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Tourism news

Meetings Africa 2014 set to be a world-class event

13 Feb 2014 08:22
Those attending Meetings Africa 2014, can expect a world-class show complete with global trade show experts, according to South African National Convention Bureau executive manager, Amada Kotze-Nhlapo. The business events show takes place from 24-26 February 2014 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
Meetings Africa 2014 set to be a world-class event"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 and, possibly most important, a show which is truly representative of our theme: Advancing Africa Together," said Kotze-Nhlapo

Meetings Africa 2014 will kick off with the annual BOND Day (Business Opportunity Networking Day) on Monday, 24 February. BOND Day is designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for the South African business events industry. The day will start with the Event Greening Forum's 2014 Conference at Meetings Africa. This half-day event will be packed with information on responsible tourism, with a specific focus on business events.

Two educational tracks will follow after lunch, which is open to all exhibitors (at no cost). Global business events expert Rob Cameron, from the International Association of Convention Centres, will be presenting on "Research and the Meetings Industry - Making the Most of a Critical Resource" and Linda Pereira, CEO of L&I Communications Group (Portugal) and Niki Clarke global hosted buyer qualifier (US), will be presenting topics on how to maximise on business opportunities.

Major macro-economic benefits

Association Day will take place from 9am in the Bill Gallagher Room and will be attended by association representatives from across the African continent and member of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Africa Chapter. The objective of the event is to build the national and Pan-African association communities, to promote their engagement with international associations and to create major macro-economic benefits and lead development for the country.

Association Day will be followed by the ICCA African Chapter - Client /Supplier workshop at which members will have an opportunity to meet and interact with the association representatives. The IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum will be hosted for the second year at Meetings Africa. The top tourism and hospitality students from universities cross South Africa will be competing in the International University Challenge. The winner of this challenge will be representing South Africa at the global challenge at IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany.

BOND Day will conclude with the Meetings Africa gala dinner, which will be attended by the Minister of Tourism and other public dignitaries and officials, captains of the private sector of the business events industry and representatives of other key economic sectors.

For the first time, Meetings Africa and the Unique Speakers Bureau will be staging the biggest single congregation of all the major operations in events facilities and venues, professional speakers and MCs all under one roof. The event will be attended by over 800 local and regional corporate buyers (ABSA, Liberty Life, Discovery, etc.) and 40 of USB's top speakers - of which 20 are leading global presenters. All the corporate buyers will be part of the Meetings Africa diary system, which will allow exhibitors to schedule one-on-one meetings with the buyers.

Morning Live breakfast show

The first day of the exhibition (Tuesday, 25 February) will start with a live broadcast of SABC's Morning Live breakfast show from Meetings Africa 2014. Thereafter, the show will be officially opened on by the National Tourism Minister, Marthinus van Schlakwyk at 9am at the Sandton Convention Centre.

What is new on this day is the media panel discussion which will be moderated by political commentator Justice Malala. The panel discussion will bring together leading figures from the continent's business events industry to discuss, amongst others, the impact of business events on the economy of the continent.

"The media panel discussion is a new addition to Meetings Africa and one which we are really, really excited about. We have extended invitations to some of our country's leading figures in the business industry, as well as experts from Kenya and ICCA. Our motivation for this media discussion is to have a frank discussion about the state of business events in Africa and, the growth of the continent and the growing interest the world has in our continent and what it means. We have secured the services of popular columnist and TV presenter Justice Malala, who, we believe, will do a sterling job interviewing the moderators," she said.

Confirmed panelists include: Mati Nyazema, CEO of the Sandton Convention Centre; Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, executive manager of the SANCB, Beatrice Makawiti, former MD of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, and Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA. The other panellists will be confirmed closer to the time.

The Media panel discussion takes place on Tuesday, 25 February and is open to all journalists. Seating is, however, limited so media workers who want to attend this event are advised to apply soon for Meetings Africa 2014 media accreditation.

"Our team is working round the clock to ensure that everyone participating and visiting at Meetings Africa leave fulfilled, energised and excited about business events on the continent. We want this year's show to trump the previous others and cement it as one of excellence, marked by quality exhibitors and buyers, a good number of visitors and information and meetings that are relevant and informative," said Kotze-Nhlapo.

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