South Africa will host the World Orchid Conference (WOC) in 2014. This was announced by the World Orchid Conference Trust at the conference held in Miami, Florida at the end of January 2008 and will be confirmed at the next conference, to be held in Singapore in 2011.
Carol Weaving, Managing Director of the Thebe Exhibitions and Events Group who, together with Thebe Conferences will manage the event on behalf of the South African Orchid Society, says the WOC is not only a major international meeting and exhibition, it is also a tourist attraction. “It is the largest show on the international orchid calendar, drawing exhibitors and visitors from all over the world.”
Approximately 3 000 delegates, many of them with spouses, are expected to attend the September 2014 event at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, with some 80 exhibitors. The event will extend over five or six days and include meetings of several international bodies, including the International Orchid Commission.
The first WOC was held in St Louis, Missouri in 1954. Ever since it's been held every three years, each time in a different city, on a different continent or in a different hemisphere. It was held in Durban in 1981.
Weaving says the awarding of the conference to South Africa reaffirms the confidence of the international community in the country as a host of international events. “At Thebe we look forward to being involved with this exciting event.”
Displays at the WOC include plants by amateur orchid societies and professional and commercial growers, educational and scientific displays and illustrations and fine, applied and decorative arts featuring orchids, including photography, jewellery, ceramics and postage stamps.