BONDay – the Business Opportunities Networking Day – took place at the Sandton Convention Centre, marking the unofficial start to Meetings Africa 2023.
Quality ConnectionsThe BONDay Educational Sessions started with Themba Mzilikazi Khumalo, the acting CEO of South African Tourism, welcoming visitors. He said, “As South African Tourism, and the South African National Convention Bureau, we are excited to once again host BONDay, as part of our contribution to the knowledge economy. “The theme for this year’s Meetings Africa is ‘Africa’s Success Built on Quality Connections’. And this is exactly what today is about – bringing together the brightest minds on the continent to ideate towards Africa’s success.”
Over 30 tourism industry experts, disruptors and data specialists, with more than a 100 years of combined experience, were present to speak on various panels and stages.He added that over 30 tourism industry experts, disruptors and data specialists, with more than a 100 years of combined experience, were present to speak on various panels and stages, all with the intention of sharing knowledge and insights which will advance the continent. “For the first time ever on the African continent, today, we also host the first African chapter of the AIPC Summit,” he added.
Honourable Fish Mahlalela applauds the SANCBKhumalo went on to welcome and introduce the Honourable Fish Mahlalela, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, who gave a short speech before joining a panel discussion on ‘Unlocking the true value of tourism policy in Africa and the pan-African business events/MICE economy’.
The SANCB and its partners won 34 out of 79 bids for international meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.In his speech, Mahlalela shared that for the financial year of 2022/3, the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) and its partners won 34 out of 79 bids for international meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. It is estimated that there events will inject a total of R288 million into the South African economy between 2022 and 2025 – a great return on investment for the R17.3 million the SANCB spent on securing this business. Mahlalela also highlighted that, for the first time in history, SMMEs will be able to participate in the show through the new ‘plug and meet’ pavilion. Meetings Africa will run from 28 February to 01 March at the Sandton Convention Centre. 352 exhibitors from 22 African countries will be present, along with 375 buyers from 60 countries.