After successfully holding this year’s Meetings Africa, Chief Convention Officer of South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo believes Africa must show the rest of the world it has what it takes to be a competitive MICE destination even in the face of a slow return to business events across the globe.
Speaking on the VA Tourism Podcast after the event at the Sandton Convention Centre, Amanda told host, Kojo Bentum-Williams that following the cancellation of the in-person edition of ITB Berlin 2022 earlier in the year, arriving at a decision to host Meetings Africa physically was a herculean one.
“I am excited that Africa again could prove to the world how bold we are, and we need to tell that to the world. The world needs to know how bold Africans are. Our buyers told us they want to come back to Africa, they want to come and see and touch base with Africa and to see what is on offer, see who is still in the game and how can we work together, and the team decided that we are going to do this because we have all the confidence in our partners to get us ready to showcase to the world what we have on offer,” she said.
With 4,000 confirmed meetings, 209 exhibitors, 161 buyers from 40 countries and a host of media outlets in attendance, Amanda added that patrons of Meetings Africa 22 showed a lot of courage ‘to get on to that plane and brace through all the travel issues and challenges to come.”
She revealed that buyers had expressed satisfaction at the authenticity of products and services African exhibitors had on offer at the event, adding that collaboration remains critical to reigniting the business and meetings industry.
She reiterated, “The people understand that we need collaboration, and I said sometime that cooperation was always a good idea but now it’s the only idea. It is what will help us to recover and that’s what I found. I found that people had real discussions and authenticity was part of it.”
Meetings Africa provides the perfect business platform to present your products, services and brands to senior decision-makers, buyers and influencers. Meet local and international professionals from the meetings, events and business travel industry.
The 16th Meetings Africa was held from 28th February to 2nd March 2022.