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29 April 2013

Sandton Convention Centre implements repositioning strategy

The Sandton Convention Centre has been reviewing its position in the South African and global markets with a view to pursuing new levels of excellence and remaining relevant in the global business-events environment.

Sandton Convention Centre The Sandton Convention Centre

We want to be real and effective partners with our customers in advancing their businesses, and we are prepared to reinvent ourselves to do that. – Mati Nyazema, Sandton Convention Centre executive director.

In 2012, the Sandton Convention Centre (SCC) commissioned comprehensive research to determine a clear direction for its repositioning in the market.

Mati Nyazema, SCC executive director, said the centre has had an illustrious 13-year history and has constantly strived to remain relevant and a valuable part of the events industry.

‘However, we recognise that the SCC must evolve with the constantly changing business, conference and events environment to ensure we deliver on customer expectations,’ she said.

She added that it is the SCC’s mission to take the brand to a new level of excellence – and if the research among key industry stakeholders had revealed there was a call for a major overhaul, then that is what would have taken place.

‘We want to be real and effective partners with our customers in advancing their businesses, and we are prepared to reinvent ourselves to do that,’ commented Nyazema.

The research shows that customers want a venue that is centrally located and close to accommodation, transport and entertainment. They want a dedicated, experienced and reliable team that is proactive in assisting with logistics. The venue must have advanced technology, and be flexible and accessible. Its staff must be friendly and passionate about hosting. The venue must provide a platform conducive to the generating of innovative thinking and new ideas, and be a convivial place to socialise, network, relax and be entertained.

Nyazema said overall the response was gratifyingly positive: ‘We found that we are perceived as prestigious – a premium venue. Our professionalism and extensive experience is appreciated, and our central, connected and self-contained location recognised.’

Another positive perception is the SCC’s importance in the market. ‘We’re seen as having a strong corporate-style identity. We’re seen as serious, and as a place where big things happen,’ she commented.

One perception that the SCC plans to address in its repositioning strategy is that it is too serious, lacks emotion, and is all about efficiency and getting the job done.

Project Crystal, the name of the repositioning strategy, will see the SCC act on the research findings to achieve the desired deliverables.

‘Project Crystal is an exciting repositioning for us. It’s about ensuring that the SCC’s three new hallmarks are achieved – that we are a platform to possibilities and opportunities for our stakeholders; that we are a cut above, hosting the most prestigious events with world-class attention to detail; and that we are wholehearted people, encapsulating the warmth and hospitality of our parent company, the Tsogo Sun Group,’ she concluded.

Project Crystal is in the process of being implemented.