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Meetings Africa announces Future Leaders Forum

Meetings Africa announces Future Leaders Forum

Recently updated on February 23rd, 2024 at 01:03 am

South African Tourism, through the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), in partnership with the Southern African Tourism Educators of South Africa (TESA), has announced the much-anticipated Future Leaders Forum, a prominent element of the forthcoming business events trade show, Meetings Africa.

Tailored to engage and inspire young enthusiasts aspiring to excel in the business events sector, the Future Leaders Forum will take place on the Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) on Monday, February 26.

This Pan African trade show, dedicated to Meetings, Incentives, Conventions/Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE), is taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from February 26-28.

With youth empowerment being a firm focus for the entire tourism and business events industry, the Future Leaders Forum has been designed to inspire and guide students towards successful careers in the dynamic business events industry.

Over the course of two days, participants will be given the opportunity to foster valuable industry connections, access top-tier educational content, gain insights from seasoned professionals, and engage in collaborative learning with peers.

Competing for global recognition

The SANCB and TESA have also selected three top-performing tourism and hospitality students from universities to compete against their counterparts to secure places at the International University Challenge.

Eligible students must be enrolled in NQF level 7 and 8 qualifications in Tourism and Hospitality, encompassing B-degrees, Honours, National Diploma, Post Graduate Diploma, and Diploma students. The selection criteria include a keen interest in the business events industry, academic excellence, and an age limit not exceeding 35 years.

The finalists are James Kgabo from Tshwane North College, Hlolohelo Zwane from Tshwane North College, and Anaïs Saayman from North-West University.

On February 26, they will present their proposals, marking what could be an exciting venture into the global meetings and events arena.

Following the Future Leaders Forum, the winner will advance to the International University Challenge, a global competition providing a platform to showcase creativity in events planning, represent their country, and compete against the world’s best students.

The overall winner, crowned at the annual IMEX Gala Dinner in Frankfurt, is presented with the coveted MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award.

“At South African Tourism, we are serious about empowering tomorrow’s leaders, and this globally recognised platform allows us to do that while ensuring that we nurture talent that will benefit our business events industry in the future. It is really about ensuring the industry’s sustainability through investment in our young people,” says Bjorn Hufkie, GM: MICE Sales Officer at SANCB.

“People are at the heart of our destination brand, and all the marketing work we do is led by our warm and welcoming people. The IMEX-MPI International University Challenge is not only a great and worthwhile challenge for the students, but it is also a wonderful way to showcase our brand. I wish all three finalists the best of luck, and I look forward to welcoming them to the business events industry in future meetings and gatherings,” concludes Hufkie.

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