20 February 2016

African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE) launches at Meetings Africa

The African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE), constituted in February last year, will officially open its Johannesburg office at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the opening day of Meetings Africa on February 21.

Hosted buyers and stakeholders are invited to the ceremony, which signals a significant step forward for the business meetings industry, enabling better co-ordination and distribution of association meetings in South Africa and the Continent.

“The launch of AfSAE is one of the many ground-breaking and innovative developments at this year’s show, because through this association, we will be able to encourage meetings to be held and rotated across our own continent, thus benefitting our African economy,” says host of the ceremony, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, executive manager of the SA National Conventions Bureau.

The following day, on February 22, AfSAE is running an educational conference as part of the BONDay (Business Opportunities Networking Day) events, focusing on knowledge development among associations, and the benefits of association meetings to the economies of the countries where they are held.

 Nina Freysen-Pretorius, president of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and among the speakers at the AfSae conference, comments: “The hosting of association meetings within a destination has certain tourism benefits, eg., exposing international participants of that conference to the destination and the related meeting and tourism products.

“However, the more important and often immeasurable aspect of hosting a meeting or conference is the impact that the knowledge transferred and sharing of solutions within such a meeting or conference has.  From an ICCA perspective we like to encourage our members globally to embrace the fact that they are, in fact, part and parcel of the knowledge economy.”

In his keynote address, the CEO of Brand South Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, will address attendees on the role of civil societies in building a stronger South Africa.

Other topics to be covered include association governance, marketing, strategic positioning and trends in destinations and events. The Association Growth and Development Workshop, the last event on the AfSAE programme, will look at case studies and workshop key issues, in order to find solutions.

The AfSAE conference speaks directly to the theme of Meetings Africa 2016, Advancing Africa Together, a calling to exhibitors to work together to showcase Africa’s globally competitive meetings infrastructure, as well as the multiple benefits of hosting a business events in Africa.

“By strengthening the African association fraternity to emulate other such fraternities around the world, and rotating meetings on the continent, we advance the global competitiveness of the Continent as a whole,” says Kotze-Nhlapo.

Speakers at the AfSAE conference include: Greta Kotler, chief knowledge officer at the Center for Association Leadership (US); Jeffers Miruka, President of AfSAE; Juan Garcia, vice-president of Barcelo Congresos; Kelvin Esiasa, chairman of the Zambia Society for Public Administration and Family Business Society; Chido Nwakanma, Nigeria Chapter President of International Association of Business Communicators (IABC); Martin Sirk, chief executive officer of the ICCA; Ulrika von Arnold, 2nd vice-president of the Vienna Convention Bureau.

For more information on Meetings Africa 2016, please visit www.meetingsafrica.co.za

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