In its continued efforts to advance the quality of business events in South Africa and on the continent, the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) has announced its partnership with the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) to host the continent’s first AIPC Summit.
Speaking at a press briefing at IBTM World in Barcelona, Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the SANCB, Zinhle Nzama said that business events has a big role to play in the overall recovery of the global tourism sector and that bringing the Summit to Africa is one way in which South African Tourism is taking the lead in the recovery of the continent’s tourism sector.
The AIPC is a global industry association for professional convention and exhibition centre managers, which encourages and recognizes excellence in convention centre management, while providing the tools to achieve high standards through research, educational and networking programs.
“We are excited to host the first AIPC summit on the continent and to be at the forefront of the opening of the Africa chapter of the AIPC. As the SANCB, we are committed to capacitating convention and exhibition centres to ensure that they are able to provide excellent standards to host international conferences. We want to ensure that the continent’s venues are in line with global standards and provide impeccable service,” said Nzama.
The Africa chapter of the AIPC summit will take place at the 2023 edition of Meetings Africa on 27 February at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The Summit will provide an information and knowledge-sharing platform for convention and exhibition centres on how to elevate the standards of convention and exhibition centres on the continent.
Nzama said this was the ideal time to host this summit, as the continent’s business events products will already be gathered in one place for Meetings Africa and get to benefit from this summit.
AIPC Chief Executive Officer, Sven Bossu said that Africa’s population is growing and its economy is booming, therefore business events will become increasingly important to cater for the growing demand, which is why the AIPC is excited to bring the Summit to the continent.
“People are looking for unique experiences, and our job as convention and exhibition centres is to figure out how we cater for these experiences. What we need to focus on is resources, technology and sustainability to make sure our venues are catering to the unique needs and experiences of delegates,” said Bossu.
The collaboration with the AIPC is part of the SANCB’s efforts to advance the work of Associations, including the ICCA Association Day, which also takes place at Meetings Africa with the aim to bring the African and International Association community together to help them co-create solutions to manage their associations better, advance their work and further the interests of their members.