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Highlights of Our Top 40 Women in MICE gala event

5 Steps to app your next event

How to

buckle down to ensure event health and safety


The interface between business and technology

The fact that the JEC is able to host such large and prestigious events is testament to the fantastic facilities we offer.” Craig Newman, CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre

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KwaZulu-Natal turning A majestic centre business for business events

As such, we are perfectly equipped ThetoICC ranked in theitineraries Top 15 and helpwas plan delegates’ Convention Centres incollateral, the World at the provide marketing while Apex Awards. offering relevant on-site event support and assisting meeting planners to create Wea do business, we do events unique experience. Committed to The Zulu Kingdom, through the Durban Conference or event facilities are also transforming Durban and KwaZulu-Natal KZN Convention Bureau, provides a hub provided by Tsogo Sun,premier throughmeetings, Southern Sun into Africa’s The South Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention for business events to bring about tourism Elangeni Maharani, as well asbody the Hilton incentives, conventions and exhibitions Bureau& is an independent growth and socio-economic development. Greyville Horse Racing Course, Moses destination, can provide organisers, dedicated towe promoting and marketing TheDurban, Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Mabhida Stadium, Olive Convention Centre, planners and business tourists with the the region’s many business tourism Bureau isDurban an independent body Across the province, a host of conference TheShow KwaZulu-Natal Convention Royal Grounds, Champagne Sports latest information and unbiased advice. facilities, capabilities andmarketing assets, dedicated to promoting and and events facilities are set against the Bureau isAlpine an independent body both nationally and internationally. and Heath. theResort region’s many business tourism backdrop of majestic mountains, sundedicated to are promoting marketing As such, we perfectlyand equipped facilities, capabilities and assets, the region’s many business tourism kissed beaches or bush retreats. to help plan hosts delegates’ itineraries and ABSA stadium a number of events, facilities, capabilities and assets, both nationally and internationally. provide marketing collateral, while BUSINESS including rugby, football matches and both we nationally and internationally. As music such, are perfectly equipped The Convention Bureau, supported by TRAVEL offering relevant eventStadium support festivals, andon-site Kingsmead AWARDS As plan such, we are perfectly equipped eThekwini Municipality and Tourism KZN, to help delegates’ itineraries and and meeting planners to create hosts aassisting number of international tounique help plan delegates’ itineraries and has successfully hosted over 120 significant provide marketing collateral, while a experience. Committed to cricket matches. provide marketing collateral, while business events since 2010. transforming Durban event and KwaZulu-Natal offering relevant on-site support offering relevant on-site event support into Africa’s planners premier meetings, andWe assisting meeting to tocreate do South tourism and assisting meeting planners create World-class success incentives, conventions and exhibitions a unique experience. Committed toto When work is done, a few hours’ drive a unique experience. Committed These include the 2017 World Economic destination, wemajestic can provide organisers, from Durban, the and serene transforming Durban and KwaZulu-Natal transforming Durban and KwaZulu-Natal Forum for Africa, the International Aids planners and business tourists with the Park World intouKhahlamba-Drakensberg South Africa’s premier meetings, into South Africa’s premier meetings, Congress and the Loeries Creative Week. latest information and unbiased advice. Heritage Site beckons. See the hinterland’s incentives, conventions exhibitions incentives, conventions andand exhibitions In September, it will hold ITU Telecom big five or visit iSimangaliso Wetland Park, destination, we can provide organisers, destination, we can provide organisers, World 2018, which is expected to attract another World Heritage Site, to with experience planners and business tourists withthe the planners and business tourists over 13 000 delegates. information unbiased advice. thelatest coast’s rich marine life. latest information andand unbiased advice.

into pleasure

turning turning business turning business into pleasure business intointo pleasure pleasure




The Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention TheBureau state-of-the-art Inkosi Albert Luthuli is an independent body International Convention Centre is the dedicated to promoting and marketing flagship host of many these business events, boasting the region’s tourism thefacilities, largest area of column-free, flat-floor, capabilities and assets, multipurpose spaceand in Africa. both nationally internationally.








Whether you require assistance with For those in search of insight into the history planning and organising your conference of the Zulu Kingdom, the province features a in Durban or anywhere else in KwaZulunumber of battle sites, including the site of Natal, information on accommodation Cetshwayo’s triumphorofsimply Isandlwana. and placesepic of interest want to Orprovide visit Mandela’s in the feedbackcapture on yoursite experience KZN Midlands. to an independent source, the Durban

Convention Bureau is your first port KwaZulu-Natal also offers seaside golf courses of call. featuring lush, tropical vegetation and championship courses rich in tradition and history – making for a true golfer’s paradise. Durban, theyou busiest port in Southern Africa, Whether require assistance with has started and constructing a R200 cruise planning organising your million conference address: PO Box 4000,inSouth Africa terminal, which will Durban, hostassistance world-class facilities in Durban or2516, anywhere else KwaZuluWhether you require with tel: +27 31 7577/00 to augment its 366 already-booming ship Natal, information on accommodation planning and organising yourcruise conference email: Whether you of require assistance with tourism offering. and places interest or else simply want to in Durban or anywhere in KwaZuluplanning and organising your conference provide feedback on your experience Natal, information on else accommodation intoDurban orflights anywhere in KwaZuluWith regular from Johannesburg and an independent source, the Durban and places of interest or simply want to Natal, information on accommodation Cape Town, and a growing list of Convention Bureau is your firstdirect port interand places of interest simply want to provide feedback onoryour experience of call. national flights, including Durban to London, provide feedbackmore on source, your experience to an independent thetoDurban KZN is becoming accessible the world. to an independent source, thefirst Durban Convention Bureau is your port Convention Bureau is your first port of call. For more information regarding business of call. tourism venues and services, go to address: PO Box 2516, Durban, 4000, South Africa tel: +27 31 366 7577/00 email: address: PO Durban, 4000, South AfricaAfrica address: POBox Box2516, 2516, Durban, 4000, South tel: +27 tel: +2731 31366 3667577/00 7577/00 email: email:

september/october 2018 The Planner

The big interview

the cover STORY Ultimate Data Sciences celebrates its first decade in the business of offering unrivalled ICT services to the events industry.

2018 Top Forty

Tour in South Africa (TiSA)

For more, turn to page 6

Tour in South Africa (TiSA) is a newly formed travel company based in Pretoria, offering various tours throughout South Africa.

+27 (0)82 579 5646


Tour in South Africa

19 Tech Corner Karmen Vladar believes there are five event app steps that can be followed as a quick go-to-market formula to determine and ensure ROI

20 To turnkey or not Going full turnkey for your event

18 FOCUS ON 08 Location, location, location How exhibition organisers and venues have to work closely together to bring the event together

DESTINATION 10 The colourful continent Africa offers incredible and unique opportunities for the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry

12 Something for everyone The Eastern Cape offers both a trove of hidden gems and a wealth of urban venues with the most modern of conferencing facilities

MEETING PLACES 14 T aking a gamble Hosting your next event at a casino is a risky bet that can bring with it enormous rewards

16 Avianto Tucked away in the valleys of Muldersdrift, along the banks of the Crocodile River, Avianto offers an extensive range of functionality across its premises

18 U ltimate Data Sciences Sustainable gifting through event technology

might sound like a great idea but there are some pitfalls

21 M  itigating the risks Health and safety should be at the forefront of any gathering where a significant number of people are expected.

This year’s Women in MICE Awards stayed on trend and proved to be a resounding success. Meetings magazine thanks everyone who contributed to making it another great day to remember. For more, turn to page 26

We also do group transfers, transport to and from big events, single weekend breakaways, golf tours etc.


Women in MICE

The Johannesburg Expo Centre was host to the Nelson Mandela Centenary gala dinner, affirming its position as a choice venue for events in Gauteng.

For more, turn to page 4



INCENTIVE PLANNER 33 E zemvelo Wildlife KZN You’re sure to find what you’re looking for in KwaZulu-Natal at one of Ezemvelo's spectacular, natural venues

34 Meetings made easy in Tshwane Home to over 3 million people, Tshwane is a hive of activity with a lot to offer

36 Mauritius incentives Mauritius is an all-time favourite incentive destination. Why? Because it works!

38 Wellness for the win We all enjoy a bit of personal

EVENT SHOWCASE 24 EPH Productions An unforgettable outdoor festival was a feast for the senses at one of the most popular venues in Pretoria on a Saturday, largely thanks to EPH

26 Women in MICE Awards A look back at the glitz and glamour of the Top 40 Women in MICE Awards

TALKING POINTS 29 AIPC director Marc Rodriguez notes how public and private sector collaboration is fast becoming a driving force

30 SAACI CEO Rudi van der Vyver provides the association's mid-year update

30 The Event Greening Forum reminds us

pampering, so spas and wellness retreats make for a lovely incentive to include along with an event

REGULARS 02 Tidbits Our must-know minutia 03 Ed’s letter Competition for collaboration 22 20 Questions Kim Vermaak says her time at The Barnyard Theatre Group has taught her that clients are always on the lookout for something different

32 Sound bite Trevor Wolverson, F&B manager for Silverstar Casino, has a passion for producing exceptional gastronomic experiences

40 M  iss Meet dares anyone not to take the greater good into consideration.

about the huge carbon footprint of travel and accommodation

31 AAXO believes targeted B2B matchmaking at exhibitions is proving to be an investment that delivers measurable returns

31 Travelbags on the importance of supporting exhibitions


TROPHIES - AWARDS - MEDALS +27(0) 12 327 5885 | |

Meetings’ must-know minutia

Accor spreads its wings in West Africa

SAACI concludes successful annual congress The Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) held its annual congress at Misty Hills in Muldersdrift at the end of July. The theme of this year’s event was ‘It takes a village’ and, in line with this, the congress was centred on bringing about greater collaboration and cohesion in the industry. “Recently, the SAACI board approved a new strategy to make our association – our village – more member-centric and to ensure we were addressing our members’ needs. We remain fully committed to strengthening the business environment for our members, but also to protecting and strengthening the larger, broader industry to create a safe, ethical and growing business events industry for our members to successfully operate in and grow their own businesses,” noted Wayne Smith, chairman of the association during the congress opening. The event attracted conference organisers from across the industry and looks forward to an even more fruitful congress next year in Durban.

“South Africa is the number one convention destination in Africa and the Middle East, and Cape Town is ranked among the top 50 cities in the world for conventions, with 53 renowned events held in 2017.” Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom, speaking at the SAACI Congress 2018

Accor Hotels is entrenching itself in the West African travel market and has entered into a strategic partnership to further expand into Nigeria. The partnership will see Accor add two new hotels to its stable by 2020 in the form of a 204-room development – the Pullman Ikoyi – and the second development, the MGallery Ikoyi, will be more than half the size, with 100 rooms, but will feature various lifestyle and leisurebased amenities. Accor is on an aggressive expansion strategy and, in April, acquired Movenpick Hotels for US$567 million. With its latest acquisition, Accor has more than 300 hotels with 80 000 rooms across 30 countries in its Middle East and Africa (MEA) portfolio. Speaking on the project was Oliver Granet, CEO of the hotel group for the MEA region: “Since opening our very first hotel in Nigeria almost 20 years ago, we believed in the longterm potential of the destination, having witnessed incredible growth as one of the largest economies in Africa. As the market continues to evolve, there is a need for international brands and it is our commitment to fill this gap with two of our leading upper-scale brands – MGallery and Pullman.”

Newly formed events association has its first AGM

Spotlight on South Africa Sandton was abuzz with activity in late July with the 10th BRICS Summit that took place at the Sandton Convention Centre. The summit cemented the alliance between South Africa and its international counterparts, and affirmed its commitment to the various economic initiatives and projects it has pledged to. A new commitment was made to build an artisan training centre as well as to develop space technology and agricultural research,

2 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

with three memoranda of understanding signed by South Africa to ensure the action points of the accord are met. “Over and above the agreements, the summit also focused on the key issues surrounding the global political-security situation; global governance of financial‚ economic and political institutions; and people-to-people relations‚” noted Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu.

The first annual general meeting for the Council for Event Professionals Africa (CEPA) took place towards the end of July, running alongside the SAACI Congress. The AGM followed a formal process with reports given by both the chairperson and treasurer. There was a ratification of its constitution and an election of board and additional committee representatives. Transformation skills and qualifications, ethics and disciplinary processes and sustainability were also discussed.

ed’s letter Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Managing Editor Shanna Jacobsen ( Digital Editor Mpinane Senkhane Journalist Pippa Naude Chief Sub-Editor Tristan Snijders Sub-Editor Morgan Carter Head of design Beren Bauermeister Design Ramon Chinian Contributors Gavin Burgess, Michelle Hinrichsen,

Clare Neall, Marc Rodriguez, Grace Stead, Rudi van der Vyver, Leatitia van Straten, Karmen Vladar Client Services & Production Manager

Jayshree Maharaj

Financial Manager Andrew Lobban Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina Distribution Coordinator Asha Pursotham Advertising

Vanessa De Waal +27 (0)84 805 6752 | published by 150 Rivonia Road, Morningside, Gauteng PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/75 Meetings September/October 2018 © Copyright. All rights reserved 2018. subscription R330.00 per annum (incl. VAT) | ISSN 1684-9264 NOTICE OF RIGHTS Meetings is published bi-monthly by 3S  Media. This publication, its form and contents vest in 3S  Media. All rights reserved. No part of this book, including cover and interior designs, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. The authors' views may not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or associated professional bodies. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation and compilation of this publication, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, completeness or accuracy of its contents, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. While every effort has been taken to ensure that no copyright or copyright issues is/are infringed, 3S Media, its directors, publisher, officers and employees cannot be held responsible and consequently disclaim any liability for any loss, liability damage, direct or consequential of whatsoever nature and howsoever arising.

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for collaboration F

inding my feet in the world of events has been a deep-learning experience but one that I feel has been absolutely invaluable. Having a good, hard look at the ins and outs of the industry and the subtle nuances that can make, break or completely shift perceptions and opinions, a resounding theme and common thread I have found throughout is that the MICE sector thrives on collaboration. It takes a great deal of relationship building and trust before you can recognise the fruits of paying it forward and giving someone else a chance to prove their business worth. Following on from the success of our Top 40 Women in MICE Awards, held on 23 August (see page 26), it is becoming abundantly clear to me that while this industry comprises a great number of people across both events organisation and services provision, it is also extremely well networked. They, whoever ‘they’ may be, say it is all about who you know and, in the eventing space, this could not be truer. I saw this clearly in the planning of the Women in MICE event and, aside from all the well-wishers who encouraged and motivated me during this time, if I hadn’t received the practical input and assistance of certain players within the industry, the awards would not have been nearly as spectacular as they were. In line with this and in partnership with the SANCB, we have also launched the Women in MICE Mentorship and Development Initiative to encourage greater collaboration and giving back within the industry, to ultimately impact growth and invite those who would like to participate in the programme or share their success stories to get in touch. We see further evidence on page 8 of just how important collaboration is between exhibitors and the choice of venue for their event. In

the planning and organising of an event of this scale, it is crucial that everyone is on the same page, so that all requirements are met. Within this context, we look at the factors to consider when putting together an exhibition, including the level of support offered by the host venue and options for going full turnkey or not (see the pros and cons on page 20). In an era where the needs of our delegates and attendees are at the fore of everything we do, we also look at what sort of consideration needs to be given to health and safety during events on page 21. This edition is also our Incentive Planner issue. This section (starting on page 33) offers some exciting ideas on how to put together an international incentive, as well as what to do in Tshwane, where blending business and leisure is easy. We have an action-packed, adventure-filled issue that we hope you enjoy!


FOC co vU er S s O tNo r y

Ultimate Data Sciences has over a decade’s experience in working with professional conference organisers, stand builders, and infrastructure providers. Our unique blend of technical and creative skills enables us to offer a range of information and communication technology products and services to the events industry. We employ a professional and scientific approach (known in the IT industry as systems analysis), enabling us to act as the interface between business and technology.

The ultimate in events ICT


e position ourselves specifically as the interface between business and technology. In the events industry, this enables us to provide a full service offering both in the office and on-site at events. Systems analysis and design is a continuous journey of development and refinement. Our client intake process starts with an initial consultation, where our primary aim is to gain a solid understanding of your niche operations. From there, we conduct a needs analysis, and research the best way to achieve your required deliverables. The system design process is an intensive collaboration between our technical, creative and development teams – where we work to leverage or create technologies and experiences that are both functional and engaging. We involve you at every stage of the development and testing phase, so that the implementation and operation of the final system is seamlessly integrated into your existing day-to-day business processes. Finally, data reporting and ongoing maintenance form an important part of the overall life cycle, which often results in revisiting the process to further develop new systems. The reason this approach to implementing technology in the events space is successful is because of its thorough and methodical nature. Events have multiple levels of engagement, and careful attention to detail is crucial. The value proposition of the systems analysis approach is that we work with our clients both in their offices and on-site at events, and this requires a specific understanding of the business processes in the industry. Our clients trust us because we understand that an event has many stakeholders and we know how to innovate in a way that considers all of them.

4 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 





2 An adaptation of the Systems Analysis & Design Life Cycle






Ultimate is not only committed to innovating better services for events, but also more sustainable ones. The company is an active member of the Event Greening Forum, and the e-Waste Association of South Africa.

Systems Analysis and Design We use the principles of systems analysis and design to study business processes, and then harness the power of technology to create systems that make these processes better.

Industry commitment


Systems analysis




3 4

Technical support

(remote and on-site)

Cloud-based PBX & telephone systems Management of IT departments & teams

Brad Montgomery

Gavin Burgess

“Creativity and a love for technology have always been at the core of my being. It was in my final years at university that I found my passion for digital design, as it combines my love for technology and creativity. After graduating from Wits in 2011, I began my career in broadcasting as an animator but was quickly moved into a producing role. In this role, I worked with a number of large corporates in developing concepts into effective visual communication tools. Prior to joining Ultimate, I was given the opportunity to head up a stationery and gifting company within the wedding industry. During my time there, I embraced my love for the eventing world. Even with all the stress and chaos during build-up, the final product is always worth it. Now in my role as creative director at Ultimate, I draw on my years of experience to develop creative solutions that work hand in hand with technology to elevate our clients’ businesses and events.”

“My career in technology actually began in a law firm, which was the perfect setting to learn the principles of business and the systems that make business work. I then went on to work as an IT technician in a full-service IT support company. After that, my journey in the events industry commenced when I joined Scan Display as their IT manager in 2005. In 2008, my lifelong desire to be an entrepreneur came to fruition when I started Ultimate. I truly love my work in the events industry because it brings together my two passions – solving problems by using technology, and interacting with a diversity of people. I believe that a successful event is one that sees attendees leave excited to return next year. There is no greater reward for me than seeing the collaborative energies of every person involved in producing an event, and the way in which visitors engage with the final product.”

Creative director

Managing director

“In everything we do, our philosophy is to ask: What is the best way to do this?” Testimonials

“We have greatly benefited from working with Ultimate for the past 10 years. During this time, they have developed a number of services for us at our request, such as an online exhibition services ordering platform. It’s been hugely effective, as it simplifies what can be a confusing process, and saves both us and the exhibitors a lot of time.” – Justin Hawes (MD, Scan Display) “Ultimate masterminded a service like no other for Africa’s Travel Indaba. FCB Africa enlisted their help in order to create (and facilitate) a cashless payment/trading system for Indaba’s Sustainability Village. They were incredible to work with – knowledgeable, innovative, solutions-driven and always on call. The system worked without a hitch, and the daily reports were always timeous and accurate. We look forward to extending our partnership with them.” – Chelsea de Klerk (FCB Africa) “Ultimate hosts our website and has built our new Green Supplier Database. With both, they’ve been able to guide us with smart, costeffective recommendations – which is essential for a non-profit organisation like ours. Plus, we’re delighted that they are taking steps to offer more sustainable solutions to the events industry! We highly recommend their services.” – Lynn McLeod (Event Greening Forum) 

“Ultimate assisted SAACI with a short-notice request in creating an interim landing page for the association. They immediately had a vision and, with minimum guidance from us, they were able to put a site in place with almost no lead time. Nothing has ever been too much effort for them!” – Rudi van der Vyver (CEO, SAACI)

Third-party liaison & procurement Ongoing / scheduled maintenance Connectivity & networks Hardware & software sales

Cyber security Web design & development Digital content creation Social media management

Products and Services In the office

•Technical support (remote and on-site) •Connectivity and networks •Hardware and software sales •Cloud-based PBX and telephone systems •Ongoing/scheduled maintenance •Third-party liaison and procurement •Management of IT departments and teams •Web design and development •Digital content creation •Social media management •Cyber security

On-site at events

+27 (0)11 463 6300


•Technology concierge and project management •Registration systems •Cashless payment systems •Sustainable gifting systems •Online exhibition services ordering platforms •Lead capture systems •Event apps •Interactive technology •Rental hardware •Temporary office relocation

MEETINGS l september/october 2018 •



A dinner fit for a


On 17 July 2018, the Johannesburg Expo Centre played host to one of its most prestigious events yet – the official Nelson Mandela Centenary Dinner. Meetings explores the venue’s unique value proposition and how one of South Africa’s oldest eventing establishments remains a top choice for organisers. @jhbexpocentre1


spotlight was shone on South Africa during the month of July, when the world celebrated one of history’s most pioneering political leaders and human rights advocates: the late, great Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. This year marks 100 years since the birth of a man who can only be described as a legend. Born in the Eastern Cape in 1918, Mandela gained international recognition when he was imprisoned during the apartheid era. He fought fiercely for equality and the fair treatment of all and his legacy lives on, continuing to inspire countless numbers of people. The Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) played a noteworthy role in honouring the centenary of Nelson Mandela and was the venue of choice for the official gala dinner that saw approximately 1 700 state officials – with VIPs such as Barack Obama and President Cyril Ramaphosa – in attendance.

sought-after exhibition and event venues. It offers flexibility across both its indoor and outdoor multipurpose facilities, with the premises covering over 150 000 m². And with more than 20 000 bays, parking is a breeze. “The JEC provided a world-class venue for the organisers, who experienced no challenges working with us. As one of the oldest venues in South Africa, guests were pleasantly surprised,” notes Craig. Surrounded by choice four- and five-star hotels, the JEC is home to outstanding facilities that won it the Award in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and again in 2016. Its location within Gauteng also means that it is accessible from all highways and only a 30-minute drive from major airports. When working with the JEC, organisers can rest assured that their event will run smoothly. The venue ensures that all service providers relating to each event are on-site at all times to assist with all aspects of executing a successful event.

Matter of national security From a dream to reality The JEC has strategically positioned itself within the market as one of Gauteng’s most

Johannesburg expo centre

The VIPs in attendance at the Nelson Mandela Centenary Dinner were exceptional and, as was to be expected, chaperoned by a remarkable


Craig Newman CEO, JEC

security detail. The JEC has had ample previous experience handling official government and state functions, and is well equipped to manage events at this level. “Given the nature of the event, security measures were a top priority. Fortunately, the layout of the venue made it easy for SAPS to secure the area and the design enabled optimal security standards to be put in place, which was obviously necessary for an event of this size and nature,” says Craig. The JEC also has a registered helicopter landing base, so the venue is accessible by air too.

Continuing to shine The JEC handles some of Africa’s largest events, with the Rand Show being one of its oldest and biggest. This year, the event attracted R50 million in consumer spend over 10 days, highlighting the valuable contribution made to the economy by an event of this scale. The event attracted more than 200 000 visitors in 2018 and shows no signs of slowing down. “The Rand Show is an annual celebration of so many things that make South Africa great: 

our strong sense of history and community, our excitement about mega-displays and events, and our commitment to shopping around for the best deal. Thousands of people return every year because they know they’re in for a great time, with access to great offers on the products they need; however, every year, the show also piques the interest of new visitors and exhibitors who want to make the most of all the experiences and deals available,” says Craig. The JEC is a member and affiliate of all major industry associations, including the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) of which Craig is the current president. At UFI, his mandate is to further consolidate the industry to ensure that there is greater cohesion among venues and the exhibition industry, focusing on Africa and the Middle East in particular. His appointment also further cements the JEC’s position within the market and strengthens its offering. “The fact that the JEC is able to host such large and prestigious events is also testament to the fantastic facilities we offer,” Craig concludes.

Facebook - @jhbexpocentre1 Twitter - @jhbexpocentre Instagram - Johannesburg Expo Centre +27 (0)11 494 1920

MEETINGS l september/october 2018 •


bO F es C tU Sp rOaNc • t ic E xeh i b i t i o n s , O r g a n i s e r s & V e n u e s

Location, location, location Exhibition organisers have their work cut out for them – by sheer virtue of an exhibition, it’s largescale, requires intensive coordination and the entire set-up of the event relies heavily on the venue. Meetings unpacks this further.


ll the planning and brilliant service provision in the world cannot, and will not, guarantee a successful exhibition without one very key element: the venue. The venue of an exhibition is critical and is as important to the exhibitor as their stand because, without either, there would be no event to speak of. When shopping for a venue for an exhibition, planning is imperative to determine what resources are needed. From here, you will need to establish, between you and the venue, what you have at your disposal to ensure that all your needs are met. “There are two very important aspects to planning an exhibition: the organiser and their responsibilities, as well as the venue and their services and commitments. At Gallagher Convention Centre, we prefer it if the organiser views us as their partner and we essentially become an extension of their organising team,” says Leniese van der Merwe, marketing manager at Gallagher Convention Centre.

8 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

The basics When it comes to venues and technical requirements, most are equipped to provide the necessary on-theground support with either an on-site team or a preferred third-party supplier. It is generally more advisable to work with a service provider who is already familiar with the space and the infrastructure requirements, as all things technological need to run as smoothly and as glitch-free as possible for the duration of the exhibition. A lot of the better-established venues already have the existing capacity available to provide a full turnkey solution for your event. Many venues also have an established network of service providers and experts or on-the-ground capabilities that may be able to offer preferential costs. “A venue that is familiar with exhibitions and their requirements will try to better understand what the client requires and suggest a more in-depth offering. Experienced venues offer exhibition organisers a network of pre-qualified suppliers at pre-negotiated rates. However, exhibition organisers are welcome to use their suppliers if they prefer to do so,” says Leniese.

Keeping up with the Joneses A lot of the large venues that were designed with the intention of hosting exhibitions have been around for many years. This has afforded them the opportunity to refine their value proposition to ensure they are able to host successful exhibitions.




points to think about when it's time to plan for your next exhibition:

“Our oldest venues have been around for decades. The Johannesburg Expo Centre – the old Nasrec – was originally part of the Witwatersrand Agricultural Society and was based at the old Milner Showgrounds. It is over 100 years old!” notes Sue Gannon, director of the Exhibition & Event Association of South Africa. And newer spaces such as the Durban International Convention Centre, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) – now in Phase 2 of its R550 million development – the Sandton Convention Centre, Gallagher Convention Centre and the Ticketpro Dome are all big enough to host major shows of the highest standards. But if the sector hopes to be sustainable, it will be an industry-wide effort, says Sue: “All the convention bureaus based in the major provinces are doing excellent work in sourcing huge international conferences to come to South Africa, bringing trade and commerce opportunities to our country. And they bring in major exhibitions as well as part of the huge conferences, which can bring in thousands of delegates.”

The trends The exhibitions industry is ever-evolving and a greener approach is rapidly being adopted. “That also comes directly from the suppliers to the industry, who now use fabric walls, digital walling and so forth. They are the ones who see what’s new and put it into practice,” says Sue. Understanding the trends and best practice is central to growing and evolving the industry. 

In an effort to keep up with international and industry trends, most organisers, suppliers and venues all belong to global associations such as UFI, IFES and AIPC, to name but a few. Within this, ethics and good governance are paramount, and South Africa’s local associations – EXSA, SAACI, AXXO, SACIA and IFEA – have Codes of Professional Conduct in place to inform this. The newly founded Council for Events Professionals (CEP) Africa is also intended to make a difference in this regard by ensuring industry players have the correct credentials.

The finishing touches More international interest is also yielding more exhibitions. The potential for the exhibitions industry to expand is vast but will be hinged on the economy, the growth of which goes hand in hand with business events. Local convention bureaus are also upping the ante, and are currently being supported by the International Congress and Convention Association as they bid for more business from around the world. Events such as the annual Mining Indaba held at the CTICC, and Automechanica and Bauma held in Johannesburg all bring in major multinational companies that significantly contribute to local GDP. To ensure this growth, skills development is vital. “Mentorship is huge – we need to pass on our knowledge and help upskill our youth to get them into the industry. Events create jobs but those jobs need skilled people to make the events happen. I would like to see more training across the board,” concludes Sue.


Where is your audience coming from and what does it mean for your set-up?


Who is doing what, and where?


Avoid a shot-inthe-dark approach.


Meticulously plan your exhibition from start to finish.


Manning a stand alone is not advisable.



in t o a f r ic a

The colourful continent With its vibrant diversity and exquisite natural beauty, Africa offers incredible and unique opportunities for the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry. Meetings explores MICE in Africa.


ast year, 1.32 billion international flights were taken worldwide. While the lion’s share – approximately half this number – went to Europe, 62 million arrived in Africa. These included both business and leisure visitors. According to the UNWTO’s World Tourism Barometer, the continent saw an 8% increase in international arrivals between 2016 and 2017 compared to the global average of 7%. The long-term forecast expects that the growth in arrivals to Africa of 5% to 7% will continue until 2030, ahead of the 3.8% average predicted for the rest of the world. So what is driving this growth and how can we ensure it is sustainable?

The big attraction The past quarter of a century has ushered in massive political, economic and developmental change in Africa. However, because of the sheer size of the continent, this is still rather

10 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

WHEN Considering Africa... SEEK Security Is the country you are travelling to safe?

Ease of accessibility & travel How challenging is it to get in, out and around?

Accommodation Where will you and your delegation stay – is this adequate for their needs?

Service provision Are there local service providers who can provide what you need?

Health & safety These laws vary from country to country; therefore, it is critical to ensure this is up to international standards.

fragmented, with growth in some countries currently stifled due to poor legislation and the lack of leadership to enforce it. For countries in which there has been marked economic growth supported by longstanding political stability, significant strides are being made to leverage this, particularly in the area of MICE. Figures from the World Travel & Tourism Council show that in Nigeria, for example, business spending accounts for just under half (49.7%) of the sector’s total GDP contribution, whereas for the rest of the world, business spend is at 22.5%. Further, domestic spend in Nigeria is 20% higher compared to global domestic spend of 72.7%. This not only indicates where the flows are coming from but also how they are being channelled. “Informed sources say that the average conference delegate spends six times what the average vacationer spends in the destination! Add to that the spend by the organisers on transport, the venue itself, as well as suppliers, and it adds up to an impressive sum. All that creates jobs, and that’s of direct benefit to the city and its residents,” notes Trevor Ward, principal at the W-Hospitality Group. MICE follows the money and with four of the world’s top ten fastest


A meeting takes place at the Calabar International Convention Centre

growing economies in Africa, demand for local meetings on the continent is on the rise, although it still has some way to go.

Upping our game The conundrum facing the MICE industry in Africa is how these events are supported. Within this, infrastructure is one of the key challenges. While South Africa is noted for its convention and exhibition centres that offer the unparalleled world-class experience expected by international audiences in each of its main city centres, options in the rest of Africa are currently limited. However, there has been a rapid shift in mindsets as African

governments recognise the importance behind ensuring large-scale international events can take place within their borders, with more consideration and budget being given towards this. Trevor points out that the conference market is very much supply-led. “While organisers may debate where they want to hold their event, the question is also: ‘Who can accommodate us? Who has the conference facilities, the hotel rooms, the attractions and other essential components of the whole?’” he asks. “Why would a city or resort want to attract hordes of people, clogging up the streets and causing annoyance for the

citizens? Why would the city authorities spend millions of dollars building a new convention centre, like the Cross River State Government in Nigeria is doing? The answer is that the city benefits enormously from the resulting MICE activity, both directly and indirectly, in economic and less tangible terms.” The Calabar International Convention Centre in Nigeria is said to have cost the Cross River State Government around N18 billion (today’s equivalent of R750 million) to erect. It opened its doors in the third quarter of 2015 and has 8 000 m2 of dedicated exhibition space, 5 conference halls, 12 meeting rooms, a VIP room, 3 banqueting halls and boasts the largest kitchen in Nigeria at 1 200 m2. In addition, a 300room hotel is in the pipeline. More recently, in Rwanda, the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) made its debut with its first event in 2016. Built at a cost of US$300 million (R4.5 billion today), the convention centre was constructed alongside the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel Kigali, which has 292 rooms across six floors. The centre has a seating capacity of 2 600 while the Kigali Information Technology Park, part of the KCC, includes 32 200 m2 of rentable office and retail space. While these developments are positive and will ensure a widening and deepening of the MICE market, we have barely scratched the surface. With such great economic potential, governments and decision-makers in Africa are urged to continue focusing their efforts on the MICE industry.

A pillarless foyer at the Calabar International Convention Centre in Nigeria 



d e s t in a t ion • E a s t e r n C a p e


for everyone As one of South Africa’s most scenically varied provinces, the Eastern Cape offers both a trove of hidden gems and a wealth of urban venues with the most modern of conferencing facilities. Here are just a few of Meetings’ top picks in the province for 2018. Africanos Country Estate What’s a trip to the Eastern Cape without popping in to visit the pachyderms of Addo Elephant National Park? Africanos Country Estate is located in the park and has 12 luxury rooms equipped with everything you would expect from a top-rated establishment. The unique, tranquil setting is bound to breathe new life into company conferences, functions and special events. The individual conference venues can cater for everything from a small event to huge indoor or outdoor product launches or conferences. Offering state-of-the-art AV, the fully airconditioned hall can seat between 50 and 500 pax and the executive boardroom is ideal for more intimate business affairs. To top it off, Africanos has you covered when it comes to catering. Whether it’s fine dining or a buffet, the head chef will work closely with you to create delicious meals for your event, and the events team will make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

St Francis Links St Francis Links offers one of the most idyllic settings in the Eastern Cape – a lush, world-class golf course overlooking over the waves of the Indian Ocean, dune beaches and pristine fynbos of St Francis Bay. The clubhouse offers an excellent conference facility for up to 120 pax and offers scenic views of the challenging Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course – it’s the perfect setting for everything from corporate team-building sessions to product launches and weddings. Dedicated event teams make planning a breeze, and the executive chef will ensure any catering requirements are delivered to the highest standards – not to mention the Aqua Spa, which provides a real treat for bridal parties. St Francis Links is a great destination venue that’s ideal for friends and family to spend the entire weekend, with golfing, canal cruises and beach or nature walks to set the mind at ease, and luxury accommodation aplenty in the estate and village.

Southern Sun Hemingways in East London brings its signature style, sophistication and service excellence to the table, ensuring the ideal choice for a wide range of functions. All the function rooms can be booked complete with audiovisual equipment, should you so desire, with everything from projectors and monitors provided through a trusted network of suppliers, all the way to flipcharts, whiteboards and even small yet often essential details, such as pens and paper. If you have any further requests, the conferencing team is there to assist you in planning your event to perfection. It is perfect for conferencing, conventions and trade shows.

12 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018


Tsitsikamma Village Inn Step into the past at the Tsitsikamma Village Inn, whose unique history, design and charm offers travellers a break from the rat race and the chaos of modern living. Located near the Storms River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park, the inn has provided weary travellers with a place to rest their heads for well over a century. Step back to a time when the pace of life was just a bit slower. Beyond the 49 comfortable rooms on offer, the inn offers three dining areas, an amazing 60s throwback diner and an on-site microbrewery. Conferencing is a breeze, with the Tsitsikamma Conference Centre providing an ideal breakaway for corporate companies that want to get things done quietly. The wellappointed conference centre can seat up to 100 pax and meets all your standard AV needs – and the stunning forest setting certainly doesn’t hurt.

Bridge Street Brewery It might be time to get crafty with that next event, and there are few places in the Eastern Cape offering a better craft beer experience than the Tap Room at Bridge Street Brewery. The brewery is located inside a converted warehouse right on the edge of Port Elizabeth’s stunning Baakens River Valley. The Tap Room is a multifunctional space that caters for up to 120 pax, cocktail style, and packages are structured to suit any requirement or budget. Ideal for parties and product launches as well as small group presentations or day conferences, the venue is fully furnished with a private bar, catering area and built-in boardroom table, as well as a data projector and screen. The private tented deck and garden-style area overlooking the Baakens River makes for an amazing breakaway area. And then there are the craft beers and ciders on offer, of course.

Nelson Mandela UCC For something right in the heart of the city, the choice is academic. Nelson Mandela University Conference Centre is the ultimate venue for your next conference, seminar or function. Situated in Summerstrand – close to the beachfront, airport and major hotels of Port Elizabeth – is a truly unique conference venue in the Eastern Cape. The site offers everything you need – from the most current audiovisual equipment and air-conditioning in all venues to exquisite on-site catering. Accommodating up to 150 pax in the theatres – the largest of its three venues – the entire facility is wheelchair-friendly and hosts secure parking. The centre offers a range of conferencing packages to suit just about any need you may have. And once business has been handled, the neighbouring Humewood Golf Club, designed and developed by Colonel SV Hotchkin in 1929, is home to one of South Africa’s finest links golf courses. 



m e e t ing p l a c e s

Taking a gamble?

Having your next meeting or event take place in and around casinos might be a risky bet that brings with it enormous rewards. Meetings surveys the hotspots.


ights flashing, chips stacking and slot machines ringing – there’s no place quite like a casino. For high-rollers and risk-takers, this is the ideal playground and may well be the best destination to consider for your next meeting. Even if gambling itself holds very little interest to you, there is a distinct and tangible atmosphere and definite sensory appeal to a casino. Here, you can be assured of receiving first-rate service, as the industry caters primarily for the upper echelons of the living standard measures, where there is almost certainly significant disposable spend. Casinos and gambling establishments have had to work hard to make sure that their offering meets international standards because, very often, they are hosting visitors from overseas who are accustomed to nothing less than VIP treatment.

Odds stacked in your favour The very large and more popular gambling outfits generally have a wide offering to satisfy varying interests – not just gambling. Without this approach, it would be difficult


to attract visitors and, of course, generate revenue. From hotels to resorts and sideline attractions, there is a lot of consideration that has gone into making sure that each guest has a full experience that extends beyond the thrill of a high-risk, high-reward gamble. If you are planning a getaway experience with the intention of having a casino evening, unless you are certain that each member of your delegation enjoys gambling, seeking out a venue that has broader options would ensure everyone has something to do.

From a distance Sun City Resort is a two-hour drive from Johannesburg but is still one of your best bets when it comes to a casino destination that holds mass appeal. Sol Kerzner’s jewel provides accommodation at all levels, with an entertainment offering that is difficult to beat and a casino with a history. Originally part of the independently recognised state of Bophuthatswana, Sun City gained almost immediate popularity when it opened in 1979. It was one of the only establishments in South

Africa one could travel to that offered legal gambling, with casinos banned in the country until legislation was passed in 1996. Sun City expanded with the Palace of the Lost City and the Valley of the Waves in 1992, and offers accommodation ranging from a premium five-star luxury hotel stay to selfcatering bush bungalows. Its conferencing facilities are state of the art and, in a bid towards sustainability, it follows the ISO 14001

accredited Environmental Management System standard. Between its high-tech convention centre and boardrooms, you are spoilt for choice for meetings. If the casino doesn’t tickle the fancy of your guests, they can play a round of golf on one of the world’s most sought-after greens, get wet and wild at the Valley of the Waves, or go on a game drive at the nearby Pilanesberg National Park.

Closer to home Just under an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, Emerald Resort & Casino has meeting spaces that can accommodate between 30 and 3 000 people. The venue opened its doors in 1997 and offers a variety of activities and entertainment. While it is certainly not as big or sprawling as Sun City, it too provides an assortment of things to do to entice different tastes. The venue also has accommodation that is suited for a range of needs and budgets, from its four-star hotel to a caravan site. Its casino is a big attraction and is well equipped to provide hours of fun for any gambling aficionado, with its 22 roulette, blackjack, poker and baccarat tables and more 

than 430 slot machines. From fine dining to a quick takeaway, a gastronomical array of cuisine can be found at Emerald Resort & Casino. And with an extensive list of activities such as its indoor aquadome, wall climbing, game drives, fishing, tenpin bowling and putt-putt, it also caters for family stays.

A stone’s throw Montecasino in Fourways, Johannesburg, consistently attracts crowds and offers a good mix of all the right ingredients. The Tuscanthemed venue is one of Johannesburg’s newer casinos, having officially opened in November 2000. It is managed and operated under the Tsogo Sun banner and offers accommodation ranging from five-star to budget stays. The Pivot, an extension of Montecasino that was launched in 2010, is an ideal meeting space if your delegation is under 500 people. With capacity to provide support however it is needed, everything from AV to decor is carefully managed by its in-house events team. Montecasino is a popular venue for locals dining out and between its Teatro and Pieter Toerien theatres, it seats massive audiences with the likes of The Sound of Music and

The Lion King among some of its greatest productions. The Bird Gardens make for an interesting attraction and are home to many exotic avian breeds.

COINING IT According to the PwC Gambling Outlook 20172021, in South Africa, gross gambling revenue (GGR) of “casinos, limited payout machines, bingo and betting totalled R27 billion in 2016, a 3.9% increase on the prior year.” Casino gambling currently accounts for two-thirds of this revenue and the advisory firm predicts the industry will reach R21.2 billion by 2021, with total GGR hitting R34.8 billion.



m e e t ing p l a c e s

West Rand Tuscany Tucked away in the valleys of Muldersdrift, along the banks of the Crocodile River toward the west of Gauteng, Avianto offers an extensive range of functionality across its premises.


vianto was born from the vision of creating a venue ideal for hosting large weddings, while maintaining the highest standards in class. With its chapel, perfectly manicured lawns and lavender garden that blooms in spring, it certainly provides a beautiful backdrop for any bride’s big day. And, after more than 20 years in business, the Tuscan-themed Avianto has gone on to become a highly sought-after space, not just for weddings but for a variety of bespoke corporate events and networking functions. Avianto, through its preferred service providers and on-site expertise, is able to assist with a full turnkey solution for an array of events – from catering and decor to staffing and add-ons such as entertainment and gifts. Well suited for meetings, it has a fully equipped conference centre with 11 versatile spaces that can accommodate between 2 and 250 delegates. In addition, Avianto is able to offer a full team-building itinerary with the facilities it owns, providing an assortment of activities for guests. If you are after a leisurely outdoor activity

16 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

to complement the leafy surrounds of the venue, Avianto offers mountain biking and hiking, or a tranquil picnic for those in the mood for something more low-key. It is also home to Café Cielo, which is open to the public between 08:00 and 22:00 each day and perfect for a quick bite to eat or coffee for those just passing through. Nestled in a naturally scenic corner of Krugersdorp over a sprawling estate, the grounds provide more than just a location for your next stunning event, and was the venue of choice for the prestigious Top 40 Women in MICE Awards 2018 (read more about the event on page 26). Although a fair distance from the city centres of Sandton, Johannesburg and Pretoria, Avianto is no more than a 45-minute drive and is easily accessible from both the Krugersdorp highway and main roads, off the R114. If you are flying in, opt to land at Lanseria International Airport – just 15 minutes away by car. And if you need somewhere to lay your head, consider the Avianto Hotel, which offers 30 luxury rooms and five suites.

Branching out Avianto is situated on a sizeable piece of land that is currently being developed into a lifestyle estate. The Avianto Lifestyle Estate neighbours the Avianto Hotel and is located on a 250 ha property. The mixed-use development received the go-ahead from Mogale City in June 2013 to break ground. The first phase of Le Jardin is nearly sold out and when the entire Estate is complete, the R3.5 billion project will be home to 1 800 homes that will range from freehold stands to clusters and sectional title units. It will also include a retirement village, office parks and medical facilities. The Avianto Lifestyle Estate development will carry through its existing European-influenced architecture and aims to be as sustainable as possible by implementing responsible environmental design and best green building principles. The planning of the integrated estate revolves around creating an enjoyable and secure family lifestyle within a serene and sensitive environment. For more information on Avianto and the Lifestyle Estate development, visit or call +27 (0)11 668 3000.


Sustainable gifting through event technology Conferences and events that include a gifting budget are often faced with the conundrum of what gifts to buy for attendees. By Gavin Burgess*


o paint a scenario, if an organiser decides to buy bottles of wine for every conference delegate, they will find that not every person drinks wine. And for those delegates that do, they may have a preference of red, white, bubbly, or something in-between. So how can an organiser get around this problem and ensure that every person attending an event doesn’t leave disappointed? Enter sustainable gifting – a revolutionary concept that has proven to be phenomenally successful in the events space. The concept is simple: let the attendees choose their own gift! Better yet, if your focus is truly on sustainability, let the attendees choose gifts that are created with sustainability in mind. At this point, I must give special thanks to the Event Greening Forum, who brought this concept to us. The concept had worked well at a previous event, but needed to be scaled up and operationalised at a flagship exhibition.

the power of the technology The vision was to have a sustainability village – a group of exhibition stands with locally crafted goods for sale by micro enterprise vendors. Visitors would be handed a gift card at registration, which they could use to choose their own gift from the village. The problem? Local traders of this nature do not have access to expensive transactional equipment such as

18 • MEETINGS l September/October 2018 

credit card machine readers that could be used to process the gift cards. To meet this need, we chose to harness the power of the technology that the vendors already had in their pockets – their cell phones. We developed a voucher card and cashless trading platform; all vendors needed to do was use their cell phones to scan the voucher card to redeem the gift value. To add to the sustainability element, we manufactured these gift cards from recycled plastics, and collected them again for recycling after the show. The benefit to visitors was that they could choose to spend their entire gift voucher value at a single vendor, or purchase smaller items from multiple vendors. And if the visitor wanted to, they could supplement the gift voucher amount with cash. The micro enterprises that participated gained exposure and sales that they would not ordinarily have had an opportunity for. There was also a hidden benefit to the organisers that we only discovered after the show – the total gifting budget was not spent;

in fact, the voucher system paid for itself and there was an additional unexpected cost saving. The concept has been applied to small conferences, as well as events with thousands of visitors, and the result is always a resounding win-win-win. The system has worked so well that it has also been used in different formats, such as for the sale of food and beverages in conjunction with sustainability village initiatives. We have also perfected the art – from exquisitely packaging and presenting the voucher cards to visitors, right the way through to tracking which visitor spent their gift card and at which vendors. This enables us to provide valuable reports and statistics that organisers can use to plan for future iterations of their event. *Gavin Burgess is a systems analyst, and the managing director of Ultimate Data Sciences. The voucher card cashless trading platform described in this article is patent property of Ultimate Data Sciences (Pty) Ltd.


5next event steps to app your

Event MB suggests following these five event app steps as a quick go-to-market formula to determine and ensure ROI, writes Karmen Vladar.

1 2 3 4 5

Stop doing and start thinking

Without a strategic vision, most elements of the event planning process will inevitably be compromised. If we simply react instead of plan, failure will be the likely result. A strategic vision starts with asking why, and an event app should always add value to your event. If it doesn’t, move along – you likely don’t need one. If it does, however, you are on to something. Your decision must be dictated by value over hype, someone else’s marketing or peer pressure, putting the event first.

Value, again

Don’t assume, map!

A value-oriented tech decision-making process is very simple. It’s about asking the same question as in Step 1: are you adding value, whether for attendees, sponsors, exhibitors or speakers? Are you adding complexity or simplifying things? Is using an event app going to solve or create problems? Are the pros outweighing the cons? You might be required to spend a bit more time planning the features and notifications of your event app but having these metrics at your disposal afterwards will help you measure the success of your event.

Map out the key touchpoints and user journeys, making sure your event app is included. The Event Managers Blog suggests the use of a work breakdown structure or process mapping sheet that includes everything from the attendee registration process to announcing keynote speeches and tracking booth traffic. Thinking through your event will help you find opportunities to implement technology guaranteed to add value.

Get your hands dirty

If it’s not measured, it doesn’t exist

Once you have everything mapped out, it is time to agree on your goals. Shortlist the features of the app that will help you achieve this. Select an event app supplier and make sure that you share your goals with them. Discuss on-site support and your requirements. Getting attendees onboard is a crucial step in the process. Communicate with them that you are using an event app at the event and make sure to mention the benefits. Using something like gamification can help.

What is important to you as a measure of success? The number of people that downloaded your app or the number of Q&A posts received during panel sessions? Or are you more interested in the overall statistics of your event app? Chat to your supplier and make sure that they can supply you with and interpret these statistics. Start with having all the correct KPIs and measurement frameworks in place before going forward. Having an idea of your current processes (timing, difficulty and efficiency) is paramount for later benchmarking. Ultimately, these statistics need to aid you in measuring whether the use of the event app added value. Finally, draw up a list of things that can be improved upon and keep these in mind when planning your next event.

Energise your event and generate healthy competition Use gamification at your next event to encourage attendees to use your event app and have fun.

+27 21 065 0355

+27 87 806 4284

b e s t p r a c t ic e

Going full turnkey for your event might sound like a great idea but there are several pitfalls that one should be aware of. It’s every event organisers’ dream to be presented with a one-stop-shop solution for their event, where everything from the AV to goodie bags is managed by a single outsourced company. But by now, we all know it’s a little more challenging than just taking what is on offer. Within this, we look at the pros and cons of going full turnkey or sourcing each line item individually.

The pros 1 A turnkey event organiser will have the know-how and expertise to be able to help structure and execute your event from start to end, and inform your entire programme. Having all your services managed under one roof means that you have easier access to each aspect of your event.

To turnkey or not to turnkey do your homework If you are going to go full turnkey for your next event, make sure you do your homework and ask the following questions:


3 When using a turnkey events

company, particularly in the form of a venue, there is greater accountability by it for each portion of the event’s organisation. An events company or venue offering full turnkey services may be able to provide the whole package at a more reasonable or even a preferential rate. Working with a reputable service provider will attract greater numbers based on its industry track record.

4  5 

20 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

The cons 1 There is a risk that your turnkey service provider may have its own ideas as to what your event should look like, so ensure that it does not deviate from your vision. You may have to deal with a middleman in the form of an events production or organisation manager, which may mean you don’t have total control over some elements.

2  • Do 

you have any insights on what it is like working with the turnkey service provider? • Have you or anyone you know,  personally or professionally, ever worked with this outfit and what was their experience like? • What sort of events has the  turnkey hosted and managed in the past and can it work on the execution you are looking for? • Who falls within the turnkey  operator’s network? • Are you certain that these are  quality service providers who will be able to follow the brief?

3 Should something go wrong, it is

not just one aspect of your event that is in jeopardy – it potentially compromises your entire event. While a preferential rate on line items may be offered, make sure of all management fees and hidden costs to avoid any nasty and costly surprises. Within your turnkey event company’s network, you unfortunately cannot be guaranteed that whoever they work with has a good track record.

4  5

b e s t p r a c t ic e

Mitigating the risks The potential hazards posed within the events industry may not seem to be much reason for concern at first, but health and safety should be at the forefront of any gathering where a significant number of people are expected.


aving an event might appear to be rather an innocuous occasion but any and all potential risks need to be identified and mitigated before it can take place. No event can go ahead without a health and safety check being conducted first. An audit by a health and safety official will be carried out with certification issued to ensure the necessary measures are in place to prevent any harm or, far worse, loss of life. So how is this governed and what recourse is there for anyone who does not have any health and safety checks in place? Quite simply put, it is law and before you hold any event, you will need to ensure the process for your health and safety assessment has been correctly followed, as noncompliance will land you in serious hot water. One of the most important pieces of legislation in place to oversee health and safety at an event is the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act (No. 2 of 2010; Sasrea). The Act came about in

time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is intended to cover all bases when it comes to health and safety. SANS 10366:2015 as well as other various bits of legislation also inform these requirements. A key element within the Sasrea, should anything go wrong, is that anyone who has anything to do with the event, whether it is the event organiser, the venue, sponsors, service providers or suppliers, is liable. It is, therefore, critical to follow the Act to a T. Previously, it might only have been the venue and perhaps the event organiser who would be held accountable should anything go wrong. However, the Act ensures that every single player who has any involvement is liable and, therefore, each needs to ensure that a thorough health and safety check is conducted and that the necessary approvals are attained prior to the event running. This also means that all parties need to seek event or personal liability cover to protect and safeguard themselves in the instance of any incident.

Procedure for application of an event Event organiser

Application submitted to the disater management centre for administrative processing

Applicant makes the required changes

Present plan to safety at sports and events advisory group (SSEAG) appointed by the city Manager


Primary approval

SASREA The Sasrea guidelines are particularly stringent and, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Services Department, provide: •M  easures to safeguard the physical well-being and safety of persons and property at sports •R  ecreational, religious, cultural, exhibitional, organisational or similar events held at stadiums, venues or along a route • Th  e accountability of event role-players •C  ertain prohibitions • Th  e risk categorisation of events • Th  e establishment of measures to deal with safety and security at events


•A  ccreditation of role-players at events •E  vent ticketing • Th  e control of access of spectators and vehicles at events • Th  e issuing of safety certificates for planned or existing stadiums or venues • Th  e contents of safety certificates and amendments to safety certificates • Th  e appointment of inspectors and their powers of entry and inspection • Th  e deployment of security services • S pectator exclusion notices •P  rohibition notices •P  ublic liability insurance for events •P  ayment of fees

Address all oustanding safety and security issues

Event safety and security committee meet 14 days before the event at venue

Confirm implementation of event plans


Event cancelled

Final approval




MEETINGS l september/october 2018 •


2 0 q u e s t ion s

A little

something different Communications and marketing consultant Kim Vermaak believes that if her many years spent at the Barnyard Theatre Group taught her anything, it’s that clients are always on the lookout for something different. What do you enjoy most about working at The Barnyard Theatres?

Why should one use a Barnyard theatre as their go-to venue?

Who would be your ultimate dinner guest? Richard Branson.

Ever changing, exciting and challenging! I believe we have only seen the tip of the iceberg with regard to event possibilities in this beautiful country of ours. We have incredible talent and resources at our fingertips and the world is taking notice.

The ever-changing daily demands, my colleagues, the opportunity to be creative, the rewarding feeling after a successful event and, most of all, the essence of Barnyard… the music!

Speaking of food, what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Something I couldn’t

What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry lately?

I’ve worked on many exciting projects. At Barnyard, we are all about teamwork and collaboration. My personal highlights have been seeing the group’s corporate event and conferencing business arm grow from strength to strength, and then definitely the excitement each time we launch a new venue! I have been fortunate enough to be involved in the launch of seven Barnyard venues between 2009 and 2018, with more to come. Watch this space!

We are conveniently located, nationwide; five venues in Gauteng, one in Cape Town and our new Durban venue opening soon at Suncoast. Our brand has been around for 22 years but we continuously strive to have a fresh approach on eventing. We offer all the facilities you’d expect from traditional venues but with a difference! Our signature setting adds a unique vibe to any event, and we have the added bonus of offering in-house entertainment. Our rates are also really affordable, which is a bonus. Just give us a try and you’ll see!

What is your view of the events industry at the moment?

Clients are ready for something different! There is a move away from the traditionally ‘stiff’ eventing and conferencing style. Clients are seeking something fresh, out of the ordinary, with a dash of fun. Clients still naturally expect professional service and high-quality facilities and catering, but a more relaxed, welcoming ambience is being favoured.

What have been some of your career highlights?

What has been your most memorable event?

Kim Vermaak 

Too many to mention. Many of the fundraising events have been very touching, especially those in aid of small children needing medical attention. On the corporate side, I would say it would be a toss-up between an event held for Thompsons Travel’s 40th anniversary in 2017 – it had all the bells and whistles, including a Barnyard show, blacktie decor, laser light show – and then a year-end party held for Discovery Vitality that also had exciting features, food, and the entertainment included wellknown local DJ TiMO ODV!

What is your top venue tip? You can never be too organised for an event, so prep and plan your heart out. I believe that 90% of an event’s success lies in the preparation thereof.

What quote best describes you? “Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.”– Sukhraj S Dhillon

What’s your guilty pleasure? Cappuccino! Tell us something about yourself that many don’t know. I’m actually quite shy. What’s your superpower? Smiling!

If you could speak any language – what would it be? Spanish.

quite identify, in Bangkok.

What is your favourite holiday spot and why? Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique. It has island vibes but still buzzes with activity, good diving spots and no car or cell phone needed.

What is your karaoke song of choice? James Brown’s ‘I feel good’ – I bet you’re singing it in your head now.

What’s the strangest request you have had from a client? A two-page spreadsheet of dietary requirements. It was in a tabulated format and had every dietary requirement known to man. Each person on the list had either multiple dietary requirements or specific allergies, or both! It kept us on our toes but we did it!

What’s your most prized possession? My Revlon lipstick pencil.

What do you do in your spare time? What’s that? How would your obituary read? Hopefully, “Hardworking and kind colleague and friend who helped make a small piece of the world a better place. Looked only half her age at death, which was attributed to years of high caffeine intake.”


Experience the extraordinary T he CTICC is the leading venue for conferences, exhibitions and business events on the African continent with two stateof-the-art buildings – CTICC 1 and CTICC 2 – to host any event imaginable. CTICC 1 and CTICC 2 boasts facilities that include 21 400 m2 of multipurpose conference and exhibition space; two raked auditoria seating 1 516 and 612 delegates, respectively; two terrace rooms for up to 330 and 450 delegates, respectively; 47 breakout rooms accommodating between 20 and 370 delegates, and versatile banqueting rooms including a 2 000 m2 grand ballroom. More importantly, the CTICC’s highly professional and friendly staff will ensure that your event is seamlessly delivered and one that your delegates will not forget. State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, coupled with a solid sound and information technology infrastructure, means that the CTICC

Local Excellence Global Appeal So much more than merely a multi-purpose conference and exhibition destination, the iconic Cape Town International Convention Centre combines flexible venues, impeccable service, cutting-edge technology and the finest global cuisine to transform your event into an extraordinary experience. So, whether your attendees are from around the world, or around the corner, give them the world-class experience they deserve with the uniquely African flair they desire, at the CTICC. For more information, or to book your event, exhibition or convention at CTICC, call +27 21 410 5000, email or visit

can offer you fully integrated digital solutions to meet your specific requirements and make it easy and affordable to give your guests and delegates a professional audiovisual experience. The CTICC boasts a cutting-edge electronic network designed to provide worldclass information technology solutions for your event or exhibition. Our experienced chefs are trained in delivering world-class cuisine to small and large groups at meetings, conferences and even festivals. Your delegates will enjoy innovative menus that showcase cosmopolitan cuisine, culinary classics and contemporary South African dishes.   To match our world-class offering, the event management team, in conjunction with the food and beverage and exhibition services teams, works closely with clients to conceptualise, design and coordinate events. The CTICC is where you will experience the extraordinary.

e v e n t Showc a s e



s magic a

What do you get when you combine the best music, tastiest food, delicious wine and the most enjoyable children’s entertainment at one of the most popular venues in Pretoria on a Saturday? An unforgettable outdoor festival, which was a feast for the senses, largely thanks to EPH Productions.

24 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

t Proe'toria




festival that no one can stop talking about – this year saw the largest Proe’Toria Fees in four years. EPH Group pulled out all the stops and all the creative talent and experience from underneath their umbrella. The festival was hosted at Weiveld this year, by Leon Pheiffer, owner and managing director of the EPH Group. The day was blessed with 100 stalls of varying crafts, drinks and food, 3 500 awesome people that made their way through the gates, and 13 of South Africa’s most renowned Afrikaans music artists.

The whole spread Stalls available on the day included wine farms such as Van Loveren, Deetlefs, Boschkloof and SA Wines; foods ranging from pancakes right 

through to seafood paella; and craft drinks including the original Mozambican R&R and an intricate oyster and champagne combination. And then there was a kiddie’s area, where parents could leave their children in the safe hands of Play Ground Inflatables, and a beer garden by the one and only SAB. EPH Productions certainly made magic happen, setting up a massive 20 m x 10 m dome stage on which the talented local artists performed, with Muzik Kids, 2nd Life, Zamar, Tussen Sterre, Ampie, Nadine, Jemma, Corlea, Elvis Blue, Touch of Class, Leah, Jay and Spoegwolf all putting on exceptional shows. The supporters on the day consisted of some of the biggest brands in Pretoria, including Jacaranda FM, Toyota Pretoria Noord, Beeld, Feista, Juke Box, Kyknet and, of course, EPH Productions.

Creating togetherness According to Leon: “We wanted to bring something to Pretoria that created a sense of togetherness – a day where everyone can come together, enjoy fantastic food and drinks, and appreciate the incredible musical talent our country has to offer. The Proe’Toria Fees was created in the hopes of being in a space without time or measure – music does have the ability to remove us from reality, after all! I look forward to going even bigger next year and encourage everyone to come and be part of our incredible day.”

MEETINGS l september/october 2018 •


e v e n t Showc a s e

MICE The R115 billion industry This year’s Women in MICE Awards gave us more food for thought than ever before, with pertinent takeaways from the women who are making a marked and valuable contribution to both the industry and our economy.


fight for what you know is right,” she said during her address to the audience. The Top 40 Women in MICE 2018 was held on 23 August at the exquisite Avianto in Muldersdrift, west of Johannesburg. The event was beautifully laid out with attendees being pampered with head and neck massages, and treated to a special range of wines carefully selected for the occasion before the event began. Once guests were seated, Jolene Aucamp, the event’s expert MC, opened the event and commenced proceedings, with Taubie Motlhabane, divisional head for the City of Tshwane, giving

The sum of all things Valued at R115 billion, the MICE industry in South Africa makes a hefty contribution to South

Photographer: Daniel Craig Johnson

meeting that changed the course of history in our country forever: it was a gathering of people at an event that would see one of the world’s greatest political fighters and human rights activists, Nelson Mandela, propelled into power as leader of the ANC and South Africa’s first truly democratically elected leader. Giving the keynote address at the Top 40 Women in MICE event was the eldest granddaughter of the father of our nation, Ndileka Mandela, who reminded us how important it is to have integrity: “Even if you are a pariah,

the opening address. The thrust of Taubie’s message was also one that provided inspiration, with her focus being on bullying in the workplace. Surprisingly, she noted, the majority of bullying of women at work is by other women, which is indicative of the current mindset among female professionals. A delightful segment of the event was Ilan Smith’s performance, who, through astounding sleight of hand and illusion, wowed the entire audience with his acts, leaving everyone baffled and completely awestruck. Along with his sense of humour, Ilan’s show illustrated how the subtle use of psychology, if done well and done right, can elicit any desired response – crucial in an industry driven by perceptions.

26 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018

#WIM2018 Meet the judges

in MICE 2018

With Thanks 3S Media would like to give thanks to our judges, speakers, partners and sponsors, without whom this year’s Top 40 Women in MICE Awards would not have been possible:


Rudi van der Vyver Pieter Swart CEO of SAACI

Managing director of Conference Consultancy SA

Sue Gannon

Marketing manager of EXSA Academy



Chad Botha

National manager of Inspire Furniture Rentals Africa’s economy, with women forming a crucial part of this. As the nurturers and carers of our world, women are also natural leaders, and it is vital to work together to ensure that other women, especially, are uplifted and aspire to excellence. Part of this incredible drive was the unveiling of the Women in MICE Mentorship and Development Initiative, launched in partnership between 3S Media, owner of Meetings and the Women in MICE Awards, together with the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB). Speaking at the launch, Shanna Jacobsen, managing editor: Meetings, said: “An aspect that has really stood out for me during my time with Meetings is that this is a very giving industry. I have been so fortunate to witness how many of you give back; how many of you educate, uplift and provide a means for our youth to further themselves. To this end, we

Justin Hawes

Managing director of Scan Display



Tour in South Africa

Ndileka Mandela Social activist and head of the Thembekile Mandela Foundation

Taubie Motlhabane Division head – City of Tshwane


Jolene Aucamp MC and motivational speaker – Joburg Conferences & Events 


Ilan Smith Illusionist

Christine Mansour Zweli Mäth Singer


MEETINGS l september/october 2018 •


e v e n t Showc a s e

are taking Women in MICE one step further and, as the Top 40 Women in MICE enters its fifth year, we are looking forward to deepening, refining and growing the industry – taking it to new heights.” Under the Women in MICE Mentorship and Development Initiative, women who are keen on mentoring individuals in need of guidance opt in to provide the necessary level of input and direction required – whether it is through handson experience or exposure to industry – to help understand the ins-and-outs of the meetings

28 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

space. This will ensure valuable and practical knowledge transfer that can then benefit the individual and be applied going forward. Together with the support of the SANCB, Meetings will develop an online repository of articles and resources to bolster and promote the initiative.

The inspiration The Women in MICE Mentorship and Development Initiative was inspired by one of the patrons of Women in MICE – our very own Lifetime

Achievement Award winner and chief convention bureau officer at the SANCB, Amanda KotzeNhlapo. Amanda has been pivotal in her contribution to the MICE industry and her approach of co-opetition versus competition is ensuring an impact is felt across the industry. In her drive to ensure South Africa is recognised globally as a top meetings destination, we hope to encourage greater education and participation by industry players to sustain and accelerate economic growth.

Ta l k ing p oin t s

INDUSTRY views Industry collaboration key to growth

The answer to propelling the MICE industry to new heights could lie in public-private collaboration

Marc Rodriguez is the general manager at the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB) and a member of the AIPC board of directors. 

Industry inclusion Marc Rodriguez notes how public and private sector collaboration is

fast becoming the driving force behind Barcelona’s events industry – a model worth considering for our local market


ast year saw Barcelona head the world ranks of cities that host the most international congresses and conventions, according to the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association). This important statistic, reflecting joint efforts and dedication, serves to confirm Barcelona’s need to maintain its highly fruitful collaborative model, based on public-private cooperation – a successful formula closely observed by cities from all five continents. Through private management of public facilities, major public infrastructure in Barcelona can be run more efficiently by optimising the use of taxes, social input and suppliers. One clear example of this model’s success is Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), one of the biggest in Southern Europe. For every euro invested in its construction and maintenance, Barcelona’s population has recovered €1.39 in direct form and another €8.50 in indirect ways, according to a 2017 study by Barcelona University. The CCIB also helps to decentralise the city’s tourism by promoting a new business area of Barcelona that has undergone spectacular urban change. This new area, which features the Torre Glòries skyscraper, is a magnet for start-ups and companies from the technological sector. Facebook has just announced that it plans to open an operational centre in Torre Glòries to combat fake news on its pages. Barcelona ranks fifth in importance as a European technological hub, beaten only by London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, according to the Start-up Ecosystem Overview, drawn up by Mobile World Capital Barcelona. Congresses play a key role in combatting the seasonality of tourism, helping to ensure more rational use of hotel facilities and city services. Knowledge-based tourism and ‘bleisure’, which combines business with leisure, are a good way of complementing holiday tourism, helping to redistribute visitor arrivals across the year. Most visitors and delegates to congresses also consume quality leisure, cultural and gastronomic services, in turn helping to generate skilled

employment in the city. It is important to remember that congress and convention centres operate within a framework of sectors affected by medium- and long-term business cycles. This makes them genuine barometers when it comes to predicting future economic activity. This invaluable information is fundamental for public policymakers, because it can be used to anticipate and assess the need to introduce measures to combat such cycles. We can proudly state that Barcelona shows no sign of any slowdown in its congress activities over the next five years. We see a very rosy future ahead of us.

A strategic and social partner The CCIB, which acted as a venue in 2017 for a total of 122 events, attended by some 476 910 delegates, is now one of the city’s strategic partners, helping to foster interaction with industry, the healthcare and biotechnological sectors, the university community and cultural world: all important aspects of the city. In addition, networking has been proven to play a fundamental role in building loyalty in the organisation of corporate and scientific events, thus helping to attract talent to the city. The social component is also important. In 2014, the CCIB participated in a plucky municipal bid to reintegrate a largely neglected area lacking in cohesion into the city. The CCIB has incorporated social policies in its road map. Through the Barcelona Forum District Association (of which we are cofounder members, together with local hotels and businesses), over 421 people at risk of social exclusion have found employment since 2011. In addition, in its capacity as the CCIB’s partner, the public administration receives income in the form of dividends that can be reinvested in improving the quality of life of Barcelona’s citizens. In short, this is a virtuous cycle that benefits everyone. For further information, please contact or visit

ABOUT AIPC AIPC represents a global network of over 185 leading centres in 60 countries, with the active involvement of more than 900 managementlevel professionals worldwide. It is committed to encouraging and recognising excellence in convention centre management, based on the diverse experience and expertise of its international representation, and maintains a variety of educational, research, networking and standards programmes to achieve this. AIPC also celebrates and promotes the essential role of the international meetings industry in supporting economic, academic and professional development, and enhancing global relations among highly diverse business and cultural interests.



d e s tIin TALK NG a tPion O I N TS

INDUSTRY views SAACI belongs to every single member

SAACI – A mid-year update While each player within the events industry is clamouring for their piece of the pie, how can we ensure there is enough to go around? SAACI CEO Rudi van der Vyver weighs in.


rudi van der Vyver is the CEO of SAACI.

INDUSTRY views Eco-friendly travel

AACI is a village where the focus is on every single member. More than ever, I believe, there is a lot of cohesion between everyone in our association – our members, head office, the board. Before we do anything, we first do a ‘sanity check’ to see if it will benefit our members. And if it doesn’t, we don’t do it. There is also a strong emphasis on bringing more young people into the business events industry. We are acutely aware that this is a huge challenge and, over the next 12 months, there will be a huge focus on it. We will work on this aggressively, in addition to the existing mentorship programmes in which we are involved. Our association will only grow if we have young people joining us and getting more involved within the various subsectors of the industry. Looking at external factors affecting SAACI and the business events industry at large, the biggest challenge at the moment is South Africa’s volatile economic climate. Corporates are cutting back on spending and

The biggest challenge at the moment is South Africa’s volatile economic climate

Reflecting on the environmental impact of travel While we are working on hosting responsible events, we often forget the huge impact of travel and accommodation. Grace Stead puts forward some important points for consideration.

R Grace Stead is a sustainability practitioner and cofounder of the Event Greening Forum.

everyone wants the same piece of the pie. We know that our members are feeling it. The water crisis in Cape Town also hit our members hard and we are still feeling its effects. On a positive note, though, we have learnt so much from it. We are now pioneers in this field and have been contacted by cities like Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro for advice. Despite our challenges, I still believe we South Africans don’t give ourselves enough credit. We forget that we have a very unique destination. What is more, the warmth of our people, our culture and our food make us exceptional as a destination and we must capitalise on this much more.

esponsible tourism is about “making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit”, which includes the role of hotels, tour operators and event organisers. September is Tourism Month, so we are looking at a few key points to ensuring our events also include responsible travel. In South Africa, we tend to use single-occupancy vehicles instead of carpooling or catching public transport. This has a significant impact on the carbon footprint of an event, which is even higher when there are flights required. One way of reducing the carbon footprint is to select a venue or accommodation close to public transport routes. Consider the following points when planning your next event: • Ask the right questions: Ask potential hotel establishments if they have an environmental policy. Do they recycle, use energy-efficient lights and have water-saving measures in place? Do they treat their staff fairly and implement ethical business practices? Ask a few key questions, which should taken into consieration in your decision-making.

30 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

• Make an informed decision: Sometimes, it is not easy to establish the truth. To make things easier, there are organisations that ask the right questions and confirm the answers through a formal certification process. Look out for the Fair Trade Tourism, Green Leaf or Heritage certification labels. •O  ffset your impact: Sometimes, we can’t avoid the travelling, or the extra bed night, so the next best thing is to offset the environmental impact – specifically your carbon emissions. There are organisations that are set up to help you reduce your carbon footprint, and you can find more information at Carbon Protocol of South Africa: By asking the right questions and making informed decisions, you can reduce the overall negative impact of the event, while helping to build a greener economy. By considering the accommodation and travel requirements in a responsible manner, we are able take event greening to beyond the event.

Ta l k ing p oin t s

INDUSTRY views News for expo organisers

B2B matchmaking gives expos a crucial boost


Leatitia van Straten is the chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO).

ffering a B2B matchmaking service at events can be costly and time-consuming; which is why many organisers tend not to offer this, hoping their delegates will meet and engage during networking breaks and events. But the truth is, when confronted with thousands of strangers all racing for the coffee station, delegates tend to retreat to a corner to check their mail instead of reaching out to potential new business partners. A well-organised B2B matchmaking service can take up to six months to orchestrate: reviewing the business models and wishlists of companies who want to participate, and researching and reaching out to potential matches requires expertise and perseverance. This means appointing a specialised research partner or upskilling in-house staff to manage the task. While the extent of the work involved may put off many organisers, feedback from local events indicates that B2B matchmaking services are one

Leatitia van Straten believes that in an increasingly competitive B2B conference and exhibition environment, targeted matchmaking is proving to be an investment that delivers measurable returns.

of the top drawcards for delegates attending events to secure new business. They are guaranteed meetings with relevant potential business partners in one space and a condensed time frame, they gain new and viable leads, and are thus able to justify their investment in participating in the event. As a differentiator, B2B matchmaking adds measurable value to trade events and is certainly an event feature worth offering.

For more information on AAXO, visit All membership inquiries, including a full list of membership benefits and information on how to join, can be directed to

A well-organised B2B matchmaking service can take up to six months to orchestrate


Engaging exhibitions

Making exhibitions count

Travelbags sometimes sees itself as a mini events team, and any event, exhibition or meeting is only as successful as its organising team, writes Michelle Hinrichsen.


Michelle Hinrichsen is the current president of Travelbags.

TRAVELBAGS South African Travel Womens Club, Johannesburg 

xhibitions are one of the fastest growing industries in South Africa. Exhibitions are focused marketing tools; they offer industry-specific goods, products and services and tend to attract specific interested clientele. It’s up to three-times cheaper to close business at an exhibition or event than in everyday business. Many companies generate enough business during a fourday exhibition to last them an entire year, a fact I became privy to thanks to the knowledge shared by Gavin Sharples in a book well worth reading to ensure you make the best from your exhibition space – How to Make Money on Exhibitions. Travelbags was present at WTM in 2017 and it opened the club up to a whole new target market. The exhibition proved the best and most cost-effective way to interact with clients and potential new clients in a short space of time. An exhibition is a live, moving, breathing A4 advertisement in full colour – it’s not just some space at a venue. I personally feel that if the exhibition is specific to your industry and to your product offering or

service, it is worth the investment. And remember, if you are not there, your competitor is. We like to think we offer a similar opportunity for networking and closing business deals at Travelbags lunches and events every month as we at Travelbags are big supporters of the exhibition industry and we will continue to support the various exhibitions.

The organisation behind the exhibition

An exhibition is a living, moving, breathing A4 advertisement in full colour – it’s not just some space at a venue MEETINGS l september/october 2018 •


MAN on a mission Trevor Wolverson, food and beverage manager for Silverstar Casino, has a passion for producing exceptional gastronomic experiences. This plays out in his leadership of his departmental team of 256 – the largest department at Silverstar – which includes about 50 chefs. He believes strongly in empowering people to achieve their potential and has undergone additional training to enable him to upskill staff.


ow has the food and beverage (F&B) industry changed over the past five years?

Guests have become more aware of what they are putting in their bodies, paying particular attention to how the food has been produced/sourced. Free-range products are in the limelight and there has been a demand for the industry to source ingredients responsibly. Also, there has been an explosion of homecooking TV shows, which has created an awareness of current trends.

What are some of the current F&B trends?

About Chef trevor

The trends are following a healthy route; people are really watching what they consume. From the carb-conscious Banting folk to the free-range activists, there is a large emphasis on weight loss through specific eating habits and sustainable living.

Trevor Wolverson grew up in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, and studied Catering & Hospitality Management at Majuba FETC in Newcastle. He started his working career at a small local hotel and restaurant, then joined the casino industry in 2006 at Century Casino, which became Tsogo Sun’s Black Rock Casino in 2009. He started as restaurant supervisor and, within 18 months, was promoted to conference coordinator. A year later, he became food and beverage manager, a position he held for seven years before being appointed at Silverstar based on his exceptional culinary and management skills.

What would you identify as the primary mistakes people make when catering for meetings and events? Overthinking, trying too hard to impress and over-complicating dishes. Putting an innovative spin on old favourites always works. Delegates are already in a formal environment, so food should be the one thing that brings a sense of comfort.

What is your number one catering tip? Plan, plan, plan. If you are properly prepared, the execution of an event should be a breeze, but plan for curveballs. These always come your way, but when you love what you do, curveballs make your job exciting!

What is your favourite kitchen gadget? A coffee machine, simply because people would cease to function without their cup of coffee in the morning – and the F&B staff make that happen!

If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have known as much about desserts as I do!

When did you know you wanted to work in the hospitality industry? During school holidays, we would stay at a hotel my step grandfather managed called Natal Spa in Paulpietersburg, KwaZulu-Natal. I was always impressed with the way he managed to get this massive operation to run so smoothly. He was always so busy and this showed me that he took pride in making every guest happy. I admired this so much that it became my own mission.

What is the proudest moment in your career? Being appointed as the F&B manager of Silverstar.

What is your favourite food? A good curry.

What are your favourite foods to cook with?

Are there any foods you just don’t like?

Venison – it is the purest protein. Also, I can’t go a week without braaiing.

Nope; I’m willing to try anything! I always want to know the background to a dish and, because of this, there is rarely anything I’ve tried that I haven’t appreciated. I try everything with an open mind.

32 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

Did you eat your veggies as a child?

What would your ‘death row’ meal, as the late Anthony Bourdain put it? A mutton bunny chow with plenty of fresh chilli. I love authentic South African food.

E z e m v e l o • inc e n t i v e p l a nn e r

The perfect places to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is a governmental organisation tasked with maintaining wilderness areas and public nature reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. With a number of spectacular, natural venues under its care, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Didima Resort

Ntshondwe Resort

Hilltop Resort

Giant's Castle

Didima Resort The Didima Resort lies within the Cathedral Peak Valley of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. It’s only a four-hour drive from Durban and five hours from Johannesburg via the N3. Didima is set in the Drakensberg foot hills, with stunning views of the towering peak of the berg, and is surrounded by beautiful grassland, and pictureperfect streams, waterfalls and craggy cliffs. The venue offers hiking routes ranging from a few hours to several days of camping and adventure. Did we mention it’s also a unique conference and wedding venue? Didima has a large auditorium and a spacious reception area that is perfect for serving of teas and refreshments. Both venues have state-of-the-art equipment, including a multimedia projector, a wireless touchscreen control panel as well as a high-quality audio system. The venue can seat up to 20 people, depending on the seating plan. 

Giant's Castle Also situated in the central part of the MalotiDrakensberg Park World Heritage Site, Giant's Castle is a six-hour drive from Johannesburg and about three hours from Durban. There are endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, photographers, amateur botanists and hikers to immerse themselves in tranquil solitude at this gorgeous location. The venue is perfect for themed weekends, family reunions, bespoke weddings, small conferences and executive gateways. Giant's Castle’s Rock Lodge is a conference venue that can seat up to 40 people, cinema style with chairs only. The world-renowned Vulture Hide was recently refurbished and offers bird enthusiasts and photographers the unique opportunity to view and photograph various raptors and vultures, as well as the Verreaux eagles that inhabit the region. It’s the perfect breakaway spot.

Ntshondwe Resort The pride of the Ithala Game Reserve near the hamlet of Louwsburg in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Ntshondwe Resort is a fivehour drive from Durban and Johannesburg. Most routes to the venue pass through the historically rich Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer War battlefield areas of the province. Ntshondwe has a fully equipped conference centre with an auditorium and two conference halls with a spacious foyer, as well as state-of-the-art equipment. The venue can seat up to 120 people, cinema style, and also has a number of breakaway rooms that can seat up to 30 people, cinema style. Rock formations some 300 million years old are visible from the gorgeous Ntshondwe venue and the ecological diversity provides wonderful seasonal variation that gives visitors an unforgettable experience.

Hilltop Resort A simple three-hour drive from Durban, Hilltop is the pride of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, one of SA’s premier big-five game reserves. The award-winning venue is situated high on the edge of a steep forested slope, with breathtaking views of the Zululand hills and valleys. There are a number of self-catering and catered-for chalets, huts and fully equipped lodges available on the property for a great breakaway from city life. The venue is often used for meetings and workshops and can seat up to 40 people, depending on the seating plan. It is fully equipped with a data projector, overhead screen and flip chart boards.

+27 (0)33 845 1000



d e s t in a t ion • Ts h w a n e

Meetings made easy in Tshwane


t a glance, Tshwane seems rather innocuous as a destination but don’t pass up the area if you’re looking for a unique take on your next meeting or event. Planning and organising an event in Tshwane, big or small, is a cinch with the city’s vast spread of venues and popular to-dos.

Where to go? The Tshwane area is sprawled across 6 298 km2 and caters for a variety of different types of events. For larger events, there are a number of venues that can host exhibitions and delegations of between 1 000 and 10 000 people. Many of the bigger venues also provide spaces for smaller, more intimate gatherings; however, a selection from the abundance of available hotels and resorts with conferencing facilities in

34 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

Home to over 3 million people, Tshwane is a hive of activity with a lot to offer. Meetings goes on a grand tour to explore northern Gauteng.

Tshwane might make more sense for your event, depending on numbers.

Go big or go bespoke With 10 exhibition halls, 10 conference halls, 3 500 secure parking bays, and facilities equipped to handle livestock auctions, Tshwane Events Centre in the western part of the metro has massive capacity. Exhibitors and large-scale event planners have an array of options among the 40 000 m2 indoor and 45 000 m2 outdoor exhibiting space offered by the centre, which is fully equipped with audiovisual and connectivity competencies. The Heartfelt Arena, while smaller than Tshwane Events Centre, is easily accessible from both numerous highways and South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria, which is only a 15-minute drive from the venue. The arena can manage between 400 and 4 000

people and, as part of its offering, provides a full turnkey solution in the form of its event management services that include catering, AV, decor, safety and security, and health and sanitation. The CSIR International Convention Centre, also a mere 15-minute drive from the main city centre, is better suited for business events and conferencing. This centre has been designed and built with special soundproofing so that multiple events can run concurrently without interfering with each other in any way. The CSIR offers an exhibition hall with capacity for 1 000 people, three auditoriums and various meeting rooms catering for between 10 and 160 people. If you are challenged with arranging transport for your delegation, consider hosting your event at The Maslow Time Square. Time Square Sun Arena is a


5 Fast Facts

multipurpose venue that provides seating for up to 8 500 people. It is suitable for events such as concerts, with all the amenities and services forming part of this offering. Time Square also offers banqueting and, within the hotel, its business centre and meeting rooms are ideal for smaller events and breakaways. Set atop Waterkloof Ridge in Pretoria, Villa Sterne provides accommodation as well as conferencing facilities – all with a beautiful vista. The venue offers several spaces including a boardroom, dining room and conference centre. Its boardroom is able to host up to 14 seated individuals at tables. The dining room can handle 60 seated guests, with the conference centre able to manage up to 100 guests. Catering is optional through the venue, which can include light refreshments and snacks, or full three-course meals. 

1. Sepedi is the language most widely spoken in Pretoria, followed by Afrikaans then Setswana.

3. Stanza Bopape, previously Church Street, in Pretoria is the longest urban centre street in South Africa and one of the longest straight streets in the world.

2. Pretoria was once home to the world’s largest soccer ball. It measured 24 metres across and eight storeys high, and was made out of 100% recyclable material.

4. Pretoria Boys High School counts former Springbok captain John Smit, antiapartheid activist and British MP Peter Hain and exBafana Bafana player Mark Fish as part of its alumni.

5. STS 5, more commonly known as Mrs Ples, one of the world’s oldest intact skulls of an Australopithecus africanus hominin – discovered in the Cradle of Humankind – is now on display at the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria.

Blended beauty Tshwane is rich in culture and history, and there is plenty to see and do in and around the CBD, so do consider building in some sight-seeing or even a trip to a game reserve alongside your meeting or event. Dinokeng, meaning ‘place of rivers’, is just 50 km from the main city centre. It is famed for its flora and fauna and is home to Zebra Country Lodge, Mongena Game Lodge and the Big 5 at Dinokeng Game Reserve. The quaint old mining town of Cullinan is also a popular tourist destination. Just a half-hour’s drive east of Pretoria, it is home to several art galleries and some of the area’s most popular gastronomical attractions. The world’s largest diamond, the Cullinan Diamond, weighing 3 106 carats, was named after the town in which it was found in January 1905. +27 (0)12 358 999 +27 (0)12 427 2111



I n t e r n a t ion a l I nc e n t i v e s

Mauritius Incentives

Don’t hesitate!

According to Lonely Planet, Mauritius has been ranked among the top 10 countries to visit in 2018. A journey here guarantees memories to last a lifetime and, in our book, a no-brainer when considering an incentive destination. The island of Mauritius is an all-time incentive favourite. Why? Because it works! By Clare Neall*


uite simply, it’s a great destination. Just a short flight away from South Africa, Mauritius offers amazing inclusive and affordable packages, fabulous resorts with a multitude of activities, luxury spas for indulgent pampering, team-building ideas galore, imaginative themed evenings, great conference facilities, is home to some of the most stunning beaches and, in general, there is so much to see and do – a myriad of excursion choices are available to pack into any agenda for any group size. Nadia Steenkamp, sales manager for Mauritius Incentive Connection (MIC), says South Africa-based MIC – an initiative powered by Connections DMC – was launched in July 2011 to bring together a consortium of Mauritian partners offering fresh ideas and products for the incentive and conference market in

36 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 

South Africa. Nadia joined the team in May 2017 and focuses on showing the South African MICE agents a different Mauritius. Hence their proposals always contain a unique value proposition. Furthermore, they are very active in communicating their innovations on a regular basis. Whether off-site venues, themes, activities, gift ideas or original entertainment, MIC are always on the lookout for ways to make Mauritius unique. When asked how Nadia creates memorable Mauritian conferences, incentives and events, she replies: “By listening, understanding and delivering expectations (plus a little bit more). Mauritius never ceases to amaze and each and every time you go back – you step off the plane wondering why it took you so long to return.”

Drawing up incentive proposals is very time consuming. Attention to detail is, therefore, critical. The devil is in the detail, after all – know and understand your incentive winner’s expectations of an incentive house to deliver on and exceed them. A detailed background of the specific group travelling is crucial. For example, understand the size and demographics of the group. Have they been to Mauritius before? What other destinations competing for the business? Are the dates flexible? Is there a star-grading preference? Is location important? Will conferencing be involved? And, of course, on the topic of budgets... Mauritius is an all-inclusive island getaway where you know your group will enjoy great food and drink options while containing your overall incentive spend. Basically, the more


An activity update from MIC: Mini mokes are back! Available in vibrant colours, new convertible mini mokes add a touch of fanciness and fun to a ‘Mauritius Explorer’ outing. Drive through the scenic roads of Mauritius, off the beaten track, while enjoying the amazing local landscapes.

information provided, the more interesting the incentive programme! Not every property suits every group and, over time, Nadia and the MIC team have developed an innate sense of knowing which property would be the best for your proposed group. That's not easy when you have an awesome portfolio to work with – within MIC Connection, there are a selection of 12 hotels on offer: Le Meridien Ile Maurice: 4 ; Maritim Crystals Beach: 4 ; Heritage Awali: 5 ; Westin Turtle Bay: 5 ; Intercontinental: 5 ; Hilton Mauritius: 5 ; Heritage Telfair: 5 ; Outrigger Beach: 5 ; Shanti Maurice Deluxe: 5 ; St Regis Deluxe: 5 ; Solana Beach: 4 ; and Preskil Resort: 4 . In addition, as a one-stop shop, the partnership incorporates Connections DMC, Impact Production Group, Oceane Cruises and Sugar World.

Takamaka Winery Dedicated to the production of lychee wine. Yes it is real wine and quite a unique experience. It has taken Alexandre Oxenham 17 years of trial and research to finally create this unique product and bring his passion to reality. He will accompany your group on a private tour ending with a tasting of the different lychee wines produced at the winery.

Taste Buddies Authentic food tours. To know Mauritius, you must taste Mauritius. Accompanied by your local Mauritian buddy, visit the cobbled streets of the capital city and stop at a local stall for a taste of its local flavours. Excite your taste buds with all kinds of Mauritian delicacies; enjoy unique bites that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Adopt a new way of discovering Mauritius. Stroll, taste and discover!

Our checklists are ticked, our bags are packed, passports are in hand and it’s time to head off with our next group to Mauritius for an incentive to remember! Event Stuff SA is an online news and information source for the Southern African meetings, incentive, conferences, associations, events and exhibitions industry, gathering together news, trends, insights, best practices and a host of other relevant topics. Visit *Clare Neall is a certified meeting professional at Event Stuff SA.

e v eennt tShowc s ee r inc i v e p l aann

classy SPA venues

Wellness for the win We all enjoy a bit of personal pampering, so spas and wellness retreats make for a lovely incentive to include along with an event. Meetings explores what would best complement your meeting.


ccording to a recent study, South Africa is the second most stressed country in the world. In a day and age where we are constantly on the go, making time for ourselves falls by the wayside. This is all the more reason to consider a spa or wellness incentive to combine with your meeting or event. This, of course, needs to be carefully planned and well thought out. Phones and mobile devices are generally not permitted during treatments, so having guests beholden to a schedule where they are unable to check emails or address urgent or pending business queries may defeat the purpose of having an element of relaxation.

The Saxon For something local to Johannesburg, The Saxon is well suited to cater for a meeting with a spa experience. The venue has several spaces that are good for smaller meetings of between 10 and 50 people, including an auditorium equipped with an HD projector that seats 30, a convention lounge that seats 50 to 70 people depending on the set-up, and its executive boardroom that seats 12. The Saxon Spa, meanwhile, has made a name for itself locally and is recognised as one of the best spas in Johannesburg. It offers maximum privacy to each of its guests and is separate from the daily affairs of the hotel. From its hydro facilities to the consistent use of natural elements throughout the spa, it provides a serene space in which guests can truly feel relaxed.

Specially formulated If you are indeed considering a spa day or trip to a wellness retreat, it means your numbers will be limited, so give careful consideration toward how this particular incentive is aligned from both your guests’ as well as the venue’s perspective. If you intend on making a day, or at least a morning or afternoon, of it, ensure this schedule is not packed with solid back-toback treatments to allow your guests time to manage pressing work-related issues or to socialise with one another. Also, take into account the demographics of your guests. Not many men might be as keen on the idea of a spa day as women, but don’t assume what sort of appeal this would hold for either; rather ask or consider an alternative that would be more universally enjoyed.

38 • MEETINGS l september/october 2018 


#spa&wellness Four Seasons THE Westcliff

THE Westcliff To ensure this jewel is flawlessly maintained, Four Seasons The Westcliff underwent an extensive renovation at a cost of R200 million in 2013. Formerly, but not formally, known as The Pink Palace, owing to the previous colour of its walls, it has welcomed A-list celebrities, including Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey, and billionaire businesspeople as its guests.

Karkloof Safari Villas

The Westcliff offers event spaces that can host up to 400 people but it also has 13 meeting rooms more suited to conferencing, which are clustered together for convenience. Each room comes with high-speed internet access and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. The spaces can be set up according to individual needs, with the smallest room seating just four people; based on the

layout type, the largest can seat between 50 and 200 people. The Westcliff’s spa offers an unparalleled experience and can tailor packages for each occasion. It also carries lines of specialised products from highly sought-after names, including Terres d’Afrique, Omorovicza and Biologique Recherche. johannesburg


Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa For an extended stay in the winelands area of the Western Cape focused on the wellness of your guests, consider Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa. A 45-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport, Santé’s Business Forum is specifically geared toward ensuring the needs of businessoriented guests are met. It can accommodate up to 120 guests

and has four private breakaway rooms in varying sizes to provide for the specific needs of your meeting. Santé provides a range of treatments and programmes to revitalise your guests. From its day spa to its health optimising programmes that aim to “achieve optimum health, enhance longevity and correct imbalances”, the venue will see that your guests leave feeling refreshed.

Karkloof Safari Villas Situated on 3 000 hectares of land, with 43 mammal, 283 bird, 67 amphibian and 93 butterfly species, Karkloof Safari Villas in the KwaZuluNatal Midlands is particularly well suited to nature lovers who need to immerse themselves in nature teeming with life. The venue has the capacity to accommodate a range of event types, including product launches, workshops and think tanks, and its boardroom comes with standard conferencing facilities. Karkloof Safari Spa offers holistic treatments that have been sourced from cultures from across the world to provide an optimal experience. It offers a range of treatments – from facials to wraps, scrubs and massages. If you would like to do something different, take a walk through the predator-free reserve with one of the venue’s expert guides.

Tour in South Africa (TiSA) Tour in South Africa (TiSA) is a newly formed travel company based in Pretoria, offering various tours throughout South Africa.

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We also do group transfers, transport to and from big events, single weekend breakaways, golf tours etc.



Tour in South Africa

MEETINGS l november/december 2016 •


What is it good for? Try to do anything that doesn’t take the greater good into consideration… I dare you.

I “Some of the world’s biggest challenges can be solved by some of the world’s most marginalised communities. The moment you inject information, education and an entrepreneurial spark into a community, it gets empowered enough to inspire, build, and uplift itself.” Sharad Vivek Sagar

t is simply not enough in this day and age to merely exist as a business providing goods or services to a relevant market. Aside from all the dots and crosses on the respective letters of the alphabet, there needs to be more mindfulness given to not just our carbon footprint but our social impact too. At this point in time, having some sort of socially focused initiative in the business world should be par for the course within the sustainability discussion. And this particular conversation should not be limited to the events industry alone, because sustainability as a whole underpins our very survival. Being socially responsible goes hand in hand with being environmentally responsible. In South Africa, where unemployment is hovering around 27%, far more needs to be done to ensure our citizens are empowered – whether it is through ensuring survival and basic human needs are met or through upskilling, mentorship and, finally, employment, so that the individual can become financially independent and is able to provide for themselves without the support of anyone else. The challenge lies in regulation. As with the use of straws and other plastics, where we seemingly had no previous waste management policies in place to regulate this, it mostly was and currently is being driven only by a few extraordinarily conscientious individuals who have brought to our attention how detrimental this is to our oceans and ecosystems. Someone at

a decision- or policymaking level then had to understand this and feel strongly enough about the matter to lobby for a change in legislation. Until such a time that there are laws to better govern social responsibility, it will need to be supported at a peer level. In the same way that legislation is currently being enforced to protect the ecosystem in a way that ensures sustainability, there should be laws to govern social responsibility. Giving back and uplifting our communities should be inherent to us all. In Rwanda, society is thriving, which can partly be attributed to each and every single individual playing a role in ensuring their communities are in good running order and well kept. Rwanda encourages umuganda, which can be translated as ‘coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome’. The last Saturday of each month is spent with each citizen giving back to their communities in whatever way is needed. Within the events industry, there are so many ways in which we can give back. From offering contract employment to local communities during our events to donating leftover food or materials to those in need, and upskilling students by exposing them to the events industry – we just need to open our eyes, be more aware of the impact we can make and get creative with the types of opportunities we can provide.

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