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juLY/AUGUST 2019 • Issue 86

how to secure your next event

Jozi 360

Catering for conference attendees

Winning in a Woman’s World DRIVING SANDTON CONVENTION CENTRE FORWARD “Certain areas of the hospitality sector are most certainly a male-dominant environment; however, I do believe that this has changed in the past few years.” Maggie Kruger Deputy General Manager, Sandton Convention Centre

Exhibitions remain among the best platforms for engagement between businesses and service providers and their customers – exhibitions give you that personalised experience to be able to talk to your customer and market your product.” Craig Newman, CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre

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DESTINATION 10 Jozi infusion The commerce capital of

South Africa is brimming with meeting and event options, and extensive add-ons and experiences, to delight delegates. We explore some of the finest venue offerings.

BEST PRACTICE 17 Creating its own success Drums and



Rhythm has seen continued business success on the back of creating unique experiences for individuals and groups.

FOCUS 20 Safety 1st No one can skimp when it

comes to event safety and security. We delve deeper into the considerations you need to make when it comes to keeping your delegates safe.

PROFILE 22 A female first The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa celebrates its 70th birthday this year. We talk to its very first female CEO, Lee Zama.


The feminine touch in the confex industry

Sandton Convention Centre profiles members of its dynamic female leadership team who are making their mark on the confex industry.

INDUSTRY 24 What a dish! A large emphasis is placed on catering at events – chefs from top venues explain how they endeavour to deliver nothing but the best.

MEETING PLACES 28 When is boutique ‘boutique’?

Boutique hotels are intimate and feel personal – aspects larger hotels can never quite imitate. But what exactly are the fabulous details that make boutique hotels feel ‘boutique’?

HOW TO… 16 In two hours or less If you need to create





Destination to success Meetings speaks exclusively with Craig Newman, CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre, on the centre’s achievements to date and the road ahead for the venue.


a short and fun breakaway for your teams and you’re stuck in terms of what to do and where to go, we have some ideas to get those creative juices flowing.

32 Active activation Incorporating a bit of activity into your event activations could make for a substantially more meaningful impact. We explore the ways and means to invigorate your audiences. TALKING POINTS 33 AIPC 34 AAXO + EGF 35 SAACI + Travelbags REGULARS 3 Ed’s Comment 7 Tidbits 30 Soundbite 31 20 Questions 36 Miss Meet


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ED’s COMMENT Managing Editor Shanna Jacobsen (shanna@3smedia.co.za) Digital Editor Mpinane Senkhane Chief Sub-Editor Tristan Snijders Head of Design Beren Bauermeister Contributors Eddie Bunting, Michelle Hinrichsen,

Julianne Jammers, Neo Mohlatlole, Rudi van der Vyver, Leatitia van Straten Operations & Production Manager

Antois-Leigh Botma Financial Manager Andrew Lobban Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina Distribution Coordinator Asha Pursotham Advertising

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Publisher Jacques Breytenbach

Shifting mentalities

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Meetings JULY/AUGUST 2019 © Copyright. All rights reserved 2019. www.theplanner.guru


ach time I write my editor’s column, I am surprised at just how many new developments have taken place and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to identify just one trend or topic to discuss. There are constant technological advances being made to the platforms through which we communicate and promote our business and service offerings, with new tools, updates and plugins being made available with such staggering frequency that it is difficult to keep up. In our era of automation and the internet of just about everything, we are quickly losing the human touch. Fortunately, in our industry, because it is so people-centric and we interface with each other so often, this is being felt to a lesser extent; however, it does mean we need to value and nurture our existing engagements, which are the driving force behind our industry and a critical part of other sectors too. In this issue of Meetings, we go in- and outdoors. We explore some of the coolest venues around Joburg that you can consider for your next engaging event (see page 10). Part of an engaging event includes the food that is being catered. We talk to the experts on page 24 about what it takes to bring together a meal for a group of executives at a conference and how to keep them satiated and focused for the sessions taking

subscription R330.00 per annum (incl. VAT) | subs@3smedia.co.za ISSN 1684-9264 NOTICE OF RIGHTS Meetings is published bi-monthly by 3S Media. This publication, its form and contents vest in 3S Media. All rights reserved. No part of this book, including cover and interior designs, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. The authors' views may not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or associated professional bodies. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation and compilation of this publication, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, completeness or accuracy of its contents, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. While every effort has been taken to ensure that no copyright or copyright issues is/are infringed, 3S Media, its directors, publisher, officers and employees cannot be held responsible and consequently disclaim any liability for any loss, liability damage, direct or consequential of whatsoever nature and howsoever arising.

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place during the rest of day. And while our delegates are attending our event, we need to ensure that they are totally safe. On page 20, we see how having a safety and security plan for our event is of paramount and growing importance. In the lead-up to Women’s Month, we talk to several heavy-hitting women who are the driving force behind the growth and development of their organisations and the industry. Turn to page 22 as FEDHASA celebrates its 70th birthday and Lee Zama talks to us exclusively about how MICE is contributing to the wider hospitality industry and on where the association’s focus lies for the future. We also talk to the ladies at the helm of Sandton Convention Centre’s operations on page 4. They share their personal experiences with us on how they have excelled in their careers. In our upcoming September/October edition, you can look forward to the full list of this year’s Top Women in MICE, in addition to how the Tourism Amendment Bill is causing a shake-up. Until then, I hope you enjoy this issue – keep in touch and don’t forget to follow us on social media.



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cover story

The feminine touch in the confex industry Sandton Convention Centre profiles members of its dynamic female leadership team who are making their mark on the confex industry.


sogo Sun’s award-winning Sandton Convention Centre is one of Johannesburg’s most attractive confex venues and home to various high-profile annual events. This prestigious venue boasts an operations team – which includes three highly motivated women – determined to ensure clients and visitors enjoy a holistic experience that is nothing short of extraordinary. In celebration of Women’s Month, each one of them offers insights into what makes them excel in an industry shaped and dominated by their male counterparts.

Maggie Kruger

Deputy General Manager


Maggie Kruger – Deputy General Manager “Certain areas of the hospitality sector are most certainly a male-dominant environment; however, I do believe that


this has changed in the past few years. These women all have very strong personalities and are highly motivated individuals, which is a prerequisite for survival in hospitality,” says Maggie Kruger. After 14 years in the industry, Maggie joined Sandton Convention Centre as Deputy General Manager in June 2017. She has worked in the industry for nearly two decades and even met her husband at hotel school. With a husband in hospitality and two young daughters, Maggie says it can be a challenge finding a balance between home and work life. As Deputy General Manager, her key function is to manage the day-to-day operations of the property, which includes suppliers such as outsourced cleaning and maintenance. Her working hours

161 Maude Street, Sandown, Sandton


Dhirasha Mahabeer

Operations Duty Manager are far from normal but this doesn’t get in the way of this strong, capable woman, embracing her role and making sure Sandton Convention Centre’s clients’ needs are always met. Maggie is passionate about her work and enjoys the hustle and the bustle of the hospitality industry. As a leader in its field, Sandton Convention Centre exposes her to fresh, new ideas and the latest hospitality trends. For example, the traditional buffet style of serving guests food is being replaced by themed offerings such as street food vendors. Themed food offerings make the events more creative and memorable for guests. Sandton Convention Centre is also an extremely versatile complex, allowing clients to be really creative in their event concepts due to the property’s extensive range of facilities. This varied offering means ideas are never stifled by logistics. Each venue at Sandton Convention Centre has different features, which can be dressed up in very different ways. Every event brings with it a fresh, new set of opportunities that can be tailored to suit client requirements. It is an exciting, dynamic and highly creative environment. Like any career, there can be challenges when it comes to communicating logistics, particularly when there are so many different teams involved in any one event. Keeping them all on the same page can be tricky at times but Maggie is always ready to step up, drive a solution and make sure the show goes on. “I love working at Sandton Convention Centre because of the amazing team I work with. Previously, the operational team consisted of only men, so I am really enjoying the female companionship and support. As a team, we all aspire to the same thing – successful events and happy clients. When your visions are aligned, everything else just seems to fall into place!” she concludes.


Dhirasha Mahabeer – Operations Duty Manager “Capability is paramount in the hospitality industry, whether you are male or female. The fact that the number of women in hospitality is growing indicates that mindsets are shifting, and that’s a positive sign!” says Dhirasha Mahabeer. Dhirasha has been with Tsogo Sun for seven years and joined Sandton Convention Centre in March 2016. She left her family and friends in KwaZulu-Natal in pursuit of a successful career in hospitality. Her role in the property’s operations team, over and above attending to events, is to manage and coordinate the food and beverage administration for the convention centre. Dhirasha is proud to work for a company at the forefront of the hospitality industry. A recent innovative project Sandton Convention Centre implemented is the introduction of a cashless system where guests simply pre-load money on to their cards or armbands, then tap them at the vendor or bar on-site. This also cuts out any risk of handling cash and allows for quick and accurate stock control. Being part of the Tsogo Sun Group also gives Sandton Convention Centre the competitive edge because of the group’s vast level of understanding of the hospitality industry. “I love the fact that if you work hard, you are recognised and you grow within the Tsogo Sun Group – whether you are male or female. It is a very empowering group to work for!” Dhirasha adds.

Kelli Mthembu

Operations Manager a woman can be very beneficial and nurturing in customer relations,” says Kelli Mthembu. Kelli has been in the industry for nine years and joined Sandton Convention Centre in February 2018. She left her support structure in Cape Town and braved the big city life with her sixyear-old son to establish her career. While Kelli’s role is mainly client-facing, she also liaises with the kitchen staff to ensure food delivery runs smoothly. This includes liaising with the management team who manage the staff on the floors. This is the first company that Kelli has worked for that outsources the logistics of moving equipment in and out of the venue to ensure the process of setting up and taking down exhibitions runs smoothly. “Every detail is taken care of to ensure the overall customer experience far surpasses that of other venues,” she says. Kelli loves working at Sandton Convention Centre because of its central and convenient location. Sandton City, the Gautrain, several Tsogo Sun properties and various large businesses are all within close proximity. “However, what really gives me job satisfaction is the undeniable team spirit between us ladies,” she insists. “We work so well together and always support one another. As a team, we are committed to driving Sandton Convention Centre’s position as Africa’s preferred venue for any and every event, large or small!” Kelli concludes.

Kelli Mthembu – Operations Manager “I have always taken over from a male in every new position. I am a mother but I am also a dedicated employee who is building a career in an industry that I love. I feel women have more pressure to prove themselves in a maledominated industry, while the emotional side of

+27 (0)11 779 0000 www.tsogosun.com/sandton-convention-centre-scc



STRATEGY IN ACTION A Conceptual Eyes Workshop

Conceptual Eyes, founded in 2014, hit the conference scene with their award-winning program Capture It, Live Drawing Events. Fast forward 6 years and this creative company now has a portfolio of workshops designed to bring creativity and employee engagement to the boardroom, conference venue or factory floor.

Are you looking for an innovative way to bring corporate strategy to life at your next conference or event? Consider the Conceptual Eyes 2019 most popular workshop, Strategy in Action. WHY STRATEGY IN ACTION?

Strategy in Action is an intensive high-level workshop designed to facilitate scenario and strategy planning. Teams assess where they are, align on where they would like to be, and innovate around the possible roadmaps to get there. Based on non-linear and design thinking principles, Strategy in Action encourages creativity and innovation.



Team Alignment

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Data Collection

High Energy & Fun

Meetings’ must-know minutia

AIPC, ICCA and UFI launch Global Alliance effort

Tsogo Sun Hotels lists on JSE’s main board June saw Africa’s leading hospitality group, Tsogo Sun Hotels Limited, become the second company to list on the JSE’s main board in 2019. The listing comes as a result of Tsogo Sun Hotels unbundling from Tsogo Sun Holdings. Tsogo Sun Hotels owns, leases and manages hotels in South Africa, as well as several sub-Saharan countries, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi. Tsogo Sun Holdings’ 59.2% interest in Hospitality Property Fund held by Tsogo Sun Hotels will remain owned and consolidated by the latter. Tsogo Sun Hotels will also hold the Tsogo Sun Holdings’ minority investment in RBH Hotels UK and International Hotel Properties, based in the UK. The hotels that have been developed as part of the various casino complexes owned by Tsogo Sun Holdings will remain with the group but will be operated under a management agreement by Tsogo Sun Hotels. Marcel von Aulock, CEO of Tsogo Sun Hotels, says, “Over the last five decades, Tsogo Sun has played an important role in shaping the landscape of hospitality and entertainment in South Africa and further afield. In this, its 50th year, the group’s anniversary coincides with the listing of Tsogo Sun Hotels on the JSE, with a portfolio of over 100 hotels and a variety of restaurant, conferencing and entertainment facilities. Tsogo Sun Hotels offers investors value through footprint and scale, as Africa’s leading hospitality group. The listing represents an exciting new era for all of our stakeholders – from shareholders to employees – and we look forward to continuing to serve our guests with the dedication and excellence that they have come to expect from a company such as ours.” The JSE has 360 companies listed, with a total market cap of R16.39 trillion. .

Meetings Africa registration now open! Registration for Meetings Africa 2020 is now open and the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), a business unit of South African Tourism and host of Meetings Africa, invites exhibitors and buyers to register for the 15th edition of the business events trade show. Meetings Africa, a pan-African business events trade show, will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, next year from 24 to 26 February and continues with the theme ‘Shared Economies’. “South Africa is a beautiful country and among the best in the world to host world-class events. We look forward to hosting Meetings Africa 2020 especially because it will be our 15th instalment of


the trade show, which is a significant milestone. We not only invite the world to come and experience different business events products from across our African continent, but we also look forward to connecting with them, sharing our food and, of course, sharing ideas,” says Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, chief convention bureau officer at the SANCB. “The MICE industry has a significant economic contribution, as its impacts are way beyond that of tourism; these also extend to the knowledge economy,” Amanda concludes. To be a part of Meetings Africa 2020, register at www.meetingsafrica.co.za.

Three global associations serving the international meetings industry will collaborate more closely in the future: AIPC (the International Association of Convention Centres), ICCA (the International Congress and Convention Association), and UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) agreed to launch the Global Alliance. Together, they will facilitate collaboration and generate more comprehensive and better aligned benefits for the three associations’ respective members. “We are all organisations with a global membership and perspective, and already complement each other’s activities in various ways,” says Aloysius Arlando, president, AIPC. “However, as the business models of exhibitions, congresses, conferences, and other types of business meetings evolve, the overlap of global associations servicing the industry is growing even further.” “This carries the risk of competition replacing collaboration as the driving force for industry associations. With our Global Alliance, the three of us choose value for our members – choose collaboration over competition,” adds Craig Newman, president, UFI. The alliance has agreed to begin a programme of exploring exchange and reciprocity in four primary areas: educational content, research, standards and advocacy. It would implement a flexible framework of collaboration between the three associations in order to achieve these benefits without compromising the focus and platform of each member organisation. The three partners will begin by engaging in a series of educational exchanges incorporating each other’s knowledge content into their respective conferences and starting to align approaches taken to areas of common practice such as research and advocacy activities, beginning immediately. At the same time, they are initiating a regular exchange between their respective leaderships to align interests on issues like standards, terminology and best practice.

From left to right: James Rees, president, ICCA; Craig Newman, president, UFI; and Aloysius Arlando, president, AIPC

MEETINGS l JULY/august 2019 •



to success Meetings speaks exclusively with Craig Newman, CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre, on its achievements to date and the road ahead for the venue.

“Exhibitions remain among the best platforms for engagement between businesses and service providers and their customers. It is the most effective, one-onone marketing tool we have available to us.” Craig Newman

CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre




his year will be a game changer for the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC). In addition to an acquisition by GL events South Africa, the JEC continues to affirm its position as Southern Africa’s largest fully contained exhibitions, conferencing and events venue delivering worldclass events. GL events South Africa is the local operating entity for GL events – a global eventing company headquartered in France. The group has one of the largest market shares worldwide and a growing footprint, with a presence in more than 20 countries. During its 2018 financial year, it generated in excess of €1 billion (R16 billion) in turnover and the acquisition will see GL events South Africa combining its operations with the JEC by aligning the way in which the venue is run with the way GL events runs its venues worldwide. Craig Newman, CEO of the JEC, highlights how this business development will elevate the venue.


Johannesburg Expo Centre



of indoor and outdoor space, the JEC is one of the most versatile and flexible venue spaces in the country. “We are not only the biggest but we are also the most capable venue when it comes to delivering quality business-to-business and business-toconsumer exhibitions,” says Craig, who feels that exhibitions fulfil an important function in the world of business, which is key to their value proposition. “Exhibitions remain among the best platforms for engagement between businesses and service providers and their customers – exhibitions give you that personalised experience to be able to talk to your customer and market your product. It is also an opportunity to inform your customer of new products or services. This is the most effective, one-on-one marketing tool we have available to us,” notes Craig.

The UFI experience

“The investment here makes great sense – GL events owns and manages over 50 venues worldwide and comes with the experience and attitude that we know will help us deliver a worldclass venue in Johannesburg through the JEC. This brings with it a huge appetite for investment into the venue and gives us the opportunity to be able to develop, grow and further our drive towards international standards – GL events gives us the perfect platform for this,” he says, noting that the acquisition by GL events South Africa will also provide staff with growth opportunities by allowing them to become involved with and experience the workings of the events industry worldwide.

The value proposition With a combined area of more than 150 000 m2


In 2017, in an all-time first, it was announced that Craig would be appointed as the first African president of The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI). The role spans three years, with the first year having been spent learning the ropes as incoming president. Craig is into the second year of his UFI presidency and serves as the current president. In November this year, he will move on as the outgoing president when Mary Larkin from Diversified Business Communications (USA) steps in as the new current president of UFI. This process allows for a smooth transition between UFI’s presidents and a seamless handover of responsibilities. For Craig, the appointment has been significant: “As the first African president, for me, it has been very encouraging to see that the way in which South Africa delivers its exhibitions is right up there with the way it is being done in the rest of the world. It has been an absolute pleasure for me to

showcase the expertise, experience and successes that we have in South Africa through UFI,” he says. While it is clear when comparing Africa to the rest of the world that the continent is still lagging behind on developing and adopting new technology, Craig feels we are catching up, with greater advances being made in exhibitions offerings. He also believes that a more collaborative approach in South Africa, in particular, will achieve better growth for the exhibitions industry as a whole. “European countries seem to do this very well and I think we need to be brave and open enough to look at opportunities of collaboration in South Africa so that we can continue delivering worldclass exhibition platforms for our customers,” he explains, noting that, in order to be able to further sustain our local exhibitions industry, we need to focus on strengthening our partnerships. “I believe that, as the exhibitions industry, we need to continuously keep up our efforts with regard to engaging our public sector. I believe the government departments are the ones that are going to be the biggest drivers of and contributors towards successful exhibitions going forward,” concludes Craig.

+27 (0)11 494 1920 info@expocentre.co.za www.expocentre.co.za




Jozi Infusion J

ohannesburg is home to a selection of venues with some of the largest capacities and widest competencies in South Africa. With such variety, you are positively spoilt for choice when it comes to arranging large-scale exhibitions, corporate conferences or highlevel meetings. However, a discerning eye will make the difference between your next occasion being just another event under your belt versus an exceptionally impressive experience.

Johannesburg – the commerce capital of South Africa – is brimming with meeting and event options and extensive add-ons and experiences to delight delegates. Meetings explores some of the finest venue offerings.

Keeping it classy Sandton houses an array of eventing spaces and some of Johannesburg’s most exclusive and exquisite venues are found in this bustling district. With the Gautrain to get you in and out, meeting and eventing in Sandton is a breeze. Conveniently located within walking distance of one of the country’s top retail destinations and with a massive choice of over 5 000 hotel rooms across the luxury, full-service and selectservice categories, guests will be well looked after at the Sandton Convention Centre. With a max pax of 5 000 but offering intimate spaces seating only 10, Sandton Convention Centre provides AV, IT, freight and drayage services, as well as catering, cleaning, decor and security. Situated on the outskirts of the Sandton CBD, a distinct air of class runs through Summer Place with its rich furnishings and beautiful gardens – complete with a grand fountain, lush lawn and neatly manicured hedges. Customise an event or meeting at Summer Place for as few as 12 or as many as 450 seated guests across the venue’s 10 rooms, where you will also be able to benefit from technical support and catering services. For a uniquely business flair, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), in the heart of the Sandton business district, offers uniquely tailored spaces for corporate events and meetings. Celebrate a


The Birchwood Hotel: O.R. Tambo Hotel & Conference Centre, approximately a 10-minute drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport, offers free shuttles and buses between the airport and venue. With over 60 conferencing spaces that can be set up for between 3 and 3 000 guests, 665 rooms available on-site and five restaurants, Birchwood’s product offering caters for large-scale conferences, intimate meetings as well as the discerning budget traveller across its sprawling 58 acre property. The venue is divided up according to its different capacity offerings with its team able to provide a full turnkey solution for each event.

company milestone during the JSE’s market open or close or host a cocktail function in the JSE’s foyer, wowing guests with the impressive state-of-the-art wallboard and ticker. With three ideal spaces seating up to 300 attendees, the JSE provides an exceptional corporate experience. Hyatt Regency Johannesburg’s conference offerings will enable you to accommodate thousands of event spectators across its 18 available meeting spaces. Although situated in central Rosebank, the Hyatt’s lush gardens create a relaxing atmosphere and a feeling of tranquility in the concrete jungle. The Hyatt offers complimentary Wi-Fi, AV equipment, secure basement parking and a plush venue space for events. From conferences to business meetings, its event team becomes an extension of your own to ensure the success of your function. Situated next to the Gautrain Rosebank station and with 244 rooms, Hyatt Regency Johannesburg is an ideally convenient place for delegates to come together.

and offers the quintessence of convenience for business travellers. Getting there and back and travelling around town is simple with the easily accessible Gautrain. For meetings and events, the InterContinental O.R. Tambo has 11 spaces with a max pax of 114. The hotel comfortably accommodates guests across its 138 suites and provides Wi-Fi, technical and catering services with tailored menus to give your event something special.

Downtown then around south Previously an exclusive, membersonly gentlemen’s club, Rand Club in Marshalltown is one of Johannesburg’s oldest establishments and has its roots spanning as far back as the late 19th century, having opened its doors 132 years ago. The venue can deliver a complete event solution for up to 650 people and with so much rich history, it offers an unparalleled experience in which guests can admire the awe-striking library, art, antique artillery collection and the hundreds of other artefacts that can be found throughout the 12 rooms of this Victorian-styled building. Home of the annual Rand Show, which attracts upwards of 200 000 visitors annually, the Johannesburg Expo Centre

Where the sun rises If you are expecting an international delegation and don’t want to stray too far from the airport, Ekurhuleni offers a few nuggets that are not to be missed. Noted as being South Africa’s only luxury airport hotel, the InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo is within walking distance of O.R. Tambo International Airport





(JEC) in the south of Johannesburg is one of South Africa’s largest and foremost purposebuilt eventing and exhibition venues. A 30-minute drive from Johannesburg’s major airports and easily accessible by all national highways, the JEC has 20 000 parking bays as well as a helipad. The venue offers 18 multipurpose facilities providing a

combined area of more than 50 000 m2 of indoor space and over 100 000 m2 of versatile outdoor space. The JEC’s team, along with its on-site service providers, will ensure that your event, from catering to technical, runs smoothly. Another exciting venue in the area is Gold Reef City. Famed for its casino, theme park

and thrill rides, the venue has two hotels with 113 bedrooms, six meeting and event spaces and a variety of restaurants. Its largest space, the Lyric Theatre, can seat 1 100 guests and Gold Reef City’s team of dedicated event professionals can design bespoke menus for your event while looking after every aspect of your event. Northern Lights The Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre is tucked beneath the Magaliesberg Mountains in Lonehill, Fourways. It offers a blend of businesslike convenience and efficiency in a warm country atmosphere. Just 15 km from Lanseria International Airport, the venue is also close to all main highways and will provide a solution for each aspect of your event. With 258 rooms, it has a max pax of 800 in the largest of its 24 event spaces, and is renowned for its awardwinning banqueting.




Based in Fourways, Montecasino opened in 2000 and, with so much to do, it is one of Johannesburg’s most popular venues. From its world-class casino, splendid bird gardens and the ultimate in theatrical performances, to gastronomy that will thrill the palates of the most serious food critics, Montecasino is ideal. If you are looking for a venue for an event with an interactive element or light entertainment, arranging your function at Montecasino will set it apart from the rest, with the support of Tsogo’s team of eventing staff. Halfway House If you need a venue to cater for guests between both Johannesburg and Pretoria look no further than Midrand. With 27 eventing facilities on its premises that can accommodate up to 7 000 attendees in its largest space, Gallagher Convention Centre has become a powerhouse among convention centres. It hosts more than 350 events and 30 exhibitions annually and its management team has extensive, in-depth industry


experience, ensuring that the venue leaves no stone unturned. Through its network of service providers based both on- and offsite, Gallagher can provide an end-to-end eventing solution for its clients. An unlikely but exhilarating eventing venue, the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit offers seven exciting event spaces for hire within its International Convention Centre. Holding a meeting, conference, exhibition or private function at the Kyalami track is entirely possible, with spaces that range from intimate boardrooms to the spacious 2 700 m2 Jody Scheckter Paddock Area. State-of-the-art kitchens, executive ablution facilities, Wi-Fi, three-phase power and convenient access with ample secure parking are available on-site. West Rand affection For a country or outdoor event, the Muldersdrift area in the West Rand has a multitude of venues that provide exceptional backdrops for your event, along with a range of services. After more than 20 years in business, Avianto has become a highly sought-after space, not just for weddings but for a variety of bespoke corporate events and networking functions. Avianto has a fully equipped conference centre with 11 versatile spaces that can accommodate between 2 and 250 delegates. In addition, Avianto is able to put together a teambuilding itinerary with the facilities it owns at its premises, providing an assortment of activities for guests while maintaining your professional objectives. Set against the Swartkops Mountains, Misty Hills Country Hotel, Conference Centre & Spa offers 23 spaces across its 60 acre premises that can seat a max pax of 800. Misty Hills can cater for functions that include meetings, conferences, exhibitions, product launches, team building and getaways – all managed and coordinated by its in-house team, which will ensure your event runs smoothly. The venue is also home to the award-winning and famed Carnivore restaurant – an allyou-can-eat dining experience that is not to be missed.




In two hours or less If you need to create a short and fun breakaway for your teams and you’re stuck in terms of what to do and where to go, why not combine both? Meetings has some ideas to get those creative juices flowing.


ome mid-year and everyone’s energy levels are just a little depleted. If you need a pick-me-up for your teams that won’t eat excessively into your budget, consider crafting short experiences that will go some way to rejuvenating your staff and giving them the motivation needed to see the rest of the year through. Go orienteering… Set up a scavenger or treasure hunt that involves orienteering and problem-solving. This is great for small groups and can work well in larger groups, who can then be divided into teams, who can then work together to solve

clues and move through each stage of the treasure hunt. A night out on the town… Although there won’t be a great deal of interactivity during an outing such as a film screening or show, your team can be seated together and appreciate an art form in each other’s company. Try to make it a point for the team to spend time afterwards talking about their experience together. Arts and crafts Whether it is in performing or fine arts, people thrive with some form of creative outlet.

Understand what might stimulate your team from a creative perspective and arrange an art lesson where people can create something and learn a new skill that they might one day develop into a hobby. More than food… Tastings and pairings have become very popular and for good reason – food that is well prepared is wonderful but when it’s done as a pairing with ranges of gins, whiskies or wine, it creates a unique sensory experience and, shared as a team, can be delightful.



24 hrs conference

We had two beautiful days at Avianto. We used the conference facilities for our yearly strategy session. We had good food and friendly service. It’s an altogether lovely place to stay. The rooms are spacious and modern and the gardens are breathtaking.


Creating its own success Drums and Rhythm has seen continued business success on the back of creating unique experiences for individuals and groups. Eddie Bunting* takes us on a journey.


eing in the very fortunate position of loving what I do, I believe that this comes through clearly during each of the interactive team-building sessions we at Drums and Rhythm facilitate and the delightfully entertaining shows we hold. From its stimulating to healing effects, the benefits of music and dance are scientifically proven; after having experienced this first-hand and being in the game for nearly three decades, this has been engrained in me. As a dedicated business owner specialising in my craft, being hands-on is par for the course. But beyond ensuring that our programmes and performances run smoothly, I truly believe we have found an award-winning formula to invigorate and stimulate participants.

people to relax enough to allow themselves to join in the fun. For the most part, we are all afraid of being judged, looking or acting silly. However, when there is a room full of people who are letting go of these inhibitions and enjoying themselves, we know we are on the right track and it then becomes easier for those who are more shy or guarded to participate. It doesn’t take a lot to get people to the point of feeling at ease but it does take the right mix of ingredients. In order to get our audiences to unwind a bit and start having fun, we ourselves have to unwind and have fun with them – we try to break the ice and get them to laugh by telling jokes and acting a bit silly so that people don’t take us, or themselves, so seriously. Once we’ve gotten past this point, the fun can begin.

Nurture a safe space One of the greatest challenges we encounter when working with new groups is how to get

Getting to the heart of it At Drums and Rhythm, we endeavour to work as closely as possible with our clients who bring us in

Proud members of:

+27 (0)82 843 7118 info@drumsandrhythm.com

*Eddie Bunting is the owner and creative director at Drums and Rhythm. He has had close to 30 years’ experience as a professional percussionist and corporate motivational facilitator having studied under some of the continent’s most renowned artists. to do a team-building event or act to understand their desired outcomes. We then ascertain what would work best for their staff and audiences, which can range from a few members of a team to a year-end function for the whole company, or an international event with a stadium full of people. Drums and Rhythm provides a range of options for engaging team-building sessions, in addition to entertaining performances and acts to immerse your participants. Among our newest and most popular offerings are themed events, where we can transport guests to the Middle East with our belly dancers or get them to experience the kasi with us with a true shebeenstyle bar. Whatever the theme, we aim to break existing barriers to promote a flow of creativity that revitalises and rejuvenates a person. I often say I got into this business by default; but truth be told, it was serendipity – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

AFRICAN DRUMMERS | SAMBA DRUMMERS | LATIN BAND | AFRICAN JAZZ BAND BELLY DANCERS | FIRE DANCERS | SALSA DANCERS | TRADITIONAL DANCERS MARIMBA BAND AND MANY MORE! Invigorate your team with our unique ENTERTAINING PERFORMANCES, ACTS and LIVE THEMES, or choose one of our interactive TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES to practise and enhance communication, improve teamwork, synergy, enthusiasm and to have fun in the workplace.


EST. 1993

Visit our online shop for a variety of African drums and percussion instruments, as well as branded African-themed corporate gifts.




When you’re looking for the ideal host for your next business event, look no further than South Africa. With an impressive 747 000km road network and nine airports, three of which are international, South Africa’s transport infrastructure measures up to the best in the world. From sophisticated conference facilities, accommodation, restaurants and so much more, South Africa delivers much more that you’d ever expect. Plan your next event in South Africa.










FOR LOCAL DESTINATION EXPERTISE AND CONVENTION PLANNING SUPPORT, CONTACT THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION BUREAU Go to www.businessevents.southafrica.net or email convention@southafrica.net or call +27(0)11 895 3000


Safety 1st No one can skimp when it comes to event safety and security. We delve deeper into the considerations you need to make when it comes to keeping your delegates safe.


vent safety and security remains a top concern for all event organisers and venue owners. For this reason, it is an aspect of our planning that must take precedence and one where no stone can be left unturned. This key part of our planning prepares us for any worst-case scenario. Putting in place extra measures is essential because larger numbers significantly increase the risk of any potential incident. At a large-scale event such as a major exhibition or concert, the implications for the organiser of not having the proper onthe-ground controls to deal with safety and security would far exceed and outweigh any work you would have needed to do from the onset. This encompasses having emergency personnel in case of a fire and to address any medical difficulties experienced by attendees. And, prior to any event, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and traffic control departments should be notified.


Safety and security at events is twofold: one facet deals primarily with occupational health and safety, where the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act (No. 2 of 2010), SANS 10366:2015, as well as the Amended Occupational Health and Safety Act (No. 85 of 1993) inform these requirements. Certificates of compliance must also be obtained for gas installations, electrical connections running off generators, fire-retardant draping, and structures that are not part of the original venue or building. The other facet, and one of the key factors in your safety and security plan, will be the number of people attending and crowd control. If you are expecting a massive influx of people at your event, the space at your venue will need to be managed very carefully. Your primary consideration must be making sure that attendees can get in and out without bottlenecks that can cause congestion, which can result in injury or worse, particularly if

people are panicked in an emergency situation. Without a sound health and safety plan that meets all the checks, along with designated safety and security officers ensuring this is followed to a T, you automatically widen the margin of risk at your event, so ensuring you have a reliable team that can assist with this will give you more peace of mind. Crime concern Crime Stats SA reveals that there were 54 robberies and 202 burglaries at non-residential premises in Sandton, Gauteng, in 2018. In addition, 95 incidences of carjacking were reported to the local SAPS precinct, which is just one of 143 in Gauteng. This only reflects a small portion of South Africa’s grim statistics but these are among the most serious sorts of crimes and ones in particular that event attendees might be exposed or fall victim to. As event organisers, we cannot be ignorant to the risks surrounding our attendees, nor



“You should not assume that you do not need security because you are planning a small event. You need to know why you require security. Sometimes, the mere presence of the security team is enough to prevent problems and ensure that the attendees are at ease and they enjoy the festivities.” I.G.S Security

Make security at your event watertight: the responsibility we must take to ensure their utmost safety and security. There will be certain areas where having a heavier security presence will bolster safety. Identifying these areas will be your first step in finding a solution to greater protection in this regard. Car parks are notable points of vulnerability, as they are hotspots for robberies and hijackings, so having security guards in these areas to monitor the parking lot and as guests enter and leave from the venue will be a measure to keep them safe. If you are expecting any VIPs, there are specialised security companies that provide

protection services so that they are not mobbed and can move safely from one point to another. This level of security should also include a driver trained in defensive and advanced driving. The size of your event will also determine what other security you will need to consider. If you are expecting large crowds, it is advisable to have a reaction unit on standby. Stewards, doormen, human barriers and physical barricades will all form part of the very critical function of access control. Also make sure that all safety and security staff are able to communicate with each other and weigh up how you can best monitor any situation that may arise.

1 Will there be VIPs attending? 2 H ow many people are you expecting at your event?

3 How long is the event? 4W  here is your event being held?

5 Is there any historical, political or symbolic significance of the event?

6 A re there any specific or

existing threats to the event or location?

7W  hat are the cultural, political and religious backgrounds of attendees?

8W  hat media coverage are you expecting?





A female first The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA) celebrates its 70th birthday this year. Meetings talks to its very first female CEO, Lee Zama, who, in addition to her own appointment, touches on some of the association’s major milestones during this period.


efore South Africa’s democracy, FEDHASA fought for transformation within the hospitality industry by lobbying to allow employees of all races to work and live on-site at hotels, as well as for the provision of accommodation for all race groups. In 1965, FEDHASA launched the Hotel Training Scheme to enable students to train at selected hotels; by 1986, 78% of all hotels in South Africa were open to all races. South Africa’s travel market flourished after the first democratic elections in 1994, with an influx of goodwill and, along with it, a major increase in arrivals, which saw international flights tripling over just a few months.


“With this rich history, the association has consistently served its members and the industry at large. It is a great opportunity for me to drive this organisation towards an even greater future and a privilege that my career objectives are complementary to those of FEDHASA,” says Lee Zama, who assumed the position of FEDHASA’s first female CEO in March this year. Lee-ding the way forward Lee has more than 25 years’ experience in senior and executive management across the hospitality, food and services fields, filling a variety of leadership roles during

her career. And she has a vote of confidence from FEDHASA’s national chairperson, Jeff Rosenberg. “We believe that we have secured the services of a talented and dynamic CEO in Lee Zama, and we look forward to Lee taking control of FEDHASA’s recently adopted strategic objectives in our drive to secure additional new and exciting benefits for all of our members,” he says. Lee will be responsible for driving the strategic objectives set out by the FEDHASA board. “These include the holistic adoption of an approach that encompasses consolidation



ABOUT FEDHASA Established in 1949, the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa is now recognised by national government as the official representative association of South Africa’s hospitality industry. Through the support of the industry and its membership base, FEDHASA has come to be known as the umbrella association for hotels, restaurants, conference centres, home hosting establishments such as B&Bs and guesthouses, selfcatering accommodation, clubs, taverns, shebeens and all other suppliers and service providers to the hospitality industry. Under its slogan, ‘Your Hospitality Partner’, FEDHASA’s vision is to be “at the forefront of Southern African hospitality industry by influencing policy decision and direction by lobbying government and industry as the official, unified voice of the Southern African hospitality industry”. At the same time, it is working towards its core objective of “growing an inclusive hospitality industry by advocating, enhancing, and promoting the development and growth of a sustainable South African hospitality-trading environment”.

“ This is a growing sector and needs young minds to infuse new thinking and diversify the industry. The opportunities to grow are real and possible.”

and strengthening representation across the tourism industry and beyond, and to ensure an all-inclusive path to future growth. We also aim to engage stakeholders to pursue lower costs, and explore the diverse opportunities offered by the digital platforms. In addition, I will look to grow membership and increase youth participation as well,” she says. A MICE focus While Lee is upbeat about the prospects found within the business events space, she notes that there are some hurdles that need to be overcome.


“The MICE and business events sectors hold vast potential for our industry and we hope to see continued growth here; however, the industry currently faces a number of challenges. We have seen unattractive numbers in the accommodation sector recently – many regions are still recovering following severe droughts and this, coupled with the South African economy being under pressure, has had an impact on arrivals. That said, the new e-visa regime will bring changes in regulations that should assist the industry.” FEDHASA currently concentrates on a number of areas but the need to refocus the association as a policy advocate for the sector is key, says Lee, with sustainable

tourism being an important area of focus for FEDHASA. “We are implementing the Imvelo programme, which will strive to educate accommodation owners and reward responsible tourism initiatives, and ensure that our members are informed that we are implementing sustainable tourism plans. This is a growing sector and needs young minds to infuse new thinking and diversify the industry. The opportunities to grow are real and possible,” she says. On where she would like to see the industry, Lee believes that we are still far below our potential in attracting tourist numbers in South Africa. “I hope our integrated destination marketing strategy to key markets will achieve this and I am looking forward to being of service in this regard for many years to come,” she concludes.




What a DISH! A large emphasis is placed on the quality of food and catering at events – and to ensure only the smoothest of executions, this requires its own teams, budget and strategy. Meetings talks to chefs from some of the country’s top venues to understand how they endeavour to deliver nothing but the best.



oor catering at any function is absolutely unforgivable and can, quite literally, leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouths. As one of the largest, if not the single heaviest, cost considerations of bringing together an event, organisers and venues alike have to give a lot of thought to not just how their menus will be received but also to keeping to a budget that will please guests and won’t leave the client out of pocket. Catering for an event is not just about providing good food – stodgy, carb-heavy or rich meals, while delicious, can leave guests feeling overfull, drowsy and unable to focus on much following the meal, so careful consideration also needs to be given to how the food will affect people’s energy and comfort levels.

Time and money Catering comes with exceptionally high standards

and while good food isn’t difficult to make, there is massive margin for error in which a meal can go horribly wrong. And, as is often the case, turnaround times on bringing together menus are among just some of the challenges faced by chefs at venues. “We have very high expectations when it comes to the quality of the products that we use. This means that we sometimes have timeframe problems when we require products and suppliers are not able to do same-day deliveries, especially since Gallagher prides itself on delivering successful late arrangements,” highlights Chef Gordon Fraser from Gallagher Convention Centre Catering (GCCC). Hosting more than 350 events annually, Gallagher Convention


A meal isn’t just a meal, it’s an opportunity to make connections By Amanda Luppino-Esposito, author at Social Tables • G  et rid of the plated dinner and offer specialty food stations instead. It gets people moving around and talking and it’s usually lower cost. Make each of the specialty stations a different take on a theme (i.e. different food regions) for a conversation starter among guests. • O  ffer a make-your-own salad line with creative toppings. Most guests will appreciate the healthier options. • G  et interactive! Let guests get in on the action either through cooking demonstrations or ‘make your own’ bars. • Go retro. Nothing gets guests talking quite like nostalgia. • S erve meals family-style. By sharing a meal from a common platter, guests will be sure to start conversations with one another.

Centre has massive capacity across its 27 venue spaces, accommodating intimate meetings or up to 7 000 guests at a time. “It is difficult to ensure our high standards with short-notice bookings for functions when time is limited but we rise to the challenge!” says Victor Zindoga, executive chef at Emnotweni Casino.

Experiential eats The world of cuisine and gastronomy is one that is defined by both trends and traditions; where we tend to repeat what we know works well, while refining every meal on the menu to exacting standards. On the types of foods that are currently very popular, GCCC’s Chef Gordon notes that there have been a lot of requests for


festival-type food and menus that are themed to each event. “It is very heartening to see guests enjoy eventspecific, specially designed menus that enhance the look and feel of the event. We always try to do our best for clients based on their budgets and have become experts in writing menus to suit clients’ budgets while meeting the growing special dietary requirements of guests. There has been a definite trend towards offering more varied dietary options, as well as providing guests with an experience rather than just a refreshment,” he says. Emnotweni’s Chef Victor sees a similar trend, with healthier eating and flexitarianism (semivegetarian) standing out in particular. Coming up with new menus to follow a type of cuisine that’s trending and having to scale down what was learned as a trainee chef is a challenge that Chef Boldwin Barlow, executive chef at the Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands, is currently contending with. “Most people are not focused on the plating of food; they are more interested in the flavoursome rustic type of food that offers value for money and I am a strong believer in the new trend of bistro-styled cuisine,” he says.

A challenge to the industry “Convenience foods or fast food eating has had a significant impact on both the job skill set and customer palates. The old way of preparing food from scratch has been overtaken by ready-toeat foods. This means that chefs’ traditional culinary skills are only in demand in top catering establishments now.” Victor Zindoga, executive chef at Emnotweni Casino MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2019 •



When is boutique ‘boutique’?

Boutique hotels are intimate and feel personal – aspects larger hotels can never quite imitate. But what exactly are the fabulous details that make boutique hotels feel ‘boutique’?


hen one thinks of boutique hotels, intimacy and uniqueness certainly come to mind; however, at the core, the main difference between a regular hotel and a boutique hotel is that no two boutique hotels are alike, unlike traditional chain hotels. For the most part, boutique hotels are much smaller than regular hotels, and cannot accommodate as many people, but the focus of the boutique hotel is a lot more intimate. Boutiques can at times be part of a luxury hotel association or owned by a larger management company. Still, these destinations forgo the type of


accommodations one would associate with high-end hotels in favour of a hip, bespoke look and feel. About the history of boutique hotels, the Glion Institute of Higher Education says: “It started in the 1980s with some small hotels in the centre of big cities, like London and New York. The hoteliers who started this successful trend used to feature their boutique properties with stylish furniture, refused to affiliate to any chain, and tried to offer an intimate service to their ‘chic’ guests. Those brave entrepreneurs could not imagine at that time that they would have inspired hundreds

of competitors in the course of the next 30 years.” Some key characteristics listed by the institute include: • A boutique hotel is small. It should not have more than 100 rooms, because it has to offer a personal touch to every guest. • It is an independent hotel, or part of an ‘only-boutique’ chain. • It is located in the city centre or in a very trendy area, usually the main shopping one. • It features designer decor, with all the newest technological gadgets. • It feels part of the place where it is located; e.g. by offering local food.


#BeauTIQUE Size Boutique hotels are typically small, with 10 to 100 rooms. They are intimate in scale, creating the ambience of being a personal guest in a private home, rather than just a hotel occupant. They often have communal ‘living spaces’ where guests can interact. Original These properties tend to possess a distinctive vibe and never have the one-sizefits-all feel of being one in a group. They are often operated independently and are not affiliated with a major chain. That said, the largest independent boutique hotel operator in the world, the Kimpton Hotel brand, is owned by InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. They may also be independently owned, but belong to a luxury hotel association. Design The architecture and interior design of a boutique hotel are as unique as its operations, but always upscale and often combining historic details with chic elegance. The lines may be sleek and contemporary or quaint and homey – or even an artistic amalgamation. Boutique hotels convey a

progressively forward-looking style with fastidiously chosen décor. Guestrooms are individually decorated, and use upscale linens and exclusive amenities. Character Boutique hotels usually have an eccentric personality. They are fun and funky, trendy and offbeat. Their quirky sense of humour might be exhibited through creative guest offerings. Cuisine Like everything else about boutique hotels, their restaurants and bars tend to be hip, trendy and locally sourced. High-quality, authentic cuisine and comfortable cocktail atmospheres make these dining and drinking spots popular with locals as well as guests. Clientele The types of guests attracted to boutique hotels are as individual as the hotels themselves and tend to be just as hip. Guests – from millennials to boomers – who enjoy creative design, quirky character, and luxurious service will be right at home in boutique hotels.

Meetings’ top boutique hotel picks AtholPlace Hotel & Villa

Johannesburg AtholPlace Hotel & Villa is situated close to the bustling business district of Sandton, in the suburban neighbourhood of Athol. The venue is quiet and has nine exquisitely decorated suites on offer, as well as a cosy library and a relaxing outdoor area complete with a heated pool.

• A boutique hotel is not only rooms, it gathers people because it is trendy and cool to gather in its lobby, restaurant and bar. Do not be surprised if the restaurant chef is a famous one. They also tend to be hot spots for travellers and tourists because of their accessibility and their tendency to be culturally representative of the local area. According to USA Today, the concept of boutique hotels began in the 1980s with the opening of Morgans in New York City. Founders Ian Shrager and Steve Rubell, who coined the term ‘boutique hotel’, wanted to differentiate Morgans from big-box hotels, which they compared to department stores. The hoteliers sought to give guests more personalised service, such as they might expect to receive in a boutique clothing shop. Since then, more and more boutique hotels have sprung up all over the world. So how do you know boutique is actually boutique? In a blog post, US-based travel agency Covington Travel explains the ins and outs of boutique hotels:


THE DOCK HOUSE Boutique Hotel & Spa Cape Town The Dock House, in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, offers first-class accommodation in the Mother City. The hotel’s six en-suite rooms are all decorated in a Victorian theme combined with modern fittings and fixtures, and the main suite has access to a private garden.

Hartford House KwaZulu-Natal Hartford House is set on a working stud farm within the stunning KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and also houses an impressive spa facility. One of the highlights is the traditional Zulu dance troupe that performs on select evenings.




Crafty cuisine Stephen Mandes is the chef de cuisine at The Westin Cape Town. He talks to Meetings about what it takes to please patrons while still staying on top of his culinary game. How has the food and beverage industry changed over the past five years? Media has made the world so small. Therefore, it has become a lot more competitive and one has to stay on the ball. This has made for some very interesting new venues and trends popping up.

What are some of the current trends in the food and beverage industry?

A lot more sustainable and ethical means are being used when it comes to farming practices and sourcing produce, and this is the basis of many menus around Cape Town.

Pay attention to dietaries, if any, and always serve nutritious foods that stimulate the body and mind.

What would you identify as the primary mistake people make when catering for conferencing?

Operational equipment plays a big role in presentation. It does not have to be fancy, just a little different, or even quirky – the food needs to be colourful and appealing without having unnecessary garnishes.

Conferencing is a business meeting and these guys need to stay sharp.

How can one present ‘plain’ food in a way that appeals to delegates?

What is your favourite dish to make? I have a few favourites. Roosterbrood on the braai and I love making lasagne. I do love a good lamb shank and roasted pork belly, as well as anything on the braai, especially lamb knuckle curry.

What is your number one catering tip? Taste all your food, and always keep your kitchen spotless.

What is your favourite kitchen equipment or gadget?

I remember my mom telling me at the age of nine that she was in the mood for vetkoek and curried mince. She was happy to get me the ingredients and that’s the first thing I made. It became a staple in the Mandes house.

What is one ingredient you cannot cook without? Onions! And salt, of course.

When did you know you wanted to be a chef? At around 16, my dad had said that I needed to think ahead as to what I wanted to study. It was an easy decision.

What is the proudest moment in your career as a chef? Being part of the youngest team to have won Ultimate Braai Master in 2014.

Who in the food world do you most admire? Ferran Adria, Alex Atala, Grant Achatz, Heston Blumenthal, Dan Barber – to name a few.

The Thermomix.

What are your favourite foods to cook with?

What dish are you asked to make most often?

Onion, chilli, garlic and ginger, and anything that needs a slow roast or braise.

I’m asked quite often to braai.

About Stephen The Westin Cape Town appointed Stephen as its chef de cuisine from 1 January 2018. He heads up the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Westin Club, having previously worked in the kitchens of the Mount Nelson Hotel, the Cape Grace and Restaurant Jardine. Stephen has a qualification in culinary arts and was the 2014 winner of Ultimate Braai Master. In his role at The Westin Cape Town, Stephen is responsible for quality control within the kitchens at Westin Club as well as designing creative menus to tantalise the taste buds of guests. He also oversees Thirty7 ShowKitchen on the ground floor.


Are there any foods you just don’t like? Not a fan of canned fruits… or anything canned, really.

Did you eat your veggies as a child? All the time. I love veggies.

What is your favourite food memory?

What do you think is the most challenging ingredient to work with? Chocolate.

What’s your ‘death row’ meal? Scallops with peas and pancetta, followed by wagyu rib-eye with foie gras goose-fat potatoes and cauliflower gratin, and a chocolate fondant to finish it all off!



SHAPING THE TIMES Eddie Bunting, owner and founder of Drums and Rhythm, gets personal with Meetings magazine.

What is your view of the events industry at the moment? As a business owner, I can see how the current state of the economy has meant that spending is down, which is encouraging the events industry to focus on providing more meaningful engagements on tighter budgets.

What role do you feel you play in the events industry? Investing in our people and our existing teams’ strengths is very much at the heart of what Drums and Rhythm does – we inspire experiences to nurture and reinforce these strengths within the individual and enhance synergy among groups.

What do you enjoy most about your work at Drums and Rhythm? Sharing my passion and purpose.

What have been some of your career highlights? We are the pioneers of South Africa’s drumming fraternity and, for me personally, being part of the major transformation in South Africa that has and is still taking place over the many years


Drums and Rhythm has been in business is nothing short of inspirational.

What has been your most memorable event? It’s very difficult to say… Performing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony was incredible. We also coordinated, produced and recorded the closing ceremony of the 2009 Confederations Cup in collaboration with Lebo M.

Why should organisers use Drums and Rhythm as their go-to? We have seen how successful our offering is with people from all walks of life – having been in business for more than 25 years, we can tailor performances and acts to set the tone for any sized audience or group, for any event.

What is your top entertainment tip? Choose the correct entertainment or themes and genres for your event, with entertainers who have good references and a solid track record in the industry.

What quote best describes you? “For as I think in my heart, so I am.”

A dish that was cooked using a whole goat – fur, hooves and all – in Ghana.

What is your guilty pleasure? A good craft beer, and being outdoors and at one with myself.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know. Despite my social, outgoing personality – I really enjoy quiet time with my family and I am drawn to nature where I can best express my relationship with God.

What’s your superpower? My deep sense of empathy along with my understanding of what makes us all human.

If you could speak any language, what would it be? In our multifaceted and diverse culture, it would have to be Zulu.

Who would be your ultimate dinner guest?

What is your favourite holiday spot? The Transkei.

What is a song that inspires you? ‘Consider Me’ by Prime Circle.

What is the strangest request you have had from a client? Fortunately, because of how we work, most of the planning for our performances and programmes is done with the client, so it’s easier to manage expectations from the onset.

What’s your most prized possession? My motorbike.

What do you do in your spare time? Riding my bike or going hiking outdoors.

Bruce Willis.

How would your obituary read?

Speaking of food, what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

“Here lies a man who achieved purpose and took every opportunity to live life to the fullest, wearing his heart on his sleeve.”




Incorporating a bit of activity into your event activations could make for a substantially more meaningful impact. Meetings explores the ways and means to invigorate your audiences.

Active Activation #1



Disco divas

Raring to go

Just kidding…

An easy one… People respond very well to music and dancing, and it is an instant scene and mood setter. If you are hosting a gala function, make sure there is a dance floor and prepare to be amazed at who decides to get up there and bust a move! Make sure your music is to the taste of an audience that is varied enough for most people to enjoy and incorporate a dance-off with a prize for the winner. The act of dancing together and having fun will also bring your guests closer socially.

People are paying closer attention to their fitness levels and leading healthier lifestyles. For this reason, endurance races and fun runs are growing in popularity for corporate activations. Your target audience would need to be carefully researched, as not everyone is at the same fitness level, but it might also encourage healthier attitudes within these groups as well. This sort of event is ideal for branding, team building and social media engagement in particular.

From trampolines and jumping castles to slides and zip lines, don’t limit the fun stuff to the kids. Have an outdoor day at a theme park, where your guests can ‘play’ in-between all the formalities. Again, understanding your audience is key here and you might be hard pressed getting a bunch of executives in suits to lose their inhibitions long enough to get on a trampoline but the idea is to get your audience to have fun.




Very puzzling

Quiz night

Virtual reality

For something a little more subdued but still mentally stimulating, have a puzzle challenge where your audience is broken up into teams and then has a certain time in which to work out a puzzle. There are so many options available for how you could design these sessions and you can make them really interactive with props or by getting members to act out solutions. These are especially constructive if you are looking to garner feedback on how cohesive your teams are.

Quiz nights (or days) are an excellent means for your audience members to show off their general knowledge skills and you would be surprised at how competitive this event format can make audiences! Mix teams from different sectors/industries and departments so that you have a good blend, and so that people can meet new individuals who they may not immediately choose to interact with outside of their existing bubbles.

Growth of all things digital has opened up a world of possibilities and a trend that is expected to continue to grow will be centred on what virtual reality can bring to an event – it might mean audiences can attend a live event in VR, or allow us to hold an entire event that has been created with a spec that is to their liking, down to the very last detail. The greatest differentiator with VR is that people really can be in two places at once.




INDUSTRY views Convention centre contributions

Dear valued member How can convention centres contribute to member value within associations, asks Julianne Jammers.


JULIANNE JAMMERS is the managing director of SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.

t the heart of associations’ value proposition is networking and professional development. It is the benefits of these two aspects that are often the strength of its membership. Meetings have long been the delivery method for these interactions. To some extent, the internet has disrupted this by providing an alternative method of accessing these features through webinars, open online courses and networking platforms. Arguably, it has also provided a solution to address some environmental concerns, and the cost and hassle of travel. But no matter how good technology is or gets, physical meetings still matter. While conferences remain a pillar of the association business, the reality is that they need new and innovative ways to deliver bottom-line value in their meetings, and they have to be more creative than ever before in how they do that. At the SwissTech Convention Center, we offer a creative approach in acting as a partner in the growth and development of associations – not just as a venue. We collaborate closely with associations to provide an educational environment, develop new contacts and deliver an overall unique member experience.

Unique value for associations Many would argue that the role of a convention centre is to provide excellence in facility and conference management, and to ensure that their destination is top of mind. At the university-based SwissTech Convention Center, on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, we have developed our unique sales proposition beyond just these arguably critical elements. We play an active role in providing access to knowledge and talent to associations in relevant fields. With over 350 laboratories and research groups on campus, the EPFL (École polytechnique


fédérale de Lausanne) is one of the world’s most innovative and productive scientific institutions. Dozens of startups and multinationals on campus and in the area complement the university environment and the convention centre is an exceptional place to meet and exchange ideas. On the one hand, we actively identify relevant associations that can benefit from closer cooperation with the experts located on our campus in the development of their programmes. Complementing this is our active outreach to our professors, who are members of numerous associations, which allows us to help make likely matches with the aim of creating meetings that have unique and lasting value. Integrating students of all levels, from bachelor to doctoral programmes, into the meetings, both as a resource for delivery but also as participants, provides associations with access to their future members. Alliances that support convention centres can make a difference for associations in their quest to identify appropriate venues that can offer additional value. The SwissTech recently became a member of the Energy Cities Alliance – a select group of destinations with significant energy economies, with the intent to attract energyrelated association meetings. While our destination is not considered an energy city, thanks to our location on the EPFL campus, we are a knowledge and research partner and can offer associations access to the expertise in both traditional energy solutions and sustainable energy, which is a strong offering on the EPFL campus. Convention centres can play an important role in bringing more value to associations by looking at what they and their communities can offer beyond majestic locations, creating a win-win for all of their stakeholders.



dAeLsKtIina T N G tPi o On I N TS

INDUSTRY views Running events with safety and security in mind

Think safety, work safely There is a reason why the events industry has to comply with strict safety and security guidelines, writes Leatitia van Straten.

W LEATITIA VAN STRATEN is the chairperson for the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO).

INDUSTRY views If not now, then when?

e work in a highly specialised field, under enormous time pressures and not always under ideal circumstances – and we work with large volumes of people, which brings with it new risks to our day-to-day planning. As onerous as safety guidelines are for everyone to comply with, there is no doubt that the measures in place help prevent accidents and injuries. From personal protective equipment to on-site paramedics, and rigorous planning and safety files, no effort is spared to keep everyone on-site safe. The security measures in place are just as important to keep everyone on-site safe. It is especially important to have excellent security measures in place – from the parking area to the loading bays and across the exhibition venue. With South Africa’s high crime rate in mind, it is partially to avoid theft, as there are several syndicates operating

in our industry who are looking for an ‘easy take’. But it is also to protect our event attendees during unplanned protests or from aggressive or intoxicated participants, and assist in emergency situations such as power outages or fire. Although the risks associated with these possibilities are relatively low, it is important for organisers to work with their contractors as well as the venue to develop a comprehensive safety and security plan to mitigate these risks.

It’s never too late to start We’re half way through the year, which means you can still make 2019 the year you begin your sustainability journey. And there are many ways to do this, says Neo Mohlatlole.


ith six months left in 2019, there is still time for you to make this the year that you set and achieve some sustainability goals. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started.

NEO MOHLATLOLE is an EGF vice chairperson and head of the EGF Marketing Committee.

It is especially important to have excellent security measures in place – from the parking area to the loading bays and across the exhibition venue

Join the Event Greening Forum (EGF): As an EGF member, you will be able to use our logo on your marketing materials, and will receive a complimentary membership listing on our website and a Platinum listing on our Green Database. All members also receive discounts to attend our events – such as our Conference and Master Class. Which brings me to my next point... Register to attend our half-day Master Class and one-day Conference on 10 and 11 July, respectively. Both events require a minimal time commitment from you, but promise to deliver maximum value. The interactive design for both days will create opportunities for you to voice your questions and concerns, while the


speakers have been briefed to share practical and realistic tips and advice that you can start incorporating into your work immediately. Download our Minimum Standards for Sustainable Events from the Resources tab on our website. These standards are free to download, and are a great starting point to unpack what goes into creating a sustainable event. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter (and read it!), so that you are kept up to date on the latest industry sustainability news, as well as other EGF educational or networking events.

Visit www.eventgreening.co.za for more information, to subscribe to our newsletter or to get in touch.



INDUSTRY views SAACI builds on positive gains

A win for all Rudi van der Vyver highlights some of SAACI’s most recent achievements and tips his hat to all its members.


ooking back at my time with SAACI, it has been a true honour and privilege to lead the association looking after the best, most exciting and probably one of the most influential industries of all. The local business events industry is truly a family business, and I say so being privileged enough to see the success stories and interactions of all who operate within our industry. We have made tremendous strides in uplifting the African business events market. Events are, by their nature, designed to bring people together and our achievements are a testament to how we have embraced the concept of collaboration.

A bright future As an association, we have been able to make big changes and positively affect so many, not only those directly in

INDUSTRY views Travelbags reflects on its achievements

Passing on the baton Michelle Hinrichsen takes stock of Travelbags’ accomplishments over the past year and looks to the future of the club.


Michelle Hinrichsen is the current president of Travelbags.


our industry but also those looking to start a career and better themselves, and in so doing also adding value back into their communities – I firmly believe that we have lived our strategy over the last two and a half years, having embraced learning, growth and collaboration as our strategic drivers. Our image internationally has never been this strong and this is something our members can be very proud of, as this provides all with a stamp of credibility. Our partnerships are flourishing into benefits for our members and our industry; although there is always work left to be done, we are moving at a new-found speed. As we look forward to driving true professionalism across the events industry, I am very excited to see how SAACI will continue to uplift all those who operate within the industry.

ravelbags is the Women’s Travel Club of South Africa. We turned 60 years old in 2018 and, as the current president, I have had a rather reflective year thinking about my predecessors and the positive strides they made for the travel industry as a whole. In the 1950s, a group of strong and ambitious women came together to start a ladies club that made tremendous inroads for women in the travel trade, at a time when women were still seen to be second to men in the working world. Over the years, ambitious women have worked hard with the Travelbags club, giving of their time and their professional knowledge, voluntarily, all in the efforts to offer a platform for women to network, connect and build themselves in the working world, while at the same time offer a platform to raise funds monthly for charity. Times are thankfully different now; the club itself has also evolved and is more inclusive, having a membership that also includes men and celebrates these members professionally. The committee has also evolved with the

In the 1950s, a group of strong and ambitious women came together to start a ladies club that made tremendous inroads for women in the travel trade times but has always kept the main ethos of the Travelbags club in mind, and that is welfare and networking. For me, personally, as well as for the committee, our main aim is to continue to be ambitious ‘Wonder Women’ of the travel trade. We want to continue to grow the club and help it to be adaptable but always uphold and respect the original ethos of this club. And when the time is right, we will pass the baton on to the next generation of Wonder Women in travel who will do the same.




Female friend or foe In the lead up to Women’s Month, Miss Meet will shock you with why nearly threequarters of women are still not getting ahead.



consistently plagued

This step determines how

female professionals,

women choose their materials

based on the startling statistics

to build their professional identities and,

of women-bullying-women in the

ultimately, how they will engage with their colleagues

workplace, we appear to be our own worst enemies in

and clients, and in particular other women within their

ensuring we get ahead.

respective environments.


n alarming statistic I came across recently is


Interestingly, social conditioning and previously held

that up to 70% of women in the workplace

Being ‘painted’ as a bully may be very difficult to come

ideals such as the perception that women form part

feel bullied by other women; a pressing

back from. When a bully is revealed, it can result in

of a sisterhood, or that there are limited positions

issue I feel we need to focus on following a major

colleagues, companies and clients all experiencing

available to women, seem to form the basis from

drive towards gender equality – not just within our

backlash but a decline during this identity-building

where the need to short-change each other stems,

industry but across the length and breadth of the

stage of ‘peeling’ is necessary to progress on to the

and this has become a silent scourge that is stifling

world. And with mentorship and support of our

next phase.

our productivity.

historically overlooked female contingent being so


close to my heart, I feel this is a matter that needs

This is where women, the companies they work

eat-dog archetype, it is key we recognise that, often,

some serious attention.

for, and the societies to which they belong need

it is we – and not the companies who hire us or even

to take the time to understand and contextualise

society – who play a role in how we progress and the

Workplace, a chapter put together by a team from

negative behaviour. This will then enable them to work

degree to which this happens.

the University of New Mexico and UNC Kenan-Flagler

out negative traits such as aggression and unfair

Business School, focuses on the women-bullying-

persecution over time.


In the book Gender and the Dysfunctional



In order to transcend beyond this destructive dog-

With a focus on shifting into an era adopting more relevant and applicable mindsets for our modern

women phenomenon. How this process unfolds

work environments, we have the power to influence

follows what is referred to as priming, painting,

Female feminist

a positive and collaborative environment in which

peeling and polishing, and it looks a little like this:

While issues such as the gender pay gap have

inclusivity can thrive and real growth is achieved.

“Women bullying women generates perceptions of incompetence. If, out of the fear of being perceived incompetent, women develop a ‘take-no-prisoners’ professional identity, over time, others begin to see these women as interpersonally incompetent, regardless of their technical competence. When women use bullying as a way of interacting with other women, they become complicit in reproducing systems that oppress women, further marginalising themselves and other females.”

Gender and the Dysfunctional Workplace

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Meetings July August 2019  

Meetings magazine, the voice of the MICE and business tourism sectors, is thrilled to announce its July-August edition is now available.

Meetings July August 2019  

Meetings magazine, the voice of the MICE and business tourism sectors, is thrilled to announce its July-August edition is now available.

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