Dear SAACI members and friends
Two months into the new year and already there doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day. But it's a good thing - and I hope you can say the same!
Meetings Africa has come and gone and by all accounts the show is gaining popularity and making a bigger impact on the international business events industry each year. Hats off to the National Convention Bureau and its partners! We look forward to continue working with you.
SAACI was busy at Meetings Africa. At a Special General Meeting on 18 February members adopted our amended Memorandum of Incorporation as per the Companies Act 71 of 2008. It has now been submitted to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, as required by law.
Thanks to all those members who attended this important meeting. Our guest speaker, well-known economist Dr Azar Jammine, provided practical insight into the current outlook for the economy and ICCA CEO Martin Sirk gave his unique personal views on the business environment with terms like 'competing on brain power' and 'promiscuous teamwork.' Thanks to everyone involved.
On 19 February SAACI coordinated a working lunch with representatives from all associations involved in business events to discuss the issue of self-regulation. The feeling was unanimous that self-regulation mechanisms should be developed as a matter of urgency. If we do not self-regulate, we will be regulated from outside, by government - something we should avoid at all costs.
Just some background - SAACI actively participated in the formulation of the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS). We now have to respond to the Norms and Standards on Service Excellence and Responsible Tourism in the new Tourism Bill. The Bill was presented to the Portfolio Committee on Tourism earlier this month. When promulgated, it will repeal the Tourism Act of 1993 and introduce a legislative framework that is more conducive to the development of tourism as formulated in the NTSS and the White Paper on the Development and Promotion of Tourism of 1996.
Although SAACI began the process of professionalising the industry through the accreditation of the Professional Conference Organiser sector in 1995 already, it has now become necessary to extend this system to our other SAACI forums - namely Transport, Technical, Venues, Services, Exhibitions and Destination Marketing.
Such recognition may involve an endorsement or accreditation process. It is not our intention to duplicate efforts or introduce cumbersome measures that companies will experience as obstacles. Instead, we plan to facilitate easy access to the industry and put a clear, uncomplicated industry accreditation system in place. We are hard at work, so watch this space!
At this point, allow me to extend SAACI's hearty congratulations to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) on their 50th anniversary this year. It was also good to interact with ICCA Africa chapter representatives at Meetings Africa.
Don't forget to diarise our national congress - 28 to 30 July in Port Elizabeth. Or better still, go to http://www.saaci2013.co.za/ to register.
Yours in conferencing
Focus on innovation at SAACI congress in July
The 2013 SAACI national congress will be held at the Boardwalk Convention Centre in Port Elizabeth from 28 to 30 July.
Themed 'Create. Debate. Innovate.', the congress will present an opportunity for delegates to address many of the challenges faced by the industry in 2013.
"In addition to our top class venue and facilities we are working with a very strong programme committee that is putting together an incredibly relevant programme that will not only inform, but challenge us to find the best path forward. 'Take home value' is what it is about," says congress chairman Andrew Stewart.
Andrew says the congress committee, made up of representatives of the different sub-sectors of the conference industry, is hard at work to make it a benchmark event.
"SAACI members have already received correspondence from us, calling for abstracts by 29 March and we will release regular updates over the next few months."
Speakers already confirmed for the congress include Matthew Lester, Associate Professor at the Rhodes Business School, who will deliver the keynote address, Alec Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer of the Adelaide Convention Centre and industry veteran Dirk Elzinga.
Members can register online on http://www.saaci2013.co.za/. Early bird registration closes on 28 May.
The conference is open to anyone with an interest in the conference industry - including venue owners and managers, professional conference organisers, corporate marketing and event professionals, event planners, public relations practitioners, exhibition organisers and suppliers of products and services.
If you would like to be a valued sponsor please visit the website- http://www.saaci2013.co.za/ to see our Sponsorship Information.
For more information contact Eastern Sun Events on tel 041374 5654 or email@example.com.
ICCA opens new African regional office
The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has opened an African regional office, headed up by Chris Prieto, who recently underwent intensive training on ICCA's products and services.
"My top priority is to make sure that every member in Africa knows that they've now got a friendly African point of contact to help them get the maximum value out of their ICCA membership, to make them aware of how to use the ICCA network, the database, and the full range of ICCA services," says Chris.
ICCA President Arnaldo Nardone said: "The opening of the new regional office in Africa isn't simply a move to deliver better services to our existing members in this region, but a recognition that the international association meetings market is continuing to evolve, and it is in the growth of regional meetings that we anticipate some of the most dramatic future developments.
"This trend is already well established in Asia and Latin America and the recent establishment of an African society for association executives shows that Africa is starting to move down the same road. What this implies is that there is going to be more business for our existing members in these regions, more new events to identify and add to the ICCA association database, more new infrastructure developments, more understanding of the strategic importance of association events by city and national governments, and more interest in ICCA by potential new members. It is strategically important for ICCA to build a long-term presence in the African market."
ICCA now has five regional offices in addition to its Head Office in Amsterdam, with established operations already serving Asia-Pacific, North- and Latin America, and new regional offices in the Middle East and Africa.
Let's talk online!
SAACI members are reminded of the online communication options between members and the association.
Visit our Facebook page - SAACI National - or follow us on twitter - @SAACINational.
Also make use of our members' blog on our homepage on http://www.saaci.co.za/.
Let's get talking online and make technology work for us!
Calendar of Events
-GIBTM - Gulf Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition
Abu Dhabi, UAE
25 - 27 March 2013
21 - 23 May 2013
-SAACI Annual Congress & Exhibition
28 - 31 July 2013
-Sports & Events Tourism Exchange
10 - 13 September 2013
19 - 21 November 2013
If members are aware of any other industry events, please send us the particulars so that they can be posted on the SAACI website. This will assist industry members to plan their diaries.
SAACImatters is the national newsletter of the association. If any members have newsworthy stories or news releases, please send them to:
Martin van Niekerk
Tel 012 804 8812
SAACI office contact
Tel 011465 0334