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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Meetings Africa 2024: Record Attendance & Meaningful Connections Drive Success

Meetings Africa 2024: Record Attendance & Meaningful Connections Drive Success

This year’s Meetings Africa concluded with a resounding success! Not only did attendance reach an impressive 3,480 – the highest since 2019, marking a significant 16.7% increase from 2023’s 2,987 attendees – but the event fostered a dynamic environment for building connections and shaping the future of the business events industry.

Newcomers Impressed:

For first-time attendee Paul Chibwe of Willch Travel and Tours (Zambia), Meetings Africa was a revelation. “This exceeded our expectations in every way,” he enthused. “The organization was flawless, creating the perfect space for networking and exchanging ideas. It truly delivered!”

Baityr Diaw, Commercial Director for the Mangalis Group of hotels (Côte d’Ivoire), echoed the sentiment. “The experience has been incredible,” he shared. “From the moment the doors opened, we’ve been meeting potential partners and building valuable relationships.”

Returning Participants Thrive:

Meetings Africa wasn’t just for newcomers. Lihle Mahlangu, a South African businesswoman, used the platform to showcase her work and connect with potential collaborators. “Business has been excellent,” she reported. “I’ve networked with people from here and Europe. I see a bright future ahead.”

The Business Opportunities Networking Day (BONDay) played a key role in fostering connections, attracting a dedicated 1,535 attendees for pre-event networking and collaboration.

A Platform for Progress:

Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille resonated with these positive vibes in her opening address. Highlighting Africa’s readiness to host major events, she declared, “Meetings Africa serves as a clear reminder that the African continent is the ideal destination for meetings, events, expos, and incentive trips.”

Sharing Knowledge, Sparking Innovation:

The educational program further emphasized Meetings Africa’s role in driving innovation and knowledge exchange within tourism. South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, underscored the event’s evolution as a premier platform for connecting buyers and exhibitors. He emphasized knowledge sharing as a catalyst for skills development, collaboration, and innovation.

“It’s time to rewrite the narrative on Africa,” declared the Deputy Minister. Meetings Africa serves as a powerful tool in showcasing the continent’s dynamism and vibrancy on the global stage.

Sustainability Takes Center Stage:

South African Tourism’s commitment to sustainability shone through with the announcement of a new partnership with the Event Greening Forum to assess and improve the exhibition’s eco-friendly practices.

This commitment extends beyond individual actions, as the Sustainability Village showcased locally produced goods, fostering economic sustainability alongside environmental responsibility.

Exhibitor Growth and Industry Trends:

The positive energy extended to the exhibitor side as well. The number of exhibiting companies rose to 382 in 2024 from 355 in 2023, showcasing a 7.6% year-on-year increase. The event also attracted 371 international, regional, and local buyers, reflecting a significant 35.9% rise compared to 273 in 2023. Industry trends, including sustainable tourism, artificial intelligence, and continuous sector professionalisation were prominent themes explored throughout the event.

Meetings Africa 2024 proved to be a resounding success, exceeding expectations and solidifying its position as the premier platform for Africa’s business events sector. With increased attendance, a growing exhibitor base, and a focus on innovation and sustainability, Meetings Africa is poised for continued success in the years to come.

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