Pixture: Neo Mohlatlole
The Meetings,Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) industry in Africa continue to grow and have been projected to grow by 1.5 billion dollars. The multiplier effect is under appreciated on the continent.
With more events earmarked to take place in Africa, the need for PCOs and organizers to keep tourism spend in destinations where is even higher now.
South African sustainability Non -Governmental Organization , Event Greening Forum is determined to lead a change where event organisers use creative ways of including small and medium scale tourism enterprises in the spend cycle.
“Our mandate is to help event organisers, suppliers, etc. to greener and sustainable approach. Sustainability village concept was birthed to support small and media scale businesses in the host communities of event. Often than not, a lot of the things is sourced from places other than the destination. It doesn’t trickle well to the community,” said Neo Mohlatlole, Vice Chairperson Event Greening Forum in an interview with VoyagesAfriq.
Neo through his company Know Names Mentioned rolled out the sustainability village alongside big conferences in Limpopo Province
The Organization has pioneered an innovative way of gifting items using materials and workers from the host communities. This was first introduced at the Meetings Africa event last year and allows the suppliers to make decent earnings.
“We came up with a concept where everyone can implement across board, and other ways of giving out gift voucher for delegates and participants to use in getting gift for themselves. In that instance, people can top up to get other premium collections,” Mohlatlole stated.
Using the vouchers help to drive sales and people are inclined to use it in getting their souvenirs or gifts.
This also helps to create opportunity for crafters who hitherto would not have had access to big events to now add them to the value chain.
There are about 211 register events hosted in South Africa annually and a few others that do not make it to the official registry. Mohlatlole said their vision is to introduce the service to more of the companies and conferences and events.
“Our economy is ailing at the moment and this could create opportunity in small pockets for these entrepreneurs at the bottom” he said.