Session Information

PANEL DISCUSSION | Qualifications, Accreditation and Education
Karen Kotowski, Mandisa Silo, Nellie Swart and Pieter Swart

After the presentation, you will be able to make an informed decision about competence development and career advancement.

Why are qualifications, accreditations and education important to the conference industry?
As we advance the industry to be recognised as a profession, qualifications and continuous education are as important from SAACI as for any other association representing professionals. A qualification implies tested knowledge and continuous education will keep us on top of our game in this dynamic and ever-changing environment. Once suitably qualified and with experience, accreditation becomes the validation of competence to perform the duties associated with the profession.

Who should attend?
Planners and organisers at all levels, educators of an associated faculty, representatives of educational institution providers, SAACI and anyone interested in career development within this profession.

Kevin Horsley

After the presentation, you will be able to:

  • Have a better understanding of how your attention and memory works.
  • Have a deeper understanding of mindfulness and the learning process.
  • Create more mindfulness in your everyday life.
  • Create daily triggers to become more mindful and peaceful.
  • Discover ideas, principles and techniques to improve your quality of life and emotional tone.
  • Bring mindfulness into your work and relationships.
  • Use methods to manage your attention in everyday life and rediscover the value of consecutive tasking.
  • Pay attention to life in a particular way, interacting with it through all your senses.

Why is mindfulness in the real world important for the conference industry?
Our persistence in trying to get our brain to focus on more things at once has trained it to have an attention deficit. Some people simply cannot focus for a significant period of time anymore. Busyness is not always good for any business. Mindfulness is important for the conference industry because exceptional work is always associated with periods of deep concentration and mindfulness. Nothing excellent ever comes from a scattered effort.

Who should attend this session?
Anybody that is wanting to remember more, focus more and enjoy more if their life.

KEYNOTE: With Knowledge, It’s Possible
Jonathan Jansen

After the presentation, you will be able to use knowledge to improve the human condition, know the difference between knowledge and wisdom, and feel the emotional currents that knowledge carries in everyday work.

Why is ‘knowledge’ so important for the conference industry?
Knowledge is important for the conference industry because the effective decision-making depends on what you know, how you know and where you know.

Who should attend this session
This session should be attended by anyone interested in knowing how knowledge can impact decision-making in almost any profession.

The Stars of Business Events
Darryl Erasmus

After the presentation, you will be able to have a good understanding of the criteria used to grade MESE Category products as well as understand and input into the possible improvements and amendments to expect in the future.

Why is tourism grading important for the conference industry?
Grading provides South African Tourism with a credible and quality assured product base to market contentedly to international and domestic travellers. Grading also enables graded products to position themselves in the buying process of tourism and travel product and services.

Who should attend this session?
All users and suppliers of tourism products, especially those active in meetings, exhibitions and events sectors.

HOT TOPIC: 1 | The Delegate of the Future – Smash the Mould
Pieter Swart

After the presentation, you will be able to identify contemporary attendee needs, explore options for innovation, and walk away with new ideas for participant engagement opportunities.

Why knowing our future delegate is important for the conference industry?
Those days when attendees had to do what the organiser told them to are gone. Instead, organisers have to understand the needs of their attendees and guests to create a bouquet of engagement opportunities to satisfy those needs. Attendees want to create their own experiences. This presentation will explore options for alternative engagement opportunities to achieving event objectives.

Who should attend this session?
Event planners and coordinators, facilities management and coordinators, communication and marketing specialists and representatives from audio-visual, exhibition and related service companies and anyone with an interest in this topic.

SOLUTION SESSION:1 | Sustainable transformation in an evolving business world
Shariefa Allie-Nieftagodien

After the presentation, you will be able to have an understanding of the role transformation in empowering our people to grow business in our country.

Why is sustainable transformation important for the conference industry?
The future of business, including the conference industry, in our country requires succession plans, but more importantly the evolution of “inclusive” business where all citizens have equal opportunity to participate. This is the transformation we must seek to ensure future growth and sustainability. The dire need to break down the barriers of exclusion has to be tackled in all areas; i.e. education, funding and leadership in development.

Who should attend this session?

  • Business owners – who want sustained growth for the future
  • Managers who mentor – who would like other ideas for personal growth
  • HR Managers – who will handle learnership selection and staff development
  • Trainers – who can fill the void of training
HOT TOPIC: 2 | The ABC’s of Government Events, all protocol observed
Priscilla Naidoo

After the presentation, you will be able to master the procedures and elements when inviting high profile dignitaries to conferences or events.

Why is protocol so important for the conference industry?
All protocol must be observed – time management guides the running order for a conference but protocol ensures that the diplomacy, negotiation, precedence, local customs and etiquette are followed to facilitate a successful conference.

Who should attend this session?
Event Managers from the Corporate sector and any other stakeholder involved in organising a conference would benefit from attending the session.

HOT TOPIC: 3 | The BIG debate, how do I grow my business and keep it profitable. Outthinking the competitor
Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo

After the presentation, you will be able to review your business practice and evaluate how to improve your systems.

Why is business growth and profitability important in the conference industry?
By growing our businesses and being profitable, we ensure that jobs are secured and we provide shareholders and owners with profits to reinvest into their businesses.

Who should attend this session?
Anyone who plays an important role in the growth and profitability of a company or organisation, which is almost everyone within an organisation, would benefit by attending this session.

SOLUTION SESSION:2 | Sponsorships from a fresh perspective in a tight budget environment
Kershnee Govender

After the presentation, you will be able to understand the nuances and best practice in sponsorships and appreciate the importance of creativity and leveraging off stakeholders especially in a tight budget environment.

Why sponsorship is important for the conference industry?
Aligning your brand to specific courses/events is a great way to be top-of-mind of the organisations and individuals that you need to market to. Your brand and purpose can be further reinforced based on the brands that you sponsor.

Who should attend this session?

  • Marketing and communication professionals
  • Sponsorship Managers
  • Conference Organisers
  • Conference venue personnel
  • Event management professionals and companies
KEYNOTE | Business in Africa
Victor Kgomoeswana

After the presentation, you will be able to appreciate the true potential presented by the rest of Africa to the conference industry; understand the various trends that affect the future of the conference industry, based on anecdotal business patterns that are taking place across the continent and the rest of emerging markets.

Why is ‘Business in Africa’ important for the conference industry?
With the rising interest that Africa is generating among investors all over the world, there are several travel and tourism opportunities coming up; business tourism is organically linked with conference tourism and there are so many examples of conferencing hubs that are emerging on the continent, such as Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire. It is important to understand these trends in the right context to be able to take advantage of them.

Who should attend this session?
Conference organisers, event planners, hotel operators, tour operators, travel services distribution agencies, tourism promotion agencies, bankers and financers of the tourism and commercial property industry.

CASE STUDY | The Psychology of Sustainability
Misha Teasdale

After the presentation, you will be able to feel inspired to take on the challenge of running your organisation and conference events in an authentic way that adds value to the world beyond the service itself.

Why is sustainability important for the conference industry?
Sustainability is important to the conference industry as this is one industry that creates the framework from which so many industries follow. If we can get the blue print right here then market leaders in all sectors will be given the scope of the necessity and the basic know-how to allow for these industries to not only sustain themselves in the future climate, but to thrive.

Who should attend this session?
If you are one of the decision makers, dealing with suppliers or human resources, and are looking at making your systems more holistic, geared toward the future of conferencing worldwide, or if you are part of the communication team, looking to gear your conference ahead through presenting your conference as progressive in the way you organize your business, then join me, as we dig deeper into the world of conference sustainability.

HOT TOPIC: 6 | Exploring the changes in the “expo” industry that can serve to enhance conferencing – and vice versa
Paul Hugo

After the presentation, you will be able to have a critical look at your current organisational approach to your event and the relevance of this in relation to current trends.

Why are the changes in the “expo” industry important to the conference industry?
Over the last twenty years, challenges facing exhibitions and conferences have evolved due to several factors – a turbulent economic climate, world political instability, volatile markets, development of electronic media, growth of competition, higher and more complex client expectations, fast changing relevance of information and growth of the conference and exhibition sectors. Since conferences and exhibitions are intrinsically linked through events that have both components, these factors have influenced both sectors of the events industry. The impact has been both positive and negative and in our demanding environment it is imperative to be aware, willing to change and adapt and make intelligent predications and decisions. In South Africa and developing countries, this presents both challenges and opportunities.

Who should attend this session?
This session is not intended to provide you with instant solutions but rather foster a desire to question the status quo. If you are comfortable and confident with your organisation’s thinking, operations and future, I would not attend.

SOLUTION SESSION: 3 | Limitation of liability for PCOs and Event organisers
Gift Luthuli

After the presentation, you will be able to understand how neglecting pre-event / conference personal and business risk poses huge potential for business and personal financial liability as well as reputational harm.

Why is the limitation of liability important to the conference industry?
Limitation of liability brought about through systematic and procedural contracting methodologies with service providers, venue destinations, own staff etc. limits the threat and liability issues often confronted as crisis management when it’s too late to undo the damage.

Who should attend this session?
This informative session will benefit PCOs and Event Organisers, including their service providers in order to improve and enhance their ability to understand how and what can be done to limit their business and personal liability.

HOT TOPIC: 8 | Innovation and creativity in an era of digital media, making your event go viral with the effects of social media
Jarrod Eckstein

After the presentation, you will be able to follow practical steps to planning and supporting the viral spread of your event content.

Why is innovation and creativity in an era of digital media important for the conference industry?
In the absences of truly differentiated offerings, it is critical that the conferencing industry reframe their client’s reason to believe. If you continue competing on the hygiene factors, the unfortunate likelihood is that you will lose! To grow and more importantly thrive, it is vital that you reimagine the present and create the future.

Who should attend this session?
Anyone who wants to win at business in an ever changing landscape – you will probably disagree with most of what I say but as long as it challenges you to think differently, you will benefit.

HOT TOPIC: 9 | Economics and business climate: Slow economic growth forecasts, increased interest rates and a volatile rand – what you need to know
Wayne McCurrie

After this presentation, you will be able to interpret how the local economic conditions affect markets and importantly understand cycles in currencies and markets.

Why is understanding the economic and business climate important for the conference industry?
Ultimately all industries are driven by economic conditions and having an understanding of these conditions and the possible outcomes over the next few years will materially affect possible business decisions taken by organisations.

Who should attend this session?
All participants in the conference industry especially thought leaders, strategic thinkers and decision makers.