The 2013 Meetings Africa that was held at Sandton Convention Centre exceeded Tshwane Convention Bureau’s expectations. The quality of the buyers was excellent, and the bureau is following up on the leads that were generated at the event.
Meetings Africa is a business tourism marketing platform which aims to expose local and international buyers to the range of services and products in Southern Africa’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference, Exhibitions) industry.
The event brings together conference and event venues, travel destinations, professional conference organisers, destination marketing companies, associations and event organisers, all of which are an integral part of business tourism. It has a hosted buyer programme (buyers that have a potential to bring business tourism events to the country and are carefully selected and hosted by South African Tourism and Department of Trade and Industry). This programme is aimed at exposing and educating the buyers about the destination and to generate new business leads for the country.
ED: Convention and Visitors Services Bureau had the opportunity to talk to the Minister of Tourism Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who was very pleased by the move taken by the City of Tshwane to establish its own Convention Bureau.
The highlight of the event was the announcement of the Tshwane Convention Bureau as the winner of the 2013 Meetings Africa Best Stand. This is an important milestone for the city as it is now recognised by the business tourism fraternity, and managed to beat well-established companies and organisations in business tourism industry. Not only did this demonstrate how serious the city is about business tourism, but it also created awareness about the City of Tshwane as a business tourism destination and attracted hosted buyers and local business to the stand.
The criteria for judging the stands included the visual impact, spatiality, lighting effects, graphics and presentation, quality of material and workmanship and Exhibition Stand Identification. Achieving this award was indeed an example of “Igniting Excellence, and with this comes expectations from the industry.
Winning this award has boosted our confidence, and that of the industry in us. We are now gearing ourselves to bid for new MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events) business for the City of Tshwane. This requires lots of support from other departments and financial backing. Business tourism also referred to as MICE is a key driver for economic growth and development, hence the importance of the establishment of a bidding fund. The City also used Meetings Platform to promote Tshwane Open.