SA events industry exceeds global standards

In many ways the South African events industry is exceeding global standards, reports Bizcommunity.

At the recent Middle East Special Event and Exhibition Show in Dubai, event experts found South Africa to be well ahead of the curve.

“Considering the global trend to integrate technology into show experiences – to use technology to create a best in class visitor experience – the innovations presented were already in play locally,” says Janyce Dalziel, CEO of Currin’t Events.

The show featured more than 30 live seminars, hosted by some 40 expert speakers addressing over 2 000 event professionals and 100 suppliers from 32 countries. Key topics included developing the event of the future, embracing techchnology and artificial intelligence to revolutionise events, and creating excellent visitor experiences and enhanced engagement.

“Across the country, forward-thinking events coordinators are already incorporating artificial intelligence and innovative applications to enhance guest experiences,” says Dalziel.

“From driving greater guest engagement to interactive agendas, digital breakaway sessions and information centres it is clear that events are evolving as the industry embraces digital transformation.”

“While the ‘wow’ décor, light shows, bots and drone technology enhance the visual aspect of the event, the basics are also augmented,” says Kim Currin, Currin’t Events’ Event Director.

When guests enter with ease through a digitally driven registration system, are empowered to engage, vote or give feedback online, or can listen to different tracks in one exhibition hall on silent headphones, the entire event experience is enhanced.”

From monitoring and analysing attendee data for effective crowd shaping, to creating seamless experiences with strategic AV, embracing bots and social media, and influencing event production worldwide through innovative and a ‘be the best’ approach, the local event industry is achieving it all.

Dalziel says the South African events industry must continue evolving to stay ahead of the curve.

“We must continuously ask ourselves, what does it take to create a world class show and what impact will it have on the future of entertainment in the region? It is clear that we aren’t behind in this sector – the scale and quality of our local events are of world-class standard.”

A smooth handover following resignation of CEO

SAACI will ensure a smooth handover following CEO Rudi van der Vyver’s recent resignation,” says Chairperson Wayne Smith.

“Rudi will join EPH Events as Managing Director in July. We owe a smooth take-over to the industry and our members. SAACI management and Rudi are committed to this.

“We thank Rudi for his vigour and enthusiasm during his time at SAACI. He led the organisation’s operations with passion and established solid systems. He played a meaningful role in us retaining our position at the forefront of the business events industry. Our collaboration with industry members and stakeholders, locally and internationally, is particularly strong at this point, while our financial position is firm.”

Wayne says arrangements for the annual congress in Durban in July are well on track.

Wayne gave the assurance that the process to fill the position of CEO will be transparent and well communicated.

Welcome to new SAACI members

A total of 14 members joined SAACI in May.

Four members joined in the Venue Forum – Sunet Pringle of The Benjamin Hotel in Durban, Sonette van der Merwe of the Sante Wellness Retreat & Spa, Mandi Arnold of The Station Urban Event Space in Durban and Danielle Rall of La’WiiDA Lodge in Tshwane.

New members in the Conference & Events Forum are Judith van Zyl of Bconfident Events in Cape Town, Adele Otten of Patimo Venue Finders in Johannesburg, Aubrey Khohloa of Tinyeleti Conference Organisers in Johannesburg, Thembinkosi Ngidi of Inono Events Coordination in Durban and Gugulethu Buthelezi of Events Et Cetera in Johannesburg.

The Technical Forum was joined by Adrian Garrett of CPDdata in Durban and Jaques Fouché of Formative in Cape Town.

The Exhibition Forum was joined by Sean Farrell of GolfGuys in Johannesburg, the Transport Forum by Suzette Vorster of Springbok Atlas in Cape Town and the Services Forum by Khensani Chauke of Nyeleti Travel Agency in Tshwane.

SAACI welcomes the new members and believes they will find their membership truly valuable.

55 Days to go to the SAACI congress!

In 55 days from today, on Sunday, 28 July the 33rd SAACI annual congress will officially be opened at the Elangeni Maharani Hotel in Durban.

A number of interesting, prominent speakers have been lined up to address delegates.

Founder of Ayavuna Women’s Investment in South Africa, Hixonia Nyasulu will certainly up the game with what promises to be an attention-grabbing presentation titled ‘Winds of change are blowing; do we build walls or windmills?’ Discuss your choice of action at the official opening function.

Day two shines the spotlight on innovation and business transformation.

Eric Szymanski, Sales and Marketing Expert of Leadership Solutions International in the USA will share his experience on how to create authentic, world-class customer experiences.

In the session igniting business transformation, discussions by international and local experts varying from the power of culture in organisations, education for employment, how to create, measure and manage high performance teams, the combination of education and experience, ramping up the business events industry and benchmarks for success will be the order of the day.

South Africa’s Chief Convention Officer, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo will enlighten delegates about the new face of business tourism.

The SAACI Annual General Meeting will be followed by the official gala dinner

Sherrif Karamat of the Professional Convention Management Association

Day three focuses on regional and global collaboration with Yoadan Tilahun, Founder and Managing Director of Flawless Events in Ethiopia, Lilly Ajarova, CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board, Carmen Nibigira, Project Director of Horwath HTL in Rwanda and Sherrif Karamat, CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association sharing their experiences.

Have you booked for this milestone event? Book online now at

RISE at congress!

Project RISE will once again form an integral part of the SAACI congress this year.

RISE – Rural Incubation for Social Enablement – was originally initiated by Cape-based ECTA Creative Solutions and, through relevant training and education, has helped many formerly unskilled people to find employment and even become entrepreneurs, especially in the events and tourism industry.

Today it is an official SAACI legacy project which will be rolled out nationally.

The first group of graduates received their diplomas at a SAACI Western Cape branch event in 2018.

Skills acquired in 20 different courses include wire art, sewing, exclusive accessory crafting and fabric art – used for draping, centre pieces and décor.

Where necessary, Foundational Learning Competence is the first focus, which includes numeric and linguistic training, developing these basic skills to Grade 10 level. This is required to participate in any SETA training.

Three RISE graduates will attend the SAACI congress in Durban next month, giving delegates the opportunity to meet and interact with them. Delegates will also get a glimpse of the very professional products they offer at the Sustainability Village at congress.

Congress delegates will receive gift cards to use at the Sustainability Village and speaker gifts will, of course, come for the RISE stable of products.

RISE is an excellent social responsibility programme for companies in the events industry to adopt and SAACI encourages members to learn more about the project and support participants.

Calendar of Events

Business Tourism and MICE Masterclass

10 – 12 June 2019
BDO Offices, Wanderers Office Park, JHB

ICCA Association Meetings Programme

18 – 20 June 2019
Durban International Convention Centre

ICCA Association Meetings Programme

23 – 25 June 2019
Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand

PCMA European Influencers Summit

22 – 24 September 2019
Barcelona, Spain

Africa Tourism Leadership Forum

28 – 29 August 2019
Durban International Convention Centre

SAACI Events

SAACI KZN Annual General Meeting

6 June 2019
Protea Hotel, Umhlanga Rocks

SAACI Johannesburg event – Gin School

6 June 2019
Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre, Fourways

SAACI Eastern Cape branch event

12 June 2019
Magnetic Storm, Port Elizabeth

SAACI Johannesburg branch event

12 June 2019
Johannesburg Stock Exchange

SAACI Annual Congress

28 – 30 July 2019

Southern Sun Hotel Elangeni
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal