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www.theplanner.guru

mAY/JUNE 2016 • Issue 67

Wow guests

with unique entertainment

6

wAYS TO

boost your next event on social media

TREND ALERT No need to leave a bitter taste in delegates’ mouths with our top catering ideas

BIG INTERVIEW

DURBAN ICC Where the World meets Africa

Being able to offer a variety of services makes it so easy for a client to come to one meeting and finalise everything. We offer it all under one roof.” Leon and Rochelle Pheiffer, owners of Monte De Dios

R50.00 (incl. VAT)


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Talking business can be a pleasure


JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE.

FEEL THE REFRESHING OCEAN BREEZE. BE INVIGORATED BY THE WONDROUS NATURAL BEAUTY. Be inspired by the crashing waves. Fill your lungs with fresh motivation. Make business a pleasure in your fully equipped, beach-side office.

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Talking business can be a pleasure


Escape the dreary Winter City life... Conference or teambuild in the Magnificent Drakensberg Tackle your work in one of our 6 fully equipped conference venues aided by natural light & FREE Wi-Fi. Then it’s time to revisit your youth and have some FUN! Kickstart your morning with an authentic tractor ride to our golf course. Why not combine an exhilarating helicopter flip and scenic quad bike ride or play a round of golf? Amble back to the Hotel along our stunning river walk. Enjoy the novelty of tea, coffee & rusks during our Sunrise Hike to the Bushman Paintings. Test your general knowledge and challenge your colleagues during our quiz evening. Compete in our Mini Olympics - fun & games include tennis, squash, beach volleyball, floodlit mini-adventure golf, floodlit lawn bowls tournament, badminton and more‌ Choose from either a delicious Continental breakfast or lunchtime braai at our golf clubhouse expertly prepared by our Chef.

Book Now and Every Delegate will receive...

A refreshing welcome drink on arrival. FREE round of 9 hole golf (excluding cart), Gym access with FREE sports water bottle & a handy drawstring bag to take home with you. Valid on all new group bookings for May, June, July & August 2016. Terms & Conditions Apply, Subject to availability.

T: 036 488 1888

E: events@cathedralpeak.co.za

www.cathedralpeak.co.za


MAY/JUNE 2016 miceplanner.net

MAY/JUNE 2016 • Issue 67

WOW guests with unique entertainment

6

WAYS TO

boost your next event on social media

TREND ALERT No need to leave a bitter taste in delegates’ mouths with our top catering ideas

BIG INTERVIEW

DURBAN ICC Where the WORLD meets AFRICA

Being able to offer a variety of services makes it so easy for a client to come to one meeting and finalise everything. We offer it all under one roof.” Leon and Rochelle Pheiffer, owners of Monte De Dios

R50.00 (incl. VAT)

on the cover The Durban ICC has successfully hosted some the world’s largest and most prestigious events, building a reputation as a worldclass business events facility. For more, turn to page 8

10 Innovative entertainment focus on entertainment

ENTERTAINMENT 10 Innovative entertainment Heather Hook looks at entertaining your guests without breaking the bank

11 Wow your guests Stephanie Moss takes a look at this year’s entertainment trends

12 Keep them entertained Top acts that will knock your socks off

THE BIG INTERVIEW 14 E verything under one roof Leon and

23 Event certification 101 best practice

Rochelle Pheiffer are making their mark on the events landscape

Destinations

best practice

26 Look to the east Ekurhuleni boasts some

16 Tantalising the taste buds Experts shares their

impressive venues

top tips on how to cater for the perfect event

28 So much on offer Explore why KwaZulu-Natal is

17 Stay on trend Kim Roberts shares her catering

a MICE planner haven

trends for 2016

18 F inding the balance Hayley Walls on how to add a wellness component to your MICE activity

29 Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Durban’s

20 Interactive events Karmen Vladar on the

brightest star

importance of gamification

22 Social Media Dylan Kohlstädt shares six ways to boost your next event by using social media

23 Event certification 101 Helen Brewer takes a hard look at the various event certifications out there

FEATURED VENUES 30 Drakensberg Sun Resort Let nature welcome you

30 Garden Court Blackrock An oasis of tranquillity 31 Garden Court South Beach On the ocean’s doorstep

31 Garden Court uMhlanga Conferencing made easy The Planner

Connected

www.theplanner.guru

@theplannerguru @theplannerguru

32 Olive Convention Centre Bigger and better 34 Garden Court Marine Parade The ocean is calling

35 Johannesburg Expo Centre The centre that can

20 Interactive events best practice

Talking points 36 Unique Speaker Bureau Inspire, motivate, entertain

37 SAACI Important things not to forget 38 EXSA Sidestepping slip-ups 38 AAXO Let’s show off 39 Event Greening Forum Consider going green 39 AIPC Building in the destination experience

Regulars 05 Ed’s letter Time flies 06 Tidbits Meetings must know minutia 24 S ound Bites MCI Africa’s Rashid Toefy 25 20 Questions Century City Convention Centre’s Chef Abbas Abrahams

40 Miss Meet Event impossible

Do you know a distinguished woman who has made the business events industry what it is today? Meetings magazine is preparing to celebrate the annual Top 40 Women in MICE. Send in your nominations to martin@3smedia.co.za before 27 May 2016.


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Professor Jonathan Jansen

Victor Kgomoeswana

Priscilla Naidoo

Thamir Moerat

Susan Lasecki-Coiro

Thebe Ikalafeng

Nina Freysen-Pretorius

Misha Teasdale

Wayne McCurrie

Nellie Swart

Pieter Swart

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ed's letter Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Martin Hiller (martin@3Smedia.co.za) Head of Design Beren Bauermeister Contributors Helen Brewer, Geoff Donaghy,

Sue Gannon, Justin Hawes, Heather Hook, Dylan Kohlstädt Adriaan Liebetrau, Stephanie Moss, Kim Roberts, Carla Rossouw, Karmen Vladar, Hayley Walls and Carol Weaving Chief Sub-Editor Tristan Snijders Sub-Editor Morgan Carter Client Services & Production Manager

Antois-Leigh Botma

Marketing Manager Philip Rosenberg Production Coordinator Jacqueline Modise Financial Manager Andrew Lobban Administration Tonya Hebenton Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina Distribution Coordinator Asha Pursotham

Advertising Ruth Baldwin +27 (0)11 233 2600 ruth@3smedia.co.za

published by No. 9, 3rd Avenue, Rivonia, Johannesburg 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 May/JUne 2016 © Copyright. All rights reserved 2016 www.theplanner.guru subscription R300.00 per annum (incl. VAT) | subs@3smedia.co.za ISSN 1684-9264 NOTICE OF RIGHTS Meetings is published bi-monthly by 3S Media. This publication, its form and contents vest in 3S Media. All rights reserved. No part of this book, including cover and interior designs, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. The authors' views may not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. 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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I

remember when I was a young lad: all I wanted to do was turn 18 and start doing adult things. My mother warned me to be careful of what I wished for. “My dear boy, the older you get the faster time goes,” she warned me. Fast forward a decade or two later, and I hate to admit it yet again, but she was right. We are already in May. Where did the last four months go? It has been a whirlwind year so far. I’ve attended many industry shows where I’ve chatted to various planners, venue personnel and suppliers, and I am not alone in my observation.

THINK DIFFERENTLY One of the many topics that have surfaced this year is that of limited budgets. Many corporates have cut their event budgets. You would think that they would be realistic in what they can achieve on a smaller budget, but this is not the case. It is up to you to think out of the box and come up with innovative ways to provide all the glitz and glamour. For some, this may seem like a daunting task, but I view this as an opportunity. Some of the best ideas are born from having to think differently. I am reminded of a Steve Jobs quote, “Why join the navy when you can be a pirate? Real entrepreneurs just think differently.” So have fun coming up with new ways of doing things.

THINK TECH One of the ways you can do this is by bringing technology into your events. Gamification is fast becoming a buzz word in our industry. For many delegates, their smartphone has become a permanent appendage. Use this to your advantage. By adding some games and even competitions to your event via your event app, you will instantly add a fun element. Just remember to market your event app before the event. Using social media is an effective and affordable way to do this.

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There is no point in shaking up the conference content yet leaving the standard schoolroom setting intact. Room layouts need to change. Delegates attend conferences to learn. What better way than learning through participation. Get speakers to ditch the traditional PowerPoint presentations and have them engage with the audience. Set the room up in ways that will allow for free-flowing conversations. Before we know it, the shopping malls will be playing ‘Feliz Navidad’. So act now and think differently about the way in which you put your events together. Until next time,


Meetings’ must-know minutia NOMINATE YOUR TOP 40 WOMEN IN MICE

Durban ICC CEO Lindiwe Rakharebe receives the World Travel Award for Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre

#PLANITPINIT Whether you are looking for a simple room with a view or a large, outdoor arena, finding the perfect venue for your event, big or small, can be challenging. The team at 3S Media’s MICE Division proudly presents the first edition of The Meetings & Event Planner. This comes with a new website, theplanner.guru, dedicated to providing you with the information you need to find and book just about any venue or service in the country and in the easiest way possible. All you do is search for venues based on size, location, type of event and amenities, and then you’re able to book the spaces for anything from kiddies’ parties to weddings, corporate functions, film or photo shoots. The aim for theplanner.guru is to simplify the venue booking process and obviate the need to go to every single listing in a directory to find out what each offers. With The Planner website, you just search, filter, book and you’re done. In addition to this, the online platform will be highlighting various event planning tools that you can use. It will also provide you with innovative concepts, creative designs and event trends. There will be e-books, case studies, webinars and infographics. There is no need to go anywhere else for the information you need – you now have a definitive online platform and handbook to plan your events.

An initiative that honours outstanding women who have made a difference in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry, Meetings magazine is set to celebrate the annual Top 40 Women in MICE again this year. Do you know such a woman? She does it all with poise and grace, and makes it seem completely effortless. She’s the one you call to “make it happen”. She runs a successful operation and makes a difference wherever she goes. Help us give these women the recognition they deserve and nominate that distinguished woman you think makes this industry what it is today. For more info, email martin@3smedia.co.za.

15 YEARS OF BEING THE BEST The Durban International Convention Centre has taken the title of Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre at the World Travel Awards once again. In the 16-year history of the category, the Durban ICC has been voted top of its league no less than 15 times. The international awards programme tracks hundreds of thousands of votes cast each year by travel professionals from over 200 countries. This year, the Durban ICC took top honours among nominees that included the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Cairo International Convention Centre, and the Sandton Convention Centre. Durban ICC CEO Lindiwe Rakharebe commented, “We are thrilled that the Durban ICC has been honoured with this title once again. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all our clients, guests and stakeholders who made their voices heard and voted us the best facility of its kind in Africa.” Read more about the Durban ICC on page 8.

CTICC SCOOPS TOP AWARD The CTICC has scooped first place in the Top500 Companies, Exhibition and Conference Facilities category. The Top500 ratings have been developed in conjunction with the University of Cape Town’s Policy Development Research Unit. To merit a Top500 rating, companies must excel in three specific disciplines: policy and accreditation, financial performance, and empowerment. CTICC CEO Julie-May Ellingson says the CTICC is honoured to have received this accolade in recognition of its exceptional efforts during the 2014/15 financial year, which yielded the best financial, economic and social sustainability results in its already-enviable 12-year history.

6 • MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2016

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6 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

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Cell: +27 (0) 72 392 5126 www.khojagroup.net


Where Africa’s Leaders Meet EMPERORS PALACE, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

THE GRAND PALM, GABORONE, BOTSWANA

UMODZI PARK, LILONGWE, MALAWI

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Three World-Class Hotel and Convention Resorts Whether its a global conference, international summit or multi-lingual symposium, Peermont proudly offers three exceptional convention resort choices with unrivalled facilities and service.

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Emperors Palace, situated next to O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa; The Grand Palm Resort in Gaborone, Botswana and Umodzi Park in Lilongwe, Malawi. Catering for delegates from 8 to 3000 in multiple, well-appointed venues with accompanying luxury accommodation, the finest quality cuisine, state-of the-art technical abilities, superior business services and a dedicated security detail. Choose Peermont, where quality is guaranteed and customised solutions are effortless. PEERMONT INTERNATIONAL SALES: Tel: +27 (0)11 928 1479 | E-mail: intsales@peermont.com PEERMONT CENTRAL RESERVATIONS: Tel: +27 (0)11 928 1928 | E-mail: intres@peermont.com

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EMPERORS PALACE in Johannesburg, GRACELAND in Secunda, UMFOLOZI in Empangeni, RIO in Klerksdorp, KHORONI in Thohoyandou, FRONTIER INN in Bethlehem, MMABATHO PALMS in Mafikeng, THABA MOSHATE in Burgersfort, UMODZI PARK, BICC and THE PRESIDENT WALMONT HOTEL in Lilongwe, Malawi, THE GRAND PALM, GICC and THE MONDIOR HOTEL in Gaborone, and THE METCOURT HOTEL in Francistown, Botswana.


C O V ER ST O R Y

Africa’s leading convention centre The Durban ICC has successfully hosted some the world’s largest and most prestigious events. It has built a reputation as a world-class business events facility, making an immense contribution to both the provincial and national economies.

T

he International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban has been a stalwart

of the events industry circuit since opening its doors in 1997, playing host to most of, not only Durban’s, but Africa’s biggest and most prolific events, such as the International AIDS Conference, COP 17 and the 5th BRICS Summit, placing the ICC firmly on the global conferencing map. With South Africa ever increasing in popularity and demand for international and African gatherings growing, the need for a venue that can manage the requirements of these types of events – when the world’s eyes are squarely focused on our country – is imperative, and the Durban ICC takes pride in being able to meet any such need.

8 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

AWARD WINNING Being voted Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre at the World Travel Awards 15 times over the last 16 years by its clients is a pretty amazing track record for the Durban ICC. The centre not only boasts the largest columnfree events space on the continent, but its staff also managed to pull out all the stops for the very large and complex United Nations’ climate change conference, COP17/CMP7. The event called for 27 simultaneous meeting rooms with the capacity to host between 20 and 500 delegates, two plenary halls hosting between 1 300 and 1 900 delegates, 235 administration and country delegation offices, 800 Internetenabled computer stations, 278 exhibition stands, a large travel and accommodation desk,

as well as three banking facilities. Managing to pull all that together with flair could only have been a nerve-racking experience, yet the staff at the Durban ICC came through with flying colours. The centre is rated by AIPC as one of the Top 15 Convention Centres in the World – an accolade that surely would not have come about without the hard work and commitment of its staff.

THE YEAR AHEAD The Durban ICC is looking forward to hosting the International AIDS Conference for the second time in 2016, and the event is expected to attract in excess of 20 000 delegates to the city in July this year. The 2015 fiscal year was a successful one in many respects for the centre. The company achieved a strong set of financial results and

THE TEAM The Durban ICC’s executive management team is currently spearheaded by four dynamic women who are making their mark in the global events industry. Lindiwe Rakharebe, CEO; Nicolette Elia-Beissel, Operations Director; Mala Dorasamy, Marketing, Sales and Events Director; and Melanie Rambally, Financial Director, are steering the company safely through the waters, and each plays a large part in contributing to the Durban ICC’s success. The ladies are not the only ones making waves at the ICC. Jerry Hurter, Facilities Director, and John Moatshe, Executive Chef – both with impressive resumes – complete the team that runs this internationally renowned establishment


#bestofafrica continued to deliver significant economic and social benefits to the city of Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal province. On the release of the centre’s annual report, Lindiwe Rakharebe, CEO of Durban ICC noted, “In spite of the challenging economic climate that has shown nominal improvement at best over the past year, the Durban ICC has managed to post profitable financial results for the fifth consecutive year.” The company generated a revenue figure of R157 million, showing a year-on-year growth of over R5.3 million and a 20% growth in the number of events hosted over the past year. The centre showed a marked improvement in its net profit, increasing by 32% – from R24 million in 2014 to R32 million in 2015. “Equally notable is that the Durban ICC has been given a clean, unqualified audit by the Auditor General, for the second consecutive year. Transparency, good governance and statutory compliance are foundational to the company’s success and this achievement is a clear demonstration of the company’s commitment to these principles. This audit opinion confirms that the strong internal controls and sound financial systems that have been implemented are in line with all applicable legislation and continue to bolster public confidence in the management of this entity,” added Lindiwe. Sibusiso Sithole, municipal manager, eThekwini, also noted that, “As an entity of the eThekwini Municipality, the Durban ICC has a responsibility to deliver on its twin mandates of generating a positive socio-economic impact on the citizens of our city while simultaneously operating in a responsible and profitable manner. I am pleased that the entity has delivered admirably on both these objectives during the 2015 fiscal year.” During the past financial year, the Durban ICC once again made an immense macroeconomic contribution to Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. Despite the impressive contributions made in the previous financial year, the company achieved notable year-on-year

Lindiwe Rakharebe CEO

Mala Dorasamy Marketing, Sales and Events Director

increases in every major economic indicator for 2015. In addition to these achievements, the centre also made impressive strides in other important areas of social responsibility and transformation. The company showed a significant improvement in its BBBEE status during the year and demonstrated its ongoing commitment to skills development through its student and graduate programmes.

COLLABORATION Success like that achieved by the Durban ICC is based on collaboration. Lindiwe thanked Durban ICC shareholder eThekwini Municipality and the board of directors, led by chairperson Mato Madlala, for their guidance and oversight over the past year. She also thanked the staff for their passion and commitment, and the clients, strategic partners and suppliers for their ongoing support. The ICC plans to continue to break ground in the upcoming months, and is looking forward to a great year – changing lives, offering unparalleled levels of service and excelling in the ranks of the events and conferencing industry.

Nicolette Elia-Beissel Operations Director

Melanie Rambally Financial Director

What makes the Durban ICC the venue of choice for an event in South Africa? PROVEN TRACK RECORD The Durban

ICC was South Africa’s first international convention centre. It opened in 1997 and has pioneered the international business events industry in SA with many of the original opening team still working at the venue in senior management positions. They certainly have a great deal of experience when it comes to hosting international events.

SIZE AND SCALE The Durban ICC is also the biggest convention centre in the country. It offers the largest columnfree, flat-floor event space in Africa, and boasts over 112 000 m² of available, flexible event space. AUTHENTIC AFRICAN EXPERIENCE The

warmth and genuine friendliness of the staff make the destination an ideal venue for hosting local and international events.

+27 (0)31 360 1000 sales@icc.co.za l icc.co.za

Jerry Hurter Facilities Director

John Moatshe Executive Chef

MEETINGS l may/june 2016 •

9


FOCUS ON

Innovative

entertainment How on earth do you keep ahead of the competition, keep your event entertainment unique, and not break the bank? Heather Hook has some suggestions.

T

here is nothing more embarrassing

for an event organiser or a client than to have the booked entertainment be below par or inappropriate for the audience. Entertainment acts are often viewed as the glue that binds a great event, seamlessly pulling the entire production together to be a resounding, talked-about, blown-up social media success rather than a so-so, dismayed “let’s rather not go there”.

Your budget is a key factor in determining the type of entertainment you can have at the event

BUDGET BUSTERS Performers such as singers or comedians go hand in hand with good audiovisual equipment. If you are paying top dollar for a great act, make sure the sound is flawless, and rather look at shaving extra costs of things like decor or drinks.

10 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

Your budget is a key factor in determining the type of entertainment that you can have at the event. Booking Cassper Nyovest on a “my friend Joe is in a marimba band” budget is going to hamstring you a bit. Be honest

and realistic about what is non-negotiable and what can be manipulated and evolved into something cool, without breaking the proverbial bank. Clients often have great, fantastical, seafroth ideas on a minimal budget, and managing their expectations is one of the great skills you should possess as an event organiser. It falls under the persuasion and “I do this for a living, trust me” skill set. If you don’t have this skill set yet – learn it, fast. Yes, entertainers are negotiable to a point, but let’s face it – Cassper is not going to perform for R2 000. So now is the time to get creative. Get those thinking caps on, planners. Local, young, up-and-coming artists are desperate to perform, sometimes even for free just for the exposure. Contact local performing arts schools and see who they suggest. Always make sure that you watch them live, or at least view a YouTube clip of their act before booking them to avoid weird surprises. Many new artists may not have performed on this scale before, and to avoid your lead


#entertainment team against the technical department in a game of lawn croquet. Old-fashioned pinball machines and racing games are always a hit at company events, encouraging people to interact and break out of the usual officetype behaviour. Interactive, coordinated, confident staff can also provide entertainment, besides just serving the food. There is nothing like musical waiters breaking into a flawless a capella number, or throwing on some hats and taking to the stage to do a Michael Jackson routine to stun your guests. Disposable cameras are a steadfast favourite – and they have been for the last 20 years. The pictures are always amusing, and can be used for company events and functions going forward. Cost is minimal and provides hours of fun for everyone. Throw in a branded media wall, which can be reused for other events, and you have an instant winner.

GAMIFICATION

singer taking out a PARcan, or the backup dancers discovering the side of the stage in the middle of a sequence, make sure you brief your new, young artists very well. Explain exactly what you want, what is expected of them, timings, and do a full technical runthrough before the event to make sure the act is flowing smoothly.

INNOVATIVE IDEAS Another great favourite is photo booths, which are always hilarious fun. But take it up a level. Companies such as Facebox provide a green screen and attendees can select the background they would like and grab some cool props to create a fun memory. You are also able to place your company branding and the date of the event on the picture, which prints out immediately and can be taken home as a great memento of a fun evening. Break out of the usual mold and bring some fun games into your event reception or outside area – nothing is more amusing than watching the company sales manager take on his team on a dance mat, or pitting the PR

In the age of technology we live in, there is a great movement to being constantly on your phone. Why not use this to get your event trending on Twitter, or offer a spot-prize for the most unique and amusing Instagram photo? Twitter clues can be dropped throughout the evening, encouraging attendees to decipher them and leading them to a final answer. A prize can be awarded for the first person to guess the correct answer. A quick Trivial Pursuit round at a table will get attendees interacting and filling in the answer sheets and can serve as an icebreaker for the evening. All that is required is some planning of the questions and an MC or confident team member that can lead the questions and engage the audience. Think outside the box, get creative, get online and google ideas and trends, then add your own flair and panache for a unique twist. Throw in a unique, classy colour scheme, some tasteful decor pieces (reusable centre pieces are much cheaper than floral arrangements), add candles and fairy lights for a fairytale vibe. You are only limited by your imagination.

As an industry professional with over eight years of experience, Heather Hook has run the gamut of clients, both local and international, who have tested her mettle to the utmost. She is the owner of Haiku Events. Take the online Q&A test and start gaining credits. miceplanner.net

Wow delegates with these trends Stephanie Moss lets us in on what is hot right now... 1 I WANT TO BE FAMOUS Delegates want

well-known bands, comedians and DJs at their events. Due to budget constraints, you may not always get A-listers, so use an up-and-coming artist. Talent agencies will be able to provide you with the act that best suits your event.

2 KEEP IT SHORT For acts such as bands,

comedians and entertainers, shorter is better. Nowadays, delegates have shorter attention spans and long entertainment sets don’t work. Short, punchy dance acts with great lighting and lasers for impact are gaining in popularity.

3  THEME IT Themed functions are still in.

Whether it be the Great Gatsby, Arabian nights or the sixties – themes are popular.

4 SAY CHEESE Photo booths and photo

walls are going to continue being popular in entertainment, allowing people to do things in their own time during a function.

5 SOMETHING DIFFERENT Interactive

game arcades are also popular at conferences and themed functions as relaxed entertainment. The Launch Pad/ Mixing Desk is a new technology activity in South Africa allowing delegates to mix their own music with LED lighting.

6 LET THERE BE LIGHT LED acts and 3D

video mapping, as well as lasers for special effects, are a must-have in 2016.

7 EMBRACE SOCIAL MEDIA Create

custom hashtags for your event so that photos and experiences can be shared in real time. Stephanie Moss is the managing director of Stephanie Moss Solutions. The company manages product launches, roadshows, conferences, incentives and marketing for a number of companies.

MEETINGS l may/june 2016 •

11


FOCUS ON

Keep them entertained Deciding on what type of entertainment to have at your next event can be a daunting task. Meetings shares its top hip and happening entertainment must-haves.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SAX Abbey Artico is a well-known saxophonist with over 20 years of performance experience, a highly impressive CV, and a reputation as one of SA's top saxophone players. Abbey provides sophisticated, vibrant, unobtrusive saxophone music for corporate and company events, cocktail functions, gala dinners, conferences, private dinner parties and weddings. info@saxplayer.co.za l +27 (0)82 457 3585

WITH ICE The Republican Drinks Agency (TRDA) is headed up by sensational local drinks specialist Gareth Wainwright. A mixologist is literally a composer of alcoholic blends and fusions, and an exciting addition to any upscale event. Gareth and his team will work alongside you to create a unique welcome drink for your event, and then teach your attendees how to make it themselves, simultaneously equipping them with a useable skill to take home, as well as a refreshing drink. TRDA is a 360-degree drinks consultancy and operations company, and can also help you style a unique drinks menu for your event, with specialty cocktails, unique wines to complement your menu and basically everything drinks and style related. gareth@therepublicandrinksagency.co.za

BOLD SOUNDS Electric violinist Caitlin de Ville is a sensation to behold. Her sound and movement are by no means that of a traditional violinist. Her shows are a breathtaking combination of drama, energy and technology – the result of a long-term love affair with the popular, rock and underground dance cultures. Having performed to enthralled audiences around the world, Caitlin is spellbinding in her artistry and will have your guests talking about her performance for weeks to come. jenny@aboutentertainment.co.za +27 (0)11 482 8522

12 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

REACH FOR THE STARS Swinging, twisting and swooping high above the heads of your guests, an aerial hoop is a suspended hula hoop, where the performers can hang, twist, spin and turn, keeping your guests enthralled with their seamless moves. Sky Dance Studio also offers silks and aerial bartending as part of its repertoire. Also on offer is aerial bartending. Aerialists will pour champagne, or any drink of your choice, for your guests while suspended from an aerial apparatus. info@skydancestudio.co.za l +27 (0)82 820 0077

DIY DIVA Suzelle DIY, well known for her hilarious do-it-yourself YouTube videos, will keep guests entertained with her everyday tales on life, love and everything DIY. When asked where she gets all her ideas from, she simply says, “I get them from my own creativity. I also read a lot of magazines and sometimes when I get stuck I will ask Google. I also keep a Flip File full of ideas – in fact, it is so full that it doesn't even close.” Famous for her “O, f*k,” phrase, Suzelle is by far South Africa’s favourite Internet phenomenon. info@suzellediy.com


#TOPACTS

SAY CHEESE Facebox is the ultimate portable photo booth. Using a unique delivery process, you can sit down, have your photo taken, and pick up a high-quality print after 15 seconds. Select your backdrop, add some cool props, and select your branding – your guests will love the opportunity to capture their unique moments at your event, with beautifully branded, take-home mementos. info@facebox.co.za l +27 (0)11 465 6909

DANCE SOME MORE Oriental Fire is a collaboration of dancers from across the world who share a passion for belly dancing and Bollywood, and wish to share the beauty and energy of these amazing dance forms and the cultures they represent. Bringing excitement and energy to any event, be it from an amazing fire dance display through to teaching guests some basic dance moves, Oriental Fire understands that each client has unique requirements and sculpts each performance to match them. tina@orientalfire.net +27 (0)11 706 7381

ONE MAN BAND Morgan Beatbox is an international celebrity beatboxer, who has also won the South African beatbox championships. After being in the entertainment industry for seven years, Morgan Beatbox is constantly pushing musical boundaries and challenging himself to be multifaceted. He is the only beatboxer worldwide that can produce a mindblowing eight sounds at the same time. Morgan is an enigma of an entertainer and is best enjoyed live. info@standing-ovations.co.za +27 (0)87 943 9435

PUT A SPIN ON IT The one and only Reactable DJ on the planet is an interesting and eye-catching addition to any cocktail function, brand activation or launch. Reactagirl will have your guests entertained while mingling at the event. Using uniquely designed glass cubes and pucks in varying sizes, she seamlessly mixes tracks while performing live on this unique multitouch table, which lights up as she works. While music is being created, any logo or branding can be displayed and rotated on the table top. A product can even be programmed to drop the beat when placed on the Reactable. bronwyn@speakersinc.co.za l 086 166 8488

SOOTHING HARMONIES Afro-operatic pop sensations The Gugulethu Tenors have become a household name in South Africa since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2011. They have performed at some of SA’s top events and festivals, shared stages with local and international headliners, and been featured extensively in local and international media, while wowing audiences with their operatic prowess. info.payeyeentertainment@gmail.com l +27 (0)72 875 5979

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B I G I N TER V I E W

Everything

under one roof As the owner of Monte De Dios and EPH Productions, Leon Pheiffer has a great understanding of what makes for a great event.

T

o make it in this industry, you need

to be flexible, have people skills and be passionate about your job. These are the defining characteristics of Leon Pheiffer, who has been creating memorable event experiences for over 20 years.

VARIED CAREER Leon got his first taste for the events industry while working in the cosmetics industry. “I worked for Avroy Shlain, where I was involved in product launches and conferences. With Avroy as my mentor, I learnt so much about business marketing and sales, and it really inspired me to want to grow more,” says Leon. When Avroy retired in 1997, Leon decided to start his own audiovisual business. He started

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buying equipment and building a client base. This was the start of what would become EPH Productions. Leon’s focus is purely on customer service and he will bend over backwards to deliver excellence. His business philosophy has been one of the many reasons why EPH Productions has become a leading audiovisual company in South Africa. Not one to rest on his laurels, Leon decided that it was time to add to his events resume. “After being in the AV industry for 20 years and working in so many venues, you start to know what clients want and need. I always felt that Pretoria had a limited number of venues with limited facilities, and that there was an opportunity to offer something different and amazing. For more than five years, I kept my eyes

Pround owners of Monte De Dios, Leon and Rochelle Pheiffer


#onestopshop And let us not forget about the weddings. With over 40 weddings booked for 2016, there is definitely something special about this venue. Monte De Dios has to be your first choice when deciding on a venue in Pretoria. Whether you’re planning a conference, wedding or any other special function, treat your guests to an experience fit for royalty.

TEAM WORK None of the successes of these two businesses would be possible were it not for the teams at EPH Productions and Monte De Dios. Leon personally oversees the operations at both these companies. “I am here to manage, to guide and to assist in the decision-making process. But you need to empower your team and managers to make their own decisions on a daily basis,” says Leon. This has proven vital in the current economic climate. The events industry has had a bumpy start to the year due to economic and political challenges, as well as the ongoing drought. “You can feel it across the board. Everyone is tightening their belts and looking at their budgets. They want more for less,” says Leon. Luckily, Leon and his team are able to provide innovative solutions to match any budget. They are all about thinking out of the box and have a can-do attitude – all-important attributes when you have three matric farewells on three consecutive days. Not to mention Monte De Dios’s own events. “One of my memorable events that Monte De Dios has hosted is our very own Proe’toria Food, Wine & Craft Festival. There were 2 500 people, 80 stalls and 10 artists on stage. “People loved it and we had such incredible feedback. It was just an awesome, well-organised event,” says Leon.

PUSHING THE CREATIVE ENVELOPE open for the right opportunity. I actually bought two other properties that didn’t work before I discovered the property that would become Monte De Dios. When I saw it the first time, I knew exactly what I wanted to do,” he says.

A TOUCH OF SPAIN And what he did was create an exquisite Spanish equestrian villa in Pretoria. Nestled against a picturesque mountain, Monte De Dios is only 8.9 km from Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. Once you arrive at the property, however, you feel as if you are miles away. It boasts the finest facilities, outstanding catering and professionally trained staff. An added advantage of hosting your event at Monte De Dios is that EPH Productions will take care of all your technical requirements. In addition to this, the team will also ensure that all

your decor needs are taken care of. "Being able to offer all these services makes it so easy for a client to come to one meeting and they can finalise everything at once. We offer everything under one roof,” says Rochelle Pheiffer, co-owner of Monte De Dios. “Rochelle has been instrumental in bringing the vision of Monte De Dios to life. We are partners in business and life,” says Leon proudly. “My team and I are passionate about our product and where else in Pretoria can you have an executive breakfast for 30 in a castle dining room, a 50th birthday for 80 in a cellar, a food and wine festival for 2 500 in a garden and amphitheatre, welcome drinks at a courtyard outdoor fireplace, sundowners under a glass atrium, an awards dinner in a ballroom for 500, and a team-building exercise on a mountain?” asks Leon.

Leon’s hard work and creative flair have not gone unnoticed. He has many repeat clients and referrals. “I have had the most incredible journey with the First Rand Group, in particular RMB and FNB. I have worked with them for 19 years and we always push the boundaries when it comes to technology and creativity,” says Leon.

THE FUTURE When asked about the future, Leon says, “EPH Productions has always pushed technological boundaries and will continue to do so. We deliver a good product and our clients are always happy with our service. “At Monte De Dios, we still need to build more bedrooms, a multi-use theatre, additional conference rooms, as well as a spa and restaurant. And, yes, the 600 m tar road is coming in the next few months.”

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Tantalising the

taste buds

Catering can make or break an event. Meetings talks to the experts about how to ensure that guests do not leave with a bad taste in their mouths.

C

atering is an integral part of any

event. Even if every other aspect of the event is a raving success, if the catering is terrible, it will probably be the only thing that the guests remember. In order to avoid this, Carla Rossouw, professional conference organiser at Vespasian Consulting, says, “Catering requirements need to be discussed in detail with your client, covering aspects such as type of menu, price, variety and catering for specific dietary requirements.” When planning meals for an event, it is important to enquire if the guests have any special food restrictions or allergies to consider. “If guests do not communicate clearly what they can and cannot eat, then some may go home hungry,” says Carla.

PLAN AHEAD Catering is an extremely stressful environment to work in, especially when there are technical menus. It is impossible for caterers to accommodate different types of events with various guest complements

16 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

on the fly; therefore, they must be prepared for anything beforehand. Each ingredient or piece of equipment is critical and if one thing is missing, it creates a knock-on preventing the achievement of excellence in both food and service levels. Event timing is another big

challenge, especially if the event runs very late or ends early. “If you are catering for a wedding, you could run late at toast time with the pouring of the champagne. You need to be prepared to take criticism and remain professional at all times,” says Kim Roberts, operations director at the forum company. Stress comes in to play again with unexpected disasters; this could take the form of anything from loss of power to trays of desserts crashing to the floor. “Always be prepared for any eventuality. For example, if you have 100 guests, cater for an extra 10% so you can survive someone dropping a tray of food,” adds Kim. Staff need the necessary basic skills and background experience. It is very challenging to train on the job when extremely busy. “But, if you have the right senior staff working with you and your team, you have the opportunity to include more junior members in order to grow the organisation,” says Kim.

ON-SITE VS OFF-SITE CATERING

MEET THE EXPERTS Carla Rossouw has been a conference organiser since 2004. She is an executive committee member of the PCO Alliance Network and individual member of SAACI. Kim Roberts joined the forum company eight years ago in the role of campus executive chef. Now acting as operations director, she is still a passionate foodie as well as co-author of the ‘AKA Cookery Book’.

For Kim, using the venue’s caterers has its advantages. The banqueting staff work in the same space every day and are able to walk directly from the kitchen to the venue floor. This means it is easy to make lastminute changes or corrections. This is the most effective solution for the end user in terms of professionalism and customisability. All infrastructure is already in place and additional hiring is not usually required. Maintaining hygiene standards such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is seamless when on-site, with excellent coldchain and hot-holding options readily available. “In an off-site environment, it is often very costly or difficult to move all requirements to a space not specifically designed to do what you desire,” says Kim.


#foodTrends

Kim Roberts shares five catering trends for 2016. 1STREET FOOD Street-style food is all the rage. People will start to see these easy-to-make and often peasant-style dishes in a new light. Items like pies and sausages will start to feature fancier meats. Portion size will continue to be smaller as people are more conscious of not wanting to waste.

2 F OOD STATIONS AT EVENTS Food stations that guests can move around offer a far more interactive experience. People have become a lot more aware about food and ingredients from all the cooking shows and want to ask questions and see for themselves what is on offer.

Food stations allow people to experience different tastes, dishes and engage with chefs. They also alleviate queues, allowing guests more time to network and engage with each other.

3 IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FLAVOUR! With drought and food shortage conditions, as well as rising food costs, food becomes more about flavour and less about the geography of where it comes from. Simpler, fewer ingredients will form a dish of high quality. Supply chains will grow as a focus for the end user, as food becomes more of a treasure. Chefs will start using all of the ingredients including stalks of vegetables that

will be worked into a veggie patty or become a fresh juice.

4 SMOKE IT AND PICKLE IT Smoking and pickling incorporate different flavour profiling. These techniques work with both food and beverage offerings.

5 WINE AND FIZZ Wine by the glass is growing, as people want something to match the occasion as well as the food they eat throughout an evening. Fizz includes all bubbly styles with specific mention to Champagne-/ Prosecco-style cocktails and artisanal bubblybased soft drinks, ginger beer, homemade cordials and soda/sparkling waters. MEETINGS l may/june 2016 •

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Finding the

balance

Wellness has taken the MICE industry by storm. From healthier food options to relaxing spa treatments and yoga exercises, every supplier is attempting to restore much-needed balance in their clients’ lives, writes Hayley Walls.

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B

efore you have your clients

eating nothing but carrot sticks at their next conference and sitting in a circle with the company’s CEO, holding hands, humming while discovering their “inner self”, you should know that clients are looking for something fresh and innovative. When meetings offer something unexpected, it really challenges participants to think differently. You can’t continue to hold the same kind of meetings and expect different results from participants. If you want your delegates to think out of the box and open up, you need to offer them an out-of-the-box meeting environment. Here are nine innovative ways to include wellness into any MICE programme:


#wellness out the peppy and colourful Zumba instructor. The key is to introduce this activity just as delegates are starting to doze off in their seats. You’ll know it’s time when you see the glassy-eyed stares at the projector screen.

3 MAKE YOUR FOOD HEALTHY – BUT NOT BORING It’s important to offer

foods that not only taste good, but also give attendees the energy to stay awake. Meeting-break snacks that feature sugary pastries will give attendees a temporary sugar high, followed by an inevitable crash, which will have you bringing in the Zumba instructor again. Healthy food does not have to be boring. The trick is to just not offer any sweets, donuts, cake or junk food. If there is an exciting, colourful table with fresh fruit, nuts, yoghurt, fresh veggies and veggie dips, chances are delegates won’t even think about any other possibilities. Also make sure they keep hydrated and provide plenty of water.

4 LET YOUR DELEGATES COMPETE Highpowered business people tend to have one thing in common: they want to be the best. Take advantage of this if you want to get buy-in into your wellness programme. Give your attendees pedometers and tell them the ones with the highest daily mileage wins. Better still, give this activity a philanthropic twist and launch a “Steps for Charity” competition: make a charitable donation in honour of your attendee with the highest step count.

1 WORK FOR YOUR TECH Most delegates will be quick to admit that they can’t truly function without their trusted smartphone. So, at some stage during their conference or event, they’ll be bound to look for an outlet to power up their devices. Why not make them work for it? Provide charging stations, but let attendees generate the power by riding bicycles. That is sure to have even the most reluctant attendee work up a sweat.

2 INCORPORATE A SURPRISE ZUMBA SESSION Who doesn’t like a surprise?

Introducing a surprise activity in your conference programme can do wonders to improve productivity. Be warned though: timing is everything if you want to bring

5 BE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE Why not combine a touch of corporate responsibility into your wellness programme? Allow travellers to work together towards a common goal by having them plant trees, create gardens or build houses in a local township. Not only will travellers get a workout, they’ll also feel they’ve made an impact on the local community.

6 ORGANISE WALKING MEETINGS Walking meetings are a great way to spark innovation. The social interaction combined with the changes in scenery, and the fresh air, are crucial for innovation and motivation. Two ways to incorporate walking into a meeting is to choose a destination that encourages walking or make walking a part of the meeting

What if delegates don’t want to participate?

Realistically, not everyone will love the idea of getting up at 07:00 to do yoga next to the pool. It will be a process of trial and error. Keep the lines of communication open: ask delegates what they liked and what they hated. Do they have suggestions for improvement? Take these ideas and incorporate them into the next event or conference.

transportation. Nilofer Merchant, CEO, strategist and author, recently coined the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”, to really drive home the dangers of sitting. She said: “We sit more than we sleep. Sitting has become the smoking of our generation."

7 GET ARTY Wellness is more than physical activity and food alone. Unleash the inner artist in your attendees by inviting a local painting instructor to conduct a stepby-step class during a networking event. Want to make it really interesting? Throw in some cocktails for a creative cocktailsand-canvas experience.

8. JUST RELAX You don’t need to work up a sweat to integrate wellness. Offer lavender-scented warm towels at registration. And position a few massage stations near the registration check-in where delegates can get a rejuvenating massage before heading into the next meeting.

9 DE-CLUTTER Believe it or not, but decluttering can be considered an important part of a wellness experience. Create electronic versions of key takeaways – the less paper attendees take home, the less clutter in their workspaces. By creating clean, clutter-free work spaces, workers are more productive.

With over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality, travel and tourism sectors, Hayley Walls has a proven track record in travel and tourism marketing and sales strategy and operations, as well as hotel operations. She is currently the sales and marketing manager at Thompsons Travel. Take the online Q&A test and start gaining credits. miceplanner.net

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Interactive events For Karmen Vladar, events provide the perfect arena to practice gamification. This is because they typically put together a group of people for a short period of time to connect, learn and have fun.

G

amification is one of the most successful ways for a business to engage with its users. Mobile devices are key to event gamification, with smartphones being the most important. Since nearly everyone carries a smartphone around, it is a safe bet that almost your entire audience will be able to participate and be engaged beyond passive listening. Attendee interaction and enjoyment underpin a successful event, but the end goal is also to learn and network. The trick is to

20 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

make it interesting so that attendees have fun without becoming too aware of these benefits. It is, therefore, important to identify your goals and target audience in advance to engineer the games around what attendees really want.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE? Gamification gives anyone that is reluctant to participate or use technology at conferences or events that extra nudge to incentivise them to do so and it is a great way for delegates

to have fun while increasing engagement to achieve your event objectives. Before gamifying an event, consider what the objectives are and what you want to achieve. Here are some of the objectives to consider: •increasing interaction with all exhibitors at your event •promoting networking among attendees and yourself •raising your event's presence on social media platforms •creating an unforgettable event experience. Once you’ve laid out the objectives, technology can then be used to achieve them in the most creative and fun ways possible. What follows are some ideas for implementing gamification that will help take your event to the next level.


#TECHNObYTES ENGAGING DELEGATES There are many types of games, but there is something that all successful games have in common. A good game is absorbing and highly satisfying to play. In fact, a good game is so compelling and so engrossing that you can lose track of time. Engaging members at events is at the core of every organisation. Event planners are constantly challenged to build opportunities for networking and learning at events and conferences. Gamification plays a crucial role here. Attendees earn points whenever they complete a range of app-based activities. The trick is how you use something like gamification to ensure attendees are engaged.

ADVANTAGES OF EVENT APPS

interact and network more. Quality data and insights are captured from attendees. Apps must allow attendees to integrate their event activities and interact with social media. Event apps also generate sponsorship revenue through selling the app branding, allowing attendees to complete surveys or even including banner ads within the app. The central idea behind gamification is that games have a lot to teach on how to make real life more fun, more engaging and more fulfilling. Games are compelling, engaging and the overwhelming majority of people play them to socialise. These factors alone are enough to make gamification worth your serious consideration as a methodology to create more engaging events.

Event apps bring loads of benefits to events. Delegates have all the information required – not only can they network and earn points, but you can also communicate with them. It is measurable through comprehensive analytics to determine what the return on investment is for event organisers or clients. Event apps provide accurate and up-to-date event information. They allow attendees to engage before, during and after an event. Through gamification, attendees get to

5

Karmen Vladar is a self-proclaimed tech junkie and strong advocate for improving communication and measurement at conferences and events. She is the marketing manager at LUMI. Take the online Q&A test and start gaining credits. miceplanner.net

GAMIFICATION APPS TO ENGAGE ATTENDEES AT YOUR EVENT

1 SCAVIFY has the standard features

that most scavenger hunt apps have. It includes analytics to check your hunt's progress and how well it works. One of its interesting interaction features would be its QR code scanning capability.

2 MAPDASH is a customisable

interactive scavenger hunt app for mobile phones. Some of its features are easy customisation for any location of your hunts and custom skinning for your events. It is playable in teams or as individuals.

3 GOOSECHASE is filled with scavenger hunt ideas and needs premade templates to work with. With 100+ tested missions on the app, you don't have to build one from scratch.

4 LOQUIZ takes snakes and ladders to the next level. It has incorporated the board game into the app as one of its sample game ideas.

5 ACTIONBOUND allows you to create

public bounds for other players to participate. It does not have to be restricted to a single event. This could be useful if you want to stretch your gamification plans out on a larger scale.

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Lumi Show is the complete mobile event and exhibition app that adds instant interaction to your sessions. Take your event or exhibition to the next level with: Gamification & Scavenger Hunts Demonstrations (videos, collateral, documents etc.) Session Attendance & Tracking Automated Notifications (information, promos, offers etc.) Contact/Lead Exchange & Tracking Exhibitor Module (info, contacts, collateral etc.) Networking & Information Exchange Location Information & Navigation Assistance Contact us for more information about Lumi Show or any of our other interactive engagement technology solutions: Gauteng: +27 12 349 1093

I

Western Cape: +27 21 554 4964

I

info-za@lumiinsight.com

I

www.lumiinsight.com


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6

ways to boost your NEXT event on social media

Social media has transformed the events landscape. So much so that, for Dylan Kohlstädt, if your event is not online, it may as well not exist.

M

illennia ago, people lived in villages. We not only shared our living space, but our food-finding, cleaning and child-rearing responsibilities too. As our Western culture has become more individualised, we’ve moved off of each other’s doorsteps and now manage much of our lives solo. But the need to connect and share is innate to humans, and so we’ve created a way to fill the gap without compromising on our personal space – social media. Social media has become a force to be reckoned with in the digital space because it not only gives people a platform to share opinions, news and personal interests, but it also gives people a sense of belonging, a way to connect and relate with a digital tribe. People are looking online for places to go and things to do, so posting your event on social media and on event websites is the best way to get the word out and encourage others to join. Below are great ways to use social media to boost your event.

1 CAMPAIGN STRATEGY Before the event, create a campaign strategy or guidelines document. This is important because consistency across all your channels creates trust – something that users need to feel before they are willing to click to join or buy tickets. It doesn’t have to be a formal document; it can even be a brainstorm doodle on a piece of paper, as long as you stick to it. In the campaign guidelines, include: • t he messaging you will use

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•w  hich social media platforms you are going to post to • a content calendar, so that you can see exactly what you need to post, when you need to post it, and on which channel • links to the website where people can book tickets or find out more information • a relevant, catchy hashtag that you will use on all event posts across social media, which will create awareness and build excitement for the event. • then create a group page or event on Facebook and invite people to join.

2 RUN COMPETITIONS To encourage people to share your posts, run a competition before or during the event. For instance, if you are organising a fun run, ask your followers to take photos of themselves training for the event and to share those photos on social media. Offer them a prize like a t-shirt, food hamper or free race entry. Competitions encourage sharing so you could get loads of new followers or event attendees this way.

3 POST REGULARLY If you only post about your event once a week, you won’t get the awareness you need. Make people feel as if they are going to miss out. Post regularly across all your channels and make sure that you include a link to your website or event page in every post. (Hint: you can use a tool like Bitly.com to shorten the URL so it doesn’t take up as many Twitter characters.)

4 USE HASHTAGS During the event, continue to use hashtags throughout the day, and also make sure that someone is live-tweeting about the event and retweeting any posts made by those attending. You can also set up live streaming through platforms like Meercat, so people can watch online and see what they are missing out on.

5 EVENT BRANDING Ensure that your event branding is consistent across all your social media channels, banners, screens, merchandise and prizes. Don’t forget to use that hashtag!

6 REAL-TIME RESPONSES It’s also really important to get someone who is as invested in the campaign as you are to manage online comments, queries and complaints. Social media users expect real-time responses, so if queries or complaints go unanswered for longer than 24 hours, they either lose interest or become frustrated. Make it super easy and fun for people to work with you. Getting traction for your event takes time, so plan in advance, stick to your campaign guidelines and you should have loads of people attending.

Dylan Kohlstädt is the founder and CEO of Shift ONE – a digital and marketing agency that specialises in growthhacking its clients from garage to global. Dylan is an online and marketing expert who is passionate about growing her clients’ businesses without blowing budgets. Take the online Q&A test and start gaining credits. miceplanner.net


b e s t p r a c t ic e

Helen Brewer explains what the event management initials behind your name really mean.

Certified Exhibition Manager (CEM) Overview

American origination. This is a learning programme in nine course parts, of which the individual can choose from a selection of 11 course subjects.

Process to attainment

A minimum of three years’ fulltime experience within the event and exhibition industry is required to qualify, with three years to complete the selected courses and three years after attainment to be recertified.

Approximate charge structure*

There is an application fee plus an online learning and corresponding exam fee, amounting to a combined $750 (R 11 500).

Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) American origination. The focus of the certificate is to provide continuing educational enhancements to the strategic decision-making ability of these leaders to manage and deliver exceptional meetings and events that drive organisational success. Management-level meeting and event professionals with a minimum of 10 years’ experience in the industry qualify. This is an intensive learning opportunity designed for experienced and highly accomplished members of our global meeting industry community. The course runs for five and a half days. Approximate charge structures* $2 000 (R30 000), including application fees, but excluding accommodation and air travel.

Number of accredited individuals**

2 300

800

I

t is always prudent to do the research behind accreditation before rushing off into the great unknown and committing to a foreign event management programme that may (or may not) provide initials behind an event practitioner’s name. During 2004, great strides were made to investigate, via educational seminars at the first IMEX, which takes place annually in Frankfurt, as to what would work in a South African context. With the arrival of 2016 and a great deal more investigation, plus hard-earned information, the industry is far better informed to provide clear guidance. Although there are several event management certification programmes – the ones that have shown interest in progressing are CEM, CMM, CMP and CEMP. The MICE Academy takes a hard look at these four accreditations (see table) to provide indepth information and a clearer understanding before seasoned planners take the plunge.

Points to ponder • All the accreditation programmes are based in America, with one in Canada. • In America alone, there are over 150 000 event practitioners. With a minimum of 10% accredited with any one of the initials listed, it is likely the majority of American event practitioners do not support the accreditation programme. • All accreditation programmes purport to be globally recognised in one form or another. Investigations with corporate decisionmaking management within South Africa have proven this is not the case. • Most programmes will provide a selling point to the individual, especially those who are operating as DMCs with inbound business from the American market. However, it is important that the accredited individuals advise on what criteria their accreditation was based on. In other words, it is important for the individual to market the importance of the accreditation as well as the advantages to the potential client.

• Countries in Europe and Australasia have their own certification programmes and generally prefer to base their abilities on effective individual marketing. South African planners are among the very best the world has to offer; therefore, the nation is well advised to develop its own accreditation programme for the African continent.

Certified Meeting Certified Event Professional (CMP) Management Professional (CEMP) Canadian American origination. CMP origination. This event management was established programme is in 1985 and is controlled by under the heading of tourism and the Convention hospitality; Industry Council, which is made therefore, the majority of CEMPs up of member associations are within hotels within the event and catering outlets. management sector. The majority of its members have their own accreditation programmes. A minimum of Requires a three years’ minimum of 1 500 qualified continuous involvement within hours industry event management experience within the past three is required. An years. Candidates exam must be must also be taken within e-merit certified one year and recertification after as an event coordinator or five years. provide evidence of 3 000 hours of events-related activities.

$1 000 (R15 000) – which includes application, exams, backup manuals and some online tests.

Excluding the charges for e-merit certification as an event coordinator, the basic charge is $685. With other charges of application and manuals, the overall charge is around R11 000. 9 000 in America 750 (95% in and Canada as well Canada) as 1 200 in other countries

NOTE: *Actual charge structures are based on a fluctuating US dollar to SA rand and non-member rates are applied ** Number of accredited individuals are estimates at time of going to press

Event certification 101

HELEN BREWER is a director of the MICE Academy. She has been involved in the MICE industry for over 35 years and has immense knowledge and experience to assist with best practice. Take the online Q&A test and start gaining credits. miceplanner.net

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20 questions

Seeing things differently Rashid Toefy describes himself as a “tempered radical” that never settles for mediocrity. It is for this very reason that he is making waves in the industry.

H

ow do you see the industry at the moment? The industry is in a state of flux

and is undergoing an evolution with the rise of technology. It’s an exciting time for an event organiser, but also a challenging one as clients want innovative offerings on a shoestring budget. Event organisers need to find ways of exceeding their clients’ expectations within tight budgets.

What drew you to the business? The magic that happens when people come together. It’s exciting to be part of creating and designing amazing experiences for delegates and event attendees.

Who is your celebrity lookalike? Jose Mourinho,

Manchester United’s coach.

What quote best describes you? “Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers... the ones who see things differently ... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs

What superpower would you like to possess? The ability to fly without restrictions and teleport around the world.

What are you addicted to? Adrenalin sports… I am happiest when speeding down a ski slope.

What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry? The digital revolution and the way

What is the best and worst advice you have received? Best: Everyone matters – from the doorman

technology has transformed the architecture of meetings and events.

to the CEO. Worst: Booking a packaged tour. Give me a map any day so that I can explore the roads less travelled.

What have been your career highlights so far?

Tell us something about yourself that few people know I was a pro beach volleyball player.

My tenure at the Cape Town International Convention Centre was a definite career highlight. It was exciting to be at the helm of one of the world’s leading sustainable convention centres. Another highlight was being afforded the opportunity to head up MCI South Africa and expand the international organisation’s event footprint into Africa.

If you could speak any language, what would it be? Spanish, because South America fascinates me. What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten? Deep fried locust in Shanghai.

What makes MCI Africa unique? MCI South Africa

Where is your favourite holiday spot, and why?

is the only international PCO on the continent. This means that we are able to offer our clients international best practice meetings and events solutions. In addition, we have a comprehensive global network of skills that we can tap into to enhance our service offerings. We also provide global brands with a consistent world-class offering across countries.

In South Africa, my favourite spot is Plettenberg Bay. I also love Amsterdam, which was my home for several years.

What has been your most memorable conference? There are too many to mention. A

iPad so that I can stay connected to civilisation and sports, and food and water for sustenance.

definite highlight was hosting the world’s leading heart specialists for the 6th World Congress Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery in 2013.

Are you a dog or a cat person? Dog person.

ABOUT Rashid Toefy is currently the managing director of MCI in Africa. Before joining

MCI, he served as the CEO of Cape Town International Convention Centre, the leading convention centre in Africa from 2008 to 2014, positioning it as a global leader in sustainability. He has worked extensively in the travel and tourism industry, both in South Africa and abroad. Rashid hates settling for mediocrity, and wants to do profound things that impact positively on all those around him. Follow him at @Rashid_Toefy.

24 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

What do you do in your spare time? I’m an avid cricket and soccer dad and weekend cycle enthusiast.

What three things would you want on a deserted island? Diving equipment to go exploring, an

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? Steve Jobs. What would your obituary say? “He lived his life to the fullest and meaningfully impacted on all those that he met.”


sound BITE

Catering to the Chef Abbas Abrahams creates mouth-watering fare that will make your taste buds burst into song.

H

ow has the food and beverage industry changed over the past five years? There has been

a dynamic shift in consumer awareness in terms of leading a healthier lifestyle, including making better choices when it comes to food. This, combined with the increase in financial pressures, has forced the industry to adapt its offering and stay competitive.

What are some of the current trends in the food and beverage industry? Sustainability. There is great awareness in the industry today. We are dedicated to ensuring that our kitchen operates in a sustainable way. It is so important to have detailed knowledge of the produce that one sources. We like to know exactly where our products come from, how they are fed and packaged. Our water is also bottled on-site.

What makes Century City Conference Centre’s (CCCC) catering different? At the CCCC, our clients’ needs and requirements are different to that of an archetypal restaurant booking, but not as massive as a convention centre, for instance. Our conference centre can accommodate up to 1 900 guests across 20 venues! This requires that we constantly challenge ourselves to create innovative menus while meeting the basic

requirements of a specific function. We work closely with event organisers to ensure that the menu has finesse and makes a lasting impression on our conference delegates.

How can one present ‘plain’ food in an appealing manner? The onus is on the chef to use his or her experience and creativity to bring fresh ideas to the table. A new twist on an old favourite is always welcome. Remember, one eats with the eyes first, so make sure the food is always warm, fresh and straight out of the kitchen. At the CCCC, our self-serve catering option for all-day conferences is managed by a highly skilled team on the ground, which consistently replenishing dishes and ensures our guests are taken care of.

What would you identify as the primary mistake people make when catering for conferences? In my humble opinion, there is only one mistake that can be made – not enough food!

What is your favourite dish to make? My passion lies in the art of cooking and bringing to life a dish that starts out with an idea and ingredients. If the end result excites the senses – all five of them – then I am happy.

What is your number one catering tip? Keep it simple. People relate more to simple things than to the exotic. Don’t confuse people or clients by messing with their taste buds.

I’ll let you in on a little secret… I eat a lot of junk food

What is your favourite kitchen equipment or gadget? The air conditioning and the extractor fan!

about chef ABBAS Executive chef Abbas Abrahams is no stranger to creating delicious, locally inspired menus, featuring unique and sustainable ingredients. With 30 years of culinary experience under his belt, and a membership to the prestigious Disciples d’Auguste Escoffier association, Chef Abbas is both a leader in the kitchen and a role model for many young industry professionals.

What is your favourite food? I’ll let you in on a little secret… I eat a lot of junk food. I like Wacky Wednesdays at Steers. They make the best chips! Did you eat your veggies as a child? My relationship with food began at an early age. My father was a vegetable seller and so my appreciation for local, fresh produce began many years ago. As children, we grew up loving vegetables.

What is your favourite food memory? My proudest moment was when I was inducted into the Disciples d’Auguste Escoffier, an international culinary guild that celebrates global culinary talent and service excellence. I never expected to attain this prestigious honour. In fact, I had no idea who the judges were when I cooked for them. Thank goodness for Google!

What is your funniest kitchen incident? I am known to break out into song… more like a melody!

What dish are you asked to make most often? Most requests are for Norwegian salmon. However, when people hear that I’m Muslim, all they want to eat is curry!

What is one ingredient you cannot cook without? Without a doubt, seasoning. Salt and pepper are non-negotiables.

MEETINGS l may/june 2016 •

25


Look to the east d e s t in a t ion • E k u r h u l e n i

The City of Ekurhuleni boasts luxurious accommodation and numerous state-of-theart conferencing and entertainment centres. These are perfect for hosting both domestic and international events, offering costeffective solutions largely due to their proximity to O.R. Tambo International Airport and the many surrounding conveniences. Meetings shares its hidden gems…

STYLE AND INNOVATION Located on the banks of the Swan Lake in Benoni, The Lakes Hotel & Conference Centre is only 10 km from O.R Tambo International Airport. Offering a new take on the conferencing experience, there are 14 upgraded venues, including two state-of-the-art conference venues, which can accommodate up to 1 500 delegates. The Marquee, set in the tranquil gardens, is the perfect setting for a gala event or wedding. Whether it is a conference, product launch, directors’ meeting, wedding, gala event or simply a lunch, the staff are there to assist you in planning your every requirement. The Lakes Hotel & Conference Centre offers 150 hotel rooms, including executive suites, junior suites and leisure rooms with kitchenettes. +27 (0)11 421 5310 l info@thelakeshotel.co.za l thelakeshotel.co.za

HIP AND TRENDY Convenience is key when looking for the right hotel conference facilities, which is why The Nicol is the ideal venue for both small and large conferencing events. Business travellers can choose from conference packages or simply hiring out the fully equipped boardrooms for meetings. Located in the buzzing and trendy Bedfordview area, up to 150 delegates can enjoy easy access to and from the venue. Also, being within such close proximity to O.R. Tambo International Airport, the hotel is perfect for business travellers flying in for a day of conferencing. From the bright and airy 150-seater main venue to smaller, boardroom-style facilities all fitted with modern equipment, this venue will impress the most discerning boss. Conference packages including accommodation are on offer. +27 (0)11 455 0988 l reservations@urbanhiphotels.com l urbanhiphotels.com

26 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE The conference facilities at Afrique Boutique O.R. Tambo Hotel include three executive boardrooms, perfect for a training session, business meetings or private get-togethers of 15 people. The large boardrooms can accommodate up to 100 delegates. The Afrique Cuisine restaurant caters for arrival and afternoon tea, accompanied by a selection of appetizers. Additionally, the restaurant provides buffet and set-menu options, customised according to the preference of the guest. The hotel boasts 24 uniquely designed and stylishly appointed rooms, each with a private patio. Located in Benoni, and a 10-minute drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport, this luxury, four-star boutique hotel is set in peaceful and tranquil surroundings. +27 (0)11 918 800 l info@abhotel.co.za l abhotel.co.za


#Ekurhuleni

SOPHISTICATED CHIC Scarlet Ribbon in Edenvale is a multifaceted function venue that has set the benchmark in function and event execution by catering for all events. In a world of complacency and normality, Scarlet Ribbon brings a truly unique experience, transforming conferences, functions and events into memorable occasions. An award-winning, custom-built staircase and elegant all-glass lift leading into the venue are examples of the elegance and sophistication that Scarlet Ribbon has to offer. The venue is able to ensure that your every whim and fancy is catered for; whether it be decor, flowers, concept design and execution, technical production, photography and videography, IT or entertainment, Scarlet Ribbon will be able to provide you with diverse options through a vast network of professional companies and individuals within the industry, ensuring a perfect conference or event every time. All your catering and culinary requirements are provided for by some of the industry’s leading caterers. Scarlet Ribbon is an unsurpassed venue for conferences, functions, meetings and networking gatherings. It is the perfect environment to set the scene for strategic discussions, key negotiations, team building or commercial celebrations. +27 (0)11 452 6304 l info@scarletribbon.co.za l scarletribbon.co.za

TRUE hospitality The View Guesthouse has an interesting story to tell. In 1999, owner and savvy businesswoman, Sheila Sekhitla successfully converted her home into a four-star establishment that caters to international guests and hosts a variety of events – from executive boardroom meetings to conferences for up to 150 people. Besides the conference room, there is also a separate dining area that is ideal for banquets of up to 60 people. Guests can expect mouth-watering-fare as there is a variety of traditional African cuisine as well as a continental menu available. Located in one of South Africa’s well-known townships, Tembisa, The View is only a 20-minute drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport and is close to some of Gauteng's main highways. For those delegates wanting to spend the night, there are nine air-conditioned luxury rooms with DStv. There is also a spa on-site, which is perfect to help guests destress after a long day. Secure parking is available as well as lock-up garages for up to 10 cars. Sheila's key to her success is simple. “Passion for people, for service excellence and for the hospitality industry,” she says. It is this very reason why she has encouraged her staff to become Theta accredited in order for them to have the skills to ensure the successful execution of all the events hosted at the guesthouse. +27 (0)11 926 1731 l theviewguesthouse@54.co.za l theviewguesthouse.co.za

TOWNSHIP LIVING Whether you're hosting a meeting, conference, workshop, training course or a social event, Lapeng Village Guesthouse, located in the township of Daveyton, is always ready to welcome you and help you create an event worth remembering. Lapeng Village offers superb cuisine, fully equipped meeting and conference facilities as well as secure parking. Looking for an outdoor venue? Lapeng Village boasts an impressive outdoor area with its rock pool. The owners and staff will ensure that all your event requirements are taken care of. The pub is ideal to have a relaxing drink after a full day conference. There are nine luxury bedrooms, which are tastefully furnished to ensure your comfort. Each room is air-conditioned and equipped with a TV and telephone. You will always be connected while having a conferene at Lapeng Village, as the venue offers free Wi-Fi. For those who are seeking some entertainment while staying at Lapeng Village, Carnival City and Emperors Palace are only a short drive away. +27 (0)11 424 2832 l reservations@lapengvillage.co.za l lapengvillage.co.za MEETINGS l may/june 2016 • TOURISM

TOURISM

TOURISM

TOURISM

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d e s t in a t ion • K w a Z u l u - N a t a l

5

REASONS TO PLAN YOUR NEXT EVENT, TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITY OR INCENTIVE IN KWAZULU-NATAL

1 NATURAL ATTRACTIONS From

So much on offer There is no denying that KwaZulu-Natal is one of South Africa’s favourite business events destinations. Meetings explores why.

W

ith eight distinct destinations,

South Africa’s third smallest province has something for any type of meeting, event or incentive that you are planning. Natural wonders, modern facilities, fascinating cultures and a rich history are all to be found in the breathtakingly beautiful landscape of KwaZulu-Natal. Stretching from the sandy beaches of Durban, to the hilltops of the Drakensberg range and

FAST FACT

The sheer size and scale of the Durban ICC is astounding, offering the largest flat-floor, column-free exhibition space in Africa. The building itself is over a kilometre in length – large enough to park 14 Boeing 747s end to end. To find out more about this conference centre, turn to page 8.

28 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

the grassy fields of the Midlands, it is divided into the following destinations: Durban, Pietermaritzburg/Midlands, Battlefields, North Coast, South Coast, Drakensberg, Zululand and Elephant Coast.

MEETINGS AND EVENT SPACES Due to its diverse natural environment, KwaZulu-Natal not only offers conferencing venues in the urban areas, but also in its beautiful rural settings with beaches, bush, and mountains. This allows for creative thinking. The range of conferencing venues caters for small and large meetings, workshops, corporate functions, and events. Many of these venues are attached to excellent guesthouses, lodges and hotels.

GETTING AROUND KwaZulu-Natal has venues conveniently close to the province’s five airports. There is a network of excellent roads connecting the various towns.

uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park and iSimangaliso Wetland Park to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi – South Africa’s oldest game reserve – and Tembe Elephant Park – home of the biggest elephant in Africa – KwaZulu-Natal will leave your delegates in complete awe of its natural beauty.

2 BEACH AND BUSH CULTURE With a range of world-class beaches, recognised surf and shark-diving spots, mixed with pastures peppered with waterfalls, lakes and dams, well-known game reserves and mountain ranges, KwaZulu-Natal is not shy on choice.

3 HISTORICAL SITES Let your

delegates relive some of South Africa’s famous battles such as Blood River, Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, or show them rock art from the San people.

4 FESTIVALS Numerous annual

festivals and sporting events are held throughout the year, and meetings and conferences can be organised around them, ensuring delegates can maximise their stay in the province.

5 MELTING POT OF CULTURE

KwaZulu-Natal is home to the biggest Indian population outside mainland India, as well as the famous Zulu people. As a result of the diverse cultures, delegates can expect mouth-watering fare. No trip to KwaZulu-Natal would be complete without having a bunny chow.


F EAT U RED V E N U ES • K w a Z u l u - N a t a l

Durban's

brighest star

Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani overlooks some of the best beaches in KwaZuluNatal and is a firstchoice hotel for you or your company on your next trip to Durban.

VENUES AND CAPACITIES

L

ocated on the Golden Mile, the hotel

complex is just 23 km from King Shaka International Airport and is perfectly positioned for easy access to the bustling beachfront promenade and in close proximity to Durban's CBD and the ICC.

MEETING AND EVENT SPACES With 15 venues to choose from, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has every type of event covered. With the largest room being able to accommodate up to 500 people. Also Sky is a spectacular venue on the top floor of the Maharani Tower that offers breathtaking sea and city views and can accommodate up to 120 people. The complex's professional events team

Room name Boardrooom Congella East or North Ilanga Great Ilanga Sky Small Ilanga South Ilanga Suite 1, 2, 3 or 4 Suite 5 Suite 1 - 5 Tugela Umgeni

Cinema 60 50 500 150 30 60 100 500 200 30

Schoolroom 50 30 400 60 15 50 80 400 150 20

Banquet 40 40 350 120 80 40 40 80 500 150 20

Umgeni & Congella

80

60

60

Boardroom 10 – – – – – – – – – – – –

provides personalised service and meticulous care to meet your exact requirements. As an added advantage, you will receive a single invoice for all the services used for your event.

Accommodation Options available: • 280 standard rooms • 351 superior rooms • 78 executive rooms • 25 suites.

catering Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has a wide variety of dining options to suit every taste, appetite, occasion, and celebration, this includes: : • Panini and Ocean Breeze restaurants which can also be used for private functions • a wide range of banqueting menus • tailor-made menus to accommodate dietary requirements.

63 Snell Parade, Durban • +27 (0)31 362 1300 sselangenimaharani.reservations@tsogosun.com tsogosun.com

MEETINGS l may/june 2016 •

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F EAT U RED V E N U ES • K w a Z u l u - N a t a l

Drakensberg Sun Resort

Garden Court Blackrock Newcastle

Nestled within the Drakensberg Mountains, this beautiful resort provides a peaceful setting and breathtaking views.

Access to beautiful scenery, personalised service, and various entertainment options make Garden Court Blackrock Newcastle a must-visit hotel.

D

rakensberg Sun Resort is located 450 km from Joburg

and 250 km from Durban, and is an ideal getaway destination for groups.

G

arden Court Blackrock Newcastle lies near the Drakensberg mountains, surrounded by the historic Battlefields. It is adjoined to the Blackrock Casino, which offers on-site entertainment and dining options for guests.

MEETING AND EVENT SPACES The Summit conference centre can seat up to 200 people and can also be divided into three smaller venues. Tailor-made packages, themed evenings and fully inclusive overnight packages are available. On-site team-building activities can be arranged with plenty of other activities to do in the area. Room name Summit Room 1 Summit Room 1, 2, 3 (D) Summit Room 2 Summit Room 2 & 3 Summit Room 3

Cinema 150 200 50 150 30

Schoolroom 70 180 40 70 20

Banquet 60 180 30 60 20

Cocktail 100 250 40 100 15

MEETING AND EVENT SPACES Garden Court Blackrock can accommodate workshops, meetings, and conferences for between 10 to 200 guests. Event planners also have the option of hosting outdoor functions. Room name Balele Executive Boardroom Imbizo Indaba

Cinema Schoolroom Banquet 200 50

150 30

150 -

Cocktail -

Boardroom 14 5

180 40

-

ACCOMMODATION

ACCOMMODATION

The 78 spacious and recently refurbished bedrooms provide comfortable accommodation with complimentary Wi-Fi. Tsogo Sun Rewards cardholders get additional Wi-Fi per room per day.

With 78 en-suite rooms and two Presidential Suites, the hotel guarantees personalised and attentive service.

CATERING CATERING The Lakeview restaurant provides a relaxed, high-quality dining experience. For private functions, a wide choice of menus is available.

R600, Central Drakensberg, Winterton | +27 (0)36 468 1000 drakensbergsun.reservations@tsogosun.com | tsogosun.com

30 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

The Mid-City Grill restaurant offers a variety of dishes. Visitors can make use of the pool terrace while enjoying light a la carte meals and beverages from the Celebrations Bar.

100 Allen Street, Newcastle +27 (0)34 328 1777 l tsogosun.com blackrock.hotelreservations@tsogosun.com


F EAT U RED V E N U ES • K w a Z u l u - N a t a l

Garden Court South Beach

Garden Court uMhlanga

Garden Court South Beach in Durban overlooks the promenade and offers a relaxing home away from home for business and leisure travellers alike.

No matter what type of event you are planning, there are venue options ideally suited for any type of event.

T

G

he hotel is located conveniently close to the beach, as well as uShaka Marine World, Moses Mabhida Stadium, and a mere 40-minute drive from King Shaka International Airport.

arden Court uMhlanga offers a number of flexible

conference venues and meeting rooms that can accommodate between 12 and 140 delegates. The hotel is close proximity to Gateway Shopping Centre and many popular uMhlanga beaches.

MEETING AND EVENT SPACES Garden Court South Beach offers three excellent conference facilities, with unique, intimate spaces for business meetings or relaxed group gatherings. These venues are all customisable and have varied capacities. Room name The Cabin The Malibu Room The Meeting Room

Cinema 60 250 -

Schoolroom 40 170 -

Banquet 50 150 -

Boardroom 12

ACCOMMODATION The 414 rooms are spacious, with private en-suite bathrooms. There are sea-facing rooms, as well as rooms with a view of the city. Each twin, double, or queen room is tastefully furnished and equipped with amenities such as tea and coffee stations, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, electronic safes, and wake-up facilities.

MEETING AND EVENT SPACES Garden Court uMhlanga boasts six unique venues. Free Wi-Fi is available. Tsogo Sun Rewards cardholders get additional Wi-Fi per stay per day. Room name Hluhluwe 1 Hluhluwe 1 & 2 (D) Hluhluwe 2 Mdloti Mlazi Umfolozi 1 Umfolozi 1 & 2 (D) Umfolozi 2

Cinema 90 100 90 60 120 60

Schoolroom 60 140 60 36 72 36

Boardroom 12 12 -

ACCOMMODATION The hotel has 204 en-suite rooms.

CATERING

CATERING

The Breakfast Room offers a buffet breakfast every day, while Mustards Grill restaurant offers lunch, dinner, light meals and beverages.

Mnandi Restaurant caters for a variety of tastes. Buffet dinners as well as an Asian cooking station are served on selected evenings. Guests can relax with a drink at the Ukuphela Bar.

73 OR Tambo Parade, South Beach, Durban +27 (0)31 337 2231 l tsogosun.com gcsouthbeach.reservations@tsogosun.com

Cnr Aurora Drive and Centenary Boulevard, uMhlanga Ridge +27 (0)31 514 5500 l tsogosun.com gcumhlanga.reservations@tsogosun.com

MEETINGS l may/june 2016 •

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F EAT U RED V E N U ES • K w a Z u l u - N a t a l

5

DID YOU KNOW

This state-of-the-art, technologically advanced business and conference centre is noted for its amazing acoustics and smart lighting systems, and has hosted the likes of internationally acclaimed motivational speaker Robin Sharma, the X-Factor South Africa auditions and live shows, and a large contingent of corporate and government events.

TO HOST YOUR NEXT EVENT AT THE OLIVE CONVENTION CENTRE

1 ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES With over

5 000 m2 of convention, exhibition and special event space, the Olive Convention Centre can host events of any size and nature.

2 TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED

The Olive Convention Centre offers practical, user-friendly and technologically advanced meeting facilities, with seating options ranging from cinema or classroom to banqueting or boardroom style.

3 GREENING Through its various

sustainability initiatives, the centre is working hard to reduce its carbon footprint.

4 CATERING The Olive Convention

Centre offers a wide variety of menus, which are innovative and use only the best ingredients. All the kitchens are halaal.

5 DEDICATED TEAM Expect to

work with professional and highly dedicated staff who are committed to ensure that your event is a success.

Bigger and better

Located in the heart of the vibrant multicultural city of Durban, the Olive Convention Centre is an ideal venue to host your next event.

H

aving opened its doors in 2010, the Olive Convention Centre has become a firm favourite in the conferencing and events arena, largely due to its placement within Durban’s Golden Mile and its proximity to hotels, beaches and tourist attractions.

VENUES AND CAPACITIES Room name Olive Theatre Banqueting Hall Hall of Learning Ice Arena Ice Arena (Gallery) Meeting Room 1 Meeting Room 2 Meeting Room 3 Meeting Room 4/5 Meeting Room 6/7 Meeting Room 8 Meeting Room 9 Boardroom 1 Boardroom 2 Boardroom 3

Cinema Banquet 1 560 300 1 000 700 250 180 2 350 1 350 300 130 130 100 80 110 80 70 50 50 40 66 20 40 20 20 20 75 50 30 boardroom seating

32 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

Schoolroom 900 450 140 1 175 80 50 52 54 36 30 30 15 54

LOCATION Strategically positioned mere metres away from Durban’s famous Golden Mile, the Olive Convention Centre is a 30-minute drive from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, and within walking distance from the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

MEETING AND EVENT SPACES Boasting an array of multipurpose venues and a host of breakaway rooms and boardrooms, combined with

some of the most technologically advanced facilities, the Olive Convention Centre’s versatility, flexibility and professionalism have led to its immense success, and earned the centre an enviable reputation. The venue has over 5 000 m2 of convention, exhibition and special event space, comprising four halls, nine meeting venues and four executive rooms. The Durban Ice Arena is a 1 740 m2 indoor exhibition arena that can accommodate up to 66 exhibition stands for a trade show. It can also host corporate events, luncheons and banquets, live music performances and product launches. It can also be used to put on live ice shows. No other venue in the country boasts a similar facility.

PARKING The Olive Convention Centre offers parking on its premises, which can accommodate up to 35 vehicles at the main entrance; however, there are a host of parking facilities within close proximity (10 m to 300 m) to


#bestOFdurban

meet the team sastri Ramiah Visionary and leader of the centre Sastri is a chartered accountant and chartered global management accountant with over 25 years’ experience as a professional. Aron Daniel Operations manager Aron’s main task entails oversight over operational aspects of the facility, including machinery and equipment, operations staff and the general functioning of the facility. Overseeing the operations of the ice arena is his key focus area and support to the Olive Convention Centre events and kitchen operations. Why should one host an event at Olive Convention Centre? The versatility of the venue as well as our staff who take ownership of your event and it becomes a joint effort to ensure that the event is a success. Delia Samuel-Perumal Manager: Events and Banqueting Delia ensures the smooth and efficient delivery of food and beverages for confirmed events hosted at the facility. Why should one host an event at Olive Convention Centre? The Olive Convention Centre is a unique property – it has old-world charm. Our guests feel cared for when they have an event here. The centre is an integral part of Durban’s history and we are the only convention centre that has its own ice rink.

the centre. During large-scale events, the Hoy Park and George Campbell school grounds are utilised, and cater for approximately 500 vehicles. This parking is subject to availability and is within walking distance of the centre. Various directional noticeboards direct patrons to and from this parking. The Olive Convention Centre offers a free shuttle service between the parking zones and the centre to assist with the movement of your guests.

CATERING Food choices are important – make sure it does not affect your event, your brand and, more importantly, your health. It is for this very reason that the food and beverage department at the centre provides a wide

Zama Keswa Financial manager Zama is responsible for the financial administration of the Olive Convention Centre. She has oversight of the professional finance team at the Durban Ice Arena and Food and Beverage Division. Zama’s focus is to drive adherence to sales and costs budgets for the various departments.

variety of menu options to suit every palate. The centre is equipped with three serving kitchens, situated on the ground, first and second floors respectively, and can cater for a range of dietary requirements to suit each and every client’s needs. All kitchens are halaal.

What is the best part of working at Olive Convention Centre? Seeing the centre grow and evolve from its humble beginnings.

GREENING The Olive Convention Centre is proud to have implemented a number of green building initiatives that assist in reducing its carbon footprint. These include energy-efficient lighting, the recycling of rainwater for nonpotable use and timers for high-voltage operational equipment.

Cnr Somsteu Road & Sylvester Ntuli Road (Brickhill Rd), Durban +27 (0)31 337 1171 info@oliveconventioncentre.co.za oliveconventioncentre.co.za COLOURS

C 40,79 M 15,31 Y 100 K 0,23 PANTONE 7745 C

C 68,21 M 38,87 Y 100 K 27,68 PANTONE 371 C

C 16,57 M 0 Y 95,83 K 0 PANTONE 388 C LOCATION % 41,09% | 97,12%

MEETINGS l may/june 2016 •

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F EAT U RED V E N U ES • K w a Z u l u - N a t a l

The ocean is calling Taking exceptional pride in offering uncompromised service and facilities, and boasting a magnificent panoramic view, Garden Court Marine Parade is the ideal destination for a memorable function.

I

deally positioned on the Golden Mile beachfront, the newly refurbished Garden

Court Marine Parade provides event planners and guests with a blend of comfort, high-quality service and modern facilities.

LOCATION The hotel is situated just 33 km from King Shaka International Airport and is within easy

access of Durban International Convention Centre, as well as the Suncoast Casino and entertainment complex.

MEETING AND EVENT SPACES Garden Court Marine Parade is able to host a variety of event types – from a small conference or intimate meeting, to sizeable launches and cocktail parties – all with

elegance and flair. The meeting spaces have a contemporary, urban feel with simple lines and uncluttered space. Venues include: • F ive well-equipped meeting rooms that can accommodate between 20 and 350 delegates • a self-service work station for business travellers.

ACCOMmODATION All 346 rooms enjoy an ocean view and offer individually controlled air-conditioning, selected DStv channels, and a host of other facilities.

CATERING Peppa restaurant offers breakfast and a buffetstyle dinner. Guests seeking a lighter meal can visit the informal lounge and enjoy a cocktail with their meal. A variety of banqueting menus are available, which can be tailored to accommodate dietary requirements.

VENUES AND CAPACITIES Room name DHS 1 DHS 2 DHS 1 & 2 (D) Glenwood Glenwood and Hilton (D) Hilton Kearsney Michaelhouse

34 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

Cinema 150 150 350 50 100 50 250 -

Schoolroom 72 72 200 21 42 21 150 -

Cocktail 120 -

Boardroom 75 14

167 OR Tambo Parade, Marine Parade +27 (0)31 337 3341 gcmarineparade.reservations@tsogosun.com tsogosunhotels.com


F EAT U RED V E N U ES • G A U T E N G

The centre that can Once again, the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) pulled out all the stops with this year’s Rand Show, proving, once again, that this world-class venue is the ideal showcase for events of this scope.

T

he JEC has been home to the Rand Show for the past three decades, entertaining families, connecting them with brands, introducing them to the latest products and exposing them to great show bargains. “In the 30 years that we have hosted the Rand Show, we have watched in awe as it has evolved. It’s amazing to think that it began as an agricultural show 122 years ago and now it is easily the biggest consumer show on the South African events calendar. Although it has been around for more than a century, the Rand Show continues to grow in popularity and this year was no exception,” says Craig Newman, CEO, JEC.

BIGGEST DAY OUT

JEC CEO Craig Newman

This year, the Rand Show promised audiences their "Biggest Day Out", with entertainment, exhibitions and demonstrations that catered to every taste. The show included 10 action-packed days, ensuring that audiences got their money’s worth.

As the visitors descended on the Nasrec grounds in their thousands, Rand Show team managed entrance, parking and security with a flow and panache that would be difficult to rival. “Our mission has always been to offer professionalism, flexibility and hospitality so that we can provide our clients with world-class service,” says Newman. “We want to ensure that your experience always exceeds your expectations.”

ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES Fortunately, the JEC is the perfect platform to host a show of this nature. As South Africa’s largest purpose-built exhibition, conference and events venue, its multipurpose exhibition halls provide over 50 000 m² of space under roof, and over 100 000 m² of outdoor exhibition space. The Expo Centre can accommodate up to 60 000 people at any given time, enabling it to host the likes of Ultra Fest South Africa,Johannesburg International Motor Show, Automechanika and the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon. “We have done our best to keep up with the growing demands of the industry over the years,” explains Craig. “This becomes more and more

critical as South Africa becomes a destination of choice for business tourism, locally, in the rest of Africa and abroad.” Its ability to adapt to changing consumer needs, and withstand economic, social and political pressure is part and parcel of what has made the JEC the venue of choice for so many brands. “There is no request too weird or too wonderful for our team,” explains Craig. “We meet every challenge head on so that every experience is seamless for event organisers. Our aim is to become an extension of your brand so that even seemingly insurmountable requests can be handled with ease.” Despite a slight dip in the economy, the JEC has enjoyed great success in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. “The South African economy has been hard hit and improvement is slow but we have a positive outlook,” says Craig. “We are placing a firm focus on innovation and service delivery to our customers and we intend to increase our global reach.” The Expo Centre team is passionate about events and assisting tourism in South Africa. It comes as no surprise then that the JEC continues to reign supreme in the events venue sphere. “We have the capacity and facilities to cater for each unique set of needs combined with the willingness and enthusiasm to tackle each new project. Big or small, local or international — we are willing and able,” concludes Craig. For more information: expocentre.co.za. Follow them on: Facebook: Expo Centre Nasrec, Twitter: @jhbexpocentre1

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t a l king p oin t s

Inspire, motivate and entertain When it comes to public speaking, delivering dynamic business presentations and mastering the art of public speaking are critical skills that executives require for business success.

W

hether announcing results at board meetings, presenting a sales pitch to clients or delivering a keynote speech at an annual conference, the importance of creating the right impression while under the spotlight is not only vital for the business at hand but also for personal career progression. Furthermore, ensuring you have a powerful personal brand adds credibility to your professional profile, while enhancing your image and promoting your business integrity. Every day, professional speakers use specific techniques to inspire, motivate and entertain audiences around the globe. Great speakers and presenters are not born, they are made.

Lynn Baker

THE ART OF PRESENTING The key to planning a great presentation is to ensure that the presentation only contains key information that drives results. Consolidating masses of content in a focused framework makes a presentation easy to deliver and exciting for an audience to receive. Don’t ever use bullet points and boring slides. Content can be conveyed by very few words. High-definition graphics and dynamic video can help get the message across. Mastering performance is equally vital. Have a conversation with your audience, engage with them genuinely and move them emotionally. Share fresh ideas with a sense of passion that is authentic. Eye contact is still one of the best communication tools. Voice projection, tone and vocal pace can change the meaning of any message. Posture, stance and body language can increase your credibility as a speaker. Make sure that you’re placing emphasis on the right message at the right time. This will ensure that your audience remembers you and your presentation in a positive light.

Michael Jackson

Ryan Hogarth

Want to know more?

BECOME A BETTER SPEAKER NOW Henley Business School, in partnership with Unique Speaker Bureau, runs a Henley-accredited short course to develop new speaker talent and strengthen the message delivery for all

36 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

people who are in positions where they present important messages at conferences or company functions, and who feel that they could be doing this better or want to improve. For the first time ever in South Africa, the knowledge and expertise of four international speakers (programme director Lynn Baker, Michael Jackson, Ryan Hogarth and Shelley Walters) have been combined to create a practical course that will assist aspiring speakers and business presenters to elevate their skills to the next essential level. The programme includes eight modules over a nine-week period, covering the essential components to mastering the art of public speaking. Paul Mc Connon, director of Unique Speaker Bureau, comments, “We have combined the skills, knowledge and expertise of four of South Africa’s top international speakers to bring professionals a course that is highly dynamic and significantly focused on shifting delegates to the next level of public speaking and business success.” Through experiential exercises and small group activities, delegates will have the opportunity to put new techniques into practice and enhance their ability to speak with confidence, poise, clarity and conviction. In addition to this, delegates are encouraged to foster these skills through the unique opportunity to present numerous times in front of peers and coaches, and receive immediate feedback on content and delivery. Furthermore, the course will explore what successful speakers do right and what needs to change. It will outline dynamic delivery skills including voice projection, tone and vocal pace, and how posture, stance and body language have the ability to either increase or decrease credibility. “The Executive Speaker Programme has been designed with the business executive in mind. Aimed at senior management, professionals and aspiring professional speakers, the course will set the bar for public speaking that is exceptionally polished, highly influential and impressively memorable. We want delegates to leave the course as better speakers, better business presenters and better masters of influence,” concludes Paul.

Shelley Walters

For more information on this initiative and future programme dates, contact Melanie Pearson at Unique Speaker Bureau on +27 (0)11 465 4410 or +27 (0)83 409 7583, or melanie@uniquespeakerbureau.com.


Ta l king p oin t s

industry views SAACI's take on keeping current

Important things not to forget Adriaan Liebetrau lets us in on the little things that make a major difference at events.

T Adriaan Liebetrau is the CEO of SAACI. He has many years of experience within the conference and events industry.

Integrity | Intelligence | Innovation | Sustainability

he old saying: “One can only learn from mistakes”, should be changed to: “One can only learn from experience”. Yes, we all do make mistakes but I think that, with experience, this all can be addressed. Be vigilant when you go to events and take mental notes and gain experience through what you see. Allow me to give you a few basic tips from some recent experiences I’ve had. Some may sound silly, but never forget that every day we have new people entering the work place and, as the SAACI theme this year suggests, with knowledge, it’s possible.

is nothing more frustrating for a speaker than when the AV doesn’t work. At the same time, there is nothing that can kill a vibe quicker for delegates or partygoers than bad sound.

MOUTH-WATERING FARE I love food but I love great food even more, so please get this right! This is the one thing I always hear complaints about.

CONTENT IS KING Make sure your programme content is

START WITH THE BASICS It is important to have venue

relevant and topical. Delegates have a great choice of where they want to spend their buck and valuable time, so make sure they get their money’s worth with great speakers and great content.

and directional signage but make sure your reception or registration staff know where what is happening. The best advice someone gave me when I was still a banqueting coordinator was to take my teams on walkabouts before events commence and to brief them on all the basics they need to know.

FANCY A CUPPA? When you choose a venue for your event, make sure they know how to make a proper cup of coffee or pot of tea. At some point, most, if not all, of your delegates will treat themselves to a cup and there are very few things that leave a bitter taste in my mouth like a bad cup of coffee.

STAY SWITCHED ON Technology is now an integrated part of our industry. Make sure it is set up correctly. There

Use it, don’t use it. But there are a few important, basic things that we should never forget in our sector.

MEETINGS l may/june 2016 •

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t a l king p oin t s

Sidestepping slip-ups

industry views EXSA - giving a voice to the industry

Sue Gannon shares the most common mistakes to avoid when exhibiting.

E Having been involved in organising many well-known exhibitions, SUE Gannon joined EXSA as general manager and has raised the profile of the organisation.

xhibitions can be the fastest and most effective way to gain industry knowledge, capture prospective leads and boost awareness of your brand. However, just arriving on the opening day of an exhibition is not enough – exhibitions are a strategic process and your exhibition strategy can mean the difference between success and failure. EXSA takes a look at some of the most common mistakes exhibitors make and tells you how to avoid them.

INADEQUATE STAFF TRAINING

THE FIRST IMPRESSION IS VITAL

NOT FOLLOWING UP ON LEADS

First impressions count – if a company’s stand has a thorough and professional design, the company will be associated with the same notions. A great design will give a great first impression. You get that split second as someone walks past your stand to hit them with the wow factor. Branding is about more than just the company name – it’s about how you think, how you solve problems and how you interact with your customers. The overall experience customers have on your exhibition stand is as much about brand recognition and experience as the logo itself.

Exhibitions deliver excellent sales leads, yet 75 per cent of leads aren’t followed up on, wasting the hard work and energy used to collect client information, and losing prospective business. At the exhibition, make sure that it’s as easy as possible for contacts to get in touch with you afterwards and capture as much data as possible. Remember, the quicker and easier it is for you to exchange details, the better the experience for the visitor. Follow up with a possible email – campaign, send out press releases and use social media to monitor discussions and answer queries visitors may have about your company.

Let's show off

industry views AAXO - for the exhibition organsiers

Carol Weaving tells you how to get the best reaction from your audience at exhibitions.

I Carol Weaving is the chairperson of AAXO and is also the managing director of Thebe Reed Exhibitions.

You might have the most attractive stand, have made the best use of all promotional materials and marketing channels, and have amazing giveaways, but it all depends on how good your staff are on the day. If your staff are not properly trained, you could fail to deliver on the expected ROI. The EXSA Academy, in conjunction with Expo Expertise, offers exhibitor training.

n a world where audience and spend are entirely fragmented, how do you get the attention of the people you’re keen to appeal to? You show off. Yes, all reputable businesses have built a website, established a social media profile, and many more spend vast sums of cash on above-theline marketing, and yet the most engaging approach in forming a lasting relationship remains all things physical and tangible. Not only is it one of the most cost-effective marketing mediums, but – as one of the most successful, tried and tested means of promotion – exhibitions remain a critical part of the PR mix for any business, regardless of size and annual turnover.

MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS Every brand and its products and services are best tried and tested live. No one buys a house or car online. Yes, we certainly use all of the collateral out there to make informed decisions, but ultimately being present and understanding how it makes you feel – never mind its intrinsic value being appreciated – forms a meaningful relationship and builds affinity, which is the one thing your marketing money cannot buy.

38 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

EXHIBITIONS ARE DESTINATIONS The people who attend are invested on a level where conversion is highly likely, especially if what you’re peddling is even bigger and better than your pitch. Visitors are also made to feel entirely at ease, not pressured to purchase, which makes a refreshing change from callcentre and store staff aiming to score a commission at any cost. Captive audiences are rare, especially in this day and age where you’re not just competing for people’s money. Their time and attention are incredibly hard to come by too. For SMMEs keen to grow, collaboration is often possible in the exhibition space as well – something other platforms simply cannot offer in quite the same way. After all, perception is critical when it comes to being taken seriously by your audience. Being on show is ultimately the true litmus test for new and existing products and services. It also welcomes, applauds and rewards innovation, while being a very sustainable marketing model. So, show off, and rest assured that it will get you noticed and have your audience sitting and paying attention.


Ta l king p oin t s

Consider going green

greening views

Keeping green with Event Greening Forum

The easiest way to grasp the concept of greening lies in applying the following three words: reduce, reuse, recycle, writes Justin Hawes.

G

oing green does not mean cutting back on the good times. Green events still enable one to enjoy events, while being healthy and environmentally friendly at the same time. Event greening is centred on hosting the event in a manner that maximises positive impacts, while minimising the negative. Here are some top tips to help you with event greening.

Justin Hawes co-founded the EGF to promote sustainability in the South African events industry. He is currently the forum’s chairperson.

ENSURING A GREEN STAND It is important that one gets buy-in from the client when building a green stand. The client ultimately determines the extent to which the stand incorporates sustainable elements. Clients should be encouraged to limit the distribution of printed brochures on their stands, and instead use AV and technology to promote themselves to exhibition visitors. It is essential that the design incorporates materials that will enable the stand to be rebuilt a number of times. Fabric graphics are an important element in the design as they are more durable than graphics printed on vinyl or PVC – they can be stored and transported more easily than alternative substrates.

Consider the distance between the conference venue and accommodation and encourage delegates to consider using public transport or car pools to minimise the carbon footprint. Delegates in Gauteng can use the Gautrain. In Cape Town, use the MyCiTi bus services. These are cost-effective and safe. Consider incentives for the use of public transport, such as providing free public transport on the day of the event or encourage car sharing.

VENUE One of the most important decisions for an event organiser or planner is the selection of an event venue. The venue will play a significant role in terms of implementing greening interventions. Make sure the venue is equipped to host a green event. The environmental policy of the venue or accommodation should be considered when making bookings – this needs to be specifically requested. Encourage a green corner at your event that showcases the greening practices and interventions implemented.

Building in the destination experience

industry views

AIPC on the role of conference centres

I GEOFF DONAGHY is AIPC president, CEO of International Convention Centre Sydney, and director of Convention Centres, AEG Ogden.

TRANSPORT

Delegates want events that encourage thinking and allow for new experiences, writes Geoff Donaghy.

n today’s rapidly evolving world of meetings and events, everyone is paying a lot more attention to research conclusions, particularly in terms of what delegates most want to achieve from their participation. The reason: unless we recognise and address these needs, we will lose the interest of a group that is the whole basis for everything we do. From a facility perspective, one of the most important findings in recent years is the growing importance delegates are placing on the actual event experience as opposed to simply programme content. With so much of the information detail and latest developments associated with any discipline available through other media – often much more quickly than by waiting for the annual gathering – the focus for face-toface events is shifting to the more qualitative aspects of the event, including such things as networking, the sharing of ideas and perspectives and even the opportunity to experience new places in ways that stimulate thinking and satisfy our need for new kinds of experiences. By delivering unique and distinctive experiences using their own facilities, centres can be active participants in shaping the event experience to the benefit of all. This can include anything

and everything from centre location and decor to helping facilitate community connections or arrange off-site events.

WANTS AND NEEDS At the same time, an exciting and distinctive surrounding environment is stimulating to delegates, particularly those who may have been attending a particular event for many years. This means that what may initially be seen as simply an enhancement to the event experience may actually play a fundamental role in improving outcomes. All of these are good reasons for centres and destinations to make the extra effort to deliver a distinctive event – one that not only respects organisational aims but also honours and shares the destination and its qualities. As with so many of the issues that characterise the centreclient relationship these days, this is a matter for collaboration. Organisers know better than anyone what the wants and needs of their delegates are, while centres know and can access local resources and experiences more effectively because of their local knowledge and relationships. By consulting with one another early in the process, results can be achieved that will benefit everyone – particularly the all-important delegates.

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Event impossible

VENUE DELIVERIES I am sure that every event manager has had their share of deliveries to venues, such as boxes of conference brochures, exhibition stand furniture, conference bags and inserts, gifts, as well as banners and branding. Most of the time, to avoid any last-minute chaos, these deliveries are made in advance of the event team arriving on-site. I send a list to the venue so that the staff are aware of what deliveries to expect. They are usually very careful and meticulous in taking delivery of the items. Signed delivery notes and waybills are handed to me upon arrival. After stock-take, everything is moved to the storeroom. But when your platinum sponsor comes looking for their products, that’s when the haystack descends like a black cloud. How does an entire box of delegate handouts or a banner disappear just like that? Of course, it was never entirely gone, because the minute you start packing up after your week-long conference, lo and behold there it is – the box of handouts you were looking for: under a beanbag.

NAME TAGS Most of the events I organise require name tags or accreditation of some

sort. Once the name tags are printed or the accreditation is produced, the event team will methodically double-check them against the registration system, pack them out alphabetically or by category and then double-check again. Registration and handing out of accreditation starts on a high note – we are pumped and ready for the crowd. But, once again, the haystack descends and swallows just a couple of VIP name tags or accreditations. Never has the haystack been known to swallow the tag of a no-show. No, it’s much more thrilling when the keynote speaker or a company CEO’s tag disappears into the abyss. However, unlike the box under the bean bag, the missing name tags are seldom seen ever again.

AIRPORT PICK-UPS In this age of technology, one would not think it possible to “lose” someone at the airport. But the likely cause is the lack of signal in that haystack. Let me paint a picture: all the details on the pick-up brief to the transfer company are correct. The guest arriving at the airport has been sent details about the person collecting him/ her. A name board the size of bill board has been produced, which will be displayed by the driver in the arrivals hall. Both parties have mobile phones and each other’s contact details. The plane has landed and I get an SMS from the driver informing me that the plane is on time and he is expecting the guest to come through the arrival doors shortly. Then BANG, the haystack strikes. A long time goes by with no word. I call, but there is no answer. Then, a bit later, the driver calls me to say he can’t find the guest and that he has also tried to call my guest but he is not answering his phone. I then call the guest and amazingly he answers, just to tell me that he is at arrivals waiting for my driver. He, too, claims that he has been calling my driver, who apparently is also not picking up his phone. I know the airport is big and there are a lot of needles in that haystack, but one would think that, by now, either my guest has spotted the board with his name on, or someone has actually answered their phone. But, apparently, I have underestimated the power of the haystack. These missing needles are highly frustrating, especially when you have planned so well and when there is absolutely no logical explanation. Frustration, however, will not solve the problem. Simply keep calm, and try to make the situation work as best you can.

index to advertisers Best Western/Orion 17 Cathedral Peak Hotel 2 Champagne Sports Resort & Pumula Beach Resort IFC Drakensberg Sun Resort 30 Durban ICC OFC Fine-line Illustrations 5 Galagos Lodge 37

40 • MEETINGS l May/June 2016

Garden Court Blackrock Newcastle Garden Court Marine Parade Garden Court South Beach Garden Court uMhlanga Gauteng Convention Bureau Johannesburg Expo Centre Khoja Group

30 34 31 31 27 IBC 6

Lumi 21 Monte de Dios 14 Olive Convention Centre 32 Peermont 7 Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani 29 Tsogo Sun OBC Unique Speaker Bureau 36

Illustration: Nicolene Louw

Meeting every event criterion can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Miss Meet shares her top three most difficult-to-fulfil event requirements.


O’DONOGHUE & ASSOCIATES 37576

YOU DREAM IT WE’LL MAKE IT A REALITY

When you dream big, think of us. Because it really doesn’t get much bigger than Expo Centre Johannesburg. With over 50 000m² under cover and another 100 000m² outdoors, we can create any size exhibition, event, conference or function. Call us, we’ll make it happen exactly as you imagined. @jhbexpocentre1

Johannesburg Expo Centre Nasrec

Johannesburg Expo Centre

Johannesburg Expo Centre

Johannesburg Expo Centre

www.expocentre.co.za

MEETING your Demands. EXCEEDING your Expectations.

Cnr Rand Show and Nasrec roads, JHB - T: +27(11) 494 1920 - F: +27(11) 494 1005 - E: info@expocentre.co.za


Meetings May / June 2016  

Meetings Magazine offers news from venues, service and travel providers; opinions and comment from industry role-players; special reports, t...

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