SA Tourism showcases its unique business events capabilities


At IBTM World Barcelona on Tuesday 19 November, The South African National Convention Bureau hosted a panel session to showcase its unique business events capabilities and innovative content approach which is reinventing the MICE industry.

The panel featured author and explorer Levison Wood, Karren Murray, director & executive producer at CNBC Catalyst and Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the South African National Convention Bureau.

Anchored on the ‘Where Great Minds Meet’ content strategy and series, the panel session highlighted why South Africa is the best place to meet, thrive and inspire business growth.

Speaking on the content strategy, Karren Murray said it is one of the most innovative in the industry. “This is an insights-led and innovative campaign and also one of the most successful campaigns on CNBC. The series is infused with creative actionable intelligence, which means that it prompts audiences to take some form of action and opportunity from watching,” says Murray.

The 4-part digital series experience, through film shorts, features a host of personalities across sectors (tourism, medical, sustainability and more) – each with the common goal of ensuring South Africa’s long-term prosperity, whilst actively demonstrating South Africa’s authority in hosting world class events.

Levison Wood expressed that South Africa has always left an indelible impression on him from his very first visit, and the series was in line with his mission statement of “going to places and challenging preconceptions”, which is what the series helped him do.

“Going to South Africa to showcase what the destination has to offer for the business traveller, really opened up my eyes in seeing how technology has gravitated towards the continent. The country has attracted an enormous amount of talent and has become this incredible technology and commercial hub,” says Wood.

Wood also expressed that he was excited to see that although he was mainly focused on business travel for the series, he could still have a diverse offering of other leisure experiences.

Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo commented: “Looking at the meetings industry in a different light is what will stand the South African MICE industry in good stead, moving forward and ‘Where Great Minds Meet’ is a step in that direction.

“When you are in a continent like Africa and a country like South Africa, you must be innovative in your approach. We have challenges that perhaps other countries don’t face, so for us it was important that we showcase that we are leaders in so many aspects using a unique way to do so,” says Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo.

Nhlapo-Kotze reiterated that the series and this way of showcasing South Africa was important, in order for us to display the various sectors and the impact of business travel on the South African economy.

“We continue to tell our uniquely South African story, we want the world to come to our country not only to experience the beauty, but also the innovation that we have to offer,” she concludes.

South Africa is still ranked the number one association congress destination in Africa and the Middle East, with Cape Town being ranked the top convention city in this region. About one billion business delegates are hosted annually and the local events industry directly and indirectly sustains more than 250,000 jobs.