMEX, ASAE, Oxford Economics, the Associations, CVBs, Government, and the political lobby.

ICCA traditionally publishes major industry analytical reports on a 5-year cycle, but the world has changed significantly since 2018. The global pandemic forced a radical review of how we think, plan, and do events. The

creativity and intuition so crucial to the rebirth of our industry are evident in Beyond Borders, making it easily accessible – and shareable – to ICCA members, and the wider global community.

With a unique 60-plus-year heritage, ICCA uses stats to show the irresistible rise of business meetings and events and the impact they have made in our countries, cities, and communities. But what we have done is only part of the story, the key significance of Beyond Borders is what comes next.

ICCA CEO, Senthil Gopinath: “Beyond Borders asks pertinent questions about the World Economy, the Economic Value of our Industry, Growing Industry Talent, Association Meeting Trends, and

Social Sustainability, so we get a tangible view of the major concerns and opportunities facing us all. The stats tell one story, but the people tell another. ICCA is and always will be a people business… which is why Beyond Borders speaks to us all in a clear and distinctive way. This is our industry, this is our community, this is our moment to come together and seek common purpose.”

Beyond Borders — How Associations’ Business Events Bring the World Together is made available to all who see and value the importance of our global industry as a driver for change at a social, political, and cultural level.

Access the full interactive report here

Business Events Africa May 2024 7 PAGE STRAP

Johannesburg Expo Centre –a versatile canvas for events

The Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC), south of Johannesburg, is renowned as one of the country’s most sought-after venues for some of the country’s most iconic events.

The Johannesburg Expo Centre should be top of mind when it comes to planning large-scale events and exhibitions, for a variety of reasons. The venue’s flexibility allows it to manage any occasion — being equipped to host both indoor and outdoor events, depending on your needs. Whether your event requires quiet boardrooms for private meetings, extensive floor space for exhibits, a dance floor to host thousands of people, or al fresco refreshment stations, the JEC has the multi-purpose facilities to accommodate all of this, and more.

The JEC has no shortage of space either, with its 150,000m² of space to host mass events. Coupled with that, when it comes to parking, the venue offers secure parking for 20,000 vehicles, ensuring that exhibitors and guests alike can find parking with ease and get straight to business. The JEC is also hailed as one of the most accessible venues in the country, with accessibility from all major highways and a helipad on-site for registered helicopter landing needs. Its location is ideal for travellers, with five-star hotels in the vicinity, and a mere 30 minutes from both international airports.

The JEC’s mission is to harness professionalism, flexibility, and hospitality, to offer clients world-class service; and to ensure that their experience always exceeds their expectations.

Adele Hartdegen, chief executive officer, said:

“As the CEO of Johannesburg Expo Centre, I am proud to assert that our venue stands as the pinnacle of excellence in the exhibitions industry. Our commitment to unparalleled service and client satisfaction sets us apart from the competition.

“With strategically designed spaces and a dedicated team of professionals, we offer an unmatched environment for organisers to run seamless Exhibitions and Trade Shows. Our track record speaks volumes, having hosted some of the largest shows on the continent, and we are confident that our venue remains the best suited to serve especially large industrial exhibitions.”

Ms Hartdegen added: “The unique design of our Halls, allows for exceptional floor loading capacity, and multiple loading bays ensure ease of access for large equipment and stands. These layouts and loading capacity are supported by an exceptional electrical backbone, to ensure that we are able to accommodate the demonstration of large machinery during shows.”

“We have also hosted some of the most prominent music festivals, enabled by the vast outdoor spaces and hundreds of bathrooms available onsite. With events and consumer shows, we also have the benefit of multiple outdoor food kiosks, eliminating long queueing. We advertise ourselves as a purpose-built exhibition centre, as the venue was developed

for the hosting of the Rand Show. This enabled the architects to engage with a show organiser and understand their key deliverables during the show and how a specialised venue could ease some of their challenges.”

“We understand the unique needs of our clients and strive to exceed their expectations at every turn. At the Johannesburg Expo Centre, we don’t just host exhibitions and events; we create unforgettable experiences that drive success for our clients and elevate the industry as a whole,” Ms Hartdegen added.

Here is some feedback from a few of the large exhibition and events organisers that host their events at the Johannesburg Expo Centre. 8 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE COVERSTRAPSTORY
The Rand Show. Adele Hartdegen, chief executive officer of Johannesburg Expo Centre.

The Rand Show

The Rand Show’s history stretches back to 1894, making it one of the longest-running consumer events in Africa. It began as the Witwatersrand Agricultural Show, a platform for showcasing agricultural advancements in the newly discovered goldfields. Over time, the focus broadened to encompass the evolving lifestyles of South Africans. It continued to be held at Milner Park until 1984.

Since opening its doors in September 1984, the JEC has established itself as a leading venue for a wide range of events. Its inaugural exhibition, Rand Show, the Outdoor and Lifestyle Show, marked the beginning of a legacy that would span over four decades.

Didi Okoro, head of sales, Dogan Exhibition and Events, highly recommends the venue. She said: “The JEC is the ideal venue for hosting the Rand Show. It is one of the few venues in South Africa spacious enough to accommodate the grand scale of the event. Moreover, its adaptability shines through, as it effortlessly caters to various facets of the show, whether it’s the vibrant carnival rides, large car exhibitions, diverse multiple shopping experiences, or even a sprawling dinosaur expo spanning the size of a rugby field. The JEC truly offers a versatile canvas for the Rand Show’s dynamic array of attractions. The JEC team offer excellent customer service and flexibility when it comes to making the event work, and multiple venue offerings within the venue to fit any type or size of event,” Ms Okoro said.

Electra Mining Africa

The first Electra Mining Africa exhibition took place in 1972.

In 1984, Electra Mining Africa moved from the Milner Park Showgrounds to the Johannesburg Expo Centre. At this time, the venue was known as the National Exhibition Centre. Subsequently, the name of the venue changed to the Johannesburg Expo Centre.

Electra Mining Africa 2024


September 2024

This year’s Electra Mining Africa is expected to be one of the biggest shows to date, with 37,000+m² exhibition space, 850+ exhibitors, and over 30,000 visitors. This year’s Electra Mining Africa is incorporating the Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo in Hall 10.

Charlene Hefer, portfolio director, Specialised Exhibitions — a division of the Montgomery Group, said: “The Johannesburg Expo Centre was the first purpose-built exhibition centre in Johannesburg and, unlike other multi-purpose venues, was tailor-made to the task. It is far larger than any of its competitors and it offers the most benefits to many of the country’s larger exhibitions, including Electra Mining Africa. With a vast parking area also available, it is the only venue with the size capable of hosting the show.”

“Over the years, many upgrades, renovations and redesigned areas have ensured its continued suitability for Electra Mining Africa. It can accommodate high numbers of exhibitors and thousands of visitors; it has easy accessibility for build-up, show traffic flow, and breakdown. The floor-loading capacity is unique to the Johannesburg Expo Centre, which allows the display and live demonstration of large and heavy machinery. The six halls, outside exhibit areas, restaurants and office space is able to accommodate our exhibitors, co-located conferences and workshops, onsite suppliers, and, of course, our visitors. Onsite catering and other facilities also provide excellent support to the show.

“In addition, it is the ease of accessibility to the venue (good road network) and its central location. This provides for many accommodation options as it is surrounded by a choice of three, four, and five-star hotels in the area,” Ms Hefer said.

She added: “The JEC management and staff offers excellent service levels. The flexibility of the venue to suit the different demands of each exhibition.”

Other shows organised by Specialised Exhibitions which take place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre include Propak Africa and Machine Tools Africa. Both shows require floor loading capacity and the ease of venue accessibility for large and heavy machinery that is displayed at the shows.

Ms Hefer concluded: “We have been working with the Johannesburg Expo Centre for several years and highly regard the professional team, who support us at every turn. The versatility of the venue, the wide range of facilities available, and how the venue meets the logistical and infrastructure demands of a show like Electra Mining Africa are important, but beyond that is the support we receive from the venue’s management and staff. As with any event, there can be some last-minute changes and the Expo Centre’s team is always there to help. With an exhibition as large as Electra Mining Africa, we can also face some unexpected challenges and again, we have the Expo Centre’s support behind us. We see them as a partner in ensuring that all logistics run smoothly in delivering a successful event.”

Business Events Africa May 2024 9 PAGE STRAP COVER STORY
Didi Okoro, head of sales, Dogan Exhibition and Events.
Show Highlights from Rand Show 2024: Visitors: 80,000+ Exhibitors: 400 + AVE: R76,7 million
Charlene Hefer, portfolio director, Specialised Exhibitions.

Ultra South Africa

Ultra South Africa is a single-day event, taking place in two cities (Johannesburg and Cape Town). Having debuted in 2014, Ultra South Africa is one of the longeststanding world editions of the festival. Ultra South Africa has been taking place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre since it started in 2014 (except for the Covid years of 2020-2022). The show attracts between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors.

Tony Feldman, director of Showtime Management, said: “I love the space. It is a perfect festival venue. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are utilised. The layout and the different areas make for a great walk-through. Fans can get to explore the site and the different spaces. Also, there are more than adequate parking facilities.

“Apart from the incredible space, Craig Newman and his team have become

incredible partners and friends of Ultra South Africa.

“We are moving into the 10th Anniversary of Ultra South Africa. For an International branded festival, that is an incredible feat. The Johannesburg Exhibition Centre has been our home for the past 10 years and they have been one of the reasons for the success of the festival. Here is to ten more years,” Mr Feldman said. 10 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE COVERSTRAPSTORY
Tony Feldman, director of Showtime Management.

20th AGOA Forum 2023

Made In Africa Expo

2-4 November 2023

• Hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry

• Full turnkey event and exhibition management services supplied by Johannesburg Expo Centre and subsidiaries.

• Conference Attended by +1000 international conference delegates including a trade delegation from the United States.

• Exhibition attended >2500 local and international delegates

• >400 Exhibitors mixed large

corporate brands and SMME’s.

In total, 47 venues were set up for this event. Venues included Main plenary, multiple break-away rooms, meeting rooms, holding rooms, VIP holding rooms, meeting rooms, Catering and restaurants, Gala Dinner and Fashion show, Exhibition, seminar theatre’s, movie viewing rooms, cultural food villages, multiple registration venues and working office spaces.

Each conference area was fitted with AV and furnishings including simultaneous translation booths and scripting. There was a full security lockdown due to the high-level protocol delegates on-site, including the SA President, Cyril Ramaphosa, multiple South African and African Ministers in attendance, as well as a USA trade delegation leadership.

Contact Info

Tel: 011 494 1920



Address: Cnr Nasrec & Randshow Roads, Johannesburg

Business Events Africa May 2024 11 PAGE STRAP COVER STORY
20th AGOA Forum 2023 and Made In Africa Expo at the Johannesburg Expo Centre.

ANEW Hotel Parktonian

A prominent venue for business travellers

In the bustling hub of Braamfontein, lies ANEW Hotel Parktonian, a distinguished hotel perfectly suited for business travellers and big conferences in the Johannesburg CBD area. The 24-floor establishment personifies convenience and refinement.

Guests stepping into any of the 260 suites will find a seamless blend of contemporary elegance with a functional layout. Each suite is meticulously designed to provide ample space for relaxation and productivity, featuring a dedicated work area ideal for conducting business in comfort and style. With well-appointed bathrooms and thoughtful amenities, every aspect of the stay is tailored to meet the needs of the modern business traveller, to provide a home away from home.

Beyond the comfort of the suites, ANEW Hotel Parktonian boasts versatile event spaces, perfect for hosting conferences, seminars, corporate gatherings, and gala dinners. The experienced events team is committed to delivering flawless execution, allowing guests to focus on achieving their business objectives while the hotel handles logistics with precision and professionalism.

The Skylevel rooftop further enhances the property’s appeal as a premier business destination. With stunning views showing

off the Joburg skyline, it is equipped with a refreshing pool, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, and a vibrant bar entertainment area. The Skylevel rooftop offers the perfect setting for networking events, teambuilding activities, and post-meeting relaxation.

ANEW Hotel Parktonian enjoys a strategic location near the vibrant Braamfontein district, renowned for its cultural attractions, trendy cafes, and eclectic street art. For those looking to explore beyond Braamfontein, the Gautrain Park Station, is conveniently just 500m away, offering convenient access to other parts of the city and can take you directly 28 kilometres further to OR Tambo International Airport. Wits University lies a mere 1,5 kilometres away from the hotel, beckoning with its esteemed academic reputation and architectural appeal.

Families wanting entertainment can visit the thrilling Gold Reef City Casino & Theme Park, just 7,8 kilometres away. Nature lovers can also indulge in a day at the

Johannesburg Zoo, located within easy reach of ANEW Hotel Parktonian. With such diverse attractions nearby, guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring the rich tapestry of Johannesburg’s offerings.

Whether conducting business in Johannesburg or seeking a venue for the next corporate event, ANEW Hotel Parktonian provides the ideal combination of convenience, comfort, and sophistication. Guests can experience the epitome of business excellence and hospitality by booking their stay today. 12 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE HOTELSTRAPFEATURE

ANEW Rewards

Make your stay at ANEW Hotel Parktonian Johannesburg even more rewarding by joining ANEW Rewards — ANEW’s own loyalty programme! Designed to save guests money and provide exclusive benefits during their travels, as a new member you automatically qualify for a 12 per cent discount on your bookings and become a Gold member, unlocking even more perks.

By signing up on ANEW’s website, you can start earning rewards for every stay, enjoying a range of benefits tailored to enhance your experience with ANEW Hotels & Resorts. For more information, visit our website at

Get in touch

ANEW Hotel Parktonian Johannesburg

Tel: +27 (0)11 403 5740


Address:120 De Korte St, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, 2000.

Website and bookings: https://

Explore the Kruger ANEW

Visit our flagship resorts in White River & Hazyview for a unique corporate retreat or conferencing experience. Featuring newly renovated restaurants, fall in love with Mpumalanga at ANEW Resort Hazyview and ANEW Resort White River. | +27 (0) 10 007 0000 |


Mandela Bay Development Agency offers facilities for every occasion

The Mandela Bay Development Agency, an entity owned by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, is here to cater for any event, as it offers several venues and facilities in the Bay.

Established in 2003, the MBDA has evolved, to include facilities management. Currently, the MBDA is pursuing large-scale facility developments, including the planned development of the International Convention Centre that is part of the Bayworld Precinct revamp. Please refer to the expression of interest here

The MBDA has achieved many successes over the years. One such success is Route 67.

Route 67

When Nelson Mandela Bay was offered the opportunity to host several FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup matches, the city needed to quickly develop additional attractions that would leverage the unique tourism opportunity and

build a legacy that would sustain tourism growth.

During this time, the MBDA, on behalf of the city, with support from the National Department of Arts and Culture and Lotteries Board, revamped the Donkin Reserve — which is now the popular Route 67 hub.

Route 67 is a visual arts, urban design and heritage offering that aims to package an experience aimed at uniting all segments of a formerly divided community, showing the world what magic exists in the post-apartheid era.

The route begins at the Campanile. Visitors can also join the route from the Donkin Reserve at the Belmont Terrace. The old lighthouse houses the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Information Office.

Within two square kilometres, delegates will find themselves surrounded by a mix of exquisite old Victorian churches, newly renovated, terraced cottages on Donkin Street, and a lighthouse that once guided ships into Algoa Bay. Sir Rufane Donkin, the founder of Port Elizabeth, built a stone pyramid on the site in memory of his wife. A message on the pyramid reads: ‘To the memory of one of the most perfect of human beings who has given her name to the town below’.

While the pyramid and lighthouse were built in the 1800s, the massive mosaic at the base of the pyramid was created in the 1990s. It visually tells the history of the people of Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape. This mosaic was restored by the MBDA, pre-World 14 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE STRAP
Route 67.
Public library. Opera House. Feather Market Centre. Donkin Piazza mosaic.

Cup. The circular mosaic depicts harmony in nature, as reflected in a silver pillar.

Among many iconic landmarks, you’ll find some contemporary elements. One such landmark is the large metal cut-out of Nelson Mandela, fist raised in triumph, leading a line of South Africans representing the voters who cast their ballots in the country’s first democratic elections on 27 April 1994.

Another landmark, dominating the hilltop, is the largest South African flag in the world. The flag represents the democratic status of the country and its people.

The Athenaeum

Just blocks from the Donkin Reserve lies The Athenaeum. Inside, natural lighting illuminates permanent and temporary exhibitions that include a collection of beaded quotes by talented crafters from the Eastern Cape. The Athenaeum building is at the heart of a burgeoning creative industry in Port Elizabeth. It is situated at the corner of Castle Hill and Belmont Terrace in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The Athenaeum is the first of the properties that was co-managed by the MBDA to offer an

artists’ hub, with theatre, visual arts, spoken word, and so much more.

The Athenaeum serves as a cradle of diverse activities within the arts industry. It showcases both national and international art exhibitions, live performances, art interventions, and theatre shows. Several emerging creatives hold office and studio space within the building. It is considered a fusion of new South African art and old South African design. To ensure sustainability, The Athenaeum also offers services such as venue hire, exhibition hosting and curation, event management, bar services, marketing and promotion, and service provider management.

Tramways Building

In 2012, the MBDA began to revamp the old and dilapidated Tramways Building, established in the 1800s as a trams station, and later transformed into a bus station. The refurbishment of the Tramways Building was completed in 2015 as part of the greater Baakens Valley masterplan. The venue is now firmly established as a key contributor and

player in the events calendar of the Bay. Offered as a clean canvas for bespoke events, the Tramways allows for creativity and innovation. Since opening its doors, the Tramways has had a packed calendar full of diversity. The venue, which is in the city centre, is accessible by road, rail, and only five minutes way from the airport.

In 2016, the Nelson Mandela Bay Council mandated the MBDA to manage two additional facilities, the Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre in Uitenhage, a neighbour to Volkswagen, and the 2010 World Cup iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, a multipurpose facility that made its mark during that 2010 global showpiece. The NMB Stadium is available for indoor or outdoor events. The team will deliver an exceptional experience.

The MBDA is proactively looking to deliver new and exciting facilities.

Contact Info

Tel: +27 (0)41 811 8200

Business Events Africa May 2024 15 PAGE STRAP NELSON MANDELA BAY FEATURE


Nestled in the heart of South Africa, Nelson Mandela Bay offers a vibrant setting for business tourism amidst stunning natural landscapes. With its unique blend of intimate business facilities against a backdrop of pristine beauty, the city provides an exceptional environment for conferences, corporate events, and private functions alike.

Renowned for its “Big 7” game viewing opportunities in malaria-free environments, Nelson Mandela Bay offers an unparalleled blend of business and leisure experiences. Located strategically, the city attracts business travelers, investors, and conference attendees due to its central location and easy accessibility to other major cities in the country. The warm hospitality and safe environment further enhance its appeal, making it a preferred destination for business gatherings.

Nelson Mandela Bay boasts an impressive selection of venues suitable for conferences, corporate events, and private functions, each equipped with state-of-the-art technology and set amidst picturesque surroundings. These venues offer flexible seating arrangements and additional rooms to accommodate various session requirements.

Catering services are readily available to ensure attendees are well-fed and satisfied throughout the event. From private game reserves to seaside resorts and luxury hotels, the Bay offers a diverse range of exclusive conference facilities for those seeking a premium

• Supplier Information: Gain access to a network of local suppliers, supporting the local economy.

• Accommodation Assistance: Connect with accommodation establishments for hassle-free bookings and coordination.

• Airport Welcome Desk: Make a great first impression with our airport welcome desk service, subject to approval.

• Information Desks: Request information desks at your event to assist attendees throughout the conference.


City Lodge Hotels’ Clifford Ross inducted into FEDHASA Hall of Fame

City Lodge Hotels recently celebrated former chief executive officer Clifford Ross's induction into the prestigious, inaugural Hospitality Hall of Fame by the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA). The award is a well-deserved recognition for his remarkable contribution to the group and industry during his illustrious career.

FEDHASA launched the awards to honour excellence and celebrate the talent and dedication of hospitality professionals, as it marks its 75th anniversary as ‘the voice of hospitality in South Africa‘.

Professional Collaboration

Clifford joined City Lodge Hotels in 1987 and served until his early retirement in 2018, due to ill health, progressing from general manager to operations director, managing director, and finally, chief executive officer.

During his long career, Clifford was involved with several associations focused on shaping, guiding, and promoting the hospitality industry, including serving as FEDHASA deputy chairman. He credits the collaboration, camaraderie, and professionalism of associations with helping boost his career and giving him opportunities to mentor others.

He said: “I started at the bottom in this industry in 1974, training in the kitchen and washing pots. It was so important that I got involved with industry associations to help me grow. Hospitality stands proud in everything it does and needs to be led by a body like FEDHASA, which recognises people with leadership potential in all fields of hoteliering.”

“With these new awards, FEDHASA has identified a new generation of people who are building their careers for the betterment of this industry, and rewarding them, as they so rightly deserve. I am very honoured by this recognition bestowed upon me and, by extension, City Lodge Hotels,” he continued.

“Being part of FEDHASA gives one insight

into the challenges and opportunities across hospitality, as it contributes to other industry bodies including the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA), the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), and others. I loved sitting on those boards, giving guidance and informing meetings of the industry itself,” he noted.

Government connections

With FEDHASA as the industry’s voice, its board deals directly with the government. Through FEDHASA, Clifford worked with several tourism ministers, as well as ministers of other key, interconnected departments on issues impacting tourism such as Black Economic Empowerment, hotel grading, and smoking legislation.

Team effort

“There is always a team behind awards,” said Clifford, congratulating the City Lodge Hotels managers recognised as runners-up:

• General manager hotel: Ian Laughland at City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport.

• Facilities manager of the year: Raymond Cripps at City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport.

• Culinary excellence: Trevor Boyd, general manager: food and beverage operations.

“These are fantastic team members, professionals with direction and purpose, keen to be the best in their field of management. Through recognition like this, we are going to entice the younger generation to become something bigger and

better in this industry, and to give back,” Clifford enthused.

Teambuilding and mentorship are integral to City Lodge Hotels’ approach, to mentor leaders passionate about the industry and brand. One of its initiatives is the Accelerated Development and Deployment Programme, which identifies and fast-tracks team members with strong management potential. The group also drives personalised employee development through, among other initiatives, in-house training programmes and internships.

“After this industry’s recent challenges, this new momentum from FEDHASA reviving its awards is needed. Ultimately, our valued guests will benefit,” he concluded.

Business Events Africa May 2024 17 PAGE STRAP

The Tourism Investment Forum Africa 2024 — generates solid leads

The Tourism Investment Forum Africa (TIFA) 2024 was hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 10-12 April, in collaboration with World Travel Market Africa.

TIFA brings together the tourism and investment sectors, to create sustainable economic growth, job creation, and employment opportunities. The two-day conference promotes investments and trade opportunities within tourism and related sectors.

The stakeholders delved into investment prospects within the sector, with a focal point on the theme ‘Unlocking Intra-Africa Tourism Investment, Building Long-Term Sustainability, and Resilience’. Speakers from across the globe deliberated on key sector topics, including competitiveness and soft infrastructure, green tourism investments, as well as technology and innovation.

Miller Matola, chief executive officer of Millvest Advisory, who organised the investment forum, highlighted the significant presence of numerous key investors from various parts of the world and the continent who gathered in

Cape Town for the TIFA. Stressing the pivotal role of the tourism sector in job creation, particularly for women, young Africans, and small and medium enterprises, he emphasised that TIFA is evolving into a global tourism platform by uniting essential stakeholders.

Mr Matola said that the conference location, as part of the WTM Africa platform, did bring some challenges, as delegates were distracted, which unfortunately meant that some delegates were lost at times to WTM. “Other challenges, besides co-location of the event, was the timing, as it fell over Eid, which meant some delegates were no longer able attend over that period.”

However, interestingly, he said, this did not put a damper on the investment leads. In fact, Mr Matola said there were some solid leads that came as a direct result from the conference.

Moving forward, Mr Matola said that they are going back to the drawing board, but have decided that they will return to the old format

where the event will standalone — ensuring less distractions.

“We are currently doing a review in consultation with our 2024 partners, and announcements regarding the 2025 host location will be made thereafter,” Mr Matola added.

Number of investment projects and opportunities submitted for TIFA 2024

• Cabo Verde 8

• DR Congo 6

• KwaZulu-Natal 15

• Mozambique 9

• Northern Cape 5

• North West 1

• Western Cape 3

• St Helena 9

• Zanzibar 5

• Mauritania 5

Total No of Projects Submitted 66 18 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE STRAP

Value of investment projects and opportunities submitted for TIFA 2024

Total Projects Value (US$ million)3 493

• Cabo Verde 2,6

• DR Congo 66

• KwaZulu-Natal 498

• Mozambique 627

• Northern Cape 26

• North West 315

• Western Cape 390

• St Helena 695

• Zanzibar 873

To view investment opportunities log into the TIFA website — https:// investment-opportunities-register/

Here are the number of investment leads generated by TIFA, for the following regions:

• Western Cape 1

• DRC 2

• KZN 2

• Ghana 1

• Mozambique 1

Joy Priya Somasundaram, principal of FDI Strategies at the Financial Times, highlighted in her presentation that international tourism receipts have shown consistent recovery, reaching 93 percent by the end of 2023. She noted that Africa saw a total of 66.4 million tourists in 2023, achieving a remarkable 96 per cent recovery of pre-pandemic visitor levels, outpacing other regions in terms of visitor rebound.

Yofi Grant, chief executive officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, who

attended the forum via video conference, detailed how Ghana has strategically invested in infrastructure to prepare for the upcoming tourism boom. “Infrastructure is essential if we are to achieve the objectives of the AfCFTA and if we are to connect the continent.”

The introduction of the long-awaited e-visa system is a significant step, although it’s still a work in progress. Implemented just two years ago, the system is improving, despite encountering some challenges on a backlog in converting the paper-based system to a computerised one.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism to South Africa, Amos Fish Mahlalela, said that his ministry is making strides in enhancing accessibility through the introduction of the e-visa system: “It might not be 100 per cent of where we want it to be, but it’s in the making, because it’s something that we’ve just introduced two years ago, so it is in the making, and it’s gradually improving.’’

According to Statistics South Africa, foreign arrivals dropped by 71 per cent, from just over 15.8 million in 2019, to less than 5 million in 2020. It is evident that the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the tourism industry around the world and in South Africa, mainly due to the lockdown and travel restrictions that were imposed.

“We’ve established the investment portfolio and the investment strategy, not just for the tourism sector, but for South Africa as a whole, in terms of various business opportunities that the country is able to offer,” he said.

Mr Mahlalela added: “Some tour

operators have already informed us that they will not invest in a market where they are not able to ascertain whether the supply will be able to keep up with the anticipated demand.

“Many private sector stakeholders have indicated that they would invest more resources if some of the regulatory, financial, and infrastructure barriers were addressed — these are issues such as long-term leases on state-owned land, which will unlock funding from the development finance institutions and commercial banks.”

The Department of Tourism has invested in infrastructure such as the Look Out Hill in Khayelitsha and Wolwekloof Nature Reserve in Cape Town as part of our Tourism Infrastructure Maintenance Programme. The Department has also invested resources in the Table Mountain National Park, which is one of the major attractions in the country.

“The SANCB has been tasked with growing the country’s business events industry. A significant number of bids for events between 2024-2032 have been submitted, with an economic value of over R1,5 billion. When such bids become successful, they lead to further investment in the tourism industry.”

“We stand firmly behind the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) as they work on a unified visa system for the region as part of the SADC Tourism Programme 2020-2030, which bodes well for both travel and investment within the region,” Mr Mahlalela said.

Business Events Africa May 2024 19 PAGE STRAP

Michelle Booth launches MICE Management

Amidst the upheaval of the post-Covid business landscape, MICE Management has emerged as a testament to resilience and adaptability.

Michelle Booth, 21 year ‘veteran’ in the MICE industry, is the owner and founder of MICE Management.

Michelle’s journey mirrors the phoenix rising from the ashes: navigating the disruption of her husband’s overseas assignment while shouldering the responsibilities of managing a household with two teenagers and two beloved black Labradors — Cosmo and Shadow. In 2021 she made the difficult decision to depart from a cherished job and company.

Michelle is married to Steven Booth, owner of Steven Booth Photography and Black Lab Media. “He is responsible for the gorgeous portraits I use, and he has worked on the majority of the event photos and videos on my website, amongst his own loyal PCO’s and corporates.

“My daughter is turning18 this year and we have a big year ahead with finals, matric dance, and driving lessons. My son is 16 this year — and an avid soccer player for our local club.”

In the wake of the industry reopening, Michelle seized the influx of opportunities for independent work and in 2024, officiated her services by branding and launching her own company MICE Management. This venture embodies her entrepreneurial spirit, love for networking, and professional acumen, but also her unwavering determination to deliver a professional, structured, and client-focused service.

Michelle said: “It’s been a wild ride of freelancing since 2022, working on my own joint-venture projects, a near-business purchase, and then 2024 started with a fresh perspective. A clear pathway, one divinely directed. A vision. A brand. And here we are.”

Michelle offered insights into her new company, through a one-on-one interview with Business Events Africa

Who is Michelle Booth?

What you see is what you get. No nonsense, no hidden agenda, and absolute integrity. I am an honest, passionate, diligent, confident, highly organised, natural leader that values good communication and healthy relationships, and I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. I’m also not scared to be vulnerable when I know that it can help someone, and I consider deeply, the impact of my actions on others.

Doing business, beginning new projects, drive me. Setting up the structure. The planning. My creative imagination flies. Healthy, strong collaborations and partnerships excite me. And fun! In a stressful environment that planning events can be, we have to have fun!

Where did your career begin?

After graduating top of my class in public relations, I started my career at Africadabra & World of Incentives in 2002 and had the wonderful experience of travelling all over the world on incentive

trips with corporate clients and managing big local corporate conferences. After getting married in 2005, and falling pregnant almost immediately, I resigned from my position and started up The Co-ordination Booth, and worked from home while I raised our two small children.

In 2010, I did a stint at the Mount Nelson Hotel then moved on to work in contract positions at Wedgewood and Tour D’Afrique, for the Mining Indaba. In 2012, it was time for some stability, and I stepped into the world of association conferencing at Turners Conferences, and I haven’t left this space! In 2021, I resigned from my position as the Cape Town Branch Manager, to be home full-time with my teenagers and a side hustle, while my husband moved overseas for a year.

I joined the team at The DMCSA in 2022 to project manage the inaugural IMNHC2023 in May 2023. Thereafter, I was appointed as the Director at SBS Conferences & Exhibitions for just over a year, before deciding to open MICE Management.

What do you love most about this industry?

I love the people. I love the networking. I love the variation. No day is the same. I love the various sectors we get to be involved in, and the interesting people we meet while planning large events. There are so many things that make an industry or country tick. And we get to see parts of that and learn so much of it by walking a journey with an organising committee. In some instances, you walk away with new friends.

I love doing business, and I believe the time is right, with many companies having closed, and specialists having left the industry, after Covid. There is space for someone like me, with experience and a high standard of client service.

What is your dream for MICE Management?

The response has been overwhelming so far and I pinch myself daily, to remind myself that this is real. My dream is to have a handful of key partnerships and intentionally invest in those relationships. Client service is high on my list of priorities, and that builds trust. There is nothing better for me than being able to work with a trusted supplier or partner and KNOW that they will execute the task well. Nobody needs sleepless nights, or unnecessary stress. If the business grows because of this, I will know I have achieved something great!

What services do you offer?

Everything to do with business-minded travel and tourism. — for a comprehensive list.

Consultation for organising committees, that don’t want to hire a PCO. And I am finding that assisting local PCO’s with portions of their event, is working really well for the benefit of the entire event. Teamwork, makes the dream work!

Who is your target market?

Local and international associations, event planners, and corporates.

What makes MICE Management different?

If we can change the mindset from ‘how much money we can make,’ to: ‘if we work together and build something strong, that has longevity, we not only make long-term money, but how much more do we sustainably get to generously impact the people around us?’ I do believe that is the key. Long-term vision. And, if helping associations to take the step to hosting a conference means that we need to take the risk financially initially, we will — for the long-term benefit of both parties.

Where are you based?

I am based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Where do you operate?

We can work anywhere in South Africa or further afield. Nothing that an educational or site visit can’t rectify. Have passports, will travel.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love going out dancing! Walking, hiking, camping, impromptu adventures, visiting new places/towns — exploring. I enjoy cooking, scrapbooking, crocheting, and knitting and I love a good book — usually involving travel. A little bit of everything, really. I get bored easily.

Where would you like to see yourself and MICE Management in the next five years?

Towards the end of five years, I hope to have established secure, repetitive contracts with associations and corporates that choose to do business with us because of what we stand for, and how we do business. If I decide to change my business model and take on staff at some point, they will have to have the same work ethic as I have, and value excellence. When we work, we work hard together. And we celebrate wins together! 20 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE STRAP

Testimonials from clients

“In May 2023, more than 1,800 stakeholders from 100 countries gathered in Cape Town, South Africa with an important goal: to accelerate solutions to improve maternal and newborn survival, and prevent stillbirths, as countries strive to achieve the ambitious targets outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In preparation for this historic convening, AlignMNH worked directly with Michelle and the team she led on all logistics and overall direction of the conference. Michelle’s role in the pre-planning and on-the-ground execution was essential to the success of the conference, and we couldn’t have done it without her outstanding leadership and expertise.”

“A true leader, Michelle rolls up her sleeves and dives into the trenches with her team and clients. She is incredibly creative, solutions-oriented, and hardworking, always rising to the occasion to support with changing deliverables, tight timelines, and unexpected issues, while continuing to deliver high-calibre services.”

Reynolds Director of Strategic Partnerships

Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University AlignMNH, a global initiative working to save lives for women and children

International Maternal Newborn Health Conference: May 2023

“Throughout my career, I’ve consistently sought out meetings, conferencing, and event partners who also operate as specialist

DMC’s, are well-known, respected, and deeply connected within the destination and field of operation. Their network of reliable and trusted partners enables them to craft creative and professional proposals.

“Moreover, a top-tier partner operates in your best interest, managing stress and deadlines effortlessly. They communicate effectively, leaving no room for uncertainty. From proposal to reconciliation, they handle the entire programme with absolute professionalism and transparency.

“If this aligns with what you’re seeking, allow me to highly recommend Michelle. I’ve had the privilege of working with her since 2012, and she embodies all these qualities. In fact, when I contemplated opening a DMC in Cape Town, she was my first choice to lead it.”

Mara Coetsee

Owner, (previously) Red Carpet Travel Multichoice Board of Directors: 2017

NASPERS Global CEO’s Easter Weekend: April 2012

“I have worked with Michelle for many years, on several large international events she organised. I have always found Michelle to be competent and attentive, with a good eye for detail. Reliability is essential in this industry, and she is extremely dependable.

I hope to work with Michelle again in the future.”

Dr. Peter de Jong

M B ChB, FRCOG, FCOG, Mmed, Cert Urogyn Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Subspecialist Urogynaecologist

UCT Obstetrics & Gynaecology Refresher Course: December 2015, 2019

Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2017

International Urogynaecology Association 2016

“During the planning, she was always calm and in control of every aspect, which took the stress away for us. The event itself was spectacular without a single thing out of place. From permits to staff, from furniture to food. Every last detail was perfectly executed. Michelle really did a phenomenal job, while always being calm and friendly. We will definitely use her for any events we have in the future.”

Lindi Green

VDMV Property Holdings

River Quarter Groundbreaking Event: October 2023.

Contact info



Cell: +27 (0)82 594 2443

Business Events Africa May 2024 21 PAGE STRAP
AT ITS FINEST A new brand, but not a new face. Everything to do with business-minded travel and tourism 082 594 2443

Choosing the perfect setting for your next conference?

Are you planning a conference and wondering where to host it? With so many breathtaking options available, from the serene bush to luxurious beach resorts and majestic mountains, the decision can be a challenging one. But, fear not! We’re here to guide you through the process of choosing the perfect setting for your next conference.

It depends on various factors including the purpose of the conference, the preferences and needs of the attendees, budget considerations, and logistical factors.

Here are some considerations to help you make the decision:

Purpose of the conference

Consider the theme and goals of the conference. Does the location align with the purpose? For instance, a conference on environmental conservation might be well-suited for a bush setting, while a wellness conference might benefit from a beach resort.

Attendee preferences

Think about the preferences and interests of your attendees. Conduct a survey or gather feedback to understand what type of setting would appeal to them the most. Some may prefer the tranquility of the mountains, while others may enjoy the relaxation.


What is the accessibility of the location for your attendees? Is it easy for them to reach? Are there transportation options available? You need to factor in travel time and convenience when choosing the location. The Premier Hotel

The Winkler has become a tourism centre and very well positioned for guests to explore the Kruger National Park, a mere 30km from the hotel. It gives delegates the choice between 82 standard rooms as well as five luxury suites.

Season and weather

Consider the season and weather conditions during the time of your conference. Mountains may offer picturesque views but could be challenging during winter months. Beach resorts may be perfect for summer conferences but may experience storms during the rainy season. 22 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE STRAP
Premier Resort Sani Pass.
Premier Resort Sani Pass Sunbird Lounge. Premier Hotel Cape Town. The Deck at the Premier Hotel Cape Town. Bush Braai Area at Premier Hotel The Winkler. Premier Hotel The Winkler conference area. Premier Hotel Umhlanga Conference Centre. The Rooftop — Premier Hotel Umhlanga Hotel. Premier Hotel Umhlanga Conference Centre.

Facilities and amenities

Evaluate the facilities and amenities available at each location. Does the venue offer suitable conference facilities, accommodation options, and recreational activities? Ensure that the chosen location can cater to the needs of your conference, such as meeting rooms, AV equipment, and dining options. For example, Premier Resort Sani Pass conference facilities include sports and activities such as swimming and volleyball, to keep delegates occupied. The resort also has a nine-hole golf course, suitable for avid golfing business individuals.


Assess the budget available for the conference. Different locations may have varying costs associated with venue rental, accommodation, transportation, and catering. Consider the overall cost and ensure it aligns with your budget constraints.

Networking opportunities

Consider the opportunities for networking and socialising at each location. Some settings may offer more informal networking opportunities, such as beachside cocktails or mountain hikes, which could enhance attendee experience and engagement.

Local attractions and activities

Explore the local attractions and activities available in each location. Consider whether these attractions align with the interests of your attendees and if they can enhance the overall conference experience.

Environmental impact

Be mindful of the environmental impact of your choice. Choose locations that promote sustainability and minimise negative environmental effects.

Back-up plans

Always have backup plans in place in case of unforeseen circumstances such as extreme weather conditions or logistical challenges. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether to hold your conference in either a bush, or beach or berg resort that aligns with the needs and preferences of your attendees and the goals of your event. P R E M I E R C O N F E R E N C I N G P r i m e L o c a t i o n s Cape Town | George | Knysna | East London | Mpongo Private Game Reserve | Pinetown | Port Edward | Richards Bay | Sani Pass | Scottburgh | Umhlanga | Sandton | Midrand | OR Tambo | Pretoria | White River | Bloemfontein BOOK TODAY info@premierhotels co za premierhotels co za 096 111 5555
Premier Hotel The Winkler. Premier Hotel The Winkler Pool.

Meet, interact, connect, and network at JSE venues

Unlock prosperity with the JSE venue, equipped to meet an array of needs.

In recent times, the JSE has observed a resurgence in enthusiasm for physical gatherings across South Africa. While virtual meetings have provided us a welcomed alternative to gathering delegates from far and wide, there really is no replacing the value and long-lasting impact of networking and face-to-face interaction. Luckily, at the JSE, we can easily cater to both! With its outstanding venues, top-notch equipment, and exceptional facilities, the JSE provides a superb setting for hosting corporate events and meetings. From sound engineers and technical equipment, to secure parking and catering, the highly experienced eventing team at the JSE can assist in conceptualising and coordinating anything from a leading industry conference to a small personal business meeting.

Take advantage of the JSE’s prime location within Africa’s leading business hub, to host AGMs, annual results presentations, corporate meetings, seminars, conferences, workshops, or gala awards evenings.

Welcoming foyer

Boasting a state-of-the-art wallboard and electronic signage, the foyer is an ideal space to welcome guests to your event. This wallboard area in the foyer is the perfect setting for live entertainment, be it a pianist, saxophonist, or marimba band.

The Auditorium

This tiered theatre is the most formal venue at the JSE and provides fixed seating for 145 guests.

As with the other venues, both a standard

AV package and a premium AV package are available. We offer full HP projectors, top sound quality, external broadcasting connectivity, audio conferencing, and WIFI connectivity. Whatever your tech needs, we have the sound and broadcast solutions.

Renovated atrium

The atrium is a flexible, spacious area that can be transformed into a theatre, conference room, boardroom, banqueting room, exhibition space, or an open networking venue. The entertainment area is included, at no additional cost, when the atrium is hired for your special event, making this area ideal for all-day conferences and larger events.

To meet the needs of several types of events, various seating configurations are available. These include cinema-style seating 24 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE STRAP

for between 50 and 200 guests; classroomstyle seating for 50 to 90 seated guests, a U-shaped configuration for 30 seated guests, and a seated dinner for 50 to 80 guests. Venue hire includes a dedicated event coordinator, standard tables, chairs, cutlery, and crockery — a professional service, with all the extras, to guarantee an unforgettable event experience.

Entertainment area

In addition to the modern open foyer and renovated atrium, the entertainment area has been designed to include ample counter space with a set-up for catering and bar facilities. Along with the eight unisex bathrooms, an open-air area just outside the atrium, with a wooden deck, is perfect for evening entertainment. The building also has an array of meeting rooms for hosting up to 30 people, with state-of-the-art technology and interactive webinar functionality.

The infrastructure, cabling, and technologically advanced equipment in each venue, as well as the onsite sound engineers and technicians, will ensure that events and meetings run smoothly. In short, the JSE offers a one-stop-shop solution for hosting a successful event.

Virtual venue set-up

With virtual and hybrid meetings/webinars being part of our everyday routines, meetings from the JSE can be broadcast live to your audience, with the option of including video, slide presentations, document handouts, audience polls, and surveys. This includes the capability of live-streaming international speakers to your local delegation. After the event, the event recording, relevant videos, and presentations can be packaged and sent to you for your records or to the delegates.

Once again, a value-added service managed by our experienced in-house tech support team.

This space within Sandton’s bustling business hub is the perfect venue in Johannesburg to host both local and international physical and hybrid events.

The JSE now provides the perfect conference and eventing space in Gauteng. Spacious, sustainable, modern, tech-savvy, safe, and secure. With the physical events industry back in business, contact the JSE eventing

team to take your event to the next level! To book your next unforgettable experience, click here

We look forward to hosting you.

For more information

Tel: +27 (0)11 520 7000


Business Events Africa May 2024 25 PAGE STRAP

Industry leaders gather in Kigali for the UFI Middle East & Africa Conference

• Industry leaders from 15+ countries gathered in Rwanda for 2024 UFI MEA Conference

• Conference hosted by Rwanda Convention Bureau at Kigali Convention Centre

• International lineup of speakers explored the exhibition landscape of the region

The UFI Middle East & Africa Conference brought together industry leaders, professionals, and stakeholders in Kigali, Rwanda, from 15-17 April. Hosted by the Rwanda Convention Bureau at the Kigali Convention Centre, the conference explored opportunities, challenges, and innovations shaping the region.

Over the course of three days, attendees from 15+ countries had the opportunity to network, exchange knowledge, and collaborate with colleagues from MEA and beyond. Engaging sessions tackled our industry’s most pressing topics, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), emerging market growth, industry trends, and sustainability, providing invaluable perspectives to navigate the region’s evolving exhibition landscape.

“Our profound appreciation goes to the Rwanda Convention Bureau for graciously hosting the UFI Middle East and Africa Conference, an event that has undeniably set a new benchmark for industry gatherings in this region, through thought-provoking discussions and diverse topics, a strong lineup of speakers and experts, unparalleled networking opportunities, in addition to

memorable social activities. We are immensely thankful to our sponsors, partners, and the diverse group of attendees, whose collaboration and insights turned this conference into a unique experience.

Rwanda’s warmth and hospitality have left an unforgettable mark on us all,” commented Naji El Haddad, UFI Regional Director MEA.

Janet Karemera, chief executive officer of Rwanda Convention Bureau, added: “Hosting the UFI MEA Conference for the first time in Africa is a testament to Rwanda’s commitment and the continent at large to establish its presence in the global exhibition sector landscape. We were privileged to learn from peers about how vast the possibilities are to expand our portfolio as a destination, with the right investment and support from industry stakeholders.”

The conference was also an opportunity for the UFI Middle East & Africa Chapter to convene and exchange strategies for enhancing the Chapter’s growth, along with fostering greater diversity and inclusion. Naji El Haddad, UFI regional director MEA, outlined forthcoming plans for the MEA Chapter in 2024, emphasising upcoming

events and activations, advocacy efforts, including Global Exhibitions Day on 5 June, and initiatives in education and research.

The subsequent chapter meeting is scheduled to occur in Cologne, Germany, during the 91st UFI Global Congress.

One of the highlights of the conference was the social activities that provided participants with the opportunity to forge new partnerships and strengthen existing relationships, all with vibrant Rwanda as their backdrop. Numerous post-conference tours immersed participants in the host city’s rich culture and history, showcasing Kigali as a dynamic and emerging hub for exhibitions and business events.

All conference sessions will be made available to UFI members and conference participants in the coming days as ondemand videos.

As the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, UFI organises annual regional conferences in the Middle East & Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and Europe, as well as the UFI Global Congress.

Full details about the 2024 UFI Middle East & Africa Conference can be found on the event website:

Business Events Africa May 2024 27 PAGE STRAP CHEF’S PROFILE

Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 generates over R500-million for Durban

Themed ‘Unlimited Africa’, Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 was officially opened by South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Honourable Patricia de Lille, and took place 14-16 May.

It was preceded by a Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) on 13 May. The event promoted Africa as an attractive and appealing destination, fostering business partnerships and driving sustainable tourism development.

“Africa’s Travel Indaba emphasises the importance of networking, collaboration, and building bridges across borders. It is one of the powerful platforms that we must continue to use to drive and advance a positive and powerful African tourism story,” Minister De Lille said.

According to initial indications, this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba hosted 9,280 registered delegates, marking an incredible 7 per cent increase when compared to 2023. No less than 24,000 meetings were held between exhibitors and buyers.

During the trade show, buyers had the opportunity to engage directly with exhibitors, exploring new business opportunities and fostering connections for future business. Africa’s Travel Indaba showcased 1,261 exhibitors, 1,000 buyers from 55 countries, with 25 African countries

represented. Two new African countries were represented this year, namely; Guinea and Eritrea.

Nombulelo Guliwe, chief executive officer at South African Tourism, said: “We continue to pride ourselves on delivering the best of the African continent’s tourism products and experiences and this year we cemented this position with an increase of 9 per cent in the number of African countries participating in this trade show. This is all thanks to all our partners. The significant increase reflects the robust growth of the African tourism sector.” 28 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE STRAP

Winile Mntungwa, deputy head of Durban Tourism, said: “The economic activities triggered by Africa’s Travel Indaba, from event infrastructure to accommodation establishments, restaurants, and shuttle services, have been far above our initial conservative projections. The direct economic impact on the city was R226 million, with a spillover effect contributing an additional R333 million. The overall contribution to the city’s GDP exceeded R500 million, indicating significant economic benefits and over 1,000 jobs created, especially for the youth.”

Phindile Makwakwa, chief operations officer of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, added that the economic ripple effect was beyond the city centre as it benefited township and rural tourism, and hospitality businesses such as The Silokazis and Octavia Boutique Hotel based at Inanda, Max’s Lifestyle located at the heart of uMlazi, the Coastal Resort based in Umgababa, which hosted the travel showpiece delegates.

Ms Makwakwa added: “KwaZulu-Natal is best suited for hosting Africa’s Travel Indaba, given the province’s multi-cultural experience and historical significance, wide variety of tourism products and experiences, capable and quality venues and facilities, and our warm people. We look forward to Indaba 2025, which will be even bigger and better.”

Ms Makwakwa, also advocated for Durban to become the permanent home of Africa’s Travel Indaba, highlighting her confidence in the partnership between South African Tourism, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, the City of Durban, and the Durban ICC.

The success of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 underscores its critical role in economic growth, job creation, and displaying the best of African tourism.

John Aritho, chief operations officer at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, said: “Africa’s Travel Indaba is our premier event. As the ICC we have been deliberate about ensuring that the trade show contributes to our local economy in a sustainable manner. That is why we involve students from Durban University of Technology and local chefs by providing them with training and opportunities to assist in the event.”

Nationally, the Department of Tourism funded 120 Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) while all the South African provinces participating in the trade show also supported various SMMEs, giving them access to various international buyers attending the trade show.

Business Events Africa May 2024 29 PAGE STRAP

Implementation is the focus of Net Zero Carbon Events in 2024

Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE), the worldwide events industry initiative to address climate change, is now busily engaged on Phase Two of its plan to support events industry organisations on their journeys to net zero carbon emissions.

Since 2021 and the launch of the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge at Cop26 in Glasgow, NZCE has developed a wealth of resources to help the events industry organisations. The Net Zero Carbon Events Roadmap was published at Cop27 in November 2022 and in December 2023, a series of advisory reports on Venue Energy; Smart Production and Waste Management; Logistics; Travel and Accommodation; Food and Food Waste; Offsetting, and Measurement.

From January 2024, the campaign has moved from these developments which were the features of Phase One to focus on implementation in Phase Two, aiming at driving adoption of the sustainability practices and progress on roadmaps toward net zero.

This year three further projects will play important roles in this implementation phase.

Materials library

Knowing how much carbon is generated in the manufacturing of materials used within exhibitions and stands is important in their design. We are planning to provide a library of data about the most common materials used in the exhibition space along with the equivalent of carbon typically generated in the manufacture of those materials to help designers. For example, if you are using aluminium framing, this library will give details of the carbon footprint for the production of the aluminium. This is sure to be a highly valuable resource particularly in the exhibitions sector.

We are working closely with the International Federation of Exhibition & Event Services (IFES) on this initiative, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

Best practices for international associations

We are also defining and publishing sustainability best practices specifically for international associations. Working with the International Congress and Convention

Association (ICCA), the European Society for Association Executives (ESAE) and Boardroom, a publication which focuses on associations, we’ll be carrying out research among associations to understand their sustainability strategies especially for the events they organise.

Aiming to publish these by October, we want to inspire other internationally active associations to take up these best practices and follow others in applying them. We know that a lot of associations are at the beginning of their sustainability journey so we want to do all we can to help them with materials customised for them.

Educational webinars

Following the series of free webinars we arranged in December 2023 to support the publication of our best practice documents, this year there will be a new series featuring organisations sharing their experiences and insights of developing and moving forward with their roadmaps to net-zero carbon emissions. With venues, event organisers and service providers among them, we hope to offer up to ten this year.

As all NZCE signatories have pledged to achieve net-zero by 2050 and must publish a roadmap on how they will achieve that goal, these webinars will openly provide examples of how to face the challenges they will encounter in starting and staying on track. They also have the opportunity to use the vast range of resources including the Net Zero Carbon Events roadmap.

African organisations engage More than 650 organisations from across the world are either supporters or signatories of the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge. Among them are a number based in Africa including All About Africa, Global Events Africa, Scan Display, Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), and Dragonfly Africa/Green Route Africa.

When I took part in the Event Greening Forum at Meetings Africa, I was greatly impressed by the vast number of organisations that engaged with the Forum and also approached me for further information about the initiative. There is clearly a rapidly increasing interest and commitment to sustainability within organisations based in Africa. It’s great news.

Net Zero Carbon Events is open to all organisations involved in events. Registration is free of charge, but financial contributions are crucial to developing the campaign. Please visit funding-opportunities for further information.

Who is Alex Alles?

Alex Alles is the executive director of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) and the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative. Alex joined the JMIC in August 2022. He is responsible for the overall operations of the association as well as the project office of the Net Zero Carbon Events. NZCE is an industry-wide initiative aiming to help stakeholders of the meetings and events sectors to decarbonise. Before joining JMIC, Alex held different positions, including marketing and finance. He was mainly dedicated to investment and trade promotion between Europe and Asia. Throughout his career, Alex has been organising numerous business events, from small meetings to large conferences. 30 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE STRAP
By Alex Alles, executive director of Joint Meetings Industry Council which leads the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative

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BlackBrick expands its footprint

BlackBrick has expanded its footprint with a significant investment in Bedfordview, marking a major foray into Johannesburg’s east side. BlackBrick Bedford stands out as the first new hotel opening in the east side of Johannesburg in years, and the inaugural BlackBrick apartment hotel in this area, introducing a refreshing and authentically African-designed option to the market.

The apart-hotel sector is experiencing a transformative shift, driven by the demand of millennials and Gen Z for immersive, sustainable accommodations. HTF Market Intelligence reports that the apart-hotel market is projected to grow at a staggering CAGR of 22.5 per cent from 2024 to 2030. BlackBrick is leading this revolution, expertly blending luxury, functionality, and sustainability to shape new paradigms in traveller experiences.

Committed to environmental stewardship, BlackBrick embraces a circular economy model, with the entire building crafted from recycled materials. This approach not only minimises environmental impact but also resonates with eco-conscious consumers, with 70 per cent of travellers expressing a preference for sustainable accommodations. BlackBrick Bedford embodies this dedication to innovation and sustainability, transforming the former Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) head office into a dynamic new apartment hotel through adaptive reuse — a true testament to BlackBrick’s ability to repurpose spaces into extraordinary environments.

Growthpoint Properties (JSE: GRT) took the lead as the primary developer, leveraging its cross-sector development expertise for the R200m residential conversion project. This initiative was undertaken in a joint venture with Setso Property Fund (49 per cent) and in collaboration with BlackBrick Hotels, presenting a ground-breaking solution to the surplus of office space in the market and the scarcity of residential space.

Encompassing a sprawling 35,000 square metres, BlackBrick Bedford transcends traditional accommodation, serving as a lush sanctuary nestled within a botanical forest. Its verdant

gardens, tranquil koi pond, sculpture garden in collaboration with Nirox, and curated art collection featuring local talents like Naledi Modupi and Reginald Teys, create an oasis of serenity amidst the urban pulse.

Furthermore, BlackBrick Bedford is creating new job opportunities for locals through the opening of the hotel, with plans to employ a new team of hotel staff, further enriching the socio-economic fabric of the community.

In response to the growing trend of remote working, particularly evident post-pandemic, BlackBrick Bedford addresses the surge in South Africa by offering its most expansive workspace yet. Designed for productivity and collaboration, this state-of-the-art facility caters to both full-time remote workers and those who alternate between office and home environments. Acknowledging the emergence of a hybrid work model, where professionals split their time between cities or travel frequently, BlackBrick Bedford’s workspace is tailored to meet their needs. Featuring flexible seating arrangements, high-speed internet, and integrated technology solutions, it enables seamless transitions between remote work and travel without compromising productivity.

For guests seeking a harmonious balance between work and wellness, BlackBrick Bedford offers an array of amenities designed to invigorate the mind, body and spirit. Research studies show that properties offering wellness facilities have seen a 30 per cent increase in bookings. Whether it’s a workout session in the state-of-the-art gym, a friendly game on the padel tennis or volleyball courts, or a refreshing swim in the pool, guests have access to a range of facilities to maintain their fitness routines. The

property also features a scenic trail-running track winding through its lush gardens, providing an exhilarating backdrop for staying active and connected with nature.

Strategically located within a 15km radius of key business hubs such as OR Tambo airport, Sandton City, Johannesburg City Central, and Rosebank, BlackBrick Bedford is a magnet for discerning business travellers. Its prime location offers seamless connectivity for business engagements, city exploration, or travel connections.

Freedom’s Kitchin, the flagship restaurant of BlackBrick Bedford, represents culinary mastery rooted in Johannesburg’s vibrant culture. Headed by Kagiso Sebediela, a seasoned culinary professional and entrepreneur, this entirely black-owned establishment has flourished for more than three decades, operating in multiple locations across Johannesburg.

“Freedoms Kitchin is proud to be the restaurant partner to BlackBrick Bedford and we look forward to an exciting journey with the brand. As a young and agile business, we have always looked for opportunities that push our business into new frontiers. The restaurants opening allows us to showcase to a broad spectrum of clientele what Africa on a plate tastes like. While the menu is continental we certainly look forward to introducing patrons to our fire style cooking in the lush gardens, which are both an ode to an old age preparation method of food in a more enhanced outdoor kitchen setup. Our motto ‘Don’t go home to feel at home’ fits right into the DNA of what BlackBrick is about,” Mr Sebediela said.

BlackBrick Bedford opened its doors in May 2024. 32 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS

Hilton Sandton to be rebranded to NH Sandton

The landmark Hilton Sandton hotel, situated at 138 Rivonia Road, is undergoing a significant rebranding process as it transitions into the first NH Collection property in South Africa.

This follows a new partnership announced recently between the property’s owner – The Cavaleros Group – and international hotel group Minor Hotels.

The signing represents the upcoming debut of Minor Hotels’ NH Collection brand on the African continent.

From 1 July 2024, the group will manage the hotel in Sandton, the financial district of South Africa’s largest city. The 329-key property will first operate as NH Sandton and subsequently, following an extensive refurbishment of the property, will be rebranded as NH Collection Sandton.

This iconic hotel, spanning 30 years of successful operation, is located in Sandton, Johannesburg, approximately twenty kilometres from O.R. Tambo International Airport. NH Sandton will offer a selection of guest room categories including lead-in rooms, suites, one-bedroom suites, and the 145 square metre Royal Suite. Facilities at the property will include two restaurants and two bars, an executive lounge, conference facilities, in addition to a gym and large outdoor swimming pool.

The Cavaleros Group was established in South Africa in 1926, with the property arm being established in 1967 by the late Cosmas Cavaleros (Founder and Chairman), led by Penny Cavaleros (Chief Executive Officer) and Alexi Cavaleros (Head of International Acquisitions). The Cavaleros Group is one of the largest privately-owned property groups in South Africa, with its core business being the investment and development of data centres, commercial, industrial, hospitality and retail properties, both locally and internationally, and is a leading and respected member of the local and international property industry, having assembled and growing a portfolio of institutional-quality assets.

This profound partnership between Minor Hotels and The Cavaleros Group secures the

opportunity for Minor Hotels to pioneer their inaugural venture in South Africa, which is recognised as the second largest economy on the continent in terms of GDP and is a country which the hotel group is targeting for future development. Both Minor Hotels and The Cavaleros Group plan to foster a strong relationship, with the intention to partner together on future hospitality opportunities throughout the African continent.

William Heinecke, chairman and founder of Minor International, parent company of Minor Hotels, commented: “We are thrilled to sign this strategic partnership with The Cavaleros Group to launch NH and soon NH Collection in South Africa and with it launch our first property in the country. This property will join our growing portfolio of hotels in Africa, where our Anantara, Avani, and Elewana brands are already present. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Penny and the Cavaleros team.”

Penny Cavaleros, chief executive officer of The Cavaleros Group, also commented: “The decision to partner with Minor Hotels for our Sandton Hotel and Africa was legendary for The Cavaleros Group. We, as a Group,

identified certain asset classes within the property sector which we will aggressively pursue, hospitality being one with exponential growth into the African continent. Over the past three years, we have engaged with all international hotel groups and concluded and recognised that Minor Hotels’ history, speed, and culture is synonymous with our core Group values. We are currently considering several hospitality opportunities across the continent and have commenced our due diligence process.”

Minor Hotels currently operates 27 hotels and resorts in eight countries in Africa, across its Anantara, Avani, and Elewana Collection brands, with a further pipeline of future properties.

NH Collection has an existing portfolio of over ninety properties worldwide and can be found in top city locations across Europe and the Americas, with the first properties launched last year in the Middle East, on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, and in the Maldives. The brand will debut later this year in Asia, with the opening of NH Collection Chiang Mai in Thailand, with further properties to launch this year, including in Finland and Qatar.

Business Events Africa May 2024 33 PAGE VENUESTRAP NEWS
NH Collection Sandton – Signing Ceremony – Minor Hotels and The Cavaleros Group.

Radisson Hotel Group launches visionary Radisson Meetings Unbound

Radisson Hotel Group has unveiled its pioneering Radisson Meetings Unbound value proposition and AI-powered Radisson Meetings Dream Machine, as the Group continues to revolutionise the world of meetings, events, conferencing, and the business tourism industry.

Radisson Meetings Unbound allows meeting and event planners to unleash their creativity and tap into the world of AI technology to generate new ideas beyond the boundaries of conventional meetings and events. It encourages people to share event inspiration and bring their imaginations to life through future-thinking creations of dream event spaces.

The unveiling comes as business events (meetings, incentives, conference, and exhibitions) is set to benefit from the latest injection of technology-driven features and solutions that transform the traditional meeting experience. This coincides with and complements Radisson Hotel Group and Radisson Meetings’ efforts to offer its partners and customers the best in the industry, including providing world-class conferencing facilities, tailor-made event planning services, and travel incentive programs that reward customers.

Wielding the power of AI and technology

To celebrate this new value proposition, Radisson Hotel Group has brought together visionary digital innovation with meetings and events expertise to launch the Radisson Meetings Dream Machine. Using a customised generative AI tool, the Radisson Meetings Dream Machine enables event professionals to go beyond conventional boundaries, from conceptualisation to visualisation. Event professionals can use the platform to create visually stunning representations of their dream event spaces. In addition, event inspiration will be shared through thought leadership such as how to personalise event experiences with AI and real case studies of successful innovative event formats.

To bring the Radisson Meetings Dream Machine to life, the Group is organising a series of experiential creative workshops and ‘infinity rooms’ in key destinations across Europe and Africa. Radisson Hotel Group’s ‘infinity room’ is an immersive experience designed to help event planners step out of their comfort zone to redefine and expand their approach to meetings and events. Entering an almost pitch-black meeting room, participants are led through a series of deep-focus visualisation exercises to help them

think about the current challenges they face when organising meetings and how to navigate these different event constraints, by placing a particular emphasis on sensory experiences such as lighting and sound. As organisers progress through the different stages of the event planning process, the room gradually lightens, slowly, revealing infinity patterns, designed to facilitate co-creation and collaborative innovation.

The first ‘infinity room’ was recently launched at Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam City West. The Radisson Meetings Dream Machine events roadshow will continue with creative and immersive events in Düsseldorf, Copenhagen, Manchester, and Johannesburg. The concept will be brought to life in the coming months at select Radisson Hotel Group properties in collaboration with the Group’s network of strong local partners.

“As regional and international hubs for business meetings and conferences, South Africa’s major cities, such as Johannesburg, cater to professionals and event planners that seek flexible and customisable meeting spaces. High levels of international leisure and business travel signal the sector’s rebound following the Covid-19 pandemic, with business travel being of particular priority to the Group,” said Sandra Kneubuhler, country director of sales and district director, South Africa at Radisson Hotel Group.

Discover infinity with Radisson Hotels

Entering an almost pitch-black “infinity room”, participants are led through a series of deep-focus visualisation exercises to help them think about the current challenges they face when organising meetings, and how to navigate these different event constraints, by placing a particular emphasis on sensory experiences such as lighting and sound.

“The Radisson Meetings Dream Machine is a powerful tool that will play an important role in enhancing MICE tourism by distinguishing events through imagination and innovation. We couldn’t be more excited to share this experience with our local partners and demonstrate the power of AI in the local industry later this year,” Ms Kneubuhler added.

“In a crowded conference landscape, impressing event organisers and delegates is difficult. Delegates expect to be fully immersed and engaged in return for taking the time and effort to attend an event. Inspiration and creativity are needed now more than ever before. At Radisson Meetings, we remain committed to helping our partners unlock the doors to new meeting possibilities. Radisson Meetings Unbound and Radisson Meetings Dream Machine embody our company ethos to ensure that Every Moment Matters by leveraging the latest in digital innovation. Using pioneering AI technology, our event venues will be transformed into playgrounds where ideas soar, connections deepen, and creativity blossoms. Every day, everywhere, every time, we work hard to think outside the box, and bring event visions to life, and are proud to unveil this exciting new offering and creative platform,” said Daniela Dumitrescu, global marketing strategy director, Radisson Hotel Group.

A new kind of meeting

Radisson Meetings Unbound is the latest pioneering offering from Radisson Hotel Group’s world-leading Radisson Meetings team which offers the most dynamic, flexible, and functional solutions in the modern meetings and events marketplace. In 2019, Radisson Hotel Group was the first hotel group to make all meetings and events held across any of the Group’s properties globally carbon neutral, offsetting over 87 thousand tons of carbon to date for its clients. Radisson Meetings Unbound is aligned with the Group’s heightened focus on digital innovation which has established it as a leading digital innovation visionary. The Group was one of the first in the hospitality industry to release successful customer-first, innovative digital experiences based on immersive content and digital replicas that revolutionise the way meeting planners can explore meeting rooms and the different setups, book directly, or send a request for a proposal for that specific space alongside immersive virtual tours that provide floor plans, dollhouse views, and exact digital replicas of the hotel. The benefit of this technology also extends to the in-house event teams, as they can show different meeting room setups in real-time through any smartphone or VR goggles. 34 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE VENUESTRAPNEWS

Durban ICC nominated for Africa’s top award at World Travel Awards

Durban, KwaZulu-Natal — The Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) proudly announces its nomination for ‘Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre 2024’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards. This nomination underscores the Durban ICC’s continued commitment to excellence in the meetings and conference industry.

Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards recognise and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. The awards are voted for by travel and tourism professionals, as well as consumers worldwide, providing a true reflection of the industry’s best and brightest.

Speaking on the nomination, Lindiwe Rakharebe, chief executive officer of the Durban ICC, expressed her gratitude and excitement, stating: “We are deeply honoured to be nominated once again for Africa’s top award at the World Travel Awards. This nomination is a testament to the support of our clients, the hard work and dedication of our team, as well as our firm commitment to providing world-class experiences for all our events.”

Ms Rakharebe further highlighted the significance of the nomination, stating, “To be recognised by the World Travel Awards is a tremendous achievement, and winning this title again would be a dream. It is worth noting that the Durban ICC has won this title no less than eighteen times in this category’s 23-year history, a remarkable testament to our ongoing commitment to excellence.”

The Durban ICC has a long-standing reputation as Africa’s leading meetings and conference venue, offering state-of-the-art facilities, world-class service, and unparalleled expertise in event management. With over two decades of experience hosting highprofile events, the Durban ICC continues to set the standard for excellence in the industry.

Public voting for the World Travel Awards is now open, and the winners will be announced at the prestigious awards ceremony later this year. The Durban ICC encourages its clients, partners, and supporters to cast their votes and help them secure this esteemed title once again.

For more information about the Durban ICC and to cast your vote, please visit

Business Events Africa May 2024 35 PAGE VENUESTRAP NEWS

South Africa’s global reputation surpasses expectation

In an effort to assess South Africa’s global reputation in various key areas, Brand South Africa conducted extensive research on the perceptions that other countries have on South Africa. A total of 17 countries were surveyed with over 9,800 respondents and focused on brand audiences related to tourism, investment, talent, exports and general reputation.

Brand South Africa’s general of research, Lefentse Nokaneng, highlighted how the research allowed the country to leverage its strengths and find solutions on how to remedy its perceived weaknesses.

The key findings of the research, which covered five brand dimensions (Investment, Tourism, Exports, Talent, and General Reputation) were delivered by Jose Filipe Torres, chief executive officer of Bloom Consulting. Mr Torres revealed that South Africa was found to perform more favourably than in previous years, with perception scores on the Economy and Natural Assets increasing significantly.

Similarly, he mentioned that while the United Kingdom’s reputation outperformed all the 17 countries included in the study, South Africa was well-ranked, placing third in the dimensions of Investment and Export. These rankings all surpassed the results of the previous study conducted in 2022. When respondents were asked about what makes South Africa stand out from other countries, Wildlife, Scenery and Safaris topped the list. Interestingly, while willingness to invest increased 13 per cent over two years, willingness to travel to South Africa from a touristic perspective only marginally increased by one per cent, even though tourism remained one of the most digitally searched dimensions, with a huge growth of 17 per cent in online searches over the past year. The domain ranked as the seventh top contributor in tourism, when compared to the other countries in the study. Mr Torres also pointed out how South Africa’s Rugby World Cup 2023 win led to a huge spike in the country’s overall reputation and prominence.

While there was much good news on how the country was perceived, there were many aspects wherein South Africa was viewed negatively — signalling room for improvement. Unfortunately, safety and crime are still seen as a major issue of concern — a concern that was similarly highlighted in

the previous year’s study. However, when it came to digital searches on safety and crime, Chile, Brazil, and Thailand all faired significantly worse than South Africa.

Overall, the study revealed that South Africa has a ‘moderately positive perception’ in all the brand dimensions studied, and Mr Torres commended Brand South Africa for their ‘good work on growing South Africa’s general reputation’.

In reaction to the findings, moderator Fifi Peters subsequently facilitated a panel discussion, fronted by four revered captains of industry, including Sithembela Ntombela, acting chief executive officer of Brand South Africa; Yunus Hoosen, chief executive officer of Invest South Africa; Thembisile Sehloho, chief marketing officer of South African Tourism; Esha Mansingh, executive vice president: corporate affairs and investor relations — DP World Company and Stavros Nicholaou, strategic trade development for Aspen Pharmacare.

The panel conducted a discursive and solutions-orientated discussion that not only evaluated the positives and negatives of the

Global Reputation Study, but also initiated proactive dialogue on how South Africa could best harness its reputation in the next 30 years. 2024 marks the thirtieth year of South African democracy, and the country’s global reputation has evolved substantially since 1994. The panelists unanimously agreed that bettering South Africa’s global perception over the next three decades would require a keen focus on sustainable projects such as Critical Minerals and Green Energy, as well as purposeful ‘collective action’ between government, the private sector and civil society.

Ultimately, the Global Reputation Study revealed reassuring results, and provided Brand South Africa with valuable insight into the country’s global reputation. Ms Ntombela, concluded: “There were many findings in the study that give hope. But there is room for improvement. There is always room for improvement. What this research provides us with is the ability to focus on addressing the more negatively perceived facets of the country, and also determine how we can best dispel misconceptions about South Africa.” 36 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE MARKETSTRAPNEWS
From left: Fifi Peters, moderator; Sithembile Ntombela, acting chief executive officer of Brand South Africa; Thembisile Sihloho, chief marketing officer of South African Tourism; Esha Mansingh, head: corporate affairs & sustainability sub-Saharan Africa — DP World; Yunus Hoosen, chief executive officer of Invest South Africa and Stavros Nicolaou, strategic trade development of Aspen Pharmacare.

Redefining hospitality: Hotel and Hospitality Expo Africa 2024

Hotel and Hospitality Expo Africa 2024 will focus on the innovations, trends, and conversations that are needed to redefine hospitality on the continent.

The Hotel and Hospitality Expo

Africa turns the African hospitality conversation towards transformative action and the innovations, conversations, and changes needed to redefine hospitality on the continent. The seventh edition of the expo, taking place from 11-13 June 2024, could not be better timed — the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer saw Africa recover 96 per cent of pre-pandemic visitors in 2023, with international tourism reaching US$1.4 trillion and growth expected to exceed these numbers in 2024. Poised to become the second-fastest growing tourism region this year, Africa’s tourism is achieving impressive momentum thanks to a growing middle class, increased hospitality investment and innovation, and a CAGR of 8.9 per cent by 2032.

“The event provides thought leaders with the opportunity to unpack core challenges and concerns facing the sector today,” said Margaret Peters, event manager: food and hospitality at dmg events.

“Can sustainability and luxury co-exist? How can timeless, authentic design fuse with innovation to deliver aesthetics and functionality? These are just some of the questions asked, and answered, by highcalibre speakers and experts wanting to find intelligent ways of leveraging technology and transformation to meet changing market needs and expectations.”

Key trends discussed at the event, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre, include: artificial intelligence (AI) and the role of emergent and relevant technologies;

sustainability and social responsibility; driving tourism in dollars and moving beyond the singular destination; unlocking new revenue opportunities; OTA versus direct booking engines; personalisation and big data; the growth of the bleisure industry; and attracting investment.

“AI is affecting every business, everywhere, and hospitality has an opportunity to step forward and into its wave of innovation, to create sustainable change that affects personalisation, decision-making and growth,” Ms Peters said.

“It is also one of multiple trends and shifts in customer need that’s shaping the future of the sector. The African Hospitality Confidence Index 2024 found that 92 per cent of customers fit into the bleisure category, 53 per cent use dynamic pricing to optimise revenue, and 89 per cent believe ESG is key to long-term success. Having these conversations at HEA is critical to ensuring longevity for the industry as well as opening the doorway to opportunity.”

The speakers, thinkers and decisionmakers gathering to discuss the reality of hospitality in Africa are some of the leaders in future-forward thinking and industry insights. Jeff Blackbeard, director of sectors and markets at Moore Global and Lee-Anne Singer, marketing and sales director at The Singer Group lead the keynote address focusing on exploring the churning landscape of hospitality in Africa. They’re followed by Bronwen Auret, chief quality assurance officer, South African Tourism; Steven Louw, chief executive officer, Steyn

City; Brett Hendricks, chief executive officer, Motsamayi Tourism Group and Daphne Kruijsse, area manager,, among many others. A full list of speakers and the agenda can be found here

“There is a strong demand for quality accommodation but there is also a need for the industry to focus on sustainability and technological transformation,” said Mr Blackbeard.

“We need to talk about the trends determining Africa’s hospitality journey as a vibrant international destination, capitalising on the growth felt in 2023.”

The event is bolstered by the 2024 Advisory Board which comprises a distinguished collective of industry champions committed to creating a substantive and well-rounded program for Hotel and Hospitality Expo Africa. This year, the Advisory Board is made up of some of the leaders of the industry — key thought leaders and trend makers that include Neil Hughes, managing director at Providence Hospitality; Lee-Anne Singer, chairperson at FEDHASA Cape; Glyn Taylor, chief executive officer at Oasis Life; and Leoni Andereya, curator at Radisson Red, among many others. The Advisory Board members are selected for their expertise across key areas that include chief operations officers, general managers and chefs.

Find out more about the event at

Business Events Africa May 2024 37 PAGE MARKETSTRAP NEWS

Rainbow Tourism Group and Grand Metropolitan Hotels in joint venture

Zimbabwe’s hospitality company Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) has entered a joint venture partnership with Grand Metropolitan Hotels (GMH) a distinguished Swiss-based European hospitality company.

The partnership was announced on the sidelines of the World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town by the two entities. The African tourism sector is set to gain significant benefits from the partnership.

The joint venture model involves the identification of hotels in strategic growth nodes and destinations across the continent for management contracting, which is likely to enhance investment on the continent. This will contribute to the expansion of the industry and create employment opportunities.

Grand Metropolitan Hotels, as a leading European hotel company, brings extensive expertise in hotel management, operations, and international standards. This partnership will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and best practices to RTG and partner hotels, enabling them to enhance their service quality, operational efficiency, and guest experience.

The collaboration between RTG and GMH is set to activate the development of a wider network of hotels and resorts in Africa. This expansion will attract more international tourists and business travellers to the region, thereby boosting the overall growth of

Africa’s hospitality industry.

“Through joint marketing efforts and cross-promotion, the partnership will help to showcase African destinations to a global audience. GMH’s international network and marketing capabilities will support RTG in promoting African countries as attractive tourist and business travel destinations, further driving growth and attracting investment,” said Mr. Martin Smura the Board Chairman and President for GMH.

“This partnership will not only benefit RTG and GMH, but will create job opportunities across various sectors, including accommodation, food and beverage, tourism services, and more. Africa has the fastest growing population, which is projected to reach 2.5 billion by 2050, leading to increased domestic tourism and travel spending. This longterm growth potential can make hotel investments attractive for those seeking sustained returns over time. We see a real opportunity for GMH,” said Mr. Smura.

The Rainbow Tourism group chief executive, Tendai Madziwanyika, said: “This partnership with Grand Metropolitan

Hotels is a significant milestone. As RTG, we intend to leverage the capabilities of world leaders in the industry. This partnership will not only benefit Zimbabwe, but the entire continent, as we will impart best practices to our students. We want to raise the standards to world-class international standards.”

Overall, the strategic joint venture partnership between RTG and Grand Metropolitan Hotels has the potential to bring about positive developments in Africa’s hospitality industry. It has the potential to drive economic growth, enhance service quality, promote African destinations, and create a favourable environment for investment and employment. 38 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE MARKETSTRAPNEWS

Registration for 11th International Adventure Conference 2024 — now open

The Adventure Tourism Research Association, an international association of adventure tourism experts and professionals, announced the registration for its annual conference, the 11 th International Adventure Conference, is now open.

The International Adventure Conference is taking place from 9-11 September 2024 in Knysna, South Africa. This is the first time this conference will take place on the African continent.

The tourism and hospitality industries are amongst the world’s most exciting and vibrant places to work, and nowhere more so than here in Africa. Outdoor adventure provides a great context in which to explore the ways landscape, peoples and morethan-human communities interact — in forests, in the sea and on the plains. South Africa provides an extraordinary stage for this significant conference.

Prof Uwe P Hermann, Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), said: “South Africa is honoured to host the event. The event is important as this is the first time that an international event of this type is held in South Africa. The event will host well known academics from the field and will provide valuable opportunities for industry to learn from the latest research, and for researchers to learn from industry, to drive the development of future research. This reciprocity we hope will allow for the further development of the adventure tourism sector in South Africa.”

The original idea for the International Adventure Conference (IAC) came from Professor Peter Varley. While working at the Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research at the University of the Highlands and

Islands in Scotland, he saw a gap amongst the numerous tourism conferences for an event that was focused on outdoor adventure research and learning. Peter and his colleague, Dr Steve Taylor, organised the first IAC in Fort William, Scotland in 2012, which attracted an eclectic international audience. At the second conference, the Adventure Tourism Research Association (ATRA) was established, built on the relationships and consensus developed in the first two events.

Dr Steve Taylor, based in Fort William, Scotland, expressed delight at collaborating with the conference hosts in South Africa, stating that: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the International Adventure Conference to visit the African continent for the first time and for the adventure tourism community to come together in the stunning setting of Knysna to consider the ways that people, cultures and landscapes interact to provide extraordinary tourist experiences.

“Since that second conference and the formation of ATRA, the hosting of the conference has rotated to countries as diverse as Norway, Ireland, New Zealand and Spain. South Africa provides an incredible landscape for adventure tourism experiences, and it is only fitting that such a conference, with a focus on cutting-edge and industry-relevant research, should be hosted here. It creates a wonderful chance for participants from around the globe to come together in South Africa to present,

learn about and discuss the latest issues in this growing, and increasingly relevant, tourism sector. It gives Knysna the opportunity to showcase the diversity of its amazing natural and cultural environments as a stage for an array of world-class adventurous experiences.”

Why attend?

The conference provides a platform for experts and professionals to meet and deliberate on issues related to the adventure tourism sectors.

Benefit from the opportunity to present, learn about and discuss on leading adventure and outdoor recreation research, and their business applications in a friendly, supportive and informal atmosphere, while being immersed in a wonderful natural and cultural environment, conducive to supporting sustainable, slow and low-key immersive adventure experiences in Africa.

Who should attend?

The event has been designed to accommodate professionals, managers and business owners from the adventure tourism sector as well as researchers, academics and postgraduate students.


To register, please click here

For more information click here or contact our event management team at

Business Events Africa May 2024 39 PAGE MARKETSTRAP NEWS

Record-breaking WTM Africa 2024 signals surging interest in African tourism

World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) wrapped up its 2024 edition with recordbreaking numbers, demonstrating a significant surge in global interest towards African travel and tourism. This year saw a 40 per cent jump in buyers compared to 2023, solidifying the event’s status as the continent’s leading travel trade show.

WTM Africa 2024 hosted 705 exhibitors and 5,752 industry professionals from 99 countries. The buyer attendance was notably diverse, featuring strong representation from emerging markets Such as Greece, Philippines, Switzerland, Singapore, Lithuania, New Zealand, Ghana, China, Japan, and Argentina. This influx of new buyers contributed to the impressive 10,505 pre-scheduled meetings conducted during the event. This expanded reach promises increased investment and awareness for African destinations worldwide.

“The enormous increase in buyers highlights the growing confidence and investment in Africa as a compelling travel destination,” said Carol Weaving, managing director, RX Africa. “WTM Africa is a serious business event, and our goal is to facilitate connections that lead to tangible growth for the African tourism sector. This year’s success underscores that commitment, and we are thrilled to see such a positive response.”

A highlight of WTM Africa 2024 was the inaugural African Media Awards, recognising exceptional reporting on tourism, travel, and hospitality in Africa. The awards celebrated the crucial role journalists play in promoting the continent’s destinations and experiences.

The renowned Responsible Tourism Awards, sponsored by the V&A Waterfront, also returned, honouring businesses and initiatives that prioritise sustainable and ethical practices within the travel sector. These long-standing awards align with WTM Africa’s commitment to driving positive change and promoting responsible tourism across the continent. The trophies for the Responsible Tourism winners were provided by Ngwenya Glass.

Additionally, WTM Africa 2024 featured the highlyanticipated Trends Report, providing invaluable insights into the latest industry developments. The event’s speaking programme was a resounding success and brought together the who’s-who of the African tourism industry including, among others, representatives from Cape Town Tourism, Weeva,

Singita, the TBCSA and many more. The speaking programme was sponsored by LIFT, who provided flights for speakers and hosted buyers.

New this year was the Brain Box, offering interactive sessions and hands-on learning opportunities for attendees. This innovative addition allowed industry professionals to engage with material in a more immersive and practical manner.

“We are incredibly proud to have launched the African Journalism Awards and introduced exciting new elements like the Brain Box,” Ms Weaving added. “These initiatives, combined with our established programmes, demonstrate our commitment to driving innovation and elevating the African travel industry.”

As WTM Africa looks ahead to 2025, the event remains steadfast in its mission to facilitate business opportunities, foster meaningful connections, and showcase the diverse and captivating travel experiences that Africa has to offer.

Building back Exhibitions and Events together!

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

40 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE MARKETSTRAPNEWS

Ensuring a fulfilling employee experience

Ensuring a well-rounded, fulfilling employee experience is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent while fostering a positive workplace culture.

This involves creating an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and motivated to excel. Key components of such an experience include:

• Clear purpose and values

Articulate the organisation's mission, vision, and values to provide employees with a sense of purpose and direction. When employees understand how their work contributes to the broader goals of the company, they feel more engaged and fulfilled.

• Opportunities for growth

Offer opportunities for professional development and career advancement. This can include training programmes, mentorship opportunities, and clear pathways for progression within the organisation. Encouraging employees to continuously learn and grow not only benefits them personally but also

enhances their contributions to the company.

• Work-Life balance

Promote work-life balance by offering flexible work arrangements, paid time off, and resources for managing stress. Recognise the importance of employees' well-being outside of work and encourage them to prioritise self-care.

• Recognition and feedback

Regularly recognise and celebrate employees' achievements and contributions. Providing constructive feedback and acknowledging their efforts helps employees feel valued and motivated to perform at their best.

• Inclusive culture

Foster an inclusive and diverse workplace where all employees feel respected, heard, and included. Embrace diversity of thought and background, and actively

work to create a sense of belonging for everyone on the team.

• Supportive leadership

Cultivate a supportive leadership style that encourages open communication, collaboration, and trust. Leaders should be approachable, empathetic, and willing to advocate for their team members' needs.

• Wellness programmes

Offer wellness programmes and initiatives that support employees' physical, mental, and emotional health. This can include access to gym facilities, mental health resources, and initiatives promoting work-life balance.

By prioritising these elements of the employee experience, organisations can create a positive and fulfilling work environment where employees are motivated to perform their best and contribute to the company's success.

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...



Business Events Africa May 2024 41 PAGESITESTRAP NEWS

Immersive experiences in abundance

As discussions continue on AI, and how the meetings and events industry may adapt with time, it is important to remember that events are people-driven, and the interaction of individuals at events must be kept in mind.

There is an opportunity for meeting planners to consider the future of immersive meetings and events with the likelihood of how we can shape this through advancing and adopting various technologies.

It’s important to note that the adoption of immersive technologies will likely depend on factors such as cost, ease of use, and the ability to create compelling and meaningful experiences that add value beyond traditional formats.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are already found at trade shows and events. These technologies allow for the creation of highly immersive virtual environments, enabling attendees to feel as though they are physically present in a shared space, regardless of their actual location. VR and AR can facilitate engaging presentations, interactive product demonstrations, and

collaborative experiences that were previously impossible or impractical.

As a destination, we offer some naturally spectacular offerings, that AI and technology can complement. In terms of sustainability, and mental and physical wellness, personalised immersive experiences are available. Advanced audio technologies, such as spatial audio and binaural audio, can create a more immersive auditory experience by simulating sound sources from different directions, enhancing the sense of presence and engagement. These elements provide both delegates and planners opportunities to embrace activities that are outside the normal venue experience, and an added activity that forms part of the programme delivery.

Should you be unable to combine the above, Haptic Technology devices can provide tactile sensations, enabling attendees to experience

physical interactions with virtual objects or environments, further enhancing the sense of immersion.

To achieve the balance, the need for high-speed, low-latency networks like 5G, combined with edge computing, can enable real-time rendering and streaming of immersive content, allowing for more seamless and responsive virtual experiences. This must be limited, as the full immersive experience is best discovered in person.

As these technologies continue to advance and become more accessible, immersive meetings and events are expected to become more realistic, engaging, and efficient.


The essential role of reputable suppliers in event and exhibition planning: a perspective from EXSA

In the dynamic world of event planning and exhibition stand building, success hinges on a multitude of factors. From conceptualisation to execution, every step demands meticulous attention to detail and collaboration with various stakeholders. Among these, the choice of suppliers stands out as a critical determinant of event quality and success.

Within the industry, the Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa (EXSA) serves as a beacon of excellence and professionalism. As an integral part of this esteemed association, advocating for the use of reputable suppliers is not just a recommendation but a fundamental principle that underpins the integrity and success of events and exhibitions.

So, why is it crucial to engage with reputable suppliers? Here are some compelling reasons:

Quality assurance

Reputable suppliers have a proven track

record of delivering high-quality products and services. Whether it’s AV equipment, custom stand installations, promotional materials, logistics, or event safety, working with trusted suppliers ensures that the delivered items meet or exceed expectations. This commitment to quality translates into a seamless and memorable experience for all attendees.

Reliability and timeliness

Time is of the essence in event planning, where deadlines are non-negotiable. Reputable suppliers understand the importance of punctuality and reliability. They adhere to timelines, ensuring that

deliveries are made promptly and installations are completed as scheduled. This reliability eliminates last-minute crises and instils confidence in event organisers and exhibitors.

Professionalism and expertise

Partnering with reputable suppliers means gaining access to a team of professionals with extensive industry knowledge and expertise. Whether it’s technical support, creative design, or logistical planning, these suppliers bring valuable insights and innovative solutions to the table. Their professionalism fosters effective communication, collaboration, and 44 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE STRAP EXSA NEWS
Gijima Stand, Solar & Storage Live. Design concept & project management by EXSA Member: SSQ. Appointed custom stand builder by EXSA member: Brilliant Branding. Appointed AV contractor by EXSA member: BRX Group.

problem-solving throughout the event planning process.

Risk mitigation

Events and exhibitions often involve significant investments of time, money, and resources. Engaging with reputable suppliers mitigates the risk of unforeseen complications or subpar outcomes. These suppliers operate with transparency and integrity, offering contracts with clear terms and conditions, insurance coverage, and contingency plans to address any potential issues that may arise.

Enhanced reputation

The success of an event reflects not only on the organisers but also on the suppliers involved. By aligning with reputable suppliers, event planners and exhibitors enhance their own reputation within the industry. Positive experiences lead to word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business, fostering long-term partnerships and contributing to the overall growth and credibility of the event industry.

In conclusion, the importance of using reputable suppliers in event planning

cannot be overstated. Within the framework of EXSA, this principle is upheld as a cornerstone of professionalism and excellence. By prioritising quality, reliability, professionalism, and risk mitigation, event planners and exhibitors can ensure the

success and sustainability of their endeavours. As ambassadors of the industry, let us continue to champion the value of reputable suppliers and uphold the highest standards of EXSA-llence in every event and exhibition we undertake.

Business Events Africa May 2024 45 PAGEEXSASTRAP NEWS
Concept, project management and custom builder by EXSA member: Next Exhibitions and AV and Rigging by EXSA member: BRX Group.

Driving change: embracing sustainability in events

In today’s dynamic business landscape, sustainability has emerged as a defining factor in the success and longevity of enterprises across industries. As event professionals, we find ourselves at the forefront of this transformative shift, tasked with delivering exceptional experiences and ensuring that they align with sustainable principles.

Recent research by Display Wizard underscores this evolution, revealing that an overwhelming 92 per cent of businesses exhibiting at trade shows prioritise sustainability in their planning processes. This statistic highlights the growing awareness of environmental concerns and underscores the strategic imperative for event organisers to integrate sustainability into their operations.

One prominent initiative driving this change is the Journey to Net Carbon Zero. This initiative challenges event planners to offset their carbon footprint, aiming for net carbon neutrality. While ambitious, this goal presents many benefits for businesses and the environment. By embracing sustainability, event planners can enhance their brand reputation, attract environmentally-conscious clients, and contribute positively to the global effort to combat climate change.

However, it’s essential to tread carefully to avoid the trap of greenwashing — the deceptive practice of exaggerating or misrepresenting a company’s environmental efforts. Instead, event planners should focus on implementing tangible, measurable sustainability practices that reduce their ecological impact.

So, how can event professionals navigate this transition towards sustainability effectively? It begins with a comprehensive

strategy that encompasses every aspect of event planning and execution. Every decision should be made with sustainability in mind, from venue selection and waste management to transportation and energy consumption.

The journey towards sustainability in event management is a moral imperative and a strategic business opportunity. By embracing sustainability practices, event professionals can differentiate themselves in a competitive market, enhance their brand value, and contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future.

Moreover, collaboration, knowledge and innovation are key drivers of success in this endeavour. By partnering with sustainable suppliers, leveraging cutting-edge technologies, and fostering a culture of environmental responsibility among stakeholders, event planners can overcome challenges and unlock new opportunities for sustainable growth.

This is where the Event Greening Forum (EGF) and the Green Database ( become valuable resources for event professionals. As a collective of like-minded individuals with a shared commitment to sustainability, the EGF serves as a platform for education, inspiration, and transformation within the


Whether you’re a novice seeking guidance or a seasoned sustainability expert looking to connect with peers, the EGF welcomes all who are passionate about driving positive change in the event sector. By engaging with the EGF, event professionals can access a wealth of resources, including best practices, case studies, and networking opportunities, to amplify their sustainability efforts and contribute to the broader mission of transforming the industry for the better.

If you’re eager to be part of this movement, why not visit the Event Greening website to explore how you can learn more and get involved?

About us

The Event Greening Forum is a non-profit organisation that promotes sustainability within the business events sector. To find out more, please visit For more

Lynn Mcleod

Tel: 082 891 5883

Email: 46 Business Events Africa May 2024 PAGE EVENTSTRAPGREENING FORUM
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
information, please

Events and exhibitions are vital

Events and exhibitions serve as dynamic engines for local economic growth, crucial in generating employment, attracting tourists, and supporting various businesses.

By drawing significant crowds, these events create a vibrant marketplace that benefits a wide range of sectors including hospitality, retail, transportation, and entertainment. The economic impact is substantial, with increased spending by visitors on accommodation, dining, shopping, and local attractions, which in turn fuels job creation and stimulates the local economy.

The 32nd UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) Barometer sheds light on the impressive growth potential of the events and exhibitions industry in South Africa. According to the report, the sector is expected to see a 94 per cent revenue increase in 2024, compared to 2023. This optimistic forecast is accompanied by a significant commitment

to workforce expansion, with 43 per cent of South African respondents indicating plans to enhance their workforce this year. This focus on development highlights the sector’s role, not just in economic terms, but also in fostering skills and employment opportunities within the community. Local businesses stand to gain considerably from the influx of visitors that events and exhibitions bring. These events offer an invaluable platform for companies to showcase their products and services to a broad audience, potentially leading to increased sales, new customer bases, and enhanced brand recognition. Additionally, the networking opportunities provided by these gatherings can lead to new partnerships and collaborations, further driving business growth.

Moreover, the tourism boost generated by events and exhibitions contributes to the local economy beyond the immediate duration of the event. Visitors who come for a specific event often explore other attractions and activities in the area, leading to extended stays and further economic benefits.

Events and exhibitions are vital to stimulating local economies. They drive significant economic activity through job creation, increased tourism, and business support, creating a multiplier effect that benefits the entire community. The promising growth forecast for South Africa’s event industry underscores the substantial potential of this sector to contribute to sustained economic development.








Jaques Fouche


c: +27 (0)60 993 7542


Gheeta Payle


c: +27 (0)61 609 8585


Alex Wrottesley


c: +27 (0)79 429 1627

Chief executive officer

Glenton De Kock


c: +27 (0)82 575 7565

Membership Services & Operations

Tracey-Lee Abdulla


t: +27 (0)84 492 1515



Eastern Cape Chairperson

Neil Mouton

t: +27 (0)61 423 9920


KwaZulu-Natal Chairperson

Kavitha Dhawnath

c: +27 (0)83 607 2006


Gauteng Chairperson

Mary Mahlangu

c: +27 (0)81 574 9493


Western Cape Chairperson

Ansu Colditz

c: +27 (0)82 457 8071


Learning Ambassador

Esti Venske

c: +27 (0)83 482 9276

EXSA Chairperson

Sibusiso Mncwabe

EXSA Vice Chairperson

Jacqui Nel


Ismael Atanasi

Gauteng Chairperson

Kerry-Lee Bester

Western Cape Chairperson

Liam Beattie

Western Cape Vice Chairperson

Nic Curle

KwaZulu-Natal Chairperson

Ashona Maharaj


Gavin Burgess

Director Kimendrie Pillay


Ross Wilson

Co-opted Director

Daniel Chemel

Co-opted Director

Steve Marsden


Tes Proos

c: +27 (0) 84 682 7676



Peter-John Mitrovich

c: +27 (0)82 318 1889



Daryl Keywood

Southern Africa Development

Brad Glen

East Africa Development

Chris Munyao

Young Leader Programme

Peter Mwanja

Africa Convention Bureaus

Rick Taylor

North Africa Development

George Fawzi

Board member at large

Rick Taylor

East Africa (Rwanda)

Chris Munyao

North Africa

George Fawzi

North Africa support

Brad Glen

Secretariat & Events

Mariaan Burger

c: +27 (0)82 557 8041




Raylene Johnson, CEO: TEBCO-SA

Interim treasurer

Glenn van Eck, Chairperson: CEPA


Projeni Pather, Chairperson: AAXO


Kevan Jones, Executive Director SACIA

Sharif Baker, Chairperson TPSA

Tes Proos, SITE President

Justin Hawes, Managing Director: Scan Display & Event

Greening Forum Treasurer

Sibusiso Mncwabe, Chairperson EXSA

Justin van Wyk, Chairperson SALPA

Mike Lord, Chairperson ESC

Arthur Goldstuck, PSASA Exco Member

Esmare Steinhofel, Chairperson: ICCA Africa Chapter

Advisory Members:

Prof Nellie Swart, Associate Professor: Tourism


Corne Koch, Head: Convention Bureau (WESGRO)

Tiisetso Tau, AAXO member

Daryl Keywood, SITE Member

Bheki Twala, TEBCO-SA Executive

Kim Roberts, SAACI Representative Western Cape

Robyn D’Alessandro, PR/Social media, Vivo Visual Voice CC 48 Business Events Africa May 2024




46 Waterford Office Park, Waterford Drive, Fourways, Johannesburg

t: +27 (0)87 265 5840


Association coordinator: Anthea Buys


Chairperson: Devi Paulsen-Abbott, Dmg Events e:

Vice-chairperson: Tiisetso Tau, Synergy Business Events e:

Venue Committee Chairperson: Charles Wilson, Gallagher Convention Centre e:


Mark Anderson, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery e:

Board of directors:

Chanelle Hingston, Clarion Events Africa


Sandra Barrow


Projeni Pather, Exposure Marketing e:

179 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North, Private Bag X7000, Parklands 2121

t: +27 (0)11 447 4777



Management Committee Members:

Chairperson: John Arvanitakis (Chat’r Xperience)

Vice Chairperson: Neo Mohlatlole (7 Colors)

Treasurer: Justin Hawes (Scan Display)

Secretariat: Lynn McLeod (individual)

Morwesi Ramonyai (Borena Energy)

Gavin Burgess (Technology Partners)

Grace Stead (Steadfast Greening)

JP van Schalkwyk (Up-A-Tone Events)

Sonja van Rooyen (Specialised Exhibitions)

Emma Kumalo (Chat’R Xperiences)

Angelique Smith (Event Synthesis)

Joey Swart (Take Note Events)

Louis Nel (Louis THE Lawyer)*


They are joined by the EGF’s associate member representatives, who are:

AAXO: Anthea Buys

EXSA: Doug Rix/Lee-Ann Alder

Fedhasa: TBC

IFEA Africa: Janet Landey

The MICE Academy: Helen Brewer

PCO Alliance: Melody Barber

SAACI: Glenton de Kock

SACIA/TPSA: Kevan Jones

SA Roadies: TBC

ICCA African Chapter

Chairperson: Taubie Motlhabane

Cape Town International Convention Centre

t: +27 (0)21 410 5000 e:

Deputy Chairperson:  Frank Murangwa

Rwanda Convention Bureau

t: +250 788 358 454 e:

Secretariat:  Esmaré Steinhöfel

ICCA Africa Regional director

c: +27 (0)84 056 5544



ABTA African Business Travel Association

Box 2594, Pinegowrie, 2123

t: +27 (0)11 888 8178

c: +27 (0)83 679 2110


Founder: Monique Swart

ASATA – Association of Southern African Travel Agents PO Box 650539, Benmore, 2010 t: +27 (0)11 293 0560/61 e:


Office manager: Barbara Viljoen

Council of Event Professionals Africa

Kevan Jones

t: +27 (0)11 083 6418

c: +27 (0)82 555 5556

Chairperson: Glenn van Eck

Magnetic Storm

c: +27 (0)82 800 2616


FEDHASA National Office Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa PO Box 3853, The Reeds, 0157

c: +27 (0)82 552 9862


PSASA – Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa

t: +27 (0)11 462 9465

c: +27 (0)83 458 6114


SABOA Southern African Bus Operators Association

Postnet Suite 393, Private Bag X033, Rivonia 2128

t: +27 (0)11 511 7641


SACIA Southern African Communications

Industries Association

c: +27 (0)82 555 5556


Executive director: Kevan Jones

SATI South African Translators’ Institute

Executive director: Marion Boers

t: +27 (0)11 803 2681


SATSA Southern Africa Tourism Services Association

Box 900, Ferndale 2160

t: +27 (0)11 886 9996


SKAL International South Africa

Secretary: Anne Lamb

t: +27 (0)21 434 7023

c: +27 (0)82 708 1836


STA Sandton Tourism Association

t: +27 (0)83 558 5445


TBCSA Tourism Business Council of South Africa

Chief executive: Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa

Box 11655, Centurion 0046

t: +27 (0)12 664 0120


Member relations manager: Boitumelo Moleleki

TGCSA Tourism Grading Council of South Africa

Private Bag X10012, Sandton 2146

t: +27 (0)11 895 3000

f: +27 (0)11 895 3001


TINSA Interpreters/Translators Network of Southern Africa


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

c: +27 (0)83 249 0010

TPSA Technical Production Services Association

c: +27 (0)82 555 5556 e:

Executive director: Kevan Jones

TTA Tshwane Tourism Association

Box 395, Pretoria 0001

t: +27 (0)12 841 4212 e:

Chairperson: Bronwen Cadle de Ponte

Secretary: Sithembile Nzimande

Membership coordinator: Liz Oosthuysen


Business Events Africa May 2024 49

Building hope and confidence: Cape Town’s post-pandemic renaissance

The global tourism industry is finally emerging from the rubble of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to UN Tourism, international tourism ended 2023 at 88 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

That upward trend was echoed in South Africa where 3.5 million travellers were recorded at South African ports of entry/exit. As one of the country’s tourism hubs, the City of Cape Town has been at the forefront of tourism’s rejuvenation.

James Vos, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, said: “Central to Cape Town’s recovery efforts is the recognition of the importance of supporting small businesses and empowering marginalised communities. By investing in local enterprises and providing opportunities for growth, the city aims to create a more inclusive and resilient economy.”

Building post-Covid confidence

The remarkable rebound of Cape Town’s tourism has been driven, in large part by, the city’s insistence on lionising entrepreneurship and innovation in revitalising struggling industries. Mr Vos remarked: “Cape Town is exploring multifaceted approaches to rebuild economies and restore confidence among businesses, investors, and consumers alike. This commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation is key to building an economy of hope and confidence in a

post-pandemic world.”

The revitalisation of struggling industries goes beyond mere economic recovery; it is about building a future that is sustainable and equitable for all. Through strategic partnerships and innovative initiatives, Cape Town is laying the groundwork for long-term prosperity and growth. Mr Vos underscores this point, saying, “By fostering entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses, we can create opportunities that uplift

Index of advertisers and contributors

communities and drive economic transformation.”

This is why public, and private partnerships are so important.

Samantha Williams, commercial director of Profitroom, and Lee-Anne Singer at FEDHASA, concluded: “By working with government and our private partners, we have seen incredible growth in the industry and now the future looks bright, not just for the city but for South Africa as a whole.”


ANEW Hotel Parktonian 12,13

Event Greening Forum 46

EXSA 44-45

Johannesburg Expo Centre fc,ifc,8-11

Johannesburg Stock Exchange 24-25,26

Mice Management 20,21

Mjunxtion 4

Nelson Mandela Bay 14-15,16

Premier Hotels & Resorts 22,23

SAACI 42,43

SA Events Council 40

SITE Africa 41

Image by Dewald Van Rensburg from Pixabay

Collaboration in hospitality and tourism set to strengthen South Africa

South Africa’s hospitality and tourism industries have a critical role to play in boosting economic development. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the contribution of travel and tourism to South Africa’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.6 per cent every year over the next decade, playing a major role in driving the country’s economic recovery. In a land so beautiful and varied, the opportunity to influence lives and livelihoods is significant.

While this opportunity is largely being leveraged, there is still room for growth, which is why we’re seeing more and more industry players coming together to invest in this untapped potential. In his speech at Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban, deputy minister of tourism Fish Mahlalela emphasised this, defining hospitality and tourism operators as ‘catalysts of change, and architects of a future defined by cooperation and collective success’.

Here are three ways in which leading travel organisations are seeking to contribute positively to South Africa’s future.

Improving collaboration

Information sharing, open dialogue, and collaborative problem-solving are critical in effecting change. Strong lines of communication help industry players to identify common areas of concern, and to develop and implement relevant and sustainable solutions. While relationships have always existed between different organisations in hospitality and tourism, and between the private and public sectors, a lot of work has historically happened in silos.

Today, however, cross-collaboration within the sectors is on the rise, with relevant organisations and parties taking the chance to have their say. Input from small artisanal suppliers, rural local municipalities, large hospitality providers, big industry associations, and everyone in between is encouraged. In addition, sector leaders are striving to dissolve boundaries and bureaucratic red tape so that they can foster a culture of partnership and collective action.

Driving transformation

Historically, hospitality and tourism

providers tended to operate independently from the communities of which they were a part. This was especially the case in remote and rural areas where, sadly, they had the potential to exert the greatest impact. Fortunately, this has changed dramatically in the democratic era, and will continue to be a priority, going forward.

Organisations have integrated corporate social investment initiatives into their modus operandi, and now work closely with community structures, donate to worthwhile causes, and partner with local non-governmental organisations to make a difference. Of course, this work leads naturally to another key area: job creation.

Prioritising job creation

Unemployment is one of the South African government’s largest priorities, and every sector has a responsibility to play their role in addressing it. Approximately 4.5% of South Africa’s population is employed in the tourism industry, many of whom support several family members and dependents.

Hospitality and tourism are in a unique position to assist people in some of the most remote regions in South Africa, particularly in areas where local economies are changing as sectors become automated or as mines close. If companies come together to train, upskill and hire people to perform critical functions, in hospitality, tourism, and beyond, they could start to move the needle on unemployment in the country.

One of the most important ways in which companies across these sectors are collaborating is through an initiative called the Art of Creation. A cross-sector forum set up by Dream Hotels and Resorts, the Art of Creation aims to bring leaders in tourism together to form partnerships, to address challenges proactively and holistically, and

to work together towards common goals. This journey depends on clear communication, open debate, and innovative, future-focused thinking. With these criteria in place, industry leaders in hospitality and tourism can create longlasting and meaningful change, contributing to a more prosperous future in South Africa.

Who is Chris Godenir?

Chris Godenir is the general manager of Dream Hotels and Resorts’ Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Cape Town. He recently won the Hotel General Manager of the Year award. This recognition was part of the inaugural FEDHASA Hospitality Awards. A total of 150 nominations were submitted for the award, among them some of the best and most forward-thinking general managers in the sector.

Business Events Africa May 2024 51 PAGE STRAP THE LAST
Godenir, general manager of Dream Hotels and Resorts’ Peninsula All-Suite Hotel



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