As South Africa gears up to host the 18th Meetings Africa trade show, Zinhole Nzama, Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer, South Africa National Convention Bureau, reflects on South Africa’s growing stature as a MICE destination and the major spinoffs from hosting major business meetings. Annually, South Africa hosts dozens of highly successful conferences, imbizos, and events, drawing audiences and delegates from across the global village.
South Africa’s allure as a top choice for business gatherings is rapidly growing; thanks to its beautiful scenery, favorable climate, and robust infrastructure, South Africa’s advantageous currency exchange rate positions it as an ideal location for international business events.
The success of Meetings Africa is not just anecdotal; substantial economic contributions and job creation back it. The 2023 event, attended by Unravel Travel TV, infused R388.5 million into the South African economy and contributed to maintaining approximately 753 jobs.
The strategic importance of such tourism promotion events helps promote employment, skills development, and economic growth. South Africa continues to puch above its weight on the global stage, with a commendable ranking in the 2022 ICCA Country and City Rankings.
The upcoming Meetings Africa 2024 is not just a trade show; it’s a beacon of innovation, collaboration, and economic development, showcasing the nation’s capabilities and the vast potential of the MICE sector.
The country’s journey in hosting numerous successful events has showcased its capabilities and generated significant economic benefits, debunking the myth that only large corporations benefit. The real story unfolds in the increased economic activity for small businesses and local communities. Take, for instance, Solani Eunice Mtshali, a former street vendor from Mzinyathi in Inanda, who has become an award-winning craft maker, propelling her and her community forward through the MICE sector.
Beyond the individual stories, the industry’s contribution is expansive. The trickle-down effect of events like Meetings Africa is evident as every bead sold at a conference represents a network of economic activity benefiting artisans, suppliers, and producers alike. The 2024 edition of Meetings Africa at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg will continue this legacy, promising even more significant impact and opportunities for businesses worldwide.
To attend Meetings Africa 2024 or find out more about the event, visit the event website at: www.meetingsafrica.co.za