The 17th edition of Meetings Africa 2023, held at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, has been a resounding success, with delegates, buyers, and exhibitors applauding the organization, strategic content, and business opportunities.
According to Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) Zinhle Nzama, the number of confirmed meetings is edging closer to pre-pandemic levels.
Nzama revealed that a whopping 7,000 meetings were confirmed using the online diary system this year, compared to only 3000 in 2022.
She added: “The trade show is all about buyers meeting suppliers (product and business owners), resulting in real business opportunities and sales, some of which materialize years later.”
She emphasized the importance of sustainable tourism practices, explicitly mentioning the Green Stand Award and Sustainability Village. The former recognises exhibitors who meet green criteria and limit their environmental footprint, while the latter promotes using locally produced, recycled, and reused materials.
The business exchanges and connections made at Meetings Africa 2023 are expected to have a long-term impact, leading to policy changes, new partnerships, and increased business opportunities to benefit Africa’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry for years to come.
First-time exhibitor, Ikala Nala of IPS Tours, was overwhelmed by the beauty of African products and impressed by the connections made, with quality leads established.
Claire Kivedo, Managing Creative Director of Overall Events and Communication from South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay, echoed the same sentiments and waxed lyrically about the invaluable connections she made at the trade show.
Buyer Raymon Honings, Managing Director of Travelmediate Global from the Netherlands, was impressed by the diversity of exhibitors. Honings noted that the quality of meetings was higher than in the past, adding that he had access to an entire portfolio of potential suppliers showcasing what the African MICE industry can offer.
Phumeza Nywe Ndjock of Mankwe Gametrackers was ecstatic after scoring multiple confirmed bookings for her business, highlighting the success of Meetings Africa 2023.
Myra Theron, Business Development Consultant at Mankwe GAMETRACKERS, proposed using Q codes to share business cards, thus limiting the event’s carbon footprint.
“Meetings Africa is sure to have a long-term impact on the industry, benefiting local communities and the environment,” concluded Nzama.