Dear Members, colleagues, and friends of SAACI,
2020 was a year that we all want to quickly forget: it brought confusion, sadness, and some of us lost relatives, friends, and awesome colleagues, who we will always cherish and miss dearly.
The pandemic that we are still facing is an unprecedented event in the modern world; it hit all countries on all continents stopping economic and social life all around the globe.
As we continue to cope and overcome the life-altering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand the economic strain that these times have placed on our members, families, and community. While we work to adapt and overcome, we do not want to lose hope and optimism for the year ahead.
We will weather this storm by taking care of ourselves and each other. The constant messages of “isolate” and “keep your social distance” can make us feel alone; but physical connections are not nearly as strong as emotional connections.
We are not alone. You are not alone.
In the midst of illness, isolation and economic devastation, our 2020 lesson was a simply one of “Be Prepared” in our professional and personal lives. With almost a years’ worth of experience of how to live and work through this pandemic, we are in a position to keep:
- Collaborating as an industry by continuing the work that all association partners have worked on through-out the pandemic.
- Provide activities and engagements that will lead to building confidence which will drive demand as we did in the 2nd half of 2020,
- Create innovation around how we deliver forthcoming business events in a sustainable manner due to the current restrictions that we are required to work under, and
- Preserve and develop the skills that our industry needs to ensure sustainability of a complex but rewarding socioeconomic contributor for South Africa.
As an Association we have accepted that even with the most careful precautions, planning, preparing and providing all the required Health and Safety protocols, the tidal wave of destruction caused by a global pandemic can only be mitigated and not prevented.
As such, the first quarter of 2021 will see the association work on delivering the following for members and the broader Business Events Industry.
The Annual SAACI Congress in partnership with the City of Johannesburg
Announcements around the program, format and date will be shared with our members in due course.
A more diverse and focused learning platform for individuals and members will be launched in March 2021
Specific focus on demand generation for members and the Business Events Industry as we re-activate the recovery plan with our social partners and Industry Associations.
Industry News (links to the relevant articles are embedded in the below)
- SAACI pushes for separation of Business Events out of the gatherings definition of the Disaster Management Act to allow the industry to return to broader operations and recovery soonest.
- The Business Events Industry is encouraged to make submission into the norms and standards regulations that the Minister of Tourism released earlier this week.
The hard lesson learned in these challenging times is to relentlessly prioritize and never forget what is most important in life; our family, our friends, our faith, our pets, and our relationships with each other.
We need to take personal responsibility for ourselves and we need to reach out and rely on each other.
To this end, SAACI is doing its best to protect our members and our employees and to help our community at large.
Our thoughts go to all of you, and remember we are in this #together
We look forward to our engagements with all our Members, Stakeholders and Partners this year.
The SAACI National Team