Daily News Feed

Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 16:33
AfSAE will host its inaugural Africa Association Summit from 21 – 22 October 2019 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya.

This article was first featured in Issue 3 of Event Africa.

The KICC is the Presenting Partner for the Summit, with the event featuring keynote speakers, workshops, panels, and submissions from associations across Africa sharing their successes.

“This is a major step forward for AfSAE, African association executives and leaders,” says Jeffers Miruka, AfSAE President and Executive Director for the African Association of Agricultural Economists.

The Africa Association Summit will have a programme based on research that the organisation has conducted amongst its member associations on the continent. It will cover pertinent issues that executives are wrestling with and want more information on. These include governance, financial sustainability, marketing and communications, new revenue streams, and many others. Both African attendees and global sources of association education will explore resources and solutions.

In addition to association-led conference content, suppliers in the association and not-for-profit field are invited to participate in the exhibition Solution Centre and to partake in the education programme to better equip themselves on the issues association executives are dealing with across Africa. The event will also showcase the local cultures indigenous to Kenya, and there will be social events and ‘Brain Dates’ with leaders in association and business-events management.

To register for the summit, visit afsae.eventbank.com.

Joint Effort at SAACI Congress

AfSAE will have a presence at the annual SAACI Congress from 28 – 30 July 2019. The congress takes place at the Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani in Durban and will showcase 40 unique suppliers to draw inspiration, knowledge and information from. There are several SAACI Forums taking place, including the Conference and Event Forum, the Destination Marketing Forum, the Exhibition and Structures Forum, the Technical Form and more.

AfSAE will be part of the Association Leader track of the conference in South Africa for the first time. For more information or to register, visit saacicongress.org.

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The post AfSAE Launches their First Annual Summit appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 13:42
The experts all tend to predict a rising focus on technology in the MICE sector. But what are some of the specific trends taking the industry by storm? Natasha Skoryk finds out.

This article was first featured in Issue 2 of Event Africa.

“We all know that technology is one of the most active drivers bringing change to the event industry,” says Rick Taylor, of The Business Tourism Company. And that, of course, cannot be denied.

What’re some of the trends he expects to see making an impact on the industry in the next while? “Augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, projection mapping, ad-hoc apps and microsites are some of the technologies that will proliferate across the global meetings and events industry.”

Mobile Apps for Events

As far back as 2014, Guidebook was reporting that 86% of event participants rate a dedicated event app among the top three things that enhance their experience. As such, the importance of mobile apps is almost taken for granted in 2019. Most major events develop applications for use in the build-up, during and after the event itself. QR-codes make downloading these simple, and apps have been shown to drive participant engagement and increase attendee satisfaction. However, we are seeing new ideas and innovation permeate this sector. A simple schedule, participant list and chat forum may soon be passé!

For instance, tech-savvy organisers are gamifying the event through creative use of an app. A great example of innovative app use was Xperience 2017. The theme was School of Membership and Engagement (a play on “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”).

The app came with a built-in game, which awarded points for completing various conference activities such as checking into sessions, proving visits to stalls on the convention floor by scanning QR-codes, or sharing hashtags and photos from the event. Participants were randomly assigned to teams (in keeping with the theme, these were called “Houses”), and the points went towards an overall tally… This allowed for both a sense of camaraderie and healthy competition. Event organisers noted that 88% attendees had downloaded the app and had accumulated some points by the time the conference wound to a close. This was a significant increase on prior years.

Incorporating Augmented Reality (AR) into the app is another way to boost engagement and use innovative technologies.

The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang did this by integrating AR into the navigation app! This is a great way to help participants orient themselves and figure out the venue. Of course, combining AR with gamification principles (in a Pokemon Go fashion) would be another route to take.

Cashless is the Way to Go

Society’s move towards a cashless world cannot be underestimated or denied… It’s more secure, more sanitary, and easier for international travellers. And, increasingly, we’re going cardless through the use of mobile apps and other innovative strategies.

No event embodied cashless better than the 2018 Winter Olympics. Through their vibrant partnership with Visa, the event was able to be an almost entirely cash-free zone. The Olympics offered three types of futuristic wearable technology for attendees.

The first were unique payment gloves, which came with a prepaid amount of money loaded onto the embedded NFC-enabled chip. These were especially great considering how cold it got!

The second were commemorative pins that came embedded with a chip and prepaid amounts of local currency.

Finally, commemorative stickers (which could be stuck onto any surface at all) came loaded with South Korean won.

These initiatives show it’s entirely possible to be creative when going cashless – and that such innovation is going to be ever more crucial!

Tech Driving Experiential Eventing

“Participants want experiences and choices and to be recognised as individuals,” says Pieter Swart, Director of Conference Consultancy South Africa. It’s been established across all parts of the sector that event-goers want to have meaningful experiences at events these days. And technology will be crucial to driving those sorts of experiences.

Take the HSBC lounge at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, which had an interactive, adaptable augmented reality model entitled Smart City. The model had been made using 3-D printing! Attendees used tablets to engage with the model. This sort of innovative uses of technology are crucial if we really want our events to be meaningful and memorable experiences for participants!

THE HSBC Lounge at the World Economic Forum 2018

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition technology has gotten to a sophisticated enough point that using it in eventing makes perfect sense. Firstly, it can allow organisers to speed up the check in process (while making it safer to boot!)

Facial recognition is a growing trend that event organisers should be capitalising on.

Spring Masterminds 2018, a three-day conference in the U.S. which had 1360 attendees, used facial recognition technology to bring the average check in time to an absolutely staggering nine seconds per person! This was done through five online check-in kiosks, fitted with regular webcams and powered by Zenus Facial Recognition software. The beauty of this particular software is that it can work on any device with a camera – even a tablet or smartphone! Granted, this technology has not fully penetrated the South African market, and is certainly not mainstream at present, but certain companies are offering it to organisers (like the One2One Group in Gauteng, which provides all hardware and software needed to implement this strategy).

Facial recognition technology can also be used to monitor audience engagement and remove the need for onerous feedback forms. It can be used to track session attendance far more effectively than sign-ins or monitoring of badges (which can be forgotten or worn in such a way that is impossible to see). Faces are utterly unique and non-transferable, so monitoring who attended a session using this technology is going to be infallible. The participants’ micro-expressions can be used to understand what engagement looked like, without self-censorship.

Data Safety

One of the drawbacks of facial recognition, which is commonly flagged, is the invasion of privacy. What can event organisers do with that much personal data? It is concerning indeed. And there is no need to discuss futuristic tech to worry about data security, as the Cambridge Analytica scandal showed.

If participants are leaving behind a large amount of digital data, it is up to event organisers to ensure it stays protected.

The European Union has legislated data protection, but South Africa still has a way to go. That’s no excuse for industry professionals not to think about the matter, and to put protection into place!

Rick sums it up as follows: “Tech security for the event industry and its attendees is a primary concern in 2019. Beyond concerns about safeguarding their information from potential hackers, people are questioning what is being captured about their personal information and behaviour, how it is being used, and how it is being shared. The rise of data ethics, which applies concepts of right and wrong conduct in relation to data, is a trend that cannot be ignored in the events industry. As technologies that capture data proliferate, it will be interesting to see if they will be balanced with a regard for these principles. The implications of this trend for event professionals are huge.”

Virtual Eventing

Virtual reality (VR) tech is making it possible to consider virtual eventing in a meaningful way. It’s already become commonplace to set up screenings of event sessions or allow paid live-stream attendees, but the future could hold entirely virtual events. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants hosts an annual virtual conference. Their most recent iteration had 17 500 registrations, 16 500 live session views, 45 000 hours of user engagement and a 200 minutes average viewer duration. These participants interacted with pre-recorded material and live Q&As with other participants. The conference website looked like a venue, with a lobby, breakaway session rooms, and even a virtual exhibition hall, but it was all on screen. It would have been nigh impossible to pull off an event this large at a ticket price of £2.20 (R41)! For large events which need to keep costs down, virtual eventing may be the way to go.

Suppliers may naturally feel concern at this trend, but the fact of the matter is events are far more than simply content-delivery vehicles in 2019. It was no shock that the trend towards experiential, memorable events coexists with the rise of virtual eventing. A live event can no longer afford to simply provide a platform for speakers; that can be done virtually. The innovative ideas that are discussed in this article cannot be executed via a screen. The more participatory and engaged an audience is, the more certain it is that they cannot replace this event with a virtual one!

So rather than seeing virtual eventing as threatening, as an industry we can perhaps look at it as an opportunity to grow and develop.

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The post Tech Trends in Events to Watch appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 11:06
In line with its focused approach to continue supporting tourism growth in Johannesburg, the Department of Economic Development: Tourism directorate launched its Tourism Ambassador Programme at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.

“In terms of Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy [GDS], the Joburg 2040 – tourism remains an economic growth imperative on the city’s agenda,” says Cllr Leah Knott, MMC for the City’s Department of Economic Development. “In line with the prioritisation of achieving increased visitor arrivals in the city and contributing towards the economic growth target of 5% by 2021, Joburg Tourism seeks ways to facilitate the tourism experience at sites and attractions in the City, rendering them safe, pleasant, informative and memorable.”

The Tourism Ambassador Programme envisages making Johannesburg a safer destination, leading to an increased number of tourists visiting the City for both leisure and business.

Cllr Michael Sun, MMC for Public Safety, is thrilled to be collaborating with Joburg Tourism on the Tourism Ambassador Programme to create visibility at tourism sites and attractions. “This is a proactive initiative which is set to reduce the number of security incidents affecting tourists and residents. Secondly, the ambassadors will assist in providing tourism information to tourists and visitors.”

With elements of linking ambassadors with visible policing and safety to deliver pleasant tourism experiences, the programme is also geared to create Joburg tourism ambassadors who are knowledgeable about attractions and their key selling points.

The programme looks to enhance tourism safety in specific tourism areas and create 60 direct job opportunities, improving on opportunities created in line with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Gauteng Tourism Authority is implementing a similar programme on behalf of the National Department of Tourism; however, due to the limited number of monitors allocated, safety concerns are not being adequately addressed.

“We are thrilled that this Mayoral Service delivery initiative is also addressing the issue of reducing unemployment, as 60 unemployed Johannesburg youth, with a minimum of matric qualifications, have been selected to participate,” says Knott. “Selected from applicants in the Department of Public Safety’s unemployed youth database, the team of youngsters will be trained and deployed for a period of three years, receiving a stipend in line with the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) during this time.”

Prior to their deployment, the team of 60 ambassadors will be trained in the following key aspects related to their role:

  • Tourism information, geo-locating tourism sites and tourist site guidance
  • Service excellence and customer care
  • Communication skills and conflict management
  • By-law education and awareness on issues such as public roads, street trading etc.
  • Road Safety
  • Community Patrolling

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The post City of Johannesburg Launches Tourism Ambassador Programme appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 14:31
The ever-popular annual RCS Youth Day Race is set to take place in Gugulethu on Sunday 16 June. The race aims to celebrate the youth and the significance of young South Africans play in our future as a young democracy.

South Africa’s most innovative consumer finance business RCS – a subsidiary of BNP Paribas – is once again the title sponsor. Gugulethu Athletics Club Chairperson and race organiser, Aubrey Shoko, says that one of the best things about the event is how it brings the people of Cape Town together and creates opportunities for the community, in particular the youth.

The RCS Youth Day Race kicks off at 7am on the day at the NY 49 Stadium in Gugulethu. The competition includes a 10km road race as well as a 4.2km fun run, making it accessible to runners and walkers of all ages and fitness levels.

“The route is designed to connect Gugulethu to surrounding areas and offers runners and their supporters a fun-filled day where everyone can be involved and get active. The proceeds from the event are ploughed directly back into the athletics club where specific programs are developed to uplift the young people living in Gugulethu,” says Shoko.

He says that the club uses local product and service providers wherever possible while organising the event so that the community benefits financially from the race.

Avid runner and CEO of RCS, Regan Adams says that the company is proud of its long-standing relationship with the Gugulethu Athletics Club.

“Sport and running make things possible for people to rise above their circumstances and achieve their full potential. The club’s role in the community and it’s support of athletics has been instrumental in effecting significant upliftment of the youth in Gugulethu, and we are proud to have contributed to their success over the years”, says Adams.

He says that RCS’s involvement in the race and its continued support of the athletics club is in line with the company’s values. “RCS is a responsible corporate citizen and our involvement in the Youth Day Race is in keeping with our philosophy of ‘making things possible’ to build a better South Africa,” says Adams.

He concludes, “This year’s Youth Day Race presents a golden opportunity to celebrate the brave young people whom Youth Day honours, and hopefully inspire the youth of today, in our 25th year of democracy, to create a better future for South Africa.”

Entry Fees

Pre Entries (Closing 13 Jun 2019)

  • 10km Licensed Athlete – R68
  • 10km Unlicensed Athlete – R114
  • 10km Licensed Junior Athlete – R45
  • 10km Unlicensed Junior Athlete – R74
  • 4.2km Senior – R45
  • 4.2km Junior – R35
  • Athletes 70 Yrs+ – Free (Entries on the day only)

Entries will be accepted on race day from 5:45am – 7:15am.

  • First 1500 finishers will get medals in the 10km
  • Cut off time is at 9:30am
  • Prize giving ceremony and spot prize will commence at 9:30am

For more information and to enter, please visit www.entrytime.com

The post Gugs Gears Up for 11th Annual RCS Youth Day Race appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 09:56
South Africa is often seen as lagging behind the global curve. In the technology space, for example, the country has often been considered about five years behind developed countries.

As Industry 4.0 revolutionises the digital workplace, however, a global shift is reducing the gap between markets across industries. The South African events industry is one which has, in many ways, exceeded global standards.

The recently held Middle East Special Event and Exhibition Show (MESE) featured more than 30 live seminars, hosted by more than 40 expert speakers addressing over 2000 event professionals and 100 suppliers from 32 countries. Key topics revolved around developing the event of the future, embracing technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise events, and creating excellent visitor experiences and enhanced engagement.

After attending MESE, held in Dubai, event experts evaluated the latest competing solutions and trends in the events industry and found South Africa to be well ahead of the curve. “As we considered the global trend to integrate technology into show experiences – to use technology to create a best in class visitor experience – we noted that the innovations presented were already in play locally,” confirmed Janyce Dalziel, Chief Executive Officer of Currin’t Events.

Janyce Dalziel, CEO, Currin’t Events

“As was explained at the MESE event, we’ve moved from a culture where delegates are asked to switch off their mobile devices, to telling them to turn their phones on and engage,” adds Kim Currin, Currin’t Events Event Director. She agrees, however, that the message should still be the main focus. “A fine balance is required to integrate tech and innovation, without overshadowing the true focus of the event.”

Kim Currin, Event Director, Currin’t Events

Across the country, forward thinking events coordinators are already incorporating AI and innovative applications to enhance guest experiences. “From driving greater guest engagement, to interactive agendas, digital breakaway sessions and information centres it is clear that events are evolving as the industry embraces digital transformation,” says Dalziel.

While the ‘wow’ décor, lightshows, bots and drone technology enhance the visual aspect of the event, the basics are also augmented. “When guests enter with ease through a digitally driven registration system, are empowered to engage, vote or give feedback online, or can listen to different tracks in one exhibition hall on silent headphones, the entire event experience is enhanced,” states Currin.

From monitoring and analysing attendee data for effective crowdshaping, to creating seamless experiences with strategic AV, embracing bots and social media, and influencing event production worldwide through innovative and a ‘be the best’ approach, the local event industry is achieving it all.

“The South African events industry must continue evolving to stay ahead of the curve,” concludes Dalziel. “We must continuously ask ourselves; ‘What does it take to create a world class show and what impact will it have on the future of entertainment in the region?’. It is clear that we aren’t behind in this sector – the scale and quality of our local events are of world class standard.”

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The post South Africa at the Forefront of Tech Events appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Friday, June 7, 2019 - 08:10
As the business events industry matures and evolves, so does stand design, from new concepts to sustainability and innovation. Kim Crowie speaks to those racing ahead of the curve.

This article was first featured in Event Africa Issue 2.

The global exhibition industry is growing in leaps and bounds, and with such growth, it has become rather important to evaluate what comes out of trade shows not only from an economic point of view, but also from a sustainable perspective. More often than not, stands generate a fair amount of waste, and it stands to reason that in order to contribute to the health of our planet, we need to take a hard look at what material is used to build stands, and how we think about what we use in the design phase already. Several such people share their insights on trends in this sector, as well as their winning stands and projects. We present to you a visual feast of stand design!

READ MORE: A Sustainable Expo Case Study – A Look Back at Cape Wine 2018

Yours Eventfully (The Exhibitionist)

Dale Hammond, Head of Events

Your year in review?

2018 was a big year for exhibitions, and particularly for our team, as we build numerous stands at Electra Mining Africa 2019, as well as the South African Pavilion at ITU Telecoms World 2018 hosted in Durban, South Africa (these shows ran concurrently in two different cities making it a challenge to manage all the build ups simultaneously).

Your thoughts on the local exhibition industry?

We are in a unique position within Africa as we host some of the largest exhibitions and conferences on the continent. There are endless opportunities for job creation within the industry, from promotional staff and hosting, through to event management and exhibition construction. Ideally, we would like to see more black women entering the industry, bringing creativity and fresh ideas along with them, as well as existing companies empowering their staff members to become key players in the industry.

What trends have you noticed in stand design?

Greening: the carbon footprint of events and exhibitions is under a brighter spotlight than ever before, making it imperative for companies to review their processes to match global sustainability standards.

Space: Bigger isn’t always better, and open and enclosed spaces both have a spot in exhibition design. We want to avoid cookie cutter exhibition stands by manipulating space to work for the client’s needs and products.

Homeliness: Comfortable furniture and fabrics are in; creating the feeling of being comfortable and at home is important as it creates an inviting and warm atmosphere encouraging guests and prospective clients on to the stand.

Lighting: Back lighting, hanging lighting, track lighting – lights create a mood and convey the message of your brand and stand – edgy and modern, formal or luxurious. Your stand is your stage – light it up.

An Award Winning Stand

Client: Becker Mining Systems

Brief: At The Exhibitionist, we work with our clients with the aim of building solid, continued long term relationships. We have been servicing Becker Mining for over ten years. The brief was to showcase the client’s products while including an attractive social meeting area.

  • Your's Eventfully (The Exhibitionist) | Award-Winning Stand
  • Your's Eventfully (The Exhibitionist) | Award-Winning Stand
  • Your's Eventfully (The Exhibitionist) | Award-Winning Stand
  • Your's Eventfully (The Exhibitionist) | Award-Winning Stand
  • Your's Eventfully (The Exhibitionist) | Award-Winning Stand

Challenges: Due to the scale of the stand and the nature of the client’s large, heavy products, it can be quite a logistical challenge to get them into the hall. The products and machines weigh a lot, making it a task to not crack the floors. Once the products have been placed, they cannot be moved making accuracy of placement of the utmost importance. As we were building a number of stands at Electra Mining Africa, we needed to ensure that each client received a dedicated team.

Technical Specs: Power supply is most important on a stand as such Becker Mining Systems – their products and machinery draw a lot of power. We needed to categorise which products needed three-phase power and which required single-phase power.

Awards won: Best Design Stand 2018, Custom 201m2 and over (EXSA-llence awards)


Gill Gibbs, Group CEO

Your year in review?

It has been a dynamic year for the bluCube Design and Brand Activations team in which we obsessed about the details, created some award winning designs and enjoyed ourselves in the process. The year started off with our very own stand at the Exhibition of Exhibitions which won a 2018 stand design EXSA-llence award. It was inspired by the bluCube logo, comprising cubes painted to the CI pantone. One of the cubes was used as a brand activation whereby the visitor could place their head in a mirror vinyl box to take a creative picture of themselves.

One of our very unique projects is for Siemens where they launched the Digital Mining Incubator at Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, a long-term installation. The Digital Mining Incubator (DMI) is aimed at developing the next generation of digital mining experts, where Siemens is collaborating with graduates to co-create digital use cases for the South African mining sector.

bluCube also designed and realised the South African Tourism stand for IBTM Barcelona 2018, in collaboration with Designer’s Ink which has now merged with Colourworks to become CWDi.

Your thoughts on the local exhibition industry?

Locally, the industry has seen some major players close their doors and in some cases, they have closed their production facilities, choosing to operate as agencies. The reason cited for these major occurrences is that the organisations and/or facilities are not making money, and subsequently, these organisations are not sustainable.

The immediate reaction to the situation is that it creates business opportunities for those players that have survived the economic downturns that South Africa has gone through from 2017, however, importantly, this situation also places immense pressure on the manufacturers of the industry, where the workload supersedes the quantity of quality stand manufacturers.

The industry requires training and guidance for new startups and organisations that are contemplating going into manufacturing. We are seeing that Industry members and players want open discussions about industry challenges – to build and improve the community. All the while, technology is advancing at an incredibly rapid rate.

What trends have you noticed in stand design?

Greening: We are seeing an ever-increasing focus on the use of sustainable and repurposed stand components. Small change, big impact. Exhibition stands and activations are being designed with longevity and repurposing in mind.

Good Design: That is, stands are not over-engineered, bulky and over-budget. Minimalistic is the trend; effective, with prominent LED lighting. The focus is on decreasing the corporate and increasing the concept. Creativity is key. Fabric is still very popular and customised and repurposed furniture and décor.

Technology is ever-evolving: Smartphones provide more and more capabilities and connections and personal is where we want to be. Event technology is and will continue to become more reasonably priced. Customisation creates personalisation and this is primary and targeted to individual needs. Virtual, Intelligent, Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) amplify attendee engagement, provide facial recognition, make the experience personal.

Food and beverage experiences: Ever popular and increasingly creative, attendees enjoy interacting with food and beverages, where they can enjoy deconstructed foods and where available, make up their own food and beverages.

Extreme theming: This is simple minimalistic design that appeals to our sense of belonging. It shows that the attendees to the stand are important and remembered.

Use of social media and apps: The use of social media is rapidly increasing – before, during and after the exhibition. Apps are being developed by certain companies for their stand at a specific exhibition. Through the apps, exhibitors now have even the ability to push marketing messages directly to attendees passing their booth.

Activation and Gamification: Exhibitors nowadays are very creative in finding ways of not only attracting attendees to their stands, but also engaging with them. Think mini football, raffles, VR games, hashtag competitions or photo walls.

An Award-Winning Stand

Client: South African Tourism (Africa’s Travel Indaba 2018)

Brief: Embody South Africa as a one-stop destination for buyers to access information on everything that our country has to offer, with impactful structures, presence, the naturally South African welcome, warm hues and tones, all combined and packaged in an immersive visitor experience concept. The stand also had to incorporate and celebrate the 100th Centenary of Nelson Mandela.

  • bluCube | Award-Winning Stand
  • bluCube | Award-Winning Stand
  • bluCube | Award-Winning Stand
  • bluCube | Award-Winning Stand
  • bluCube | Award-Winning Stand

Challenges: To ensure that each exhibitor/activation received equal exposure. Each brand/activity needed to stand out and provide the desired return and result, but at the same time, the general look and feel of the stand needed to be maintained. On top of that, we ensured that each activity had the required space that allows visitor traffic and flow.

Technical Specs: SA’s offerings were portrayed in the form of signature, strategically-packaged, colour-coded pillars. Visitors immersed themselves in unique experiences through VR Oculus. A large Mandela post card pin board shared 100 unique post cards to give away. The stand also used bright colours and creative use of LED fluorescent lights.

Awards won: Best Large Stand 2018 (IBTM World), Best Stand Design (EXSA-llence award).

Resource Design

Gary van der Watt

Your year in review?

We presented events for large brands of over 4000m² and at the same time presented small 3×3 stands that were just as interesting. The common factor has to be that they were all sustainable stands and most of them were either acknowledged by peers through awards or acknowledged by clients as pioneering, cost saving, efficient and innovative. 2018 was a year for Awards and our UFI Sustainability Award was an honour to receive.

We were the only country outside of Europe invited at the Amsterdam RAI Industry Hackathon – with our Challenge for Sustainability being one of only 4 chosen. We built our first 25min set up and derig 3×3 expo stand – culminating years of design and manufacture processes and technology.

Your thoughts on the local exhibition industry?

The buzz word has to be Unique Sustainable Potential. Sustainability does not only speak to ecological ‘’tree-hugger’’ aspects. It addresses real issues such as the drop-off in exhibitors or visitors, the way events are approached, packaged and sold. Events are not about selling expo stands but about selling a product. The aim is to create a platform that is effective and unique.

What trends have you noticed in stand design?

Smaller stands with more well thought through activation, planning and a longer ‘’shelf life.  Monster stands may still have a small place in promoting specific brands or events but more boutique stands and events with a more focussed impact are most predominant. This is partially budget driven but also as a social statement. As a company, we are also moving into the next phase. We always planned to supply [Xanita] to other stand builders. We will soon be able to make an announcement regarding a collaboration with a major stakeholder.

http://www.theevent.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Resource_Design_360_v3.1-FINAL.mp4 An Award-Winning Stand

Client: WESGRO – Cape Town and Western Cape, incl. Cape Town Convention Bureau

Brief: A stand that represented the province visually, was modular, considered a limited budget, and that was on trend (as well as sustainable).

  • Resource Design | Award-Winning Stand
  • Resource Design | Award-Winning Stand
  • Resource Design | Award-Winning Stand
  • Resource Design | Award-Winning Stand
  • Resource Design | Award-Winning Stand
  • Resource Design | Award-Winning Stand

Challenges: The stand had to be reusable over a two – three year period. While staying on-trend , a wide grouping of part-exhibitors had to be taken into consideration, whilst retaining a unique look and feel.

Technical Specs: Modularity and sustainability reuse and repurposing of aspects of the booth, material use and long-term design were critical.

Awards won: Best stand in 2016/17; Best large stand in 2018 (WTM Africa, Meetings Africa); Best Regional Stand Platinum Award (Africa’s Travel Indaba); Best Stand Award 2019 (Meetings Africa).

Trend Watch
  • Technology: more companies are opting for AR and VR components for demos. Touchscreen displays and interactive presentations are already widespread.
  • Customer Experiences: Many clients are requesting something more sensory and visceral. A moment that delegates won’t easily forget.
  • Natural Looks: As expected, there’s been an increase in the usage of more natural and sustainable materials like wood.
  • On-Brand Messaging: More companies are reflecting their brand values and identities in their stand designs – some impressively creative.

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The post Three Business Events Leaders Ahead of the Curve and Event Trends to Keep an Eye On appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 13:21
Event industry executives and technologists had the chance to test new event-ready tech solutions at the second-annual TechDemo, which took place during the 18th annual Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum on 29 May at JW Marriott in Washington D.C.

Produced by Lippman Connects, ECEF is an information-sharing and networking event for exhibition and convention industry executives, independent organisers and associations. ECEF’s expanded tech and networking experience will offer hands-on demonstrations of 11 ready-to-use event tech platforms, including:

a2z Personify Next-Gen Floorplan: This “next step” in floorplan tech includes a modernized user Interface. By bringing familiar interface concepts to floorplan management, a2z Personify has reduced the learning curve to mastering Next-Gen Floorplan while streamlining standard processes to increase workflow efficiencies.

Aventri: An “intelligent” meetings and events platform built to deliver every aspect of the event journey. From sourcing, logistics and registration to attendee engagement and ROI, Aventri software is designed to elevate the planner and the attendee experience.

Freeman Planning Solutions: Freeman’s floor planning, sponsorship and crisis management software empower event teams to keep events on track, grow and maximize revenue, and seamlessly coordinate responses to critical situations.

Freeman Education Solutions: Helps manage event content from beginning to end via an integrated suite of digital tools that provide ways to create, engage and deploy content with second screen technology, as well as extend the life of events with interactive video learning portals.

Freeman Engagement Solutions: Attendee engagement tools built specifically for events that provide powerful brand storytelling using emerging technologies including augmented, virtual and mixed reality, high-end touch screen activations, gesture or motion-based activations, and interactive chatbots.

Freeman Measurement Solutions: Data solutions ranging from products that help integrate and visualize ever-growing data sets to experienced data strategists and scientists to help users understand their event data.

GES Project Central: A software platform that allows users to manage an event from anywhere, this tool is optimized for laptop, tablet or mobile phone with customized views for pre/post and at-show.

Map Your Show’s Integrated Directory Floor Plan and Search Version 8: Using AI technology, this updated interface includes a new recommendation engine tool that helps attendees connect with exhibitors and sessions, while enhanced branding options enable the directory to serve as an event website extension.

Chime by Concise, a PSAV company: This customised event app comprises a suite of interactive tools designed to engage and inspire audiences. Content can be put into attendees’ hands with personalized electronic agendas, digital resources and active participation with interactive polling.

Eventbots by Sciensio: See how companies are integrating chatbots in multiple channels to leverage AI to make their teams and technologies more powerful.

Ungerboeck Software International: Ungerboeck showed why mixing and matching vendor applications is a thing of the past, information gaps no longer exist and inefficiencies and lost information are zapped with one single system.

Source: Trade Show News Network

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The post Event Industry Executives Test Top Technologies at ECEF TechDemo appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 12:49
Convention industry consulting firm, GainingEdge, has announced that Chloé Menhinick is now heading up its global association consulting operations.

Based out of The Hague, Menhinick has 15 years experience working in the associations industry, providing leadership across all areas of association management & operations, strategic planning, membership, stakeholder engagement, communications and marketing.

Menhinick most recently served as Head of Membership & Network Engagement for the International Water Association, an association with a global membership network in over 130 countries. She is also a board member of the European Society of Association Executives (ESAE) where she has helped to lead the development and implementation of a new strategic plan to reinforce the value proposition of membership and to elevate the activities of the Association to ensure its continued relevance into the future.

Chloé Menhinick


GainingEdge CEO, Gary Grimmer, said that Menhinick would be helping GainingEdge to expand its consultancy services in the association world.

“Chloé is a highly respected association leader having served on a number of advisory boards as well as in her role with ESAE,” Grimmer said. “She adds considerable strength to our consulting team in general, but will also help us to further expand our services to associations. That is key for us, because we see ourselves as being a part of the associations community and we are determined to contribute to the success of that industry globally.”

“I’m excited about this new appointment,” Menhinick said. “There has never been a more challenging time in the association world and I’m really looking forward to making GainingEdge a global leader in this space. We want to help associations to solve their most complex issues, to be sustainable and to succeed in their missions to bring about positive change now and in the future.”

Menhinick said that associations are operating in a complex and disruptive environment where they are finding it increasingly hard to successfully manage change.

“Every association is either focussing sharply on issues of disruption right now, or they need to be,” Menhinick said. “Disruptive forces are affecting them in two ways – either directly in relation to the services they are providing or indirectly in how their member bases are being disrupted, which threatens an association’s very life-blood. We want to help them address these issues for themselves and for their members. We want to help them change innovatively and transformatively, addressing the immediate challenges while keeping their long-term perspective.”

Menhinick said that GainingEdge will be delivering its association support services in 10 key areas:

  • Activation of New Associations
  • Strategic Development
  • Legacy Planning & Management
  • Governance Reviews
  • Sponsor and Partner Development
  • Organisational Assessments
  • Operational Consultation
  • Talent Acquisition & Interim Management
  • Program and Events Development Support
  • National and Regional Association Development

GainingEdge’s traditional focus has been in destination and bureau consulting, convention centre development consulting and in-market convention sales representation.

“Most of our work has been on the supplier side of the meetings industry,” Grimmer said, “but, we have done some important things on the association side as well, like helping to establish the African Society of Association Executives, and consulting on developing association communities in the places where we work. We’ve also done a lot of association training, including our management of the annual ICCA Association Expert Seminar in Frankfurt every year and at the national level in various countries.”

While much of what GainingEdge has done in the past was more broadly association community focused, Grimmer said that GainingEdge wanted to do more for individual associations.

“We’ve always been helping associations find meetings destinations, but we want to do more, we want to help them to address their strategic and operational challenges and to be more successful.”

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The post Chloé Menhinick Joins GainingEdge as Partner for Association Consulting appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - 11:13
Experts predict a dire shortage of freshwater by 2030, with a growing manufacturing sector contributing to the escalating water crisis.

Recognising the importance of water as a life-sustaining resource and reflecting its commitment to the critical drive for environmentally sustainable supply chains, SAPICS, The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management, has put water management in the spotlight at the upcoming SAPICS Conference. This event, which is Africa’s leading knowledge sharing and networking event for supply chain professionals, takes place in Cape Town from 9 to 12 June 2019.

READ MORE: SAPICS Annual Conference & Exhibition 2019

A presentation by water expert Professor Bettie Lodolo is one of a series of seminars that will be offered at SAPICS 2019 in collaboration with the international Production and Operations Management Society (POMS).

“Water is of vital importance to all living organisms and is a fundamental resource for life,”

she stresses.

“Freshwater constitutes only 2.5% of the total global water reserves. These freshwater reserves are not only threatened by global warming and the changes in weather patterns, but also by human activities, which tend to pollute water as it moves through the water cycle. A study published by the 2030 Water Resources Group, in which both SABMiller and WWF (The World Wide Fund for Nature) were involved, concluded that competing demands for water resources may lead to an average gap of 40% between global demand and supply by 2030.”

Lodolo asserts that the opportunity exists for companies to take a two-pronged approach to the water crisis.

“Site water usage should be optimised, firstly through the prevention and reduction of waste; for example, by improving efficiencies and focusing on asset care, such as required maintenance and the prevention of leaks. Secondly, plants must maintain sound hygiene standards so that optimisation opportunities can be introduced. Achieving water hygiene enables more effective water savings projects,” she contends.

Lodolo is the project development manager at energy solutions specialist Next Renewable Generation and an affiliated Professor in the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology at the University of the Free State, with experience that includes focusing on water hygiene and brewing science at SABMiller as well as quality management at AB-InBev.

In another SAPICS 2019 presentation enabled by POMS, Marianca Koegelenberg will offer design guidelines for improved best practices implementation at South African wine packaging facilitiesKoegelenberg is an aspiring Industrial Engineer who graduated in 2017 and is currently completing her dual master’s degree at Stellenbosch University in conjunction with Reutlingen University in Germany. Her aim is to help transform the wine industry with industry related best practices and new digital supply chain technologies to increase its market competitiveness.

“In recent years, the South African wine industry has started focusing on building an adaptable and competitive industry with a sustainable future. The Wine Industry Strategic Exercise (WISE), launched in 2014, is the core of this vision and set several objectives to be achieved by 2025, including increasing the ratio of packaged to bulk export from its current ratio of 40:60 to 60:40,” Koegelenberg explains.

“Wine bottling and packaging is key to realising this vision. Exporting packaged wine rather than bulk wine will promote the South African brand internationally, gaining a larger packaged export market share. This calls for the reduction of all unnecessary costs and delays incurred during the planning and execution phases involved up until wine is packaged, as well as a responsive and reliable supply chain. The drive towards increased packaged wine calls for improved collaboration among all the role players involved, including grape growers, wine producers, dry goods suppliers, bottling facilities and SAWIS (SA Wine Industry Information & Systems),” she stresses.

In his SAPICS Conference presentation, Professor Normal Faull, who is currently POMS vice president for Europe and Africa, will highlight lean implementation successes in the South African public healthcare sector. Faull is the Founder and Chairman of the Lean Institute Africa (LIA).

The Disruptive Nature of Additive Manufacturing on Supply Chain Management” is the topic of the SAPICS Conference presentation by Henk Harmse and Professor J Holm, who are also part of the event’s POMS line-up. 3D printing, which is also known as additive manufacturing, is widely regarded as the technological tool most likely to transform supply chains.

SAPICS president Mungo Park says that The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management is delighted to be partnering with POMS to offer these powerful presentations to this year’s SAPICS Conference delegates.

“Our thanks to Dino Petrarolo in his capacity as VP for Africa and the Middle East POMS for the contribution the organization has made to the programme.”

The Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) is an international professional organisation representing the interests of production and operations management professionals from around the world.

For more information or to register for SAPICS 2019, visit conference.SAPICS.org

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The post Water and Wine in the Spotlight at SAPICS 2019 appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 13:27
Entries for the Lilizela Tourism Awards close on 11 June 2019. The prestigious tourism awards were created to honour establishments and individuals who deliver world class service.

The 2018 Lilizela Tourism Awards was tightly contested by over 250 finalists selected from over 1360 entries, after which provincial winners in the various categories were named to compete in the national finals. The Lilizela Tourism Awards are a testament of the diversity of products and experiences South Africa has on offer for domestic and international travellers.

Over the last seven years since its inaugural event, the Lilizela Awards have grown in leaps and bounds and the 2019 event is no different, with the event introducing more sub-categories that signify a growth and more inclusion within the tourism industry.

Shona Dent of Saltycrax Backpackers and Adventures said having the awards displayed at the establishment has created a sense of pride and confidence in the brand. It also creates an ambition to continue to keep our standards high and provide excellent service to our guests.”

The backpacker was awarded a five-star award at last year’s Lilizela Tourism Awards.We are very involved with networking and social media as well as being an active member of the very close community in the tourism industry.”

Being graded provides Saltycrax much needed exposure, said Dent. “It gives travellers that sense of security in knowing that they will get a high quality product. Being the only five-star backpacker in the Western Cape and one of a select few in South Africa allows us to showcase a high standard in all areas of business, creating a unique brand catering to a niche market.”

Owner of TAHS-SA Homestay in Limpopo, Kylie Henn, said the grading and awards has given them credence and quality assurance from a consumer perspective. TAHS-SA Homestay won the Visitors Experience Award for Roots and Culture at the Lilizela Awards. “Winning at Lilizela awards has helped our business in a major way. It has given us the exposure we weren’t previously exposed to before winning,” she said.

Entries deadline for the Lilizela Tourism Awards, have been extended to 11 June 2019.

The categories for this year’s Lilizela Tourism Awards are:

  • Accommodation
  • Venues – formally known as MESE (Meetings Exhibitions and Special Events)
  • Tourist Guides
  • Tour Operators
  • Visitor Experience of the year
  • Universal Accessibility
  • WE/I do Tourism

More sub categories have been added within the Accommodation and Venues categories:

New additions to Accommodation category.

  • Apartment Hotel
  • Boutique Hotel
  • Nature Lodge
  • Small Hotel
  • Campsite

New additions to Venues (formally known as MESE) category.

  • Conference Centre
  • Convention & Exhibition Centre
  • Historical Venue
  • Events Venue
  • Function Venue
  • In-Hotel Conference Centre

For more information about the conditions of entry and how to enter click HERE.

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The post Lilizela Tourism Awards Countdown: One Week to go until Entries Close appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

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