It’s the final countdown to the year’s biggest business events on the African continent and a vitally important event from a business tourism perspective, Meetings Africa, which takes place at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, from 22 to 24 February.
Meetings Africa, this year celebrating its 11th anniversary, is a major showcase for Africa’s diverse offering of global meetings services and products and the ideal platform to expose Africa’s strengths to the rest of the world. In 2015 it attracted 270 exhibitors and 2 000 visitors and corporate travel buyers, 178 international hosted buyers, 34 African associations. This year, the show has already attracted exhibitors from 16 countries, with numbers still climbing.
Says Mati Nyazema, Executive Director of Sandton Convention Centre (SCC), “We have been proud to host Meetings Africa since its inception in 2004. It is an iconic industry event and one of the SCC’s key signature events every year. It also highlights Africa’s steady climb in the world rankings as a preferred business destination. South Africa is now ranked 32nd most popular destination globally on the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) global rankings, having hosted 124 international recognised association conferences during 2014, up from its 2013 ranking of 34th, and in sharp contrast to the 12 global events held in 1994.”
A popular Meetings Africa offering is the Hosted Buyer Programme where the SA National Convention Bureau invites a select group of hosted buyers to attend the event. These buyers go through a strict selection and qualifying process before being approved as recognised International, African Association, or Local Corporate Hosted Buyers, forming part of the pre-scheduled online matchmaking appointment schedule to maximise their time and value at the exhibition.
“Meetings Africa will once again see the SCC buzzing with activity, dialogue, exchanging of ideas, sharing of knowledge and expertise, innovative thinking, bonding on Bond Day, sound trading, and much more.”
This year, Hosted Buyers from 18 countries will attend Meetings Africa, namely Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and USA.
Local Corporate Hosted Buyers will benefit from a dedicated corporate programme in partnership with Unique Speaker Bureau on 24 February, and will also have the option to participate in other sectors of the show, as well as in the Corporate B2B on 23 February.
“Meetings Africa will once again see the SCC buzzing with activity, dialogue, exchanging of ideas, sharing of knowledge and expertise, innovative thinking, bonding on Bond Day, sound trading, and much more. It’s a multi-faceted event that the industry doesn’t want to miss – and we’re looking forward to welcoming every participant to the show,” says Nyazema.
This article was written by LEBOHANG MAFEREKA