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SANCB readies for Meetings Africa 2015


THE South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB) has announced the Meetings Africa 2015 event programme which has been designed to deliver a strategically focused and informative show that will meet exhibitor, buyer and visitor expectations.
Meetings Africa 2015 takes place 23 -25 February at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
Meetings Africa has earned its place as Africa’s premier business events trade show. The show, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, attracts quality buyers from around the world and superior business events products and services from across the continent.
“Last year was an exciting and busy time for the industry.  Not only did we celebrate twenty years of democracy and the phenomenal growth of the industry during this period, but we also celebrated South Africa’s global business events ranking, big meeting wins and, amongst others, the appointment of myself and Nina Freysen-Pretorius to prominent positions on the ICCA Board,” says Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the South Africa National Convention Bureau that owns and hosts Meetings Africa.
“In amongst all of this, we as the organisers, were hard at work with preparations for our own business event trade show, Meetings Africa which will celebrate a momentous milestone this year,” she says.
Meetings Africa has grown significantly since its inception in 2005. It has become the preferred meeting place for the industry, offering exhibitors from across Africa. Meetings Africa is the single best platform to meet quality buyers from around the world, all under one roof.
“Meetings Africa 2015 will be a celebration and recognition of our achievements as a show and of the people who have impacted and contributed to the show and the industry’s growth. We can say with certainty that the show is going to be valuable, exciting and vibrant without compromising on its primary purpose or on our strategic objectives” says Kotze-Nhlapo.
Delegates attending the show will be treated to a robust event programme catering to buyers and exhibitors. Informed, in part, by the feedback from various stakeholders, certain classic elements of the Meetings Africa programme will be retained in 2015 while other aspects will be done away with completely or refined to make the show better and more impactful.
There is an exciting and informative event programme lined up that organisers of the show, are certain will cater to all in attendance.  An new feature includes the first ever AIPC – the International Association of Convention Centres – Africa Summit taking place on BOND day (Business Opportunity Networking Day) on Monday, 23 February.
The AIPC Africa Summit is a one day forum targeted at all industry members and stakeholders who are keen on gaining insights into this industry from a global perspective which will enable them to help their business thrive. This will be addressed by global and local industry experts including highly renowned industry expert, Rod Cameron who is also the Executive Director of AIPC.  The speakers will address delegates on a range of enlightening topics pertaining to business events trends and Africa’s potential in relation to the global market.
Some of the other speakers for the various APIC Africa Summit sessions include, but is not limited to, Rick Taylor from the Business Tourism Company, Paul Flackett who is Managing Director of the IMEX Group and Thebe Ikalafeng – Founder and Managing Director of the Brand Leadership Group. The Moderator for the various discussions will be James Latham who is the Executive Producer of the International Meetings Review.
The CEO panel discussion will be addressed by the CEOs of the top three convention bureaus in South Africa: Durban ICC, Sandton ICC and the Cape Town ICC.
BOND day will also feature the third edition of the very successful IMEX MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum, African Association Day to be held in conjunction with ICCA, and the first edition of CEP(Continuing Education Programme) Africa and as well as the very popular Event Greening Forum.
The second day of Meetings Africa -24 February – marks the official opening of the exhibition.  A key highlight on this day is Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, who will officiate over his first ever Meetings Africa since his appointment last year.
Later on the same day, the Global Media Face-Off, under the theme ‘Business Events: Gearing a Continent Up for Growth’, will examine the state and the contribution of business events industry on the African continent as well as the growth of South Africa’s business events industry over the last decade and how collaboration across the continent will be benefit Africa as a whole.
All media and industry members are encouraged to attend this event where distinguished industry leaders, an Africa socio-economic expert, and a professional conference organiser from the continent will be on hand to address delegates and take questions.
In line with the one of the key strategic objectives of Meetings Africa, to create a platform to do business, the partnership with The Unique Speaker Bureau corporate hosted buyers programme has made a new exciting turn in the form of the inaugural VIP Local corporate “B2B” speed marketing event.  This is a platform that will assist exhibitors to do more business, 50 exhibitors have the opportunity to meet 50 of the top regional corporate companies. This event will take place over the two days of Meetings Africa, 24-25 February 2015.
On the last day of Meetings Africa, the Unique Speakers Bureau (USB) will host the Corporate Buyers showcase. This is the second time the event is being hosted at Meetings Africa – following phenomenal feedback from event planners last year.
This showcase brings together over 40 professional speakers including international and local speakers and other leading providers to the conferencing industry including venues, travel and destinations throughout Southern Africa. If you are in the business of planning corporate events and meetings, this show is a must attend.
“We are very excited about this year’s Meetings Africa show and are very confident that it will exceed expectations in terms of visitor experience, and quality of exhibitors and hosted buyers,” concludes Kotze-Nhlapo.

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