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1 December 2011

Meetings Africa 2012 promises an exciting new line-up

Delegates network at Meetings Africa 2011 Delegates network at Meetings Africa

Meetings Africa is more than just an exhibition to showcase our wares to the local and global market. It is a catalyst to grow our market share and an opportunity for us to support industry players, business tourism product owners and service providers and meeting professionals to grow their businesses. - Roshene Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, South African Tourism

Meetings Africa 2012 promises an exciting new line-up

From a unique Golf and Lifestyle Safari Weekend, the introduction of the National Convention Bureau and cutting-edge new research, Meetings Africa 2012 offers exhibitors, delegates and visitors an unparalleled opportunity to conduct business, network and learn.

A record 130 influential buyers from around the world are expected at Meetings Africa 2012, Africa’s biggest business tourism trade show, which takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 28 February to 1 March 2012.

The event, which recently won the ‘Best Trade Exhibition’ award at the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA) Awards, seeks to position South Africa amongst the best business tourism destinations in the world by showcasing the country as the ideal destination for associations and corporates looking to host major meetings, exhibitions, conferences and events.

While South Africa will host over 200 major international business tourism events set to attract over 300 000 delegates in the next five years, there’s considerable room for growth.

“Meetings Africa is more than just an exhibition to showcase our wares to the local and global market. It is a catalyst to grow our market share and an opportunity for us to support industry players, business tourism product owners and service providers and meeting professionals to grow their businesses,” says South African Tourism’s Chief Marketing Officer, Roshene Singh.

Next year’s event is significant as it will see the launch of the National Convention Bureau (NCB) following the appointment in November of Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo as the NCB’s Executive Manager, marking a major milestone in the industry’s efforts to present a consolidated approach to growing business tourism to South Africa.

“The United Nations Climate Change COP17 Conference, currently underway in Durban and being attended by over 20 000 delegates, once again proves that we have the mettle to tackle the most complex of events. It is now time to consolidate and bring even more large global meetings and conferences into South Africa. The National Convention Bureau will offer the broader industry a forum to work together, to share ideas and to collaborate on specific bids for large international meetings,” says Singh.

Meetings Africa 2012 also boasts an exciting new networking opportunity with a unique Lifestyle Golf and Safari Weekend (from 24 to 26 February) kick-starting the programme at the renowned Legend Golf & Safari Resort at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy in Limpopo. The weekend offers delegates game drives, spa treatments and of course lots of golf, including the famous ‘Extreme 19th hole’ – the longest and most dramatic par three in the world, with a tee accessible only by helicopter and a green 396 metres down below in the shape of the map of Africa.

“We are very excited by this new addition to the programme as it offers an excellent opportunity for us to showcase what really sets South Africa apart – that is the spectacular leisure tourism attractions that complement its proven business tourism offering. Be it wine farms, safaris, beaches, mountains, cosmopolitan cities or fantastic golf courses, South Africa has what it takes to make an international conference or meeting truly memorable,” Singh said.

Other highlights of Meetings Africa 2012 include an extended and improved two-day Association Lekgotla, to better equip associations to be in the position to bid for events. Another highlight is the release of exciting and important association research findings conducted by South African Tourism in conjunction with the internationally-acclaimed Headquarters Magazine. It will provide findings on associations headquartered in Africa; the type of meetings South African associations should be targeting; and how global planners and buyers prioritise destinations when they are in the market for finding a host country.

Meetings Africa will also feature a corporate breakfast and the popular educational workshops will once again be hosted in collaboration with the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI). A special Student Leadership Programme has been developed to ensure that students get the most out of the event.

Adriaan Fourie, Board member of the South African chapter of the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives says: “Meetings Africa is the best platform for the incentive tourism industry in South Africa and our members have had good success from their interactions over the years with hosted buyers and other delegates. It is always a dynamic and useful platform for our industry.”

[Ends]

What is Meetings Africa?

Meetings Africa is South African Tourism’s marketing platform that exposes local and international buyers to the range of services and products in Southern Africa’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference, Exhibitions) industry.

Who should be interested or should attend?

Meetings Africa targets everyone who travels for business or who books business travel as well as organisers of events, conferences, meetings, team incentive trips or teambuilding activities.

When and where

Meetings Africa 2012 will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. It commences at 10am on Tuesday, February 28 and ends at 1pm on Thursday, March 1. Besides the last day when it closes at 1pm, show times are from 10am to 5pm every day

What can you do at Meetings Africa?

Do business by making use of the targeted matchmaker programme; meeting local corporate executives; and gaining exposure to international buyers

Network by enjoying the extensive programme of networking events; participating in the Association Lekgotla or enjoying the Golf (Lifestyle) event

Learn by attending seminars or booking a time slot with the business tourism panel of experts

Meetings Africa 2011 Fast Facts

212 exhibitors

2 131 visitors

More than 100 hosted international buyers from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA

More information

For more information on how to register as an exhibitor, visitor or buyer at Meetings Africa 2012 and for media wishing to register for accreditation to the event please visit www.meetingsafrica.co.za.

For further information contact:

Jermaine Craig at South African Tourism
Tel: +27 11 895 3000 or 083 2010 121

Email: jermaine@southafrica.net

Website www.southafrica.net

Inquiries at Ireland/Davenport can be directed to:

Allison MacDonald at Ireland Davenport

Tel: +27 11 463 2252 or 082 771 2541.

Email: Allison.macdonald@ireland-davenport.co.za

Register on our media extranet to browse the latest news releases (from SAT as well as the tourism industry in general), access the news archive and get details of all upcoming tourism industry events (both locally and internationally).

www.southafrica.net/media

South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination. It is headed up by Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO Mr Timothy Scholtz and Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Roshene Singh.