The Sandton Convention Centre was abuzz with the kickoff of Meetings Africa 2023, anchored by the eagerly anticipated Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay). A meeting point for industry mavens, innovative disruptors, and data aficionados from the world of tourism.
BONDay is more than an event. It’s a learning hub for industry greenhorns and veterans to exchange insights, establish collaborations, and ignite change. This year, it beckons with the allure of storytelling. Gcina Mhlophe, a revered storyteller and poet, graced the attendees with a tale deeply rooted in the African soil.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, during his Meetings Africa 2023 keynote, underscored the urgency of collaboration, urging unity in the African convention and exhibition landscape. “Reaching a global benchmark is a collective endeavour,” Mahlalela emphasized. He spotlighted Meetings Africa as the pivotal trade show that encapsulates the business events of the continent, spotlighting the integral role of SMMEs in the vast tourism tapestry.
In a bid to amplify the voice and reach of SMMEs, Meetings Africa unveiled the “plug and meet” pavilion. This provision, besides being cost-effective, welcomes 20 SMMEs, with 45 more taking centre stage during the event.
Noteworthy mentions include the premiere African edition of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Summit and the regular feature – the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Association Day.
With over 30 experts dispersed over four platforms, BONDay presented a smorgasbord of knowledge, fostering discussions on present-day industry conundrums and blueprints for a prosperous future.
At Meetings Africa 2023 the Deputy Minister extended his commendations to the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) for their triumph in securing a majority of international bids, a move set to boost the economy by an estimated R288 million from 2022 to 2025.
Zinhle Nzama, the Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer, offered insights on the seating layout, conceived to evoke the warmth and camaraderie of time-honoured fireside conversations. This essence was further embodied with upcycled drums as furniture, cushions adorned with Ndebele prints, and vibrant pouffes and mini desks punctuating the venue.
Await with bated breath for Meetings Africa’s official inauguration on 28 February 2023, boasting 325 exhibitors spanning 22 African nations and global participation from over 60 countries.
Africa reports on the Unravel Travel TV website: CLICK HERE
Meetings Africa 2024 website: www.meetingsafrica.co.za