Partnerships was something of a buzz word at the recent Annual Congress of the Southern African Association of the Conference Industry (SAACI) held in St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal.
SAACI announced that it had entered into a Partnership agreement with the South African National Convention Bureau in terms of which the two bodies would work together in promoting South Africa as a business events destination (and which included a substantial amount of financial sponsorship from SANCB).
SAACI also made known that it had agreed to a Partnership with KWV whereby, inter alia, wines would be supplied free to all SAACI functions and events.
For Partnership, also read Sponsorship. Associations’ annual congresses can no longer survive only on delegate subscriptions. Outside help is needed. In recent times financial institutions have shown increasing interest in supporting industry events.
But, back to St Lucia where social development expert Tshifhiwa Mamaila addressed the the challenges of associations and conferencing in Africa. He said Africa was a “gem” with unrecognised potential. However, it was of paramount importance to identify and form partnerships with African countries.
Speaker Juan Jose Garcia focused on “moving from suppliers to strategic partners”. Juan Jose is currently first vice president of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
He said it was critical to form alliances with clients like oneself. To succeed it was necessary to have long-term relationships. Or, as he put it somewhat colourfully in his Hispanic way, to “dance in partnership”.
So, there you have it. It’s all about partnering.