by DION HENRICK in Cape Toown
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – MEETINGS Africa promises to re-activate the long-awaited business events industry when it returns to South Africa next month.
Over 1 000 meetings have already been set up on the online diary system ahead of the event slated for March 1-to-2 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
The preliminary Business Opportunities Networking Day (BONDay) is set for February 28.
Media, tourism and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) stakeholders gathered at the Southern Sun Waterfront in Cape Town on Wednesday for the Meetings Africa Media Roundtable.
Themba Khumalo, the SA Tourism Acting Chief Executive Officer, said although Meetings Africa 2022 had elements of a hybrid event, much of the physical gathering would recapture the spirit of the pan-African trade show.
“It will have that human connection and I encourage everyone to be physically present at Meetings Africa,” Khumalo said.
“The time when we are facing adversity, there is a higher human instinct that digs deep and does not allow the barriers to stop us from doing what we need to do.”
Hailed as the ‘engine room’ for the continent, Meetings Africa provides stakeholders the platform to begin the work of restoring the business events sector to profitability.
“Let us trade hard on the floor. If we take that attitude we will have the very best Meetings Africa we will ever have because of the spirit in which we do it,” Khumalo said.
The Sustainability Village, the Future Leaders Forum, Speed Marketing and plenary discussions will return.
The MICE Masterclass is the newest addition to BONDay.
Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, the Chief Conventions Bureau Officer of the SA National Conventions Bureau, said Meetings Africa 2022 would continue playing a central role in furthering business and boosting economic development.
“It is the engine room of our countries,” said Kotze-Nhlapo.
She lauded Meetings Africa as an important platform for stakeholders to converge again.
“It might look different, but it is still the platform where Africa comes together and shows its offerings to the world,” Kotze-Nhlapo said.
Meetings Africa’s tag line is, “Advancing Africa Together.” The previous edition was shelved because of the COVID-19.
“We have become more resilient and our foundations are that much stronger,” said Kim Roberts, National Chairperson of the SA Association for the Conference Industry.
– CAJ News