JULY/AUGUST 2018 • Issue 80
in MICE Leading ladies from across the MICE industry
Make sure your event makes sense for your delegates
s r a e y
In the lead-up to Women’s Month, Sandton Convention Centre pays tribute to its women by showcasing the contribution they make to the success of the business. The Empowered Women of Sandton Convention Centre
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the cover STORY ape Town C International Convention Centre celebrates 15 years of doing business. We take a look at the centre's amazing achievements over the years.
The big interview
Women in MICE
This Women’s Month, Sandton Convention Centre pays tribute to its women by showcasing the contribution they make to the success of the business.
Welcome to the Top 40 Women in MICE for 2018. This year’s process has been very well received and sees some of the awards’ most worthy winners yet!
2018 Top Forty
Tour in South Africa (TiSA)
For more, turn to page 6
For more, turn to page 4
Tour in South Africa (TiSA) is a newly formed travel company based in Pretoria, offering various tours throughout South Africa.
+27 (0)82 579 5646
Tour in South Africa
47 AAXO Carol Weaving writes on how the mighty
17 Parrot Products is bringing the boardroom into the future with its range of LED touchscreens.
18 J EC The ladies at the JEC are doing a fantastic
FOCUS ON 09 Top 40 Women in MICE Another year down and we are in our fifth instalment celebrating the Top 40 Women in MICE Awards.
DESTINATION 34 Bleisurely bliss Meetings explores the unassuming Free State province to reveal what makes this an ideal destination to host your next conference.
BEST PRACTICE 22 Event tech Gavin Burgess tells us why, as a PCO whose most valuable and finite resource is time, you should consider hiring an events technology consultant.
32 Putting magic into your events Ilan Smith looks at how magic and illusion can be an effective tool to visually inspire, and generate interest in your product, brand or message.
37 How to delegate While high attendance certainly is a healthy indicator of the success, outlining some simple points to consider in terms of your audience reach will help define who attends your event and why.
For more, turn to page 9
We also do group transfers, transport to and from big events, single weekend breakaways, golf tours etc.
job of juggling their very many tasks. They give us some insights into how it’s done.
23 Unique Speaker Bureau is proud to announce Mummy Mthembu-Fawkes as the latest addition to its family.
26 The Westin Hotel in Cape Town believes its business as usual in the face of severe drought, and is on a mission to make sure it spreads the good word.
38 Jumping the broom A great venue is central to the success of your nuptials, and finding the ideal spot is no easy feat.
40 Y ear in, year out, year end More than halfway through the year, event organisers, venues and service providers are starting to plan for yearend functions. Make sure your year-end event sets the bar.
women in MICE are driving the sector to new heights.
47 Travelbags Women in MICE are growing every year and rocking the industry.
REGULARS 03 E d’s letter Welcome, Power Women 08 Tidbits Meetings’ must-know minutia 43 Sound bite Trevor Boyd, executive chef at the esteemed Michelangelo Hotel, has had a colourful culinary career. His craft is a source of great pride for him.
44 2 0 Questions Monika Jacobs is a conference specialist at Toadbury Hall Country Hotel. We get to know her better with some revealing personal insights.
48 Miss Meet loves the events industry and all it has to offer. She talks topics, content and event formats.
TECH CORNER 24 The top 3 event app mistakes Karmen Vladar
45 A IPC How meetings create forums for people to exchange knowledge and support the advancement of business and industry professionals.
looks at the three biggest event app sins and offers advice on how to avoid committing them.
46 SAACI A renewed focus on growing the business events industry through education and learning aimed at creating growth and sustainability in the industry.
46 EGF The Event Greening Forum implemented a number of sustainable event practices at its recent Master Class and Conference.
TROPHIES - AWARDS - MEDALS +27(0) 12 327 5885 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.khojagroup.net | www.khojagroup.co.za
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ed’s letter Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Managing Editor Shanna Jacobsen (firstname.lastname@example.org) Digital Editor Mpinane Senkhane Journalist Pippa Naude Chief Sub-Editor Tristan Snijders Sub-Editor Morgan Carter Head of design Beren Bauermeister Design Ramon Chinian Contributors Gavin Burgess, Rod Cameron,
Michelle Hinrichsen, Ilan Smith, Rudi van der Vyver, Zoe van Niekerk, Karmen Vladar, Carol Weaving Client Services & Production Manager
Financial Manager Andrew Lobban Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina Distribution Coordinator Asha Pursotham Advertising
Vanessa De Waal +27 (0)84 805 6752 | email@example.com published by 150 Rivonia Road, Morningside, Gauteng PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/75 www.3smedia.co.za Meetings July/August 2018 © Copyright. All rights reserved 2018. www.theplanner.guru subscription R330.00 per annum (incl. VAT) | firstname.lastname@example.org 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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Welcome, Power Women T
o each and every single person reading this edition of Meetings, welcome to our power women issue! There’s no denying that putting together the Top 40 Women in MICE Awards for 2018 has been a daunting, yet thoroughly rewarding, task. But what I hadn’t quite expected when I put together this particular edition is how deeply moving many of the entries would be. The calibre of individuals contained within these 48 pages is simply phenomenal and extends not just to our Top 40 Women in MICE (page 9) but to all women across the MICE industry. The MICE industry is of exceptional importance to the South African economy, contributing some R115 billion annually to our GDP, and women are huge contributors in this regard. Some of our winners have upward of 30 years’ experience working in the MICE industry, yet – even more impressively – still have boundless heart and passion. Indeed, ‘passion’ is a word you will come across often throughout our Top 40 Women in MICE profiles and perfectly describes the way in which our wonder women approach their jobs. These are the women who you nominated and who our judges selected to represent the industry. These are the women who are leaders in their own right – women who should inspire us all to strive for greater excellence in what we do. As a tribute to all of our wonderful Top 40 Women in MICE, we have endeavoured to ensure that this magazine edition speaks to the very same excellence that each of these ladies aspire to. In addition to this issue of
Meetings being filled to the brim with inspiring women, read about how to ensure your year-end function is on point – from the venue to all the bells and whistles (turn to page 40). We also visit the Free State and unpack options for hosting meetings and events within the vast province. To top it off, master illusionist and mentalist Ilan Smith (see page 32) provides some advice on how to incorporate an informative aspect into your entertainment to make a long-lasting impression on your guests. Finally, from one woman to another, I would like to thank my predecessor, Mpinane Senkhane, for her fantastic work on the previous editions of Meetings and for ushering me into the role of managing editor. I look forward to leading the team into a new era!
FOC co vU er S s O tNo r y
Cape Town International Convention Centre turns 15. We look at their achievements.
15 Big wins O
n 28 June, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) marked its 15th year of operation. “Cape Town has been continuously ranked the number one destination for international conferences in Africa in recent years and this success did not come overnight. It is the culmination of 15 years of consistent hard work, progressive thinking and innovation to make sure that the world’s greatest events and minds choose Cape Town as the place where they share and exchange knowledge. “The success of the CTICC comes on the back of constant efforts to make progress possible. This indeed mirrors the City’s efforts to let the world know that we are open for business as a forward-looking, globally competitive business destination,” notes Patricia de Lille, executive mayor of the City of Cape Town. The City has invested R550 million in the development of the second phase of the CTICC, known as CTICC 2.
Before the opening of the CTICC, there was no dedicated international convention centre that could play host to large-scale, international gatherings, including international academic, scientific and business conventions that could bring visitors, knowledge and investment into Cape Town. “Each year, the CTICC contributes billions of rands to the national GDP; but more importantly, it contributes to poverty alleviation by providing much needed jobs. It is for this reason that the City, as the majority shareholder, invested into the construction of CTICC 2 as a sign of our confidence in the CTICC’s future,” says De Lille.
An economic contributor
The CTICC has played a major role in job creation, boosting the economy, business tourism and knowledge sharing, and has had a direct impact on the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions sectors through the events it has hosted. “The CTICC has established itself as a leader in its field not only in Cape Town and South Africa, but in Africa and, indeed, the world. The contribution the centre has made to the local and national economies, Julie-May including the number of direct and Ellingson, CEO indirect employment opportunities that at the CTICC have been created since our opening, has had a positive impact on our city and country,” says Julie-May Ellingson, CEO at the CTICC. “The centre has been a key driver of the region’s knowledge economy and provides the perfect platform for investment and shared ideas. Over the last 15 years, the CTICC has
remained committed to not only maintaining and increasing our economic footprint but also developing its staff as leaders in their fields, through training and development programmes. We further assist local community organisations, to which we pledge long-term support, and continuously introduce creative and innovating initiatives to decrease our carbon footprint,” says Julie-May. “The strategic approach we have taken as a company shows in our results, and in the opening of our new building, CTICC 2. We are positive that the new edition to Cape Town’s Foreshore can only bolster the economy, create more jobs and bring in even higher numbers of business tourists,” Julie-May adds.
What the future holds The CTICC continues to build on its foundation and, with the opening of CTICC 2, the centre is looking forward to enhancing the city’s economy, as it is now able to host concurrent events across the two buildings. “Congratulations to the CTICC on its 15th anniversary. The centre has played an important role in developing the tourism and events economy of Cape Town and the Western Cape since its inception and has been responsible for the creation of thousands of jobs. With the addition of CTICC 2, we expect to see this economic impact magnified in years to come,” said Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Development. Looking forward, the CTICC has secured some notable international events: the World Congress of Internal Medicine 2018, which
On its 15th birthday, the CTICC reflects on its success and contribution to the industry with some facts you may not know. In the last 15 years since inception, the CTICC has:
takes place in October and will bring 6 000 delegates to the Centre; the 18th International Congress of Endocrinology, which happens in December 2018 and expects 5 500 delegate attendees; the World Ophthalmology Congress takes place in June 2020 and will see 15 000 experts descend on the CTICC; the International Congress of Human Genetics will be hosted in May 2021 and will host 7 000 delegates; and the 18th International Congress on Immunology, which takes place in August 2022 and will host 6 000 visitors.
CTICC lauded Hlompho Ntoi, board chairperson at the CTICC, commends the CTICC on its contribution and its reputation for service excellence. “This year, we celebrate the 15th year of the CTICC’s existence. At its founding, the centre was intended to cement the reputation of Cape Town as the continent’s leading business tourism destination. The CTICC has achieved this goal and surpassed many of its stakeholders’ expectations at the time of its establishment. The centre has, since its opening, made significant financial and economic development contributions to Cape Town, the Western Cape and the country as a whole,” says Ntoi. “On behalf of the board, I would like to express how privileged we are to be entrusted with the guardianship of this national treasure, and we look forward to the CTICC having a further positive impact in the future, due to the new capacity that has been brought on board by the recently opened CTICC 2. I commend Julie-May and her team on their exemplary management
of the facility and their oversight of the recent expansion. The high-calibre team puts the CTICC in a strong position to capitalise on the growth opportunities made possible by the expansion,” he said. The second phase of CTICC 2 is currently under way. This will include the construction of a sky bridge connecting CTICC 1 and CTICC 2, which will enhance the flow of foot traffic and allow the centre to run events seamlessly across the two buildings. “The CTICC is moving into a new and exciting phase of its development. With the opening of CTICC 2, we can only contribute positively to the city, country and continent,” says Ellingson.
1. Hosted almost 7 000 events 2. Contributed over R36 billion to the South Africa GDP 3. Contributed more than R32 billion to the Western Cape GGP 4. Created 107 293 direct and indirect jobs 5. Welcomed an estimated 8 million people through its doors 6. Been a profitable and selfsustaining business 7. Provided local community partners with venue sponsorship worth R5 million 8. Trained permanent and temporary staff to the value of over R10 million 9. Achieved an average BBBEE spend of R2.4 billion 10. Procured from small-, medium- and micro-sized enterprises to the amount of R994 million 11. Achieved a total number of over 16 million visitor days 12. Hosted 557 international events 13. Played host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup final draw 14. Hosted the largest number of delegates in SA – 12 300 delegates during the 19th World Diabetes Congress 15. Won the bid to host its biggest international conference, the World Ophthalmology Conference in 2022, with 15 000 delegates expected to attend
T: +27 (0)21 410 5000 E: email@example.com F: +27 (0) 21 410 5001
Facebook @CTICC Twitter @CTICC_Official Instagram @official_cticc LinkedIn Cape Town International Convention Centre
MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018 •
B I G I N TERV I E W
S a n d t on C on v e n t ion C e n t r e
PAYS TRIBUTE Great strides have been made since 1994 to improve the status of women in South Africa, and Sandton Convention Centre is proud to have many empowered women on staff. This Women’s Month, Sandton Convention Centre pays tribute to women by showcasing the contribution they make to the success of their business. Theodorah Monyane Internal Sales Coordinator Describe your dayto-day role? I service all sales enquiries and ensure they are solved. Another key function is to identify and develop a database of potential and existing clients in line with the target markets our sales team would like to reach within the corporate, government and exhibition sectors. I am responsible for developing a strategy to convert enquiries into bookings. Part of my function is understanding customer needs and challenges and identifying ways in which we can assist clients in meeting their objectives. I must ensure proper handover of all projects to the events business unit and maintain relationships with clients after the events. What is the most challenging aspect of your position? Time – sometimes, there are just not enough hours in a day to do everything I would like to! What is the most rewarding part of what you do? Seeing Sandton Convention Centre’s clients happy because we have met and exceeded their expectations. How do you strive for the elusive work-life balance? I have found that going to gym first thing in the morning makes me feel happy and motivated. It is a great start to the day and keeps me focused and energised throughout the day.
What is your mantra to keep yourself going? Work hard in silence and let your success be your noise.
Selmarie Olivier Accountant Describe your day-to-day role? My role changes as the day goes on and I wear many hats throughout the day… I am a mother, accountant, colleague, friend and wife. My role as accountant at the Sandton Convention Centre starts with emails, banking, checking files, revenue and invoice verification. Each day and function brings different challenges but one thing never changes – with the variety of events we host at Sandton Convention Centre, there is always excitement in the air. What is the most challenging aspect of your position? In finance, everything is based on deadlines. Balancing workload, deadlines, responsibilities, family and friends is definitely a challenge. What is the most rewarding part of what you do? Having a month end that runs smoothly, exceeding targets and getting feedback from our clients who are thrilled with our service. How do you strive for the elusive worklife balance? Prioritise! When you are at work, you work. And when you are home, you are fully present and enjoy your time off. Time is valuable and making the most of every moment is important.
to ensure that all the clients’ requirements and specifications are met and exceeded. I need to ensure that all physical set-ups are 100% in accordance with client specs and also ensure that the actual event is seamless, which is Melissa Pretorius inclusive but not limited to food delivery and Events Coordinator service of food and beverage. What is the most challenging aspect Describe your day-to-day role? of your position? I am in daily contact Constraints that are out of my control. with Sandton Convention What is the most rewarding part of Centre’s clients who what you do? have booked their A happy client. It is very rewarding to work with functions with us. I work closely with them a client on a week-long conference or a large to establish what their needs are banqueting-style dinner and alleviating and make their vision a reality. By any concerns or worries they have gathering information from my then delivering a seamless event clients and then formulating for them. It is rewarding when In SA, every 9 August it into a workable document, I you hear that they are satisfied is National help the teams in operations, and that their expectations have Women's day the kitchen and various suppliers been exceeded. make the event happen as per the How do you strive for the elusive client’s expectations. work-life balance? What is the most challenging aspect of It can be difficult; as a mom, my work is not your position? always understood by my toddler. He is too Sometimes, I am faced with challenges in young to understand why I cannot put him to terms of last-minute changes or additions bed every night. It is important to make time to an event – I do my absolute best to make for family though, so if I miss one thing, I try these changes for the client. It can be a bit of a to make it up in a different way. Working long juggling act dealing with a lot of bookings over hours is the norm in our industry but, with the same period. passion, it is manageable. I realised that I work What is the most rewarding part hard for the good of my family and I needed to of what you do? find a balance by making provision for work life When you know that you, together with the in my home life and family life in my work life. client and the teams on the floor and behind the What is your mantra to keep scenes, have pulled off another great event and yourself going? the vision that was there became reality. I have so many, but one that keeps me going on How do you strive for the elusive a personal as well as a career level is “I succeed work-life balance? because the fire inside of me burned brighter For me, it is very important that work stays at than the fire around me”. This is vital when I feel work so that when I get home, I really switch off like I am not winning, it makes me realise that completely to focus on my family. Life is short everything that is in my control can be 100% and too beautiful to miss out on. perfect with the right attitude! What is your mantra to keep yourself going? I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. What is your mantra to keep yourself going? Dream big. Live simply. Give love. Laugh lots. Be grateful.
Kelli Mthembu Operations Manager Describe your day-to-day role? My core responsibility is to ensure guest satisfaction. Once the event has been handed over to the operations department, it is our responsibility
+27 (0)11 779 0000 sandtonconventioncentre.com Twitter @SandtonEvents Facebook @SandtonConventionCentre
Sandton Convention Centre
• Sandton Convention Centre is located in the heart of Sandton’s hotel, business and entertainment district. The centre offers easy access to more than 5 000 hotel rooms (ranging from economy to deluxe), and is adjacent to some of the country’s premium shopping and entertainment complexes (Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square), which provide over 10 000 secure parking bays between them.
• Sandton Convention Centre offers unlimited potential with over 22 000 m² of state-ofthe-art meeting, exhibition and special event space. Purpose built to international standards, the convention centre is able to host meetings, conferences, exhibitions and special events of virtually any size and nature. It offers some of the most advanced technology available for convention and exhibition centres anywhere in the world. Multiple events can be staged simultaneously on four main levels, and 10 000 visitors can be accommodated at any one time. A highly trained staff complement is on hand to provide support services.
• Its central position in Sandton provides easy access to Johannesburg International Airport, the Gautrain Sandton station, the Sandton CBD, major hotels and shopping centres. Sandton Convention Centre was developed and is managed by Tsogo Sun, the leading hotels, gaming and entertainment company in South Africa, providing a vast variety of hospitality and exciting entertainment and leisure experiences. Combining an established heritage with a professional and energised approach, the group proudly encompasses 14 casinos and over 90 hotels in South Africa, Africa, Abu Dhabi and Seychelles.
MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018 •
Meetings’ must-know minutia
Cool trends shared at MADEX 2018!
specials to warm you up
Gallagher Convention Centre is offering special conference packages to warm clients and their budgets this winter. The special promotional packages are designed for training groups and full- or half-day conferences. The facilities at Gallagher Convention Centre can cater for between 2 and 7 000 delegates in your choice of 27 multipurpose venues. Five executive boardrooms, ideal for training groups of up to 60 delegates, are on offer. Boardroom 5 is a dedicated video conferencing facility and can accommodate up to 10 guests. Gallagher Convention Centre caters for a variety of conferences, and also offers clients the option of a half-day conference package inclusive of lunch. Specially priced and formulated for your convenience, the promotional DDP packages are valid for June and July 2018. The special training package is valid until the end of March 2019.
Leatitia van Straten named new AAXO Chair! Marketing expert Leatitia van Straten has been elected as the new chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO), replacing Carol Weaving, who has headed the association since its inception in 2015. Laetitia, who has served as marketing director at Terrapinn and is now marketing director of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, has sat on the board of directors since inception. She has been listed on the International Who’s Who multiple times as an expert in her field, and has been recognised as one of the Top 40 Women in MICE. “I have big shoes to fill, as Carol has done an amazing job in getting the association on its feet over the past three years,” says Laetitia. She notes that AAXO is growing well and delivering on its original goals of conducting thorough industry research, growing its pan-African representation and serving as both a voice of the exhibition industry and a barometer of its standards.”
Going green is one of the major trends that marketers are seeing in the retail space, and part of a changing marketing landscape. This is according to Chantelle Booysen-Fourie, portfolio manager: Communications, Events and Strategic Partnerships at the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA). Booysen-Fourie was speaking on the opening day of Madex and Markex 2018, co-located at Sandton Convention Centre on 5 and 6 June. She was presenting on ‘2018 explosive marketing trends: goals poised for greater heights’. She said, “We need to keep abreast of trends because, as marketers, we must know in advance what to cater for. Right now, we are working in a changing marketing landscape that is affected by such factors as political, economic, technological, legal and environmental issues that must be taken into account.”
3 mistakes preventing social media take-off
The first mistake on many unsuccessful campaigns is starting without a clear plan or expectations. If you don’t know what you are aiming for or what results are reasonable to expect, you won’t be able to achieve it or assess your results with an objective eye.
Poor time investment
Jessica Stewart, CEO of The Event Planner Expo, is always shocked to see when marketers “try to wing it”, and points out that you need plenty of time to make any type of event work – 12 weeks, at least. “The amount of work involved at each stage – from planning and promotion to hosting – is so immense and delicate that the only way to do it right is to do it slowly,” she says.
Inadequate engagement with potential attendees
Don’t let this be you – engage with your attendees. Run quizzes or competitions. Whatever it takes to connect with you visitors throughout the show.
Tour in South Africa (TiSA) Tour in South Africa (TiSA) is a newly formed travel company based in Pretoria, offering various tours throughout South Africa.
+27 (0)82 579 5646
Leatitia van Stratentransport We also do group transfers, to and from big events, single weekend breakaways, golf tours etc.
Tour in South Africa
2018 Top Forty
wo m e n in m ic e
Excellence recognised Another year down and we are in our fifth instalment celebrating the Top 40 Women in MICE Awards.
he process for this year’s Top 40 Women in MICE Awards has been met with a fantastic reception by the market. This year, we saw an overwhelming number of nominations submitted for various women across the MICE industry by their peers – indicative of the camaraderie and spirit behind the idea of enthusiastically supporting and growing skilled women in the field. The Top 40 Women in MICE is very much about inclusion. A bird’s-eye view of the industry immediately tells us that there are very many women who are willing to recognise excellence in one another and this defies class, colour and creed. The women who were nominated this year have also nominated others, with the recognition of excellence being witnessed across the board. Another indication of the sense of solidarity within the MICE industry is just how many women give back in some way. Whether it be through community initiatives focused on upliftment or
through the mentorship of peers and young women looking to break into the sector, each of our Top 40 Women in MICE understands the value of paying it forward. This is the first year the Top 40 Women in MICE invited the participation of a judging panel to help manage the selection process. The panel comprised five experts from across the MICE sector who, combined, have had decades’ worth of wide-ranging industry experience. Their input was pivotal in ensuring nominations were of an exceptional standard and, through the weighting process, each of our candidates was fairly selected. To our Top 40 Women in MICE, Meetings congratulates you. We thank you for your contribution to the MICE industry and hope that, as part of the Class of 2018, you are inspired to continue giving back and recognising excellence among not just your peers but the MICE sector as a whole, wherever you can.
Adèle Maritz Business Development Manager: International at Cape Town International Convention Centre Service Provider By sheer virtue of working in the hospitality industry, you are constantly striving to keep your clients happy. Adèle’s quick and out-the-box thinking is evident when problem-solving is needed, and she has the ability to find creative ways of making sure that clients remain content and happy, without jeopardising relationships should challenges arise. In the last year, Adèle has visited various international trade shows. As an astute CTICC ambassador at these international gatherings, she provides insights as to why events should be hosted at the CTICC, Cape Town, and South Africa. In many respects, Adèle is the face of the company at international trade events and thus has to maintain important relationships, including those with the CTICC’s ambassadors who play an important role in advocating the hosting of international meetings, conferences and exhibitions in Cape Town and particularly at the CTICC.
Project Manager for Synergy Business Events Event Planner
General Manager: Sales for Decorex SA at Reed Exhibitions Event Planner
Sales Director & Partner at Marketing Merchants Service Provider
Angela is an industry stalwart and has headed up the Decorex SA sales team for the last 23 years. Decorex SA celebrates its 25th year this year. Angela holds a BSc in Chemistry and Biochemistry and started with the local Decorex team as a sales consultant in 1995. She has been pivotal in ensuring the growth of the Decorex SA series – from just 500 m2 of exhibition space at Gallagher Convention Centre to three regional shows across South Africa, occupying almost the entire floor space at Gallagher. Born in Cape Town and having emigrated to Zimbabwe with her parents as a child, Angela eventually settled in Johannesburg in 1980. Being someone who is passionate about design, she has also collected various items from the Decorex SA exhibitions she has worked on over the years. As a mother of three and a grandmother, Angela hopes to see herself semi-retired in a few years, “with a little free time to enjoy my grandchildren, to travel more and to improve my golf… but, of course, always with an avid interest in the Decorex SA shows.”
Annedi joined Marketing Merchants in 2001 as a consultant. In 2007, she was made a partner of the exhibition company, which strives “to design and construct exhibition stands that speak directly to the targeted audience”. She is a natural leader with a strong sense of taking into consideration the people around her and is passionate about everything she does. She works incredibly hard and will be the first to admit that she relies on others to help make her vision a success. Annedi leads with integrity, wilfulness and a knack for seeing the future. Her agility lies in her ability to be flexible and adaptable. Over the years, she has built strong relationships with her clients, service providers and her colleagues. She is also passionate about giving back and leads a women upliftment ministry and programme, where she strives to empower and positively influence other aspiring women.
Alshanthé has worked on numerous small, medium and large international and national conferences and exhibitions, including Investing in African Mining Indaba, South African Veterinary Conference, World Travel Market, the International Gynaecological Conference, the Wedding Expo, National Union of Mineworkers Conference and Africa’s Travel Indaba. Her passion for what she does has been noted as being ‘contagious’ and ‘infectious’ – the mark of someone who truly loves what they do. While serving on the SAACI Western Cape Committee, she formed part of a team who initiated and hosted the association’s first-ever Business Events Future Focus Conference, aimed at educating third-year university students about the industry and all it has to offer. She has displayed great leadership traits and, through her industry peers, she endeavours to upskill young students hoping to tap into the industry through training and mentorship. Alshanthé has immense integrity and strongly believes in doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching. JULY/AUGUST 2016 2018 10 • MEETINGS l july/august
#40wim Beaulah du Toit Co-founder & Director at Litha Communications Event Planner Beaulah stands out from the crowd through her creative communication and interdisciplinary approach, where problem solving starts with her clients’ needs and ends with new solutions tailormade to suit their brands. Design thinking, for her, is not an acquired skill but rather the way she is wired and together with her international production and project management experience has earned her the reputation of making it seem easy when the impossible is achieved. After completing her studies in design and production, Beaulah started her career at the SABC. She then moved on to enter the international arena in project development. Beaulah has played an important role, as a member of the project management team, in producing the annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) since 2013. Her business acumen and experience has seen her take Litha to international heights in the events and conferencing space.
Bridget Borland Senior Events Coordinator at Sandton Convention Centre Event Planner Bridget has been with Sandton Convention Centre for 13 years and has excelled in her position as senior events coordinator. Her ability to plan and manage all logistical aspects of an event, from start to finish, has seen her being part of many successful events. Bridget thrives on projects that may seem daunting or challenging. This involves a lot of planning and out-the-box thinking with external service providers to deliver a perfectly executed event. Bridget was selected as one of just 20 women in South Africa to partake in the Executive Development Programme for Women in Tourism, launched in 2016. The programme is an initiative of the Department of Tourism, in partnership with Unisa, and seeks to empower women and build an inclusive, highly competitive and sustainable tourism sector. Bridget successfully completed and graduated from the programme in 2017.
Bhavisha Ramesh Ranchod Operations Colonel at Soldiers Group Service Provider Bhavisha joined Soldiers Group in 2014 as a booking agent. The company is a professional provider of staff trained in all aspects of events, incentives and conferences. Quickly climbing through the ranks, impressing her seniors with her efficiency and commitment to excellence, Bhavisha has continued to demonstrate dedication to not only the industry she works in but also to the people within her team. ‘B’, as she is better known, is all about efficient processes, but also shows a great passion for the people she deals with. She has been responsible for the development of internal training systems, the upgrading of staff booking processes and ensuring that service delivery levels are excellently maintained across the business. Her passion for people is at the heart of ensuring that all members of the Soldiers Group team are well trained and prepared for the roles that they fulfil on-site, with her integrity making her a natural mentor to the team.
Bianca Roodt Business Development Manager: National Sales at Cape Town International Convention Centre Service Provider Bianca is an experienced business development manager with a passion for the hospitality industry. She displays incredible honesty and integrity in everything she does. She is an excellent team leader and highly respected by her team members. This has been achieved by supporting her team closely while still enabling them to work independently, nurturing high morale. Her skills do not end with her office work. Bianca is a committee member for a youth conference group called Reset, an annual conference for youth upliftment in the Western Cape. Bianca helps put together and run the Reset conference each year, where she has been observed handling difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. She goes out of her way to help people in her community in need by organising charity drives. She loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around her.
Managing Director at True North Events Event Planner
Event Manager at ABN Event Productions Event Planner
Daria has successfully turned around projects with tight production timelines. In just six short weeks, she organised the global Anglo American Technical Conference where she was responsible for all the logistics and production. The project was managed remotely, with the client being based in Europe and Australia for all pre-production. Daria has a strong reputation in working with blue-chip companies, such as Discovery Health, Anglo American, Ogilvy Healthcare and BMW, to name a few, as well as NGOs. Daria has built strong, long-lasting relationships with all her suppliers, who have worked with her on numerous events in the past and are able to understand Daria’s work ethic and integrity. Daria has immense compassion and understanding, while also getting others to give their best. Daria provides mentorship to both her staff and suppliers, and brings a wealth of knowledge that she freely shares with everyone. She is passionate about her work and the people she works with.
With over 15 years’ experience in the events and conferencing field, Devi has been a key part of the senior management team positioning ABN Event Productions as a significant business event management company on the continent. In 2017, she executed more events than ever before, welcoming new clients and expanding the company’s footprint globally. Devi brings with her a wealth of traditional eventing experience and education to the industry. She has a keen eye for numbers and budgets, and a no-nonsense approach to executing world-class premium event experiences for her clients. Devi is an integral member of the senior management team of ABN Event Productions and leads by example, ensuring the multifaceted spectrum of work that comes with organising an event is done on time, within budget and to an exceptional standard. Devi completed her Management Advanced Programme (MAP) at WITS Business School last year, will be completing her Post Diploma in Business Administration (PDBA) next year, and aims to complete her Master’s in Business Admin (MBA) by 2020.
MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018 •
wo m e n in m ic e Henriette Havenga
Julie du Preez
Sales Manager at Scan Display Service Provider
General Manager of Hotel Savoy and Conference Centre Service Provider
Operations Manager at dmg-ems Africa Event Planner
Henriette has been one of Scan Display’s hardest working representatives, achieving consistent record sales since she started with the company in 2013, when she joined as a senior sales executive from UDM. In April this year, she was promoted to sales manager for Scan Display’s Johannesburg office. Not only is she recognised as being an exceptionally tenacious individual, she is also someone who listens and tries to understand where others are coming from. She has a keen eye for detail and ensures each project she undertakes is flawlessly executed. Henriette has proven she is willing to go the extra mile for her clients. She has been a constant, willing and supportive team member, which is why many of the Scan Display staff can rely on her when they come unstuck. As one of the senior account executives, she often assists junior staff members to learn the ropes.
Julie HardresWilliams Senior Event Coordinator at the forum Event Planner Julie’s experience in the events space spans 12 years, with the last three and a half years having been spent with the forum. the forum has a number of key venues in its stable, namely the campus in Bryanston where she is situated, turbine hall in Newtown, white light in Lanseria, and embassy hill in Cape Town. Julie has held key positions within various events companies, including senior event coordinator with the forum and senior event manager for her previous organisation, CRO. She has been hailed as being a passionate individual who is results driven. In her role at the forum, she has delivered absolute excellence; in 2016, she was named Employee of the Year and in 2017, she generated revenues that were 32% higher than those of her co-workers. At the same time, Julie ensures operations are functioning optimally and is known as a team player among both her colleagues and clients.
12 • MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018
Joanne is an incredibly busy woman and runs a hotel that is consistently full, at an average of 80% capacity, as well as eight conference venues that are all occupied almost daily. Hotel Savoy has 127 rooms and Joanne still somehow finds the time for the extra touches and ensuring her clients’ needs are attended to. Joanne has received praise by the local government and municipalities for always going the extra mile. She has in the past hosted both former and current presidents, including Madiba, and is very involved with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Madiba's centenary year. In October 2017, the hotel was given the Sanlam Top Destination Award in addition to the Tourism Award for Service Excellence at the Lilizela Awards, held in association with South Africa Tourism. Joanne speaks fluent Xhosa and is popular among her staff.
Julie has been part of the exhibitions industry for the last eight years and her passion and tenacious dedication have seen her rise quickly through the ranks. Julie started out by running Grand Designs Live for Media 10 and Specialised Exhibitions in Johannesburg. She then moved on to Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery – the largest tradeshow operator in Southern Africa, where she fulfilled the role of client services for nearly seven years. In the last year, Julie has taken on the role of operations manager at dmg events, an international heavy hitter that runs over 80 exhibitions in 25 countries annually. Through its acquisition of Exhibition Management Services (EMS), dmg now runs some of the Africa’s largest tradeshows. Operating locally, the company has a portfolio of key events within Africa. Julie handles every aspect of the back end of exhibitions organisation and is often credited with being exceptionally efficient.
Independent Project Developer Event Planner
Managing Director at Potters Hand Activations Event Planner
Karin is an accomplished, enterprising senior management professional with 17 years’ experience in operations, events, sales, marketing and project and client relationship management within the gaming, hospitality and tourism industries. Managing among the largest portfolios in her field, Karin is a pioneering strategist, garnering respect for her ability to capitalise on opportunities. Karin has served on various industry boards, including chairing the Sandton Tourism Association. During her tenure at the Sandton Convention Centre, the centre was selected as a finalist for the ICCA Best Marketing Award, placing South Africa in the spotlight on a prestigious international platform. As GM: Events, Entertainment and Conferences at Sun City, she managed portfolios across the resort, establishing turnkey strategies for resort integration, hosting among the largest and most prestigious events in South Africa. Her latest role as VP: VIP Gaming Sales for Sun International saw her establishing a dynamic client relationship management programme.
Katja has been running events and activations for more than 15 years. She started her career at Launch Factory and VWV Studios, moving on to freelance for various television commercial and film production companies as a production manager. Katja is currently the MD of Potters Hand Activations, which has been running for over 14 years as an events company specialising in experiential activations. Katja is passionate about giving back and, through her self-established NPO, she runs educational transformation programmes to help uplift local rural communities. “As a company, we felt that we wanted to give something back to our nearby community and make an impact with what we already know and have within our ability to do,” she says. She has been celebrated as a role model who approaches everything she does in life with a strong set of morals and integrity. Those who work with Katja say she is a true leader and visionary.
#40wim Khauhelo Rasemetse
Leniese van der Merwe
Client Liaison Officer at Synergy Business Events Service Provider
Founder & Director at The Main Okasion Events Event Planner
Marketing Manager at Gallagher Convention Centre Service Provider
Khauhelo works behind the scenes on both Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba. She is a key member of the team, arranging travel, accommodation, meetings and minutes, and collating presentations for the team. She has established herself as the go-to person by her colleagues whenever anything is needed. This young gun has only been in the industry for two years but she has already made a mark on her managers, who believe she deserves equal recognition for her contribution to the team in ensuring absolute attention to detail and that no stone is left unturned. Khauhelo has been commended as working steadily under pressure and, despite being subjected to intense lastminute demands, she has been noted as handling herself with grace and decorum while often taking the lead, prompting her superiors for decisions and ensuring that every base is covered.
Koketso launched her event management company, The Main Okasion, in 2011. Being a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO), she was invited by the PCO Alliance Network to become a member of the group in 2013. In 2016, Koketso presented to National Treasury, outlining the benefits of using PCOs and assisting the exchequer in better understanding how the MICE sector operates. In 2018, she led a PCO Alliance delegation on an educational tour of Tshwane, where it visited nine venues in two days. As the organiser and driving force behind the tour, she liaised with several venues and PCO Alliance Network members in preparation of the roadshow. Koketso has also worked with many young people fresh out of university with no work experience. She has trained them and subsequently offered them positions within her company, thus giving them the necessary experience to venture out on their own.
Leniese started her career at DeKat where she worked on the DeKat club events. In her role as marketing manager at Gallagher, she is tasked with creatively building the centre’s brand as a benchmark for the industry. She upholds the highest standards of service excellence and has built strong relationships with clients and suppliers. Having had the opportunity to grow within the industry, Leniese believes in offering guidance to young individuals aspiring to work in the events industry; through Gallagher Convention Centre, internships are offered to a group of students each year, affording them the opportunity to work within the different departments of the business. Leniese has proven her devotion by going the extra mile to accommodate clients and has been instrumental in securing high-profile events such as the SAFTAs, the bi-annual ICT Summit, the SARU Player of the Year Awards, and many more.
Founder & Head Ginger of GingerBiscuit Event Planner
Owner of LYN & Associates Event Planner
Project Director at Shai Boi Project Management Event Planner and Service Provider
Lisa-Jade recently launched her own business, GingerBiscuit, which offers sustainable consulting, event management and training. Her business doesn’t offer sustainability as an option, but instead incorporates sustainability as a golden thread through everything it does. Through her work, Lisa-Jade has a strong focus on relationship building, noting that she wants to, and does, “creatively connect people in a sustainable way”, as she believes that human connection is one key ingredient that will benefit society hugely. Lisa-Jade is also taking the sustainability message to schools, having recently given a talk at Parkview Senior School in honour of the upcoming World Environment Day, and also wishes to branch into uncharted territory within correctional facilities at a later stage. In addition, this year saw Lisa-Jade elected to the Event Greening Forum’s management committee, where she has taken on a number of responsibilities on a voluntary basis – including joining the marketing committee and embarking on membership outreach initiatives.
Lynne has been a wellrespected individual within the hospitality industry for 25 years. It is a testament to her passion and exceptional standards that her clients are always happy to do business with LYN & Associates. Lynne has been a member of the PCO Alliance Network since its inception almost 13 years ago and is passionate about ensuring its values are of the extremely high standard she has become accustomed to. In October 2017, LYN & Associates hosted the first South African Engineering Insurance Conference (SAEIC). The event was a great success and LYN & Associates has been reappointed to run SAEIC 2018. In addition, the company has been reappointed for 2019 to run the Sanlam Sales Conference as well as the 2019 Marine Forum, among other ongoing partnerships and projects. Lynne has mentored a number of colleagues and staff, and encourages them to give back in the same way. She also facilitates incoming leisure groups and individuals for trips within South Africa and neighbouring countries.
The Shai Boi Project Management team is led by project director Mabusang, who puts her heart and soul into each project she works on. Her efforts are paying dividends in her business, with Shai Bio starting operations in February 2017 and, year-to-date, having recognised 65% in profits on its targeted budget. To keep up the pace, this beaming outfit is turning its eye towards the rest of Africa, with newly launched operations in Kigali, Rwanda. Shai Boi is also looking forward to upcoming opportunities within the international market after signing a partnership with a company based in Germany. Relationships are at the core of Mabusang’s beliefs and she has maintained warm relationships with many of her clients and service providers, some of whom are now close friends. Mabusang also believes that you’re only as good as your last event and will not work on any project that infringes on the rights of others.
MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018 •
wo m e n in m ic e Marita Le Roux
Group Manager: Sales & Sponsorship at Exposure Marketing Event Planner
Owner of Core Competency Event Planner
Managing Director of Iconique Branding Event Planner
Having spent over a decade in the exhibitions industry, Marita’s expertise – together with her dynamic and unique approach to sales – has made her exceptionally proficient in her role. Marita’s knowledge of exhibitions has grown along with her responsibilities. In 2005, Marita entered the exhibitions industry as a saleswoman selling exhibition space in malls. She has since gone on to become the group manager: Sales and Sponsorship at Exposure Marketing, which owns and produces MamaMagic, The Baby Expo – South Africa’s biggest pregnancy and parenting exhibition. She was also an integral part of the MamaMagic team that has won AXXO’s Best Consumer Exhibition of the Year for the past two years. Within Exposure Marketing, Marita is considered a dynamic leader who is passionate about ensuring the success of the company. From training and development within her own team to seeing that all departments have hands-on and knowledgebased experience of events, Marita is the key driver in exhibitions proficiency.
Melanie has 30 years’ experience behind her and her background speaks for itself: she has been actively involved in over 300 local and international conferences and congresses across various industries, and has managed five conferences on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in various countries. She was project director for the COP 17 Climate Change Response Expo in 2011 and also managed logistics for COP 11, held in Namibia in 2013. Melanie is hands-on with all of Core Competency’s events and she has extensive experience dealing with high-profile international delegates, heads of state, cabinet ministers and captains of industry who have attended many of the conferences she has managed. The staff Core Competency employs during the build-up to, and during, any event are students who are not yet earning a salary. They are then mentored and provided with a Certificate of Competency on completion of the project. She is a board member of the Council of Events Professionals.
Michelle is a selfmotivated woman determined to succeed in her chosen career through selfdiscipline and hard work. People are clearly her passion, evident in her love and enthusiasm for working within the hospitality sector. Michelle enjoys being creatively challenged and left a comfortable job to launch Iconique Brands – a consultancy that provides sales and marketing representation for brands within the travel and hospitality industry, as well as event management and incentive services for the corporate world. Iconique Brands focuses on servicing the film, television and pop culture industries. Michelle started her career in travel and hospitality working under Gavin Simpson at Holiday Holdings, then moved on to Cresta Hotels in 2010 as a sales manager, with other experience working for brands such as African Sun Hotels and Fairmont Zimbali. Michelle is also president of Travelbags, which has allowed Michelle to focus on her philanthropic side, supporting and raising funds and awareness for different charities every month.
Nadine van Schalkwyk
Strategic Platforms Coordinator at South African Tourism Event Planner
Sales Manager at Mauritius Incentive Connection Service Provider
Operations Manager at Tourvest Incentives Meetings & Events Event Planner
Mmabatho has a key role managing South African Tourism’s international platforms. She deals with all the stand-sharer requirements, ensuring they understand the opportunities, the deliverables, managing expectations, prompting them for signage requirements, diary commitments, etc. Often, Mmabatho is dealing with over 30 individual stand-sharers per show, and does not miss a beat, even under immense pressure. Attending a tradeshow is a smooth and seamless experience for any one of South African Tourism’s stakeholders and Mmabatho sees to absolute professional standards being met. She displays strong qualities in leadership, innovation, integrity and maintains allimportant relationships with her clients as well as with South African Tourism and at a national level, the Department of Tourism. This year, Mmabatho has taken on all the leisure trade platforms as well as the MICE tradeshows on behalf of South African Tourism, and they have all been outstanding successes.
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Nadia has had extensive and broad-ranging experience throughout the 12 years she has worked in the travel and tourism industry, covering everything from hotels to aviation and car rental. Before joining Mauritius Incentive Connection (MIC) in May 2017, she was a sales, customer relations and transport manager for Club Med for just over three years. Nadia’s efforts are said to have uplifted the MIC profile within the market, which is gaining rapid traction with Nadia’s active approach and, as a result, has managed the confirmation of 12 groups in the last 12 months. Nadia is noted as being exemplary as a professional and strives to be known for her positive manner. Nadia is a natural mentor and supports and nurtures up-and-coming industry and event professionals by upskilling them on how to successfully handle and manage groups from the South African market. She also hugely contributes to the number of passengers being sent to Mauritius and enjoys sharing her island experiences with everyone with great passion and pride.
Nadine understands the intricate details and challenges of growing incentives and the MICE industry as a whole. She has played a key role in her company’s success in the market over the past four years, with her service excellence and dedication to driving and motivating her business unit. Tourvest Destination Management is a well-established part of Tourvest Integrated Services, which specialises in inbound as well as incentive travel, sports tourism and tourism event management. It is Nadine’s duty to ensure clients’ expectations of the team are met with the highest standard of service delivery. With incredible deadlines faced by the team, Nadine manages to motivate and mentor every team member to work together to extract the greatest abilities from the team, who follow her by example. Nadine’s clients are at absolute ease working with her, as they know not to worry about any logistics or management issues; she is a supplier of choice for Tourvest’s clients.
#40wim Natalie Stewart
CEO at AfrodizzyActs Entertainment Service Provider
Senior Events Coordinator at Off The Wall Events Event Planner
Acting Director: Incentive, Government and Corporate Meeting Services at the City of Tshwane Event and Incentive Planner
AfrodizzyActs started in 2010 as a one-man band, with Natalie managing all the acts by herself as well as doing some of the acts herself! Her business began expanding quickly, which afforded her the opportunity to employ those who are less fortunate, whether it be a place at the office, helping on-site or on an ad-hoc job. Natalie’s career has taken her from doing everything herself to having thriving offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Zimbabwe. She has just opened a costume hire business in Muizenberg, AfrodizzyAttire, which is proving to be a great success. Her company has since become recognised as a leader in entertainment hire in South Africa. Natalie is admired among her staff and colleagues for how she stays on top of all the latest trends in entertainment to come up with fresh and innovative ideas and put AfrodizzyActs one step ahead of its competition. She was also recognised as one of the top 12 finalists for the 2017 Hirsch's Women in Business Awards. Natalie prides herself on upholding the integrity of the company and her brand, and has built solid relationships with many event professionals and industry experts, including young up-and-comers.
Nicky Froneman started her career in the events industry 18 years ago, with Off the Wall Events. She has been part of the planning for GovTech since its inception in 2009, where she supplies decor, technical assistance, support and entertainment. In 2016, Off the Wall was awarded the complete tender for the registration and full event for GovTech. One of Nicky’s biggest accounts is Cell C. She has secured the CEO Cell C Awards for the past three years, since its launch, and has produced a new and fresh event every year. This year, Nicky was the designated event coordinator for the DA Federal Congress 2018, where her role comprised the planning and execution of an event for 2 500 delegates at the Tshwane Events Centre over two days. Nicky also ran Nashua Mobile’s event calendar for six years and managed accounts for FNB and Toyota.
Sales Manager at Synergy Business Events Event Planner
Events Manager at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Event Planner
In the short time that Phetogo has been with Synergy Business Events, she made some record-breaking achievements. She successfully sold off Meetings Africa 2018 in two months, which is the shortest sales period in the history of the show, with the average turnaround usually spanning around half a year. Phetogo also successfully sold off Africa’s Travel Indaba 2018 in three months, in what was, again, the shortest turnaround in the 32-year history of the show. The minimum turnaround for this large-scale show is 10 months; however, under the sales leadership of Phetogo, the sales team collectively did it in less than a third of this time, with exhibitor numbers exceeding the previous year by just under 10%. Exhibitor numbers reached a record high, with the addition of new individual African tourism product-owned exhibitors. Phetogo’s experience extends across the MICE industry, where she has worked in hospitality, retail and marketing.
Rachel has raised the bar for eventing at the JSE, elevating the brand’s value proposition. She is responsible for managing the Exchange’s events team and heads up both internal and external events. In her role, Rachel is also required to manage the internal budgets for the JSE’s Events Division. In addition, she needs to ensure that working with the JSE is a highly professional, efficient and seamless experience that boosts the quality of its events offering while eliminating unnecessary costs. Rachel has displayed leadership in her industry and mentorship in guiding her staff as well as clients to execute outstanding events that achieve their objectives and meet each client’s deliverables. She is incredibly passionate about what she does and is regularly commended on her creativity in the execution of JSE events. Rachel has held senior positions with the likes of Gallagher Convention Centre where she was for 11 years, eventually becoming a member of EXCO.
At just 28 years old, Nonhlanhla – or Nonnie, as she is known by many – has already had extensive experience within the MICE sector – ranging from research right through to event organising. Nonnie is a SAACI committee member and is the youngest member in her division, where she is responsible for promoting Tshwane as a business destination of choice. In 2011 and 2012, Nonnie was part of the Meetings Africa organising committee where she championed the inaugural Student Leadership Programme, now referred to as the IMEX MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum, She was also the inguaral award recipient for the SAACI Bursary and further the Young Achievers Award at the 2012 SAACI Congress. With the tourism and events industry being one of the single biggest contributors to Southern Africa’s GDP and a major generator of sustainable jobs, Nonnie hopes that, through her contribution, she can make a positive impact on the sector. She strives to be a leader in the MICE space by applying her knowledge and experience in the best way possible.
Sonto Mayise Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer for Durban KZN Convention Bureau Event Planner After several years serving at a senior government level as a specialist on international relations and also on special projects, in 2013, Sonto took on the position of business development and relations manager at the Durban KZN Convention Bureau. She has been actively involved in the successful hosting of COP 17, AIDS 2016, the World Forestry Congress, the SADC Ministerial Conference, World Hospital Conference, the BRICS Conference and the World Economic Forum, to mention but a few major projects. Sonto is noted as being a hard worker who dedicates herself to the task at hand. She uses her imagination to initiate activities aimed at achieving the vision and goals of the organisation. She is always ready to take on new tasks and challenges, and does not shy away from testing the waters within the parameters of her work.
MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018 •
wo m e n in m ic e Teresia Stander Managing Director at Sarcda Trade & Events Event Planner Teresia has been in the industry for 20 years. After starting at Sarcda Trade Exhibitions in 2006 as an exhibition manager, she moved up the ranks to become managing director in 2010. Teresia originally began her career at Gallagher Convention Centre, running exhibitions, before moving to Sarcda. Sarcda runs Sarcda International, which takes place in March each year and attracts 8 000 buyers. It also runs the annual Sarcda Christmas Edition, which takes place in August each year. The Sarcda Christmas Edition features more than 20 000 m2 of exhibition space, showcases over 430 exhibitors, and attracts nearly 17 500 trade buyers. Sarcda Trade Exhibitions is the only retail gift, toy, decor and design trade exhibitions organiser in the southern hemisphere. Originally started in 1968, Sarcda celebrates 50 years of successful trade exhibitions in 2018.
Tracy Mkhize General Manager of Operations: Food & Beverage, Cape Town International Convention Centre Service Provider Tracy has worked in the hospitality industry for over 19 years. Her leadership qualities as well as her passion for the hospitality industry have earned her several promotions. As the GM: Operations for the CTICC’s Food & Beverage Department, Tracy is responsible for close to 40% of the revenue generated by the CTICC. She manages a revenue budget of over R80 million and an expenditure budget of over R49 million, overseeing these financial responsibilities to ensure a five-star food and beverage offering. Tracy manages several units within the Food & Beverage Department and leads a team of 79 permanent staff members, including seven graduates as well as hundreds of temporary staff that are employed for the hosting of events at the centre. Most recently, Tracy has been responsible for spearheading the move to a cashless system at the 2018 Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
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Thabile Mdletshe Director at Fizz Marketing Event Planner Thabile has worked at a number of South Africa’s leading hotels in various positions, most notably at The Four Seasons Westcliff. She joined Fizz Marketing as an event coordinator in 2006 and has since become a shareholder and director. Fizz Marketing is a full turnkey event management company based in Johannesburg, which specialises in tailored event management services. The team has grown over the past 17 years and has managed events for both large and small companies, including All Events Group (Singapore), AxizWorkgroup, Bank of Athens, Dell, Dimension Data, Huawei, Microsoft, Mimecast, SAP, Syspro, The Attachmate Group, Workonline Communications, DevUG and World Wide Worx. Catering for all budgets, Fizz Marketing provides a personalised service, ensuring every aspect is considered down to the finest detail. Its professional and devoted team expertly organises and executes events of all types.
Thiru Naidoo Business Development Manager: Meetings, Incentives and Exhibition Sales at Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau Service Provider Thiru has had more than a decade of experience in the tourism sector and is considered somewhat of an expert, having authored the book Science of Tourism: Hands-on Training. Thiru aspires to promote South Africa as the number one destination to meet and visit, and she keeps abreast of all developments within the tourism sector to help and further grow each aspect of the industry. In her current position, she works strategically with destination products to grow the MICE sector for the Western Cape. Thiru currently sits on the board of SAACI’s Western Cape Committee where she holds the position of treasurer. She is a Certified Incentive Specialist, awarded to her by SITE in Germany earlier this year.
Operations Manager at Lorin Bowen Event Planner
General Manager at Synergy Business Events Event Planner
Vivienne kick-started her career studying at the Witwatersrand Hotel School. She spent the next six years working across various departments at different hotels. She then went into industrial catering and, thereafter, into the CCTV electronics industry for eight years. Vivienne started in the MICE industry by working on COP11 for Core Competency, where she realised doing events was her true calling. Thereafter, she joined Scan On Show, which became Synergy Business Events, as operations and logistics manager, focusing on Meetings Africa. She then worked at Reed Exhibitions on WTM and is currently operations and logistics manager at Lorin Bowen Business Events. In just five short years, Vivienne has made a name for herself in the industry with extensive behind-the-scenes experience, having run operations for different events companies. She is married with two children and, as an outgoing person, is passionate about customer service and building of longlasting relationships with clients and suppliers.
Yoshni has been pivotal in ensuring the success of both the Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba (ATI) events, with only six months’ lead time for both projects. Yoshni and her team worked tirelessly to ensure that ATI was delivered on time and to an exceptional standard. Yoshni’s passion for the work she does is visible in the extra mile she goes to ensure clients’ needs are met and that every event is executed according to plan. Her footprint within the industry and the networks she has created over the years showcase her experience in managing relationships within the industry. Her creative flair and ability to think out of the box by trying something new are what led to the strategic planning of the operations and logistics elements of both Meetings Africa and ATI to be executed in the shortest period in the history of both shows.
b e s t p r a c t ic e
THE perks Added benefits of having Parrot Interactive Touch LED Screens in the boardroom: •H D multi-touch presentation screen •C ollaborative workspace
environment •P lug-and-play on any
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Putting the pizazz into presentations
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10-point touch •L ifespan of 30 000 hours •T wo-year warranty
Parrot Products is bringing the boardroom into the future with its range of LED touchscreens.
one are the days of firing up the ol’ projector and trying to coerce a stickyscreen from out of its catacomb so that your award-winning presentation can take place. Parrot Products is putting a different spin on meetings, presentations and the delivery of training; with its series of LED touchscreens, Parrot Interactive Touch LED Panels are bringing a fresh take on the game. The typical boardroom or training room has evolved from writing on a flipchart or slides on an overhead projector to fully interactive, integrated meeting and training sessions that research has shown boosts staff satisfaction and performance.
PRESENTING THE FUTURE Advances in technology help presentations go beyond the traditional slideshow format, driving home content in a new and exciting way. Interactive content engages audiences, while encouraging feedback and participation, thus increasing productivity. And whether it’s for training, presentations or brainstorming ideas, Parrot Interactive Touch LED Panels offer the perfect solution for any business environment. Parrot’s
innovative multi-touch display technology allows for participants to view, control and collaborate on richer, more immersive presentations. The touchscreens provide easy navigation of documents, videos, presentations and websites, and the convenient sharing of documents and notes from the screen as well as multimedia files. “By adding a Parrot Interactive Touch LED Panel to a boardroom, it provides a professional solution in the way participants make presentations, and the content suddenly becomes so much more interesting and engaging,” says Paul Venter, the Chief Division Executive for Parrot Interactive. Parrot’s range of touchscreen products also complements existing technologies and is an ideal platform for any VOIP conferencing solution.
well as perform many other touch gestures – much like one would with a smartphone or tablet. It also allows for multiple users interacting with the screen at one time, ideal for group interaction and learning. With Parrot Interactive Touch LED Panels, you can enhance your meetings by making changes to files and graphics being displayed on the screen in real time. You can also share the files with your team and use the different tools available to edit the presentations. “The touchscreens also improve presentations and communication, as information can be presented more effectively using the various media tools at hand. Moreover, important points on the screen can be taken as screenshots and sent to others through email,” concludes Paul.
LEADING TECH The high-definition 1080p displays provide improved image quality and sharpness – far exceeding the traditional projection display systems. With up to 10 touch points, this allows for a wider variety of applications than ever before. This kind of functionality allows you to manipulate images, zoom in and out, as
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free demonstration +27 (0)10 140 4900 | www.parrot.co.za
MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018 •
The ladies at the JEC do a fantastic job of juggling their numerous tasks, and give us some insights into how it’s done.
Marketing and Communications Executive
In her role, Tracy is responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies and delivering on various objectives agreed on and set out by JEC’s management. In order to do this, she carries out extensive research into the JEC’s competitors’ offerings and analyses other market trends. Tracy also manages daily public relations activities and interfaces with both press and marketing communications agencies. She is actively involved in developing partnerships and relationships with third parties to meet the strategic objectives of the JEC, and is tasked with coming up with innovative ways to leverage the brand within print and digital spaces, including social media. Tracy sets and manages marketing budgets and measures the JEC’s spend based on return on investment. She then reports to CEO Craig Newman on the effectiveness of the various strategies and campaigns rolled out. Among Tracy’s greatest challenges as a working woman who is also furthering her studies by undertaking a BBA in Marketing Management, is time management. “It's not easy but I am learning how to adjust,” she says. One of Tracy’s most inspiring quotes is a verse in the Holy Bible (2 Timothy 1:7): “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.”
18 • MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018
Believe Sibiya Receptionist + PR
Believe is the face of the JEC. Her role is to serve visitors by greeting, welcoming and directing them appropriately. She notifies company personnel of the arrival of their visitors, maintains the company’s telecommunications system, and assists wherever she can and whenever it is needed. She has been a receptionist for around three years and during exhibitions and events, it gets exceptionally busy. Her greatest challenge was already overcome on her first day at the JEC. She recalls that the Rand Show was running and it was extremely busy. She was still learning the ropes, handling reception while trying to sound as professional as possible and answering all the questions she was presented with telephonically and at the front desk. Although not yet at a managerial level within the JEC, Believe is driven to aspire: “My greatest achievement is yet to come; I am currently studying and am looking forward to finishing my studies,” she says. On inspiring others, Believe follows the advice of Hillary Clinton: “Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.”
Vanessa Wilson Personal Assistant to CEO
As the personal assistant to CEO Craig Newman, and GM Hannes Venter, Vanessa almost always has her hands full. In addition to general secretarial and admin responsibilities, Vanessa’s role is primarily focused on managing Craig’s diary and helping him meet his various work commitments. She has access to just about every aspect of his life, so that she is able to put together his full schedule and itineraries for travel. She is also responsible for managing all client contracts as well as agreements with tenants. In all of this, she also has some HR responsibilities. Vanessa is expanding her job spec and, most recently, completed a course in HR for non-HR managers, for which she has a certificate. Vanessa says that, 13 years later and after many challenges, she now manages to juggle everything pertaining to her role with relative ease, to the point where she can evenly pace her day’s tasks. Her advice to anyone working for what they want is to “just be fearless”.
Refilwe plays an important role at the JEC as she tracks trends and monitors competition from a venues perspective, maintains its online assets in the form of its website and social media, and strategises campaigns to creates venue awareness. In addition, she is responsible for the coordination of events and digital marketing upkeep. Refilwe’s current greatest challenge, like most, is managing her time wisely in order to meet deadlines. She is most proud of her work on the recent Youth Month Expo where she had the opportunity to help co-ordinate the preparations for the nine-day expo. “It ended up being a great opportunity to learn and show what I’m capable of. I was able to deliver to the best of my ability throughout,” she says. On inspiring others, she says, “Give yourself some credit; you’ve come pretty far.”
Linda’s focus is within the JEC’s Finance Department. She puts in place all the checks to ensure the company books and bank statements balance. She reports directly to the CEO on the accounts on a monthly basis and helps bring together the reports for board meetings. She also does the books and invoicing for Dogan Exhibitions and Events, owner of the Rand Show – the JEC’s biggest annual event. Linda takes great pride in her work and has to have all books reconciled in time for month end at the JEC. She has found it incredibly rewarding teaching fellow employees the ropes and derives great satisfaction from teaching them something new. On tackling the challenges, she says, “You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated. Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before. Don’t give up on your dreams. Tough times never last, but tough people do. Go out there and reach for the stars.”
Tracy works in the Finance Department at the JEC, where she has been for the last six years. Prior to her role as financial assistant, Tracy was working as a receptionist; after furthering her education in bookkeeping and accounting, she was ready to take on more responsibility. She currently does monthly invoicing of customers and keeps records of all accounts, while also being responsible for debt collection. She then submits a record of all overdue accounts to the CEO. She also needs to have supplier invoices properly authorised with signed purchase orders and processes all invoices on a daily basis. Tracy works hard to meet month-end deadlines, as creditors are paid at the end of the month and VAT payments are due within the first week of the month. “It’s a great challenge to get all of them done at once, but the good thing about it all is that tasks are completed,” she notes. Tracy’s advice for anyone in the working world is: “Don’t watch the clock. Do what it does – keep going.”
Marketing and Communications Officer
Meeting your demands, Exceeding your expectations
Desrae McDonnell Events & Exhibition Manager
As part of her function as events and exhibitions manager, it is up to Desrae to see that all requirements are met to guarantee that the client has a successful event. Her role is also key in ensuring client satisfaction and making sure clients continue to support the JEC. She believes that we are often our own greatest enemy. “We limit our thinking to what we have always been told – ‘can’ or ‘can’t’. If we believe that ‘can’t’ does not actually exist, then we see all the possibilities that are out there,” she says. Desrae feels that the transfer of knowledge to the young, dynamic talent out there is what will take the industry into new dimensions and she says that young people, in particular, must believe with conviction that anything they set their sights on can be achieved, and that “the heart and mind have no limits other than the restrictions and judgements we place on ourselves.”
Facebook - @jhbexpocentre1 Twitter - @jhbexpocentre Instagram - Johannesburg expo centre +27 (0)11 494 1920 email@example.com expocentre.co.za
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Hiring an event technology consultant If you are a PCO, you know that your most valuable and finite resource is time. You also know that no matter how much lead-time you have, something will always come up at the last minute. By Gavin Burgess*
rofessional conference organisers (PCOs) have an amazing ability to find ways to add value to events – from attention to detail to pre-empting their clients’ needs. This continuous quest to add value to an event is the bargaining chip that PCOs have with their clients when that last-minute requirement presents itself. In the digital age, technology is part of your value-add. It begins with your communications infrastructure, both in your office and on-site, and extends throughout the event. A successful event is one where attendees are excited to return the next time that event is held; and technology might just be the make-orbreak factor. The conundrum this presents is that PCOs rely on technology experts to give the best advice, and to implement the best solutions. But the lines between technology, IT and AV are often blurred. When thinking about technology for your next event, here are some tips that might help save some of that valuable, finite, and very precious time:
Consult with an expert Look for a technology professional that specialises in your field, and ask them the question, “How can I best use technology to add value to my client’s event?” A good systems analyst – the fancy term for a tech guru that
solves problems using technology – will take a look at not only what can be done on-site, but also what can be done to improve your internal business processes leading up to the event. Your chosen professional should be able to recognise any blind spots, and make suggestions for improvements.
and the AV-thingamabob, and neither do they have the time, so it is super handy to have a single point of contact. *Gavin Burgess is a systems analyst, and the managing director of Ultimate Data Sciences.
Budget comprehensively Technology is often a thorn in one's side owing to the cost. It is tempting to skimp on solutions, but keep in mind that the reputation of your event is at stake. Your event is all about the attendee and their experience. Instead of choosing a service provider that is a one-stop shop for all your event tech needs, rather work with a professional who will give you multiple options for using various service providers. You can then weigh the pros and cons of cost versus attendee experience, and make an informed choice.
Concierge Don’t fall into the trap of blurring the lines between IT, AV, and everything in-between. An excellent way to make sure that all of these elements are properly organised is to invest in the project management skills of a technology concierge. This is a dedicated individual, or team, that will make sure there are no mix-ups. Your organising staff might not know who to call for a problem between the IT-whatsit
Greening and sustainability If your client or event has greening and sustainability in mind and, personally, I hope that they all do, your technology expert should understand the best way to achieve these deliverables. What processes do they have in place to mitigate the environmental impact of the use of technology at an event? What have they done in the past that has worked, and what hasn’t? Make sure that they are paying as much attention to greening and sustainability as you are to the finer details of your event.
22 • MEETINGS l july/august 2018 www.theplanner.guru
S p e a k e r ’ s co r n e r LEADERPRE N E U R
Speaker Strategist Entrepreneur
oweto-born trailblazer Mummy MthembuFawkes is a sought-after, young South African entrepreneur, industry pioneer, business speaker, highly regarded social media and brand strategist, accredited facilitator, and business coach. Without any formal qualifications, an ambitious and determined Mummy had the power of choice; she decided to not let circumstances get in the way of her dreams. The astute visionary successfully climbed the corporate ladder, holding specialist, strategic and leadership roles within the ITC sector. Known and respected in the sector, MthembuFawkes thrived in male-dominated spaces, occupying roles such as head of business development for South Africa’s second largest internet service provider and senior sales accounts manager for the largest telecommunications company in Africa. After a successful 14 years in the corporate world, she developed and founded her successful natural haircare range – Earthy_sa – in 2014, which currently has approximately 400 predominately female independent distributors.
Empowering women While it’s no secret that women entrepreneurs tend to thrive and achieve better levels of entrepreneurial success, there’s still a gender gap between men and women when it comes to entrepreneurship – something Mummy wants to change. Having had her fair share of challenges in life and the corporate world, she aims to empower and develop women, whether they’re aspiring entrepreneurs or seeking career advice. “I believe in the power of women; I believe that we’re capable of working together and achieving great things,” she says. As an underdog who rose to the top, Mummy’s skills, expertise and experience will inspire both men and women. With numerous passions, Mummy’s corporate experience – alongside her business acumen – enables her to speak on a wide
Unique Speaker Bureau is proud to announce the latest addition to its family. range of topics to develop and grow work teams, leaders and businesses. In her keynote entitled ‘The Woke Leader: Your Business in the Eye of the Millennial’, Mummy eloquently presents the following: “In today’s workplace, it’s common for different generations, often with very different approaches to business, life and even relationships to work side by side.”
LeaderPreneur Mummy Mthembu-Fawkes
Generation Millennial With Millennials set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, leaders need to ask themselves how they can adapt and what they can learn from the new working generation. Millennials can no longer be considered as entry-level talent only; the fact that they include a market in their 30s puts many of them at management level in many organisations. The size of Millennials as a consumer base also makes them increasingly significant for the future survival of most organisations, as they make up the largest generation and are just entering their prime spending and working years. Being a Millennial LeaderPreneur herself, Mummy is passionate about generational synergy in business. She connects with the audience through humour and storytelling and walks the talk with her personal experience of leading and coaching both Millennials and Baby Boomers in the corporate space and her current business.
Moreover, Mummy bridges the gap by assisting leaders and organisations to understand what they can learn from Generation Y, who view leadership, the workplace, communication and brand loyalty completely differently to their forebears. She also assists both management and organisations in getting the most out of Millennials and creating cognitively multigenerational workplaces. Is your organisation catering only for the Baby Boomers? If you have not yet considered the Millennials of today, who will definitely be shaping the future of tomorrow, you need to have Mummy at your next conference!
uniquespeakerbureau.com +27 (0)11 465 4410 firstname.lastname@example.org
TO BOOK MUMMY AT YOUR NEXT EVENT CONTACT 011 465 4410 / PAUL@UNIQUESPEAKERBUREAU.COM
b e s t p r a c t ic e
The Top 3 Event App Mistakes Karmen Vladar looks at the three biggest event app sins and offers advice on how to avoid committing them.
Your upcoming event is planned perfectly: the venue’s booked, you’ve got state-of-the-art AV, meaningful content and awesome speakers to relay the planned messaging… you even have an event app! With so many moving parts, the pressure is enormous for everything to go exactly as planned. Despite your best efforts to employ your event app, there are some common pitfalls that you can prepare for. As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail, so here is what to look out for:
1 Promote the event app One of the most important metrics for event planners is app adoption rate, which is the percentage of attendees who installed the app. It helps in answering questions like: “Was the event app worth it? Did anyone actually use it?” In order to boost uptake, event planners must encourage downloading and installation of the app with vigour and persistence. Attendees will simply not see the value of the event app investment if they don’t get over the biggest obstacle to adoption – downloading and installation. While this seems pretty obvious, it is surprising how often event planners completely sacrifice event app marketing for event marketing. Before your event, the website, email communications, registration page and social media posts should all prominently feature the event app, driving download and installation.
2 The slippery slope of push messaging I have yet to meet an event planner whose eyes didn’t beam with excitement when they were first told they could send a message to every attendee’s device whenever they want! Push messaging is a powerful communication tool that grabs attention and makes an impact. Despite this, many planners underestimate the organisation and work needed to make the event communications effective. There is definitely an art to push messaging – it lies somewhere between missed opportunities and spam. tip Don’t wait too long to plan all your
announcements and push messages – be strategic in your communications but definitely don’t overdo it. How much is too much? The right mix will depend on your event objectives, your attendees and your sponsor obligations.
note Once the event app is
installed on an attendee’s device, the event planner has a dedicated and uninterrupted direct marketing channel to those who matter. Failure to promote the event app is a failure to maximise return on event technology.
Contact us for Event Apps that are
out of this world! Trust us for technology that will transform your next event.
+27 21 065 0355 +27 87 806 4284
3 Prep the players This really is key to engagement features that may have some additional stakeholders in the mix. For example, if a presenter is going to hold a live poll during the session, make sure they are aware of how it functions. They need to be coached on the attendee process of pulling out their phones, opening the app and activating the poll. Otherwise, attendees get rushed through the poll and end up abandoning the engagement opportunity altogether. Gamification is another area that typically needs a short discussion with event staff and sponsors. If the game includes some sort of interaction between attendees and certain individuals and groups, then everyone involved needs to know what game mechanics are in place and what the expectations are. I have seen exhibitors who found QR codes on their tables one day without a single clue that they were an integral part of the event’s gamification! A flood of attendees soon enlightened them, and the game went on painfully. takeaway Make sure that event
app features and intentions are clearly communicated in your preevent briefings.
Su s t a in a bi l i t y S h owc a s e
The sustainable standard O
ver the last year, the water crisis in the Cape has left big businesses and residents alike flailing. Level 6B water restrictions, which have been in play in Cape Town since February, mean that the city’s water usage cannot exceed 450 million litres per day. For the individual, this means limiting daily usage to just 50 litres. Extensive water saving initiatives and efforts are under way to ensure that wastage and usage are at an absolute minimum to delay the dreaded Day Zero (see sidebar). While dam levels are, at the time of writing, around 21% and Day Zero has been pushed back to 2019, the impact of water restrictions in the Mother City is widespread.
A solution worth its salt For the hospitality sector in particular, it has meant reviewing every aspect of water usage in day-to-day operations. While it has now become an accepted standard to remove bath plugs and request guests to use water as sparingly as possible, The Westin Hotel is taking further practical measures to ensure sustainability in the form of a desalination plant, which will mean relief to the existing supply. “To put these numbers into perspective, at 100% occupancy, The Westin Cape Town uses approximately 180 000 litres per day (with
current water initiatives in place),” notes Ross Baines, marketing director at The Westin. From feasibility to breaking ground and coming online, it has taken approximately 21 months for the desalination plant to come to fruition. “Feasibility, sustainability and marine ecological studies are required to confidently make an informed decision from a business case perspective. Being both financially viable and a sustainable long-term solution, we comfortably made the decision to install a desalination plant,” says Baines on the process entailed in launching the project. The Westin has various initiatives as part of its sustainability drive, including an education programme for its guests and the surrounding community, which has made significant strides.
A million a month Highlighting these achievements, Baines says: “We can confirm that we are now saving, on average, 1 million litres of water per month compared to the same time last year, and we continue to work with all areas of our business to challenge the status quo without significantly impacting our guests’ experience.” In 2017, The Westin Hotel saved over 7 million litres and this was just through educating its staff and guests on how to save water. The
Business as usual? The Westin Hotel in Cape Town believes so and, in the face of severe drought, is on a mission to make sure it spreads the good word. desalination plant is expected to draw 1.2 million litres of water from the ocean each day and process this into 441 000 litres of fresh, ready-todrink water. But at nearly 2.5 times the needed quota, where will the rest of the water go? Outside of maintenance, supplies and monitoring, the desalination plant was put up at a cost of R3.5 million and is funded by the Hospitality Property Fund. The Westin, along with the Cullinan and Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel, will all benefit from this initiative.
A sustainable commitment “Being able to guarantee a consistent water supply to our clients and guests is of paramount importance. As an international luxury brand, we are very fortunate to have an indispensable asset affording us the opportunity to maintain
26 • MEETINGS l july/august 2018 www.theplanner.guru
During the first quarter of 2018, Day Zero was a very real and imminent possibility, where dam levels and water stores would be so low that municipalities would be forced to turn off taps to residential areas. With water saving initiatives in full swing and improved rainfall, Day Zero has been moved to sometime in 2019 but Cape Town is not out of the woods yet, with dam levels still not sufficient enough to lift the Level 6B water restrictions.
the best possible guest experience. And, with the community in mind, we will be able to significantly reduce our own burden on the municipal water infrastructure and supply, saving millions of litres per year,” says Baines. Estimates put production of the desalination plant at approximately 160 million litres of water annually, while The Westin remains committed to all current water saving initiatives. “It is critical that we keep working to reduce our water consumption to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the desalination plant and, therefore, our reduction in municipal water usage,” he says. The water crisis has meant that the Cape area’s local businesses and residents have had to go about their daily lives in a somewhat less conventional way. But, in the long run, this is all a measure towards ensuring sustainability of its precious liquid resources. For those who are not ‘in the know’, it is most definitely business as usual for Cape Town, particularly for those innovating and taking proactive measures to guarantee long-term water security and sustainability of their resources, businesses and livelihoods.
Convention Square, Lower Long Street, Cape Town, 8000 +27 (0)21 412 9999 001445.Groupreservations@westin.com www.westincapetown.com
Big Six Western Cape Water Supply System Dams
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Su s t a in a bi l i t y S h owc a s e
The future’s looking GREEN DID YOU KNOW?
The Event Greening Forum is a non-profit organisation that promotes sustainability within the business events sector. It does this through membership, educational sessions and lobbying government to implement sustainability principles into the daily operations of the events industry. www.eventgreening.co.za
The Event Greening Forum held its sixth annual conference on 14 June 2018, at the forum | white light in Lanseria. The theme this year was ‘futureproofing your business’, and addressed the increasing environmental and social pressures that companies face and need sustainable solutions for. Event greening through your suppliers Eco-procurement means giving preference to suppliers who not only service your direct needs, but also offer a green benefit (where green refers to both environmental and social benefits). Examples of this could be selecting a venue that is eco-certified, serving fair trade coffee, or sourcing conference bags made by a local charity. The EGF recognises the power of eco-procurement to make businesses and events more sustainable, which is why it recently launched its Supplier Database. This searchable online directory lists all things needed for an event, where all listings have a green attribute of some form. It’s free to use and free to list on (with premium, paid-for options available too), so take advantage of it to start or continue your event greening journey: www.greendatabase.co.za
Tour with Cllr Solly Msimanga
Creating a responsible event destination Councillor Solly Msimanga, executive mayor of the City of Tshwane, gave the opening address for the Event Greening Forum’s (EGF’s) conference. He set an optimistic tone for the proceedings when he outlined his strategy to position the city as a leading responsible events destination. Msimanga explained that the city had already taken a significant step towards this goal, through its inclusion on the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index, gds-index.com), facilitated by the EGF. The GDS-Index measures and compares the social and environmental sustainability strategies, policies and performance of the participating event destination cities. This makes it clear what aspects of a destination are responsibly managed, as well as where there is scope to improve, and how. The city has since approved its Sustainable Procurement Strategy, which has set a target of
#greening 10% eco-certified procurement on operational expenditure by 2021. This is significant, considering that the city has a purchasing power in excess of R8 billion a year.
The Cape Town Day Zero success story Another highlight was Judy Lain, CMO: Tourism at Wesgro, who worked on the Cape Town water crisis communications campaign. Lain reports that within 24 hours of Day Zero being announced, the international media were showing pictures of empty dams and people standing in queues for water. The impact on business across various sectors was immediately felt. Her team managed to turn the messaging around, from a story of an impending disaster to “we’re still open for business” with guidance on how to use water responsibly. Subsequently, Capetonians have dramatically cut their water use and prevented Day Zero. And they’ve done this more successfully than other places facing a similar water crisis, revealed Lain: • California: 25.72% decrease in water use (from 527 ℓ to 387 ℓ per person) • Cape Town: 58.37% decrease (209 ℓ to 87 ℓ) • Melbourne: 40.24% decrease (246 ℓ to 147 ℓ) • São Paulo: 21.1% decrease (212.31 ℓ to 167.5 ℓ). Keeping it healthy Possibly the most popular session was a walking tour of the conference venue, led by Kim Roberts, operations director at the forum. Delegates visited the vegetable garden and lemon orchid, and learnt how the venue grows the bulk of its own food. Everyone then made their own lemon preserve as a take-home treat. (The venue makes preserves to minimise food waste and keep the pantry well stocked.) the forum is also obtaining its Healthy Venues accreditation from the World Obesity Federation (www.worldobesity.org). As a result, it has a number of health-promoting opportunities in place for its guests – which the EGF delegates also benefited from – such as the walk and the delicious, wholesome food being served. In summary In total, there were 11 speakers representing academia, government, non-profits and business. Other topics covered included: the relationship between strategy and sustainability; whose responsibility sustainability is; carbon offsetting events; how to turn a crisis into an opportunity; and feedback on the EGF’s Supplier Database and research. In closing, EGF chairperson Greg McManus said, “This has been our best conference to date. The calibre of speakers and the content were high, and the delegates were fully engaged.”
Exhibitions under examination The EGF has commissioned the University of Pretoria to conduct a study into the use, reuse and recycling practices of custom-built wood-based exhibition stands in South Africa and abroad. Dr Mathilda du Preez, one of the researchers, reported on the study’s initial findings at the EGF conference, which already highlight some possible concerns around wood waste disposal. For example, discarded materials are often salvaged for heating and cooking in informal settlements. As many wood materials are treated with toxic chemicals, this practice poses serious health risks. The next phase of research is interviewing exhibition venues, organisers, stand builders and waste management companies. If you would like to contribute to the research by completing a 13-minute survey, please email: greg mcmanus email@example.com. The research findings, along with best practice recommendations, will be shared with the industry. Thank you to African Graphix, bluCube, Inspire Furniture Rentals, New World and Scan Display for funding this study.
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v e nu e S h owc a s e
A cut above the rest Rand Club opened its doors in 1887 and has since been one of South Africa’s most enigmatic and prestigious venues. We look at this beautiful space as a first-class venue showcase. a 21st century club
he four-storey Rand Club might be classified as an antique but everything about this Victorian architect’s dream is in absolutely immaculate condition. Some areas have been recently restored, including a Wi-Fi enabled business centre, which gives the venue old-school charm with a refreshed look and feel. From the furnishings to the staircase balustrades and carpeting, walking through Rand Club imparts a sense of how much of South Africa’s history the venue has seen; the venue opened its doors a year after Johannesburg was established as a town and it has relied on its members and their patronage to build and grow Rand Club into what it is today. “The Club still speaks to the highest level of exclusivity and is run in part as a members’ organisation, all of whom hold it in the highest regard,” notes Judy Goddard, director at Rand Club More recently, Rand Club has expanded its offering as an event venue – ideal for a true heritage experience. Rand Club space is open to the public, and it has hosted numerous high-level events
since opening its doors to the events industry around two years ago. Rand Club offers a full turnkey event solution for its clients, with catering and bar services, staffing, audiovisual and technical support, decor, entertainment and event planning all forming part of its enticing offering.
Boundless possibilities Previously enjoyed by members only, Rand Club’s exceptional event spaces are now available to members and non-members alike. Rand Club’s seven versatile spaces create the ideal setting for memorable occasions, from intimate functions of 10 pax to much larger productions of 500 pax. Due to the versatility of the venue, larger conferences can be enjoyed in the building, with a plenary room and multiple breakaway rooms. Rand Club is ideal for private parties, corporate functions – including conferences, meetings, year-end functions, gala dinners and award evenings – art exhibitions, fashion shows and weddings.
30 • MEETINGS l july/august 2018 www.theplanner.guru
FAST FACTS SAFE, SECURE AND SO ACCESSIBLE
The Clubhouse is a tranquil oasis in the city, located in the safe and cosmopolitan banking and mining district. Easy access from the M2 motorway, parking in the Club’s private street enclosure and 120 secure overflow parking bays in close proximity to the Clubhouse make this a convenient and accessible destination. A shuttle service between the overflow parking and Clubhouse is available.
Enhanced experience “Individuals who enjoy exploring the history of Johannesburg will feel inspired by the venue in itself, as one is left in little doubt that history is not merely on display; Johannesburg history has been made here, enhancing the experience for every guest that attends an event at Rand Club.” Brandon Clifford, director of Rand Club
Make sure to keep an eye on social media for events hosted by Rand Club or to book an event at this historic site, www.randclub.co.za Facebook @RandClubJohannesburg Twitter @randclub Instagram @randclub
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b e s t p r a c t ic e
putting magic into your events Through creative innovations, magic and illusion can be an effective tool to visually inspire, and generate interest in your product, brand or message. It’s interesting, engaging, mysterious and highly entertaining, writes Ilan Smith.
echnology has changed the face of business, people’s communication and engagement with content. The days of having to sit and watch TV commercials, reading the backs of shampoo bottles on the loo and visiting libraries to access information are long gone. It’s nothing new that, at the click of a button, instant access to podcasts, videos and the latest viral media message is the world we are interacting in today. It’s no surprise then, that this fast-paced, impatient society of instagrammers are able to whip up a storyline, hashtag key concepts and output their own experiences in less time than you can say ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. How then, can we expect conference attendees to remain an attentive and engaged audience at our events? I’d like to share with you a little secret behind the magic.
The art of infotainment This consists of a delightful blend of information sharing and a splash of entertainment in order to make personal connections with people in a meaningful manner. Using a multisensory approach and personal experiences, magic crosses all boundaries, appealing to young, old, all religions, and all language users to get your brand or marketing message across. It’s all-inclusive. This style of entertainment delights, engages and informs the group in an up-close and personal format. It’s an attention grabber. The magic happens in the hands of the spectators. Both literally and figuratively, magic touches the person mesmerised by the illusion. This concept has worked successfully at trade shows and expos, drawing prospective clients and spectators to your company’s stand. Take Sanlam, for example. A magic effect was created where playing cards printed with the Sanlam logo (two hands and a ball) were used in a card trick with an unsuspecting delegate. The magician would magically transform the Sanlam ball from the 2D
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picture on the face of the card to a 3D actual ball. It fell out of the card into his/her awaiting hands. The ball would then come to life, allowing the delegate to open it up and participate in a competition at the Sanlam stand. The takehome effect is certainly one to remember, and a striking change from the usual massage chairs or ladies handing out goodies. Using strategies such as sleight of hand, body language, psychology, misdirection and humour, the magic happens and the message is imparted. It grabs the attention of modern people who are accustomed to an ever-increasing pace of society and who can no longer keep up with an influx of information and inbox overload. It’s time to get off the hamster wheel, get noticed, make personal connections and be remembered.
Practical magic Whether it’s the human communication and meaningful interactions that take place, or the uniquely customised, jaw-dropping illusions that bring your marketing and advertising up a notch for your audience, the personal touch is what makes all the difference. Having people leave your event feeling motivated and inspired beyond their usual everyday experiences will have a lasting effect sure to be remembered for years to come. People want to be seen (eye contact) and heard (conversed with) so that they leave feeling validated and valued. Magic allows for conversation, meaningful interactions and laughter. It’s a refreshing breather among a slew of monotonous lectures and somewhat heavy (read boring) content. Some great entertainment, using special effects to impart knowledge and information, and light-hearted audience
participation is the way forward. The teambuilding aspect, human element, fun, and creative and critical thinking allow it to suit any industry. The possibilities are endless and memorable. Magic (and illusion) allows one to dream and takes people away from their everyday worries and troubles. It provides a platform for people to laugh, let go and believe in the potential for something bigger and better. I absolutely love my job – creating experiences where people can believe in the impossible.
About Ilan Smith:
Master of intrigue and wonder, illusionist Ilan Smith is a corporate entertainer and keynote speaker who has been wowing audiences since the age of 16.
E V E N T S P R O D U C T I O N H O S P I TA L I T Y
www.ephproductions.co.za firstname.lastname@example.org 012 345 5278 | 082 924 9046
EVENTS PRODUCTION HOSPITALITY Your All-In-One Event Management Company, with over 100 years of accumulative experience we know how to deliver the best results, every time. Our Specialities include: Technical: Lighting, Audio Visual, LED Screens, Sound, Staging & Sets, 24 Hour Onsite Management Event Management: Design & Conceptualization, Budget & Event Proposal, Transport, Accommodation, Catering, Decor, Entertainment, Technical, 24 Hour Onsite Management Multi Media: Corporate Video Production, Music Video Recording, Voice Overs, CD Recordings, Television & Radio Broadcasting, Pre & Post Production Editing, Full HD Facilities
d e s t in a t ion
Bleisurely Bliss The unassuming Free State province might be the best place to host your next event. Meetings explores the area’s treasures to reveal what makes this an ideal destination for your next conference.
he Free State is a sizeable province in South Africa, spanning an area of 129 825 km². Although renowned for its natural beauty, the Free State is not typically somewhere that would spring to mind as the first choice for an event or conference but it cannot be overlooked, especially if you are seeking to create an intimate, memorable meeting experience blended with interactive or leisurely incentives. The Free State is divided into five main municipalities, namely the Lejweleputswa, Fezile Dabi, Mangaung, Thabo Mofutsanyana and Xhariep region districts. Bloemfontein in Mangaung is the Free State’s largest metropolis. An international convention centre has been proposed for the city but anything on the scale of what Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town has to offer has yet to come to fruition. You will be challenged planning a large-scale event in the Free State for a delegation of more than 500 people. Venues are limited in terms of size; however, for numbers ranging from 150 to 200 people, you are rather spoilt for choice, with many lodges and hotels offering accommodation and conferencing facilities for smaller parties. For an event comprised of about 100 people,
there is an even greater selection of venues available. While the sleepy province of the Free State has a wide range of MICE options, the planning around your dream conference or event is key. Given how sprawling the Free State is, careful consideration will need to be given to where your guests are coming from and the logistics of their itineraries. It is an approximately three-and-a-half-hour drive from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein, Clarens or the Golden Gate Highlands National Park – it’s also about the same distance from Bloemfontein to most of the attractions in the Thabo Mofutsanyana area, such as Golden Gate and Clarens. This means that you will need to find a location that is big enough for your delegation and ensure it meets all expectations from both amenities and activities perspectives. Why the Free State? Showcase South Africa! Showcase: South African history South Africa has a rich political history and there are many attractions dotted across the Free State that give some insights into our roots. Some of these attractions include the National Museum in Bloemfontein; the site where the Sand River Convention was signed in 1852; and the old battlefields of wars fought in 1835, 1839 and the 1900s. Showcase: South African culture The Basotho Cultural Village is a must-see for anyone looking to entrench themselves in a part of South African culture. Experience the South Sotho history, traditions and lifestyle from the 1700s right through to present day. Guided tours are given seven days a week between 09:00 and 16:30 during weekdays and 17:00 on weekends.
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The Main Attractions
Blessed with an abundance of thriving natural flora and fauna, the Free State has an array of nature reserves and protected areas where one can enjoy the province’s natural beauty
Golden Gate Highlands National Park This natural, national treasure covers an area of 340 km2. If you are looking for a taste of the outdoors, look no further, as Golden Gate caters for most activities. Vredefort Dome The site of the world’s largest known impact crater is an interesting peek into the geological history of South Africa’s topography. Clarens With the Maluti mountain range as its backdrop, Clarens is famed for its picturesque country setting and, with its quaint art galleries and antique stores, makes for an ideal sightseeing excursion. Gariep Dam Originally the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam, Gariep was commissioned in 1971. It has developed into a popular tourist destination with resorts and lodges around the dam having been built since. Parys Located on the banks of the Vaal River, the scenic town of Parys is much closer to Johannesburg than most of the other attractions in the Free State and still offers an ideal escape from the city.
Showcase: South African nature Blessed with an abundance of thriving natural flora and fauna, the Free State has an array of nature reserves and protected areas where one can enjoy the province’s natural beauty. If you’re in Bloemfontein, visit the Free State National Botanical Gardens. Towards the north-east, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park and Clarens are only 19 km apart, so consider accommodation between the two and visit both.
For more information, visit freestatetourism.org or contact the Free State Tourism’s office on +27 (0)51 409 9900
Venue Highlights Room Name Golden Gate Hotel & Chalets
+27 (0)58 255 1000
Protea Hotel by Marriott Clarens
+27 (0)58 256 1212
+27 (0)11 662 2136/1836
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The spaces between us Gallagher Convention Centre is a behemoth of a venue, sprawled over a 32 hectare property. Meetings takes stock of what the Convention Centre’s versatile spaces have to offer and gives a first-hand account of her site visit.
riving in through the monolithic arched marble entrance to Gallagher Convention Centre is rather intimidating – the area the centre covers is massive but, thankfully, I have been equipped with a solid idea of where I need to go by the guards at the main gate. The layout of Gallagher, even for someone who is lost on a simple round circuit (me), is easy to navigate; parking is on the right, while the Centre’s facilities are on the left.
service with a smile Once in the Convention Centre, there is a friendly group of receptionists sitting behind a large counter who are waiting to help visitors with whatever they may need. I’m ushered to Harold’s Bar – a cosy area around the corner from the reception area – while I wait for my host. I make myself comfortable on one of the big, brown leather chairs ahead of the grand
tour and have a fabulous cappuccino brought to me that instantly tastes like more. Leniese van der Merwe, marketing manager for Gallagher, comes down from the offices in the main building to meet me. I have on the proper gear and I am wearing practical pumps in preparation for being taken through the multi-purpose halls and wide corridors of the Convention Centre. I start realising, as the morning progresses, that there is perhaps more to Gallagher than meets the eye. The big halls with ample floor space speak for themselves, which is perhaps what many feel is slightly daunting about the Convention Centre, but its versatility does not just lend itself to events on a major scale.
versatile venues Gallagher can accommodate up to 7 000 people in just one of its 27 venues, but what is not widely known is that it has smaller spaces catering for between 2 to 200 people
that make its offering so much more diverse. I am shown a different area of the Convention Centre that doesn’t look at all like where I had my matric dance 15 years ago, and cannot help but be impressed by the little treasure trove of spaces discover Gallagher has three larger meeting rooms that cater for up to 200 people and five boardrooms ranging in size that are suitable for 2 to 60 guests. Each boardroom can be laid out, furniture included, exactly to the client’s specifications and comes with its own dedicated butler for the duration of the time it is occupied. Gallagher seems to have left no stone unturned with its offering and has ensured that there is a space that caters for every need – unbeknownst to many, the Convention Centre also provides an outdoor setting in the form of The Wine Garden. With its beautiful leafy canopy and winding water feature that trickles down throughout the area, The Wine Garden is also open to the public and is just one of many spaces within the Centre waiting to host your next bespoke meeting or event. www.gallagher.co.za +27 (0)11 266 3000 Gallagher@gallagher.co.za
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How to delegate Attracting delegates to your event is a challenge in itself – all the more reason to ensure their objectives are not overlooked or ignored. Meetings gives some pointers on how to ensure your event makes sense for your target market.
hile high attendance certainly is a healthy indicator of the success of any meeting or event, this industry isn’t just a numbers game. And unless you’re basing the level of achievement of your event purely on ticket sales, attracting a massive delegation in the hope that you will make an impact is a total shot in the dark. Event attendees don’t want to be talked at ad nauseum; neither do they have the time for it. With personalised consumption on the increase, it is that much more important to frame who needs to be part of your audience and how to align your messaging to them. When taking a step back and looking at what the event is intended to accomplish, we can then see that the answer lies in who attends each event. With the frequency of each event being relatively low compared to other media, it is vital to strike a balance between your objectives and who can help you meet them. Outlining some simple points to consider in terms of your audience reach will help define who attends your event and why.
Be expressly clear about your messaging and why your audience is attending your meeting or event. Even if it is an abstract concept, if you cannot define the thrust of your event in two sentences or less, go back to the drawing board.
Make sure there is something that is either of interest to the individual – in a personal or professional capacity – or at least one small aspect of the event that will make an impact; anything that creates an association to the event.
What do you want to tell your audience?
Why should your audience listen?
What’s in it for them?
A talking point. Pique your audience’s interests and tap into their thinking. Move them with emotive and thoughtprovoking content that will illustrate and support your message. Create a long-lasting impression that they will want to bring up in conversation.
Follow up, get feedback. Make sure you set the bar for the next event. Keep them coming back for more. Build rapport with your audiences; endear them to everything representing your event because word of mouth remains one of the best leads for new business.
What sort of impact do you want to create?
Whether it is a fantastic speaker line-up or the launch of a new initiative or groundbreaking report, make the delegate feel as if whatever they are gaining from the event cannot be found elsewhere. And no, free food does not count as a draw card.
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Jump the broom at these wedding venues Talloula venue
Your wedding is likely to be one of the most memorable days of your life. A great venue is central to the success of your nuptials, and finding the ideal spot is no easy feat. Meetings has put together a list of some trendy wedding venues across South Africa worth considering ahead of the big day.
WHEN IN GAUTENG Set in classically landscaped gardens, surrounding an elegant water feature where sparkling fountains splash around a magnificent bronze sculpture, Summer Place is an idyllic location for weddings and special occasions. It is a venue where the most discerning demands are met, gracefully, perfectly and completely, and is harmoniously and elegantly placed to make the most distinguished of visitors feel contented. Centrally located in Sandton, Gauteng, Summer Place is an ideal venue for any event – not just a romantic wedding, but a professional conference or corporate function too. summerplacesa.com Another hidden gem that’s become increasingly popular is the stunning Shepstone Gardens. This unique venue offers a variety of services to help plan your wedding day. With bespoke bar and kitchen facilities, a variety of stock – from tablecloths and napkins to reception chairs and garden furniture – coordination packages, as well as a carefully chosen list of trusted, professional suppliers who can assist with all wedding services, this is certainly a top pick. The beauty of Shepstone Gardens lies in the rich history of
what used to be a family home. The main house is one of the original Witwatersrand Ridge houses commissioned by the Modderfontein Dynamite Company, at the turn of the 20th century. The original house was built from the local quartz (estimated at 350 million years old) by Boer prisoners captured during the Anglo Boer War. shepstonegardens.co.za
WHEN IN THE WESTERN CAPE For a magnificent wedding venue with unforgettable views, consider Ashanti Estate. This unique destination is nestled in the picturesque Paarl Valley, beneath the peaks of the Klein Drakenstein mountain range. The venue boasts three grand halls of refined ambience, magnificent gardens and surrounds, and the Ashanti Dam, which all serve as the ideal private venue for intimate or elaborate weddings. On-site services include catering, bar and staffing, onthe-day management and more. Whether holding a wedding, special function with loved ones or a corporate event, the Ashanti experience will make for a truly memorable day. ashantiestate.co.za One of the oldest and most historic agricultural farms in South Africa, Lourensford Wine Estate is rich in history and heritage,
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classy wedding venues Lourensford Wine Estate
DID YOU KNOW? In South Africa, the median age of bridegrooms is 36, while the median age of brides is 32.
architecture, clean lines and incredible view, Lourensford indisputably deserves its title as one of the most beautiful wedding venues in Southern Africa. laurent-lourensford.co.za
and boasts one of the most advanced and sophisticated wine cellars in the southern hemisphere. As a wedding venue, the estate boasts hectares of superior vineyards, making for a perfect wedding backdrop. No matter how intimate or extravagant the wedding, the venue is well equipped to accommodate any eventing requirements. With indoor seating for 250 guests, the venue’s frameless sliding glass doors are able to open up completely to a large veranda, to effectively double the event area and ensure an uninterrupted space, overlooking the estate and its surrounds. With its carefully considered
WHEN IN KWAZULU-NATAL Located in the rolling Caversham Valley, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Orchards is an elegant and romantic wedding venue. The wedding chapel, nestled in the orchard, affords stunning views of lush, green fields, scattered with hay bales, setting the scene for a truly romantic country wedding with a difference. The thatched, country-chic ambience permeates the guest lodge, converted stables and wedding venue, which spills down to the bubbling stream gently meandering through the property. This countryside venue makes for the perfect, personalised, semi-boho wedding experience, and offers on-site accommodation for the couple. The family-run venue offers and facilitates a wonderful array of customised wedding plans and requests to make the wedding day truly memorable. orchardsvenue.com Talloula is a breath of fresh air set in the heart of the Valley of 1 000 Hills – just five
minutes from Hillcrest, outside Durban, KZN. With two very hands-on owners with a knack for exceptional, personal service, a Talloula wedding is a unique experience. This stylish contemporary venue, with open white trusses and plenty of natural light, provides a clean palette that allows you to create your very own personal wedding style and scenery to ensure your big day is picture perfect. The garden conservatory is the ideal setting for your “I do” moment and the extensive gardens leading to the wetland are the perfect backdrop for photographs. Talloula is far enough from the hustle and bustle, but still close enough for your guests to be able to drive back to Durban after the nuptials. talloula.co.za.
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year out, year end More than halfway through the year, event organisers, venues and service providers are starting to plan for year-end functions. Meetings looks at the ins and outs of making sure your year-end event sets the bar.
roadly speaking and budgets aside, there is so much nitty gritty involved in planning an event of any size or scale that it’s never an exact science. However, for an occasion like a year-end function, there is a simple formula you can follow to help you execute a fabulous event destined to be the proverbial caketopping cherry of the year gone by.
The occasion Why have a year-end function in the first place? Think carefully about who the year-end function is for and who will be attending. This will then lend itself to the agenda for the duration of the event and, from this, you can create a theme and be better guided on entertainment. As the event organiser, you will need to find out from your client if there will be speeches and formalities to recognise achievements over the past year and laud employee excellence, as an
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example. If this is the case, make sure that speeches by directors and executive management are succinct and to the point – remember, this is likely what is standing in-between guests and the food and, at this point, attention spans will be dwindling fast. Guests will arrive in dribs and drabs and leave in a similar fashion. Ensure everyone knows when and where they need to be seated and allow them to network with their colleagues and affiliates for no longer than half an hour before they grow antsy. Usher them to their seats and let the formalities begin. There should not be waiting staff serving food or drinks or any activity on the floor while speeches are being made as it is distracting to both the person addressing the audience as well as the audience. If need be, make sure guests have something on the table to nibble on to keep them going until starters are served and that each course is brought out when it makes sense to do so.
THE VENUE Your venue is central to ensuring the success of your function, so the time of day your event is taking place, whether it is indoors or outdoors, and what the weather is like during this particular time of year will inform this decision. Does your venue fully cater for
Top 10 tips Get the buy-in of all decision-makers on objectives Your theme and entertainment should be focused around the objectives of your year-end function Look at strategic seating Agree on timelines by mid-year Take transport and parking into consideration when selecting a venue Personalise invitations and put in place a system to manage RSVPs Build in some fat on your budget wherever possible… you will likely need it Ensure there is an admin point of contact as well as a backup Put in place a process to monitor all aspects of planning Go back to tip one and ensure all objectives have been met here
Party Like It's
Keep it tidy Year-end functions are notorious for ‘getting out of hand’. Limit the free tipple, wrap up at a reasonable hour and promote responsible drinking throughout the event.
all types of weather and satisfy both your guest and event needs? The size of the venue space is especially important so that guests don’t feel as if they are billowing around a big, blustery hall. Conversely, you don’t want them crammed into a space where they might feel borderline claustrophobic, so make sure you have seating that is appropriate for the numbers you are expecting. If there are formalities and you have a high-level guest speaker, will they need a stage and a podium? Might there be a security element to this and will they have an entourage? A similar consideration might need to be given towards your entertainment, including your audiovisual and lighting needs, so check this with the venue prior to booking anything. If you have an assigned space in-house that is suitable as a year-end function venue, make sure it isn’t the same space your guests are used to seeing. Even if you don’t have a theme like the now very overdone Great Gatsby, develop a dazzling execution that will blow guests away but not blow your budget. Look at lighting, draping, furniture and layout to make sure that your space is not only functional but exquisite too. If you are hosting your function at an external venue, make sure that it will be done up beautifully for your guests.
THE BELLS AND WHISTLES Time to roll out the red carpet. This is an opportunity for your guests to feel like true VIPs, so pull out all the stops. It goes without saying that there will be limitations on what budgets can and can’t cater for but rather than rehashing previous executions, think out of the box. What will appeal to guests at this particular function and how does their company or organisation feature within this? Consider what entertainment you will have for your guests and how you want to time this. Will there be an experiential element or a live performance during the course of the event, or music and dancing afterwards, or a combination? Whatever you decide, a year-end function has the potential to make or break perceptions of the employer in the eyes of their employees, so it is important to ensure that the company and its staff are upheld in a similar way and that this is a common theme throughout the event. A final word of caution – if budgets are not sufficient to pull off a worthwhile year-end function, rather forego the event and suggest a token gift be bought for employees or staff instead. There really is nothing sadder than a couple of cheaply sourced platters with limp lettuce for garnish and a few cans of soft drink to wash it all down as your year-end event.
If there is room for it in the budget, consider having your guests’ Ubers home paid for or sponsored but do ensure that their well-being in this regard is factored into your event.
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e v e n t S h owc a s e
Century Chiq Century City Conference Centre and Hotel has been open for just over two years and, already, the company has exceeded financial projections to start turning over a profit – almost unheard of in business terms. We profile some of the power women at its helm.
walda meyers GM Century City Hotel As general manager, Walda is pivotal to the Century City Hotel operation. She has been in the role since October 2015 and was part of the pre-planning and opening of the Century City Conference Centre and Hotel. Walda graduated from the International Hotel School having completed her course in Hotel Management in 2004. She has been part of the hospitality industry for 16 years and, in 2017, she furthered her education by graduating from UCT after completing a Hospitality Leadership Course. Walda is attentive to the needs of her guests and knows every detail of the hotel – even how its organic veggie juices are sourced.
ccconferencecentre.co.za +27 (0)21 204 8000 email@example.com
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Business Optimisation Manager Kim isn’t lacking in drive to succeed in any way. She holds a National Diploma in Hospitality Management and is currently completing her Master Certificate in Revenue Management through Cornell University. She hopes to add a marketing qualification to her portfolio in the near future. Kim started in the industry as a hotel trainee, which sparked a passion to further her career in hospitality management. Her foundation in the industry was solidified in the operations of hotels. From here, she evolved into her current role as business optimisation manager at Century City Conference Centre and Hotel, where she is responsible for optimising revenues and ensuring the best outcome for both the business and its guests.
Zandri Swartz Brand Influencer Zandri has a twinkle in her eye as she takes prospective clients around the lower level of the Century City Hotel and talks animatedly about all the fine details of the business. Her passion is obvious – and infectious! Zandri started her career in air travel before moving to Budget Car Rental as a corporate account manager where she was named Best Corporate Account Manager. In 2010, she joined the Protea Hotel Group where she managed key accounts on behalf of the hospitality chain. She had a six-year stint with Protea before joining the CCCCH team in January 2016. Zandri strives to build good relationships with all her clients and, as a brand influencer, she often works long hours to ensure their every need is met.
Michelle Moller Sommelier: Square Café & Wine Bar At the age of just 24, Michelle already has a BCom under her belt, along with a range of sommelier qualifications. Together with her love and extensive knowledge of all things viticultural, Michelle has a clear enthusiasm for South African wines – evidenced by the collection in the hotel’s beautiful glass wine cellar. She was recently in London where she completed her Introductory Sommelier Certificate, which is the first of four levels presented by the renowned Court of Master Sommeliers – an institution that is considered the zenith of sommelier training. She also has a Cape Wine Academy Cape Sommelier Certificate, has done her Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 3 and is currently studying towards a WSET Diploma Level 4.
20 questions SOUND BITE
A knack for simple elegance Trevor Boyd, executive chef at the esteemed Michelangelo Hotel, has had a colourful culinary career. Overseeing all aspects of the kitchen and delivering great meals at the celebrated gourmet dinners held at the hotel’s Piccolo Mondo restaurant are sources of great pride for him.
About Chef trevor After completing his National Diploma in Catering Management at Wits Technikon Hotel School (now University of Johannesburg School of Tourism & Hospitality), Trevor travelled South Africa, working as a chef. He was executive chef of the Sheraton Hotel Pretoria for two years. In 2009, he joined HTA School of Culinary Arts as culinary quality assurance manager, taking up the challenge of educating young minds. Trevor then joined the Michelangelo Hotel in 2015 and has been at the helm of the kitchen brigade since.
How has the food and beverage industry changed over the past five years? Food and beverage is ever evolving, which is what makes it such an awesome industry to be involved in. I like the fact that mixologists are doing innovative molecular testing in cocktails. Chefs are also treating food products with respect and enhancing flavour profiles of ingredients rather than confusing them with complicated cooking methods and accompaniments.
What are some of the current trends in the food and beverage industry? Smaller servings of food, well-constructed menus and innovative cocktail offerings.
What would you identify as the primary mistake people make when catering for conferencing? Not understanding the client’s needs. Adapt and understand offerings according to what the customer is asking for.
How can one present ‘plain’ food in a way that appeals to delegates? Simple elegance. Clean, flavourful food outweighs a fancy offering, any time.
Did you eat your veggies as a child? Yes, I did. My mom used to make Boere boontjies, so how could you not want to eat your vegetables?
What is your favourite food memory? What is your favourite dish to make? Oxtail.
Eating great food as a family around the kitchen table.
What is your number one catering tip?
What is one ingredient you cannot cook without?
Proper mise en place (the preparation of dishes and ingredients before service) and uncomplicated planning.
What is your favourite kitchen equipment or gadget?
I must have been about 12 years old. After that realisation, I did everything needed to reach my dream.
I love a thermomixer, but am happy to play with a smoker at the same time.
What’s your proudest moment as a chef?
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
What dish are you asked to make most often?
Being a chef and making people happy with food makes me proud on a daily basis. But being part of Culinary Team South Africa and winning a gold medal at the IKA Culinary Olympics must count as a personal highlight of my career, as well as having my parents see me in a green and gold blazer.
There isn’t a specific dish but I must confess that I would like to be asked to make beef bobotie more often.
What are your favourite foods to cook with?
Are there any foods you just don’t like?
I love cooking with ‘working’ proteins like shanks, shoulders, etc. They have great flavour and you can do so much with them to make them taste amazing.
What is your favourite food? Pizza… hands down.
I am unable to eat fish and seafood so that would be top of my list, even though a piece of grilled Mauritian sea bass and salad always looks so light and appetising.
What’s your ‘death row’ meal, as the late Anthony Bourdain put it? Pizza.
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20 questions I was once asked to arrange a day trip from Gauteng to the Kruger Park by shuttle by an overseas visitor.
you are taking up too much space.” – Anonymous
What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
Honesty, integrity and business ethics.
The people and how a relationship evolves from the initial email to the conclusion of a successful event.
What are some of your ‘bucket list’ items?
What drives you both personally and professionally? I am a ‘people pleaser’! I love to see people’s expectations being exceeded.
What are some of your career highlights? In 2005, on behalf of the Irish Embassy, I was asked to assist with
Gem quality personality Monika Jacobs is a conference specialist at Toadbury Hall Country Hotel. We get to know her better with some revealing personal insights.
Where do you see the events industry currently? The events industry is continually evolving. Social media platforms provide us with the means to create audience-specific events and supply potential delegates with insights as to how previous events were received based on feedback on these platforms.
Where would you like to see the industry in the next five years? Despite social media’s marketing power, the interpersonal relationships between event organisers, clients and delegates need to be focused on in the coming years. People still need to
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connect on a face-to-face level to build relationships.
What role or influence do you believe Toadbury Hall plays in this? Toadbury is in a fantastic position to give guests versatility of choice. With three restaurants, and numerous function and conference venues situated on a spectacular 25 hectares of country estate in the Cradle of Humankind, Toadbury caters for leisure and corporates alike.
What was the most interesting client request you’ve had?
logistics and other related support functions at the SIDS Conference in Mauritius.
What is your special talent? Crisis management.
What are values you will not deviate from?
I am a gypsy at heart, so I love to travel – some bucket list places include the Bahamas, Malta, Rome and Russia and to see the aurora borealis from Iceland or Alaska.
What was your best holiday? Good friends from the US came to visit and we had the opportunity to take them to Springbok Lodge for a few days and then down to San Lameer – from the bush to the sea with amazing company.
What is your most prized possession? A girl can never only have one… so it would be my few pairs of flat shoes that match any outfit.
What is your favourite read? Entrepreneur magazine is one of my favourite reads. I am an absolute sucker for the zero-tomillions success stories.
What do people most often wrongly assume about you? That I work out and follow a strict diet.
What is your spirit animal? Hmmm, I’m a Gemini and my Chinese horoscope indicates a snake; so, I would have to go with the two-headed snake.
Who were your superheroes growing up?
What is your guiltypleasure?
Ayesha (She-who-must-be-obeyed) and my father.
Playing puzzle-solving PC games – just for 10 minutes. An hour later…
Who do you currently aspire to be like and why?
What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Richard Branson. He started from nothing and built an empire.
Tending to my vegetable garden, although it currently consists of tomatoes, a few heads of lettuce, a pawpaw tree and some freerange weeds… a direct result of limited spare time.
What quote best describes your outlook towards life? “If you’re not living on the edge,
Ta l k ing p oin t s
INDUSTRY views Is there any certainty in an uncertain world?
The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) is an organisation that represents the combined interests of 15 international meetings industry associations. It has provided a forum for information exchange among industry groups for over 50 years and has recently become more engaged in the process of articulating and delivering industry messages to wider community and governmental audiences, as well as developing better mechanisms for documenting the value of the industry.
Rod Cameron is the executive director of the Joint Meetings Industry Council and the faculty head for the AIPC Academy.
Business events meet politics in a new global dynamic Rod Cameron discusses how meetings create forums for people to
exchange knowledge and support the advancement of business and industry professionals.
here meetings and conventions are held and how content is approached is affected by many different factors, including the influences of global and regional politics. In the face of significant political disruptions this past year or so – from Brexit to the US presidential election and the promise of more dislocations in a number of European countries – it is not unreasonable to wonder how this all potentially impacts our business prospects and even the future of the industry. But already, there is reason to believe that the shifting global relations causing so much concern in many circles may well be minimal and could even be beneficial to the meetings industry. For one thing, the impact on global markets, which generally don’t respond positively to shocks or uncertainty of any kind, were much less dramatic and shorter-lived than anyone expected. Initial reactions were quickly absorbed and recovery was under way within days, if not hours. The final balance will be years in the making with a lot of bumps along the way.
industry stability The meetings industry responds to very different forces. To begin, a very large proportion of events are in fact local or regional, and these make for a stable base of activity in any destination. At the same time, many events on rotation are driven by academic and professional needs rather than business ones, and these are unlikely to be much affected, just as association events were practically untouched by the global financial crisis. Decision factors important to most planners and their respective organisations are unlikely to be heavily influenced by local or regional politics. The selection criteria are based on where events feel they need to go in order to respond to the distribution of markets and members, potential for new markets and members and, increasingly, linking up with institutions and programmes that respond to the priorities set
by the organisations in question. None of this is going to be particularly influenced by political changes. Other factors such as the quality and attractiveness of the destination as a product, including meeting facilities, the complementary hotel and the availability of other amenities essential to the delivery of a great event, are once again unlikely to be impacted by political issues.
silver lining Another key site consideration – certainly since the belttightening that accompanied the last global recession – is cost structure, and here there actually may be benefits recognised. For some destinations, where there is a currency impact, it may actually create an advantage as organisers have the opportunity to secure desirable destinations at discount prices. And there is even further potential for more beneficial tax arrangements, depending on how this factor plays out in the future. Finally, there may even be a silver lining effect; already, academics, researchers and associations with international connections are reacting to travel restrictions in certain countries with well-articulated arguments around the value of meetings to their respective areas and, overall, to the global advancement necessary for maintaining economic progress. This is mobilising a group that has not always been a staunch defender of the industry, and those voices may be even stronger than ours in raising the alarm and reversing some of the more drastic tendencies. A looming catastrophe? Not likely. In the end, meetings and conventions will mostly do what they have always done: create forums for people to exchange knowledge and support the advancement of business and industry professionals. In that regard, their role may turn out to be a force for good where it’s most needed by helping bridge the gaps created by changing political alignments.
The active member associations who comprise JMIC today are: •A sian Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (AACVB) • International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) •A merican Society of Association Executives (ASAE) • L atin American Confederation of PCO and Related Companies (Cocal) •D estination Marketing Association International (DMAI) •E uropean Cities Marketing (ECM) •E uropean Association of Event Centres (EVVC) • International Association of Professional Congress Organizers (IAPCO) • International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)
• Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP) •M eeting Professionals International (MPI) •P rofessional Convention Management Association (PCMA) • S ociety of Incentive & Travel Excellence (SITE) •G lobal Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) •U nion of International Associations (UIA) JMIC is supported by IMEX and ibtm World. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.themeetingsindustry.org.
MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018 •
TALK I N G P O I N TS
INDUSTRY views SAACI's mentorship programme gains momentum
rudi van der Vyver is the CEO of SAACI.
INDUSTRY views EGF's Master Class and Conference positively impact sustainability
Zoe van Niekerk is on the Event Greening Forum committee, and organised the 2018 Conference and Master Class with the EGF secretariat Lynn McLeod.
Gearing the industry up for success SAACI has a renewed focus on growing the business events industry through education and learning aimed at creating growth and sustainability in the industry, writes Rudi van der Vyver.
arlier in the year, SAACI launched a formal internship and mentorship programme, with the first intakes already running. Interns are placed with SAACI member ‘hosts’ for a period of six months to work in various departments and gain true on-the-ground knowledge of the industry and valuable experience to jumpstart their careers. We rely on our SAACI members and the industry to embrace these initiatives and collaborate with SAACI to provide these crucial platforms. SAACI has also partnered up with an array of training providers and other industry bodies to provide more targeted and relevant face-to-face training interventions through the SAACI Academy, across South Africa, to our members and the industry alike. SAACI will also start to roll out more training and learning interventions into Africa in order to create a critical mass of resources throughout the continent and to ensure we increase the standards and knowledge we have across the continent. A pilot programme focused on rural development and the incubation of skills within our local
communities has been launched through the SAACI Academy in partnership with Stellenbosch University and ECTA. This programme is focused on vocational skills training in areas such as the production of draping and decor elements, the set-up of an event, and then further providing the basic skills to run a startup business. We encourage members and non-members to get involved with the SAACI Academy initiatives, as these are focused on collectively making a difference to not only our direct industry but the larger economy of South Africa and Africa as a whole. For more details on any of the SAACI learning initiatives, please contact SAACI Head Office on email@example.com or +27 (0)11 880 5883.
Walking the talk
The Event Greening Forum implemented a number of sustainable event practices at its recent Master Class and Conference, explains Zoe van Niekerk.
he Event Greening Forum (EGF) 2018 Master Class and Conference were held at the forum | white light on 13 and 14 June, respectively. Every time we host an event, we treat it as an opportunity to showcase event greening measures. These events were no different. Finding a venue that is committed to sustainability and able to support our requests was critical to our event greening success. The forum company is an EGF member and was able to offer us the following: • The venue had great natural lighting, so we had minimal lighting requirements during both events. • the forum | white light has an on-site vegetable garden that supplies the kitchen with fresh, seasonal, organic produce. Any ingredients that are not home-grown are procured from within a 50 km radius, keeping the food miles to a minimum. Organic waste is composted and added back to the veggie gardens. • the forum venues are seeking Healthy Venues accreditation. As a result, the catering emphasised healthy, nutritious choices. Jugs of water and bowls of fruit were placed on the tables, instead of bottled water and sweets. This also reduced our event waste. • The food was served with reusable crockery and cutlery. The only exception was the Master Class lunch, which had biodegradable wooden cutlery. The Conference lunch was also served with linen napkins.
46 • MEETINGS l july/august 2018
"We encourage members and nonmembers to get involved with the SAACI Academy initiatives."
Other greening practices we adopted: • We did not have conference bags, as these are not usually used beyond the day of the conference. • In terms of stationery, we did not provide branded notepads but encouraged delegates to use their own notebooks. Ecofriendly pencils were offered to delegates, to take if they wanted them. • We requested the conference lanyards be returned at the end of the event, so that we can reuse them at future events. • All delegates were given gift vouchers, which they could spend on beautiful handcrafted items from African Mamas Crafts, a local company that works with rural-based cooperative groups to source its goods and collaborate with them to help develop its products. • Finally, we are busy calculating the total travel-related carbon footprint of our delegates attending both events. Our online registration form asked each person where they were travelling from, which will give us a rough benchmark for the number of kilometres travelled to and from the venue each day. We will then identify a suitable carbon offset project through which we can do a partial offset of the events’ travel-related carbon footprint.
Ta l k ing p oin t s
INDUSTRY views Women in MICE are crucial to the industry
believes the growth Mighty MICE of the MICE sector depends on the women driving success of the women in it. sector to new heights Carol Weaving
Carol Weaving is the chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO).
INDUSTRY views Celebrating women in MICE
ast year, I was honoured with an award at the annual Top 40 Women in MICE awards, an occasion that gave me pause to reflect on how far women have come in this industry. The calibre of powerhouse women nominated for – and recognised at – the awards was remarkable. Among those receiving awards was AAXO board member Amanda Cunningham, MD, The Wedding Expo; as well as a large number of multiple-award-winning MICE business CEOs, MDs, founders, owners and directors. AAXO has long noted that women leaders are playing an increasingly pivotal role in driving our industry forward, and the awards underlined this. In contrast with most corporate environments, in which women are typically outnumbered by men in the boardroom, women are strongly represented in leadership roles in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector, and this trend is gaining momentum around the world. Women’s organisational skills, strong relationshipbuilding and networking abilities come to the fore in this sector, which demands excellence in these areas. I believe it is
TRAVELBAGS South African Travel Womens Club, Johannesburg
"Women are strongly represented in leadership roles in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions sector."
A Wonder Woman’s world It used to be a man’s world where business used to play naturally into the male mindset. However, Michelle Hinrichsen notes that women in MICE are growing every year and rocking the industry.
Michelle Hinrichsen is the current president of Travelbags.
no coincidence that this change is taking place at the same time that the global MICE industry is showing solid growth – projected to grow from US$752 billion in 2016 to $1 245 billion in 2023, according Allied Market Research. Women in the sector, taking a typically collaborative approach to mutually beneficial development, recently inaugurated an international ‘Women in Exhibitions Network’ in the Netherlands, to further enhance the visibility of women in MICE. At AAXO, we applaud such initiatives. The more women in the industry are empowered, and the more opportunities we have to collaborate for growth, the faster the MICE sector will grow, create jobs and benefit the economy as a whole.
omen have become master multitaskers and creative queens when it comes to offering full turnkey solutions to their clients. The MICE industry is growing every year and more clients want to deal with one company that can offer a solution to their travel, meetings, events and incentives needs. Women in MICE, in particular, are building strong relationships with their current clients as well as finding and building strong new relationships with new clients. Women, in general, are the world’s natural nurturers and communicators, hence we are becoming a force to be reckoned with within the MICE industry. Women in MICE need to be celebrated for their passion, drive, and dedication, as they are forging their successful destinies through hard work. Travelbags – the Women’s Travel Club of South Africa – turns 60 this year, and proves that women in the travel and tourism industry have a strong bond and always will as the years go on. Such a dynamic organisation would not exist without dynamic
members and leaders who support and celebrate the success of women in travel and tourism. I see a future filled with Wonder Women in MICE laying a foundation for current women in MICE and following generations to grow stronger and more successful than ever before. Travelbags looks forward to many more years of strong, successful women coming together to support each other to succeed, to build a future of women and men in business together, and to create a platform of success and support where these Wonder Women are celebrated.
"Women, in general, are the world’s natural nurturers and communicators, hence we are becoming a force to be reckoned with within the MICE industry." MEETINGS l JULY/AUGUST 2018 •
M I SS MEET
On this topic Miss Meet loves the events industry and all it has to offer. She talks topics, content and event formats.
uring events, there is a great deal of consideration that needs to be given towards the end-user experience. What your delegate or attendee is going to see and do at your event is at the forefront of this. Exhibitions generally speak for themselves and, aside from ensuring there are enough stands to fill the space occupied at an exhibition, exhibitors go out of their way to ensure that their stand designs are bright, eye-catching and attractive. And everyone showcasing their brands on the day or during the course of the exhibition will be equipped with a wellrehearsed script to frame their product or service offering to each visitor. Over the course of my career, I’ve attended many business events and conferences but fewer exhibitions. This year, I have attended more exhibitions and have noted now, on more than one occasion, that some of the content around exhibitions especially is substantially lacking. I have to put it out there folks – there is definite room for improvement here. Perhaps this has come to be an acceptable standard; however, after attending the speaker and panel sessions during two of what were some remarkable large-scale exhibitions, I feel I need to highlight how odd it seems to have only these pokey
CHECK it off It’s all well and good having swarms of people arrive at your event but developing a content strategy needs to be at the forefront of your planning
spaces dedicated to speaking sessions. The first was in a tent at the back of the exhibition hall and the other in a jam-packed gallery. The panel sessions at both had insufficient stages and seating – evidenced by how cramped the speakers were. This argument is twofold. First, some of the speakers at these events are very high level – ministers, captains of industry and major decisionmakers – so having a proper stage with seating would have done far more justice to their presence. Second, there is no need to have speakers totally separate and discrete from the rest of the exhibition. This is a literal talking point and, in my humble opinion, hyping up this particular element would enhance exhibitions in particular. The confex model perhaps needs to be looked at more closely in this regard because having high-level speakers at your event feel as if they are an afterthought must be avoided at all costs. These VIPs are also your potential stakeholders so it is important to make sure that they are well looked after. If the focus is on the exhibitors at an event and you are also making provisions for speakers, start applying yourself towards your set-up and how the two elements are individually strengthened, complementing each other instead of detracting from either.
index to advertisers CTICC
OFC, 4, 5
26, 27 44
Tour in South Africa (TiSA)
Harties Boat Company JEC
IFC IBC, 18, 19
48 • MEETINGS l july/august 2018
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The market leader in the MICE and business tourism sector. The publication offers news from venues, service and travel providers; opinions a...
Published on Jul 19, 2018
The market leader in the MICE and business tourism sector. The publication offers news from venues, service and travel providers; opinions a...