SAACI launches student outreach programme

SAACI has announced a student outreach programme for the business events industry.
Chairperson Kim Roberts says in today’s fast moving business environment it is essential that the youth gets exposed to doing business and join the fold of future leaders.

“Our programme, which will roll out this year, will educate students about the basic elements of the business events industry, connect them with industry professionals and develop professional business events leaders of tomorrow.

“Furthermore, it will foster participation of talented young leaders in the industry, in for example, our annual congresses and other events in the southern African region.

“Benefits for students include networking opportunities, career preparation and leadership growth,” says Kim.

“Networking is one of the key benefits of SAACI membership. Student members have many opportunities to network with industry professionals at our events. Also, access to industry professionals will guide the career paths and current roles of students. We also offer access to our online academy that provides additional preparation for internship.

“Engagement with SAACI members will help students gain leadership skills and knowledge for individual growth and preparation for a career in the business events industry,” she says.

“We plan to establish student chapters at participating tertiary institutions where education includes the business events industry, allowing volunteer and community service opportunities. Currently we have ties with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Johannesburg.

“We will offer free membership for qualifying students whose tertiary institution is an educational member of SAACI. Students must be studying full-time at a recognised tertiary institution, in their final or honours year. Fields of study must include hospitality, marketing, public relations and communication, events and sports, and finances. Should students in these fields have qualified in the past year and are about to graduate, a special student rate will be offered for one year. This will offer students a platform to develop an understanding of the business and meetings industry whilst networking with professionals.

“They will gain experience in organising events and community service projects and will participate in SAACI branch events, building relationships with hospitality and meeting professionals.”

SAACI 2020 registration opens at Meetings Africa

Registration for the 2020 SAACI congress will open at Meetings Africa next month, so do make use of this opportunity and visit us at the SAACI stand for an early-bird discount.

Our annual congress is revered as the gold standard of knowledge sharing and thought leadership in the business events industry. This year’s theme, ‘Welcome the Unknown’, encapsulates the current business environment and the approach we should take in business.

Through robust engagement we are likely to find some of the solutions we are looking for. This is will most certainly be an event not to be missed – in fact, diarise it now – 26 to 28 July in Johannesburg.

If you are not an exhibitor at Meetings Africa, be sure to visit the show as a delegate. It showcases Africa’s diverse offering of services and products, with lots of business and partnerships on offer for every sub-sector of the business events industry. It also offers top networking opportunities, workshops and seminars.

“ICCA Association Community” launched

By opening its doors to associations with the launch of the “ICCA Association Community” earlier this month, the International Congress and Convention Association encompasses all major stakeholders in the world of association meetings. By joining ICCA, associations have access to education, connections, tools and resources to organise more effective meetings.

Since its establishment in 1963, ICCA has represented the world’s top destinations and most experienced suppliers specialised in handling, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events. Through the ICCA Association Community, associations can make their voice heard in ICCA’s global community for the international meetings industry on how their association and their meetings will make a difference in the future.

Associations will have access to unique Association Meetings Intelligence as well as full access to ICCA’s events and enjoy not only peer-to-peer networking but also thought-provoking education and expertise.

ICCA President James Rees says: “The launch of the ICCA Association Community will integrate associations with our membership, helping to shape ICCA’s future and provide opportunities for ever-closer collaboration.”

Thomas Reiser, Executive Director of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis says: “Networking with international associations is critical for the success of our activities as the peer-to-peer sharing and learning is one of the most powerful aspects. We look forward to the benefits – such as access to data, sharing new ideas, thought-provoking education and peer to peer networking – this will afford us.”

Associations can sign up through a form on

Welcome to new SAACI members

SAACI welcomes five new members who joined the association in January. They are:

Conference & Events Forum
• Glory Dumisele Biyela of Mqapheli Suppliers in KwaZulu-Natal
• Kirsty Defranceski of Joburg Conferences & Events

Services Forum
• Ralph Heinrich of Event Africa in the Western Cape

Venue Forum
• Chantal Geddes and Justine Mia of Simbithi Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal

SAACI welcomes these new members and trust that they will find their membership most valuable.

Calendar of Events

Tshwane branch event

Tshwanefication – event trends for event professionals

11 February 2020
Central Square, Menlyn Maine

▶ Meetings Africa

25 – 26 February 2020
Sandton Convention Centre

▶ SAACI Annual Congress

26 – 28 July 2020
Indaba Hotel & The Canvas

▶World Travel Market Africa

6 – 8 April 2020
Cape Town International Convention Centre

▶ SAACI KZN awards lunch

19 February 2020
Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel & Convention Centre

▶ Johannesburg branch event – post Meetings Africa

26 February 2020
Pappas on the Square, Sandton