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SEPT/OCT 2019 • Issue 87



A day out for your delegates The Incentive Planner bumper edition

Industry round-up

Top Women in MICE Awards Post-event report

We have entertained corporates throughout the decades and have witnessed first-hand how music and dance have the power to transform teams.” Eddie Bunting, Creative Director and Owner, Drums and Rhythm

R55.00 (incl. VAT) ISSN 1684-9264



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 than you’d ever expect. Plan your next event in South Africa.



ORGANISER/DECISION-MAKER Bidding Support • Bid Support • Bid Document • Lobbying • Bid Promotion • Bid Presentation

Site Inspection Support • Bidding Site Inspection • Convention Planning • Site Inspections

Convention Planning Support • Planning Support • Venue and Supplier Recommendations


DELEGATE CONSUMER Delegate Boosting Support • Marketing to Support and to Promote the Conference • Delegate Attendance Promotion

On-Site Services • Support Towards On-site Elements of the Event


+27 11 895 3000 convention@southafrica.net www.businessevents.southafrica.net


36 th International Society for Quality in Health Care Conference (ISQua) World Conference on Drowning Prevention (WCDP)


6 th UCLG Congress World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders

2020 May:

16 th SpaceOps 2020


ISF World Seed Congress 2020 37 th World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC2020)


16 th World Congress of Music Therapy 30 th Annual International Council on Systems Engineering Symposium (INCOSE IS 2020)


18 th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME 18)


18 th International Congress of Dietetics (ICD)


30 th International Mineral Processing Congress (IMPC) HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2020)

+27 11 895 3000 convention@southafrica.net www.businessevents.southafrica.net




CONNECT WITH US www.theplanner.guru The Planner @theplannerguru @theplannerguru

INDUSTRY ROUND-UP 11 Introducing the Top Women in MICE: Class of 2019 Marking its sixth instalment, the Top Women in MICE Awards has recognised nearly 250 women who are the leaders, mentors, game changers and influencers of the industry. We reveal the 2019 list and bring you a post-event roundup on the dazzling day’s proceedings.



16 Reality check The EGF Masterclass and Conference held in early July highlighted the challenges faced by our planet, people and profits, as a result of climate change, and how it is up to us to make the effort.

20 The power of now The 2019 SAACI Congress attracted a line-up of local industry players and world-renowned speakers to provide a rich and thoughtprovoking experience.

Blazing a trail ahead


Realigning its business offering with its existing strengths is giving Brandex a far more bankable foothold within the events and exhibition industry. Meetings gains exclusive insights from the team on how this model is building the company’s portfolio.

5 MINUTES WITH… 27 Johannesburg Expo Centre In a short round-up, we get to know the maintenance team who keep the JEC looking as beautiful and running as well as it does.

VENUE SHOWCASE 28 Putting ATKV Klein-Kariba on a global map In a record-breaking event for ATKV Klein-Kariba, the venue hosted the IFES World Assembly 2019.



It’s time

After more than 25 years in business, Drums and Rhythm isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Meetings talks to owner Eddie Bunting on how his business has become transformative in its offering.

18 28

TALKING POINTS 30 AIPC 31 AAXO + EGF 32 SAACI + Travelbags REGULARS 3 Ed’s comment 9 Tidbits 24 20 Questions 33 Miss Meet THE INCENTIVE PLANNER 2 Meetings goes outdoors 11 How to… Have an immersive incentive experience

19 Covering all your bases 23 Soundbite 27 Self-starter 29 Making a case for year-ends 30 How to… Avoid the end-of-year drear

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

Mini, Pippa Naude, Thami Nkadimeng, Kim Roberts, Leatitia van Straten Operations & Production Manager

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

Vanessa De Waal +27 (0)84 805 6752 | vanessa@3smedia.co.za

Leatitia Van Straten, outgoing AAXO chairperson

published by

Finger on the pulse

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 www.3smedia.co.za


Meetings SEPT/OCT 2019 © Copyright. All rights reserved 2019. www.theplanner.guru

hat a busy few months it has been but how wonderfully blessed we are to have achieved so much over this period – not to mention producing our largest issue of the magazine in over a year! We hosted an immensely successful instalment of our annual Top Women in MICE (WiM) Awards on August 29 that saw us recognise the exceptional women who are leading the charge and setting the bar for industry excellence. We bring you a glittering post-event report on the proceedings of the day and present the list of winners in a beautiful five-page spread (on page 11). We are pleased to see how the event is continuously evolving to not just showcase the best of the best but to uphold the qualities and values that embody what the WiM Awards stand for.

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

Industry activity

member of

In the lead up to the Top WiM Awards, we saw a great deal of industry activity, with two key events taking place during this time in the form of the Event Greening Forum’s Conference and Masterclass (see page 16) as well as the annual SAACI Congress (see page 20). Meetings was privileged enough to be present at both and we bring you the key take-outs from each of these notable gatherings. Then, we have a brand-new contributor who is getting us all to focus more deeply on the ‘why’ of what we do. Well-known industry

in collaboration with

Take the online Q&A test and start gaining credits. www.theplanner.guru

figure Thami Nkadimeng makes her debut in the magazine on page 22.

The Incentive Planner We are also thrilled to be able to bring you this bumper edition, which includes The Incentive Planner. Here, we showcase various exciting offerings available to the market as well as highlight some of the most important considerations when it comes to planning an incentive for your team.

The (year) end is near It is with a heavy heart that we bid Leatitia van Straten goodbye as she steps down from her position as AAXO chair, with her tenure coming to an official end. We thank Leatitia for her wonderful contribution to Meetings magazine during her time at the helm and wish her all the best in her future endeavours. Lastly, we close off this edition with some insights towards year-end functions. Are they still relevant or even necessary? The answers might surprise you! We hope you enjoy this jam-packed issue and I look forward to seeing you all for the next one, which will be our last for 2019 and mark the end of what I’m certain will be an incredibly special and successful year for us all.

Shanna MEETINGS l SEPT/OCT 2019 •


TROPHIES - AWARDS - MEDALS +27(0) 12 327 5885

+27(0) 82 044 2900



cover story

Blazing a trail ahead Realigning its business offering with its existing strengths is giving Brandex a far more bankable foothold within the events and exhibitions industry. Meetings gains exclusive insights from the team on how this model is building the company’s portfolio.


randex is changing the business narrative in the events and exhibition industry, and its refined approach is yielding opportunities across the board. Previously spearheaded by three directors – Leonardo Tommassini, Gabi Babinszky and Jack Smit – Brandex took the decision to streamline its business model to allow Leonardo to focus primarily on exhibitions in his own capacity, through Jozi Customs. Initially, Brandex was a facilitator fully reliant on suppliers providing stock but the three found that this was not in the interests of the company, as service delivery suffered along with potential business opportunities. Brandex now operates as an audiovisual specialist able to deliver complete AV solutions by providing the


Brandex (Pty) Ltd

infrastructure for exhibitions, events and conferences. “We decided to invest in growing our business and rather chose to focus on what we were really good at – and that is providing exceptional client service due to our personal hands-on approach. Our aim with each project is to turn our clients’ visions into a collaboration and to ensure that service delivery to our customers is never compromised,” says Gabi. “As the owners of the business, we have a strongly vested interest in growing our relationships and building our networks,” adds Jack. Between Gabi and Jack, they have 20 years’ experience within various aspects of service provision across the events and exhibitions


industry, and a more focused approach has meant that they have been able to roll out a number of large-scale projects for various industry heavyhitters, with more in the pipeline. “This year, we have executed on over 300 projects that include small-, medium- and largescale conferences, high-level gala functions, and full AV rigging at exhibitions. We are also experts in concept design and custom rigging, providing full AV solutions ranging from indoor – conferences, exhibitions and gala evenings – to outdoor,” highlights Jack.

Realistically speaking Brandex has not been immune to the pinch of the current economic climate. This, Gabi explains, has

064 655 6122


#BRANDEX “Our vision for the future is to be the leader in service delivery and never lose focus on the most important aspect of what we do, which is of course our clients.”

seen a number of businesses resorting to diverting existing marketing spend into covering essential internal overheads, evident with smaller shows disappearing and larger ones declining in numbers. “The more successful shows are currently marketing-oriented rather than for hobbies and leisure. The industry is also dependent on each sector; for instance, if the mining industry is performing well, then the shows will follow suit.” Jack notes that it’s not just economic challenges the industry faces and places a spotlight on how this requires a shift in how we work as a whole. “This industry is fast-paced and we find that often the smaller companies do not survive. We have the potential to provide worldclass events, and this in turn would inspire international companies to participate in some of our exhibitions. But in order for our industry

Credit: Stand building and design Progroup; Audiovisual - Brandex

to achieve its potential, it would require muchneeded collaboration between companies in this environment.”

Moving with the times Consumer and technology trends in particular are paving the way forward for the Brandex business model and approach. “As technology has advanced over the years, exhibition stands have become more interactive and vibrant and even though they are smaller, they utilise all the space provided. This makes the appearance of the stand more appealing and welcoming to the clients,” says Gabi. Conferences, elaborates Jack, have also become far more interactive. “Most even include entertainment and, with all the latest developments in AV, gone are the days of drab stages and boring speakers. These are just some of the sorts of trends we need to ensure we take into consideration before embarking on

a project with a client so that we can ensure we consistently deliver on fresh-looking, original and creative designs.” Understanding the challenges clients face in delivering an impactful and positive experience on tightened budgets is where the Brandex team feels it adds the most value. “We are passionate about what we do and constantly endeavour to find cost-effective and budget-driven solutions for all our clients. We welcome new ideas and we’re always keen to sponsor events that we feel have great potential to our industry. Our vision for the future is to be the leader in service delivery and never lose focus on the most important aspect of what we do, which is of course our clients.”

member of




It’s time

After more than 25 years in business, Drums and Rhythm isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Meetings talks to owner Eddie Bunting on how his business has become transformative in its offering.


nderstanding his audience and their dayto-day challenges is where it all starts, says Eddie Bunting, owner of Drums and Rhythm, and after more than a quarter of a century of being in business, it’s clear that he has a well-established footprint within the market that is transforming individuals and mental, physical and emotional well-being, with real longevity behind it. During its time, the company has had to keep evolving its

offering to stay fresh and relevant. From starting out as a one-man band to growing a company offering various mindful activities, to being part of the official opening ceremony for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the closing ceremony for the 2009 ConFed Cup, it seems there is nothing Drums and Rhythm can’t do. As the force behind the team-building and event entertainment solutions Drums and Rhythm provides, Eddie talks animatedly on what it is his company does. It is clear from speaking with him that his core passion lies with people and what he describes as “facilitating human potential through rhythm”. In business terms, this is also where Eddie sees the bulk of his demand. “Team building or rather team transformation in the corporate sector Owner, currently keeps us busiest; at a time when Drums and Rhythm everybody is experiencing stress as result

Eddie Bunting

of the fast-paced lifestyles we lead, clients are increasingly looking for effective and diverse solutions to address issues such as communication, conflict resolution and overall team morale. Making music and dancing releases endorphins in the brain that directly combat stress and we, without a doubt, transform the way individuals think as a role player in their team, which ultimately transforms the company as a whole,” he explains. How does he do it? Eddie has been passionate about drumming his whole life and started drumming professionally at a very early age; at just 12 years old, he was drumming in the cadets band as a snare drummer and during his teens, he tried his hand on the rock scene as a drummer with various learner bands. “After the army, I had a flea market stall selling drums and instruments and advertising my workshops. When I had enough stock, I opened a second stall at the Rosebank Rooftop Market. I then transformed a double garage in Sunnyside, Pretoria, into a venue with a shop called Meropa Africa. We would hold gigs and get in local artists to support and promote them… At the shop, we sold drums, accessories and other African art,” reminisces Eddie. Given the moniker ‘Professor of Drumming’ by one of his colleagues, Eddie’s success within the events industry is testament to his personal ability to tap into his audiences and create a safe space where they are able to feel comfortable and confident, and enjoy each of the programmes he has put together. These range from drumming



Drums and Rhythm specialises in corporate team-transformation and entertainment solutions that are ideal for year-end functions and events, with its full offering including: • Belly dancers • Fire dancers • Salsa or samba dancers and dancing-related activities to live acts and performances but are always centred on harnessing individual creativity. While blessed with dependable, close-knit team members who each play an important role within the company, Eddie also chooses to personally facilitate each of the sessions wherever possible, particularly if there are a few shy people who may lack confidence to perform some of the tasks. “I provide a ‘take-home’ value from all our interactive sessions – I have more than 20 years’ experience within the industry and I understand just how music and dance can revolutionise personal and team thinking, as well as enhance motivation and productivity,” he explains. Comparing apples with… prickly pears Eddie owned the very first drumming venue in South Africa and has trained and worked with many of the country’s existing talents, who have since gone on to launch their own ventures. While some may provide a more cost-effective offering, Eddie firmly believes clients are not getting the same value. “Yes, we do focus a lot on drumming but we are not just another drumming company. Rather, we are transformation specialists in our trade. We not only facilitate team-transforming sessions but also add value to any company – on an emotional, physical and mental level. In everything we do, we highlight the importance of communication, enthusiasm, synergy, teamwork and fun by using tools like drumming, music and dance as vehicles/tools to transform teams,” notes Eddie. He and his team at Drums and Rhythm have put together diverse, dynamic programmes for groups of all shapes and sizes, and have facilitated sessions with various corporates, communities and schools, as well as patients with mental challenges and in rehabilitation


• Traditional dancers • African drummers • Samba drummers • Latin band • African jazz band • Marimba band • Live themes – shebeen and Latino

centres, with many of these sessions tailored specifically for each group. Waste not, want not Drums and Rhythm recently launched a new initiative to repurpose what might traditionally be deemed trash into musical instruments. The company will be collecting plastics from schools and impoverished communities and upcycling these into drums and other instruments under its ‘Junk to Funk’ programme. People within these areas are then grouped and taught how to play their instruments, which is then showcased to an audience. “We have been fortunate to have had a lot of interest from a few different outfits to collaborate on this; however, we are still looking for sponsors to get involved. The opportunities for branding within this are massive along with other positive spin-offs, such as better waste management, bringing our country together through rhythm, and empowering

Proud members of:

Visit Drums and Rhythm’s online shop – www.drumsandrhythm.com – for a variety of African drums and percussion instruments, as well as African-themed branded corporate gifts.

and uplifting our children in schools throughout the country,” says Eddie. Brimming with creativity and ideas on how to take his business to the next level, Eddie is positive about what the future holds for Drums and Rhythm. He is determined to see drumming made into the 12th official language of South Africa and with such determination, be sure to watch this space.

Est. 1993 +27 (0)82 843 7118 info@drumsandrhythm.com



Meetings’ must-know minutia

South Africa launches Tourism Month

David Wandabwa, director: Service for East Africa, GE Healthcare, with Millicent Alooh

GE Healthcare advances biomedical engineering in Kenya An event held in early August in Nairobi, Kenya – Biomedical Excellence Day – which was the first of its kind for the country, saw more than 100 medical professionals gather for training by both local and international experts specialising in biomedical engineering. Biomedical Excellence Day was organised in partnership with GE Healthcare and the Association of Medical Engineering of Kenya (AMEK), with attendance by medical experts from both government and private health centres from across Kenya’s 47 counties. Talking on the latest development in their partnership with GE Healthcare was Millicent Alooh, secretary general, AMEK: “We appreciate GE Healthcare for organising the Biomedical Excellence Day, which aligns with our motto of ‘Strengthening healthcare technology through appropriate technology’, as it bridges the skills gaps within our fraternity.”

South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Mamoloko KubayiNgubane, has launched an ambitious plan to attract over 21 million international tourists to South Africa’s shores by 2030. The launch of Tourism Month coincides with World Tourism Day, which will be themed ‘Tourism and Jobs – A Better Future for All’. A significant aspect on the agenda to attract greater tourist numbers is addressing international travellers’ perception of crime, in addition to challenges surrounding visa applications. To this end, the minister has undertaken to work more closely with the Department of Home Affairs on visas, as well as the South African Police Service to tackle any concerns around security. On her department’s broader strategy, Minister Kubayi-Ngubane commented: “Lastly and most importantly, [we need] to develop and drive an aggressive marketing campaign for both domestic and international markets. This will involve target marketing to countries with potential for our international market and focused campaigns, for example, to millennials in a language they understand and by the people they can relate to.”

Addis Ababa posts highest ADR in Africa

South Africa’s Tourism Amendment Bill receives final comments

According to research by STR, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has the highest average daily rate (ADR) in Africa with US$163.79 (R2 511). The next closest markets in Africa were Accra, Ghana, at $160.34 (R2 548) and Lagos, Nigeria, at $132.51 (R2 031). “Addis Ababa continues to maintain high ADR levels when compared internationally. The city has multiple demand drivers, such as a growing economy, successful airline and its status as the diplomatic capital for Africa. Air connections and ease of access compared with other cities also factor in the equation for strong demand,

On 12 April 2019, the South African government gazetted the draft Tourism Amendment Bill, which is centred on the amendment of key legislation within the Tourism Act (No. 3 of 2014). The bill will affect how short-term rentals are defined, and in particular how property owners operate Airbnb facilities in the country. If the bill is passed, it could “empower the Minister of Tourism to determine the ‘thresholds’ regarding these short-term home rentals”. The thresholds the bill extends to include limiting the number of nights an Airbnb is rented out, limitations an Airbnb host may make on any given property, and possible zoning restrictions. While the draft bill still requires clarification on the newly proposed thresholds and its pertaining definitions, there is some controversy surrounding how existing short-term rentals rates are regulated, with fears of unfair competition, as long-term accommodation providers are regulated by licensing requirements that short-term providers do not have, which results in higher overheads for the former.


which provides hoteliers with the confidence to maintain rate levels,” noted Thomas Emanuel, a director for STR. There are a number of projects on the horizon for the Ethiopian hospitality market, with 22 hotels and 4 820 rooms in various stages of development. Between July 2018 and June 2019, Addis Ababa’s occupancy grew 6.5% to 58.4%, with Cairo and Giza in Egypt still leading in Africa, with their occupancy at 74.5%. By comparison, occupancy in Cape Town and Accra was at 65% and 59.7%, respectively.



in MICE 2019

W o m e n in m i c e

Introducing the

Top Women in MICE:

Class of 2019 This year, our Top Women in MICE Awards upped the ante by recognising the true gems within the industry who are taking it to the next level.

12 • MEETINGS l SEPT/OCT 2019 


arking its sixth instalment, the Top Women in MICE Awards has recognised nearly 250 women who are the leaders, mentors, game changers and influencers of the industry. We reveal the 2019 list and bring you a dazzling post-event round-up on the day’s proceedings. The Top Women in MICE (WiM) Awards has, since its inception in 2014, celebrated the stars of the events industry. This year was no different, with the list recognising each of these women for the valuable contributions they make to the world of MICE, and acknowledging them for the qualities that define them as leaders and mentors. These women are distinguished by their integrity, creativity, passion and willingness to consistently give back. The day event was kick-started with local artists from the Drums and Rhythm team who had the audience on their feet during their gumboot and pantsula dances. MC for the day and GingerBiscuit founder Lisa-Jade Kirkham kept proceedings running smoothly, as she cued an awe-inspiring line-up of

speakers, including a previous Top WiM winner and influencer, Thami Nkadimeng, who spoke on owning our story. Life coach and Comrades Marathon runner Joni Peddie gave the audience food for thought as she revealed how many of our challenges are linked to a lack of quality sleep, owing to our bedtime habits, which do not allow for our bodies to fall into their natural sleep cycles. Ahead of the official Top WiM Awards being announced, 15-year-old up-and-coming opera singing sensation Erin Beck moved some of the audience to tears with her beautiful soprano voice. Speaking on the Top WiM’s Class of 2019, was Shanna Jacobsen, editor of Meetings magazine and organiser of the annual awards, who said, “Our Top Women in MICE Awards this year will ensure that we not only set the bar for excellence but keep raising the standard. We hope that with this year’s evolution, we will continue to set ourselves apart from the rest and achieve our goal of ensuring that we keep delivering an event that is both meaningful and aspirational.”



Special awards TOP WIM finalist 2019 Adele Eloff, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Business Development Manager: National Angeline van den Broecke, Convex Malaysia, Director of Global Business Development & Marketing

Lorraine Jenks, owner of Hotel Stuff and Green Stuff, received the Lifetime Achievement Award

Angelique Smith, Event Synthesis, Owner Arnolette Freeks, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Events Manager

Irene Costa, editor of Business Events Africa, receives the Newsmaker of the Year Award Hannes Venter from the JEC accepting the Mentor of the Year Award on behalf of Craig Newman

Letta Madlala, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo, GM: Marketing & Communications Lindsey Verfaillie, Durban International Convention Centre, Senior Sales Coordinator Megan Oberholzer, Reed Exhibitions South Africa, Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism & Sports Michelle Beckmann, Fizz Marketing, Director

Candice Smith, Hiside Incentives, Manager

Nicole East,

Cindy Perreira Buser, Mirchee Destination Management, Owner & Managing Director

Nitta Sukha, South African Tourism,

Debbie Holmes, Director of MICE Operations, Dragonfly Africa Emily Naidoo, Independent Emma Kumalo, Potters Hand Activations, Senior Event Manager Gill Gibbs, bluCube Design and Brand Activations, Director & Chief Executive Officer

Chief Operations Officer, Compex

Executive Project Manager: Trade Platforms Olivia Bruce, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Head: Marketing & Communications Paula Jorgensen, Travel and Explore, Owner René Fielies, Scan Display Solutions, Head of Design Sam van den Berg,

Jane Steel, Scan Display Solutions, Sales Manager: Cape Town

The Sun International ladies who are the winners of the Enterprise Team of the Year

Janine Abrahams, Tourvest Incentives Meetings & Events, Manager: Coastal, Programme & Business Development Keke Matlou, In Any Event, Director Kim Weber, Century City Conference Centre and Hotel, Business Optimisation Manager

Super Sam, Owner Sannikie Makgakga, Gallagher Convention Centre, Exhibition Manager Thabang Phetla-Banda, Compex, Key Account Manager Teresa Jenkins, Litha Communications, Managing Director Yolanda Woeke, Dragonfly Africa,

Leigh Miller, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, Marketing Manager


Managing Director & Vice President: Sales & Marketing



w o m e n in m i c e



Adele Hartdegen

PR & Marketing Manager, GL events South Africa ABOVE Erin Beck delights the audience with her beautiful soprano voice ABOVE Thami Nkadimeng delivers an inspirational talk on the role that MICE has played in her journey BELOW The founder and a patron of the Top Women in MICE Awards, Martin Hiller Van Rensburg, addresses attendees

Carol Weaving

Managing Director, Reed Exhibitions

Johanna Mukoki Group CEO and Co-Founder, Travel With Flair

Leatitia van Straten Chairperson, AAXO (stepping down end August 2019)

ABOVE (From L-R): Scan Display’s Top Women in MICE award winners – René Fielies, head of design for Scan Display Johannesburg, with Jane Steel, head of sales for Scan Display Cape Town, and Henriette Havenga, sales manager at Scan Display LEFT Joni Peddie gives the audience food for thought on how important our sleep routine is to our overall well-being

Nonnie Kubeka Head: Gauteng Conventions & Events Bureau


Thank you to our valued sponsors


Women in MICE supports:

Joni Peddie





Reality check The EGF Masterclass and Conference held in early July highlighted the challenges faced by our planet, people and profits as a result of climate change – and how it is up to us to make the effort.


ach year, several like-minded individuals from the events industry gather to discuss one of the most pressing issues facing not just our industry but the whole world as we know it. Those in attendance are the change agents of our industry; they are mindful enough to understand that they have a key role to play when it comes to ensuring the events industry is extremely resource intensive and that there is a significant amount of waste generated.

IMAGINING A DIFFERENT FUTURE The seventh annual Event Greening Forum (EGF) Conference was kick-started with breakfast and registration at the Maropeng Conference Centre – a beautiful venue nestled in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind. The theme for the EGF Conference was ‘Imagining a Different Future’, with a key discussion for the day delivered by SallyAnne Käsner, founder of Circular-Vision, who

“If systems were correctly designed from the start, there would be no waste generated, which requires constant vigilance and management.” Sally-Anne Käsner, founder, Circular-Vision

16 • MEETINGS l SEPT/OCT 2019 






The EGF Masterclass



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The EGF Masterclass, hosted by Lorraine Jenks from Hotel Stuff and Green Stuff, took an in-depth look at the devastating effects of climate change and the dire state we find ourselves in. For a long time, it was disputed that humans were the cause of climate change; however, there is now irrefutable proof that it is we who are responsible for what is termed anthropogenic climate change, as opposed to shifts in climate that are part of the earth’s natural processes. Cities around the world are seeing record-breaking temperatures that are rising further and will mean that, in a few years’ time, it will be impossible to live in certain parts of the world. So, what can we do? We have to start considering how we work, play and live. Food is a major contributor to global warming, with livestock contributing 18% to human-derived greenhouse gases alone. It is up to each one of us to better manage our waste and to positively influence our households and communities towards more responsible living.



90 493



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South Africa

53 425


Design |

Ma nu fa


Reuse | Repair

ycle | Upcycle

R ec

According to a report released by the World Bank in 2016, South Africa is the 15th top producer of waste, generating 54 425 tonnes of waste each day, with local statistics estimating that only 10% of everything recyclable ends up at a recycling plant of sorts. By 2025, our rank will have fallen to 20th in the world; however, we will be producing in excess of 72 000 tonnes of waste each day, at 10 kg per capita.

A circular economy takes into account all stages of a product’s life cycle. It looks a little like this:



The circular economy concept explained

ur ct

spoke on the concept of a circular economy. This provided much deeper insights into the reasons why recycling efforts just aren’t enough. “If systems were correctly designed from the start, there would be no waste generated, which requires constant vigilance and management. A transition to a circular economy provides a real opportunity to transform the current wasteful economy to a more regenerative, inclusive and equitable one,” Sally explained. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design and aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles.”

u ns o C Retailer |






The Power of Now The 2019 SAACI Congress attracted a line-up of local industry players and world-renowned speakers to provide a rich and thought-provoking experience.


eld at the end of each July, this year’s SAACI Congress saw a great buzz among delegates that had them flocking in their droves to Durban’s Golden Mile. Marking its 33rd instalment, SAACI delivered on its mandate that encompasses three pillars: learning, growth and collaboration, with three days of insightful and engaging sessions centred on these touchpoints. Business events form part of the broader tourism industry and are receiving an increasing amount of support from government in particular, which recognises the significant role that tourism plays within the economy. It was noted by Deputy Minister of Tourism Fish Mahalela that the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), together with the provincial convention bureaus, submitted a total of 108 bids during its latest financial year – translating to an increase of 14.8%. The industry is demonstrating its impact on the country’s economy, with tourism having contributed

20 • MEETINGS l SEPT/OCT 2019 

R425 billion to national GDP, with the direct contribution projected to grow from R136.1 billion to R145 billion during the next financial year. In terms of employment, 4.5% of our workforce is directly employed by tourism, with 1 in 23 South Africans working in the tourism sector. “Tourism plays an important role in placing our economy on a sustainable, inclusive growth trajectory. Globally, tourism has demonstrated a higher growth rate than any other sector, with arrivals in emerging economies up to 2030 projected to grow at double the rate of advanced economies,” highlighted Kim Roberts, acting chair of SAACI, during the opening of the SAACI Congress. What went down Hosted at the beautiful beachside Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani hotel, the event saw an action-packed three days of plenary and breakaway sessions, in addition to hosting a range of exhibitors, from airlines to legacy projects,

who proudly showcased their projects, services and wares. An evening function held at Durban ICC’s Fig Tree Courtyard, with a gastronomic spread of foods that catered for every taste and flavour, blew attendees away. This followed on from Day 1’s proceedings, which included on-boarding for newcomers to SAACI and the industry. The congress opened for official registration at midday, with afternoon sessions by Hixonia Nyasulu, founder of Ayavuna Women’s Investments, in addition to Justin van Wyk, CEO of Big Concerts, South Africa. Day 2’s content was jam-packed full of tips, tools and insights into where the industry is currently, and where our efforts should be focused. Jane Stevenson, co-founder at Magnetic Minds, inspired the audience with a mind-blowing presentation on how we prioritise our lives, both personally and professionally, and how we dedicate our energies towards our busyness.



2019 SAACI Awards & Green Guru Awards winners: Fellowship Award

Nick Papadopoulos

Young Achiever Award

Minister Kganyago

Members’ Choice Award (Venue)

Century City Conference Centre and Hotel

Members’ Choice Award (Best Organiser)

Lorin Bowen Business Events

Members’ Choice Award (Best Supplier)

Ultimate Data Sciences

SAACI 2019 Branch of the Year


Green Guru Award – Exhibitor

RISE Project

Green Guru Award – Venue

Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani

Green Guru Award – Supplier

Exquisite Finishes

“The single obligation of any leader is to unbelievably focus on purpose. It starts and ends with you,” she emphasised, noting how we must move away from an approach in business that solely encompasses a mission, strategy and vision to one that also embraces purpose, values and culture. Miller Matola, owner and founder of Millvest, a diversified investment company, and a former CEO of Brand South Africa, underscored the vast investment opportunities presented by South Africa and the continent, through the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Some of the other benefits of the AfCFTA include improving the ease of doing business and, of course, greater sustainability in the form of integration. Meanwhile, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, chief convention bureau officer at the SANCB, spoke on growing business events within the tourism sector by highlighting the direct and indirect contribution to GDP, during a session entitled ‘The New Face of Business Tourism’. The SANCB


has a programme in place to grow and develop its bidding process, in the form of R90 million in support over three years. This has been so successful that it is being extended by a further three years. “We are not talking about tourism anymore, but about being a game changer in the global economy. While pretty pictures are good, it is now about contributing to economies and making a difference in the lives of people,” said Amanda. The day was concluded with the SAACI Awards, held at the Greyville Convention Centre during a dazzling gala function, themed ‘Switched onto Culture’. The newly launched Green Guru Awards provided reason for much excitement, with the winners for both listed above. Day 3 was a wrap for the 2019 SAACI Congress, with sessions concluding before lunchtime. The final day of the event was focused very much on integration, both regionally and globally – a key point for the overall sustainability of not just the tourism industry but our economies as a whole.

A tribute to Wayne Johnson-Smith On June 12, Wayne Johnson-Smith, SAACI’s chairman, went missing from his full-time employer, Scan Display Solutions in Rosebank, Johannesburg, after leaving to run an errand at around midday and not returning. A major investigation was launched to find him and at the time of going to print, it was reported that his cellphone had last been tracked in Rabie Ridge – a suburb on the outskirts of Midrand. The three suspects in his case have, meanwhile, appeared in court on charges of kidnapping and hijacking. The investigation and the case continue. Our thoughts are with Wayne’s family, friends, colleagues and all those who have been affected, and we wish them strength during this difficult time.

#bringwaynehome #justiceforwayne



O P- E D

More bang for your buck Thami Nkadimeng on how to grow your returns in the world of events.

Brand strategy With individuals seeing thousands of logos and being inundated with adverts each day – is the focus really on the typography, colour, logo and design, or should we consider making the shift into how we market the product and service? People still want high-quality products or services at a low price and with a quick turnaround time. However, there should be a much greater emphasis on steering brands through events by engaging with feelings of consumers and talking to the brand personality, and relating to human qualities through its distinction and characteristics.

had the privilege of attending and speaking at the SAACI Congress (#SAACI19) on the integration of communications and events being the centre of every business. It got me thinking about how we can significantly reduce media budgets for clients by implementing a thorough brand strategy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan that speak to both the messaging and objectives of the business.

Corporate social responsibility CSR is always tricky because it directly involves business activities but does not reflect on the profit instantly. Yet, if implemented effectively, it can yield a return on investment, of which revenue is one. CSR has changed: you can no longer afford to have just one event annually and expect it to suffice. Rather, companies need to strive to have continuous initiatives that show social responsibility lives within the organisational DNA through all the events held, with logistics, being environmentally friendly and community development being key focal points.


The Event Greening Forum (EGF) held its annual conference in July and there is immense knowledge that can be learned about running a ‘green event’ (www.eventgreening.co.za). We cannot forget that there are over 400 million people living in extreme poverty in Africa and interventions are crucial; we need to create initiatives with this in mind and as provisions of solutions. Back to media, cost management and reduction; if you implement brand strategy constructively, you create brand ambassadors and influencers, within both existing and potential networks, who engage with the brand. CSR opportunities that are continuously realised will create uninterrupted messages for the organisation, and this consistency cements trust. Can you imagine delivering consistent messaging and brand trust through events? It is entirely possible and not only powerful, but practical. In the words of Steven Rattner, the American financier who served as lead adviser to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry in 2009 during Obama’s administration: “Not surprisingly, troubled economic times often beget proselytisers of wacky, extreme ideas.” If the ideas work and they provide direction and clarity to our ever-evolving world, make sure you keep up or get left behind.

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 post-degree diploma in marketing management, and an honours degree in integrated organisational communication. For opportunities with Thami, you can contact her on bookthaminkadimeng@gmail.com.

22 • MEETINGS l SEPT/OCT 2019 www.theplanner.guru


Southern Sun Montecasino: entertainment meets elegance

As a top entertainment destination in Gauteng, Montecasino offers some of the best things to do in Johannesburg. We explore just some of the exciting options that can be found in and around the venue surrounds.


outhern Sun Montecasino, located right in the heart of Johannesburg’s favourite entertainment destination, is the perfect place for a well-deserved staycation for couples, friends, or the whole family. The stylish hotel features Italian charm, luxurious rooms and suites, an infinityedged pool and stunning deck overlooking lovely gardens, and a small lake with resident swans and water birds. It offers a wealth of services and amenities to delight the most discerning guests, as well as the popular Punchinello’s Food & Dreams restaurant, where Sunday lunch is a lavish feast with a buffet, welcome drink, and live entertainment for the whole family. If you’re planning an event or meeting – business or private – Southern Sun Montecasino is your one-stop shop, offering superb venues and facilities to guarantee a memorable experience for everyone. The Pivot offers nine versatile venues that can be transformed into any type of business or celebratory event – from classy cocktails to corporate conferences – conveniently located in Fourways. The spacious Verona Suite is the largest of


The Pivot’s function rooms and is divisible into three separate rooms. At maximum capacity, it can easily seat 300 people in theatre style or 450 in cocktail style. Each of the three separate Verona suites is soundproofed and features individual control lighting, sound and projection, seating between 50 and 100, depending on the configuration. The venue also offers three dedicated boardrooms – Arno and Luca seating eight people and Pisa seating 16 – each with natural light, in-room projection, easyaccess breakaway areas, a balcony for smokers, and an opening out onto The Pivot courtyard. The adaptable Firenze, Livorno and Siena meeting rooms offer space for between 20 and 60 people in banquet- and cinema-style arrangements. Decor, menus, AV specifics and seating configurations can be customised with The Pivot’s events team, and event experiences can be enhanced with other unique event experiences within the Montecasino precinct, including the Bird Gardens, Southern Sun Montecasino pool deck, Pivot Courtyard, Rosa at The Palazzo, The Ballroom, and La Toscana.



2 0 Q U EST I O N S

The driving force Meetings gets personal with Shelley Walters, founder of The Sales Counsel. Where do you see the events industry currently? The industry is far more discerning as a result of an economic downturn; however, there is still a high demand for events and the industry remains a growing one.

Where would you like to see the industry in the next 5 to 10 years? I would like to see it more alive than ever before, with even greater relevance.

What role or influence do you believe your organisation plays in the industry? I believe our purpose is to bring a fresh perspective to sales, inspiring salespeople around the world to reignite a deep sense of purpose and passion. This, ultimately, makes them far more effective in their role.

What is the most challenging aspect of what you do? Persuading key influencers and decision-makers to make different decisions – while they can admit it’s time to do something different or take a fresh approach, many of them are reluctant to make that decision on their watch.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do? It is undoubtedly the positive feedback I get from decision-makers and audience members.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?

Shelley Walters is a renowned keynote speaker and mentor. During the 2019 Gender Mainstreaming Awards, she won first place in the category of Inclusive Leader, and tied third place in the Positive Role Model category.

24 • MEETINGS l SEPT/OCT 2019 

My mentor, Jerome Liberty, said: “Reach for the top. The bottom is overcrowded.”

What was your first job? My very first job was selling stationery: pens, paper and paperclips.

What drives you both personally and professionally? On both levels it is being rewarded for making a significant difference in the lives of people professionally and, therefore, personally.

What are some of your career highlights? Some of my more memorable career highlights are presenting alongside top sales organisations in the world in Bangkok; speaking at the Women In Sales Awards in London annually; winning two awards at the Gender Mainstreaming Awards; and also being sales and marketing manager for Kingfisher FM in Port Elizabeth.

Who were your role models growing up?

What values will you not deviate from? I value and invest in my relationships deeply, so I’m very selective about who I bring into my life.

What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time? Being such a homebody, I like to devote my spare time to pottering around my garden and decorating the house where I can.

What was your best holiday and why? My recent trip to Italy would come up tops because it was not for work or a speaking engagement.

What are some of your ‘bucket list’ items?

My grandfather. He raised me and also ran his own business. Professionally, I would say my first sales manager, Gordon Menses, was a deeply influential role model for me.

Professionally, I would love to speak at a Gartner event, where they host the highest calibre of speakers in the sales profession. Personally, I would love to attend one of Joe Dispenza’s meditation retreats.

Who do you currently aspire to be like and why?

What is your favourite read?

Brendon Bershad is a great inspiration – I love his authentic messaging.

My favourite book of all time is The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay..

What quote best describes your outlook towards life?

What three items do you never leave home without?

A quote by Nelson Mandela, inspired by the Bible, which says that we will have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death many times before we reach the mountain top of our desires.

My cell phone keeps me connected and is such an essential part of my business; my wedding band because I’m deeply proud of being married to such a wonderful man; and my faith.

What do people most often wrongly assume about you?

What is your most prized possession?

People think I’m a very hard person and that I’m bossy and domineering, but those who know me will tell you that I’m actually very collaborative.

I’m deeply sentimental, and I have a Bible that was printed for me many years ago. It has Roman numerals and it’s so old and beautiful.


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 sales@cticc.co.za or visit www.cticc.co.za and connect to possibilities.


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5 minutes WITH the Johannesburg Expo Centre In a short round-up, we get to know the maintenance team who keep the JEC as beautiful and running as smoothly as it does. Leading the charge is maintenance manager Prince Moloi, and we get to understand what inspires him and his team – both personally as well as in their careers. Prince

What do you enjoy the most about what you do?

My team and meeting different people. - Prince Moloi I am always busy and I have learnt a lot from my job. - Kenneth Christene Learning something new every day and getting to meet new people. - Matthew Motswakae The experience and being able to learn more so that I can excel in what I do is what I enjoy the most. - Dumisani Zondi The environment. I am a very quiet but warm person, and have been with the JEC for more than 10 years and really do enjoy working here. - Paul van Wyk

Hamilton Paul

Dumisani Matthew


What are your special talents?

My knowledge of the venue but I am always determined to do better and will go the extra mile. - Prince Moloi Painting – I really enjoy it. I usually paint my house, which makes me feel happy and refreshed, and I am always proud once I am done. - Hamilton Tshabalala

In 5 to 10 years, I see myself…

In the senior management team. - Prince Moloi As an electrical engineer. - Kenneth Christene

What motivates you?

Personally, it is my family – my wife and kids – and being able to provide them with a better future. Professionally, I am someone who always wants to better myself and I’m currently completing a health and safety course. - Dumisani Zondi

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

www.facebook.com/@jhbexpocentre1 www.theplanner.guru 


# Johannesburg Expo Centre



m e eNt Ting EVE S H pOlWaCASE ces

In a record-breaking event for ATKV Klein-Kariba, the venue hosted the IFES World Assembly 2019.



ATKV Klein-Kariba on a global map

trengthening national movements, the development of tomorrow’s leaders and inspiring university-based evangelism were at the forefront of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly 2019 – a life-changing occasion that took place on South African soil. A quadrennial event, the IFES World Assembly gathers IFES students, faculty, staff and board members from all over the globe to further gospel mission and ministry in the world’s universities. This year, the event took place from 3 to 11 July, welcoming 1 200 delegates from 170 countries to

The Details CLIENT: International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) + Students’ Christian Organisation FUNCTION: IFES World Assembly 2019 THE BRIEF: To successfully host and run the IFES World Assembly 2019 NUMBER OF ATTENDEES: 1 200 DATE: 3 to 11 July 2019

28 • MEETINGS l SEPT/OCT 2019 

the ATKV Klein-Kariba holiday resort in Limpopo’s picturesque Waterberg region. Planning an event of this magnitude can take up to a year. “It requires an incredible effort by a large group of people. In this case, the effort involved IFES; its local affiliate, the Students’ Christian Organisation; the ATKV Klein-Kariba holiday resort; a variety of suppliers; and great collaboration with the Limpopo Tourism Agency,” noted professional conference organiser Septi Bukula. The ideal venue The well-thought-out IFES World Assembly 2019 made the most of its scenic surroundings, giving its delegates a true taste of Africa. “When choosing ATKV Klein-Kariba as the venue, the main considerations were capacity, proximity and quality of facilities,” says Septi. “But the beautiful scenery was greatly appreciated by our guests too!” The tranquillity of the setting, as well as the usefulness and value of the facilities, made a tremendous impact on the success of the event. “Our theme was ‘Messengers of Hope’, so we wanted to encourage the delegates in their faith,

and inspire them to talk about Jesus among their fellow students when they return home,” explains Susanne Koch from IFES. “I think the delegates really enjoyed the setting – we received comments about how lovely Klein-Kariba is.” Septi concurs: “Three weeks later, we were still receiving great feedback about people’s experiences at World Assembly 2019!” Talking to the delegates, their excitement and appreciation for the conference was palpable. “What I’m taking home after this event is the desire to help others, to be influential on my campus and to show people that change is possible, especially through God and the gospels,” said Owen Wurst, a delegate from the US. Adding to that, US-born, Belgium-based IFES delegate Noah Raver applauded the setting chosen for the conference. “As an American, this is not how envisioned South Africa,” he said, referring to the resort. “ATKV KleinKariba is very luxurious and really well put together. The food is incredible and the resort is really well planned out. It makes me want to come back.” Besides the conference, delegates also enjoyed experiencing various cultural activities and local



The organiser

excursions in the Waterberg area. And, for a localis-lekker twist, IFES board members were taken on a safari after the conference ended, courtesy of the Limpopo Tourism Agency. A jam-packed programme and a smooth run of events were the keys to success in ATKV KleinKariba’s feat of hosting its biggest business-event conference to date.


Septi Bukula

Professional Conference Organiser

Just outside Bela-Bela – some 90 minutes

FANTASTIC BUSINESS EVENTs “What was important to us was ensuring the delegates had good, memorable experiences. We always strive to be flexible to the needs and expectations of the organiser/client and to ensure we go beyond the call of duty to make them feel valued. At the end of the day, it is all about experiences for us – even more so, curating a space that enables fantastic business-event experiences,” adds Minister Kganyago, manager of business events sales and marketing ATKV Resorts. ”We have hosted a number of huge leisure and social events but, up to this point, the IFES World Assembly 2019 is the biggest business-event conference we have hosted since our repositioning as a business events role player,“ he concludes.


from Johannesburg and an hour’s drive from Pretoria – lies the inviting ATKV KleinKariba resort in one of the Waterberg’s most beautiful kloofs. A finalist in the

AA Travel Guide/American Express Accommodation Awards in the category for


large self-catering resorts in South Africa, the resort also won a TripAdvisor Certificate


of Excellence, going to show that at ATKV


Klein-Kariba – the gem of the Bushveld – you can experience true hospitality! Visit atkvresorts.co.za for more information.

+27 (0)14 736 9800 Central booking office: +27 (0)11 919 9092



A Convergence of Business

and Adventure

Didima Conference Centre & Wedding Venue, Cathedral Peak, Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site: (036) 488 8000 Ntshondwe Conference Centre & Wedding Venue, Ithala Game Reserve: (034) 983 2540

Let Ideas Expand Beyond the Office

We have the freshest of air, an abundance of wildlife, the best adventure tracks and trails, breathtaking sights and scenery, but most importantly, we have conference centres in these magnificent tranquil surroundings. Didima Conference Centre accommodates delegates from 120 classroom style, 60 U-shape style to 120 seated cinema style configuration. Ntshondwe Conference centre offers a cinema style seating arrangement for up to 140, a lecture style for 90 or a single U-shaped for 45 delegates. Ntshondwe’s two breakaway rooms offers a cinema style seating arrangement for 30, lecture style for 18 and single U-shape for 16 delegates. Both conference facilities offer various accommodation options, are fully serviced and can comfortably be adapted from one-day events to multi-day workshops.

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Conservation, Partnerships & Ecotourism


INDUSTRY views How the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) engages employees

From recruitment through to retention Through a series of focus groups, MCEC has looked at the value its employees place on a range of offerings, why they were attracted to work for the venue initially, and what keeps them engaged with their brand, writes Helen Fairclough.


Helen Fairclough is the director of people, culture and improvement for the MCEC – a longstanding member of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC).


t Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), our diverse and inclusive culture is something we pride ourselves on, and key to our recognition as an Employer of Choice for two years running (2017-18). This accolade is a testament to our people, who work hard every day. We have an innovative, service-driven and visionary team of employees with a culture that inspires excellence and we’re one of only six organisations worldwide to be recognised for outstanding achievement in recruitment, engagement and retention practices. Our working environment is defined by a commitment to shared learning and continuous improvement, and we invest in our talent and encourage them to be innovative. In 2016, we engaged with our employees across our casual and permanent workforce to determine our employee value proposition (EVP). We think of our EVP as the promise we make to our people. From these discussions, our EVP was born – ‘expect anything, experience everything’. Just like every event, every day at MCEC is different. Once we knew our EVP, we could build our talent acquisition strategy, focusing on sourcing, recruitment and selection. The strategy includes educating managers on unconscious bias, and the importance of attracting the best and brightest employees who form part of a diverse, inclusive and collaborative culture. We also focus on upskilling and progressing our employees’ career development, with a preference to promote from within the organisation. This has led to over half of our positions being filled with internal applicants. We offer ‘temporary transfers’ across our business, opening opportunities for employees to work across different areas, allowing them to develop skills and enhance their professional growth. One of the most important ways to retain talent is through employee engagement and recognition. Effective communication

is a strong focus throughout the stages of the employee journey, and we encourage continuous feedback, ensuring employees are supported, valued and feel connected to the business. We’re proud to provide an inclusive workplace where senior leaders actively engage with and mentor employees. Managers and employees are provided with a framework for employees to participate in reward and recognition activities. As a result of feedback from employees, there has been particular focus placed on recognition, with recent examples being a ‘thank you’ event and ‘shout outs’ in our weekly employee newsletter. We strongly believe that recognising and rewarding performance motivates employees to want to be part of the company. We also recognise our employees’ desire to be involved and connected with their community and global issues, including sustainability, volunteering and well-being. We have formed an Employee Health and Well-being Committee to organise a calendar of activities including massages, workout sessions and yoga. Our employees are supported by processes to help them achieve, and we have worked hard to implement a holistic performance framework that encourages our employees to succeed. This starts with on-boarding, which includes regular check-ins and objectivesetting, and continues with our annual review process MAP (meet, align, perform), which outlines the responsibilities of both manager and employee throughout the performance management process – ensuring employees are supported and empowered to achieve their goals. Our EVP is evolving as our business, people and culture have shifted and grown. We need to ensure we’re aware of the brand we have, the brand we aspire to, and how we leverage that to identify, connect to and ultimately attract key talent both locally and internally to work at MCEC.




INDUSTRY views AAXO successes over the past year

Most memorable moments AAXO continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The past year has been especially crucial in growing the association and giving new direction to old objectives, writes Leatitia van Straten.


LEATITIA VAN STRATEN is the outgoing AAXO chairperson.

ooking back at just a few of the highlights from the past year, networking between all the stakeholders remains one of the key drivers for AAXO. We held three successful networking events in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. We also held a quiz day for Global Exhibitions Day #GED, which was truly well supported by the whole industry. In January, AAXO hosted the hugely successful third annual ROAR Awards under the Exhibition Industry Awards (EIA) banner, in conjunction with EXSA, and also held the Exhibition of Exhibitions in January over two days, providing endless networking opportunities. Further to this, AAXO had two representatives at the IEIA (India Exhibition Industry Association) event held in New Delhi, India, in June, during which AAXO had a chance to promote Africa as an exhibition destination as well as cement relationships with key associations globally. In terms of marketing exhibitions as a preferred marketing channel, we have managed to generate over

Our next AGM takes place in September, upon which a new chairperson and supporting board members will be elected by the board R4.5 million worth of publicity through our PR and marketing efforts. And we’ve managed to grow our membership over the last year by 40% – an increase superseding that of inflation!

Our next AGM takes place in September, upon which a new chairperson and supporting board members will be elected by the board. AAXO wishes Leatitia van Straten (our outgoing chairperson) well as she pursues new career opportunities within the exhibition sector. We look forward to taking the industry to new heights under innovative leadership.


Straws suck – or do people?

Do plastic straw bans amount to real change?

The #StrawsSuck movement has grabbed public attention and outrage. Is this reaction the start of a serious environmental movement, or is it a panacea for all our other plastic pollution sins, asks Pippa Naude.

P PIPPA NAUDE is the marketing and communications manager at the EGF.

lastic straws harming turtles have become a powerful symbol for the movement to #endplasticpollution. Say no to the straw, buy your own reusable straw, or opt for paper straws: the solutions to end the tsunami of plastic straw waste are fairly straightforward. The positive impact of these actions could be significant, given that Americans alone throw away 500 million drinking straws every day. Critics have pointed out – rightly so – that plastic straws are only one small part of a huge problem. Some 80% to 90% of marine debris is made up of single-use plastics, according to the 2018 Ocean Conservancy and International Coastal Cleanup Report*. I believe it’s important to applaud a positive action rather than scold people for not doing more. At the same time, we do need to look at the bigger picture and adopt a more comprehensive approach to dealing with our plastic problem.

32 • MEETINGS l SEPT/OCT 2019 

And it is a problem. Straws and the like are killing marine life, but also have a less visible and potentially devastating effect. Plastics break down into microplastics, which are leaching into every corner of the earth, and being consumed by animals and humans. We don’t yet understand the repercussions of this, but do know that some plastics contain hormone disruptors, while another study found that microplastics act as sponges for pollutants. As scientists scramble to study these effects, we know it’s not a question of ‘is it bad’, but ‘how bad’. Ultimately, it is up to us to decide if getting rid of plastic straws is our first step to a plastic detox. If you have implemented any plastic-free initiatives for events, please email us about them at pippa@eventgreening.co.za. *Download the full report here: oceanconservancy.org.



INDUSTRY views SAACI’s upward trajectory

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

L KIM ROBERTS is the acting chairperson for SAACI.

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

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

INDUSTRY views Upholding the Travelbags ethos

Committed to the cause Travelbags turns 61 this year and has thrived on the back of the dedication and loyalty of our committees and presidents, both past and present, who give of their time voluntarily, writes Michelle Hinrichsen.

O Michelle Hinrichsen is the current president of Travelbags.


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

ur committee and members have a passion for Travelbags and believe in the ethos of the club. We ensure to deliver monthly networking events to ensure that the travel and hospitality trade can come together to share and network. We had a tough AGM this year, which raised the question of keeping the club open and in existence. Reasons came from anonymous members who tried to derail the club and share untrue information with other news publications in the travel trade, as well as members who just ultimately did not support the club and the ethos of the club anymore. These negativities rallied my committee, the members of Travelbags and myself to stand firm and continue this wonderful club, which has been going for so many years and doing so much good for charitable causes. Among the most important factors that have kept this club going are the amazing individuals who have been members for years. Our members have made this club

Travelbags is moving forward with new ideas and positive outlooks; we want to change with the times and ensure we offer holistically beneficial events work over the years and we as the Travelbags committee salute and thank them for their support and for what they do for charity by supporting the lunches and events every month. Travelbags is moving forward with new ideas and positive outlooks; we want to change with the times and ensure that we offer an event that is beneficial for the members and non-members attending. We walk forward now into the future a strong, solvent and dynamic club that will be offering opportunities to the travel and hospitality trade, to network, do business and build lasting relationships.




Our future depends on how we sustain ourselves, our industry and our planet. Miss Meet talks about the triple bottom line and how to leave a legacy.

A conscious contribution

and, in my humble opinion, he couldn’t have been

indeed, our planet. And to be clear, I believe in

more right. Our profits, people and planet should

competition – to an extent; I believe in setting

be in harmony with each other; however, in this

an industry standard and ensuring that there is

context, profits take precedence and it is at the

enough to go around but that the big guys have a

absolute detriment of our people and planet.

role to play in this too.

We have already seen how important networks


Ask yourself the next time a lucrative

within the events industry are but the first thing

opportunity passes by your shores: what legacy

we often do when an opportunity presents itself

do you want to create from it and how can you

hat this industry has taught me above

is to make sure we milk it for all it’s worth. This

best do it?

all else is that we are magicians… I

is exactly the type of limiting mentality we need

have seen rabbits pulled out of hats

to break free from because it is the very

on a number of occasions, which always reminds

thing preventing growth of all

me just how quickly we have to think on our feet

other aspects of the triple

when it comes to crafting solutions to the various

bottom line.

conundrums we face on an almost daily basis. If you are part of this industry, you know by

It also ensures greater

now how to hustle and it’s not just what you


know; it’s who you know. The same can be said for

– growing

any other industry but having spent enough time

profits over

exposed to various industries, I would like to offer

people and

up another solution for how we progress, and this

planet will

is through greater inclusivity.


Our legacies, once we part from this world, will

bring about

be defined not just by the impact we make during


the time we exist but in the continuity of the

Even if it strains

success we leave long after we are gone.

the people who are

We are moving towards much more purpose-

left trying to manage

driven living, where we are more mindful than

the project, there is no way

ever as to what future we are providing for the

the opportunity will be shared,

coming generations. Yet, we are so fixated on

particularly not with a smaller outfit who might

growing profits, rather than our people. Why?

be our direct competition but who could also

American writer Edward Abbey wrote in his book titled The Journey Home that “growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell”,

index to advertisers: MEETINGS ATKV 28 Balalaika Hotel IBC Brandex OFC CTICC 25 Drums and Rhythm 6 Fancourt 10, 15 JEC 18, 27 Khoja Group 3 KZN Wildlife 30 Old Mutual 26 The Sales Counsel 24 SANCB Gatefold Southern Sun Monte Casino 23

34 • MEETINGS l SEPT/OCT 2019 

benefit from the opportunity. It is, of course, important to ensure profitability but not at the detriment of your people or,




Champagne Sports Resort

Emerald Casino

HB Connect Indaba Hotel


Le Franschhoek


Meropa – Mauritius




Ingwenyama Leeu Dassenberg Estates

Limo Networking


Eswatini Tourism Authority











Strand Hotel Swakopmund




Visas & Passports Unlimited












Meetings and events set among the urban sprawl can be a bit too familiar and lacklustre for those seeking something a little different. We travel beyond the big smoke to reveal some of South Africa’s finest natural and cultural experiences

Breaking free from

the concrete jungle I

n addition to its vast mineral wealth, South Africa is blessed with an abundance of flora and fauna. With a crossover of multiple biomes, the country is one of the most biodiverse in the world. This, coupled with our deep political history and blend of cultures, lends itself to a wide range of attractions, hotspots and activities that are not to be missed. While urban centres provide absolutely everything one could ever ask for in terms of convenience, there is a demand for that which is just a little more locally authentic,


particularly by international delegations who yearn to experience something other than a luxury inner-city hotel or the Diamond Walk at Sandton City. Hosting a meeting or event that stimulates the senses to create more meaningful and impactful experiences is at the heart of this. Getting there and back Ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa invested a significant amount of money into overhauling the country’s roads, logistics networks and airports. This investment into

improving infrastructure in combination with the overall development of the country has meant that a world-class, out-of-town experience for your delegates is within reach. However, your budget, timing, planning and ability to hustle a good deal will all determine where you go and how you get there. Logistics will be among your greatest planning and cost considerations. For the likes of a high-level executive, travel will need to be arranged so that it runs completely seamlessly while ensuring the maximum safety of all your delegates.


#OUTDOORESCAPES If you are out of your depth in bringing this aspect together, consult with the experts. Travel With Flair offers a range of services specialising in corporate travel and management. Its online service Cliqit is policy compliant and aims to provide clients with the highest cost savings possible, while enabling them to make reservations on the go. The twf app then coordinates itineraries with travellers so they can get to where they need to timeously, with the security of knowing their next movements. Corporate Traveller offers a similar end-to-end travel management service and caters for a range of groups and budgets. Part of the very well-established Flight Centre Travel Group, Corporate Traveller provides clients with total peace of mind, through access to free 24-hour emergency assistance, wherever they are in the world. If it’s more than people that you need to move, La Rouxnelle Logistics and Consulting, voted Best Logistics Company at the 2019 ROAR Awards, provides services in transport, customs formalities and on-site logistics assistance. Planning to a T Where you go will be contingent on the size of your delegation and the activities you are looking to incorporate. Also consider that there will likely be various meetings and formalities that need to take place around

any points of interest you are intending to schedule, so identifying a venue that is suitable for these purposes will be your first port of call. It is also important to bear in mind that you are now responsible for managing a group of people who all have individual needs – some of which may be rather complex – so ensure you have the support you need to handle this effectively. Have a contingency plan in place to address any potential crises that may arise in an emergency and look into indemnity or insurance so that any risk in this regard is mitigated as far as possible. If you are using the services of a travel management company, they will be able to help inform this.

Global travel and tourism in numbers


Travel and tourism as a percentage of global GDP

21.5% of all spend within the

travel and tourism sector is on business travel

R2.8 trillion

Travel and tourism contribution to Africa’s GDP

Safari me Among the greatest demand by visitors for alternative meeting or business event experiences in South Africa is found at venues and establishments where there is ample natural beauty and wildlife. Conversely, the opportunity this demand has created has yielded a slew of offerings promoting these experiences. A two-hour drive from Johannesburg and just a stone’s throw from the Pilanesberg National Park, Sun City remains a favourite as an all-in-one experience that truly strives to provide something for everyone. As one of the largest resorts in South Africa, it

R425.8 billion

Travel and tourism contribution to South Africa’s GDP

319 million

Jobs supported by travel and tourism = 10% of global employment Source: World Travel & Tourism Council

A sweet escape ‘Something different’ might seem standard practice by now for event organisers who are looking at an experience to set the scene for their delegation, so consider an interactive element that will stimulate the senses and invigorate the masses. Get creative around music and dance, which has been proven as an effective means to upliftment. Drums and Rhythm offers a range of team-building activities and event


add-ons to suit all budgets and can theme an event around a range of offerings. And if you need to spruce up your workshops and seminars, speak to the team members at Conceptual Eyes, who believe that the highest levels of productivity and the best results are brought about when both left and right brain thinking are harnessed.



e Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, situated in the Franschhoek Wine Valley, offers luxurious hotel accommodation and a truly unique winelands experience. This exclusive hotel features 79 elegant, en-suite rooms and suites, two lavish villas and 16 double or single villas. Each has its own breath-taking view over the Franschhoek mountains or manicured hotel gardens. The sophistication of Le Franschhoek Hotel is evident in their fine dining options which offer guests the opportunity to indulge in seasonal dishes from an a la carte menu. The hotel is well-known for its exceptional service and picturesque setting. In addition, Le Franschhoek is an ideal destination for a team building, corporate functions and even a fairy-tale wedding – boasting five world-class conference venues, able to accommodate 20 to 120 delegates.

Email: reservations@lefranschhoek.co.za • Tel: +27(21)876-8900 • www.lefranschhoek.co.za


can comfortably accommodate sizeable delegations. And with an extensive range of activities for all ages – from its golf course that hosts major international tournaments, to its Valley of the Waves water park – you will be spoilt for choice on how to enthral guests. And its state-of-the-art conference centre will address any official orders of business. For a short jaunt outside the city, The Lion & Safari Park is ideally situated between Pretoria and Johannesburg. Event organisers can choose from a variety of packages that include Zulu dancing, marimba bands, DJs and solo artists, and its main function area comes complete with its own private kitchen, bar and boma that can take up to 200 guests. Its two restaurants, the Wetlands and the Bull n Buck, are better suited for smaller groups, and more intimate functions can be held at one of the two private mezzanine areas that overlook the park.



of jobs created over the last five years were within the travel and tourism sector


Go coastal If you are looking for something for smaller groups that is focused on conferencing with a wellness element, The View Boutique Hotel & Spa in Amanzimtoti, KwaZulu-Natal, offers conferencing facilities for groups of up 50 people. Set among tranquil, leafy surrounds, the five-star venue, located on the Sapphire Coast, provides breathtaking ocean views while the Spa at the View provides a range of wellness and beauty therapies, with the latest holistic treatments




FANTASTIC YEAR END CELEBRATIONS Treat your staff the Premier way

Premier Hotels and Resorts offer a wonderful collection of properties throughout South Africa, and are renowned for warm hospitality, spectacular banqueting standards and friendly, caring staff. Book your year-end event or conference at any Premier or Faircity Hotel or Resort and choose from premium, festive event offers, to great value-for-money options - we have something for everyone to suit your budget. Our package offers are negotiable if you overnight with us. Remember - if you are the organiser, you stay free, subject to 10 or more rooms booked! *24 hour overnight and banqueting packages commissionable to bona fide organisers. | T’s and C’s apply, these offers are valid from September to 15 December 2019.

INFO@PREMIERHOTELS.CO.ZA | 086 111 5555 | WWW.PREMIERHOTELS.CO.ZA INFO@FAIRCITY.CO.ZA | 010 001 9495 | WWW.FAIRCITY.CO.ZA Eastern Cape: East London | Free State: Bloemfontein | Gauteng: Johannesburg, Sandton, OR Tambo, Midrand, Pretoria KZN: Drakensberg, Durban, Himeville, Port Edward, Richards Bay, Scottburgh (under renovation) | Mpumalanga: White River | Western Cape: Cape Town, Knysna





leaving your guests feeling relaxed and revitalised. The vast Zimbali area is home to a number of hotels and venues that provide superb conferencing facilities. Set against a coastal backdrop – with a host of activities including golfing, hiking and horseback riding – your guests will feel revitalised among the natural surrounds. Zimbali’s custom-built conference venues are designed to international specifications and Zimbali Conferences, the area’s designated conferencing team, will help you put together a package, including your menus, to suit your needs, budget and guest requirements. A bit of culture Budget and time constraints might not make it possible for a stint out of town that caters for each guest’s transport and/or accommodation needs, so consider something a little more local for a delegation still looking for an alternative experience. For guests who are interested in our local history, one of the richest experiences they can have is at Constitution Hill. While this can be exceptionally hard-hitting for some, Constitution Hill is “a living museum that

tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy”, giving deep insights into South Africa’s past. The premises was once a former prison inhabited by some of South Africa’s most renowned political activists and freedom fighters; today, it is home to the country’s Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land and that which endorses the rights of our nation’s citizens. Tours and

signature events can be arranged through Constitution Hill’s offices. South Africa has a history that spans beyond its politics and the origins of man found can be found less than an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. The Cradle of Humankind is a palaeoanthropological site that was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1999. Encompassing Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves, it covers an area of 47 000 hectares. There are various activities and points of interest within the area and Maropeng, in particular, offers venues and facilities suitable for conferencing or hosting private functions, should you want to combine your activity with a meeting or event.





Conferencing with a difference Looking for unique conferencing packages and activities to delight delegates? Look no further than Spier Hotel & Wine Farm.


ituated in the Stellenbosch Winelands, just 40 minutes from Cape Town and 20 minutes from Cape Town International Airport, the historic Spier Wine Farm has 12 different meeting venues that can host meetings, workshops, seminars, exhibitions, performances as well as conferences both large and small. The four-star country-inspired Spier Hotel has 153 rooms to accommodate delegates and with ample space and conferencing options, Spier offers a host of activities for your delegates. For a small fee per person, you can add a delightful twist to your day conference – Spier caters for a wide range of fun indoor and outdoor team-building activities for groups of all sizes, including The Amazing Race, art expression, drumming, laughing yoga, silent discos and potjiekos cook-offs. Let your delegates try their hand at winemaking. Perfect for smaller groups of up to 20, a red or white wine blending experience in the historic Cow Shed can be arranged. Delegates can also sample Spier’s acclaimed wine at the airy, art-filled tasting room on the banks of the Spier dam, or in the conference foyer or another private venue during a conference. Host a private dinner with a difference at one of Spier’s venues – outdoor spaces can be booked for groups of all sizes, while

Blend your own wine


Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery offers ‘low and slow’ roasted BBQ meats. The Spier Hotel Restaurant menu includes everything from burgers and game to traditional regional specialities. Delegates can visit Spier’s vibrant, colourful craft market and choose from a range of authentic, hand-made pieces – ranging vastly in terms of size and medium. While browsing, watch artists, designers and makers working on a beautiful wire and beadwork trophy head, an intricate painting, or weaving recycled aluminium into a sculpture. If you want to ensure guests leave Spier feeling relaxed and revitalised, a quick yoga session on the beautiful lush lawns can be offered before, during or after a conference. The Spier Spa provides express treatments that can be done in the conference foyer during coffee breaks and lunches. Tour the Spier Wine Farm on a Segway or, at no additional charge, guests can explore the Spier grounds on Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycles. Designed by the Chicago-based World Bicycle Relief and assembled in South Africa, these sturdy and strong machines are designed specifically for rough African terrain. For more options on Spier’s Conferencing with Consciousness offering, visit www.spier.co.za.

Glide through vineyards

Bike the farm

Upgrade your break

Smoothie cycling

Make it in mosaic

Indulge in a spa pampering

Sustainability is woven into every facet of the Spier conferencing experience, from water-saving devices in the bathrooms to rooftop solar panels that provide 40% of the conference centre’s energy needs. Every drop of Spier’s wastewater and over 98% of its solid waste is recycled. Spier invests in a wide array of learning initiatives that empower staff and communities to create positive social and environmental change. By booking one of Spier’s Conferencing for Good packages, your event is supporting these efforts – all the while treating your delegates to a memorable experience. Spier has selected three organisations in the surrounding community to which guests can donate much-needed items, including school stationery and educational toys, should they have space available in their luggage. Spier will work with conference and event organisers to ensure donation boxes are available during their conference.

Running routes




Create an immersive incentive experience

A fabulous trip away or a once-in-a-lifetime experience is ideal for an incentive. Meetings explores the ways in which you can ensure your incentive is on point.



Leave it to me


tress is among the greatest challenges faced by people in this day and age, and it can certainly take its toll on the workforce. As such, incentives are, and should be, receiving more attention as a must-have versus just a nice-to-have. We unpack how these are so exceptionally effective.

Logistics is often the most stressful aspect of travel, so if you can arrange people’s movements throughout the course of their itineraries, it will immediately put them at ease and help them feel relaxed. There are a range of travel outfits specialising in complete packages, which include transfers and shuttles at each point, so consult with the experts on the services and options.

After prolonged periods of having to travel in and out of a city, day in and day out, a change of scenery is going to be a great accomplishment for your incentive delegates. And if you are looking local, you can’t go wrong with the bush, berg or beach – if your budget allows for it, go for a blend of all three.




Doing something more

Health and wellness

Africa is where it’s at

Incorporate an element of ubuntu by giving back to the community in some way. If you are able to take your delegates to a project they can be involved in – whether it’s a legacy or upcycling initiative, or assisting with packing meals for a less-fortunate community – incorporating an uplifting, feel-good component will provide a different perspective.

At a time when we all need to focus more on our health, consider wellness incentives such as retreats and spas to allow your delegates to relax and provide them with an experience that revitalises them. This may not be everybody’s cup of tea, so for a more adventurous crowd, consider an outdoor affair that may involve something like white water rafting or horseback riding (see our feature on page 2).

Considering options within Africa might provide you with the unforgettable, world-class experience you are looking for without blowing your budget. Kenya and Tanzania are one-ofa-kind destinations and among Africa’s most sought-after, as are Mauritius and Cape Verde for idyllic beach getaways. Of course, seeing the great pyramids of Egypt is one of those real bucket list items.


Change of scenery



Hotels & Resorts



There’s always something to celebrate at Fancourt, and this time, it’s the launch of the Business Playground offering for 2020.

Discover South Africa’s business playground


ancourt is a long-standing Garden Route landmark renowned for its three award-winning golf courses; however, ‘leading conference and incentive destination’ is yet another proficiency to add to its repertoire. Unapologetically engineered for both business and leisure, Fancourt is set to lure in corporates looking for a little more carrot, with just the right amount of stick. Behind its whitewashed walls, performance meets pleasure within carefully considered conference spaces ranging from smaller venues accommodating groups of between 20 and 70 delegates, and a main ballroom hosting up to


400 guests. Four on-site restaurants each offer a distinctive menu and atmosphere, while The Club Lounge lends itself to less formal gatherings, predinner cocktails and networking functions. With Fancourt’s flexible team of professionals ready to execute any request, co-workers and clients can stay on task while unleashing their creativity. From dine-arounds and wine pairings in Bedouin tents to festive shebeen evenings in the cart barn and chic luncheons at the 17th hole of the Montagu course, expect your next event at Fancourt to extend far beyond your imagination. When it comes time to play, the estate brims with leisure facilities for corporates ready to close their

laptops and hit the velvet-green fairways. Rally your team at the leisure centre, play doubles on the tennis court, explore the walking trails or find your business bliss point at the spa. Accommodation ranges across 133 rooms, complete with all the mod cons your team could want, including those requests for something crisp and cold to come home to, even if it must be enjoyed while finishing a few last-minute emails.


24 hrs conference


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


Tapping into a

R145 billion market Having demonstrated remarkable growth in the past year, business events in South Africa have proven their potential as a key economic driver. With a R93 million government-backed bidding support programme to grow opportunities within the local business events industry, the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB) forms a crucial part of this dialogue. THE SANCB’S BIDDING SUPPORT PROGRAMME IN ACTION



Improve packaged programmes

Financial support committed to 93 bid submissions = R28.651 million




Bid support = R17.951 million  Site inspection support = R2.85 million  Delegate boosting and on-site event support = R7.85 million


80 429 delegates

Packages to be marketed to registered delegates and PCOs

435 conference days

EXHIBITIONS Financial support committed to 16 exhibitions = R3.155 million


SANCB to potentially subsidise improved packages


Transactions platform to be housed on conference website

Focus on family-friendly packages

Bid support = R2.6 million  Site inspection support = R50 000  Delegate boosting and on-site event support  R500 000


4 481 exhibitors

66 exhibitions days

+27 (0)11 895 3000 convention@southafrica.net www.businessevents.southafrica.net

THE SANCB ASSOCIATION STRATEGY – 101 Member of international associations

Host regular business events


Member of regional association

Potential to bid for international and regional conferences


17 5



Cover all your bases Travelling with a larger party carries with it a degree of risk when it comes to safety and security, so make sure you take into consideration all the various factors that could arise during your trip.


he benefits of incentives are undeniable – for our top company achievers, incentives, as the name lends itself to, drive performance in the form of attaining set business objectives. Incentives have the potential to increase sales by rewarding top performers and motivating others to achieve and exceed targets. And as a team, incentives improve overall teamwork, with enhanced communication, collaboration and elevated morale being just some of the wonderful benefits of a successful incentive. However, there are risks that can be encountered and, where safety is concerned, rather be overprepared than miss a crucial check. We bring you some crucial dos and don’ts as recommended by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE):

DO: • Check and recheck everything • Get everything in writing • Preview the events yourself, as far as possible • Prepare to accept a degree of risk, but prepare as best possible • Have a crisis response plan • Train your staff on how to respond to unforeseen events • Rehearse the handling of potential risks • Make contingency plans

DON’T: • Use unknown suppliers • Go to high-risk places • Include extreme sports •O  perate on the assumption that risk will not occur

Checklist Identify the risks  ssess the impacts on key assets A or events  etermine the potential consequences D of specific risks Determine ways to reduce risk  reate and prioritise risk management C procedures Source: www.siteglobal.com





Rather meet in Mauritius…

and MICE island-style!

Planning an incentive trip to reward your top performers, an international conference for a few thousand delegates, an exclusive high-level meeting for a government delegation, or a product launch? Look no further than the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, where you will find the perfect venue – staffed by a professional and dedicated support team – to deliver a unique, world-class event, with a touch of island-style elegance and flair.


ust a short flight from South Africa’s three major cities, and visa-free for South African passport holders, the paradise island of Mauritius is fast becoming one of Africa’s tourism and meetings jewels, with its abundance of scenic beauty, hidden treasures to explore, and a deliciously exotic melting pot of cuisines and cultures. MICE market Mauritius offers the MICE buyer the infrastructure and superstructure to cater for a variety of groups and sizes, all year round. As a MICE-friendly destination, the island has all the key ingredients to host successful meetings, incentive groups, conferences and events. The quality and variety of accommodation, the attention to detail in service delivery, state-of-theart conferencing venues, professional and friendly staff, and the additional activities on offer all guarantee a unique experience. Activities The island boasts a wide variety of activities that can be specifically geared around MICE groups, ranging from golf to adventure


sports such as quad biking, trekking, mountain biking, trail running, zip-lining, kite-surfing, parasailing, canoeing and skydiving. The island also offers countless stunning outdoor locations for interactive, actionpacked and adrenalin-fuelled activities and adventures for team-building exercises. When to visit Mauritius has a tropical climate, with warm weather all year round. The best months to visit the island are from May to December, when the weather is cooler, dry and sunny. Although January to March is termed ‘cyclone season’ and may not always offer optimal beach weather, there are a host of other activities to engage in, such as marlin fishing, hiking, trail running and cycling, as well as the many cultural festivities and spiritual festivals that take place during this time. Enjoy everything that Mauritius has to offer as your ideal MICE destination, combining quality, elegance and style, in a paradisiacal island setting. #RatherMeetInMauritius – the idyllic Indian Ocean destination for all your MICE needs!

Calling all MICE agents: Big rewards for big groups with MI Mauritius #MIrewards We’ve recently launched the exciting MI Mauritius #MIRewards MICE incentive programme to encourage more group bookings to the beautiful island of Mauritius. The campaign is all about rewarding YOU for keeping Mauritius top of mind when responding to your clients’ MICE briefs, and making bookings for meetings, incentives, conferences, events and groups. The programme runs from 1 June 2019 until 31 March 2020. All you have to do is confirm a group booking (a minimum of 10 pax) during this period to stand a chance to win one of three grand prizes of fabulous holidays for two to the paradise island! There are also monthly lucky draw cash prizes up for grabs for registered participants – and another bonus holiday prize will be given away as an added incentive! Don’t delay, get registered today: www.mimauritius.co.za REMEMBER: All confirmed qualifying bookings made from 01 June 2019 are valid and can be uploaded.

For more information: www.tourism-mauritius.mu www.ratherbeinmauritius.co.za Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority – SA representatives: Janet de Kretser / Philippa Piguet – Meropa Communications Tel: +27 (0)11 506 7300 Email: mauritius@meropa.co.za



U Amanzingwe Lodge have a dedicated and professional team who are committed to successfully organizing and hosting Conferences, team building,workshops, and events Coordinating & planning events or conferences? ..Its one phone call away from being perfect!!

We have..... Accommodation

The 42 Luxury Units, 4 Luxury Family Units and 2 Super Luxury

Conference |venues


(The Spa is open 7 days a week, and is the ideal break, for those wishing to be pampered during their bush getaway)

Our corporate spaces consist of an executive boardroom, and three meeting rooms ( Accommodates up to 100 delegates)


Eat &


Buka restaurant The perfect, tranquil setting with spectacular views over the mountains & valleys

&Team building

(Our Zipline Adventure is made up of 7 slides and 10 platforms ranging from 2m - 14m in high

We create Special packages To suit Your needs

www.amanzingwe.co.za | info@amanzingwe.co.za | 012 205 8600

SOUNDBITE About CHEF DONOVAN Donovan started his career as a trainee chef at Quarters Hotel doing a three-year internship and qualified in 2006. A year later, he moved to Dish restaurant as a chef de partie and was promoted to executive chef within six months; after a year and a half, he moved to Elangeni. In 2014, he joined Champagne Sports Resort as executive chef.

little basket – suddenly it becomes a lot more appealing.

What is your favourite dish to make?

From behind the scenes Champagne Sports Resorts executive chef Donovan Bower shares his take on catering for events.

A four-hour slow roasted loin of lamb with mirepoix and stock, presented with pomme william, green bean and carrot bundle, and finished with a rich jus.

What is your number one catering tip? Always try to understand your clients’ needs and do your best to assist wherever you can.

What is your favourite kitchen equipment or gadget? My 350 mm chef’s knife.

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

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

People have become more health conscious with dietary and allergy needs becoming more common. The need to show food allergies has also become an important part of the food industry.

The key factor for conferencing catering is taking the guests themselves into consideration; if it’s an all-male conference, meal expectations and preferences tend to be quite different to womenonly functions.

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

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

Yes, when I was younger, but I stopped as I got older.

We are moving toward more foods from the earth, with grains like quinoa, millet and barley being a big part of this. It’s not quite becoming vegan eating but it’s moving in that direction.

It’s all in the plating – a toasted sandwich cut in half with chips on a white round plate is plain; however, take that same sandwich, cut it into quarters and place it on a wooden board with the chips in a

What is your favourite food memory?

What dishes are you asked to make most often? Our lamb curry, oxtail, and dark chocolate mousse.

Are there any foods you just don’t like? Seafood – I’m highly allergic.

I have ADHD. At school, we had a subject that involved a lot of cooking; I loved doing it, it kept my mind busy and it’s the reason I chose this industry.

What is the proudest moment in your career as a chef? During my first year at Elangeni, when I soft-poached 160 quail eggs in five minutes and placed them on top of a salmon tartare, making sure every egg was sent out warm. The best part was been called out and congratulated.

Who in the food world do you most admire? Shaun Munro – he has been my mentor since I started my traineeship in 2003. I had the pleasure of working under him at Dish restaurant and again at Elangeni from 2007 to 2014.

What are your favourite foods to cook with? An array of herbs and spices.

Did you eat your veggies as a child?

Baking Christmas mince pies with my mom and eating half of them.

What is one ingredient you cannot cook without? Garlic.


When did you know you wanted to be a chef?

What do you think is the most challenging ingredient to work with? Turkey is very difficult to work with because if it’s not cooked correctly, it can be extremely dry and lose its flavour.

What’s your “death row” meal, as the late Anthony Bourdain put it? A big bowl of macaroni and cheese covered in All Gold tomato sauce.




Self-starter Noli Mini, owner of Relax Spas and chairperson of the Young Professionals segment of FEDHASA Cape, shares her journey on rising to the top.


efore embarking on my solo journey as a mobile spa therapist in 2010, I worked as a therapist at two hotel spas. I decided to pursue this journey as an entrepreneur after finding a lack of opportunities for women of colour to grow into positions of leadership in the spa industry, and I saw the gap in the market for a more formal mobile spa business in Cape Town. I felt frustrated as a result of having ideas burning in my core and not having the platform to have them implemented. This motivated me to start my own business. I’m a big dreamer and believe I was born for a greater purpose: to leave something of significance – a legacy of opportunities for those who come after me. After a year, I realised the path was more difficult than I thought. I had to differentiate myself from the rest and started working closely with a few hotels in order to create a platform where I could build something of significance. While working at the then Arabella Spa, known now as Heavenly Spa by Westin, I received an opportunity to do a Hotel Supervisory Certificate. This was the start of my love for the hospitality industry, as it gave me a snapshot of hotel operations and how the different hotel departments are interlinked. In 2011, I joined FEDHASA Cape as a youth member; in 2012, I was voted in as the chairperson for the division’s Youth Segment, which, under my guidance, changed to FEDHASA Young Professionals in 2013.

ABOUT NOLI Noli’s career started in 2002 as a spa therapist at a hotel spa in East London, Eastern Cape. A year later, she relocated to Cape Town to pursue greater opportunities. She is now 38 years old and owns her own mobile spa business.

This segment creates a platform for young professionals to engage with leaders in the hospitality industry and, in some instances, link them to mentors to walk with them as they build their careers in the hospitality industry. Alongside this role, I was developing my business and decided open a spa suite at Protea Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Waterfront Breakwater Lodge in 2015.

Strength to strength This year, I opened a day spa at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Cape Town. I was also hand-picked by Marriott International to do spa consulting and spa support for two of their spas (Mount Grace Country House & Spa in Magaliesburg and Arabella Hotel & Spa in Kleinmond). In June, I had the opportunity to travel to Dubai through a partnership with Marriott International for training, visiting Marriott International spas to learn spa operations on an international level. This was yet another game changer in my career, proving that nothing is impossible if you stay the path, commit and stay focused. In July, I was again voted in as the lead for FEDHASA Cape Young Professionals segment and next year, in 2020, my business turns 10.

Noli has been recognised in the following: • 2015 Cape Talk Small Business Awards – Top 5 • 2017 Finalist Regional Business Women Achiever Award – Top 5 • 2017 National Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs Ambassador Award – Top 5 • Entrepreneur Magazine: one of the TOP 50 Entrepreneurs to Watch





Making a case for year-end functions With a slowing economy and companies facing ever-tightened budgets, do year-end functions equate to unnecessary spend or are they an important consideration on the agenda?


his year has been a tough one for South Africa. Stats SA figures indicate that the economy contracted by 3.2% in the first quarter of this year and, while growth rebounded 3.1% in the positive in the next period, we are still not out of the woods. In the wake of political and economic uncertainty, this has had a knock-on effect on both consumer and business spending, which has left employers struggling to keep their ships afloat and seen unemployment skyrocketing to 29%. Minimising overheads is the most sensible strategy for the survival of each business; however, it has meant that, across the board, existing employees are facing more pressure than ever to deliver and do so with limited resources and support.

Cue the employee experience revolution… In our personal lives, a sense of belonging creates a deeper sense of purpose and it is no different in a business or a professional context; employees need


to feel they are part of the decisions and outcomes of the companies that employ them. Realising that this approach brings out the best in their employees, and business, there has been a naturally increasing trend towards this dynamic. Albeit a vast quantum leap from a traditional top-down approach, it is still up to owners, directors and managers – the powers that be – to ensure that opportunities are created to bring about greater cohesion between their teams. And while a strong business model will help weather the storm, it is the people who are riding it out with you who can be the differentiator between surviving and thriving. Understanding the relationship between employees and employers in this light means that more focus could and should be given towards the value-add of staff gatherings such as year-end functions – more so because of what they should be intended for, which is to wrap up on the year gone by. This needn’t be an over-the-top, opulent affair; however, there should be a time, day, or evening dedicated to affirming the core values of your company and what each member of the

team brings to the table. It is key to highlight your team’s objectives by showcasing staff achievements and leadership efforts.

Still need a reason why? If, as an employer or business owner, you can see the need for an occasion such as a year-end function, this can also set the tone for the spirit in which it is held throughout the next annual cycle. A year-end function is intended to be a companywide affair and it is important that everyone, from the tea lady to the owner, participates on a level playing field, so that any perceived hierarchies in this instance fall away and everyone can come together as peers. Lastly, managers and decision-makers should not forget the human element, as it makes them more approachable and relatable to their staff. A stronger interest in company goings-on not only motivates staff to perform well but, during times of crisis, it could play a significant role in how you come together as a team.




Avoid the end-of-year drear Have a year-end function for every budget

Year-end functions might not be at the fore of every business’s priorities but they should be an important item on the agenda. Meetings brings you some nifty tips and tricks on how to deliver a memorable event for every budget.

Play it safe If alcohol is served during your year-end function, ensure that your guests do not drink and drive. Ride services are often amenable to providing discounts and deals for guaranteed bulk rides, so err on the side of caution and ensure safety first.


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If you are on a tighter budget, don’t bite off more than you can chew – keep in mind the fundamentals of a year-end function; the focus should be on your staff and team, and your objectives for them within the broader company vision. If you are only catering for a few members of staff, consider a themed office party with decor and a few eats. If there’s room for it, a small gift or voucher for your employees as a token of your appreciation for their efforts, particularly if there haven’t been any bonuses, would be meaningful.

You don’t need to do it all. Treating employees to a lunch out at a popular venue and toasting them with a brief speech to recognise and thank key members of the team who are making a difference is far more impactful than not acknowledging the occasion at all. There are a host of hotels and restaurants offering year-end specials for every size and type of party, where you can get away with budgeting a few hundred rand per head. Remind staff of the fundamentals and reflect on the shared contribution made by the team.


If you have a sizeable budget for a large number of people, find a venue that specialises in corporate gala functions and that has a good year-end package, where you can perhaps provide elements like catering, decor and entertainment at a bargain. Try strike the right balance between formalities and festivities – theme your event to the nines and include fun sideline engagements such as photo booths or games. Giveaways are always a hit, so line up your budget or rope in sponsors for prizes.


Day conference packages A little bit of country in the heart of Sandton. The Protea Hotel by Marriott® Johannesburg Balalaika is situated in the heart of Sandton within easy reach of the business and entertainment areas. It is a popular conference and function venue. From intimate gatherings to gala events for 80 to 200 people. Our efficient, knowledgeable and discreet conferencing team is always on hand to ensure your event runs smoothly and professionally and to cater to any particular requirements. During breaks relax in the beautiful gardens, and after the business is done meet in the Lords Bar for a casual get together. Attached to the Hotel is the renowned Bull Run Restaurant. Enjoy some of the best steaks in Johannesburg in an atmosphere of New York sophistication.









































































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FOR BOOKINGS OR ENQUIRIES Terms & Conditions Apply. Prokard discounts do not apply. Subject to availability of venues and facilities. Prices vary based on size of the group and experience chosen. Available at Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton. 20 Maude Street, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Af rica.

+27 (0) 11 322 5000




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Meetings September October 2019  

The best way to reach the MICE and business events industry is through Meetings magazine. Meetings brings together all the relevant stakehol...

Meetings September October 2019  

The best way to reach the MICE and business events industry is through Meetings magazine. Meetings brings together all the relevant stakehol...

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