14 February 2014

SA gears up to host Africa's biggest business events trade show

If you have an interest in business events on the African continent, then Meetings Africa 2014 – Africa’s largest business events show – is the place to be from 24 to 26 February 2014.

Meetings Africa exhibition area Meetings Africa exhibition area

We are all set to deliver what we promise this industry: a world-class business events trade exhibition show that is truly representative of our theme – ‘Advancing Africa Together’. – Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, SANCB executive manager

Meetings Africa, which takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, is the perfect environment for both local and global business events stakeholders to forge new business partnerships, network and learn about industry trends.

The first day of Meetings Africa (24 February 2014), aptly called BOND Day, or Business Opportunity Networking Day, is packed with a host of interesting events and educational and networking opportunities.

Those interested in responsible tourism in the business events industry should not miss the Event Greening Forum’s conference. It will be followed by two educational sessions in the afternoon that are open to all exhibitors. Rob Cameron of the International Association of Convention Centres will speak about research and the meetings industry, while Linda Pereira, CEO of L&I Communications Group (Portugal), and United States-based Niki Clarke, global hosted buyer qualifier and founder of ICR Strategic Intelligence, will present on how exhibitors can maximise their participation at trade shows.

Also part of BOND Day is Association Day, which is attended by association representatives from the African continent and by members of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Africa chapter. The aim of the event is to build national and pan-African association communities, to promote engagement with international associations, and to create major macro-economic benefits and lead development for their countries.

Association Day is 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, taking place for the second year at Meeting Africa, will see the top tourism and hospitality students from universities across South Africa competing in the International University Challenge. The winner will represent South Africa at the global challenge at IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany.

BOND Day concludes with the Meetings Africa Gala Dinner, which will be attended by South African Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk, captains of industry and other business events stakeholders.

Day two of Meetings Africa, which is also the first exhibition day, starts with a live broadcast of SABC’s Morning Live breakfast show. Thereafter Meetings Africa will be officially opened by Minister Van Schalkwyk.

Taking place for the first time is the Local Corporate Buyer Day, where 40 speakers from the Unique Speaker Bureau will do short presentations to local and regional corporate buyers. The corporate buyers are also being included in the Meetings Africa diary system, which will enable exhibitors to schedule one-on-one meetings with them.

Another new addition is the Meetings Africa Media Face-off – a media panel discussion on the impact of business events on Africa’s economy. The discussion will be moderated by renowned political commentator Justice Malala and will bring together leading figures from Africa’s business events industry.

Confirmed panellists include Mati Nyazema (CEO of the Sandton Convention Centre); Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo (executive manager of the South African National Convention Bureau); Beatrice Makawiti (former managing director of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre); and Martin Sirk (CEO of ICCA).

Kotze-Nhlapo says visitors, exhibitors and buyers can expect a world-class show complete with global trade-show experts in attendance. '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 that is truly representative of our theme – "Advancing Africa Together".'

Buyers wishing to register to attend Meetings Africa must email tshepo@southafrica.net.

There is very limited space still available to exhibit at Meetings Africa. Anyone interested should contact Daksha Vallabh: daksha@meetingsafrica.co.za.

For more information, visit the Meetings Africa website.