10 February 2014

South Africa gears up to host Africa's biggest event trade show

Exciting line-up scheduled for Meetings Africa 2014.

Meetings Africa - the place to meet South Africa's business tourism community. Meetings Africa - the place to meet South Africa's business tourism community.

We want this year’s show to cement it as one of excellence, marked by quality exhibitors and buyers, a good number of visitors and information and meetings that are relevant and informative.

VISITORS, Exhibitors AND BUYERS attending Meetings Africa 2014, can expect a world class show complete with global trade show experts. This is the view of the South African National Convention Bureau Executive Manager, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo. Africa’s largest business events show is scheduled to take place in just under a month, and plans are being finalised for what will be possibly be the best business events trade show to date.

“Meetings Africa is attended by local and international buyers from South Africa and the rest of the continent. We are all set to deliver what we promise this industry: a world class business events trade exhibition show and, possibly most important, a show which is truly representative of our theme: Advancing Africa Together,” says Kotze-Nhlapo

Meetings Africa 2014 will kick off with the annual BOND Day (Business Opportunity Networking Day) on Monday, 24 February 2014. BOND Day is designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for the South African business events industry. The day will start with the Event Greening Forum’s 2014 Conference at Meetings Africa. This half-day event will be packed with information on Responsible Tourism, with a specific focus on business events.

Two educational tracks will follow after lunch which is open to all exhibitors (at no cost). Global business events expert, Rob Cameron from the International Association of Convention Centres will be presenting on “Research and the Meetings Industry – Making the Most of a Critical Resource” and Linda Pereira, CEO of L&I Communications Group (Portugal) and Niki Clarke global hosted buyer qualifier (USA), will be presenting topics on how to maximize on business opportunities.

Association Day will take place from 09h00 in the Bill Gallagher room and will be attended by association representatives from across the African continent and member of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Africa Chapter. The objective of the event is to build the national and Pan-African association communities, to promote their engagement with international associations and to create major macro-economic benefits and lead development for the country.

Association day will be followed by the ICCA African Chapter – Client /Supplier workshop where members will have an opportunity to meet and interact with the association representatives. The IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum will be hosted for the second year at Meetings Africa. The top tourism and hospitality students from universities cross South Africa will be competing in the International University Challenge. The winner of this challenge will be representing South Africa at the global challenge at IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany.

BOND Day will conclude with the Meetings Africa gala dinner, a must attend event for the industry. This prestigious event which will be attended by the Minister of Tourism and other public dignitaries and officials, captains of the private sector of the business events industry and representatives of other key economic sectors.

For the first time ever, Meetings Africa and the Unique Speakers Bureau will be staging the biggest single congregation of all the major operations in events facilities and venues, professional speakers and MC’s all under one roof. The event will be attended by over 800 local and regional corporate buyers (ABSA, Liberty Life, Discovery, etc.) and 40 of USB’s top speakers - of which 20 are leading global presenters. All the corporate buyers will be part of the Meetings Africa diary system which will allow exhibitors to schedule one-on-one meetings with the buyers.

The first day of the exhibition (Tuesday, 25 February 2014) will start with a live broadcast of SABC’s Morning Live breakfast show from Meetings Africa 2014. Thereafter the show will be officially opened on by the National Tourism Minister, Mr Marthinus van Schlakwyk at 09h00 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

What is new on this day is the media panel discussion which will be moderated by renowned political commentator, Justice Malala. The panel discussion will bring together leading figures from the continent’s business events industry, to discuss amongst others, the impact of business events on the economy of the continent.

“The media panel discussion is a new addition to Meetings Africa and one which we are really, really excited about. We have extended invitations to some of our country’s leading figures in the business industry as well as experts from Kenya and ICCA. Our motivation for this media discussion is to have a frank discussion about the state of business events in Africa and, the growth of the continent and the growing interest the world has in our continent and what it means. We have secured the services of popular columnist and TV presenter, Justice Malala who we believe, will do a sterling job interviewing the moderators,” she says.

Confirmed panelists include Mati Nyazema, CEO of the Sandton Convention Centre; Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Executive Manager of the SANCB, Beatrice Makawiti, former Managing Director of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre and Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA. The other panellists will be confirmed closer to the time.

The Media panel discussion takes place on Tuesday, 25 February and is open to all journalists. Seating is, however, limited so media workers who want to attend this event are advised to apply soon for Meetings Africa 2014 media accreditation.

“Our team is working round the clock to ensure that everyone participating and visiting at Meetings Africa leave fulfilled, energized and excited about business events on the continent. We want this year’s show to trump the previous others and cement it as one of excellence, marked by quality exhibitors and buyers, a good number of visitors and information and meetings that are relevant and informative,” says Kotze-Nhlapo.

Meetings Africa 2014 takes place in the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg from February 24 to 26. Do not miss it. For more information visit www.meetingsafrica.co.za

Media attending must register online at www.meetingsafrica.co.za

If you are a buyer and would like to register to attend Meetings Africa 2014 or make a query, send an email to tshepo@southafrica.net

All exhibitors wishing to attend Meetings Africa 2015 send an email to daksha@meetingsafrica.co.za