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MMeetings Africa 2016 came to a successful close this past week. Guest speakers, exhibitors and visitors alike experienced a well-organised, interactive and effective trade show. This trade show creates a platform for like-minded individuals to exchange strategies and objectives with regard to the industry of meetings in Africa and around the world, and this is exactly what happened.

The Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa played host to a successful event, and created the professional atmosphere needed for the exhibition space, guest speakers and visitors to the conference. The conference took place from the 22nd to the 24th of February and showcased Africa’s diverse offering of services and products in the meetings industry. The aim of this is to allow African associations and industry professionals to partner and help transform our continent as a sought after destination for meetings, a challenging goal indeed, but one which is most definitely achievable with a leading conference such as Meetings Africa.

This year the goal and call of Meetings Africa was to “advance” together, which received confident support from the best tourism products on the continent. Included among these exhibitors were eight African Tourism Boards and official tourism destination marketers who serve as channels for multiple business events opportunities in their respective countries. Other business entities who attended were event management specialist, destination management companies, hotels and accommodation providers, professional conference organizers, cruise liners, spa resorts and travel trade publications. Networking and being able to exchange business information created a hub of activity during this event.

One of the most exciting things to emerge out of Meetings Africa 2016, is the European Cities Marketing academy. EMC offers a tailor-made course for partner organisations outside of Europe such as hotels, airlines, convention centres and governmental bodies, who are looking towards a global promotion of the Meeting’s Africa. This academy will aid in developing future leaders and be a bridge to a successful career in the Meetings industry; as well as create relationships with professional leaders of the Meetings Industry from Europe. This academy provides all the knowledge and necessary skills for a successful career in this industry. As future leaders in the world of meetings, you will get the necessary skillset to recruit and develop a network with potential colleagues and acquire clients in the Meetings Industry. The first edition is held in Johannesburg, in cooperation with South Africa National Convention Bureau.

So many other exciting opportunities and experiences came out of this great event, such as the interactive Lumi App of course. This is just how visitors and participants stayed on trend and knew about all the various activities.  

South Africa National Conference Bureau (SANCB) is vital in providing the innovative setting to promote Africa, particularly South Africa, as the most exciting and worthwhile global business conference destination. As mentioned, Meetings Africa provides the perfect business platform to present products, services and brands to senior decision-makers, buyers and influencers. Together, SANCB and Unique Speaker Bureau (USB) have created a solid working relationship that continues to innovate with the corporate and event organisers. This relationship allows the USB speaker sessions, the largest speaker showcase, an engaging platform and foundation for speakers during the Meetings Africa 2016 conference.

Guest speakers were given the opportunity to transfer their knowledge and product offering creating an imperative draw card for anyone and everyone interested and vested in the meetings industry. There were creative and informative presentations that took place, highlighting matters connected to creating meeting opportunities on the African continent. The USB Speaker Sessions is the preferred speaker bureau representing elite business speakers and MC’s with branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the UK. This was an opportunity to see at least 30 of these speakers in action covering topics such as customer feelings and experiences, the intersection between technology and marketing, consumer emotions and the all-important future of Africa and South Africa.

Not only is Meetings Africa now recognised as a leading trade show and events expo in Africa, but the success and positive work that this show leads to is evident and tangible.

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