Plans are underway for Meetings Africa 2010, the only trade show of its kind on the African continent.
┬áTargeted at those involved in planning, securing and hosting business meetings in Southern Africa, Meetings Africa will take place from 24 to 26 February 2010 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
┬á“The business tourism sector was already showing strong potential when we acquired Meetings Africa in 2007 and the growth trend has continued. It is estimated that in 2007 business tourism contributed R2, 6 billion to the South African economy and R3, 1┬ábillion in 2008.┬á We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg for this market,” says Nomasonto Ndlovu, Global Manager: Business Tourism at South African Tourism, the country’s destination marketing agency.
┬áMeetings Africa gives African meetings, events and incentive providers a perfect platform to exhibit their products, services and destinations to both local and international buyers.
┬á“Meetings Africa appeals to anyone who is responsible for planning events, be it a corporate teambuilding, a bosberaad or a conference. This is the trade show to come to as all the latest and hottest event trends are on show, and it is a great place to find some creative alternatives to suit any budget,” says Ndlovu.
┬áFurthermore, Ndlovu expects next year’s Meeting Africa event to have increased awareness and attendance due to the 2010 FIFA World Cup excitement created worldwide.┬á┬á
┬áShe adds that the business tourism industry is already focusing on meetings and events beyond the World Cup and expects that the huge international exposure from the event will boost the meetings and conferencing sector in the next few years.┬á
┬á“South African Tourism is determined to grow Meetings Africa as an international trade show and next year there will be a strong international presence at the exhibition with a record number of 120 overseas buyers that will be hosted by South African Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme.
┬á“To increase our national and international profile we are also targeting neighboring countries in terms of exhibitors in order to increase the African offering at Meetings Africa 2010. With the 2010 FIFA World CupÔäó being such a feat for the continent, we are expecting high volumes of traffic to the Southern African region. This is the time for Africa to showcase what it has to offer from a business tourism perspective.”
Meetings Africa 2010 will have a special focus on the association market as South African Tourism is determined to attract a record number of buyers from this sector that has huge potential for growth. “On the 23rd of February we are launching the first ever Association Day to strengthen the local associations market through workshops that will empower this market to bid for and attract international association meetings to our destination,” says Ndlovu.
┬áAnother key focus area for Meetings Africa is to grow the number of corporate visitors attending the event “We are aiming to attract more local corporate visitors in 2010 and we appeal to South African corporate companies to take a Sho’t Left to Meetings Africa to see how South Africa can fulfill all their conference and events needs.”┬á┬á
┬áNdlovu says the new array of business tourism products and packages on offer in South Africa is truly astounding as the industry is going all out to show that it is different, exciting and fresh.