JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020 • Issue 89
CONTENT & MESSAGING How to create an impactful event
STATE OF MICE IN AFRICA Trends and analysis
OUT-OF -TOWN ESCAPES Take a break from inner-city meeting spaces
15 YEARS OF
The driving force of the business events industry
Exhibitions are uniquely focused marketing opportunities that bring the target market to exhibitors, allowing them to network with a captive audience and nurture ongoing relationships. Exhibitions still put smiles on faces and money in pockets. And they get bigger and better every year.” Craig Newman, CEO of the JEC
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FOCUS 10 Once upon an event Unpacking why storytelling is becoming more crucial to the success of our events than ever.
04 COVER STORY
Beyond the bureau
The South African National Convention Bureau was formed less than 10 years – Meetings understands more on how the SANCB supports the industry.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCES… 12 Visually 13 Emotionally BEST PRACTICE 15 Marquees and temporary structures It is of paramount importance that all temporary structures utilised by the public are safe, particularly in respect of fire or adverse weather, says Richard Downings.
17 Setting yourself aside from the rest Identifying your strengths and ensuring you deliver on nothing less than the best will distinguish you from the rest, writes Gabi Babinszky, director of Brandex.
OP-ED 19 Scripting our future We are the authors of the new decade and it is up to us to make history, writes industry influencer Thami Nkadimeng.
ANALYSIS 22 MICE in 2020 There are impressive stats to indicate very positive trends within the MICE industry. Meetings looks at what we can expect for the year ahead.
STATE OF MICE IN AFRICA 26 Continental prospects Demonstrating a clear appetite for growth, Africa’s MICE sector is teeming with possibilities.
providing exceptional eventing experiences.
TALKING POINTS 37 AIPC 38 SAACI + EGF 39 Travelbags +AAXO
08 BIG INTERVIEW
An unrivalled venue solution Operating under new ownership for nearly a year, the Johannesburg Expo Centre is working harder than ever before. CEO Craig Newman highlights the venue’s unique selling points that will continue to see it exceed expectations in 2020.
MEETING SPACES 32 Local is lekker Exploreing some of the local venues
REGULARS 3 Ed’s Comment 7 Tidbits 40 Miss Meet
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ED’S COMMENT Managing Editor Shanna Jacobsen (email@example.com) Chief Sub-Editor Tristan Snijders Head of Design Beren Bauermeister Contributors Aloysius Arlando, Glenton de Kock,
Kai Hattendorf, Michelle Hinrichsen, David Limbert, Greg McManus, Thami Nkadimeng, Projeni Pather Production & Client Liaison Manager
Group Sales Manager Chilomia Van Wijk Financial Manager Andrew Lobban Bookkeeper Tonya Hebenton Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina Distribution Coordinator Asha Pursotham
2020: A year of prosperous partnerships
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Publisher Jacques Breytenbach
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Meetings JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020 © Copyright All rights reserved 2020 www.theplanner.guru SUBSCRIPTION R330.00 per annum (incl. VAT) | email@example.com 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.
IN COLLABORATION WITH
ver the course of last year, I have learnt to appreciate the value of collaboration far more than ever. The close relationships that I have built have been the ones that have offered me the most insight and support, and vice versa – more and more, we are starting to realise that collective, focused energies are always stronger than individual ones. We have been hard at work to bring you some exciting and enticing pieces for this edition of Meetings, and I could not be prouder of what we have in store for our readers in this issue of the magazine. On page 10, we explore the importance of refining your content and messaging strategy to create a meaningful event that leaves a long-lasting impression on your delegates. We hear from creative director David Limbert (page 12) on the art of visualisation and, on page 13, we explore how to connect with your audiences emotionally. In this issue, our very own industry influencer and message architect Thami Nkadimeng writes about how we script the future to best suit our journeys. Don’t miss her article on page 19.
Then, we have also gone to all four corners of the continent to assess the state of the MICE industry in Africa (page 26). The continent is booming with possibility and while countries such as Ghana, Kenya and Mauritius are being recognised as up-andcoming business events destinations, we see how and why it is South Africa that is still leading the charge. We also try to peer into the crystal ball by looking at the industry in more of a global context on page 22 to understand the bigger picture and to give us some insight into the international trends that we might follow to ensure our events meet world-class standards. As a country, we have seen that South Africa has an immense amount to offer and, on page 32, we go on a trip to Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg to unearth some of the local meetings treasures that are just out of town and can offer delegates an invigorating change of scenery from the tedium of the city. While we forge a path ahead in meeting our goals for 2020, remember the value of your network and identify the relationships that can be beneficial for all. All the best for the year ahead and we hope you enjoy this issue of the mag!
Shanna MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
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BEYOND THE BUREAU The South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) was formed in 2012 and has since developed an approach aimed at significantly bolstering the business events sector. Meetings understands more on how the SANCB supports the industry.
10 000 to 15 000 delegates from more than 110 countries. The SANCB has been pivotal in bidding for and securing the event for the country, as well as in ensuring that the congress is promoted along the right channels, including embarking on a delegate boosting programme in San Francisco, USA, during the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2019 Annual Meeting. COUNTRY CAMPAIGNING
n May 2012, the South African Tourism (SAT) board approved the roll-out of a strategy for the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) that would be launched with the aim of growing local MICE opportunities. Recognising the value that business events bring to our economy and aligning to the objectives of government’s National Development Plan 2030, the bureau has worked to fortify the industry by deepening and refining its networks. This has gone
a long way towards ensuring sufficient capacity and resources are in place while providing an ideal environment, and platform, in which internationally hosted events in particular can flourish. The SANCB has been able to further invigorate the industry through a bidding support programme that, together with its bidding support strategies and promotional activity, is stimulating growth and yielding exciting prospects for South Africa. In June this year, the World Ophthalmology Congress will be coming to South Africa’s shores for the first time, bringing with it an expected
In order to promote South Africa as an international events destination, and in line with its ‘Meet Here, Grow Anywhere’ campaign, the SANCB hosted the ‘Where Great Minds Meet’ panel discussion during IBTM World Africa, which took place in Barcelona, Spain, in November 2019. Originally launched as a four-part digital series that aired on CNBC, ‘Where Great Minds Meet’ features a host of players from various industries, including the tourism sector, and actively demonstrates South Africa’s expertise in various professions, such as hosting world-class events. In
“We continue to tell our uniquely South African story, we want the world to come to our country not only to experience the beauty, but also the innovation that we have to offer.” Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, SANCB
THE SANCB’S DELEGATE BOOSTING APPROACH
a similar vein, the panel showcased the country’s capabilities and just how the SANCB’s approach is shaping its business events industry. “Looking at the meetings industry in a different light is what will stand the South African MICE industry in good stead moving forward and ‘Where Great Minds Meet’ is a step in that direction. When you are in a continent like Africa and a country like South Africa, you must be innovative in your approach. We have challenges that perhaps other countries don’t face, so for us it was important that we showcase that we are leaders in so many aspects, using a unique way to do so,” said chief convention bureau officer Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo on the panel. THE MEETINGS AFRICA PLATFORM Heading into its 15th edition, Meetings Africa’s inaugural show first took place in 2004. The two-day event showcases a diverse range of home-grown African products and services, and is a platform during which associations and
meetings industry professionals from across the continent can network and build partnerships. With the theme of ‘Advancing Africa Together’, the SANCB, under the guidance of SAT, has grown Meetings Africa to where it is today with the show welcoming the attendance of local, African and international delegates, including meeting and event planners, association buyers, and corporate travel executives, among others. Meetings Africa BONDay, which serves as an educational and networking day, takes place on 24 February, while the exhibition itself will be held on 25 and 26 February 2020. During the two days over which Meetings Africa takes place, exhibitors have the opportunity to showcase their offerings and meet with more than 400 hosted buyers as well as high-level decision-makers, with an online diary to coordinate business matchmaking. This year, Meetings Africa is ramping up its sustainability efforts by encouraging greener initiatives and driving the Gauteng Tourism Authority’s Gauteng Green Events Guidelines,
In 2016, the government granted the SANCB R90 million funding over three years for its bidding support programme. The programme’s fivepronged approach encompasses support for bidding, site inspections, convention planning, on-site event services and delegate boosting. The programme has seen such success that the funding will be renewed for a further three years. As part of its strategy to ensure sufficient promotion of each event, a portion of the support programme funding is allocated towards delegate boosting packages. These packages include a variety of offerings, including tourism information giveaways, branding, electronic and print marketing material, destination marketing material, and – as part of its Elite Package – VIP gifting, wine and drinks activations, and customised marketing materials. For more information on the SANCB’s delegate boosting strategies, visit www.southafrica.net/gl/en/business/ page/delegate-boosting. alongside its hosted Green Stand Awards. In addition, organisers will continue to offer carbon-offsetting initiatives to exhibitors such as planting trees – in 2019, 203 trees were bought by exhibitors and suppliers to support Meetings Africa’s greening initiatives and were planted at schools across Johannesburg and Tshwane. With 7 706 meetings that took place during Meetings Africa 2019 – a 17% increase from 2018 – Meetings Africa 2020 is looking very promising for exhibitors and attendees alike.
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
Refresh and Revitalize Conferencing in 2020 CONFERENCES AND EVENTS The Westin Cape Town is an unmatched meeting, conference and banqueting venue, with 19 unique spaces. It offers some of the largest and most sophisticated hotel conference and banqueting facilities in the city. Designed with the meeting planner in mind, the hotelâ€™s personalised services make it effortless to provide a memorable experience for each and every invitee.
A FRESH TAKE ON BANQUETING At The Westin Cape Town, every aspect of your experience is designed to ensure that you leave feeling better than when you arrived. We have developed a refreshing, inspiring banqueting offering to compliment your meeting, event and conferencing needs whilst keeping your well-being in mind.
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Meetings’ must-know minutia
Taubie Motlhabane appointed CEO of CTICC
Tsogo Sun Hotels launches a new brand: hi Hotels Towards the end of 2019, Tsogo Sun Hotels launched a new hotel brand – hi Hotels – which offers a young, authentic and modern experience. Tim de Raedt, director of operations at hi Hotels, says, “There is a segment of the market that is looking for an affordable, comfortable and well-designed space to stay, rather than a hotel with all the bells and whistles. They want convenience and some creature comforts, and a base from which they can explore the city,
Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has appointed Taubie Motlhabane as its new CEO. Motlhabane will formally take over the position from the current CEO, Julie-May Ellingson, at the end of January 2020. Taubie has more than 29 years’ experience in both the private and public business sphere. During this time, some of her previous roles included executive director of Tshwane Convention & Visitor Bureau and business tourism manager for South African Tourism. “This expertise is complemented by Taubie’s extensive knowledge in strategy development, business planning, the business events industry, and marketing. It is clear to us that she will add significant value as CEO of the CTICC. We look forward to having her at the helm, leading the CTICC team,” says Deon Cloete, board chairperson of the CTICC. Stepping down as CEO, Julie noted: “It has been an absolute pleasure working at the CTICC, and it is with pride that I hand over to another knowledgeable, passionate and strong woman. I wish Taubie all the best and I am sure the CTICC will continue to go from strength to strength.”
go about their business and enjoy what the neighbourhood has to offer. hi Hotels provides all that, and we’re excited to be incorporating it into the Tsogo Sun Hotels portfolio.” Another exciting feature of hi Hotels is its online and self-check-in facilities – the first hotel within the Tsogo Sun Hotels family to offer this. Other technological perks include free uncapped high-speed Wi-Fi, and a TV system that allows guests to select their own content.
SA Tourism CEO cleared of any wrongdoing Following his suspension on 1 April 2019 and an independent investigation, South African Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona has been cleared of any wrongdoing and will resume his duties following the festive season holidays. The allegations against him are unknown but were made as an anonymous tip-off from a whistle-blower. In a press statement issued on 13 December 2019, the SA Tourism Board said: “Following a thorough process, which saw a forensic investigation and a disciplinary hearing take place, Mr Ntshona has been cleared of all charges brought against him. The board is pleased that the process has finally been concluded and that the organisation can return to normality. The Board welcomes back Mr Ntshona and looks forward to
continue working with him as we seek to grow tourist arrivals in our sector and to build a stable organisation.” The board also thanked Sthembiso Dlamini for the work that she did as acting CEO during Sisa’s absence.
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
Johannesburg Expo Centre
Operating under new ownership for nearly a year, the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) is working harder than ever before. CEO Craig Newman highlights the venue’s unique selling points that will continue to see it exceed expectations in 2020.
uring 2019, the JEC played host to numerous key events, becoming a firm favourite among the movers and shakers of South Africa. From major political gatherings and government rallies, to large-scale trade shows and conferences, 2019 was a busy year for the JEC that saw the venue host a number of key events. “The Nasrec area, and the JEC in particular, has an incredible history behind it that lends itself to our knowledge and expertise, and what we are seeing is – even in an economy that has seen better days – overall, the exhibition circuit is successfully capitalising on consumer interest, and smaller-scale exhibitions are doing well too,” explains Craig. Situated in the south of Johannesburg, the JEC is easily accessible for travelling delegations; the venue is located 30 minutes away from Gauteng’s international airports and a short distance from main and national highways. Its sprawling premises provide a vast range of offerings that not only make it Africa’s largest, fully contained, multipurpose venue but a sought-after space for an assortment of activations and experiences. It is also one of the only venues in South Africa to have its own registered helipad. “As a venue, we take great pride in the versatility of the JEC and go to great lengths to ensure that,
MAKING HISTORY The JEC has been the venue of choice for a multitude of events, with one of its most recent being the Pass Out Parade of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department. On 25 November 2019, a ceremony was held for the recruitment of an additional 1 085 JMPD officers selected from 65 000 applicants, with the JEC being part of the momentous occasion that saw the single largest intake of officers in South Africa.
through our network, our clients can benefit from a full turnkey solution while enjoying the best customer service. We have handled large-scale events such as Ultra South Africa, with thousands in attendance, but we can also provide the perfect backdrop for more intimate functions such as corporate year-end functions and exclusive gala dinners,” says Craig.
A RENEWED STRATEGY In February 2019, GL events announced that it would acquire a 60% controlling stake of the JEC’s shareholding. The acquisition has since seen an integration of both the JEC’s and GL events South Africa’s operations and resources, and together with a directive that is purely focused on nurturing the growth of the venue, the JEC is playing to its core strengths. The additional capacity has meant that the JEC has been able to execute on the near impossible: in September last year, the venue hosted Automechanika alongside both the FuturRoad Expo and the build-up of China Homelife Fair. With careful planning and the support of its extensive network of key industry players, the JEC and its team were able to wrap up Automechanika on the afternoon of 21 September and have its halls ready for the China Homelife Fair opening on Monday morning, 23 September, with no incidents. Underscoring the importance of industry collaboration, Craig highlights that the successful running of three large-scale exhibitions concurrently was significant for the JEC’s organiser teams and on-the-ground staff, as well as the industry as a whole. Beyond the venue’s capabilities, Craig also emphasises the importance of hosting good exhibitors. “Quality exhibitors remain the key drawcard at any event. At niche events, this is especially important. If you would like to attract discerning buyers to your event, it’s imperative that you
are equally discerning about the quality of your exhibitors, because the information age has made consumers pickier than ever before. That said, South Africans do love a good exhibition,” he says.
ONGOING IMPROVEMENT In 2020, the JEC will continue to grow its industry network as well as enhance the venue’s value proposition that services each corner of the MICE industry. While the venue’s versatility means that it can host an event of any size and scale, its purposebuilt facilities and its capacity for running largescale shows make it ideal for exhibitions, and this presents an array of valuable potential prospects for the JEC. “Exhibitions are uniquely focused marketing opportunities that bring the target market to exhibitors, allowing them to network with a captive audience and nurture ongoing relationships. Exhibitions still put smiles on faces and money in pockets. And they get bigger and better every year. The 2020 exhibition circuit is set to be the most impressive yet,” concludes Craig.
+27 (0)11 494 1920 email@example.com www.expocentre.co.za
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
CONTENT & MESSAGING
Once upon AN EVENT While these skill sets may not necessarily be assigned to an individual, a balance is essential for our story to be not just cohesive but engaging and exciting too.
CREATIVE CONTENT AND MESSAGING
Meetings unpacks why storytelling is becoming increasingly influential in the success of our events.
s we count the number of events that roll by with each year that passes, we also endeavour to refine and improve on these. From celebrity attendance, delectable menus and world-class technology to visual aids such as banners and branding to drive messaging, these elements should work in harmony to tell the ultimate story.
10 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
The art of storytelling has evolved over the years, where some of the richest and most famous people in the world are those who play our favourite characters and produce Hollywood movies. Kimberly Whitler, a former US-based CMO who conducts research to help C-suite marketers develop impactful strategies for their audiences, illustrates in a blog for Forbes just how important storytelling is as a tool. “When I started at Procter & Gamble, we had 30 seconds, at most, to engage and communicate with a consumer. The emphasis was on identifying the single most important idea that we needed to convey and then communicating that to consumers. When I left P&G to work for a catalogue/online sales company, I learned an important lesson. We often had 30 minutes or more to engage with our consumer (through catalogues, online content and a call centre) and so the marketing messages had to shift from an easy-tounderstand single idea to a series of compelling stories that drove deeper engagement that lasted longer. And I learned how hard great storytelling is.” The world of eventing is one that requires both ‘left and right brain’ thinking. It takes analytical and problem-solving abilities to plan, budget and manage the entire process – including the event itself – from start to finish but also a strong creative flair to conceptualise and design an original and outstanding event that will tell our story.
The overarching message of our event will be central to how we structure our content, while how we package and present our message and who we get to tell our story will be a key distinguishing element of how we can better engage with our audiences. Making our objectives known, whether it is with a theme or payoff line, or clear mentions throughout the event, will be a means to announcing the message but the way in which the story is told will determine how this is received and remembered.
A STEP-BY-STEP FOR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT CREATION AT EVENTS People crave genuine stories and live events provide ideal opportunities for generating engaging content. Try some of these useful content creation tips from Cvent:
1 2 3 4 5
Live tweeting of facts, stats, insights and quotes to significantly increase engagement and reach
Share behind-the-scenes video and testimonials
Share the whole story and include your own personal outtakes
Whet your delegates’ appetites with sneak-peek photos, selfies and more candid shots
Package creative content ideas for events with event tidbits
Making our objectives known, whether it is with a theme or payoff line, or clear mentions throughout the event, will be a means to announcing the message but the way in which the story is told will determine how this is received and remembered A strong keynote speaker can set the tone and pace for your event and the rest of your speaker line-up – many leading companies and professionals emphasise the value that their keynote speaker can bring, in addition to providing the structure and platform for other conference speakers. Having a renowned keynote is certainly a big drawcard for attendees; moreover, content that is relatable and that our audiences want to
contribute to and engage with is enhancing the way in which we are able to tell our stories, while platforms such as social media are being used more effectively to disseminate this messaging (see box above).
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Event planners find themselves in a position where it is not just about planning and running an event but engaging, connecting with and inspiring attendees by taking them on a journey that will move them. While it is essential that content is relevant to our audiences, arranging the programme so that all elements – speakers, panel sessions, entertainment and meal times – flow accordingly. And appealing to the human element by evoking emotions with the use of sensory aids such as video, music and lighting creates a setting and mood that can completely transform a venue and transport attendees to another time and place. To achieve this, it often boils down to a list of specific elements – so a good strategy and plan with buy-in from all sides is required (see David Limbert’s insights on page 12 ). Apple’s product launches, or keynotes, as they call them, receive a lot of attention for the way in which these hype up its new products. Synonymous with Steve Jobs walking on stage
with a massive screen display behind him, after 20 years, Carmine Gallo, author of Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great, notes how the format has, by now, become somewhat repetitive along with other tech companies such as Google also replicating this in more recent years; however, Apple CEO Tim Cook made use of a very nifty communication tool during the iPhone 11 keynote in September 2019, when he used just a few words to sum up the product. The press release for the new iPhone was over 2 000 words but the key selling point lay in what Tim said to sum up the phone at the end of the keynote: “the most powerful and most advanced iPhones that we have ever built in a stunning new design.” This underscores that it is not about how much information is provided but how this is packaged, and “for any entrepreneur or leader, being able to distil the essence of a new idea or product in one sentence is a powerful and effective communication strategy,” says Carmine. One of our greatest challenges remains ensuring that we hold the attention spans of our attendees and provide them with a rounded and meaningful eventing experience. Defining the gist and painting the bigger picture for audiences helps frame this properly.
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
CONTENT & MESSAGING
Make it clear that the best events rely on good planning and sticking to the original vision
HOW TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCES… visually David Limbert, head of creative services at Magnetic Storm, on how appealing to your attendees’ visual senses can create high impact experiences.
f I say to you, “Imagine a sitting with your feet in the sand, staring out at the ocean,” I bet that the image in your mind versus the image in mine has similarities, but many differences too. Creating a concept from words alone can lead you in a different direction, so it’s key to ensure you have clarity on what that picture looks like. For most of us, visual imagery is essential for memory, daydreaming and imagination but visualisation is vital, as it helps you, and others, conceptualise ideas. They say a picture paints a thousand words, and in the events industry, we make use of a mood
12 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
board or image of what the end experience will look like. In doing this, the concept is now a shared one and we can start talking through different components, from the same ‘hymn sheet’, as the saying goes. To create the mood board, we visualise the end product then imagine walking through the event, experimenting with decor, furniture and lighting in the venue, considering how the audience might react, the emotions they might experience, how they can share moments on social media and the overall flow of the event. Once complete, we meet with the client to share this journey with them, to ensure there are no gaps, that expectations are met, that they buy in to added enhancements, and that the experience is exactly what they are looking for. By investing the time in creating a custom visual, you are demonstrating what the actual venue will look like with your proposed decor because you can create the lighting, mood and effects that cannot be envisioned or communicated with stock photos or a site visit. By having one vision, when you delegate tasks and give the team autonomy, everyone is working to the same goal and it’s a visual
template for technicians, not just an equipment list. It’s inevitable that clients might want to make last-minute changes, they’re struck by a sudden idea, or they may want to make an adjustment once they see the event venue space. Unless those changes are minor, it’s important to resist them as much as possible. Make it clear that the best events rely on good planning and sticking to the original vision: last-minute changes often impact the flow and therefore the end result agreed on. In some cases, they may request a change that just isn’t possible. By saying ‘no’ and sharing the reason why, you may disappoint the client in the moment, but that’s better than compromising the success of their event.
Source: Convince & Convert
HOW TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCES… emotionally For marketing professionals, establishing and building a community using both content and social media marketing enhances the value of engagement with audiences.
USE HUMOUR, COMPASSION AND EMPATHY
Never underestimate the power of emotions. If someone can make you smile or shed a tear, you know there’s a pretty strong emotional bond there. These emotions are great to tap into because, as humans, we love to relate. Engage and share issues that your audience can relate to
SPEAK TO YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER DIRECTLY
PICK A SIDE AND MAKE YOUR CASE
You’ve probably heard about developing and maintaining a voice for your brand. This voice is what you’ll use in your content and social media communications. These channels are personal for your readers. Don’t speak to the masses. Appeal to many but speak to one – your buyer persona
Going back to #2, your audience is looking to you as the expert when it comes to your content. In order to be considered an expert, not only must you provide valuable insights, but you must also take a firm stance. Be objective and professional. No one likes a flip-flopper and that’s why you need to stay clear-cut
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CREATE UNIQUE, VALUABLE INSIGHTS
People love exclusivity. Give your audience something they can’t find anywhere else and they’ll automatically gravitate towards you and spread the word. This is especially true if you’re giving these insights away for free. Show your audience that you’ve got something valuable to offer and they’ll come back again
ASK THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS
The easiest way to connect emotionally and drive more engagement among your audience is to question them. Ask them about their experiences with your company, your products, or your service. Give your opinion with a solid stance and then ask them if they agree and why/why not. Encourage healthy debate
A Convergence of Business
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Conservation, Partnerships & Ecotourism
BEST PRACTICE It is of paramount importance that all temporary structures utilised by the public are safe, particularly in respect of fire or poor weather. Moreover, procedures must be implemented that conform with international best practice, says Richard Downing.
Marquees and temporary structures
riority should be given to selecting contractors that demonstrate competence and provide evidence of their commitment to safety before, during and after an event. A risk assessment is a vital part of project planning and should be performed for every event. This should include a survey of sitespecific conditions such as vehicle access, ground conditions, and overhead or underground hazards such as trees, power lines, water pipes and electrical cables. This will determine the type of equipment and methods used to ensure safe installation and structural stability. The design and suitability of a temporary structure must be verified by a qualified structural engineer, while membranes and fabrics should be inherently or durably flame-retardant.
STABLE STRUCTURES Proper anchoring is crucial to stability and safety. Effectiveness is determined by the type of soil, water penetration, as well as the type, depth and inclination of the anchor. Pull-out tests must be performed to verify the anchorage resistances in granular soils. The location of any underground services must also be clearly marked before any earth anchors are installed. Where ground-penetrating anchors cannot be deployed, heavy concrete ballast weights should be used to resist uplift forces – these requirements should not be underestimated, and could be as much as several tonnes per anchor point. www.theplanner.guru
Wall and roof bracing is an important part of most frame structures and should typically be installed in each end bay. Large structures require more cross bracing with a maximum of six bays without bracing. Roof panels should also be sufficiently tensioned to avoid water ponding. Event organisers should be made aware of the temporary structure’s design wind load and obtain detailed instructions regarding evacuation should conditions approach this threshold. A wind monitoring and action plan should be developed. The contractor should propose to the event organiser what standby maintenance will be required once the structure is handed over – all based on a risk assessment. If the sides are left open, the contractor should provide for a standby team to continuously assess wind conditions and close the sides if necessary. The contractor must ensure the event organiser is aware of the minimum requirements for fire extinguishers and emergency exits, and emergency lighting should be provided to illuminate the emergency exits at larger events.
BEST PRACTICE The following best practice should also be observed when using a temporary structure: • Larger events and structures warrant the presence of a qualified medic on-site during the erection and removal of the structures. • All machinery (e.g. forklifts, boom lifts, cranes) must be operated by licensed, skilled persons.
• Grass and vegetation within the footprint of and immediately around the structure should be cut and cleared prior to installation. • The area underneath raised platforms should not be used for storage or see rubbish accumulate. • No combustible liquids, gases, aerosols, explosives or fireworks should be stored in the structure. • Emergency exits and pathways should always be kept free from obstruction. • Exit doors should always open outwards and not be lockedwhen any person is in the temporary structure. • Event organisers must keep in mind that when the structure has been handed over, it is vital that no modifications are made to the structure – in particular structural components such anchoring or the cross bracing in end bays – or the number and position of fire extinguishers and exits. These changes can only be made by the contractor upon the approval of a structural engineer. • Persons other than the contractor’s (or supervised) staff should not enter a temporary structure during assembly or disassembling operations, until deemed structurally complete and safe. • The contractor should provide the organiser with relevant emergency telephone numbers. • The organiser is required to obtain necessary authorisation and approval from the local authority for the erection of the temporary structure. MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
Y E A R S O F EXCELLENCE
CAPE TOWN: +27 (0)21 851 8844 | firstname.lastname@example.org JOHANNESBURG: +27 (0)11 942 9530 | email@example.com www.downings-sa.co.za downings.marquee
YOUR ONE-STOP DESTINATION As Gauteng’s premier entertainment destination, Montecasino offers an exceptional variety of conferencing and event venues.
ith a prime location in Fourways, Montecasino offers event solutions to suit a range of budgets and configurations, including the 1 400m2 Pivot conference centre, featuring nine versatile venues that can be transformed into any type of business or celebratory event; the sophisticated Montecasino Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 500 guests and is an ideal venue for hosting a conference, banquet or product launch; and smaller venues such as the Montecasino Boardroom. The Montecasino Ballroom is a 675m2 private function venue decorated in an elegant, contemporary style and boasting an impressive 360m2 welcoming foyer. It has permanent draping rails around the main auditorium to facilitate the ease of set-up for themed events and there are reinforced steel beams in the ceiling to accommodate rigging for specialised technical requirements. Specifically designed for Johannesburg’s leading upmarket events, the room is capable of hosting banquets, launches, dinner-dance functions, theatre group hospitality, conferences and high-profile events. Within the walls of the Montecasino Tuscan village, La Toscana is a private function venue
hi Monte The new kid on the block!
in true Italian style, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting, coupled with sophisticated presentation equipment and a built-in stage. La Toscana is a multipurpose function venue that is ideal for corporate events, award ceremonies, special celebrations and parties. Unique events such as after-parties, awards evenings, gala dinners, engagement parties and presentations have been hosted in this luxurious venue. Out-of-town guests have a plethora of options to suit any budget. With four hotels within the precinct, where guests can enjoy the Palazzo’s luxury and stylish experience at Southern Sun Montecasino, the comfort and convenience of SunSquare Montecasino or the refreshing affordability of hi Monte.
THE PALAZZO The award-winning Palazzo hotel in Johannesburg is located within the precinct of the Montecasino Entertainment Complex. This luxury hotel is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and romantic hotels in South Africa, with an enviable reputation for elegant opulence.
SOUTHERN SUN MONTECASINO Inspired by the design of the 15th century Palazzo Corsini Villa in Italy’s picturesque mountain region of Gianicolo, Southern Sun Montecasino is the perfect blend of stylistic innovation and old-world Venetian charm coupled with the modern convenience.
SUNSQUARE MONTECASINO Designed to continue delivering on Tsogo Sun Hotels’ promise of creating great experiences, this new brand is young, authentic and modern. The rooms have luxurious walk-in showers, big windows, blackout curtains, coffee and tea stations, laptop-sized safes, USB ports, and 48-inch TVs. The ‘living lobby’ provides space to work and play, and a convenient deli offering for a quick snack or coffee on the run. Technology is an important element for hi Hotels, which offer seamless online check-in, free Wi-Fi to stream your own content, and guests can stay charged with various plug points in the multifunctional living lobby.
Conveniently located on Montecasino’s Piazza, the 179 room SunSquare Montecasino offers guests the perfect blend of hospitality, service, and comfort.
16 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
Identifying your strengths and ensuring you deliver on nothing less than the best will distinguish you from the rest, writes Gabi Babinszky, director of Brandex.
ver the last year, Brandex has streamlined its business model to align its focus to its existing capacities. Refining our business model in this way has meant that we are far more agile than ever before, and this has allowed us to pay attention to ensuring that we do not waver from our commitment to service delivery excellence. Previously, Brandex was a facilitator fully reliant on suppliers providing stock but business opportunities were being compromised and our service delivery was suffering. We have since changed our focus
and now operate solely as an audiovisual specialist delivering complete AV solutions. Following the roll-out of this new company structure in 2019, we have been able to work more closely with clients who previously may have been in competition with us under the old model. It has also provided us with greater capacity to focus more attention on our service delivery.
DOING IT ALL CAN RISK IT ALL As we have seen all too often within our industry, businesses endeavour to develop as broad and as extensive an offering as possible. From a client perspective, while it is great working with a company that provides a 360-degree solution, without the resources in place to ensure that there is sufficient capacity, attempts at trying to do it all may come at a cost to other aspects of a business and cause irreparable reputational damage to the brand for a poorly executed project. In our close-knit industry, this is far too great a risk to assume and, being so exceptionally passionate about what we do, we would rather focus on what we know we are good at than force-fit a service or solution that we could
likely deliver on but that may not necessarily be part of our core business offering â€“ all in the hopes of securing business.
2020 AND THE ROAD AHEAD Based on the success of the last year at Brandex and applying the same train of thought when we rebranded the company last year, we believe that it is within the interests of each and every single player within the industry to properly assess and evaluate where their strengths lie and to place a greater focus on this than on growing an offering that may be difficult to implement for a number of reasons â€“ cost, practicality and technicality, among others. Not only this, but it is also important to establish a solid understanding of the market in which we are operating â€“ as we can attest to, having a firm grasp on what we are able to bring to the market has made all the difference to how we work and the role we play within the industry. The competition will always be there but we pride ourselves on providing an offering to the industry that we feel adds real value, and we believe that, in 2020, this is what will set us aside as a cut above the rest.
NEW & BESPOKE
Marriott Hotels and Melrose Arch are delighted to announce the precinct’s newest addition, the Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and the Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg, Melrose Arch, opening in Q1 2020.
MARRIOTT HOTELS OPENS EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY IN MELROSE ARCH
arriott Hotels and Melrose Arch are delighted to announce the precinct’s newest addition, the Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and the Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg, Melrose Arch, opening in Q1 2020. Officially opening in March 2020, the Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and the Marriott Executive Apartments offer the perfect combination of a premium business hotel and a sought-after extendedstay destination strategically located as a focal point within the eclectic Melrose Arch precinct in northern Johannesburg.
MARRIOTT HOTEL MELROSE ARCH
The Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch is the premium business hotel in Johannesburg providing state-of-the-art business facilities, vibrating with the energy of the myriad trendy cafes, high-street boutiques and al fresco restaurants just moments from its doorstep. Step into the Greatroom – an intuitive social hub that revolves around you. Designed to be whatever you need it to be, it is your space to connect, relax, socialise or reflect. Dine in at the Keystone Bistro, showcasing prominent homegrown goods, or discover creative mixology at Archer Bar & Eatery. Then retire to your restorative room or suite, featuring 306 rooms and suites including a contingent of sharing rooms ideal for groups. Ample underground parking, 24/7 security and CCTV surveillance are provided for your safety and convenience. With seven meeting rooms – including a 482 m2 ballroom divisible into four spaces – a combined total function space of over
800 m2 and 600 m2 of pre-function space, the Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch is perfect for your next big event. Just 26 km from O.R. Tambo International Airport, 5 km from Sandton and Rosebank, and close to three golf courses and numerous other location attractions, the property is perfectly positioned to meet and further the ambitions of mobile and global travellers.
MARRIOTT EXECUTIVE APARTMENTS MELROSE ARCH
Marriott Executive Apartments Melrose Arch connects discerning business travellers from across the globe to one of the most sought-after destinations in Johannesburg. Experience premium, fully serviced apartment living with uninterrupted access to the myriad of dining, shopping and entertainment options within the precinct. Centrally located moments from Johannesburg’s major business hubs and local attractions, guests will find no better place to embrace authentic local living. Whether you dine in at the Keystone Bistro or discover creative mixology at Archer Bar & Eatery, you will feel perfectly at home in your choice of one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments complete with a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, and lounge designed for consummate comfort, convenience and style. While offering a luxury private living experience, the hotel also offers access to several hotel services including room service, undercover parking and 24-hour security, a fitness centre, swimming pool, conference spaces, and restaurants and bars in the adjoining Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch.
ABOUT MARRIOTT HOTELS With over 550 hotels and resorts in over 65 countries and territories around the world, Marriott Hotels is evolving travel through every aspect of the guest’s stay, helping to relax, clear minds, stimulate new ideas and anticipate travellers’ needs, leaving them inspired to reach their full potential. Boldly transforming itself for mobile and global travellers who blend work and play, Marriott leads the industry with innovations, including the Greatroom lobby and Mobile Guest Services that elevate style and design and technology. To learn more, visit www.marriotthotels.com. Stay connected to Marriott Hotels on Facebook, @marriott on Twitter and @marriotthotels on Instagram. Marriott Hotels is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, which offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits, including earning points toward free hotel stays and nights toward Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the programme, visit marriottbonvoy.marriott.com.
For more information, please visit www.marriottjohannesburgmelrosearch.com and www.marriottexecutiveapartmentsjohannesburg.com, or contact Travis Grundling, Assistant Sales Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 (0)71 605 1380.
18 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 www.theplanner.guru
Scripting OUR FUTURE W
elcome back to not only a new year but a new decade, which allows opportunity for new possibilities that we as the meetings industry are bursting with. Every year, South Africa hosts hundreds and thousands of regional, national and international meetings, conferences and exhibitions. As an industry, we are an important one because we are able to create a space for other industries to convene and have conversations that have the potential to alter the future; we are an industry that is the primer in the larger canvas of our country as it is magical in its creation of enchantment through connections and networking; we are an industry that demands long, stressful arrangements and intense organisation for delivery – communicative, not only through the events held, but in representation of our country to the world through integrated branding and with a bird’s-eye view of the globe, which provides insights for advancement. Given the substantial scope and liability placed on the very shoulders of this colossus, it is imperative that, when stepping into the future, guidance be provided by the industry on the possibility of change to things as we currently know them.
TAKING TECH FORWARD
As suggested by the UN WTO, the industry’s tourism offering is now more attractive, comprehensive and methodical given the benefits of the use of technologies such as location-based services, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, which make sustainability inevitable. We are becoming more aware that, because the 4IR wave is the swell we are currently in, it only makes sense that our focus be on the age of intelligence and encompass
technologies like 3D printing and cloud computing as an industry. Through this phase, let us demonstrate the distinction between technology and innovation to enable advanced job profiling and creation and immersive experiences. The misconception of innovation and advancement is found in the belief that it is fictitious when in fact, the requirement of authenticity is needed at all times – regardless of the platforms and tools used. Lest we forget our National Tourism Sector Strategy deliverable essentials of effective marketing, facilitating ease of access, the visitor experience, destination management and broad-based benefits through the innovation and technology forecasted for the industry. During this decade, let’s create an intelligent industry, providing experiences through trend development and value. Let’s use the past 10 years as a decade in review and rescript the future to suit the performance we are capable of and hungry for, not only as an industry but as a country. We are only a drop in the ocean but the ocean would be less without us.
An experienced writer, speaker, moderator and EmCee, Thami Nkadimeng is a message architect who conceptualises, creates and delivers messages to a wide range of audiences, across borders and boundaries, using a variety of tools and platforms to reach objectives set. For opportunities with Thami, contact her on email@example.com.
We are the authors of the new decade and it is up to us to make history, writes industry influencer Thami Nkadimeng.
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. The CTICC offers the ideal platform to do just that. Every aspect of the centre’s offering has been considered – from the more than 140 000m² of flexible space across two state-of-the-art buildings to world-class technology, delicious cuisine, and servicedriven staff. Turn your knowledge and vision into potential with events that shape your future at the CTICC.
Call +27 21 410 5000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cticc.co.za and connect to possibilities.
THE CTICC: SHAPING TOMORROW, TODAY
The CTICC performed remarkably in 2019, once again demonstrating the valuable contribution it makes to the events industry and the economy as a whole.
n 11 December 2019, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) held its AGM for shareholders. The financial statements for the past year were tabled by the board, and once again demonstrate that the centre continues to build a sustainable legacy that will serve the people of Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa well into the future. DRIVING JOB CREATION As outlined in its Economic Impact Report, the CTICC has generated more than 130 465 jobs since its inception in 2003. Despite an economy that is shedding jobs, assembled shareholders heard that the CTICC created or sustained 14 620 jobs in the past financial year alone. It is estimated that the CTICC contributed R1.2 billion to indirect household income in South Africa during the 2018/19 financial reporting year. IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY Despite the tough economic trading environment, revenues have grown by more than 30%, from R172 million in 2013/14 to R277 million during the last financial year. The centre achieved an operating profit (Ebitda) of R57.5 million in the year under review, which was R49.57 million above the target of R8 million, representing a 69% increase from the R35.4 million achieved in 2013/14. The delegates drawn to the CTICC make a significant contribution to the tourism industry of Cape Town, the Western Cape
and South Africa as a whole. It is estimated that an additional 566 057 room nights were generated in the Western Cape and 575 898 in South Africa by the CTICC’s events in 2018/19. Total foreign exchange spend as a result of the tourism generated by these events was estimated at R677 million. Effectively, the CTICC contributed a total of R4.5 billion to the Western Cape gross geographical product (GGP) and R6.5 billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). To date, the centre has made a cumulative contribution to the Western Cape’s GGP of R39.6 billion and R47.3 billion to South Africa’s GDP. SHAPING THE FUTURE This year, the CTICC invested R1.6 million in corporate social responsibility initiatives, including activations and venue sponsorships. Staff at the centre support the CTICC’s local community partners through various activations by donating their time and resources. Through these initiatives, the centre aims to empower disadvantaged communities and provide much needed support to vulnerable citizens and children. All this has been achieved while setting a standard for excellence in conscientious business practices, hospitality and event hosting, both locally and internationally. These achievements are a result of hard work and strategic alignment to the Western Cape’s trade and investment areas, and the City of Cape Town’s catalytic sectors.
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
2 0 2 0 A N A LY S I S
There are impressive stats to indicate very positive trends within the MICE industry. Meetings looks at what we can expect for the year ahead.
MICE in 2020 I
n June 2019, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) released its annual statistics report. In its 56th year, the report shows steady industry growth, with 12 937 international association meetings having taking place in 2018, compared to 12 563 the previous year. While the industry faces challenges such as saturation and fragmentation, with new entrants threatening traditional business models, according to Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA, “There are also great opportunities, including market growth, disruptive innovation, digitisation, new players, less market barriers, new audiences and new scalable models. Alongside all these developments, the number of events is continuing to grow exponentially.”
ON A GLOBAL SCALE
22 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
Despite the USA hosting the lion’s share of the world’s meetings per country, 52% of meetings worldwide are concentrated in Europe. Interestingly, while Paris is the top city in which to hold a meeting, Barcelona is where the majority of delegates go. Africa remains a small and relatively untouched destination for meetings but it has demonstrated its clout with an increase of more than 15%, to bring the total number of meetings held in Africa to 414. This translates to a comparable contribution of 14.7% to the growth of meetings worldwide. While the continent accounts for just 3% of global association meetings, however, there is distinct growth of the sector, with the number of international association events rising from 359 in 2017 to 414 in 2018. Europe, which holds more than half of the world’s international association events, hosted 67 more meetings in 2018 compared to the previous year but the growth percentages tell a deeper story; between 2017 and 2018, Africa grew by just over 15.3% while Europe
WORLDWIDE RANKING: NUMBER OF MEETINGS PER COUNTRY The top 10 global international association meetings giants according to ICCA have retained their rankings but have seen some large fluctuations, with the number of meetings in Canada falling by 12.5% but growing by close to 19% in Japan.
experienced growth of less than 1%, with 6 798. This demonstrates the massive potential for growth of the business events industry on the continent and how Africa is working to ensure it doesn’t get left behind. Looking more locally, figures indicate that there is a more even spread of meetings taking place across the continent; while South Africa continues to dominate with the top number of meetings in Africa, this figure slid from 133 in 2017 to 100 last year. In addition to a few newcomers to the list such as Mauritius and Mozambique, Nigeria grew its meetings by 100% year-on-year, while Egypt and Kenya both saw their number of meetings increase by 82%.
Putting it in monetary terms, CWT’s 2020 Future Trends Report expects the meetings and events industry to reach US$840 billion (R12.55 trillion) next year. This outlook is in line with the MICE Industry by Event Type: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2018-2025 report, which says that the global MICE industry was valued at $805 billion (R12.03 trillion) in 2017, and that this is
projected to reach $1.43 trillion (R20.93 trillion) in 2025, with average annual growth expected at between 7.6% to 8%. “The leading players in the MICE industry focus on providing customised solutions to consumers as their key strategies to gain a significant share in the market. Strategies such as partnership or acquisition of similar companies or related companies – in this case travel agencies, tourism companies, or event management service companies – help these companies to expand their service portfolio and have also helped the key players to improve their MICE industry statistics,” notes Shankar Bhandalkar, a senior analyst of consumer goods at Allied Market Research.
WHERE IT’S AT IN 2020
There is a greater emphasis on STEM-related meetings, with this being among the most discussed subject as shown in ICCA’s stats. In 2018, 16.9% of association meetings were centred on medical sciences, while 14.2% focused on tech and 13.5% of meetings discussed other sciences. In more recent years, events have also been shaped by more responsible practices, with the likes of the Joint Meeting Industry Council aligning its efforts and activity to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. “There is a trend towards the idea that events should do more than just educate or have a business development opportunity, but also to create good for communities globally,”
says Jessie States, director of the MPI Academy at Meeting Professionals International. “It is more than just being an add-on, it is about the entire experience. Big brands are making a statement about what they stand for, and ultimately it is the consumer demanding it.” Further fuelling the growth of the meetings and events industry is the rate at which technology is developing. This has seen better communication and promotion around eventing, with stats showing that the number of event apps and websites have more than doubled since 2017. This trend is expected to continue along with the demand and, in turn, growth of more digitally enabled product and service offerings.
UFI AND THE YEAR AHEAD
Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO of UFI
Every year, UFI tracks developments in the exhibitions and events industry worldwide; at its events, in numerous conversations and through many other channels. Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO of UFI, delivers five trends that leaders in exhibitions and events in 2020 should all be watching out for.
GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY
The global economy’s growth is slowing. The US-China trade conflict is leaving its mark on the economy of both countries as well as on the rest of the world. In addition, political uncertainty is prevalent in many countries, marking a general trend towards protectionism. Some analysts predict that we are on the verge of reaching the peak of globalisation, and with it the re-emergence of more regional trading patterns. The message for our globally connected industry is clear: balancing portfolios across regions and industries is fundamental to remaining successful in the years ahead.
The discussion around sustainable development will continue to heat up, with every industry striving to prove their tangible contribution to a more sustainable way of doing business. In 2019, we already saw weather-related show cancellations and delays in venue projects as temperatures became too hot for workers. The related challenges for our industry are rooted in the big issues as well as in smaller actions. The good news is that exhibitions are and remain the most sustainable way of bringing industry players together.
KEEPING CUSTOMERS’ TRUST
EVOLVING BUSINESS MODELS
STAYING UNIQUE AND DIVERSE
Driven by the trends of recent years, there is an ever-increasing focus on customer-centricity – i.e. to create more unique visitor experiences at events. At its core, there is a need for our industry to remain a trusted partner for our customers. A lot of this revolves around data and transparency at all customer touchpoints – from pricing policies to visitor numbers to ROI data. If indeed ‘data is the new oil’, then the data we use to attract exhibitors and visitors, and the data that we generate for them, must be trustworthy and stand up to scrutiny.
Trade shows have become a blend of formats. They combine elements of the trade show floor with theatres for exhibitor presentations, with conference stages, with experiential programmes. A new, more diverse mix of industry leaders and hands-on teams are in the process of redefining the trade show experience. This is also leading to an ongoing review of business and pricing models. In addition to the traditional ‘space sold’ approach, new revenue streams are emerging.
As an industry, we are unique. Our daily task is to build platforms for entire industries to meet. Many new arrivals to our industry find it hugely valuable that we are an industry open to sharing, exchanging ideas, and collaborating. As new challenges arise, it is encouraging to see that this also drives the number of productive exchanges and collaborations. More diversity in leadership for companies within our sector will help the continued success of our industry as a whole.
24 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
Meet The Premier Way
Premier Hotels and Resorts offer a wonderful collection of properties in fantastic locations throughout South Africa, and are renowned for warm hospitality, excellent standards and kind staff. We welcome Mapungubwe, Quatermain, Falstaff and Roodevalley hotels to our family. Book your conference at any Premier Hotel or Resort and be spoilt with special rates, great value-for-money and a customised menu of your favourite homemade meals to enjoy with lunch and tea/coffee breaks.
Premier Splendid Inn Bloemfontein now open! W W W. P R E M I E R H O T E L S . C O . Z A | 0 8 6 1 1 1 5 5 5 5 | I N F O @ P R E M I E R H O T E L S . C O . Z A W W W . F A I R C I T Y. C O . Z A | 0 1 0 0 0 1 9 4 9 5
Eastern Cape: East London | Free State: Bloemfontein | Gauteng: Johannesburg, Sandton, OR Tambo, Midrand, Pretoria KZN: Drakensberg, Durban, Himeville, Port Edward, Richards Bay, Scottburgh (under renovation) | Mpumalanga: White River | Western Cape: Cape Town
S TAT E O F M I C E I N A F R I C A
CONTINENTAL PROSPECTS Demonstrating a clear appetite for growth, Africa’s MICE sector is teeming with possibilities. Meetings goes beyond the statistics to unpack the on-the-ground realities of hosting an event on the continent.
frica’s local meetings industry is thriving and, further afield, the region is being recognised as an exciting destination for internationally hosted business events. While relatively small in its global contribution, raw numbers show that growth of the continent’s international association meetings is keeping pace with its largest counterparts such as Europe and the Americas. Statistics from the World Travel & Tourism Council show that over the past five years, the sector created one in five jobs. In monetary terms, business tourism accounts for just under a third of total tourism and travel spend; with 44% of this coming from
26 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
abroad, it highlights just how valuable the international market is.
PACK YOUR PASSPORT Forecast to reach well over a trillion dollars by 2025, the MICE industry in the Asia-Pacific region is showing the strongest growth, driven primarily by activity in India, China and Singapore. In Africa, growth of the travel and tourism sector outstripped actual GDP growth, with 5.6% versus 3.2%. The continent is home to great diversity in cultures and attractions that make visiting it an experience like no other in the world. The development of infrastructure and road networks over the past decade has vastly
improved accessibility, with better logistics and efficiencies at major ports of entry meaning that goods can be transported with much greater ease. While this has been a catalyst to the overall growth of Africa’s economy, most of the region is still very much classified as an emerging market, and when looking at how this compares internationally, it is evident that there is a lot more room for growth.
MAKING IT AN ATTRACTIVE SELL Bidding for an internationally hosted event is an arduous process that can be both very time- and cost-intensive. From the perspective of a body such as the International Congress and Convention Association, these consist of meetings that take place on a regular and consistent basis, which then need to have at least 50 participants and be rotated among a minimum of three territories. Delving deeper, pitching to secure an event that will be internationally hosted isn’t an easy or straightforward process. Typically, a dedicated convention bureau would ensure that there is national representation to bid;
#AFRICANINDUSTRY however, in Africa, there are not very many established bodies of this nature and this task is often up to international promotion agencies, tourism boards, corporates and academics, who may not have the time or resources necessary to support the bid effectively. Over and above ensuring the association fees are covered, the outlay for the bid itself – coupled with the international flights and accommodation that are needed for site visits and inspections – can be a massive expense. Locally, the South African National
AFRICA CALLING Egypt
Convention Bureau (see our cover story on page 4 for more details) has had a R90 million government funding facility extended for a further three years to support these types of costs. In other parts of Africa, these structures have only more recently been established; however, the SANCB came into inception in 2012 and has achieved much during this time. Following a showcase at IBTM World in November 2019, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, chief convention bureau officer at the SANCB, said: “I am delighted that many of
Here is a list of some of the top, large-scale conferencing venues around the continent:
Egypt International Exhibition Center
Cairo International Convention & Exhibition Centre
La Foire Internationale de Casablanca
+212 522 200 654
Calabar International Convention Centre
Accra International Convention Centre
+233 542 401 427
Kenyatta International Convention Centre
Speke Resort & Conference Centre
UMA Show Grounds
+256 414 221 034
Kigali International Convention Centre
Sandton Convention Centre
Johannesburg Expo Centre
Gallagher Convention Centre
Cape Town International Convention Centre
The Grand Palm Hotel Casino Convention Resort
NamPower Convention Centre
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
S TAT E O F M I C E I N A F R I C A
the interactions and meetings can lead to concrete business leads. These platforms allow us to, among other things, physically showcase our capabilities, answer questions, dispel myths but also provide clarity and garner excitement because we are so passionate about our country and our sector.” Upcoming events in 2020 will include the World Ophthalmology Congress taking place in June and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences in September – both being held at Cape Town International Convention Centre. This sort of international traction is encouraging, more so as South Africa now hosts an average of 211 000 regional, national and international meetings, conferences and exhibitions each year.
LOCATION CONSIDERATION Regardless of any support and the process required to successfully bid for an internationally hosted event, an appropriate venue needs to be lined up before bidding starts. Until a few years ago, there were
limited options available across African countries; however, as perceptions towards hosting events on the continent have changed, with the positive impacts making themselves more known, there is far more focus being given towards both the value that these events can bring as well as how best to support them. Adrian Lange, CEO of African Incentive Travel, firmly believes that tourism has evolved into being able to impact marginalised communities and make a radical transformation in areas that are affected by poverty or social issues. “I am of the conviction and really believe that we need to innovate in these areas. South Africa has always been a thought leader in tourism with care; we are very keen and always want to introduce people from around the world to the full picture, and the reality of South Africa, in a caring way. And then to come and leave a legacy and not just to have an incentive that is behind closed doors, that is isolated from the realities of South Africa,” he said, speaking during IBTM World.
THE NEWEST BUREAU ON THE BLOCK In October 2019, and in line with the Kenyan government’s Vision 2030 goals to roll out various initiatives to boost economic growth, the Kenya Convention Bureau (KCB) was officially launched with the directive of increasing the number of meetings and business events held in the country by promoting it as a preferred MICE destination. With Jacinta Nzioka leading the charge as national coordinator, the KCB is comprised of a strong range of competencies, including officials from Kenya’s tourism, trade, foreign affairs and sports ministries as well as the national treasury, in addition to private sector players such as the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and the Kenya Tourism Federation. “As a high-value sector, business tourism is expected to grow revenues into the destination through its backward linkage to other sectors such as transport, hospitality, agriculture, financial services, among others. With the establishment of the bureau, the ministry projects increases in international conferences, and business meetings in the future,” said Najib Balala, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, of the launch of the KCB.
28 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
The bigger and better WTM Africa T
he seventh edition of World Travel Market (WTM) Africa is once again marked by exciting growth, with expanded areas for Travel Forward (formerly the Travel Technology Show), Equal Africa and the introduction of the WTM Africa Travel & Tourism Industry Awards, which will shine a global spotlight on African tourism success stories – and so much more. Launched as a platform to inspire the travel and hospitality industry with the next generation of technology, Travel Forward focuses on futureproofing travel businesses for the digital age, helping ensure relevance, improving revenuegenerating opportunities and providing the opportunity to do one-on-one business with innovative tech providers. Travel Forward will take place in a dedicated space on the show floor at WTM Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, giving participants the opportunity to join sessions focusing on topics pertinent to technology and its influence on the industry, get involved in the interactive exhibition and get their hands on the industry’s latest tech.
With a host of exciting innovations, World Travel Market Africa promises to be even more exciting in 2020.
AWARDING AFRICAN EXCELLENCE The inaugural WTM Africa Travel & Tourism Awards seek to reward individuals as well as small and large organisations for powerful and compelling work in promoting tourism across Africa. Themed ‘Under African Skies’, WTM Africa seeks to celebrate the success of national, regional and city
tourist boards and recognise outstanding private sector companies and individuals. Entries for all 8 categories – from Most Compelling Tourism Story to Most Compelling Foodie Story – are currently open, for campaigns executed in the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019, eligible for the 2020 WTM Africa Travel & Tourism Awards. For more details on each category, visit africa.wtm.com/Awards1. WTM Africa 2020 will see the introduction of an LGBTQ+ travel event named EQUAL Africa in partnership with IGLTA. EQUAL Africa stands for EQUAL Love, Rights, Experiences & Opportunities and will be a bolt-on, full-day conference at #WTMA20, taking place on 6 April. Attendees can also look forward to other trending topics and content shares by over 300 speakers from around the globe in six different theatres on the show floor. The WTM Africa Festivals will once again return, allowing visitors
from around the globe to experience the cultures, cuisine and customs of some of the 780+ exhibitors.
DRIVING INDUSTRY Megan Oberholzer, portfolio director: Travel, Tourism & Sports for Reed Exhibitions South Africa, says that WTM Africa continues to track the latest trends and topics that affect the international travel and tourism industry. “WTM Africa also has a history of being a breeding ground for ideas that have a tremendous positive impact on the international industry – and we’ll continue to find ways to provide the best possible platforms for the debates and experiences that drive the future of the industry,” she says. For more information – including how to register for WTM Africa 2020 – visit. africa.wtm.com. #WTMA20 runs from 6 to 8 April 2020 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
M E E T I N G S PA C E S
BELMONT SQUARE CONFERENCE CENTRE
LOCAL IS LEKKER Meetings explores some of the local venues providing exceptional eventing experiences. CASALINGA
s conference organisers and event planners, we are only as good as our last project, meaning that we constantly need to be on the lookout for how we can up the ante. For this reason, our venue and location selection is crucial because it will have the greatest impact on the setting we create, as well as the overall attendee experience. One of the most important aspects of putting together an event is the need for authentic and genuine experiences. Convention and exhibition centres and spaces that are run by major international hospitality groups are ideal for large-scale events and meetings that need to run to exacting standards; however, an experience at
venues such as these can be found in most parts of the developed world. While it is important that these venues are built to global specifications that can comfortably accommodate major influxes of international visitors, there is very little variation to be found within these confines and almost no element of surprise. For organisers and delegates who require a venue that can provide a full turnkey solution for large groups, commercial venues are better suited but for those who are looking for something slightly less conventional, venues situated outside the concrete jungle can provide visitors with a warm, feel-good experience that enhances the impact of the event. FOR JOBURGERS Muldersdrift in the West Rand is home to some of Gauteng’s most spectacular and popular venues. Situated on a sprawling 40 hectare property with an award-winning restaurant, Casalinga has ample space for large outdoor events. As it showcased when hosting Prime Fest in October 2019, the venue can also accommodate sizeable numbers
32 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
PECAN MANOR BOUTIQUE CONFERENCE AND FUNCTION VENUE
LAGOON BEACH HOTEL INSINGIZI LODGE
outdoors; however, for corporate functions, one of its six venues that can seat between 16 and 180 guests might be more comfortable. Casalinga also offers accommodation that includes five stylishly designed cottages. www.casalinga.co.za The Pecan Manor Boutique Conference and Function Venue in Hartbeespoort is made up of conferencing facilities that are fully equipped and come standard with Wi-Fi as part of the venue hire. Its offering is comprised of four conference rooms, one executive boardroom and three breakaway meeting rooms that can seat between 3 and 100 delegates. The French provincial venue provides exciting options for team-building and brainstorming sessions. Offering 32 suites, with the Magaliesberg mountains and Hartbeespoort Dam as a beautiful backdrop, guests couldn’t be more comfortable. www.pecanmanor.co.za FOR CAPETONIANS Located in Rondebosch and just 15 minutes
from the Cape Town CBD, the Belmont Square Conference Centre is a tastefully designed venue suitable for meetings, conferences and private functions. The venue has a fully licensed restaurant on the premises and, together with its full catering service, menus can be tailored to suit the needs of each delegate. Belmont Square offers ample secure parking, with facilities that can accommodate between 4 and 400 delegates across its 10 separate spaces. www.belmontsquare.co.za Referring to itself as ‘Cape Town’s only beachside hotel’, the four-star Lagoon Beach Hotel is also one of the larger conferencing venues in Cape Town. Host a spectacular conference or event at one of 16 of the venue’s splendid spaces, which can seat up to 600 guests. There is also a range of team-building activities to choose from, from ‘Beach Survivor’ to kayaking and wind-surfing. For delegates who need to stay over, the venue offers accommodation that varies from its classic rooms to self-catering. www.lagoonbeachhotel.co.za FOR DURBANITES Get away from it all while still only being just an hour’s drive from both Durban and Pietermaritzburg at Insingizi Lodge. The venue offers a corporate wellness programme that can be added on to your half- or full-day conference package, along with accommodation that includes standard rooms, guest house suites and chalets in its offering. The venue’s spa is a popular retreat for those in need of pampering – together with
THE DUBOIR’S BOUTIQUE LODGE the splendid birding and wildlife that can be seen, Insingizi is the ideal reprieve from the day-to-day stress of the city. www.insingizi.co.za For something a little more traditional, The duBoir’s Boutique Lodge provides a superior conferencing experience in an exquisite setting. Situated close to Inanda Dam and the Valley of a Thousand Hills, the venue is able to accommodate up to 300 guests and its dedicated in-house conference specialist can assist with putting together competitive corporate packages that include team-building activities and menus, while guests can rest their weary heads in one of nine fully equipped luxury rooms with en-suite bathrooms, satellite television and air conditioning. www.theduboirs.co.za
VENUE STORY Many venues that are historical or not part of larger hospitality groups are family-owned and have a story that appeals to guests because of the humaninterest element. Including the venue’s story along with your programme will bring greater authenticity to your event, as it immediately gives relatable context for audiences, endearing the venue to them. And if delegates are able to appreciate the venue and find it exciting and appealing, it will make them more receptive during event proceedings – adding to the overall success factor.
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
ICONIC LANDMARK OF THE CITY OF JOHANNESBURG The Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) offers a multitude of in- and outdoor spaces to accommodate exhibitions, events, conferences, corporate functions and outdoor festivals.
he JEC is located in the South of Johannesburg, a mere 30-minute drive from O.R. Tambo and Lanseria International Airports. The venue offers easy access as it is located close to all major highways. Delegates can be immersed in the tranquil setting of the venue with access to beautifully kept gardens from all eventing spaces.
100 000 m2 of versatile outdoor space, the JEC is one of South Africa’s largest, purpose-built exhibition, conference and event venues. The venue is ideal for exhibitions and other large-scale events but also offers a variety of smaller facilities to host intimate events and corporate meetings. ACCOMMODATION There are 20 hotels located close to the JEC; the venue has standing agreements with most of the accommodation facilities in the area and can assist organisers with accommodation arrangements. ON-SITE SERVICES The JEC is conveniently set up to offer all required services on-site – providers for catering, security, cleaning and AV are all based on-site to enable the smoothest possible event delivery. The JEC team works closely with all suppliers and remains the key point of contact for the customer to ensure their expectations are exceeded throughout their journey at the JEC.
MEETING AND EVENT SPACES With multipurpose facilities providing more than 50 000 m2 of indoor space and over
20 EVENT &
20 000 MAX PAX
DIAMOND ARROW AWARD PMR AFRICA
OUTDOOR EVENT SPACES Venue
Outdoor events arena
Terrace 1 Terrace 2
Outdoor events terrace Outdoor events terrace
5 000 13 000
VENUES AND CAPACITIES Room Name
Hall 7 Hall 8 Hall 9 Hall 9B Hall 10 Hall 10 A Hall 10 B Bateleur A+B Bateleur A Bateleur B
4 890 4 890 6 532 1 620 2 420 850 615 960 560 350
3 700 3 700 5 000 1 800 800 420 1 000 400 320
3 700 3 700 5 000 1 800 800 420 1 000 400 320
1 500 1 500 2 000 1 000 500 300 550 300 200
2 400 2 400 3 200 1 200 500 350 550 350 200
312 209 312 20 000
300 200 300 -
300 200 300 -
180 120 180 -
180 120 180 -
Black Eagle A+B+C Black Eagle A Black Eagle B Black Eagle C Main Arena
Cnr Rand Show and Nasrec Road, Nasrec, South Africa +27 (0)11 494 1920 johannesburgexpocentre email@example.com Johannesburg Expo Centre www.expocentre.co.za jhbexpocentre1
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
Watch this space!
aving so many outstanding women who are doing amazing things for this industry, we of revenue you generate or simply the passion you have Meetings magazine’s should be proud of them and celebrate for this industry. their achievements. latest search for the Each year, the women who make the list RECOGNISING THE WOMEN IN MICE nation’s foremost women are proud ambassadors of the MICE industry. In February 2020, a breakfast event will be held to in the MICE industry will be This list is not just about event planners – it bring together influential women from the business getting under way shortly. covers everyone in the industry, from DMCs to events and travel trade industries to talk about the role exhibition organisers to venue personnel. For women have in tourism and to launch the Top Women in Here comes WIM 2020! you to make the list, we consider everything from MICE Awards for 2020. your ability to motivate those you work with and the Keep an eye out for your personal invitation to the launch influence you have over clients and peers, to the amount of this prestigious event.
Ready for the WOW FACTOR? Oyster King Group is South Africa’s premier Food Theatre Group (with offices in JHB & CT) offering innovative culinary experiences and activations where we entertain your guests in the language everybody speaks, the language of food. We spice up events by offering something unique and unexpected.
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Competing in today’s ‘war for talent’
Sourcing top industry talent
How did we find ourselves here, asks Aloysius Arlando, and what do we do about it?
he shrinking availability of the kind of skilled human resources needed to deliver on the increasing expectations being placed on today’s industry is an issue that appeared quite literally overnight. Recent surveys show it is now a top concern among our AIPC members in almost every part of the world. We’re not alone in this and demographics can explain a lot of it, but as an industry we do have some unique problems that will have to be solved if we are to remain competitive in the labour market. Identifying what these are is a good first step towards finding solutions.
AN INVISIBLE INDUSTRY
ALOYSIUS ARLANDO is the president of AIPC and the CEO of SingEx.
First, in a world where everyone is competing for the best and the brightest, we remain almost invisible in terms of representing an attractive career path. Everyone knows what a doctor, dentist, engineer or accountant does but how many have a clue about what happens in the meetings industry and the supply systems that support it? This is the product of a bigger, long-term ‘image’ issue that has challenged the industry for a long time – now expressing itself in a new way. The extent to which we have any image at all is most likely associated with ‘tourism’. This is an issue, as it has become more synonymous with low-paid, repetitive work than anything that is likely to appeal to an ambitious graduate in any of the many areas we need to operate successfully in today’s industry.
WHAT CREDENTIALS? Third, we are still short on any credentials or training recognised anywhere outside our own industry, which is by definition where much of our new workforce must come from. Again, most college-level programmes that touch on our needs
are embedded in either tourism or facility management programmes, neither of which are necessarily inspiring for those looking at a more rewarding career path. Even then, many of the skills we need in this industry are scattered across many disciplines rather than having an identifiable focus that could capture the attention of those whose attention we most want to attract.
SO, WHAT TO DO? Enhancing our overall image and profile in our respective communities and putting more effort into using convention centres to educate the local community about how dynamic and exciting this industry really is would pay a variety of immediate returns. Second, we need to craft a more distinctive picture of what a career path in this sector can mean and why that is attractive to individuals with lots of other choices for employment and advancement. Having done this, we need to promote that where it matters: at job fairs, online and in literature relating to employment opportunities and anywhere that career options might receive attention. Finally, we need to reconsider what it takes to retain those we do attract in a world where turnover is a new expectation and opportunities abound. Incentives, training, certifications and other kinds of rewards all need to be on the table if we expect to be able to keep those we have successfully recruited – and often, heavily invested in. We offer some of the most exciting and diverse career opportunities today – a window into many different professions, disciplines and interactions and a focus for some of the most important issues and developments in the world today. The fact that this remains largely unknown outside of our own ranks is a huge obstacle to attracting and retaining the very best – but one we can and need to act on immediately to secure the future of our industry.
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
DAELSKTIIN T NG A TPI O N INTS
INDUSTRY VIEWS The EGF in 2020
Gearing up for a greener 2020 The EGF is launching some exciting new projects this year, writes Greg McManus.
GREG MCMANUS is the chairperson of EGF.
INDUSTRY VIEWS How business events can boost the economy
he EGF has many plans in the pipeline for this year and beyond, which we expect will have a significant positive impact on our industry. After much planning, we will be launching a range of online sustainable event management courses. Making these learning opportunities available online will help us to better cater for the varying needs of different types of services providers, as well as different levels of understanding. An added benefit is that some courses will carry CPD points. In addition, the growth in interest in green event certification is indicative of how the events industry has started embracing sustainability, but the lack of recognised certification labels and specialists offering this service remains a potential constraint. The EGF is at an advanced stage of developing a framework of certification standards against which interested organisations and specialists can apply to have their own event certification labels recognised by the EGF. This builds on the EGF’s Minimum Standard for Sustainable Events developed in 2015. However, there
Let’s grow the economy in 2020 In the current tough economic climate, Glenton de Kock believes the business events industry should receive increasing focus.
GLENTON DE KOCK is the CEO of SAACI.
has been a lot more work done since with regard to addressing the evaluation criteria, methodologies and administrative processes involved. The EGF will not be creating an EGF certification label, nor will we be offering certification. Rather, independent companies will certify green events under the auspices of the EGF, with the EGF providing recognition against a prescribed technical standard in order to ensure a standardised and compatible evaluation and certification service. Lastly, as part of the Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba exhibitor briefings, the EGF will be hosting free introductory event greening workshops in January 2020. While the training is aimed at these exhibitors, the information is broadly relevant to anyone working in the events industry, who are all welcome to attend. This training is free, with thanks to its generous sponsorship by the South African National Convention Bureau; however, registration is essential. Please visit www.eventgreening.co.za for more information.
here is general agreement that business events can be a game changer in the global economy but, in order for this to happen, it is imperative that we understand the value chain of the business events sector, so that we can identify and develop solid enterprise development opportunities. In this regard, youth involvement and succession planning are crucial. At SAACI, as any good corporate citizen should, we are embracing these challenges head on. At our board’s strategic session late last year, we formulated a plan to give shape to this, based on our pillars of learning, growth and collaboration.
2020 AND BEYOND In 2020, above all, we will focus on nurturing established, and building new, stakeholder relationships. We need to know who does what, where synergy exists and where forces should be joined.
38 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
To understand the industry better, we will continuously research and communicate new trends in the industry To understand the industry better, we will continuously research and communicate new trends in the industry. To accurately determine the value of business events in South Africa, we will roll out a comprehensive industry study involving all relevant stakeholders. All this will be underpinned by a fresh SAACI marketing campaign, of which our annual congress will form an integral part. I believe you will agree that this year’s congress theme, ‘Welcoming the unknown’, could not be timelier and more apt. I appeal to everyone in the business events sector – join SAACI in taking hands to embrace the new decade and ensure that we help grow the economy.
INDUSTRY VIEWS Travelbags in 2020
New year revival Positive sentiment abounds with the start of not just a new year but a new decade. Michelle Hinrichsen shares what’s in store for Travelbags in 2020.
H MICHELLE HINRICHSEN is the chairperson of Travelbags.
INDUSTRY VIEWS Education enriches
appy New Year, or Happy 20 Plenty, as a lot of colleagues are telling me. According to the Chinese horoscope, it is the year of the metal rat, which symbolises creative energy that, together with hard work, can manifest into positive, tangible results. The way forward for Travelbags is to continue our networking club into its 62nd year of success in the travel industry. We have decided to limit our networking events to six annually, alternating between breakfasts, lunches and evening events. Knowing how busy most professionals are, we want to ensure we add to convenience for the travel trade; to ensure our sought-after events pack a lot of punch in terms of networking and learning opportunities, as well as provide a great time for all, while raising funds for our sponsors’ charities. Our goal, as the Travelbags committee, is to grow a balance of professionalism and philanthropy when it
comes to our non-profit club and our events. We hope to grow our database of members this year. Our events and lunches are now exclusive to members; if you are a non-member, you will need to book through a member to get your invite and ticket secured. To become a member of Travelbags, please have a look at our website – www.travelbags.co.za – to sign up. We wish you all a successful year filled with absolute prosperity, and here’s hoping we see you at one of our networking events very soon!
Upskilling the industry Education and training will be at the core of AAXO’s focus in 2020, says Projeni Pather.
I PROJENI PATHER is the current chairperson of AAXO.
Knowing how busy most professionals are, we want to ensure we add to convenience for the travel trade; to ensure our sought-after events pack a lot of punch in terms of networking and learning opportunities
n a rapidly shifting business environment, AAXO believes that our members need to be ahead of the game to deliver exceptional service, innovative platforms, and organisational excellence. As part of our mission to invest in our members, we are proud to deliver two new programmes that will enhance our contribution to training and development for the industry – the IAEE Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) programme and the AAXO Education Masterclasses. These courses are valuable to both supplier and organiser employees who are keen on uplifting their professional development. Our global partnership with the International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE) provides us with the opportunity to raise the professional standards of our workforce with internationally accredited skills and earn the status of CEM. For the first time, Africa will be able to join the ranks of over 3 000 active CEMs around the world that have earned this premier mark of professional accomplishment in exhibitions and events.
In addition, the AAXO Masterclass Programme, which is a series of courses for mid- to senior-level professionals, will provide attendees with an active toolkit filled with essential information and strategies to manage challenges and perform optimally in the exhibitions and events space. These short courses, in the form of half-day sessions, allow for an open exchange of ideas to discover solutions that guide new strategies and policies. All courses are open to anyone who is keen on developing their skills in the exhibitions and events space. Due to the popularity of the classes, registration will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that AAXO members will receive a preferential registration fee.
For more information, contact Molebogeng Masote on email@example.com.
MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020 •
Pushing the envelope Miss Meet looks at how we can harness our abilities to deliver on exceptional events that truly stand out in 2020.
audiences and in tune with international trends is more important now than ever before. The events industry in South Africa is not nearly as big or refined as it is in Europe or the US but keeping up to date with the goings-on of more developed international markets gives us a good indicator of what is working for global audiences whose expectations during any or anyone who is starting out in the industry, learning the ropes given event, based on their existing experiences, may be much higher. can be nerve-racking and being so eager to please – where South Africa hosts just under a quarter of all international the norm seems to be that we receive more criticism than association meetings on the continent and the growth praise – often, it is only when something goes wrong that between reporting in 2018 and 2019 is very we are able to garner any feedback in this regard. positive to see, with the local events industry While we can determine the overall sentiment from striving to be on par with the expectations how the event has been received among our of international markets. This is bolstered audience members together with post-event even more so by the fact that there is a surveys to help us assess more clearly areas of huge amount of spend injected into our improvement, what is really distinguishing us economy as a result of the overall influx from every other event? of international tourists – R120 billion in The answer can be found in this very 2018 according to Stats SA, with 2019 question, and once we are familiar enough figures not yet available at the time of with the recipe and method needed to whip going to print. Following the drought up a successful event, each and every time, in Cape Town, which is said to have we can start adding more unique elements impacted arrivals to the area, better to distinguish and differentiate ourselves rain is seeing numbers rise again and, from what everyone else is doing. This is despite the expected dip last year, 2020 when understanding our audiences is key – is looking promising. because when we start pushing the boundaries Both the country and continent are on creativity, we need to have a good idea of exciting event destinations but before Walt Disney how this might potentially go down. we go all out providing the best experience possible to our delegates, having a good understanding of what this will look like first is KEEPING A FINGER ON THE PULSE imperative before throwing in a unique or creative element Asking attendees what they might like included in the future can also that detracts from a smoothly run event. be part of your post-event surveys, but staying in touch with our
“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS Barmotion
40 • MEETINGS l JAN/FEB 2020
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Meetings magazine is the mouthpiece for the meetings, incentives, conference, exhibition (MICE) and business tourism sector. Highlights in...
Published on Jan 22, 2020
Meetings magazine is the mouthpiece for the meetings, incentives, conference, exhibition (MICE) and business tourism sector. Highlights in...