With exciting new additions and features in this year’s line-up, South African Tourism is gearing up to welcome delegates from the rest of the African continent as well as the world to the 2023 edition of Meetings Africa.
Africa’s premier business events trade show takes over the Sandton Convention Centre between 27th February and 1st March 2023, bringing with it a new look, new energy to Africa’s potential to be a leading business events powerhouse. Meetings Africa is hosted in partnership with Gauteng Tourism, Johannesburg Convention Bureau and Sandton Convention Centre.
A proudly Pan African show, Meetings Africa’s theme is Africa’s success built on quality connections is a nod to a future built upon intimate human interactions and sharing progressive ideas.
Organised by the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), a business unit of South African Tourism, Meetings Africa 2023 will host 352 exhibitors from 22 African countries and 375 international buyers from over 60 countries. It is a showcase of hundreds of highly innovative African products ranging from national carriers to multinational hospitality groups on the trade floor.
Meetings Africa 2023 is giving exhibitors the opportunity to meet and connect with the most influential buyers in the world and be part of Africa’s growth.
“We have come out of the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic stronger and are filled with the desire to interact with each other in person. As the African continent, we have all the resources, infrastructure and people to host any business events regardless of size, we also have amazing tourism products and experiences to make for memorable incentive trips. At Meetings Africa we will showcase all these as we unlock Africa’s opportunities through quality connections, showcasing the power and potential of collaboration for the successful growth of the business events industry,” said Zinhle Nzama, Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the SANCB.
Host province, The Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) aims to position Gauteng as an all-round leisure destination as it plays host to major business, sport, entertainment, music and lifestyle events. Events are the key drivers of tourism recovery and economic growth in Gauteng.
“With the sector recovering, the consistent hosting of quality events in Gauteng will serve as an ignition point for the visitor economy rebound”, explained GTA Chief Executive Officer Sthembiso Dlamini.
Johannesburg, the host city of Meetings Africa is ready to welcome the world to Sandton.
“Needless to say, we’ve weathered an unpredictable two years of setbacks and surprises delivered via the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is an immense feeling of enthusiasm and hopefulness that we’re through the worst phase in a period which has brought the globe to a halt – and had a profound impact on industries and economies. As far as resuming efforts to secure business events and MICE activities, throughout the past year the Joburg Tourism Convention Bureau team has had constructive engagements with industry peers, colleagues and associates at National, Provincial and Local level in an attempt to maximize business tourism opportunities through collaboration,” says Rendani Khorommbi, Deputy Director at the Convention Bureau.
Turning to South Africa, Nzama said the business events industry has a far-reaching impact on the country’s tourism sector and on the overall economy. South African Tourism, through the SANCB, continues to pave the way forward for the growth of business events.
Between 2023 and 2025, the South African business events industry will contribute an estimated R288-million to the economy thanks to 34 international business events that have been secured through the SANCB’s bid support programme.
WHAT’S NEW AT MEETINGS AFRICA 2023
This year, the show returns with new features to ensure that delegates derive maximum value not only on the trade floor, but also through the numerous learning and networking opportunities. These include the AIPC Summit, Boma Talks, “Plug and Meet” pavilion, Airline Pavilion, Exhibitor to Buyer Sessions, Exhibitor to Exhibitor sessions as well as Speed Marketing.
Nzama said the enhancements to the show are indicative of how Meetings Africa is growing, maturing and evolving. “The new logo and the additions to the programme is a move towards transforming Meetings Africa into an authentically African, globally benchmarked trade show,” she said.
As per the norm, Meetings Africa will be preceded by the Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay), on Monday, 27 February. BONDay is one of the ways in which the SANCB is contributing to the knowledge economy, bringing together over 30 industry experts, disruptors and data specialists.
“Connections and knowledge sharing are the cornerstones of Meetings Africa. We are excited about the packed line up of what promises to be very insightful and robust discussions at BONDay.,” says Nzama.
A key and critical part of Meetings Africa is the empowerment of Small Business and contribution to inclusive economic growth. Once again this year’s trade floor will also feature 45 SMMEs in the Development Zone as well as 20 SMMEs in the new “plug and meet”’ area which is designed to provide SMMEs who would otherwise not afford to exhibit at Meetings Africa, full access to the show.
“South Africa has a wide variety of quality assured accommodation establishments, infrastructure and business events products and facilities, Meetings Africa allows us to showcase these and more. We look forward to welcoming the world to Meetings Africa; engaging and collaborating towards the Africa’s growth,” concluded Nzama.