Daily News Feed

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 09:41
The IAB SA has launched an exciting new series of strategically aligned events for the digital industry. Held in partnership with Meltwater and The Radisson Hotel Group, the series will give the industry smart, actionable and meaningful insights to make better digital decisions that are rooted in global best practice and industry trends.

Paula Hulley, CEO of the IAB SA says, “One of our core goals as the IAB for 2019 and beyond is to empower the media and marketing industry in South Africa to thrive in the digital economy. The best way to kick start this is through targeted, honest and insight-driven conversations – we can all learn from one another.”

Each event in the series will be hosted by The Radisson Hotel Group in a relaxed and stylish space that promotes conversation and networking. Guests will spend one and a half hours listening to insights from and networking with industry leaders and future industry leaders on topics relevant to the South African digital landscape.

Julia Nill, Account Executive at Meltwater Africa, says, “As a media intelligence company, we understand the power of data when it comes to strategic decision-making, especially when tracking the impact of online PR and marketing campaigns. The ever-increasing role of AI in separating insights from data, however, makes the Future of Work a topic that’s critical for any executive who wants to stay competitive in today’s world. As such, we’re thrilled to be sponsoring the IAB Insights series and facilitating a conversation around something that’s going to affect us all.”

For the first quarter, the series is focusing on ‘The Future of Work.’ The first event was held on 24th January, with two to follow on 22 February and 6 March.

The first event spoke to ‘Talent Resourcing and Management: Insourcing vs Outsourcing.” Carmen Whateley, Managing Director of Accenture Digital was the keynote speaker. She noted, “Digital has a powerful role to play in the empowerment of today’s employees. Forward-thinking businesses should embrace digital and deliberate automation, using the savings to upskill people. We need to consciously create the workforces of the future by making the most of the technology at our disposal. This applies to both permanent and contracted employees.”

Lindy Rudman, Portfolio Manager for Digital Media at Vodacom adds, “The way that employees use digital tools in the workplace is profoundly changing. The IAB’s recognition of this, and their concerted effort to bring together industry leaders to discuss their challenges and opportunities empowered those at the event to apply the insights to their own businesses.”

Following The Future of Work discussions in the first quarter, the series will move onto Building The Basics in Q2, Benchmarking Digital Excellence in Q3 and Integrated Attribution in Q4.

Paula concludes, “We are grateful to our event sponsors and the industry leaders that have given of their time in order to further discussions around digital marketing in South Africa. Following the success of January’s inaugural event, we look forward to more insightful, constructive discussions where we collaborate for the future of a better digital landscape in South Africa.”

For more information on the IAB SA series, and in order to book your spot, visit the event page here.

The post IAB SA Launches Insight Series appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 09:15
The fourth annual FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit – hosted by KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government – will focus on innovation and non-conformity with its latest theme, ‘New Wealth Creators’. A selection of the continent’s most influential women in business, sports, science, entertainment and leadership will engage on this topic at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on Friday, 8 March.

 

“This year we want to turn the spotlight on those forward-thinking female entrepreneurs who are making a significant impact in some of the more unconventional sectors,” explained Methil Renuka, Managing Editor of FORBES AFRICA and FORBES WOMAN AFRICA, and this year’s host. “These women are pioneering within industries, as well as pioneering industries themselves, tapping into previously unknown sources of income and transforming the world as we know it. Guests will get a full day and evening to hear these stories and engage with these inspiring women.”

 

Some of the emerging industries that will be explored by these ‘New Wealth Creators’ include, among others:

 

·        Virtual and Augmented Reality

·        Medical Marijuana

·        FinTech

·        Biotechnology

·        Content Marketing

·        Green Energy

·        Drones

·        Mobility Technology

·        Gaming Platforms

·        Security

·        Agritech

·        Mining

·        Recycling Waste

 

The panel of speakers has been carefully selected to reflect the summit’s core values. Each woman has made a significant impact on their chosen sector by achieving financial success, creating jobs, developing sustainable initiatives, displaying sound management practices – all the while retaining integrity, vision and leadership.

 

Since its inception in 2016, the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit – hosted in association with ABSA and the IDC – has grown, with the 2019 edition set to be the biggest summit yet. There are a number of invited speakers who will be addressing an anticipated audience of some 500 leading women during keynote talks, panel discussions and one-on-one interviews.

 

“The summit was established to celebrate the many accomplishments of women on the continent and, in doing so, provide others with inspiration and support to continue breaking barriers across industries,” said Renuka. “These ‘New Wealth Creators’ are visionaries, shaping our narrative in new territory and I look forward to learning from them.”

 

In addition to the daytime networking, attendees to the summit are invited to the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Awards’ – a glamorous gala dinner celebrating who have made a remarkable impact in the business, sports, science, entertainment and leadership categories. The gala dinner will take place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from 6.30pm.

 

For more information, visit Leading Women Summit

The post 2019 Theme Announced For FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 09:03
Cape Town has made its way back onto global property firm Savills Top Tech cities report, “Tech Cities in Motion”.

Measuring 30 cities from around the world against 100 individual metrics, Savills Tech Cities Index evaluates which cities offer the most successful home for tech and start-up companies. Individual metrics range from the volume of inward venture capital investment to the cost of a flat white coffee.

Cape Town ranked in 30th place and was the only city on the continent to make the list, with the Mother City faring exceptionally well in the real estate and the cost of living sub-category under ‘buzz and wellness’.

Acknowledging that co-working has gone hand in hand with the growth of the global tech sector, Cape Town ranked 6th on the list with residential rent and co-working costs being noticeably lower than other major cities around the world.

Overtaking San Francisco from last year’s rankings is New York City, who takes the lead in 1st place as the premier global Tech City. Factors attributing to the win include New York’s expansive talent pool and the city’s reputation as a global centre of commerce.

As noted by the researchers, a Tech City possesses five key characteristics:

  1. An important centre of tech within its region
  2. Major recipient of VC investment
  3. On the shopping list for expanding global tech companies
  4. A vibrant city in which to live and work
  5. A generator of, and a magnet for, talent

Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, stated: “I am excited to be officially opening the Africa Tech Week conference on Monday 4 March, which is a unique platform which facilitates dialogue and cooperation between companies, government, civil society and the fresh talent of the tech industry. The Savills ranking demonstrates that we are on the right track and how the City of Cape Town is successfully creating an enabling environment for start-up’s and tech talent.”

Vos added: “In response to this growing industry the City of Cape Town is continuing to invest in IT infrastructure and to date, the City has installed 848km of fibre-optic cable. Towards 2021 the City will spend R1.98bn on fibre infrastructure. As we move further into the 4th Industrial Revolution, all businesses will evolve, in some form, into tech businesses, no matter what sector. With these shifts, the Cape Town tech start-up ecosystem will continue to grow and become more complex. It will become increasingly essential that the City remains focused on how we can facilitate conditions and sustain a supportive environment.”

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverly Schäfer, continued: “The Western Cape Government has set a goal of becoming one of the leading tech hubs in the world, and this ranking proves that we are doing all the right things. Our focus on youth skills development, broadband rollout and ease of doing business initiatives like red tape reduction have created an ecosystem in which some of the world’s largest tech companies have chosen to invest, while at the same time creating opportunities for exciting young start-ups.”

Executive Mayor, Dan Plato, added: “Cape Town continues to be a leading city on the continent, with the lowest unemployment levels in the country. We understand that it is our role to create a favourable environment for economic growth. We remain an affordable destination for foreign companies to set up shop on our shores. We are  committed to continuing to create an enabling environment for investment and  innovation.”

“In Savills Tech Cities 2017 report Cape Town was earmarked, along with Santiago and Buenos Aires, as ‘magnets for talent in their regions’, with the potential to become global players. Cape Town has since been acknowledged as Africa’s leading Tech Capital, employing more than double the people than Lagos and Nairobi combined. It is recognition through esteemed reports of this nature that will continue to position the Mother City globally as a world-class tech destination and a springboard into the rest of the African continent,” commented Wesgro CEO Tim Harris.

Wesgro is Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official Tourism, Trade and  Investment Promotion Agency, and receives its mandate and funding from the  Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the City of Cape Town.

Media enquiries:

Sarah Brownlee

Media Relations Officer, Wesgro

Tel: 021 487 8700

Cell: 083 577 0327

Email: sarah@wesgro.co.za

The post Cape Town Ranked A Top Tech City In Global Report appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Friday, February 15, 2019 - 10:47
Meetings Africa pioneered event greening since 2011. From transport to energy, Africa’s premier trade show has successfully accomplished much in this environmentally conscious initiative.

With the help of the Event Greening Forum (EGF) organisers have been able to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (8 000 Kilowatt hours) to power the Meetings Africa event, book direct flights and a convenient choice of venue for the event to eliminate as much of the travelling impact on the environment as possible, and printing has been reduced within the registration process by paperless contracting.

The easiest way to grasp the concept of greening lies in applying the following three words: reduce, re-use and recycle. Going green does not always mean cutting back on the good times. Green events still enable one to enjoy events, while being healthy and environmentally-friendly at the same time writes EGF chairman, Justin Hawes.

All the key service providers were also requested to sign the sustainability pledge reflecting their involvement. Exhibitors and visitors are encouraged to support the event greening through their own actions.

By drinking the filtered tap water that is freely available at the exhibition rather than bottled water, purchasing a tree for only R130 that will be planted in a local community in partnership with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) as part of the Meetings Africa 2019 CSI initiative and carpooling to attend the event to alleviate traffic congestion around the exhibition venue and reduce your carbon footprint.

The Green Stand Awards that recognises the environmental and social efforts implemented by exhibitors will be taking place once again at this year’s trade show. The initiative encourages pro-active implementation and showcases the dedication of NCB towards hosting a sustainable event with a lasting impact.

Those who will be exhibiting at Meetings Africa should be excited about the Green Stand Awards if they go the extra green mile to incorporate ‘green’ into their stands.

The continuous improvement year on year at Meetings Africa has proven to deliver the anticipated eco results and should be an example to other similar events to become the industry standard.

The post Going the “Green” Mile appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 15:46
Are associations and secretariats of use on the African continent? Natasha Skoryk reports.

“While associations have in the past largely been a source of networking and a single voice within their respective industry sectors, today they play a far greater role in ensuring a common approach to issues that affect the broader business events industry,” says Greg McManus, the chairperson of Event Greening Forum (EGF), a non-profit organisation promoting sustainability within the business events sector, through hosting educational sessions for industry and lobbying government in an effort to implement sustainability principles into the daily operations of the events industry. “A good example of this is the way in which almost all associations in this sector have adopted the EGF sustainable event standard for the common good.”

Simply put, no association or industry body exists in a vacuum. As the number of associations and secretariats for MICE grows annually, the focus of leadership cannot be devoted solely to helping their own members. Collaboration is vital. Rudi Van Der Vyver, the CEO of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), puts it succinctly: “We believe that success can only be achieved through effective collaboration and with this in mind we have over the last two years actively been driving more and much closer collaboration within the industry not only between our members but also between industry associations (to cover all niche sub sectors in the industry) and stakeholders alike.”

The general point of associations seems self-explanatory – it is to grow the industry. Strong associations and secretariats point to a growing and thriving industry. Rudi eloquently introduces their purpose as follows: “As associations we are tasked with a few basic deliverables, all of which are underpinned by the main foundational element of creating value to our members and in turn to the broader business events industry within Southern Africa.”

The first of those deliverables, as Rudi notes, is to set a common standard for the industry. “Associations play a vital role within the business events industry, and especially in Africa where our industry is still largely unregulated, with the adherence and buy in of members to the association’s code of conduct. This drives professionalism within the industry and through professionalism and a consistent drive to higher standards and levels of excellence we create organic growth within the industry,” he explains. In South Africa, there can be little recourse for clients who face unprofessionalism, and formal legislation often leaves much to be desired for. However, bodies like SAACI and EGF can step in and ensure that their members deliver consistently at internationally acceptable standards. Their codes of conduct and standards are thus implemented for members and other organisations alike!

“We provide recourse to clients and suppliers within the industry (when role players and specifically members do not adhere to the code of conduct) and here SAACI takes on an informal “watch dog” role by enforcing the code of conduct and driving ethical business practices within the industry,” says Rudi. When companies and suppliers are certified as belonging to a particular association, this leads to trust from customers, and results in organic growth for the industry.

But, of course, associations and secretariats do not exist solely to police hardworking event organisers and other suppliers. “Another large role to be played by associations is that of providing platforms for development, learning, skills transfer and capacity building whether these be on a once-off basis or based on continued learning/development principles,” Rudi adds. This can be through providing workshops and conferences, or through the organisation’s very existing. Greg says: “Perhaps the most relevant value that we have added is in raising awareness of the benefits of more sustainable events, and how the sector can leverage opportunities that now exist in this international trend. We have given most PCOs and organisations an important tool to use –which is one that can attract repeat and new business opportunities.”

Speaking specifically on his own organisation, Rudi tells us: “Our aim is to be a collective voice for our members to tackle industry issues head on, to create and provide more accessible learning platforms and to affect the required change needed within the industry to continuously drive growth for our members and the industry.” For a sector that is still very much growing and developing, those bodies like SAACI are absolutely vital.

Naturally, it’s up to each member to derive benefit from their various association memberships. “For a member to extract maximum value from any association membership it is absolutely vital to be involved,” says Rudi. “Do not sit on the side lines and think business is going to come in by itself just because you have an association membership. The more involved you are the more value you will extract from your membership, so speak to your association, be active and utilise the platforms on offer as much and as widely as possible.”

Click here to continue reading the latest Event Issue 01.

The post Assessing Associations appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 15:42

What you can expect at the continent’s biggest conference and exhibition this year from 25 to 27 February 2019 at Sandton Convention Centre.

If last year’s show is anything to go by, Meetings Africa has solidified itself time and again as the go-to business event of the year for the African continent. Meetings Africa 2018 hosted 306 business tourism exhibitors represented by 21 African countries, with 65 of these exhibitors from outside South Africa. The show also hosted 154 business and trade media representatives from across the continent and globe, and attracted 3 000 delegates who came to seal business deals, explore African products, and forge new networks in the international meetings sphere.

As Chief Convention Bureau Officer, Amada Kotze Nhlapo says so succinctly, “Meet Here. Grow Anywhere. We want to bring people to the source of business inspiration and watch them take back some of that Mzansi magic with them and conquer their challenges, anywhere in the world.”

Programme Highlights

The Meetings Africa programme is always chock-full with meaty goodness. In 2019, the event will once again hold the Business and Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) on 25 February. The day includes The Event Greening Forum’s AGM, and a Hidden Gems: SMME’s Training Session. The ICCA Meetings Africa Association Day will also take place on the 25th, as well as several educational plenary sessions for both beginners and mature industry professionals.

On Tuesday the 26th, SITE will host an educational seminar, and the Tourism Grading Council of SA will also launch their latest accolades for the industry. At 9:30am, the exhibition will be officially opened and the Minister of Tourism will do an official walkabout of the exhibition floor. The afternoon sees a Business Talk panel discussion take place. This will cover key business event matters in Africa, while later that evening the Green Stand awards will be presented.

On Wednesday the 27th, the Women in MICE breakfast will take place, as well as a second and third Business Talk panel discussion. last, but certainly not least, Meetings Africa will host Bid Party Wrap Up panel discussion before closing the event.

Future Leaders Unite

The IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum Africa will take place once again on BONDay. Over 120 forums have taken place around the world since its inception with over 6 500 students participating to date. The forums encourage students to showcase their ideas and talents based on a fictitious brief. It also covers topics like sustainability, technology, and social media, online and offline networking, and business event trends.

Last year saw over 50 students from around SA take part. The winners of the Future Leaders forum will meet in Frankfurt in May 2019 where they will face one another for the grand prize of an MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award at the IMEX Gala Dinner.

The Online Diary

The official Meetings Africa online diary is a centralised source of information for visitors, exhibitors and buyers, allowing one to schedule meetings efficiently. Delegates can effectively manage their time by targeting and setting up meetings with participants that match their profile, as well as track meeting confirmation and progress. The latest feature to this tool allows users to request their Top 10 matches according to their profile. Exhibitors’ diaries are also now managed through their unique name badge barcode. This means that as long as they are loaded as an attendee at the event, additional unlimited meeting requests can be made directly, quickly and with immediate effect.

Going the Green Mile

Meetings Africa has placed a huge focus on sustainability since 2011. From transport to energy, the show has gone the extra green mile time and again. With the help of the Event Greening Forum, organisers have purchased 8 000 Kilowatt hours of Renewable Energy Certificates to power Meetings Africa, book direct flights and a convenient choice of venue to eliminate the impact of travelling on the environment. Printing has also been reduced within the registration process through paperless contracting.

Delegates are encouraged to put their greenest foot forward too, by drinking filtered tap water that is freely available, by purchasing a tree for only R130 to plant in a local community in partnership with Food & Trees for Africa, or to carpool to the event to alleviate traffic congestion around the venue – and reduce one’s carbon footprint.

In addition, the Green Stand Awards will once again recognise the environmental and social efforts implemented by exhibitors at this year’s Meetings Africa.

Sidebar: Top Greening Tips for Delegates

  1. Purchase a tree for only R130 to offset your carbon footprint
  2. Carpool to the venue
  3. Make use of the Gautrain and shuttle services
  4. Plan meetings around the show and decrease your need to travel
  5. Drink free, filtered tap water rather than bottled
  6. If you buy bottled water, there is a R12 surcharge
  7. Use the three-bin recycling system at the show

Click here to continue reading the latest Event Issue 01.

The post Meet the Continent at Meetings Africa appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 15:10

Natasha Skoryk looks at the impact of business events on their host cities, countries, the world at large, and for the event industry itself.

The legacy footprint of events is best pictured as an iceberg. Floating above the surface, there’s the visible economic impacts made by visitors (this is primarily the revenue generated by the event attendees during the course of the event). Hidden below are the other economic impacts (many events provide a platform for businesses to generate revenue long after the event has ended). Finally, there’s the type of impact which is most difficult to measure: the indirect impact. The latter is naturally the largest section of the iceberg, yet remains largely unseen and is exceptionally difficult to quantify.

Design Indaba – held annually in Cape Town – is a major highlight on the continental and international creative calendar. This year, they are expecting to have 1 200 conference visitors and will be hosting four simulcasts of the conference. The latter is an exciting technological development which immediately grows the legacy – both visible and indirect – of any event that chooses to make effective use of it. Ticketed simulcasts generate money for the hosts, but they also allow a larger quantity of participants and attendees. Technology has paved the way to extend the potential impact of our eventing beyond the scope of what would’ve been imagined in prior decades. There is no need to imagine physical attendance will drop, but events increasingly need to think about including remote attendees if they wish to make a lasting impact. Remote attendance greatly ups the hidden impact of an event, because it exposes those around the world to ideas, thoughts and, in the case of Design Indaba, creative inspiration.

Strategies for inclusion need to be limited to remote attendance and technologically savvy simulcasts. The 2018 MBA World Summit sought to make the event more inclusive by pairing up the international delegates with local township entrepreneurs. The international delegates were some of the world’s top MBA students, and they devoted time and energy specifically to helping local South African entrepreneurs overcome the structural challenges they face daily. The initiative was a resounding success.

Still, it’s not all about the tech and development. Prior to the launch of simulcasts, Stratecon and University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business conducted a study on the economic impact of Design Indaba. As far back as 2015, it was generating around R235 million annually from ticket sales and revenue. Additionally, participants and visitors always spend money on accommodation, entertainment and various other tourism activities, which the study failed to measure. Research suggests most out-of-town delegates do not arrive on or leave immediately after the event, ensuring the Western Cape’s tourism industry benefits extensively. As those in the industry already know, a boom in business tourism and business travel does not only benefit MICE, but is felt by all members of the hospitality and tourism industries.

As discussed earlier, however, the value of Design Indaba still cannot be reduced to a cold, hard, numerical figure. The event showcases a huge number of local entrepreneurs, artisans, thought leaders, artists and craftspeople and gives them access to a wider audience. There are specific examples of this: jeweller Tiffany Marx credits her business’s success to the exposure she received at the 2006 Design Indaba (when she had just graduated from her course at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology). Since then, her business has grown exponentially, and aside from operating a successful store selling bronze, brass, copper and silver jewellery in the V&A Waterfront, she takes on regular local and international commissions (and works with diamonds, gold and platinum as well). Tiffany’s business is a perfect example of a small, medium and micro-sized enterprise (SMME), a sector which has been identified as crucial to growing South Africa’s economy.

“Entrepreneurs in South Africa and small businesses contribute to over 30% of South Africa’s GDP, so that is where this country is going to change in the coming years,” says Gwynneth Matthews, a Professional Conference Organiser. According to the National Development Plan (NDP), by 2030 government envisions a 5% annual growth rate for the economy, with a whopping 60%-70% of that figure being generated by SMMEs. In 2014, the South African government thus established a Ministry of Small Business Development, with express intention of growing the vital SMME sector. But government cannot accomplish this without the private sector. Business events, such as Design Indaba, contribute hugely to the growth and development of SMMEs, and continue their impact long after the conference is over. With technology making events like Design Indaba accessible from around the country (and perhaps soon from around the world?), participants are given an ever greater platform.

Decorex SA, now entering its 26th year of its show in Johannesburg, is another massive platform for SMMEs to develop. In 1994, they featured 144 exhibitors and attracted 26 000 visitors. By 2018, the event was attracting 57 361 visitors to 8 full halls of exhibitors! Their marketing manager, Zoe Van Niekerk, puts it succinctly: “Establishing an interior design company is a daunting undertaking for even the most talented professionals as it can prove challenging trying to stand out as a key player. In the past 25 years, Decorex SA has provided a much-needed boost for local careers as well uplifted the exhibition and event industry as a whole.” Decorex allows local entrepreneurs a major platform, and in turn, has been responsible for launching or boosting many careers.

This sort of growth doesn’t happen incidentally; it is the result of sustained initiatives on the parts of organisers. “We have a special craft subsidiary rate for local artists and crafters which allow them to reach our audience and gain exposure through the Decorex platform. Through the years this has helped propelled local organisations from grass roots to internationally renowned artists,” says Zoe. Some of this impact is measurable, but other ways in which participants benefit from participating in Decorex are harder to quantify. After all, sharing knowledge and drawing inspiration from fellow participants can majorly develop an artist’s career. More established participants can assist emerging creatives (both consciously and in ways they might not even notice!)

Decorex takes its social sustainability footprint seriously, and works to expand the reach of the event to directly assist disadvantaged communities. “Each year we also do a store room clear out and all old branding and items from the shows we donate to a local community for upcycling,” explains Zoe. Initiatives like these can extend an event’s footprint and leave a more lasting legacy, particularly at the lower levels of the iceberg. The knowledge and resources shared by events and meetings can effect real change across areas and communities, which is vital in developing economies such as South Africa.

That said, an event is not necessarily a charity, and the effects of similar magnanimity most probably stop after a while. One-off donations do not necessarily affect major, lasting change. To counter-balance this, Decorex has been partnering with charitable organisations who benefit from the exposure, and who receive sizeable financial contributions from Decorex. Zoe gives one recent example: “In 2018, Decorex SA incorporated Pink Drive into one of the show’s features with She Sheds. Designers were given a space to curate the ultimate female sanctuary at each of the event. This feature allowed PinkDrive to drive awareness around breast cancer and ultimately raise funds for the organization. The Pink Drive benefitted financially and from an extensive PR and social media awareness campaign from their involvement with the 2018 Decorex She Sheds project.”

Also in 2019 they hosted the Thru The Chair Project where students from ReCreate re-crafted ordinary, everyday chairs into exquisite works of art. These re-purposed items were then sold to raise funds for sustainable projects which promote education in Africa. The latter project worked both to further social sustainability through charitable contributions and, as discussed earlier, to boost the profile of emerging SMMEs. The exact impact of Decorex’s charity partnerships and continued efforts at social responsiveness are hard to quantify in exact terms. Organisations benefit not only from donations, but from publicity and word of mouth. Who knows exactly how many visitors to the She Sheds at Decorex 2018 would go on to donate to Pink Drive in the next few years or decades? And, on a more individualistic point, who knows how many attendees were made more conscious of breast cancer and went on to have – potentially life-saving – mammograms?

Another way in which events are leaving improved legacies is through a dedicated focus on environmental sustainability. No longer are organisers and planners trying to minimise damage; many events actively attempt to better the environment they’re in. For an international example, we can look to the 2012 Festival of Transitional Architecture, which was held in earthquake-wrecked Christchurch, New Zealand. Instead of attempting to minimise the effects of the earthquake, organisers transformed the city’s “red zone” into a party. 20 000 visitors showed up to explore this project in urban renewal. They also encouraged participants to think in terms of “radical sustainability” – that is to say, using only waste or surplus materials for construction. A focus on sustainability is not a cutes-y gimmick for organisers, as Christchurch has an abundance of waste and debris that it has still not managed to fully rid itself of. By focusing on the particular environment the event is hosted in, organisers can serve to improve it both during and after the event.

It is imperative that event organisers begin to think more in terms of the many hidden impacts of their events, and incorporate it into the planning process. It is difficult to make lasting change if the ways that it can be made have not been fully considered. While there will still be positive impact – MICE is hugely responsible for growing developing economies, after all – it is possible to make a far larger one through design and careful implementation. Whether the goal is to make local events more inclusive and exposing more people to the ideas discussed there; sharing knowledge, information and inspiration across community and sector boundaries; driving economic growth through the development of SMMEs; or simply boosting the tourism sector through the endorsement of hotels, restaurants and tour operators, it is vital to consider the legacy ‘iceberg’ which your event will leave behind.

Gary Grimmer, owner of GainingEdge, seems to sum it up best: “The business and professional events industry is actually a transformative strategy for countries that are trying to develop their knowledge and creative economies.” By employing this strategy, and focusing more intensely on MICE, countries across Africa can grow beyond our wildest expectations and plans. But it will take event organisers’ sustained efforts to do so.

Click here to continue reading the latest Event Issue 01.

The post Leaving a Legacy appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 15:05

Does new year mean new industry? Natasha Skoryk speaks to some of the industry’s key figures to see what’s on the cards for MICE in 2019.

Growth in Convention Bureaux

Rick Taylor, of consulting firm The Business Tourism Company, predicts new convention bureaux appearing all over the continent. “Africa is under-performing in world MICE arrivals recording 3% of international association meetings, and 6% of international organisation and association meetings respectively, according to ICCA and UIA,” he says. He feels the reason for this underperformance is the lack of formal convention bureaux structures. “What has been missing in Africa is a comprehension of the technicalities required by Convention Bureaux as brokers of innovation in delivering the economic value and institutional legacies of MICE,” Rick explains.

Rick predicts East Africa to become the new market-ready region for MICE. “Uganda has recently launched its National Convention Bureau whilst Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia are ones to watch in 2019 as they scale up for MICE and formalise their National Convention Bureaux,” says Rick. The positive effects of this growth will be immediately noticeable: “On the back of the growth in Convention Bureaux, demand for meetings and events in Africa will grow between 5 and 10% in 2019, and the average size of meetings will rise in nearly every region.”

Sustainability

“South Africans have recently been made aware of the impact of climate change, through the severe drought in the Western Cape and the wild fires in these dry regions. These conditions had a detrimental impact on business tourism and events in the country, and I think this has resulted in a growing awareness of the need for sustainability,” says Justin Hawes of Scan Display.

As a result, the industry is taking big strides in the direction of sustainability. “Sustainable not green,” clarifies Gary van der Watt, from Resource Design. It’s not simply about using eco-hacks, but rather about structuring an event with environmental and social sustainability in mind from the start. This is in line with international trends. Zoe Van Niekerk, Marketing Manager at Reed Exhibitions, tells us: “Internationally the Sustainability Development Goals are gaining a lot of traction, and this is something that I am starting to see coming through to the South African market. Although this is still fairly new concept, I am excited to see how these goals will play out and the effect that they will have on the industry.”

Greg McManus, chair of the Event Greening Forum, feels that it isn’t just internationals driving the move towards sustainability. “Over the past year I would say that, in some respects, local PCOs and organisations are possibly at the cutting edge of sustainable meetings practice. However, we still have some way to go with mega events to reach international standards,” he says. Clients are also driving the change. “More and more organisations are asking about their suppliers’ greening policies and practices. They want to deal with suppliers that take sustainability seriously. It’s not across the board yet but we do see it growing. Sustainability is becoming an important consideration,” says Justin. The push from clients is conspicuous. “I expect to see greater commitment to more responsible and sustainable events across the corporate sector this year. Branding and risk pressures are forcing many local companies to ensure that their public persona reflects a more responsible and caring disposition,” Greg explains.

This push towards sustainability affects venues directly. “In 2019, venues such as Gallagher Convention Centre can expect a greater focus from organisers on the social and environmental impact on their events,” says Leniese van der Merwe, Marketing Manager at Gallagher Convention Centre.

Experiences … Not “Events”

In 2019, event attendees will be expecting memorable experiences, not just events. “Participants want experiences and choices and to be recognised as individuals. Successful business events in 2019 will be those that offer personalised experiences,” says Pieter Swart.

In many ways, this will involve sparking genuine emotions and engagement among participants. “In 2019, I see events are looking to take their visitors and exhibitors on a journey to try evoke an emotion. Not only will this make events a more memorable experience but will help to create a positive long-lasting story for them to talk about for days, months or even years to come,” Zoe explains. Rick feels this is about story-telling: “Successful events will deliver a coherent story at every stage of the planning process.”

Pieter notes that the attempts to create such long-lasting impressions need to factor in all sensory elements. “A greater understanding of neurosciences will influence business event design, using elements that will activate sensory experiences holistically to enhance content retention through association, such as smell, taste, sound, touch, sight as well as emotional triggers to activate response,” he says. “Clients are looking for more experiential events – be it conferencing or incentive travel. We as DMCs and PCOs need to become a lot more creative to come up with interactive events for our clients,” adds Tes Proos, of Crystal Events and Incentives.

At the end of the day, the move means venues and event organisers have to be more creative and sensitive to client needs. “A ‘one size fits all’ approach to the business of events cannot be tolerated as organisers and consumers have an expectation of a customised, specialised approach and offering from their venue,” says Leniese.

Quirky Creativity

In line with the quest for a memorable experience, events will have to offer more creative and innovative solutions. “There will be a growing demand for unorthodox spaces and delegate experiences. Suppliers want to make the event experience more memorable through the use of open and unusual spaces in and outdoors, like tree houses and rooftops, along with seating plans in favour of minimalistic sets and funky furniture such as director’s chairs, bean bags and soft sofas,” says Rick. “There will be more focus on wellness such as morning runs or yoga classes attached to the event, and healthy food-on-tap available throughout the day rather than just at traditional breaks.”

This will affect gifting practices. “Gifting over the years has become mundane and impersonalised. I often see collections of gift notebooks, water bottles, pens amongst other things in the desk draws of co-workers,” says Zoe. She believes traditional ‘thank-you’s’ will be replaced by Sustainability Villages. “The concept allows the organiser to bring local crafters to their event who produce beautiful locally crafted products and provide recipients with a gift card that can be redeemed at the Village. After seeing this concept implemented at several events now, I am constantly amazed by how people are drawn to the Village and how it becomes a topic of discussion long after the event – which shows that is a real winner and provides an element to gifting that has never been there before.”

Technology as Disruptor

Everyone agrees that technology will continue to be the primary disrupting force shaping the industry. “Technological advancements will continue to influence the MICE industry as connectivity remains paramount,” Leniese says. “We all know that technology is one of the most active drivers bringing change to the event industry. 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,” says Rick.

What are some of the new technologies we will see in 2019? “We can look forward to robotics becoming team members such as Axela at on-site help desks and chatbots serving in call centres. Artificial Intelligence applications will continue to find inroads at business events to assist with assessments and ROI through face profiling for predictive analytics,” says Pieter. “Virtual reality maturing to find specific niches, allowing people to experience conditions for educational purposes in simulated environments that may be dangerous in reality as an example.” This trend will go hand-in-hand with an increased drive towards sustainability. “Technology and green hybrid solutions such as sustainable materials combined with Virtual Reality expo stands [will become popular],” Gary predicts.

There are changes further along on the horizon as well. “Perhaps not in 2019 locally, but something to watch out for is the use of alternative currencies such as the exchange of cryptocurrencies as payment methods,” says Pieter. “Blockchain technology has already been successfully integrated and applied in some business events applications in the US and Middle East.”

Focus on Data Security

There is a dark side to the increased use of technology in eventing, and that is around tech security. “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,” says Rick. This trend is not unique to MICE: as the Cambridge Analytica scandal showed us, how personal data is used is of paramount concern to almost everyone on the planet.

“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,” explains Rick.

Shifts in Content

As event attendees arrive with ever higher expectations, content will need to shift so as to be more engaging. Pieter believes text will largely be replaced by voice, and traditional PowerPoints and stills are going to be overtaken by video formats such as animation. Rick believes event attendees will be engaged early on in the content creation process, through the use of questionnaires and involvement in identifying topics and choice of speakers.

These speakers are going to be expected to perform in particular ways. “TED Talks have sparked a whole new way of presenting information, emphasising knowledge, business insight and emotional connection to the audience,” says Rick. As a result, attention is going to move away from the perceived celebrity status of speakers and focus more on their genuine engagement with their audience.

Shrinking Budgets

An unfortunate trend noted by a range of industry players has been the move towards smaller budgets. “Budgets have shrunk across the board and we need to deliver a lot more for a lot less, so the entire industry needs to rethink how we have been doing things and come up with solutions in order to stay ahead of the game,” Tes notes. Partly, this may be the result of clients knowing exactly what they want. “Clients are a lot more savvy when it comes to setting budgets and how they are buying. We have seen a great deal more clients go directly to suppliers this past year, rather than using a DMC or PCO for one-stop-shop service delivery,” she says.

While for many in the industry this situation may be worrying, it also means there is room for originality and interesting new solutions. “We anticipate to see innovation from long-standing events as organisers will look to find creative ways to grow their events while keeping their costs low,” says Leniese. “2019 will be a year of growth for those in the industry with a passion for innovating and adapting.”

 

Click here to continue reading the latest Event Issue 01.

The post Trends to Expect in 2019 appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 15:25
Entry for this year’s Loeries is now open, with a call for agencies, studios, brands and designers to tell better stories – stories that upend stereotypes, tear down racial divides and embrace cultural differences. We sat down with Loeries CEO Andrew Human to unpack his belief in the power the creative industry has to shape the way we see the world, and ultimately, tell a better story for humanity.

Why is the Loeries committed to telling better stories?

People don’t realise the incredible power of the creative industry. We inform opinions and create impressions. The consequence of the reality we present has massive repercussions. This incredible power comes with responsibility. The Loeries is committed to driving the industry to use this power for good.

Everyone in the creative and brand communications industry should look at whether they are leading society for the better or reinforcing common negative stereotypes. We need to question the imagery we use, the way we portray people, and the language we use. To upend negative stereotypes, we need to be visionary and not reactive. There are many better stories just waiting to be told.

Will this not lead us to a vanilla, politically correct narrative that lacks authenticity and believability? Or, perhaps even worse, perch the industry on the moral high ground – preaching to the masses?

The lifeblood of our industry is creativity and innovation. As we upend negative stereotypes and age-old narratives, we need to be more innovative than ever. Yes, we need to question our language choices, make sure we are inclusive, transformational and locally relevant, but this cannot be all we bring to the table. It would be disastrous if the sole intention is not to offend anyone. As always, it is our job to break the rules. We need to provoke and poke. Use humour and catch people off-guard challenge and offend them. We need to be sharp, funny, innovative and thought-provoking – always. I honestly believe the Loeries can help to make us better at what we do. It’s too easy to follow the stereotype. A new and inclusive narrative that is locally relevant and culturally nuanced opens up a whole new world for innovation.

This is all encapsulated in the Loeries’ vision to tell better stories. Real stories, inclusive stories, locally and culturally relevant stories but better stories.

How do we tell better stories across Africa and the Middle East?

For over 40 years, the Loeries has been pushing, championing and sharing creativity and innovation. We need to upend the narrative that innovation comes from the west. It is our job as an industry to change the stereotypes of Africa and the Middle East. There are over 2 000 languages across the region. We gave the world irrigation, organised religion, hospital emergency rooms and the understanding that the world revolves on its own axis. That is our story or just the tip of it, and it is our mandate to continue telling it.

Who is telling better stories?

Many brands have already stepped up. A great case in point is Carling Black Label, telling a better story about alcohol and gender violence. Nike telling better stories about women in sport. Nissan changing perceptions about women driving in Saudi Arabia.

Are there any new developments we can expect at the Loeries this year?

Absolutely. One of the exciting developments is the broadening of our design category. We’ve opened the design awards to include all aspects of design – retail design like furniture, lighting and fabric design, industrial design, interior design and architecture, as well as all elements of traditional graphic design. Nando’s has come on board as our design category partner – they are a brilliant example of a brand that uses local design as an integral part of their brand. They work closely in developing and nurturing the local design industry, ensuring each new store is filled with inspiring local art and design. It has changed the conversation, replacing cookie-cutter mass designs with individual and inspiring local design. What’s more is that Nando’s has democratised art and design, making it readily available for everyone. Nando’s lives a better story.

Lastly, how is the Loeries, as a brand, telling better stories?

My core belief is that real change comes through youth and with education. The earlier on we start to shift the narrative, the greater the impact we can have. If we could, we would start in grade one! That’s why we have worked so hard over the past 10 years on our Creative Futures Scholarship, which brings talented youngsters from disadvantaged communities into the industry – giving them a life-changing opportunity while developing our future creative leaders.

The question I challenge everyone to ask themselves is: what value did we add to our region, our country, our community or the stakeholders we serve? What change did we create? What is your better story?

About Loeries Africa Middle East

The Loeries, a non-profit company, is Africa and the Middle East’s premier initiative that recognises, rewards, inspires and fosters creative excellence in the brand communication industry. As the highest accolade for creativity and innovation across our region, the Loeries promotes and supports creativity by helping marketers, agencies and consumers appreciate the value of ideas and fresh thinking.

Culminating in the biggest creative gathering in Africa and the Middle East, Loeries Creative Week Durban brings together the best innovative minds from our industry for a festival of networking, inspiring minds and recognising great work.

Our region’s creative economy is world-class and has great potential to grow and to offer employment both to our talented youth. The growth occurring throughout Africa and the Middle East is very exciting, and a major focus of the Loeries is to increase the standard of brand communication in the region.

Major Partners of the Loeries
DStv Media Sales, Gearhouse

Category Partners
AB InBev, Brand South Africa, Facebook, Gagasi FM, Google, JCDecaux, Nando’s, SANBS, Tsogo Sun, Woolworths

Additional Partners and Official Suppliers
AAA School of Advertising, Antalis South Africa, Aon South Africa, Backsberg, BEE Online, First Source, Fresh RSVP Guest Logistics, Funk Productions, Gallo Images, Grid Worldwide, Hetzner, Mama Creative, Multiprint Litho, Newsclip, Paygate, Rocketseed, Shift Social Development, Spitfire, Vega School, VQI Communications Nigeria

Official Media Partners
Between 10and5, B&W Report, Bizcommunity.com, Book of Swag, Brand Communicator Nigeria, Business Insider by Pulse, Campaign Middle East, Creative Feel, Design Times, Film & Event Media, Goliath and Goliath, iDidTht.com, Marketing Africa Kenya, MarkLives.com, The Redzone

The post Tell Better Stories Loeries 2019 appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 14:34
Present in South Africa for 10 years through its subsidiary GL events South Africa which already deploys the Group’s event services solutions (GL events Live), GL events has acquired 60% of Johannesburg Expo Centre 2002 Pty Ltd (JEC).

This company owns the largest exhibition centre in Africa (42,000 sqm indoor space on a site totalling 510,000 sqm) which hosts South Africa’s biggest trade shows, including notably the Rand Show, Bauma, Electra Mining, Propak Africa, Automechanica, etc.

It has 16 employees and is a shareholder of Dogan Exhibitions and Events Pty Ltd, the exhibition organiser for the Rand Show, South Africa’s iconic consumer exhibition that will be celebrating its 125th edition in April 2019.

This project highlights a strategy to reinforce GL events’ presence in South Africa, the largest event industry market on the African continent, with forecasted growth of 7% per annum until 2021, exceeding the country’s GDP growth.

OUTLOOK AND DEVELOPMENT

The Montgomery Group is a historic shareholder of the Johannesburg Expo Centre 2002 Pty Ltd and will remain an owner of the company alongside GL events. The Montgomery Group is an organiser of 50 shows in 15 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa. The synergies between Montgomery as a successful international organiser and GL events’ expertise in managing exhibition venues will contribute to the success of new events to be developed for the site.

This acquisition will allow GL events to deploy the integrated business model which has underpinned the Group’s success and achieve combined annual revenue in South Africa of more than €15 million.

The post GL Events Announces The Acquisition Of The Majority Shareholding In Africa’s Biggest Exhibition Centre appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.

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