12 March 2013

It's all systems go for the Gauteng Convention Bureau

By 1 April 2013 the Gauteng Convention Bureau will be fully operational, having implemented all the essential elements of its business events strategy.

Nonnie Kubeka, executive manager of the Gauteng Convention Bureau Nonnie Kubeka, executive manager of the Gauteng Convention Bureau

We will be targeting international association meetings in the manufacturing, sports, education, finance, aviation, mining, research and health sectors and are also going after incentive business from emerging markets - Nonnie Kubeka, executive manager of the Gauteng Convention Bureau

South African Tourism spoke to Nonnie Kubeka, executive manager of the Gauteng Convention Bureau (GCB), to find out more about the GCB strategy and how it plans to grow the business events industry in the province. 

Why should international meeting planners choose Gauteng to host their next business event?
Gauteng is the economic and financial powerhouse of the African continent, with world-class meeting venues, high-tech infrastructure, fantastic pre-and post-tour opportunities, and outstanding service. It is also a melting pot of African cultural influences, which provides visitors with uniquely African experiences they won’t find anywhere else. 

What services does GCB provide?
Our ultimate aim is to secure more trade events and business meetings for Gauteng province. We therefore offer a wide variety of services such as bid support, convention publicity, delegate boosting, access to supplier contacts, event marketing, pre- and post-tour recommendations and more.

What is GCB’s business events strategy for the province?
We are targeting association meetings, corporate meetings, exhibitions and incentives by identifying potential events and contacts using data from a variety of sources.

We have analysed each district in the province to determine its strengths and the opportunities to host business events, incentives and pre-and post-tours. We want every district in Gauteng to benefit from the business events sector. We’ve created a comprehensive database of all business events products.There are more than 400 meeting venues in the province that can cater for between 10 and 5 000 delegates in one meeting room. 

We have also researched the needs of associations and exhibition organisers so that we can match our offering to those needs. When we go to market we know exactly what we have to offer potential MICE visitors to Gauteng. 

What kind of events do you want to attract to Gauteng and what industry sectors are you focusing on?
We will be targeting international association meetings in the manufacturing, sports, education, finance, aviation, mining, research and health sectors and are also going after incentive business from emerging markets. 

Gauteng is also home to many African headquarters of global corporations, so there are fantastic opportunities to attract corporate meetings to the province. And with Tshwane being a renowned education, research and innovation hub, it is ideally positioned to attract business events in those sectors.

What is GCB's focus in 2013? 
We’ve identified skills development as one of the key priorities for GCB. It is vital both for the growth of the business events sector and economic development in the province. Although we have highly skilled people in the business events industry that are leaders in their fields, we would like to expand our skills capacity and provide further skills development for those already in the industry.  We have therefore included a comprehensive skills development programme in our strategy. 

We will also be encouraging more conference venues to become star graded so that service standards can be monitored and maintained.