Established in 2002, Platinum Communication and Event Managers (PCEM) continues to provide high level management training seminars for government, quasi-government and private sector businesses across a rapidly expanding global network.
In an interview with The Sunday Standard, Executive Director of PCEM, Peter Bailang, stated that they have held a number of high profile conferences on topics such as Local Economic Development seminars, Leadership and Fraud. Of late, he said, his company has been exposed to good support from the government, quasi-government and private sector.
“We have brought high profiled international speakers,” he said.
What else they do is that they promote and give a lot of platform to the socio-economic development issues. He said they carry out researches on topical issues and then create platform for dialogue through the conference.
“PCEM has already completed three successful conferences this year on local economic development, Interviewing Techniques for Law Enforcement Officers and Risk Managers, and Human Resource Management at Mowana in Kasane, CICE at Sebele and GICC at the Grandpalm Hotel respectively he stated.
According to Bailang, the biggest challenge in Botswana is the limited availability of high profile conference venues. He pointed out that Botswana has limited lucrative conference venues. “The reason why we prefer Mowana Lodge, in Kasane, is because it offers the opportunity for infotainment, meaning that people are able to get both information and entertainment from the conferences at the same time,” he explained.
He said what he likes most about this place is the fact that it is not near participants’ offices hence nothing disturbs them.
He said the conferences that they hold are usually similar to those run internationally as they are on the same level.
“The majority of our skill base comes from South Africa, as most of their speakers are exposed to presentations and the subject matter; however we have been able to get similar qualities in some of our Botswana speakers, but most are still reluctant to showcase their talent before our participants,” he stated.
Bailang said what they do is to compliment the SA professional speakers with Batswana speakers.
“Skills are available in abundance in SA than in Botswana” he said. “Frequently, speakers from SA are able to execute whatever is being requested from them with a lot of speed, and our local speakers still need to catch up. With due respect to anyone who might feel offended.”
Bailang said that SA speakers are always ready for business.
He stressed that the core ingredient of the conference is a good quality speaker. When hiring speakers, he said, experience is very important. He said he has realized that in SA, there are more willing speakers than in Botswana.
When hiring a speaker, whatever topic it is, Bailang said one should make sure that the person is an authority on that subject or in that field, adding that they were looking forward to opening another office in Cape Town towards end of this year, and will be looking at Johannesburg and the SADC region thereafter. He said that this would help them with venues as they only have Kasane and Gaborone which he said makes the conference venues very limited.
“With a branch in Cape Town, we will have access to Cape Town conference facilities. This will also be cost effective, especially for those speakers who are based in Cape Town.”
What always inspires him, he said is that Batswana are always looking back at themselves and are exploring all possible avenues for positive change.
Asked on his views on hold for Botswana and the conferencing opportunities he said “Well, Batswana are generally positive-looking, and educated, at least when we sell our conferences most of them would be familiar with the topics and themes and makes our task a bit easy..But as you know wherever there is a business motive there is also a bit of challenge…but that is just part of the game”
For his part he says he is a perpetual optimist, as they say “ Go tlaa siama”.