SA Tourism invests in the continent’s business events sector

17

Excitement is building up as the global business events industry is counting down to the 2023 edition of Meetings Africa. This year, more excitement surrounds the show, as it comes with double benefits. The conference and meetings industry will reap rewards not only from Meetings Africa, but also from the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Summit, which will precede the Meetings Africa.

South African Tourism made the announcement in November 2022, that it would be bringing the AIPC Summit to Africa for the first time, to be hosted alongside Meetings Africa at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Zinhle Nzama, acting chief convention bureau officer at the SANCB, reiterated the importance of this collaboration between the SANCB and the AIPC and the platform it will provide for African conference and meetings venues to share global best practice, to fast track the improvement of the standards of conference venues in Africa.

“This Summit will go a long way towards global benchmarking African convention venues against global standards, to brand and position themselves based on what conference organisers are looking for in an internationally recognised venue,” Ms Nzama said.

Ms Nzama said that Meetings Africa is the ideal backdrop against which to host this summit, as business events professionals and conference organisers from the continent will be gathered for the trade show.

The investment that the SANCB is making into the recovery of the industry is expected to produce results and expedite the continent’s business events sector global competitiveness post Covid-19.

Ms Nzama added: “We’re invested in giving back to the sector and industry players and this is another way in which we are doing that. Because Meetings Africa means that the continent is here, we are utilising the opportunity where everyone is gathered in one place to give them the knowledge and information they need”.

Sven Bossu, AIPC chief executive officer, is buoyant, and says Africa has become a lucrative market for business events because of its growing population and booming economy.

“People are looking for unique experiences, and our job as convention and exhibition centres is to figure out how we cater to these experiences. We need to focus on resources, technology and sustainability to ensure our venues are catering to the unique needs and experiences of delegates and delivering excellent events,” Mr Bossu said.

The hosting of the African chapter of the AIPC Summit is a further testament to the SANCB’s contribution to the Association community, in order to enable global associations to continue doing impactful work in bringing the global business events industry together.

“Capacity building is critical, it is important that we support the work of associations, such as the AIPC, for the betterment of the industry,” Ms Nzama concluded.

The AIPC summit will take place alongside the 2023 edition of Meetings Africa on Monday, 27 February 2023.

To view the agenda and to register for the Summit, please click here.