Record attendance at Meetings Africa 2014
Meetings Africa offers the continent a platform to do business, representing the best of our continent in one venue, and gives the African business events sector easy access to the best regional and international buyers. – Thulani Nzima, SAT CEO
Among the attendees at Meetings Africa 2014 were 169 international qualified hosted buyers (up 15% on Meetings Africa 2013), 31 African association hosted buyers, 238 local corporate buyers, 839 visitor delegates (up 16% on last year), 263 exhibitors (up 11% on last year) and 162 journalists (up 19% on last year).
Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism (SAT) CEO, said that while SAT and the South African National Convention Bureau are delighted that Meetings Africa is growing, the primary focus has always been on quality rather than quantity.
'There’s no doubt that Meetings Africa 2014 delivered a quality business platform for both buyers and exhibitors, with 10 169 meetings requested through the Meetings Africa electronic diary system – 2 000 more than in 2013 – and all exhibitor and buyer delegates reporting brisk business on the trade-show floor.'
In keeping with its theme, 'Advancing Africa Together', Meetings Africa this year took a decisive step in its aim of becoming a truly pan-African business events trade show. There were 13 African destinations exhibiting at this year’s show, including South Africa. The others were Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Nzima said exhibitor representation from the continent gives every indication that widespread African representation will become a reality in the medium term.
Meeting Africa’s Business Opportunity Networking Day was well supported and gave hundreds of delegates the opportunity to meet and discuss strategies to advance Africa and build the global competitiveness of the continent. The day included workshops and seminars; the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum; an Event Greening Forum; an Association Day; the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) Africa Chapter supplier/client workshop conference; and a gala dinner that gave delegates an opportunity to network with the continent's public- and private-sector captains of the business events industry.
'Meetings Africa is now firmly established as the biggest, best-represented and most valuable business events trade show in Africa. It offers the continent a platform to do business, representing the best of our continent in one venue, and gives the African business events sector easy access to the best regional and international buyers,' said Nzima.
Meetings Africa will celebrate its 10 th anniversary in 2015.