Meet the #eventprofs now serving on CEPA’s Council | The Planner

Congratulations to the following event industry professionals who were elected to CEPA’s council following an online voting process from 4 to 8 September 2023:

  • Rudi van der Vyver (Chair)
  • Mulemwa Moongwa (Vice Chair)
  • Chad Botha
  • Glenn van Eck
  • Lisa Welthagen

CEPA, or the Council of Event Professionals Africa, is a special interest group within the Southern African Communications Industries Association (SACIA) which represents event industry professionals working across multiple event genres, including business, entertainment and sport.

The Council is elected from amongst those SACIA members involved in event management and each member serves for a two-year period.

Promoting transparency and greater engagement

Kevan Jones, executive director of SACIA, says that SACIA’s online voting system has ensured high voter engagement and a more transparent voting process. He explains, “We’ve been using this voting system for nearly 10 years. It brings several important benefits. Firstly, not all members can attend an in-person meeting and the online system allows members to vote at a time and place convenient to them.

“We want to make it clear that we are not hiding behind closed doors – we are electing a Council which will be rolling out designations that impact the entire events industry, so we want to open up the election process to public scrutiny.”

“Second is that it is completely transparent. We are very aware that while only paid-up members can participate in the ballot, many other stakeholders have an interest in our activities. We want to make it clear that we are not hiding behind closed doors – we are electing a Council which will be rolling out designations that impact the entire events industry, so we want to open up the election process to public scrutiny.

“Finally, as a professional body with members at various recognition levels, this system allows us to implement a weighted voting system that gives priority to our designated members.”

Meet the new office bearers
Rudi van der Vyver

Rudi van der Vyver (Chair)

Click to view Rudi’s LinkedIn profile

Professional designation: Virtual Event Institute Professional (VEIP), Chartered Marketer CM(SA)

Involvement in live events: I am the Chief Executive Officer for We Are Events, and We Are Virtual, an event management and production company focused on delivering unique, innovative and results-driven, in-person, virtual and hybrid eventing solutions to clients. Before this role, I served as CEO of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI). I am one of only 18 African event practitioners to complete the international masterclass on the Neuroscience of Event Design and Architecture.

I’m passionate about event strategy and psychology, creating experiences and driving return on investment for clients through effective and creative event management principles. I hold a BCom (Hons) degree in marketing from UNISA. I also hold the designation of Chartered Marketer CM (SA) from the Marketing Association of South Africa.

Industry association involvement: I am a current member of SACIA and have served on the CEPA Council for the last 6 years. I led the committee, which was tasked with developing the CEPA designation assessment criteria, areas of competency and their respective weightings. From 2017-2019 I served as the CEO of SAACI (Southern African Association for the Conference Industry). I have also served on the boards of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa and The Event Greening Forum.

I previously served as a member of the Minister’s Tourism Leadership Forum, the National Department of Tourism’s National Tourism Stakeholder and Transformation Forum and the National Tourism Department’s Tourism Service Excellence Forum.

What do you expect to contribute to the CEPA Council over the next two years? My main aim is to ensure that event management takes its rightful place as a truly professional industry within Africa. The need for certification and designations to professionalise our industry is critical, and we need to drive the rollout and adoption of these designations aggressively. We also need to ensure understanding (education) outside the events industry on the importance of awarding contracts to industry professionals. I also want to ensure that there’s an opportunity for all other stakeholders to participate in this process of driving the professionalisation of the events industry through industry certification.

By driving certification, I aim to assist in creating an inclusive industry that operates at the highest quality and service levels. I also believe this will attract youth talent into our industry and boost the perception of Africa as a world-class event destination (with local skills/talent that are benchmarked and certified at world-class standards).

Mulemwa Moongwa (Vice Chair)

Mulemwa Moongwa

Click to view Mulemwa’s LinkedIn profile

Professional designation: Certification in Meetings Management (CMM)

Involvement in live events: I am a seasoned Meetings Professional who lives and works in Lusaka, Zambia. I’ve been an events management consultant for 15 years, and two years ago, I established the MICE Academy as the leading learning provider for the Meetings and Business Events Industry in Zambia and beyond.

Industry association involvement: I am the chairperson of the Zambia Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Studies and the vice-chair of the Event Professionals Association of Zambia (EPAZ). Over the last two years, I have worked actively with the CEPA team in an effort to create a series of professional designations that have relevance across the SADC region.

What do you expect to contribute to the CEPA Council over the next two years? I believe the ability to conceive and execute meetings is an expertise that is often unappreciated. There’s a desperate need to professionalise the events industry in Africa, and the CEPA designations will allow us to do so. I’m keen to promote cooperation with event industry Associations across the SADC region and to focus on the “Africanisation” of the designations so that they are specifically relevant to the region.

Chad Botha

Chad Botha

Click to view Chad’s LinkedIn profile

Involvement in live events: I have been involved in the local events industry for more than 20 years, starting when I established Domino’s Marquee Hire in 2002. I am now the managing director of Inspire Rentals. We supply trending furniture to South Africa’s leading events, exhibitions, conferences, music concerts, galas, festivals, weddings, fashion shows, high profile sporting and corporate hospitality events. Our wide range of hire furniture is suitable for anything from expos to banquets, as well as home events such as birthday parties, family gatherings and kids parties.

Industry association involvement: Over my 20-year involvement in the events industry I have maintained membership in almost all of the industry Associations active in the sector. I have served on the EXSA board on several occasions. Over the last 12 months, I have been active within CEPA, supporting their efforts to develop professional designations that recognise the skill, knowledge and competence of professionals working in the events industry.

What do you expect to contribute to the CEPA Council over the next two years? In a post-covid world, I have been disappointed to see the various industry organisations pursuing their own narrow interests. The SACIA designations have relevance to all stakeholders in our sector and I aim to promote cooperation and collaboration between industry stakeholders as we work together to roll out the designations. It’s also important that SACIA has access to the resources needed to fulfill its mission and I intend to help secure funding to ensure we are successful.

Glenn van Eck

Glenn van Eck

Click to view Glenn’s LinkedIn profile

Professional designation: Certified Meeting Planner

Involvement in live events: I have been involved in the events industry for 42 years, and this has included Being Festival Director for many years of the SPLASH Festival until 2011 as well as Nelson Mandela Bay FIFA Fan Fest Director. I was also the Event Co-Ordinator for the Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) leg of Big Concerts events. I was privileged to be presented with the Godfrey King Hall of Honour Award at the 2023 SAACI Congress.

Industry association involvement: Over the years I have served as EC SAACI Chair, SAACI National Board, National Treasurer of SAACI, Chairman of CEPA as well as various other industry Committees.

What do you expect to contribute to the CEPA Council over the next two years? I look forward to being part of the realization of a vision that started 9 years ago and seeing the event industry embrace designations and what they stand for. I believe we can only grow as an industry if we professionalise and show a commitment to continuing development. I also believe that we must provide a career growth path for new entrants and those in the industry to make it sustainable.

Dr. Lisa Welthagen

Dr. Lisa Welthagen

Click to view Lisa’s LinkedIn profile

Professional designation: Academic member

Involvement in live events: I hold a PhD in tourism management from North-West University and am the subject head for event management at Tshwane University of Technology. I was the project lead for the re-curriculation of the university’s event management qualifications. I have been a member of the SABS technical committee for maintaining SANS10366 since 2016.

I have contributed several chapters to academic textbooks published on event management and am an external moderator for UNISA, CPUT and North West Universities for event management subjects.

Industry association involvement: I am the vice-chair of SACIA’s Event Safety Council. I was involved in developing online exams and assessment tools to assess individuals applying for both the Event Safety and Event Management designations. I also set the Event Safety Re-opening Guidelines published during COVID-19. I was explicitly engaged in developing SACIA’s event management designations, ensuring they align with academic curricula, NQF level descriptors, and international standards and qualifications.

What do you expect to contribute to the CEPA Council over the next two years? I believe it is essential to have academics representable on the Council since there is a desperate need to close the gap between industry and academia.

My contribution to CEPA will be to promote the special interest group within SACIA to be a champion for event professionals and event industry excellence. Furthermore, to promote high standards of professionalism within the events industry and promote signature designations. In addition, to take forward the continuation of professional development within the industry and shape the future of event management in South Africa.

About CEPA

CEPA was originally formed as a three-way partnership between the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA), the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) Africa and the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI). It was incorporated into SACIA in 2019.

Under SACIA’s leadership and governance structures, the organisation has developed three professional designations:

  • The Certified Event Associate designation is awarded to individuals able to demonstrate their broad understanding of event management
  • The Certified Event Practitioner designation is awarded to individuals able to demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of event management, and
  • The Certified Event Professional designation is awarded to individuals able to demonstrate their deep understanding of event management.

CEPA exists to provide clearly defined career pathways for individuals working in event management, to hold members accountable to a code of professional conduct, to encourage a commitment to lifelong learning amongst all industry players, to embrace a commitment to international standards and best practice, to protect the public against unethical and/or unprofessional behavior of certified practitioners, and to work with quality councils and training providers to ensure academic and vocational training is relevant to the needs of industry.

For more details, visit SACIA’s website.