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July ‘10

Elegant. Flexible. Accessible. Showcasing our people, projects, events and the environment

All hands on deck Talking to Adolf Venter (Chief Executive) and Charles Wilson (General Manager Operations), one gains the impression that the success that Gallagher is achieving is through a management philosophy of ‘all hands on deck’.

launch of the Gautrain. During this time they met President Zuma and members of his cabinet. “We make every effort to be present at most of the events to ensure everyone is comfortable - from arrival until departure. All our staff members must be present – from operations to management. This is a general ruling and also applies to smaller events. Every customer is important.”

about everything that would further help sustain Gallagher as a fine and aspiring brand.” Gallagher strives to be compliant in every respect and, to maintain compliance throughout the value chain

While he shares the concerns of other venue owners in terms of recessionary trends and lack of business the industry might be experiencing, they are not negative. Through proactive engagement they ensure continued market interest in Gallagher, from both a local and international viewpoint. “Our focus on international business has already paid dividends with bookings for the China Sourcing Fair in December and again for next year. Our venue is open to all sectors and the mix of past events confirms that we are ready to host anyone.” Adolf Venter - Chief Executive Officer

Following some months as ‘acting’ CEO, Adolf has since been permanently appointed to this position and describes his first months as a challenge. However, he is now firmly in the saddle and confirms that he is building on past performances, as the groundwork for today has already been put in place by many of the team members before his appointment. Adolf is complimentary towards the rest of the management team – and in fact towards every one of the 55 staff members with whom he and Charles interact on a daily basis. His priority was to first focus on the internal affairs of shaping Gallagher into a prime venue and to support the sales team. Much of this has been achieved and, together with Charles, Mandy Barrell and Ciné de Jager, he is now working on new marketing and business strategies. The EXCO is present at all the major events hosted at the venue, including the

They stand firm on the quality of service as the key to Gallagher’s success and monitor every activity on site, starting with early morning meetings with the maintenance and operations teams and by walking the perimeter of the estate. A policy of communication from the bottom up is evident as employees are given the opportunity to set their own deadlines and to communicate these to management for further guidance. “We build on our existing business and the volume of repeat business from many well known brands serves as an indicator that we are on the right track. Retention of brands and the acquisition of new business, as well as hosting of events that may not have been traditional for our venue, are very much part of our strategy. We want to deliver on promises through service excellence and by taking familiarity out of service delivery. The business of managing a venue has no room for mediocrity. Although the team is young, the members are passionate

Charles Wilson - General Manager Operations

the same rules apply for suppliers. Health and safety is taken extremely seriously, while empowerment procedures are followed as a matter of course. Promotion is given on merit and by monitoring the progress of every staff member. Recently twelve staff members were promoted, while job rotation to more suitable positions is also facilitated. High potential candidates are identified and experience is an advantage. For example, candidates are moved from packing to banqueting, from reception to maintenance administration, and from cleaning to clerical positions in the Finance Department. An open door policy, upheld by management, allows all employees to discuss their growth and career path development. This also allows for any potential issues to be resolved with immediacy and transparency.


Adolf and Charles say that feedback is critical for future performance. “After every event we request the completion of a feedback report and an excellent pass rate of nearly 100% is received. In the event of a complaint, no matter how minor this may be, it gets rectified immediately by management and the relevant department so as to avoid a repeat. We have a minute-by-minute record

of proceedings of all the events. This helps in achieving a rating as a most flexible venue which can be attributed to the attitude of the staff and the training that has been provided and that will be sustained.” While every venue has its challenges, Adolf and Charles see these as opportunities and are working towards Gallagher Convention

Centre as South Africa’s leading integrated venue to provide in all the needs of those who want to enjoy a memorable event. “We will continue to focus on our strengths and to further enhance them by giving our staff the necessary tools, by teaching them the value of a customer and by leading from the front.”

Public relations glamour at Gallagher The annual PRISA PRISM Awards ceremony was held at Gallagher on 31 March 2010 to reward outstanding communicators in public relations. This was the 14th year the awards were held, with this year’s theme being ‘Public Relations - the energy behind the brand’. We sponsored the venue and dinner, where the panel of judges, consisting of senior professionals in the industry, announced the winners. The awards, aimed at recognising communication and public relations professionals who have effectively incorporated creativity, strategy and professionalism into public relations and

communication campaigns, received a record the timings of the programme. We received breaking number of entries this year, making very positive feedback from our guests, both the judges’ task complex. in terms of the great presentation of the menu courses, as well as the excellent The ceremony has always been a highlight quality and taste – especially the dessert!” in the public relations and communication industry’s diary and this year’s event was Says Adolf Venter: “We were excited about spectacular. Says Bridget van Holdt, PRISM hosting the awards ceremony, because we Awards Spokesperson: “The awards understand the value of a first-class ceremony was a huge success. The event communications and public relations went off smoothly, due largely to your campaign. The hard work and creativity of support, good planning and quick response these professionals were awarded with to our requests. We appreciated the fact that excellence and we are pleased that we management was always on-site, supervised played a part in making the evening a the staff so well and kept us up-to-date with success.” what was happening, helping us to keep to


Chef’s delight After fourteen years of preparing and serving food fit for kings, wear and tear has taken its toll on our kitchen infrastructure. Much to the delight of Executive Chef Gordon Fraser and his 23 member staff, major renovations were done to improve the efficiency of the kitchen. Walls were knocked down and a new walk-in fridge was built. New temperature controls and insulation were installed as well as 100 millimeter polystyrene roof insulation. The project, which took six weeks to complete, also features a new butchery with modern equipment, insulated walls and extractor fans, a separate facility for the pastry chefs and a back up ‘satellite’ kitchen if needed for major functions. ‘Dry stores’ for non-perishable stock have been relocated, while the entrance for receiving of goods has been redesigned to further comply with all relevant health and hygiene regulations. A separate kitchen has been installed, dedicated to supply exhibition organisers and their visitors. As before, Gallagher accommodates all the requirements for the preparation of Halaal food. Says Gordon: “It is truly a pleasure to work in the new

environment. As we have to cater from small executive functions to thousands of guests in any one session, the quality of a kitchen is the heart of any professional organisation in the hospitality industry – no matter how

professional the kitchen staff may be. Now the inside of Gallagher is a perfect match to what our guests perceive from the outside and we are ready to please everyone’s taste buds.”

Unique benefits to Gallagher visitors

Following extensive research to add value to the many out of town visitors who come to our premises for exhibitions, events and conferences, we have entered into an arrangement with Midrand Central Reservations (MCR) to supply accommodation solutions and associated benefits.

Says MCR Managing Director, Maryna Esterhuyse: “We recorded our first success with Gallagher Convention Centre as early as 2007 when we facilitated accommodation for the delegates to the ANC conference. Since then we have firmed our relationship as a partner to Gallagher and have provided a free service – from requirements for one night accommodation to group bookings of up to 2000 delegates and more. We delight ourselves in service excellence as we have to match our delivery to that of Gallagher”. Maryna says that this is a complete and integrated service with strong ties to Midrand Tourism. “We handle the reservations relevant to pre-announced budgets – from basic accommodation to matching executive requirements. With more than 90 hotels and guest houses from which to choose, the MCR offering allows

for everyone’s taste and budget. The offering also includes coordination of travel arrangements, account management and settlement of payments.” Ciné de Jager, Sales Manager for Gallagher: “The partnership with MCR is a win-win solution for the many visitors who attend events at our premises – especially those who need to extend their stay beyond one day. Midrand has become pivotal to the South African business arena, and infrastructural developments have created new business opportunities for companies like MCR to supply a unique service to our industry – together with our own offering.” For reservations contact: or visit our website


Maintaining a professional infrastructure conditioning. Having been a service provider for companies such as BHP Billiton, SASOL, and the Carlton Hotel during the years when it was considered a prime venue, he is well informed about the necessity of forward planning. “With the extreme temperatures we experience in this part of the world, technology for refrigeration and air conditioning is pivotal to both guest and worker relations. We address critical issues on ventilation on a daily basis and it forms part of the proactive maintenance team’s mandate to project- manage the property – especially in the halls where several thousand guests can convene at any given time summer or winter. The comfort of our guests will always be a priority”, says William.

One of the most critical areas by which a venue is judged, is its functionality and condition of the infrastructure. With a maintenance team of twelve employees, Phillip Sebkobane and William Barnett take charge of reactive and proactive maintenance respectively. Having worked for Southern Sun for seven years, Phillip is well acquainted with the measures that need to be in place for the hospitality industry. “Being in Gallagher’s reactive maintenance squad means that we have to be very quick off the mark and react

to our clients’ and tenants’ needs and ensure that everything remains in good working order. This includes lighting, air conditioning, painting and other repair work for the offices, board rooms, venue halls and even the gardens and general estate maintenance. We also take care of the maintenance for the Pan African Parliament building which receives high ranking officials, including diplomats, therefore everything must be in good working order.” William recently joined the maintenance team as a specialist in refrigeration and air

Every Thursday an operations meeting is scheduled with the team and with relevant sub-contractors. Says Phillip: “At our operations meetings we do our forward planning of all the activities and share the critical issues with management who participate in tabling solutions for our strategic maintenance programmes. We also make every effort to comply with safety regulations and uphold the green status that Gallagher enjoys. For example, the parking areas have been installed with sensor lighting that is energy saving. ” Phillip and William agree: “Prevention is better than cure and, through communication with management, any ‘hot spots’ are solved immediately and in this way a professional infrastructure will be maintained at all times.”

Health and Safety first Health and safety is a big consideration for exhibition and event organisers when choosing a venue. This is why at Gallagher we pride ourselves on having the highest standards and making health and safety one of our main priorities. We have every intention to sustain all relevant measures. Gallagher is a venue that hosts various family orientated shows and government VIP’s visit regularly. For this reason we need to be

focussed on the security of the venue. We have 72 CCTV cameras around the estate and security offices on site, and have recently audited our health and safety regulations. We believe that organisers should insist that venue owners observe relevant health and safety checks and be fully compliant with legislation. We have a huge commitment in this regard and various standards have been implemented, which include ISO 14001 for

the environment, OHSAS 18001 (British) standards for health and safety, as well as SSC 2000 standards for accreditation by the International Food Council for food safety. We have also improved our investment in training, focusing on health and safety. Gallagher is one of the safest venues in Gauteng and we work hard to maintain this status.


First Construction Summit held at Gallagher The first African Construction Summit was held at Gallagher Convention Centre, 26 - 27 May 2010 and addressed current issues facing the African and international construction industry. The Summit was the initiative of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). The summit was aimed at role players and stakeholders in the industry, including engineers, architects and government officials. Speakers who were invited include, among others, Hon. Trevor Manuel, Hon. Geoffrey Doidge, Hon. Ibrahim Patel, the chairperson of CIOB International, Prof. Li

Shirong and the president of CIOB Africa, Bridgette Gasa. Topics included sustainable development, carbon efficiency, green building and the role of public enterprises. There were also talks about steering the changing market and viewpoints and advice from industry leaders. Says Adolf Venter: “The construction industry is normally a pointer to a country’s economic activity and wealth and is also a major provider of employment. The challenge is to maintain the drive that was created for the world’s biggest soccer festival, with much activity having taken place in the construction of stadiums, hotels, airports and road and rail

infrastructure. The Summit delivered valuable insight to the construction industry of the 21st century and provided answers on the way forward. With our modern facilities, including the timeless design of our own buildings, it was suitable for the event to be hosted at Gallagher. As responsible citizens we are concerned about the environment and believe that summits like these will create solutions for the challenges we face. Gallagher will also be hosting conferences on sustainable living and green building solutions that are components which no doubt will continue to change the construction industry.”

No more marathons

We have consolidated our storage facilities from four separate rooms to one which now house all our cutlery and crockery stock for banquets. This means a more productive

environment as the ten porters and supervisor need not run the marathon between the different rooms when drawing stock.

Says Irene Lebogo: “As all the cutlery and crockery is now in one place we have much better control over the logistics and stock taking is much easier. We have a better overview of what we have and what we do not have. It is also much easier to prepare for large functions and we have cut down on our preparation time to set up tables for banquets.” Stock includes cups and saucers, side plates, fish plates, main course plates, platters, serving dishes, all cutlery to serve 7000 guests as well as ice buckets, urns and some consumables.


Tips for organisers, suppliers and exhibitors This is the first in a series of tips that may support players in the industry towards measurable success. The Gallagher team has many years of experience during which countless exhibitions and events were hosted on the premises.

awareness in good time leads to a well managed and balanced process.

Venue logistics must be set in place well in advance. Gallagher coordinators can assist with the development of a professional floor plan taking into account all variables such as A golden rule is for organisers to book their fire-hydrants, health and safety requirements, shows as early as possible, as the entire value rest areas, positioning of food and beverage chain starts from then on. Should there not be facilities in close proximity to kitchens, issue enough time between the reservation of the management and input for the exhibitors venue and the actual event, the knock on manual – which is now also preferred as an effect on suppliers, exhibitors, visitors or online initiative. delegates could be detrimental. The shorter As ‘consultants’ we are also well equipped the lead time, the greater the marketing and experienced to make recommendations investment and effort that should ensure for marketing the exhibition or event. The maximum attendance. A gradual process of venue management should be asked for

assistance on whatever issues need to be dealt with. We would like to advance a status of partnership, as whatever success may be recorded by the organiser is also our success. Our relationship also extends to potential exhibitors, as we are contacted by some to come and view the premises prior to making a decision on preferred space on the floor plan. Our role is therefore to embrace the entire industry so that its status can be elevated over time. We will continue with this column in the next edition of our newsletter. In the interim we give recognition to EXSA and SAACI as Associations that can give further guidance to its members.

We pave the way for organisers As part of our programme of new investments for improvement to our property, we have built a new road behind Hall 1, which was named after Elaine Crewe. This also serves as a feeder area for deliveries to Halls 2 and 3. Previously, exhibition and event organisers and their suppliers had to contend with moving across a dirt track which was especially cumbersome during adverse weather conditions. In-house skills were used to clean and level the stretch of about 100 meters and to cover it with a cement slab.

As we are conscious of the environment, all shrubs and trees were unharmed and kept in place. The road was first utilised for off loading in March 2010, and the sheer volume of equipment was handled seamlessly. As time is always of the essence in the exhibition and event industry, this substantial investment will contribute towards paving the way for organisers for improved project management.

Training towards professional operations Four of our colleagues have completed their ‘Operations Training’ in April under the skillful supervision of Fernando Fontes. This was the first group to have completed the training. The modules include Guest Relations, Food and Beverage, Discipline, Code of Conduct, Sales and Preparation for Functions. After completion of each module a test was

written and a pass rate of average 70% was achieved. The programme was developed by an external training organisation. The next group should complete their training by the end of July. Congratulations to Vusi, Edwin, Tembi and Carol on this fine achievement and to Fernando for coaching the team members.


Practice makes perfect most. As the saying goes, “practise makes perfect”. Anna Malaza has had seventeen years to practise at Gallagher. She also recently celebrated her 50th birthday at our venue.

Studies have shown that the most talented people are also the ones who practise the

Anna was promoted to Guest Relations Manager at the start of 2010, realising her lifelong dream of becoming a manager. She gave us some insight into what makes this position so interesting, “I meet many people in need of assistance. Some clients even want to know what I would do if I were in their position. I find it important for Gallagher to have people who are willing to put themselves in the shoes of the client and in that way provide excellent service.”

Anna emphasises the importance of knowing exactly what is going on at Gallagher, as many clients want information about the history of the venue, including historical events, while others want to know what shows are coming up and which are open for the public. “The Guest Relations Manager reflects the Gallagher brand. It is important to be humble and friendly and to meet each individual client’s needs, even to know their names. You have to make people feel comfortable. I feel very blessed with the talents God has given me. I love people and treat them with patience and respect and I believe this is what has paved my way to this position,” concludes Anna.

New Appointment at Gallagher There have been a few changes to the Gallagher team recently. Domiso Ncube has been promoted from Assistant Banqueting Manager to Banqueting Manager from 1 July 2010 and Rebecca Mohapeloa is now the Maintenance Administrator, being moved from

receptionist. We would like to welcome Emma Makahfola who joined the team as receptionist at Gallagher House, 1 June 2010. We would also like to welcome William

Barnett, who joined the Gallagher team as Property Manager from 1 July 2010. We hope you will have many happy and productive years with us.

Congratulations! May this be the beginning of new success with Gallagher.

Wedding bliss Thank you

Gallagher We would like to thank Gallagher and all other suppliers who were involved with our wedding ceremony. Everybody did a fantastic job. We would never have imagined that the ceremony could be so personal and warm, yet at the same time wear Gallagher’s brand of professionalism. We had numerous compliments concerning the food, the service and obviously the venue. A very special thanks to Nicole for being our wedding co-ordinator – you are wonderful and did a great job.



Celebrating a first for Gauteng It was a proud moment in South African history when the Gautrain took its first journey and Gallagher Convention Centre hosted the inaugural event. The Gautrain project restructured transport in Africa and positioned us amongst global players. The Gautrain Management Agency hosted a function at Gallagher on 5 June, to celebrate this remarkable moment when the Gautrain undertook its first journey between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton. Various dignitaries were invited from the public and private sectors and ribbons were

cut at the OR Tambo, Sandton, Marlboro and Rhodesfield stations, following an inaugural ride. The Gautrain project, which is a PublicPrivate Partnership between the Gauteng

Provincial Government and Bombela Concession Company and officially opened to the public on 8 June, will have a massive impact on transport in Gauteng. The train routes include Johannesburg Park, Rosebank, Midrand, Centurion, Pretoria and Hatfield and are estimated to be completed by mid 2011. This safe and reliable system will be able to transport many commuters to and from work as well as leisure activities. We are proud to have been part of these significant celebrations, marking a new era in South African transport.

Safety and security first Sam collaborates with other security teams companies who act on behalf of their own customers. “This is especially true when VVIP’s visit Gallagher, in which case we require clearance or accreditation of the staff of other security companies who need to work on our premises.” Sam says that the same set of rules applies to everyone entering or leaving the premises. “This is a large venue with many buildings, gardens, tenants, guests, contractors and employees. Vehicles get checked, including those of senior Gallagher executives and their cooperation sets a very good example.”

At Gallagher we place the safety of our customers, employees and suppliers first. Sam Adams and his forty member security team has a strong presence to ensure that there is absolute compliance to achieve ‘best practice in safety’ throughout the venue. Enforce Security is officially contracted to Gallagher Convention Centre and Sam is the site manager reporting to Gallagher management on daily operations. He has many years of experience in the security industry, having worked for different security

companies and corporate clients in several countries in Africa. Says Sam: “My day starts at 5:45 with an inspection parade. We have different shifts to ensure that the staff are not overworked and always ready to provide top security for each event. On the job training is provided, as well as basic security skills training. We have the right technologies in place, including CCTV at strategic spots and communication is enhanced with radios and cell phones.”

Sam concludes: “This is the second time that I have returned to Gallagher in a security position. This time it will be permanent. Previously the grass looked greener on the outside when in fact it was not. Gallagher is always green in more ways than one and the quality of management’s support through their open door policy is very encouraging. However, with their strong service policy they keep us on our toes and I keep fit by jogging through the estate a few times a day to visit all the strategic points and the guards. We are especially alert when events are hosted and we are always given ‘heads up’ as to the nature of the event and who will be attending”


Ballroom gets a facelift in flooring, the room was given a make-over and now looks elegant,” comments Charles. ”A substantial amount was invested to prepare the ballroom and all the material and non-material items that will potentially turn every event into a memorable one.”

New investments were made to upgrade the ballroom as the proverbial ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Gallagher offering. Says Charles Wilson, General Manager Operations: “The ballroom was looking somewhat ‘tired’ and needed a facelift to make it more flexible and relevant to the requirements of companies who want to dress it for their own events. The green tones throughout the room were monotonous and limited the creative executions of our clients.”

stage was installed for the performance of ‘African Footprint’. The upgrading of the ballroom has injected a new mindset amongst all employees and demonstrates that Gallagher Convention Centre has set its target on conducting serious business in future. The collective investments in manpower and infrastructure will contribute towards further enhancing the confidence of existing and new customers.

Apart from purchasing new serving gear in old Victorian style to match the ambience of the room and upgrading the air conditioning, Gallagher also invested in the training of waiters for special events. The flexibility of the venue is underscored when a separate

“Together with decorating company Profurn and the Peter Bates Group who specializes

We’ve got talent! Our sales team has acquired the services of Brenda Badenhorst who joined us in May 2010. Brenda hails from Vryburg in North West Province. She matriculated at Schweizer-Reneke High School. Her first encounter with the world of events was when she became involved in hosting the provincial beauty pageant known as ‘Miss Stellalander.’

The North West, and in particular Vryburg, is well known for quality cattle. After successfully managing the cattle show, she moved to Pretoria where she worked for the Tshwane Events Centre. One thing lead to another and Brenda started organising shows such as the Bundu Expo in collaboration with three publications – ‘Wild en Jag’, ‘Stywe Lyne’ and ‘African Outfitter’.

When the international travel bug bit her, she spent two years in the Netherlands where she was engaged in au pairing while studying tourism part time. After her return to South Africa, Brenda studied Business Management, including marketing and finance at Intec College.

She later worked at an equipment rental company specialising in technologies for conferences, including language interpretation systems. Brenda enjoys reaching out to the disadvantaged communities and supports the Louis Botha Children’s Home in Pretoria.

Mandy Mac Donald and Michael Erasmus celebrated their engagement party at Gallagher Convention Centre on 29 May at Lotus.

A big thank you to Gallagher and service providers for a most memorable evening.


Coming up at Gallagher SAITEX (25 July – 27 July 2010) The South African International Trade Exhibition is a platform for trade across Africa and internationally. The event will be held with Africa’s Big Seven and will feature the retail and light industries. Visit for more information.

Africa’s Big Seven (25 – 27 July 2010) The seven events at Africa’s Big Seven include: Retail Trade Exhibition- Food, Beverage and Merchandise

DrinkTech Africa

AgriFood Manufacturers and Producers Expo

Retail Solutions Africa

FoodTech Africa

FoodBiz Africa

Interbake Africa

Visit for more information.

South African Handmade Collection 2010 (5 August – 9 August 2010) Trade professionals and consumers can indulge in the new initiative of the dti, handmade being the buzzword, during the South African Handmade Collection, which will be running together with Decorex Johannesburg 2010. If you are interested in attending, visit for more information.

Decorex Johannesburg 2010 (5 August – 9 August 2010) In the 17th year that Decorex will be held, the show has become ever popular with the design-orientated community. With the theme “breath of fresh air”, don’t miss out on cutting edge designed kitchens and bathrooms, to green talks and DIY tips. For more information visit

19 Richards Drive, Midrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. Tel: +27 11 266-3000 - Web: Martin Snoek Communications (MSC)


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