By Tes Proos
Immediate Past President, Site SA
Site South Africa has had a jam-packed 2014. While we had fewer events, those we had were high impact. We kicked off 2014 with an invigorating Summit with powerhouse presenters, Daniel Silke and Michael Jackson. All indications were that Africa was on the rise. There certainly was great confidence as some local operators opened offices in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria. Further excitement came about with the opening of new convention centres in Rwanda and Nigeria. In addition, all indications were that China is on the rise as far as travel goes and that one really should tap into that market, in spite of obvious challenges such as language.
Who could have predicted the implementation of biometric visas or the advent of Ebola? Both situations are continuously impacting upon inbound business around the continent. How does one deal with these unexpected events? To that end, we have invited Michael Jackson back to facilitate an industry workshop at the Fire & Ice in Cape Town on 27 January 2015. At this event we will explore how to best prepare ourselves for when the unexpected happens and theme being, “The Choices We Make”. We hope you can join us there. Please contact me on 084 682 7676 or [email protected] for more information and bookings.
The Cape Town team hosted a number of educational sessions at hotel schools and colleges during July, to give students a taste of incentive travel and events and hopefully encourage a few of them to consider joining our industry.
During September, Johannesburg hosted another Site Summit which focused more on outbound incentive travel and was very well attended.
Finally, we had a very relaxed year end event at a new Cape Town venue where we also had the opportunity to raise funds for Bridges for Music – a brilliant charity that helps underprivileged kids learn to play musical instruments.
Looking ahead into the new year, Site South Africa is planning to reach out to the rest of Africa by promoting membership to the developing the business events industry around the continent, offering training programmes and sharing business experience where needed.
We are looking forward to a great year with more events and education workshops around the country. Watch this space and wishing you all a stunning year ahead!