The traditional Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) has heralded this year’s Meetings Africa which is taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The event is the biggest gathering of stakeholders of the events and meetings industry from all over the continent and beyond.
Addressing patrons at the BONDay event, South Africa’s Deputy Minister, Fish Mahlalela said this year, Meetings Africa was optimizing business opportunities for SMMEs in MICE and tourism.
“Quite extraordinarily it will be for the first time in the history of Meetings Africa, that access for SMMEs to participate in the trade show be so improved through the “plug and meet” pavilion which allows full access to Meetings Africa to businesses who would otherwise have not been able to access the show. About 20 SMMES will be given free access to showcase at Meetings Africa.
“Over and above on the Plug and Meet Pavilion, 45 SMMEs will also have a platform to showcase at Meetings Africa. These SMMEs are coming from various provinces, others are part of a National Department of Tourism Programme and they are here with us over the duration of this all-important iconic trade show,” he averred.
With 352 exhibitors from 22 different African countries, providing an excellent wide range of products and experiences for patrons to choose from at Meetings Africa this year, the Deputy Minister believes, “both individuals and buyers in our midst, will be spoilt for choice as they will have to traverse between unique offers and authentic experiences and this is what this event is about.”
“All the exhibitors at Meetings Africa are made up of unique countries with unique business events experiences and products which makes the whole collective show an absolute experience through diversified products, better positioned to contribute immensely to the socio-economy growth of our country,” Mahlalela added.
He posited that Meetings Africa is at the heart of engendering and fostering the purpose-driven public-private cooperation in the MICE sector, “as we believe in a “whole-country” approach in scaling-up the financial impact of Business Tourism and MICE in Africa.”
The theme for this year’s Meetings Africa is, “Africa’s Success Built on Quality Connections”.
On the theme, Acting CEO of South African Tourism, Themba Khumalo maintained that, “this is exactly what today is about – bringing together the brightest minds on the continent to ideate towards Africa’s success.”
He further stressed that BONDay is anchored around building relationships and sharing ideas which have the potential to altogether transform our tourism sector and our continent.
BONDay also featured over 30 tourism industry experts, disruptors, and data specialists, with more than 100 years of combined experience, spoke on various panels and shared knowledge and insights which will advance the continent.
Another highlight was the hosting for the first time, the African chapter of the AIPC Summit along with the ICCA Association Day for its African members.
The 2023 Meetings Africa continues through to March 1.
Click here to view BONDAY pictures