Meetings Africa 2023 a resounding success
by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE number of confirmed meetings at the continent’s premier tourism trade show- Meetings Africa- is edging closer to pre-pandemic levels.
At the 17th edition ending on Thursday, 7 000 meetings were confirmed using the online diary system this year, compared to 3 000 in 2022.
Meetings Africa kicked off on Tuesday at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, where delegates, buyers and exhibitors hailed it as a resounding success.
“The trade show is all about buyers meeting suppliers, resulting in real business opportunities and sales, some of which materialise years later, ” said Zinhle Nzama, Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB).
She emphasised the importance of sustainable tourism practices, explicitly mentioning the Green Stand Award and Sustainability Village.
The former recognises exhibitors who meet green criteria and limit their environmental footprint, while the latter promotes using locally produced, recycled, and reused materials.
The business exchanges and connections made at Meetings Africa 2023 are expected to have a long-term impact, leading to policy changes, new partnerships, and increased business opportunities to benefit Africa’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry for years to come.
First-time exhibitor, Ikala Nala of IPS Tours, was impressed by the beauty of African products and connections made, with quality leads established.
Claire Kivedo, Managing Creative Director of Overall Events and Communication from South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay, echoed the same sentiments about the invaluable connections she made at the trade show.
Buyer Raymon Honings, Managing Director of Travelmediate Global from the Netherlands, hailed the diversity of exhibitors.
“The quality of meetings was higher than in the past,” the buyer said.
“I had access to an entire portfolio of potential suppliers showcasing what the African MICE industry can offer,” Honings said.
Phumeza Nywe Ndjock of Mankwe Gametrackers was excited at securing multiple confirmed bookings for her business.
Meanwhile, Myra Theron, Business Development Consultant at Mankwe, proposed using Q-codes to share business cards, thus limiting the event’s carbon footprint.
“Meetings Africa is sure to have a long-term impact on the industry, benefiting local communities and the environment,” Nzama concluded.
– CAJ News