New executive for SAACI elected

SAACI has elected a new chairperson, Kim Roberts and a new deputy chairperson, Jaques Fouché.

Denise Kemp and Glenn van Eck remain in their respective positions as public officer and treasurer.

Kim has been a member of SAACI for ten years. She has served as head of SAACI’s advisory board and as venues representative for the board. She is a director of Cape-based Mise-en-place Solutions.

Jaques has been a member of SAACI for eight years and is the former Western Cape branch chair. He is general manager at stage and production design company Formative.

“Being involved with the SAACI team has always been about giving back to an industry that I have been involved in for many years,” says Kim.

“I look forward to sharing knowledge and continuing work on professionalising the business events industry. In today’s fast moving business environment, professionalism is the name of the game. We must continue to grow as the voice of the business events industry by improving the sustainability of the association. We also need stronger communications and conversations with the larger portion of the membership body.”

“I am very passionate about the business events industry and I am honoured to be part of the team that takes the industry forward,” says Jaques.

“This is a great family to be part of, which contributes a great deal to the country’s GDP. I’d like to see us flourish even more.”
Kim says the SAACI board has set firm strategies. “These include facilitating trade and growth in our industry in South and Southern Africa and growing opportunities for our members. We also want to involve our members more and give them a platform to be part of decisions while encouraging them to contribute, discuss and work with us to work for them.

“The strategy also gives new board members more clarity on where we are heading as well as a clear framework for the recently appointed chief executive officer,” she says.

We will continue to learn, grow and collaborate

At SAACI, learning, growth and collaboration continue to be our key drivers and form the foundation of a newly compiled 12 month, two year and five year strategy compiled at a special board strategy session recently.

Our new strategy is simple, focused and measurable.
We are focused on four main areas – stakeholder engagement, marketing, future trends and the value of business events – for which action plans are now being finalised.

Kim Roberts, Tracey Delport and Glenton de Kock will drive stakeholder engagement – among others, revisiting our memorandums of understanding and building new relationships.
A fresh SAACI marketing campaign, of which our annual congress will form an integral part, is the responsibility of Lorin Bowen, Jaques Fouché and Minister Kganyago.

Researching and communicating about future trends in the business events industry will be managed by Leon Pheiffer, Andrew Stewart and Denise Kemp.

To accurately determine the value of business events in South Africa, in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, Michelle Bingham and Glenn van Eck will roll out a comprehensive industry study.

Specific timelines have been set for all actions.

While we constantly endeavour to make a difference in our members’ businesses, we continue to rely on members to update us about their realities, questions and challenges. This will help ensure that our projects and responses to industry needs remain spot-on.

Watch this space in 2020!

Welcome to new SAACI members

Five new members joined SAACI in October.

Four members joined in the Conference & Events Forum. They are Brenda Hattingh and Carmen Rossouw of BEE Summit Conference and Eventing in Tshwane and Nontando Shezi and Thamsanqa Shezi of Morefortune Holdings in Durban.

The new member in the Venue Forum is Seipati Nonyane of Avianto in Johannesburg.

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

Safety remains top priority

SAACI wishes to assure members of the business events industry that, as the representative association for the sector, it is working with all relevant parties – in the private and public sectors – to ensure that accurate information around safety and security is distributed and that communication on the issue is responsible and non-alarmist.

This follows the recent publication of an article suggesting that the sector is ‘at risk amid safety concerns’.

We are by no means downplaying the seriousness of the issue, fully realising that any attack on a visitor disrupts tourism business activities and with it the livelihoods of hard-working South Africans.

Tourism is a key driver of the South African economy and the business events industry forms a core component of our country’s tourism income and economic growth. As such, a safe and secure environment for our citizens and visitors is non-negotiable.

While the industry continues to work with law enforcement bodies to ensure the safety of delegates, it also works to address perceptions around safety and security among international associations, event managers, conference organisers and destination marketing companies.

This is evident from so many successful bids for international events to be hosted in South Africa – news of which we receive every week. The 2022 Rugby World Cup sevens tournament that will be held here, for example, will bring with it many parallel business events. Many of these international bids are driven by the South African National Convention Bureau, regional bureaus and our major city destinations.

“Let us see the big picture,” says SAACI Chairperson Kim Roberts. “One attack on any tourist is one too many. However, let us share information and proactively participate in discussions on various industry platforms that deal specifically with safety matters and how we can influence policies, plans and strategies.

“Is the sector at risk? No. Do we have work to do? Yes.”

Photo courtesy of Business Events Africa.

Calendar of Events

▶ World Travel Market Africa

6 – 8 April 2020
Cape Town International
Convention Centre

▶ Meetings Africa

25 – 26 February 2020
Sandton Convention Centre

▶ SAACI Annual Congress

26 – 28 July 2020
Indaba Hotel & The Canvas
Johannesburg

▶Eastern Cape year-end event

6 December 2019
Fairview Racecourse
Port Elizabeth