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Tech for you to choose to use or lose in the New Year


Leading service providers and venues defining industry excellence EXPERIENCES Taking your delegates on a journey

How the JEC will change the game in 2020

Go and tell your grannies, moms and aunts to never give up – it is never too late to start a completely new career if you do the right thing at the right time for the right reason.” Lorraine Jenks, Owner, Hotelstuff/Greenstuff

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CONNECT WITH US The Planner @theplannerguru @theplannerguru

FOCUS 10 2020: Event tech for you to choose to use or lose

Technology can provide the ideal end-user solution but is it right for you?

15 Augmenting creativity How can we use AI and

machine learning to fuel creative experiences that benefit customers, asks Glenn van Eck.





Breaking boundaries This year has been truly phenomenal for the JEC. Meetings catches up with CEO Craig Newman on some of the key achievements over the course of the year.


16 The iNfLuEnCeR Effect Brand influencers are great but when it comes down to the crunch, what does it take for any one individual or entity to get to a level where they can be deemed an influencer? INDUSTRY VIEWS 17 Tapping into the theatre of the mind Has it ever

occurred to you how mentally prepared you need to be as an attendee at an event, asks Thami Nkadimeng.

24 Exhibition successes Exciting times lie ahead for AAXO. Chair Projeni Pather discusses the opportunities on the horizon for the ambitious board. 27 Don’t miss the boat Technology and development are growing the events industry’s capability and reach, insists Gill Gibbs. BEST PRACTICE 21 Start off 2020 with a bang! With 2019 almost behind

us, it is important to adopt an approach that provides our teams with the resilience needed to take on the challenges of a new year, writes Eddie Bunting.

INCENTIVE SHOWCASE 28 Green, gold and the rising sun HISIDE Incentives

was thrilled to have hosted the biggest group to attend the Japan Rugby World Cup 2019.

TRANSPORT EXPERIENCES 30 Experiential excursions When it’s not about the

destination but the delegate journey.

31 A once-in-a-lifetime trip While the Rovos Rail is the epitome of luxury, this barely scratches the surface.



key partners are raising much-needed funds for a very worthy cause.

DESTINATION 34 Sandton: The business tourism capital of Africa

Meetings highlights just some of the reasons why Sandton is such an incredible meeting destination.




The change agent After a career spanning many sectors, Lorraine Jenks is now an international speaker on climate change, a trainer and consultant on sustainability, an expert on going green and an ethical food activist.

EVENT SHOWCASE 33 A Zest for Zumbathon® How Zumbathon® and its



47 SAACI + Travelbags

REGULARS 3 Ed’s comment 8 Tidbits 26 20 Questions 32 Soundbite 48 Miss Meet

+27 (0)11 233 2600 is a one-stop platform for finding venues and suppliers. It’s where you can read the hottest industry tips and trends as well as source event planning tools and gain insight from valuable information in the MICE Hub. Plan your event by using the platform’s event boards and keep up-to-date with the daily newsletters. Use these resources to take your events from great to flawless. Packed with advice, handy tips, tools, checklists and event planning insight from leading industry experts and combined with the comprehensive listings, The Meetings & Event Planner is essential if you’re organising any type of event. Published annually.




Looking for new and exciting destinations? The Incentive Planner is jam-packed with fresh ideas and top tips to turn any incentive trip into a memorable experience. Out in March and September with Meetings. The Exhibition Planner is an essential tool for exhibitors. Information is packaged in an easily digestible format addressing the entire process of planning and arranging a show stand, what to do pre-show, during and post-show. Published annually.

The Planner


This alternative monthly publication investigates new trends, ideas and strategies relevant to the meetings and events industry to keep you ahead of the planner pack. Meetings provides a platform for branding and promoting venues and service providers to the heart of the South African conferencing and event industries.

3S Media gives YOU the competitive edge as a MICE planner @theplannerguru

ED’s COMMENT Managing Editor Shanna Jacobsen ( Chief Sub-Editor Tristan Snijders Head of Design Beren Bauermeister Designer Jaclyn Dollenberg Contributors Eddie Bunting, Michelle Hinrichsen,

Greg McManus, Pippa Naude, Thami Nkadimeng, Projeni Pather, Kim Roberts, Glenn van Eck Production & Client Liaison Manager

Antois-Leigh Nepgen

Group Sales Manager Chilomia Van Wijk Financial Manager Andrew Lobban Distribution Manager Nomsa Masina Distribution Coordinator Asha Pursotham Advertising

Vanessa De Waal +27 (0)84 805 6752 | published by

Publisher Jacques Breytenbach

Novus Print (Pty) Ltd t/a 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 Meetings NOV/DEC 2019 © Copyright. All rights reserved 2019. subscription R330.00 per annum (incl. VAT) | ISSN 1684-9264

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

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A wrap on 2019 H

aving now spent my first full year as editor of Meetings fully entrenched in the world of MICE, I am most enjoying the genuine sense of camaraderie that abounds within this industry, where my competition is not my competition but someone who I have coffee with every so often. This gives us a platform to understand our shared challenges and affirm our respective efforts, and if any competition exists, it is in wanting to keep pushing for higher standards of excellence. We each bring something unique to this industry and that is our own personal flair. In line with this view, our Leading the Pack section on page 35 showcases some of the most unique and spectacular venues and service providers that are a cut above the rest. On page 10, we review the latest event technology trends for you to choose to use or lose in 2020 and have included a thought leadership piece from Glenn van Eck, CEO of Magnetic Storm, on how tech can be used creatively to enhance engagement. We often hear the phrase “it’s not about the destination but the journey”, and on page 30, Meetings goes on a tour of some of the coolest modes of transport that can be incorporated as part of your next big event. In addition, we have a fantastic line-up of industry commentators and hear from two key associations on their take of the industry

and where we need to be focusing our efforts to grow and move forward to further develop and refine our offering as a whole.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Henry Ford

On page 24, Projeni Pather, chair of AAXO, explains how important it is to ensure your strategy is clearly defined before putting together an event, while Gill Gibbs, vice chair of EXSA, gives us a step-by-step on how to deliver the ultimate customer experience on page 27. The importance of a comprehensive event strategy cannot be overemphasised, but industry influencer Thami Nkadimeng presents a compelling argument on page 17 for why delegates themselves also need to have a game plan when attending events. On a personal note, I would like to thank the industry as a whole for its wonderful support of our publication – this journey with you all has been an absolute blast and I’m looking forward to a rocking 2020! Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday!

Shanna MEETINGS l NOV/DEC 2019 •

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C O V E R s t or y

Breaking boundaries

This year has been truly phenomenal for the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC). Meetings catches up with CEO Craig Newman on some of the key achievements over the course of the year.

The attentive venue The JEC’s drive for growth is evident both within and outside of the organistion. In August this year, CEO Craig Newman was named Mentor of the Year at the 2019 Top Women in MICE Awards for his ongoing efforts to see his team members further themselves. For Nelson Mandela Day in July, the JEC, together with GL events South Africa and other sponsors, refurbished two classrooms at the Riverlea and Inkwekwezi primary schools to create new libraries for the schools. This included flooring, bookshelves, furniture and books for both libraries, and follows on from the first two classrooms at the schools that were successfully converted into libraries in 2018. The schools have been adopted by the JEC as part of its CSR initiatives to empower the youth in surrounding communities and bring about positive change.



Johannesburg Expo Centre


A special word of thanks from the CEO A truly impressive effort was made by the industry during the production of Automechanika, showcasing how the combined powers of the venue, organiser, contractors and suppliers can deliver the seemingly impossible. The JEC is extremely grateful for the buy-in and cooperation of the Messe Frankfurt South Africa managing director, Josh Low, and the exceptional effort by his team, led by Byron Colantoni. The dedication, planning and coordination by the venue staff, especially Hannes Venter and Leighton May, along with the contracting teams and service providers, proved invaluable in this delivery. The close collaboration between the venue and main show contractor, GL events South Africa, enabled the delivery of this mammoth task. The GL team, lead by Craig Barton, constructed close to 700 exhibition stands in this limited timeframe. To all who work alongside the JEC during this project, without the support and dedication of the industry, our wonderful achievements would not have been possible. This has also proven that anything is possible when you have cooperation, effective planning and commitment from your implementation partners – with these pillars in place, you have a recipe for success. Craig Newman, CEO, JEC


he MICE industry is ever-evolving and with this evolution comes the need for consistent growth among the service providers to this industry. Recently faced with a daunting task, the JEC proved how operational adjustments and effective planning can make the impossible a reality in terms of quick venue turnaround. Large exhibitions are perceived to have a lengthy turnaround time for setting up and for exhibitors to vacate the venue but, in September this year, the JEC broke all boundaries by achieving that which initially seemed impossible. Within one and a half days, the venue managed to break down one 25 000 m2 exhibition while simultaneously setting up for another 20 000 m2 exhibition – in the same halls! The JEC was presented with one of its greatest challenges yet when the opportunity arose to host three major, large-scale events at once, with Automechanika coinciding with both the Futuroad Expo and the build-up of China Homelife Fair. Automechanika concluded on Saturday 21 September at 15:00 and by 09:00 on Monday 23 September, the halls were ready for the opening

of China Homelife Fair. With the support of multiple industry players and detailed planning, the JEC successfully completed both events without incident. “This outstanding achievement serves as proof that the South African exhibitions industry is able to deliver to international standards and keep up with the evolution of the MICE industry. This was a massive feat for not just our organiser teams and on-the-ground staff, but also our industry as a whole. We have continued to demonstrate that, by coming together, we are able to make these fantastic events at the JEC a reality,” says Craig.

JEC-hosted event and working with our team. We want to showcase that while the Johannesburg Expo Centre remains an ideal venue for large-scale events and exhibitions, it is also important for us to be associated with industry-relevant, highquality conferences, workshops and seminars that add real value to the overall attendee experience,” highlights Craig.

2020, and beyond The JEC’s broader strategy to attract international shows is a significant area of focus for the local industry, as these International shows sustain and drive industry growth, which in turn aids supplier development and job creation. “We cannot deny the power of exhibitions as a platform. The Johannesburg Expo Centre is able to attract and retain more international show organisers with references such as these. And with this in mind, it is essential that the local industry remains receptive towards the demands of international organisers and that we continuously develop our skill set in order to exceed the expectations of these organisers,” notes Craig.

Growing collaboration In February 2019, GL events purchased a 60% stake in the JEC. Along with its historic shareholder – the Montgomery Group and its local operating entity in South Africa, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery – it is hoped that GL events’ expertise in managing exhibition venues will contribute to the success of new events at the JEC. “The acquisition has been exciting for us and affirms the value proposition behind having a

+27 (0)11 494 1920




After a career spanning many sectors, Lorraine Jenks is now an international speaker on climate change, a trainer and consultant on sustainability, an expert on going green and an ethical food activist. She shares some of her insights and experiences with Pippa Naude. For those people who haven’t yet met you, can you briefly tell them who you are and what you do? I am, in fact, amazed to find myself where I am today because this was never part of the initial plan! With my wonderful little team, we build eco projects at

The change agent

#greenisgold exhibitions and have two successful online directories of products. These were originally for hotels but are now used by everyone: Hotelstuff and the linked Greenstuff, which lists only eco-friendly products from Hotelstuff. We don’t sell anything – these are like the Yellow Pages.

Congratulations on achieving the Top Women in MICE 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award! It’s not the first award you have won but is maybe the only one that acknowledges the breadth of your work and career. It is incredible. I actually feel as if I’m dreaming and that I’m talking about someone else! I’ve received 17 awards or honours in my late 60s and early 70s. And, you’re right, the WiM Lifetime Achievement Award is very special in that it takes my whole story into account.

You were an environmental activist in South Africa before it was ‘cool’ to be one. What were the defining moments or influencing factors in your life that made you decide to pursue this role? I was very lucky to be employed by a parastatal doing research for the new Environmental Protection Agency in California when, for the first time, we suspected that it was vehicle emissions that were killing trees in Los Angeles. We then started realising how bad the situation was with desertification, deforestation, overfishing, water scarcity and pollution. After many years teaching and working in the corporate world, my greatest defining moment came after 15 years as purchasing manager for a large hotel chain.

I had tried to encourage greener operations and procurement practices over all those years, but was too far ahead of the game. No one was being delinquent – they just weren’t ready. World I took early retirement and built the Hotelstuff and Greenstuff websites and what should have been a comfortable, quiet hobby exploded into being called back to run workshops at hotels, building eco exhibition stands to demonstrate greening, doing training and consulting, and getting awards when we didn’t even know there were competitions.

me seriously and that gave me a muchneeded boost in confidence. Aside from the usual sector conferences and my niche in tourism, I’ve been Wildlife Fund invited to speak to the likes of a major coal mining company, international procurement managers from Chanel Fashion and Cosmetics, investment managers and bankers in Istanbul, and a luxury hotel chain in Denmark... it is about much more than plastic straws, solar panels and recycle bins.

“We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it.”

What would you say have been your favourite achievements on this journey, and why? Three come immediately to mind: our first Decorex Eco Home, where we furnished four rooms with only eco-friendly items throughout – furniture, fittings, appliances, decor, lighting, carpeting, paint, food, beverages, cleaning equipment, landscaping, waste, water saving and renewable installations. We wanted to illustrate how beautiful being green can be and no one had ever done anything like it before – here or overseas. We won best stand against 600 other exhibitors and didn’t even know there was a competition. Being invited to be the chief judge for the Lilizela Imvelo Environmental Awards for SA Tourism made me realise people were taking

And lastly, do you have any final words of wisdom or inspiration for our readers? Go and tell your grannies, moms and aunts to never give up – it is never too late to start a completely new career if you do the right thing at the right time for the right reason. I was 69. Go out and be ambassadors. Speak to anyone who will listen. Mention something about the environment around you in the lift, the queue, your office, the meat counter, at the traffic light. Get a group together and I’ll come and share my work with you; explain climate change and how we must mitigate, plan and adapt for an uncertain future. Tell companies about what we do and we’ll be there.

For the full interview, go to

Lorraine’s top 3 action points Stop buying plastic altogether, except essential safety or medical products. Recycling plastic is a scam – even Greenpeace is realising that. We must revert to aluminium, glass or refillable containers. QED. We have the power to influence Big Oil, Big Ag and Big Pharma by boycotting any products that use conflict minerals, illegal palm oil, child labour, cause deforestation and overfishing. It worked with Proctor and Gamble’s shampoo and for getting genetically modified ingredients out of baby food, and we are seeing attention being given towards feedlot beef. Demand action by your government. The big corporations and politicians are the decisionmakers who can turn things around. Demand that they reduce burning fossil fuels by 50% within 11 years and by 100% by 2050. Build factories for renewable energy. Weed out corruption. Change to regenerative agriculture. Forbid illegal logging. Stop overfishing. Plan intelligently for extreme weather, energy, water and food shortages – whatever can be done, must be done!



Meetings’ must-know minutia

EduTECH Africa event inspires education solutions Educators, institutions and academics gathered at the Sandton Convention Centre in October for the EduTECH Africa conference and exhibition. Attended by more than 3 500 delegates, the event ran for two days and looked at all aspects within the education life cycle. With 150 speakers and 80 technology suppliers from across the world within the education sphere, the event inspired new solutions as to how learning skills - such as coding - is rolled out across school curricula as well as e-books to provide the most upto-date and relevant education possible.

Windaba wins The ninth annual Windaba culminated in a two-day conference and exhibition that saw the Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe, in attendance. In what has come to be known as ‘Africa’s must-attend wind energy event’, the Minister lamented the high cost of electricity paid by South Africa’s local consumers. Tweeting from his personal account, the Minister said: “The responsibility of Government is to ensure that South Africa has a secured, reliable, cost-effective and clean energy supply to grow the economy. “Provision of a reliable, cost-effective and

continuous supply of electricity is essential to our economy.” During the Financial Times Africa Conference in October, President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that more than R500 billion is alleged to have been stolen during Jacob Zuma’s nine-year term as president of South Africa, with ‘some people’ saying this is closer to R1 trillion. West African oil and gas hotspot Senegal will host a flagship conference in Dakar from 27 to 28 May 2020. As its official organiser, the Senegalese government has titled the event Africa Oil & Power.

Hilton to build 100th hotel in Africa



Hilton has achieved a major milestone with the announcement of its 100th hotel in Africa. Set to break ground in 2020 and open doors in 2021, the hotel, the Hilton Sandton Grayston, will be located in what is known as ‘Africa’s richest square mile’. Commenting on the new hotel was Patrick Fitzgibbon, Hilton’s senior vice president of development in Europe, Middle East and Africa: “With this being our 100th year, reaching the milestone of 100 hotels allows us to reflect on our rich legacy of pioneering tourism on the African continent but also to look to the future.”

Inaugural Tshwane Trade & Investment Summit secures R10 billion Hosted at the CSIR Convention Centre in September, local economic development and growth was at the heart of the Tshwane Trade & Investment Summit. The two-day event was attended by a high-level delegation consisting of 350 local and international decision-makers and industry experts who were tasked with coming up with recommendations to put forward to a working committee for possible implementation. This helped the City reach its ambitious target of securing R10 billion in investment commitments during the summit.

It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. The CTICC offers the ideal platform to do just that. Every aspect of the centre’s offering has been considered – from the more than 140 000m² of flexible space across two state-of-the-art buildings to world-class technology, delicious cuisine, and servicedriven staff. Turn your knowledge and vision into potential with events that shape your future at the CTICC.

Call +27 21 410 5000, email or visit and connect to possibilities.




2020: Event tech for you to choose to use or lose Technology can provide the ideal end-user solution but is it right for you? Meetings explores this in more depth.


mplementing technology in our business processes can mean the end of many headaches, or the beginning of a few new ones if we do not take care to ensure that the tech in question is right for us. Often, fancy-looking systems and add-ons can be alluring; however, these may not necessarily be the most ideal solution to support our set of business needs. Conducting a thorough analysis of what practices and procedures we have in place is going to be our first port of call. While company and client surveys, which are based on each element within our business, will

10 • MEETINGS l NOV/DEC 2019




tech and gadget trends

Here were the top trending tech and gadgets according to Trend Hunter in October 2019: Joyscube A VR-compatible, multifunctional, interactive gaming system

Nike Huarache Self-lacing sneakers controlled via an iOS app

Mujjo Next generation leather smartphone wallets

LOMPLI Compressible accessory for smartphones that act as ambient lightgiving lamps

Light Phone II Mindful cellphones that encourage minimal usage


help pinpoint the areas that need the most attention, we also need to be prepared to take the time to understand the difficulties and perhaps frustration that arise from poorly refined aspects of our business and our service delivery. In a company blog earlier this year, Sam Lay, senior director for global event marketing agency CWT Meetings & Events Asia-Pacific, highlighted how understanding our internal processes is key. “When we talk about meetings technology, some corporates tend to immediately start looking at what others are using. Rather than be stuck on that idea, we advise clients to look inwards. The first thing to do is not look at other companies, but to look at yourselves. It’s a discovery process. What do you require from the meeting technology? What is the objective of implementing such a technology and, based on that, what do we consider the proper fit?” With this in mind, we look to the cool, slick and downright extraordinary tech that is available for you to choose to use or lose. Delegate management

Crowd Stream provides on-site technology services for conferences, trade shows and events as well as solutions for delegate management that also extend to facial recognition. The badging system is run through kiosks at reception and can process a delegate every 20 seconds or 9 seconds with facial recognition. The facial recognition software is 100% secure as it is run using algorithms with

each delegate’s biometric information, which is never stored and is deleted off the system once the event has taken place. The design and branding of the badges are fully customisable and the delegate management software allows organisers to check-in delegates either by facial recognition, barcode or name, and register walk-ins. It also includes management of handouts such as conference bags and headsets as well as access and check-ins to sessions. Messaging services

WhatsApp is the world’s most downloaded messaging app and, with 1.6 billion users, it comes as no surprise that this is also becoming a platform, and market, in which business is trying to establish a foothold. Using a global beauty giant’s case study as an example, when the company launched its WhatsApp campaign, it was flooded by 5 000 requests in a 24-hour period. In what the developers called a ‘runaway train effect’, within the first month of the campaign having launched, this number rose to 370 000 messages. The possibilities of what can be achieved with WhatsApp messaging services are limitless; however, this tech is not for everyone and is really only effective if communication is core to how your business functions. Consider what using the app on this level could achieve. Event Apps

There are a few players within the app

Tech tips to tick off  Can it work across regions?  Is it multipurpose?  What data does it capture?  Is it easy to use?  Can you trial it before you buy it? Source:




development space who are able to create custom event apps. These typically sit on a hosted platform with a library of other events that the developer has built apps for. Three to five years ago, event apps were more a nice-to-have but this is becoming quite a competitive area, with developers looking for new ways to drive

engagement and so enhancing the overall event experience. Used correctly, event apps can be an incredibly powerful tool, particularly before and during your event. Promotional activity that drives attendees to download the app will get people talking ahead of the event and will also be handy as a reference for basic information such as the venue, which can include a map, and the

programme. Speaker bios can be posted on the app and push notifications can address any changes to the agenda or be utilised for other important announcements. Event apps can also be designed as a networking tool. Delegates who want their information visible can look each other up and some apps include meeting scheduling to make the most of being in the same place, at the same time.

Agile project management Every event is its own project and this project has one very clear deadline that cannot be missed. According to PwC, “Teams using agile project management are 28% more successful than those who prefer traditional project management practices”. Meetings has trawled the internet to bring you some of the most popular online project management tools with a brief description of what makes each stand out.


Trello uses the kanban approach, where project stages are divided up into what looks like swimming lanes. Each project has its own board and each board contains lists with progressive cards that are then assigned to whoever is responsible for that part of the project. Trello is supported on all platforms and additional features such as comments, attachments, due dates, checklists, coloured labels and integration with other apps make an exceptionally useful tool.


Kanbanize is a good solution for teams and companies looking to improve on efficiency. The software makes use of highly customisable kanban boards that allow the project team to constantly adapt their requirements as the project progresses. Kanbanize allows users to organise their work across multiple projects and track the progress of each one. Kanbanize also supports analytics, and in using metrics such as lead and cycle times and throughput, teams can continuously improve on their workflow.


Asana is a very user-friendly task management tool that allows teams to plan, share and track the progress of projects that each member is working on. The system allows for up to 30 users in a team, which then makes use of its own ‘workplace’ that will house each project and its tasks. Members can make notes and include attachments tags. The tool can be used for both small as well as large processes.

4 is ideal for teams who are driven towards collaboration, not just when it comes to project management, as it is also designed to manage any workflow or process. provides an overview of workflows and projects in an easily digestible format that allows users to stay up to date with each stage. The platform has become exceptionally popular and has been adopted by over 80 000 organisations from 200 different markets.


Jira is project management tool that is useful especially for identifying issues, or bugs, within workflow processes. One of its key features includes a field for issue types within workflows as well as issue attributes. Another unique feature that distinguishes this tool is that its dashboard is also fully customisable for your own business processes. Jira is also immensely popular for its ability to integrate with existing software. Using data encryption, it is also designed with security in mind.

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Tsogo Sun Hotels responds to healthy eating trend Menu options at conference and event venues have historically included heavier meal selections but the growing global consumer demand for healthier living is driving change. Meetings hears how Tsogo Sun Hotels’ conferencing and banqueting venues are responding to this in their events’ menu choices.


nderstanding the importance of providing top quality food and dining at each of its venues, Tsogo Sun places much emphasis on its menus. Three of Tsogo Sun Hotels’ top chefs highlight these changing trends in their hotels and share their secrets on meeting the new healthconscious conference delegate’s expectations.

Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Shaun Munro, executive chef at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani in Durban, says there has been a definite growth in demand for healthy

conferencing menu options. “The trend seems to be that when people go out for a celebratory meal, they don’t mind over-indulging, but on ‘working’ days such as conferences and meetings, they want lighter and healthier options.” Munro adapts the offering to meet this demand with buffets. “This allows us to engineer specific dishes and arrange separate ‘stations’ that enable us to cater for special categories, with proper signage and skilled staff to handle any queries.” A recent menu created by the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani team included only eggless options for savoury and sweet breakfast and snacks, and a lunch selection that included roast leg of lamb with tandoori spice with mint sauce and gravy, and wok-fried mixed vegetable stir-fry with sweet chilli sauce. A special vegetarian-only menu included plated meals of a pulse casserole with mixed lentils, kidney beans, butter beans and chickpeas served with sundried fruity pilaf, or mixed vegetable stir-fry with sweet pineapple and Peppadew juice served with cauliflower rice.

Southern Sun The Cullinan Lindsay Venn, executive chef at Southern Sun The Cullinan, says every conference these days is enquiring about healthy menus. “As the demand has increased, we have added more innovative items. People want exciting healthy options, and we have to stay ahead of the game to ensure

we are offering new trending ingredients. We explore them and try to bring their ‘magic’ into our dishes. I call it the ‘unicorn menu design window’ and I encourage our events team to invite clients to lunch with us so we can fully understand their needs and they can get an idea of what we offer.” Venn says that increasingly popular requests in terms of healthy event menu options include gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian dishes. “Designer gluten-free menus and sexy vegetarian options can be the deciding factor in venue choices for organisers – and our job is to make it work and manage the costs, as many of these ingredients are pricey.” She adds that requests for ‘sugar-friendly and health-conscious’ desserts are growing too.

Southern Sun Maputo Silvio Mindrea, executive chef at Southern Sun Maputo, says that while the demand for healthy options on event menus is not high, it is growing – and the hotel is always able to cater for those requests, and for delegates who are glutenintolerant, halaal, vegetarian or vegan, substituting dishes according to need. Vegetarian options on the hotel’s event menu include a mushroom velouté with parmesan starter, creamy soft polenta with grilled vegetables and pesto dressing as a main, and fresh fruit salad and ice cream for dessert. Tsogo Sun Hotels’ events teams are committed to ensuring excellent, innovative and inspiring events at all their venues – which means a finely tuned focus on world-class menus that meet global and local delegates’ expectations.

+27 (0)11 510 7433

14 • MEETINGS l NOV/DEC 2019


Augmenting creativity A

rtificial intelligence (AI) is already great at performing specific tasks, such as facial and voice recognition, object tracking, or even transposing your face on to someone else's body. Owing to advances in deep learning, computers are starting to learn and frame reality visually in the same way as humans perceive it. AI is typically deep rather than broad, so the trick is combining these skills effectively. As part of a creative toolkit, it can augment an existing idea or technique, or make mundane tasks more efficient. A fascinating example of what is possible is Deepmind’s work on using AI to learn to write programs that generate images. Microsoft’s Starship Commander, using voice and intent to control the narrative, and Intel’s sensational light show, places drones in the sky like pixels on a screen. More controversial was the use of TensorFlow, which is Google’s AI tech open sourced in 2015, to analyse a person's face from multiple images from a social feed and map the likeness on to another video, frame by frame. A similar technique was used in Star Wars to bring back the 1977 version of the late Carrie Fisher, a young Sean Young for Blade Runner 2049, and a young Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. With an individual’s and content owner’s explicit permission, this could be a powerful creative tool for live experiences that would wow audiences. Imagine being able to appear in a classic Bullitt scene, with or as Steve McQueen, as Neo or Agent Smith in The Matrix, or doing a death defying stunt in Mission Impossible or as a superhero

in Guardians of the Galaxy. It doesn’t have to be as personal as your face, as the same technique could map your own designs or characteristics on to a physical product, such as a pair of trainers or clothing. The physical experience itself doesn’t have to include any visible technology at all; for example, the Google Arts and Culture app helps museum visitors find their lookalike in nearby paintings, sculptures and artwork. Another example is using the iPhone X depth-sensing camera to do live facial capture, coupled with an Xsens suit for full-body motion capture. This strange but entertaining demo shows the potential. Suddenly, technology previously only developed by blockbuster movie directors is available for everyone. Techies are experimenting with voice to personalise experiences, using natural language to improve chatbot engagement, AI to prototype and build physical experiences in virtual and augmented reality. This is part of the ideation and literally walking through the experience, which fast-tracks decision-making timeframes and client sign-off. The discussion up until now in terms of AI for events has focused on marketing and customer engagement. What is becoming even more fascinating is augmenting the creative process itself, where you can build a powerful and accessible toolkit to inspire live experiences and content that is truly immersive and personalised, as well as being able to provide an entertaining experience. We are on the cusp of a revolution in what we can achieve in the field of amazing, immersive, personalised experiences. In the future, the ‘intelligence’ may be artificial and the ‘reality’ virtual, but the impact on creativity is very real indeed.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are bringing about fundamental changes to the ways in which humans interact. It’s an exciting future where digital layering can be used to enhance human connectivity. But how can we use it to fuel creative experiences and what benefits does it hold for customers, asks Glenn van Eck, CEO of Magnetic Storm.



f oc u s on

The iNfLuEnCeR Effect U

Top 10 Authors


Live Nation Concerts


Expo 2020 Dubai

Brand influencers are great but when it comes down to it, what does it take for any one individual or entity to get to a level where they can be deemed an influencer? Meetings brings you a comprehensive list of who is doing what. sing Buzzsumo to identify social media influencers within business events across the world, Meetings brings you a list of influencers from across the online sphere. The lists are arranged from most relevant within the industry, starting with the most influential, which is generally based on engagements and size of their following. These influencers present an interesting showcase of the efforts taken to engage with online audiences and how we can improve our social media and digital platform engagement.

Top 10 Facebook Influencers


Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival




Eventbrite for Organizers


The Economist Events


Oracle OpenWorld


Disruptive Innovation Festival


Network After Work


The Event Planners Association

Articles Published


Avg Engagement

Total Engagement



12 211



3 094



2 448



1 634

Jessica Sultan



1 403

Lisa Sweeney



1 287

Hashtag Events



1 096

Staff Report




Aoife Gould







Lesley Mckay Small Business Editor Pet Business Trade Magazine Stittsville Central Staff

Melissa Forziat

Top 10 – Online Page Presence Authority Christy Lamagna


Domain Authority

Twitter Followers

Retweet Ratio

Reply Ratio

Avg Retweets




















Oracle OpenWorld

































IBC Show Expo 2020 Dubai Live Nation














Tapping into the theatre of the mind


as individuals host, just like in any orchestra, we Mental preparation is one of the most important can direct the instrument our brain possesses to the tune we wish to be played and in the aspects of peak performance under pressure when enable rhythm we desire. Sometimes, we attend various events you are in the lead role and delivering to an to temper with our daily grind audience. But has it ever occurred to you and simply to have a source “When of entertainment but we consider how mentally prepared you need to we live in times where everything must have the evolution of the be as an attendee at an event, asks meaning, so train human species, what makes your mind to take Thami Nkadimeng. away from the us human is not defined by event as much f you attend positivity as the unique human functions, events possible. such as opposable thumbs, closed off Before an to information, event, visualise abstract thinking, reasoning, because you that you will gain have convinced or computational abilities – more than you will your mind that the lose, that you will those are, however, good.” get the contact you event will only be


useful for networking, need to or create the Psychology Today the likelihood is that partnership that will assist you will achieve exactly you in moving forward. that; connections and no Confucius said that “he who facts, figures or particulars shared says he can and he who says he can't formally or in conversation. are both usually right” so remember: this is your Learn to stave off the expectation of mind and you are in control. delivering announcements at events. You need not shy away from networking in any Outlining goals way but teach your mind to be versatile Learn to set goals for what you want to achieve and open to receiving information. by attending the event. Yes, not only do the The mind that you possess is your planners need to plan for your attendance but so own theatre and you have the ability do you. You might often attend an event because to control the script, production and you want to meet specific people or to take execution. View attending events home particular information. Consider exploring as the stage, train your brain to be why those goals are important to you to make unbolted, to be captivated by the sure your objectives are clear. Without clear goals, correct aspects and ideas. you won't be able to measure if you've been a successful attendee or not. Thinking your goals Let’s start… through will help you dress the part, act the part If we think of human behaviour and keep to script. This is, after all, another role in as a theatre, or a show, that we your theatre.

Thami Nkadimeng is a communications expert with over a decade of experience across various sectors. She is proficient in strategy development, communications, marketing and events. Thami holds an undergraduate degree in communications science, a postgraduate diploma in marketing management, and an honours degree in integrated organisational communication. For opportunities with Thami, you can contact her on





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












Beat the stress of business travel


uring October – Mental Health Awareness Month – a survey was released by The Westin Cape Town on the effects of business travel. Carried out by an independent research company on behalf of The Westin, it was found that only 32% of business travellers believed their health was impacted by business travel, with 67% of respondents stating that business travel definitely or sometimes impacted on their stress levels. Why is this? While 79% of respondents reported enjoying

20 • MEETINGS l NOV/DEC 2019

travelling for business, an overwhelming majority (82%) of respondents say they sleep for less than six hours, with 62% respondents saying they slept less than when at home. Most business travellers don’t exercise, and tend to sleep less and choose convenient eating over healthy meal options, all of which impacts on health and can lead to increased stress levels. To address this, The Westin Cape Town focuses on six pillars of well-being – sleep well, eat well, move well, feel well, work well, and play well – ensuring that guests are well looked after during their time away from home and

their regular routines. “As we commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month, it is important to highlight the effect stressful business travel can have on one’s well-being, as well as promote the importance of a good night’s sleep, a healthy diet and a consistent exercise regime. This is why The Westin has created an assortment of facilities and programmes to ensure that wellness remains at the heart of every guest experience, enabling them to rise refreshed and ready to tackle their business goals,” says Leon Meyer, general manager at The Westin Cape Town.


Start off with a bang! With 2019 almost behind us, it is important to adopt an approach that provides our teams with the resilience needed to take on the challenges of a new year, writes Eddie Bunting.


t the rate the world is growing, one of the greatest challenges we face is finding solutions that can keep up long enough to be effective in the long term. As we prepare for the final push towards the end of this year, it is key to focus on what will best serve our company and all our team members going into 2020. Adopting a more transformative approach will mean that our teams are better equipped to roll with the punches. That’s why we at Drums and Rhythm place an emphasis on core values within transformation, communication and building enthusiasm around synergy, teamwork and having fun in the workplace. These ways of thinking and behaviours build resilience and support our valuable team members so they can cope better with dayto-day challenges and the resulting stress. Having been in business for over 25 years, Drums and Rhythm has worked closely with people from all walks of life – from schools to corporates to medical patients. We understand how to facilitate human potential that delivers results. Through our activities, centred on music and dance, we nurture a safe space in which teams can Proud members of:

take part in our programmes that are designed specifically to enhance communication and cohesion and build confidence so participants can unwind and enjoy themselves. In this environment, we form the building blocks of transformation that can be applied in all areas of a person’s life. Our activities Drums and Rhythm has developed a range of fun and interactive programmes to support team transformation, including Tribal Wars – a powerful, interactive package that personally transforms individuals. We create awareness around recycling and upcycling by repurposing junk into funky instruments through Junk2Funk. During Tribal Council, teams perform a skit to showcase their instruments and talent, while Bring Back the Beat encompasses what everyone has learnt by all playing together. Pound, meanwhile, is a collaboration with Virgin Active that takes inspiration from the infectious and energising beating of drums. Led by a professional Pound facilitator, each delegate is assigned a gym mat and pair of drum sticks, which they beat to high-energy music. We also provide Latin flair, with our Team Salsa Dancing, where

delegates are dressed up with facemasks, beads, hip scarves and Fedora hats. For a fun, outdoor event, Drums and Rhythm’s Dragon Boat Racing, in collaboration with the Gauteng Dragon Boat Association, is a fast-paced activity ideal for teams who enjoy light competition. Each team consists of 18 paddlers, a drummer and a flag catcher, with the paddlers rowing to the beat of the drum and the winning team being the first to catch their flag. Our team transformation activities are great for the opening and closing of conferences, product launches, corporate and school team building, office parties, entertainment, motivational workshops, year-end functions and private parties. The added benefits of team transformation are that it breaks down perceived barriers such as race, language, gender and hierarchy while also relieving stress and building personal and team confidence, as well as group synergy. With our hands-on approach, we can customise transformative programmes for your team based on where they are and what outcomes you seek to achieve. Through all our activities, we strive to encourage cooperation rather than competition, as this promotes self-exploration as well as group awareness and communication.

MOTIVATE YOUR TEAM IN 2020! AFRICAN DRUMMERS | SAMBA DRUMMERS | LATIN BAND | AFRICAN JAZZ BAND BELLY DANCERS | FIRE DANCERS | SALSA DANCERS | TRADITIONAL DANCERS MARIMBA BAND AND MANY MORE! ACTS and LIVE THEMES, or choose one of our interactive TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES to practise and enhance communication, improve teamwork, synergy, enthusiasm and to have fun in the workplace.

EST. 1993

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

+27 (0)82 843 7118 |


Beat the clock The construct we refer to as ‘time’ can be a gamechanging factor for the success of each event and the industry as a whole. Meetings delves deeper.

22 • MEETINGS l NOV/DEC 2019


n the world of events, time can be one of our most valuable tools or worst enemies. Scheduling when we host an event and the time we have available to us to plan it all gives us our starting point, but how can we best ensure we don’t miss the mark?

Clearly defined objectives

“Consider your sponsors to be partners and not cash-cows. Then create a win-win-win situation together with them for you, the sponsor AND the audience.”

There will always be set outcomes we need to achieve through the events we organise. Starting with clear, attainable goals should be the foundation of how we plan and structure our event to ensure we meet our defined objectives.

Peter Poehl, CEO and co-founder of

#timemanagement One of the most important considerations within this is our return on investment, which may not always be seen in the immediate term and includes spin-offs that aren’t all necessarily directly felt by us either but are evaluated as ROI against our objectives. While some large-scale annual events in particular end up in the black only when they have an established track record, they will generally not be allowed to continue to run at a loss beyond their second or third year. The allocation of budgets and turnaround on sponsorships will determine how we cover our event overheads – the more lead time we have, the better it is for our event and the marketing needed to promote it.

The most wonderful time of the year? During the course of the year, activity within the events industry fluctuates and phrases such as “busy/quiet time of year” and “good/bad time for an <insert> type of event” are very common. Understanding these cycles is crucial to ensuring we have the best uptake possible and that our event doesn’t clash with any other major industry events taking place at the same time. Doing some research on what the upcoming year’s events calendar looks like will lay some of the groundwork needed for how we time our own event. If an event is launching for the first time, weighing up everything from what the weather is like to where people’s mindsets are at that point of the year can give our event a boost. Finding case studies of how existing events that

“Definitely ask the end client what they are measuring the event success by – number of attendees, number of social media posts, actual signed contracts postevent, etc. – as every client has a different metric of what they consider successful.”

Making provisions for these elements from the onset will also have an impact on how we time our event. Once we’ve booked our venue and all our external suppliers, we can develop a document to manage completion times for all the various tasks at hand. If we are flying solo, without a timeline, keeping track of each task becomes a challenge and the planning process can easily go awry. Each event is different, so how far in advance we start planning has many variables and a timeline that comprises realistic deadlines and measurables to track our progress and arrange tasks in order of priority, starting with what is most pressing, will help us produce the most successful event possible.

Cindy Y Lo, DMC president and event strategist at Red Velvet Events

Plan like a boss have similar themes or audiences to our own can also be indicative of how we can best time our event.

Develop a timeline Large-scale events and exhibitions taking place locally will mean that securing entertainment and our first-choice service providers on the day could be a challenge, in addition to venues and accommodation being booked out for the influx of delegates.

Pre-event: Establish event goals and objectives Develop an event concept Create a plan Outline a budget Choose a location and find a venue Identify logistical requirements 6 months to a year: Secure speakers and entertainment Start sourcing suppliers: • Decor • Catering • AV and technical production reate a marketing campaign to C promote the event that sponsors can also leverage 3 to 6 months: Decide what event tech to use Finalise speakers ave health, safety and security plans H in place S tart hyping up the event among media and influencers Weeks, days and hours: onfirm all supplier payments and C schedules and speakers ommunicate with attendees on finer C details – parking, dress codes, etc. Test all tech systems




Exhibition successes DID YOU KNOW?


hile the role of exhibitions as a marketing tool and an effective means for audience engagement is no longer debatable, understanding the way in which these have the potential to deliver client messaging among our target audiences is where the industry’s greatest value proposition can be found. In September, the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) elected a new board to ramp up efforts to take the exhibitions industry to the next level, with Exposure Marketing’s founder and managing director Projeni Pather leading the charge as the association’s chair. And, she is ready.

All-round experience “Being an organiser in the industry for more than 15 years – whether it is suppliers, venues or organisers – I utilise their services regularly and I’m constantly liaising with the industry as a whole in search of innovative concepts, reliable service providers and professionalism that will allow my organisation to be a step ahead to best serve our clients and grow our business. Having this holistic view helps me understand where we need to take the industry going forward,” she says. Projeni is well versed on the various ins and outs of the exhibitions industry and through Exposure Marketing, she and her team produce the very successful annual

24 • MEETINGS l NOV/DEC 2019

AAXO is launching the Certified Exhibition Management (CEM) course, which is the first formal qualification of its kind that will help the association achieve one of its core objectives of providing relevant education and training to the industry. The course is internationally recognised and has already sparked the interest of many members who are keen on developing their teams.

Exciting times lie ahead for AAXO. Meetings speaks with Projeni Pather, the association’s recently appointed chair, about the opportunities on the horizon for the ambitious board and the initiatives they are putting in place to propel the exhibitions industry to greater heights.

MamaMagic Baby Expos that take place across Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, in addition to the Power of Mom conference, which debuted in March earlier this year and publishing the quarterly parenting guide MamaMagic Milestones. As one of the first members of AAXO and having served as vice chair of the board between 2017 and 2018, Projeni is unwavering in her role on seeing exhibitions being utilised as a platform for client messaging and branding. “Whether it is trade or consumer, exhibitions are an essential marketing medium that can guarantee a return on investment. We need to adopt this stance to promote the industry as this will ensure our exhibitions are well attended by both visitors and exhibitors… my


AAXO – A brief history Up until 2016, South Africa’s local exhibitions association, the Exhibition and Events Association for Southern Africa (EXSA), was at a crossroads, with organiser members wanting a separate platform to focus on the specific challenges experienced by organisers. This saw the launch of AAXO – a newly formed body dedicated to strengthening

other in terms of which are most effective in stimulating sales. We know that exhibitions reinforce a sale, is the culmination of the online interaction, and, helps reinforce the brand message – no other medium allows you to touch, taste, smell and engage with a brand in real time and in a tangible sense. Exhibitions can do so much more than other platforms when it comes to engagement and we fall more into an experiential category; and it is the experience that generates a lifelong impression” says Projeni, highlighting the need for greater education around the power of exhibitions. In growing the industry, AAXO will also engage with more marketers to drive brand messaging through stronger engagement using exhibitions as the ultimate touchpoint. “We often talk among ourselves within the exhibitions industry, but we need to engage with and educate all the other industries we service in order to grow our business,” emphasises Projeni.

and growing exhibitions from the organisers’ perspective, thus allowing EXSA to better support venues and supplier networks. The move has seen a much deeper refining of the industry, as the two associations are able to work side by side to hone all aspects of the exhibitions value chain, while also collaborating under the Exhibition Industry Alliance banner.

background in communications and advertising helps me understand – as a brand manager, as an advertiser and a marketer – the importance of setting measurable objectives for participation in an exhibition and just how important it is for exhibitions to be included in the marketing strategy,” Projeni says.

Measuring success In an effort to further underscore the power of exhibitions as a marketing tool, audited attendance through the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa (ABC) was made a requirement. This has meant that, together with the ABC, AAXO is able to put in place standardised metrics for exhibition attendance. Better reporting provides marketers with better insights and assessments into just how impactful each event can be. “Everyone wants a return on investment and marketing platforms are becoming increasingly measurement driven to the point that now, platforms are being measured against each

AAXO’s new board • Chairperson: Projeni Pather, Exposure Marketing • Vice chairperson: Phetogo Khubeka, Synergy Business Events • Treasurer: Mark Anderson, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery • Devi Paulsen-Abbott, DMG Events • Leatitia van Straten, Reed Exhibitions • Suzette Scheepers, Messe München • Dee Reuvers, SA Confex Services (advisory member)



2 0 Q U E ST I O N S

Speak your truth Nigel Sand, managing director of HB Connect Events & Conferences, shares with us his take on where the industry currently is and how to thrive in a competitive market. Where do you see the meetings and events industry currently?

What is the most challenging aspect of what you do?

There’s slightly more supply than demand, which makes the industry super competitive.

Dealing with clients who don’t really know what they want.

Where would you like to see the industry in the next five to ten years? I would like to see increased demand, by getting the big corporates to understand that it’s less costly to use external conferencing space than to have internal space with massive rentals.

What role or influence do you believe your organisation plays in the industry?

devalue your product. Rather add value wherever possible.

allow staff to be accountable without micromanaging them.

What was your very first job?

What quote best describes your outlook towards life?

Chef de partie at the Sunnyside Park Hotel.

What drives you both personally and professionally?

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, but make sure the small details are done correctly” and “speak your truth”.

What do people most often wrongly assume about you?

What do you enjoy the most about what you do?

Professionally, it is being able to mentor staff and seeing them grow from being a waiter to conference centre manager. Personally, my daughter is 23 and seeing her achieve and overcome her fears inspires me to want to achieve more.

Interacting with people and seeing my staff grow and develop.

What are some of your career highlights?

What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?

What was the best piece of advice you ever received? Don’t discount your price, as you

We have created a niche market for training companies with lots of informal breakaway space at no additional cost.

I was the first South African to become chef de cuisine of Chapters restaurant at Sandton Sun, and the youngest, at 24. I also opened my first catering company in 1995.

Who were your role models growing up? First, my father, who allowed me to grow and make my own mistakes. He taught me to process before reacting. And my first executive chef – Wolfgang Heiduck – for the amazing energy he brought to the kitchen.

What are your top business tips? Make sure your business works for you and

That I’m too laid back.

What values will you not deviate from? Honesty and fairness.

Play golf.

What was your best holiday? Family holidays at Kenton-on-Sea.

What are some of your ‘bucket list’ items? Travel more and play some of the top 20 golf courses in the world.

What is your favourite read? Compelling biographies.

What three items do you never leave home without? My house keys, cash and phone.

What is your most prized possession? I don’t have one, but what I treasure most in my life is my daughter – she’s my world.

Nigel Sand, managing director of HB Connect Events & Conferences

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Don’t miss the boat Gill Gibbs on how technology and development are growing the events industry’s capability and reach, and how we can best take advantage of the current wave.


t is almost inconceivable how rapidly the technology industry is developing and evolving. Technology surrounds us and shapes us and our actions, in so many ways – in our relationships, our businesses, our industries and our communities and, furthermore, in how we communicate, collaborate and work. The impact of technology is enhanced and intensified by artificial intelligence (AI) and smart machines. Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and the hardware utilised for these technologies continue to advance, with biometrics, genetics, intelligent RFID and facial recognition top of the A-list. So, how does this translate for the brands that we serve in our industry and how do we achieve successful brand activations in a world of constant fluidity? Let’s coin it the ‘A-B-C-D of Things’… In the context of what we do:


Activate, keeping relevant, calm and in control.


uild tangible, immersive, solutionsB driven, real-world shared experiences for attendees.


reate consciously memorable C experiences that clearly and transparently communicate key brand messages and add value.


Deliver campaigns that surprise and delight attendees.

Further, in the context of our organisations:


ctivate: It is important to acknowledge A that employee engagement within an organisation is a major area of focus in delivering improvements in customer experience (CX). Interestingly, a recent Gartner survey illustrated that 86% of CX executives ranked employee engagement as having an equal or greater impact than other factors such as project management and data skills.


Build an exceptional team who can help you better understand how to engage with and deliver customer-centric experiences (CCX).



Create: Do you have key executive thought leaders in your organisations and are they engaging, mentoring and sharing their knowledge, creating a formidable team and leaving a legacy? Deliver: Provide clients with projects of exceptional flair and expertise.

As active industry players, we recognise the requirement to implement new technological strategies to promote, manage, deliver and sustain our industry work. In 2020, our local industry will provide for the ‘big boys’ of events, such as Machine Tools, Electra Mining and Africa Aerospace & Defence. Globally, 2020 will see one of the largest anticipated events with an estimated 25 to 30 million visitors, 62% of which will be international – Expo 2020 Dubai. With design and architecture as top highlights, attendees can share the latest advances in opportunity, mobility and sustainability that address the most pressing issues of our time. The latest in technology will be on show and on point – get there if you can (October 2020 to April 2021). No matter where we find ourselves in the world, in our industry, pre-planning and implementing smart and collaborative processes will see us minimising ever-increasing exhibiting expenses and challenges. Industry objectives include smooth build-ups, saving money, time and promoting sustainability. While making use of the endless resources of technology available to us to achieve these key objectives, it is imperative to remind ourselves that relationships matter, all round, and that everyone – i.e. all stakeholders – is responsible for getting the job done and providing the best service.

Have a blessed and well-deserved break and to all those who are travelling, godspeed.

Gill Gibbs is the vice chair for the Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA). She is also cofounder and group CEO of ConCept G, and owner and director at bluCube Design & Brand Activations.




Springbok fever

Japanese Shrine

Shopping in Japan

Japan Rugby World Cup Incentive Trip of 2019

The HISIDE Incentives Team

28 • MEETINGS l NOV/DEC 2019

Japanese cuisine

Japanese tea ceremony


Green, gold and the rising sun HISIDE Incentives was thrilled to have hosted the biggest group to attend the Japan Rugby World Cup 2019. They share the experience with Meetings.


n October 2019, HISIDE Incentives put together an incredible travel experience to Japan for a sizeable company delegation.

There is no doubt that Japan has captured the hearts and minds of the thousands of rugby supporters who visited its shores. The decision to choose Japan and the Rugby World Cup for an incentive trip was an easy one, but the preparation was hectic for so many reasons. First, there is a major language barrier as very little English is spoken in Japan and the country’s local culture is foreign to most South Africans – they have many customs that are very important to them and take umbrage to those who do not follow them. Tokyo, the capital city, is HUGE and it is very easy to get lost. The Japanese also have some food that not all can relate to and they are meticulous about hygiene. In addition, they are very passionate about almost everything they do. How it came together In planning this, HISIDE Incentives first did an in-depth site inspection where they inspected all the places they would be taking the group in order to complete a full risk assessment. This revealed several “red flags” which then allowed the company to change the programme accordingly. This is all part of incentive travel and it might just be the best tool for driving positive growth within your company and improving employee performances. An incentive trip offers companies the ultimate way to motivate and reward their employees – through travel! HISIDE Incentives focuses on structuring reward-driven and cost-effective travel both out of and into Africa. They have delivered on local incentives for many years, as well as the international favourites. Japan was a new challenge and one that they have rated as one of their most successful incentive trips.

THE DETAILS Client: One of HISIDE Incentives most valued clients The Function: Japan Rugby World Cup – Incentive Trip of 2019 The Brief: Put together an out-of-this-world experience for the client’s delegation Number of delegates: 230 pax Date: 29 October to 5 November 2019

The HISIDE Group is a dynamic event-based organisation providing quality service in all its divisions, from International Destinations, Local Conferencing, Adventure-based Teambuilding and River Rafting to its Training and Development Division, we make others look and feel really good.

FUN FACTS ABOUT JAPAN - Known as the land of the rising sun - 6 852 islands make up the country - There are more than 200 volcanoes - The birthplace of sushi - Average meal costs R250 for food and beer - Home to more than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Known worldwide for its traditional arts, including tea ceremonies, calligraphy and flower arranging - Has a legacy of distinctive gardens, sculpture and poetry - It’s the place where the first geishas came from, who were originally men

- S lurping your noodles loudly is considered a sign that you are enjoying your meal - Try a vending machine - they have everything in them! -P unctuality is important - always be five minutes early -N o eating and drinking while walking, as this is considered bad manners - There are no public rubbish bins as people take their rubbish home to recycle -C ash is king, but use money trays when handing out money - Don’t tip - it’s considered an insult - No talking on trains

For more information, visit our website:




Experiential excursions

When it’s not about the destination but the delegate journey.


outh Africa’s natural beauty and wildlife are a major drawcard for both local and international travellers. Those who are more familiar with the lay of the land will brag about being able to take you to their favourite and most scenic spots before attempting to drag you there. With the country being a fairly sizeable landmass – the 25th largest in the world – it’s no surprise that getting to and from some of these places can be a logistical challenge. Arduous and complex travel arrangements are generally not crowd-pleasers but there are some exciting options incorporating elements of travel that you can consider as a backdrop for your next delegate experience.

At the hart of it Less than an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, Hartbeespoort offers scenic experiences of the area’s surrounds. Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris provides hot air balloon trips over the Magalies River as well as game viewing over the Mabula Private Game Reserve and Entabeni Safari Conservancy. Bill Harrop owns three balloons that can take each 16 people, depending on the weight, with one smaller balloon that takes eight. Packages vary based on the size and type of experience and can range from a fun day out with your delegates to a night’s stay at the luxurious five-star Hangklip Mountain Lodge that includes accommodation, meals and an additional game drive. For those who prefer something a little closer to the ground, the Harties Boat Company provides corporate charters that offer cruises across the waters of Hartbeespoort Dam for between two and six hours. Delegates have the option of extending their experience at the Shingalani Bush Camp, situated within the Kommando Nek Wildlife Resort, where they can immerse themselves among the wildlife while enjoying a buffet breakfast, brunch/lunch or dinner. Packages also include champagne cocktails on arrival, themed decor and AV options, an event manager or host to help keep proceedings running smoothly, and full waiter and bar services. “We’re going to need a bigger boat” Corporate cruises are an ideal getaway for

30 • MEETINGS l NOV/DEC 2019

your delegates and ocean liner companies such as MSC Cruises offers spectacular packages for incentive trips and prize holidays. Through the MSC Cruises MICE & Charters Division, the company is also able to host and support your brand during local and international events, meetings and conventions as well as product launches and presentations. In addition, there are a range of facilities and team-building activities onboard MSC Cruises’ fleet of liners to entice delegates, with luxury spas and treatments available for those in need of the full R&R experience. Corporate charter If you are concerned about how to manage the travel itineraries of a high-level delegation, consider a privately chartered flight. Execujet specialises in chartered flight services and has a global footprint and offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. The benefits of a chartered flight as part of your experience include being able to gain access to remote areas that might not be available as part of any commercial aircraft routes, while providing security and absolute discretion for your VIP travellers who can fly in the lap of comfort and luxury. Chartered flights also reduce flying times and provide greater flexibility; along with the option of travelling to multiple destinations, flight plans can be altered en route to accommodate any changes to the schedule. There are also no queues at check-in points or to collect baggage. Private executive meetings can be held while in flight.


A once-in-a-lifetime trip While the Rovos Rail is the epitome of luxury, this barely scratches the surface of just what makes this train so special.


rowing up, Rohan Vos loved trains so much so that, one day, when he had enough money to do so, he bought a train of his very own. In 1986, Rohan received the first letter of permission to run a train on the South Africa’s national tracks and in 1987, began working on restoring locomotive 2702 BIANCA, along with the seven carriages that were to travel with it. Today, Rovos Rail is a family business that owns the largest luxury train fleet in the world and offers experiences across Africa – travelling as far as Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital city. From station to station All the trains that form part of the Rovos Rail fleet are housed between its premises in Pretoria and Cape Town, with trains running between both stations to various locations within and beyond South Africa’s borders. Each locomotive has a story behind it, with many being many old restored or refurbished trains that have been tastefully redone, while still maintaining many of the original fittings in an ‘old school’ feel. It is often difficult to tell exactly when Rovos Rail will arrive and depart, largely owing to the train running on national lines. Often, signals may be broken or faulty and, at times, this can cause a delay particularly

coming in and out of stations where there is more activity. Luxury defined No matter the vessel you board, you can expect the full Rovos treatment, where it is not the rich wood, heavy fabric or opulent finishings that distinguish it but the level of comfort and hospitality provided. Each person receives specialised and personalised care, with every aspect of their being onboard the train managed by the attentive staff. Cell phones are a big no-no on Rovos Rail – the owners wants people to socialise ‘the old-fashioned way’. Rooms and dining A trip onboard Rovos Rail is inclusive of all meals, drinks and sideline activities. What is ‘just’ lunch on Rovos Rail can amount to a wonderful gastronomical affair. There is a set, three-course menu for every meal, with only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients going into each dish, which is also paired with its own wine. Rovos can prepare meals for those with special dietary requirements and if you’re not all that hungry, you can snack on some of the light, tasty eats that do the rounds every so often. Rooms on Rovos Rail range in size and style but standard rooms sleep two adults comfortably and each room has its own bathroom. Excursions As part of its packages, Rovos Rail has tailored unique sideline excursions around various points of interest. Its Dar es Salaam trip is the longest and the 15-day train journey travels through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, eventually stopping in Tanzania before making its way back to South Africa.

For more information on Rovos Rail’s history and rates, visit




About chef kelly Chef Kelly honed his culinary skills from an early age working for well-known franchises such as Ocean Basket and Mugg & Bean. Until recently, he was the executive chef at Beacon Island Resort, where he worked for 12 years. With a wealth knowledge of changing trends and farm-to-table cuisine, Chef Kelly chose this industry because of his love of food and the opportunity to be creative.

this is our unique service style and guests feel like they are receiving special attention.

What is your favourite dish to make?

Taste thrill at Blueberry Hill Born in Zimbabwe, chef Kelly Nqobani Nonjinge has enjoyed a long career in the hospitality industry. He shares his top taste tips with us.

Chefs need to think out of the box and be creative for an ever-evolving customer palate – our guests have a better understanding of fresh products and new ingredients, and they want innovative dishes.

What are some of the current trends in

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the food and beverage industry? Less is more and overcrowding the plate is not an option. Good quality and natural flavour are in. For the rest of the planet, meat-free, plant-based meals are in. I am also into the new rum revolution.

How can one present ‘plain’ food in a way that appeals to delegates? We offer certain courses as a buffet option but we are à la carte specialists and plate main meals, as

Growing up, my mother prepared steamed bread – I can’t forget that smell arriving home.

Personally, I love to make oxtail.

What is one ingredient you cannot cook without?

What is your number one catering tip?

Good salt – I love Maldon salt – fresh herbs and garlic.

Slow-brew stock for sauces, keep your hygiene a top priority, and build a reliable kitchen crew because they can make or break you!

What is your favourite kitchen equipment or gadget? Thermomix – wow, what an invention! But I am a sucker for knives and have a big collection.

What dish are you asked to make most often? Oxtail – they just keep coming back for more!

How has the food and beverage industry changed over the past five years?

What is your fondest food memory?

When did you know you wanted to be a chef? Cooking is in my blood. I was born with a wooden spoon in my hand, having watched my mom from an early age.

What’s the proudest moment in your career as a chef? My proudest moment as a chef was back in 2009, when I was appointed head chef at Beacon Island; I was recognised by the Mayor of Bitou Municipality and after I did their year-end function, they thanked me in the local newspaper.

What is your favourite food? I love both meat and seafood, and a surf ‘n turf, with a tomato and onion salad and hand-cut chips is tops.

Who in the food world do you most admire?

Are there any foods you just don’t like?

What, in your opinion, are the most challenging ingredients to work with?

Oysters. Everything else is a winner.

Did you eat your veggies as a child? Most of my family are vegetarian so no problems there!

Gordon Ramsay – he is on top of his game.

Smoked meats.

What is your ‘death row meal’, as Anthony Bourdain put it? Beef Wellington and a Fanta.

event showcase

A Zest for Zumbathon



n Sunday, 13 October, hundreds of people gathered at one of South Africa’s premier venues to attempt an all-time first. Gold Reef City, in association with the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and Icarus Media, hosted the CANSA Shades of Pink Zumbathon®, powered by Group 1 Renault The Glen and Z-Dance Fitness at the Jozi Urban Market. The aim of the event was to set a record for the most people participating in a Zumbathon® in South Africa and, more importantly, to raise much-needed funds for CANSA. The purpose of CANSA is to offer a unique, integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. The energetic 90-minute Shades of Pink Zumbathon® attracted a diverse group of people from all walks of life and age groups. The energy was electric, and the enthusiastic group proudly raised R28 000 for CANSA. “Make sure you don’t miss out next year! This is an annual event and will be happening again on Saturday, 10 October 2020 where we want to reach at least 1 000 people to set the SA record for 2020,” enthused Yolandi Jacobs from CANSA East Rand. “Please save the date and let’s get as many companies involved and groups together for the #BattleoftheZumba.” Participants enjoyed a fashion show after the Zumbathon® with models from ® Ace Models from Johannesburg North and South wearing Zumba® and Yoga pants from Pilates and Yoga Design. Each participant of the Zumbathon® received a goody bag with a medal, cap, Bonaqua water from event partners Coca-Cola Beverages SA and a Z-Dance Fitness SA T-shirt, with the most energetic participants winning complimentary tickets to the FIBO Global Fitness Africa event, which were provided by Reed Exhibitions.

How Zumbathon and its key partners are raising muchneeded funds for a very worthy cause.

For more information contact Yolandi Jacobs at CANSA on 083 937 7187/ or for partnerships and media requests contact Tandi Potgieter from Icarus Media on 072 986 2641/ Follow the event on Facebook @CANSAShadesofPinkZumbathon


Sandton Central Management District, funded by the area’s commercial property owners, was established to ensure the creation of an exceptional experience in this key node of Johannesburg. Its purpose is to ensure the area better serves employees, visitors, tourists, shoppers, property owners and residents within Sandton.

Sandton: The business tourism capital of Africa Spoiling visitors and organisers for choice when it comes to eventing options, Sandton has flourished into a bustling cosmopolitan centre that boasts what is known as ‘Africa’s richest square mile’. Meetings highlights just some of the reasons why this financial hub is such an incredible meeting destination.

Association, the area has more than 300 000 residents and 10 000 businesses, distinguishing itself as one of the most sought-after and desirable places in which to work, live, eat and play. And with good reason.


Business events and meetings, and more

bout 50 years ago, Sandton was more popular for its riding stables and livestock than its stock exchange. More recently, however, the business district has become so prominent among the global travel audience that it was recognised as the Emerging Destination of the Year for the African and Middle East region in 2017 at the Luxury Travel Guide Awards. According to Sandton Tourism & Business

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Getting there and back

Travelling at speeds of up to 180 km/h and operating for 18 hours each day, the Gautrain is Gauteng’s state-of-the-art rapid rail network. It is a cost-effective, efficient, environmentally friendly, and safe mode of transport that provides a high-speed connection between O.R. Tambo International Airport and Sandton, with passengers arriving between the two points in just 12 minutes. There is also a dedicated bus service provided for passengers that operates in conjunction with the train schedules. A Gautrain Gold Card is needed to use these services and can be bought at all stations. Taxis and ride services such as Uber are also freely available.

Sandton has consistently stayed true to its roots; with trees lining almost every street of the area, it is a lush and bright setting for any business event or meeting. Sandton has an array of venue options in every shape and size, and caters for entertainment and experiences to beat the bore of the boardroom.

Right next to the Sandton Gautrain station is the Sandton City shopping complex. The Diamond Walk houses some of the world’s top luxury brands including Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Prada as well as exclusive local designer items, while the boutiques and eateries at Nelson Mandela Square provide an authentic African experience among worldly favourites.

Where to stay

Sandton has recently seen the launch of the Leonardo and, at 234 m, it is believed to be Africa’s tallest high-rise building. Set to open in 2021, the mixed-use development includes a six-star hotel as well as luxury penthouse apartments for sale. Meanwhile, Sandton and its surrounds have a range of accommodation options available across five-, four- and threestar graded hotels, in addition to guesthouses and apartment suites. The area’s hotels operate at an exceptional standard and provide business travellers in particular with an experience that ensures each aspect of their stay is as easy and comfortable as possible. All hotels and most larger businesses are well linked and run shuttles to key points within Sandton, such as the Gautrain station and Sandton City.

For more information about working and living in Sandton, visit Sandton Tourism & Business Association’s website:


From venues to service providers, Meetings brings you a dazzling compilation showcasing who the industry leaders are in their respective fields.


Transporters Future Coaches Hospitality Partner and Venue Hospitality Zone Audiovisual Specialists Brandex Exhibition Centre Johannesburg Expo Centre Marquees Downings

Hotel and Conference Venue Indaba Conferencing Venue Gallagher Convention Centre

Upcoming Business Hotel Blueberry Hill Business Hotel

Culinary Experiences Ingwenyama Luxury Safari Tau Lodge

36 38 38 39 39 39 40 42 43 44




Delivering solutions I

f you’re looking for a unique and classy structure for your next outdoor event, look no further than Downings Marquee Rentals. Unmatched in creativity, innovation and technical capability, Downings event marquees and semi-permanent structures bring style, quality and vast expertise to any project. They provide state-of-the-art, standard and bespoke marquee structures with world-class sophistication to amplify any celebration, corporate event or commercial project. Downings Marquee Rentals continuously strive to build their reputation as the leader in marquee solutions in Africa and can fulfil any tent or marquee requirements. With over 35 years rental industry experience, the Downings name has become synonymous with quality marquee rentals and event infrastructure hire. The company’s vision is to be a well-respected South African marquee brand across Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. It aims to be a leading rental solutions provider that offers world-class innovation and manufacturing excellence through superior customer experience, also leaving a legacy of skills and community upliftment. INNOVATION AT ITS BEST Each event is unique

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and for this reason, Downings allows you the freedom to create an extraordinary space, whether it be a wedding, corporate, sports, social or private event. It’s all about articulating your vision and requirements to deliver great experiences. BESPOKE STRUCTURES Downings Marquee Rentals has a footprint in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. It has its own Manufacturing Division and can, therefore, customise a structure for any requirement. GIVING BACK It is within the Downings ethos to give back and support those in need of assistance. Downings believes in contributing towards the growth and well-being of its communities through sponsorships and donations to a variety of both local and international recipients.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES • Unique & different styles of marquees • PVC & glass marquees • Special purpose marquees

COMPLIANCE All Downings installations include the required fire safety equipment, engineer reports and all technical drawings in accordance with current OSH Act Regulations.

• Custom styled colours – white, grey, black • 3 to 50 m-wide marquee structures • Event flooring & carpeting • Integrated raised decking marquee floor • Marquee linings / draping • Climate control • Ablution facilities • Event infrastructure management • Site & technical drawings • OHS Act & regulatory compliance

+27 (0)81 365 6777




Creating synergy H

ospitality Zone is a boutique sales representation company promoting a collection of hotels, lodges, and venues throughout Southern Africa. The company is geared towards service excellence and is renowned for the outstanding reputation of its dedicated and qualified industry professionals. Hospitality Zone’s mission is to promote, showcase and create maximum exposure for reputable venues, hotels and lodges, targeting groups, corporate and MICE markets. The privately owned Massinga Beach Lodge in Inhambane, Mozambique, is one of Hospitality Zone’s flagship properties, offering fantastic leisure, group, conference and incentive opportunities. The Lodge stands out as an exclusive venue providing exceptional value for money, extensive group activities, delicious meals and, in addition, assistance with CSI programmes that support the local town and community of Massinga. Engage with Hospitality Zone today to see how the company can work with you to increase your exposure!

Contact Jeana on: +27 (0)83 400 2685

Safe travels A

fter being in operation for nearly 25 years, Future Coaches Cape has an impressive track record that is testament to the strength of the service provider. Based in Cape Town, but operating throughout South Africa, the coach (bus) charter hire company is privately owned and operates its own fleet of vehicles. Future Coaches Cape services the following markets: • tour operators • MICE industry • schools, colleges and universities • sports clubs, church groups and social clubs • corporates • anyone else who needs a reliable means of transport. Safety and security are of great importance to Future Coaches Cape and, for this reason, the

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company pays particular attention to ensuring it is in possession of operating permits that allow it to transport persons for reward throughout South Africa. All Future Coaches Cape vehicles are licensed and maintained as per manufacturer specifications, with regular roadworthiness testing. Future Coaches Cape’s fleet has the required operating permits, passenger liability insurance and drivers have the required PRdP licences to carry passengers. All coaches have a tracker system, first-aid kit and fire extinguisher, as well as a radio, PA, CD player and screen. Seats are comfortable, reclining cloth/leather seats and fitted with SABS-approved seatbelts. For luggage, coaches are fitted with internal parcel racks and an external luggage bin, and larger coaches have toilets and fridges.

Additional luggage trailers and baby seats are available subject to availability; for a nominal cost. Future Coaches Cape offers add-ons such as tour guides, bottled water, a meet-and-greet at the airport and an on-site coordinator, for a nominal cost.

For more information, contact: Wayne Bezuidenhout Sales & Marketing Manager +27 (0)60 522 77 88


Achieving the unachievable

Committed to service excellence


ith the industry becoming increasingly competitive, there is very little difference between companies providing the same offering; however, what truly separates the great from the good is consistent service delivery. With 20 years of expertise between them, the directors of audiovisual specialists Brandex – Jack Smit and Gabi Babinszky – are committed to service delivery excellence and are personally hands-on with each project they are tasked with. Brandex’s vision for the future is to be the leader in service delivery and never to lose focus of the most important aspects of what the company does.

In the exhibitions and events industry, Brandex knows that you are only as good as your last event. Goods and services might be identical but preevent preparations and planning, communication, efficient handling of logistics, a positive delegate experience, and post-event reporting can ensure a far more positive experience for organisers. Brandex will continue to distinguish itself as being a cut above the rest in 2020, delivering on its pledge to world-class service delivery.

member of


his year has been truly phenomenal for the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) and it continues to distinguish itself as South Africa’s largest fully contained, multipurpose venue. The MICE industry is ever evolving and with this evolution comes the need for consistent growth among service providers to this industry. Recently faced with a daunting task, the JEC proved how operational adjustments and effective planning can make the impossible a reality, in terms of quick venue turnaround. Large exhibitions are perceived to have a lengthy turnaround time for setting up and for exhibitors to vacate the venue but, in September this year, the JEC broke all boundaries by achieving that which initially seemed impossible. Within one and a half days, the

venue managed to break down one 25 000 m2 exhibition while simultaneously setting up for another 20 000 m2 exhibition – in the same halls! The JEC’s broader strategy to attract international shows is a significant area of focus for the local industry, as these international shows sustain and drive industry growth, which in turn aids supplier development and job creation.

Read more on the JEC’s remarkable story on page 4.

For further information, contact: +27 (0)11 494 1920

For more information, contact Jack on: +27 (0)64 655 6122


SPA & CONFERENCE CENTRE YOUR AFRICAN DESTINATION IN JOHANNESBURG Just north of the fast paced business world of Sandton, lies the 258-bedroom Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre. It’s a compelling blend of business-like efficiency and relaxed country atmosphere within close proximity of the International Airport making the Indaba perfect for groups and leisure travellers. The hotel features 24 multi-purpose conference venues ranging from Executive Boardrooms to large Banquet Venues seating up to 500 people. Indaba boasts 2 world class restaurants; the 300-seater Chief’s Boma Restaurant caters for all tastes with over 120 African-inspired dishes. Well-known for their lavish Breakfast Buffet, the Epsom Terrace Restaurant also boasts an evening Bistro Menu. Take a wander through the 17 hectares of lush bushveld gardens and you’ll find the Mowana Spa - a wellness sanctuary which will revive your senses, rejuvenate your body and soothe your soul. Indaba Hotel is sure to meet all your business and leisure requirements. We look forward to welcoming you to “YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME” INDABA HOTEL, SPA & CONFERENCE CENTRE, C/O WILLIAM NICOL DRIVE & PIETER WENNING ROAD, FOURWAYS Phone: +27 11 840 6600 | Email: | Website:




Leading Convention Centre

W HY C H O O S E G A L L AG H E R CO NVE NT IO N CE NT RE? One of South Africa’s most popular venues, Gallagher Convention Centre takes eventing to the next level. Offering an array of options across its beautiful 320 000 m2 premises to suit every occasion, the venue is conveniently located between both the Pretoria and Johannesburg city centres, and with a single-call solution, all your eventing needs are taken care of.

GALLAGHER’S PEOPLE AND NETWORK The strength of Gallagher Convention Centre lies in its people and network. Gallagher is committed to service excellence, and the qualified staff forming its professional and experienced team, together with its network of pre-qualified suppliers, work to ensure that the requirements of organisers are met and that their expectations are exceeded. Gallagher Convention Centre guarantees superior service delivery across the length and breadth of its entire offering. Never forgetting their motto, “your event, your way”, Gallagher’s team is on standby to take your call and turn your vision into a reality.

Meeting spaces 27 Max pax 7 000 Public transport Conveniently located on the Gautrain route

19 Richards Dr, Halfway House, Midrand | +27 (0)11 266 3000 |

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CUSTOM MENUS The Gallagher Convention Centre Catering chefs pride themselves on their custom menus for every occasion. The Centre is NIHT certified and serves strictly halaal meals. Gallagher’s chefs are passionate about quality food that tastes great and are also able to prepare meals for specific dietary requirements, with plated menu options that spoil organisers for choice and will set their event apart.

Gallagher Convention Centre can accommodate a host of different event types such as conferences, dinners, luncheons, breakfast events, cocktails, exhibitions, product launches and private functions. The venue for each event is determined by the number of guests and the type of configuration that is required.


Hall 5 Cocktail Style Max pax 7 000

ADAPTABILITY & FLEXIBILITY With an extensive and comprehensive offering, Gallagher Convention Centre provides a full turnkey solution for unforgettable conferencing and exhibition experiences. Gallagher offers a wide range of options across its facilities and venues, which means it is entirely possible to host a small (2-220), medium (250-700) or large (700-7 000) event, with ample parking and complete ease of access.

From venue hire, catering and logistics – including freight handling and porterage – to registration, security, decor, and specialised technical equipment for your event, Gallagher Convention Centre understands what it takes to deliver a worldclass event and the importance of working with all budgets.

Auditorium Cabaret Style Max pax 164

WATER & LIGHTS Gallagher plans for every contingency, being well prepared in the event of power or water cuts. They offer a full generator backup as well as a one million litre water tank on the property.

Ballroom Round Table MAX PAX: 550 pax

Visit our website for the 2020 Gallagher specials, or contact us and speak to a consultant to have a quote specially prepared to suit your budget. THE MEETINGS & EVENT PLANNER 2019 •


Ga llagherConventionCentreMidrand

Gallagher Convention Centre




Welcome to Gauteng’s

best business address

Blueberry Hill Business Hotel is making waves on the Gauteng business conferencing and hospitality scene. Since officially opening Phase 1 in November, it has raised the bar and rewritten the rules when it comes to hosting local and international business travellers.

More than a destination Blueberry Hill Business Hotel provides the ultimate escape from the daily grind. Work out in the fully equipped gym or enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatment coming in 2020 or a dip in the heated rooftop pool. Whether you visit for business or for leisure, you’ll find everything you could wish for at Blueberry Hill Business Hotel.

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onveniently located in Honeydew, Roodepoort, Blueberry Hill Business Hotel offers a welcome sanctuary – far enough from the hustle and bustle of the city centre to allow for relaxation, yet close enough to enable guests to fully engage in Africa’s most vibrant economy. Blueberry Hill Business Hotel offers versatile meeting and breakout spaces to facilitate idea-sharing and collaboration, comfortable secure accommodation, innovative dining and social fortuity. Breathtaking views of Eagle Canyon place this property firmly on Gauteng’s business conferencing and hospitality venue map.


Choose from one of Blueberry Hill Business Hotel’s 65 single or double four-star rooms. Spacious and equipped with all the latest business travel amenities, each room provides complimentary Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a balcony, bar fridge, hairdryer, digital safe, smart TV, and workstation. Blueberry Hill Business Hotel also offers exclusive penthouse apartments as investment or residential opportunities. Architect-designed and finished to the most exacting standards, these highly desirable lock-up-and-go penthouses are designed to complement your contemporary city lifestyle. Ranging in size from 75 m2 to 303 m2, they offer exceptional panoramic views and cutting-edge automation. Modern life has never been easier or more enjoyable.

Conferencing and events

Meet, greet and work together in the conferencing and event spaces, designed to accommodate from 20 to 200 people and provide the space and facilities you need to connect, negotiate and get the deal done. Whether you’re pitching an idea, motivating your team or throwing an end-of-year function that will be the talk of the town, various conferencing and dining spaces allow you to seamlessly segue from work to leisure and perfectly set the tone for any occasion. Blueberry Hill Business Hotel has conference rooms sized from 75 m² to

242 m², while two larger spaces can be combined to create an area that seats up to 200 delegates. The full-function, high-tech AV offering will let you communicate your ideas effectively, and conference packages can be combined with Blueberry Hill Business Hotel accommodation options for stayovers and multiday events. Blueberry Hill Business Hotel’s standard full-day package includes three tea/ coffee breaks, lunch, venue hire, secure parking, conferencing equipment, highspeed uncapped Wi-Fi, notepads, pens and bottled water.

Dining and lifestyle spaces

Blueberry Hill Business Hotel is also the ideal venue for hosting social events and private functions. Each of the distinctively styled dining and social spaces is available for exclusive hire:


sky bar & restaurant

Halo rooftop venue Indigo function restaurant Blue casual dining Plate

160 pax 200 pax 120 pax 120 pax

For more information, please contact: +27 (0)10 109 8789


Luxury Accommodation • Five Star Conference Facilities Eco-Education & Spa Facilities Community Development

A dose of relaxation & excitement...

Central Reservations for Convention & Individual bookings: Tel: +27 (0) 11 466 8715 Fax: +27 (0) 86 685 8816 E-mail:




ABOUT CHEF CHARLES MURRAY Star sign: Cancer Lucky number: 7 Favourite food: Smoked BBQ brisket Favourite wine: Optima Favourite pastime: Inventing special dishes for his wife Pet hate: Salt Favourite spice: Pepper


tarting out in the early 1990s in Zimbabwe, Chef Charles Murray found himself in the food business out of necessity. “I could not get work in Zimbabwe in the beginning stages of the 1990s and ended up in the restaurant industry. Being a junior and learning about food, its creations and the passion of the people who work the dream, I dedicated my life to what is without a doubt the most incredible journey ever,” says Charles. From butchering, meat cutting and baking to sauces, grilling and sautéing, Charles thoroughly enjoyed every minute of learning his craft. “After many years, I had the privilege to work for the Shamwari group at one of its elite fivestar boutique lodges in Mpumalanga,” which, he

says, was a key part of his rapid growth and development in the industry. Seven years later, Charles was speaking with his friend who was the general manager of Ingwenyama Conference & Sports Resort and Country Boutique Hotel who, with his ‘old school’ military structure, piqued Charles’s interest in the hotel. Charles asked for a shot to work there, and the rest is history. Chef Charles has developed his own signature dish for Ingwenyama – the famed ‘Zulu Sushi’. “Our signature dish came about when I spent time at Fleur du Cap with Kevin Rottcher, an established chef in his own right. He explained to me that people liked

simple, tasty but elegant food that didn’t clutter the plate. It was there that the idea for Zulu Sushi was conceived. After a number of tests and blunders, the perfect African sushi dish was created. From the Cape to Mpumalanga, the dish was perfected and now it is the official dish of the Country Boutique Hotel.”

Method: 1. Cut fillet length ways into two long strips of equal size and thickness. 2. Roll fillet in sesame seeds coating entire fillet. 3. Heat up a very large, smooth sautéing pan with the canola oil until the oil starts to splutter. 4. Add the first fillet half on to the pan and seer. Once the sesame seeds start to toast and turn a darker brown (accentuating the sesame seed taste), turn the fillet gently over to brown the remaining sides. 5. Once the sesame seeds have turned a toast brown, remove from the pan and allow the sesame seed coated fillet to cool down to room temperature.

ZULU SUSHI RECIPE Ingredients: 600 g middle cut beef fillet 500 g white sesame seeds 60 ml canola oil 50 g pickled ginger sliced into equal length ribbons

6. Repeat the process with the second fillet but first scrape any sesame seeds that remained in the pan out. 7. Once the sesame seed coated fillet has attained room temperature, place it on a large plate and put into the fridge for an hour to firm up. This prevents loss of moisture when cutting. 8. Remove the fillet and cut thin slices – no more than 3 mm thick. 9. Lay first slice top centre of the plate and then the second slice half over the first slice. Repeat for at least 4 to 5 slices. 10. On each slice centre place a ribbon of pickled ginger so that it covers half the fillet and then runs on to the plate. 11. Next to each pickled ginger ribbon on the plate, pipe a small dot of wasabi.

50 g wasabi

12. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the beef fillet.

50 ml balsamic (home-made) glaze

Serve on a cold plate and enjoy!

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INDUSTRY views Why business events are important to the UN SDGs

Making MICE count The UN Sustainable Development Goals are not only a good guide for where the business events industry should be focusing its efforts but are a powerful way to tell our story, says Aloysius Arlando.


ALOYSIUS ARLANDO is the president of AIPC and the CEO of SingEx.

or several years, the meetings industry – and convention centres as their most visible representatives at the destination level – has been looking for appropriate vehicles to document and illustrate the broader benefits it generates for both global and local community development. For too long, the only measure applied to this sector was delegate spending rather than the real and varied reasons the events were taking place. This simply wasn’t good enough in an industry when much of the required investment is public money and must be seen to offer good and publicly relevant returns. The search wasn’t easy. Faced with as diverse a range of outputs as the events themselves – everything from professional development and medical advancement to knowledge transfer and positioning a city or country in a particular sector – many simply fell back again on things like hotel room-nights and spending by organisers on things like dining, event services and local transportation for the simple reason that these were readily measurable and could be extrapolated into things like tax revenues and other benefits of particular interest to local and national governments. Enter the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or UN SDGs. These broad statements of intent were developed in order to create a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity as well as peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and, in order to leave no one

behind, it is important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030”. However, in general as they are, they are particularly relevant to telling the story of our industry and our facilities – for a few very important reasons. First, they are global – and globally recognised. For an industry that remains largely a mystery to the world, this is a huge benefit. Second, they are as diverse as our industry. Again, this is a big bonus for an industry whose work facilitates such a wide range of subject areas and forms of communication. Third, they acknowledge the long-term nature of benefits development – an issue that has haunted the business events sector for as long as new forms of value measurement have been pursued. Fourth, they are not ‘owned’ by anyone in particular – which means they cannot be put to exclusive use by any single interest to the exclusion of others. Finally, the ability to apply and use such measures as UN SDGs encourages the required collaboration – and collaboration is what our industry can and should be all about. These are all reasons why the UN SDGs have been adopted as a value statement by so many in our industry – and why they can serve us well in our ongoing effort to clarify the value of what we do in support of global development. AIPC members, along with industry colleagues, are now engaged in a process of documenting their most important achievements in a UN SDG context. This gives us something we can focus on to demonstrate why a healthy meetings industry and competitive convention centres are good, not just for their respective communities but for society.



de T A LsKtIina N G tPion O I N TS

INDUSTRY views AAXO takes stock of its in achievements in 2019

PROJENI PATHER is the current chairperson of AAXO.

INDUSTRY views Tips to end your year in waste-free style

Charting a course ahead As AAXO celebrates its successes of 2019, it is also looking forward to the year ahead, says Projeni Pather.


he year 2019 has been an exciting one for AAXO. Not only did we kick off the year at the AAXO ROAR Awards and Exhibition of Exhibitions celebrating our members and the amazing work they do in the exhibition space, we also managed to grow the members into new territories and profiles. AAXO hosted several well-supported networking events, including some in association with South African Tourism and EXSA, in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town – and there’s more to come! We represented Africa at the Indian Exhibition Industry Association annual conference and exhibition held in Delhi, India, and we will be attending the IAEE’s Expo! Expo! in Las Vegas this December. To top it off, we appointed a new board of directors, chairperson and vice chair. As we reach the final stages of our planning for 2020, members can look forward to the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) training, which will be launched through AAXO in the new year. CEM is an internationally recognised qualification for professionals in the

exhibitions and events industry, and is synonymous with thought leadership, innovation, industry recognition and growth opportunities. We encourage both members and individuals to register soon. We’re also working hard on the 007-themed AAXO ROAR Awards 2020, which will be held alongside the EXSA-LLENCE Awards on 31 January 2020 at Gallagher Convention Centre. Entries are open and we encourage our members and their exhibitors to enter and seize the recognition they deserve. Deadline for submissions is 10 December 2019. For more information about the CEM Training Programme or ROAR Award entries, please contact:

Don’t let your year-end function go to waste Make sure your year-end celebrations leave only happy memories and not excessive amounts of waste, writes Greg McManus.

F GREG MCMANUS is the chairperson of EGF.

AAXO hosted several well-supported networking events

or many of us, the impulse when organising a year-end function is to indulge ourselves with as many treats as our budget allows, which I am all for – as long as you bring some clear-sighted and responsible thinking into the process. We as the EGF recommend you follow these three steps when planning your end-of-year event: 1. C hoose an energy-efficient, waterwise, green venue with an efficient waste management system. 2. Food waste at events has become an accepted and even expected outcome. It doesn’t have to be this way: a. Speak to the chef to design a menu that minimises food waste during the food prep process. b. Ask your attendees to pre-order plated meal choices. This will help with over-catering. c. F or buffets, stick to a reasonable number of options.

46 • MEETINGS l NOV/DEC 2019

The impulse when organising a yearend function is to indulge ourselves d. Have ‘doggy bags’ for guests to take home extra food. e. Find out how any unserved food can be donated to a charity of your choice. There may be requirements to keep in mind, so speak to an organisation like Food Forward for their guidance. f. Compost any food waste. 3. Support local businesses and buy handcrafted decor that can be reused each year. Or, if you really want to have distinct decor every year, source zero-waste alternatives that can either be recycled or repurposed. A good way to think about these three tips is that you will be spending your money on quality and not quantity. Let us know how it goes – or better yet, send us an invite!


INDUSTRY views SAACI’s congress round-up

Switched on at SAACI SAACI is switched on to serve its members and the business events industry, says Kim Roberts.


KIM ROBERTS is the acting chairperson for SAACI.


Ongoing success for Travelbags

ur recent congress – themed, yes, ‘Switched on’ – left delegates invigorated and enthused by all accounts, with new energy to embrace their challenges head on. SAACI’s role is creating an enabling environment in which members can address these challenges and the issues that affect their businesses. Understanding the impact of technology on businesses and brands is one such focus area. The environment in which we operate is completely different to only a few years ago and embracing technology is frankly essential to survive. SAACI congress delegates also heard a lot about working with consumers. In SAACI’s case, our consumers are our members. Our aim is to engage more with our members through various channels. The more information we get from members, the more we can

Ongoing success for Travelbags Travelbags has enjoyed a good but challenging year and will continue to ensure it provides a meaningful platform for the travel and events industry, says Michelle Hinrichsen.


Michelle Hinrichsen is the chairperson of Travelbags.

share and ultimately add real value to businesses. We will continue to be the leading voice of the business events industry in the region, embracing collaboration (also with government) and innovation on every level. We will also work to expose the youth to the industry even further and the elevation of service levels will be a strong focus. SAACI has a solid history and legacy. The secret lies in constantly engaging with our members so that we understand their needs and realities. This is how we will stay relevant and be a conduit for industry growth. Together – SAACI and its members – should consistently send a message to the world that the Southern African business events industry is world class. Constantly collaborating and exchanging information will go a long way towards achieving this. Are you switched on?

he festive season is my favourite time of year. It not only gives us an excuse to spend time with family, friends and those closest to us, but it also brings a time of reflection on the year past and gives us an opportunity to starting planning and putting goals in place for the new year. Travelbags saw a trying year in 2019, yet still triumphed over adversity and we continue to stand strong as a club. We, as the committee, look forward to 2020, as we will be introducing a lot of changes to our club to ensure its successful existence and its relevance to the travel and hospitality industry. In a capitalistic world, we are proud to have the Travelbags Women’s Travel Club still going strong. During the course of 2019, we have raised over R100 000 for charity and we continue to ensure that we are able to provide a platform for fellow colleagues from the industry to come together every month to network, as well as to showcase and celebrate new and old venues.

During the course of 2019, we have raised over R100 000 for charity and we continue to ensure that we are able to provide a platform for fellow colleagues from the industry to come together every month to network, as well as to showcase and celebrate new and old venues I am very proud of my committee for what they have achieved towards our main directive as Travelbags Club. We thank the members of Travelbags for their long-standing support and we welcome all new members to join us in 2020 for some exciting new changes. Happy holidays to all!




“Build it and they will come” Successful networking opportunities start with you, says Miss Meet.


etworking has become an item on event programmes that features high on the agenda. We place so much emphasis on this because, in any industry, it is all about who you know and your network is everything. It never ceases to amaze me how good some people are at networking to the point where it seems to be a real talent. I’ve seen individuals walk into a room and immediately start commanding attention with people flocking towards them. Conversely, while it is not something that is rocket science, there is a degree of motivation and willing participation that is required by the individual in order to start building their network and get their name out there. They need to want to be seen and spoken to as well as actively engage. “What can you do for me to help me build my network?” was a question that was asked during a rather serious industry association AGM I attended earlier this year. Some were slightly taken aback, as the onus is on us all to grow our own networks. Even if we don’t actively seek those connections, they won’t just fall into our laps. However, it isn’t as simple as that. At first, I was quite amused at the woman’s question because networking, I thought at the time, is a rather straightforward and autonomous process. But thinking more deeply in an attempt to try to understand her request at the association AGM, I realised that a large part of networking entails socialising and doing so confidently – walking the walk and talking the talk. Oddly, identifying networking opportunities and possible connections is the easy part but in reality, taking the first step of initiating contact and introducing ourselves seems to be a bit more challenging and, for some, it might be nothing short of nerve-wracking because not everyone is outgoing.

First-time connections are sometimes difficult to establish, so for organisers who want to develop a superb networking function, create an environment in which attendees can, first and foremost, feel comfortable. Bear in mind that speed dating sessions only work for those who are more assertive in their networking approach and how they go about building this, so consider having networking facilitators – people on the ground who know who is attending the event and can help establish connections and make introductions. Set the scene with music, lighting, and food and drinks. Create a basic agenda with points of interest that get attendees interacting because – when it comes down to evaluating whether or not your event was successful or Sallie Krawcheck, not – the majority of how this was received will be CEO of Ellevest determined by whether or not your platform was good for networking.

“Networking has been cited as the number one unwritten rule of success in business. Who you know really impacts what you know.”

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