BusinessDay

Africa MICE Masterclass: Sharpening skillset of Africa’s MICE sector for recovery

Some of the global and renowned business events and tourism experts from Africa, the UK, Europe and the rest of the world will share their expertise on February 28, 2022, at the 5th and 2022 Africa Business Tourism and MICE Masterclass at this year’s Meetings Africa.

Among the 2022 faculty are; Désirée Baltussen, chief business development officer, ICCA – Netherlands, Rob Davidson, managing director, MICE, Knowledge – UK, Desire Loumou, senior expert, Trade in Services, AfCFTA Secretariat – Ghana, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, chief national convention bureau officer – South African Tourism, Prof Nellie Swart – University of South Africa, Rob Kucera, director, East Africa, Radisson Hotel Group & complex general manager – Kigali Convention Centre, Daryl Keywood, managing director, Walthers Destinations Business Solutions – Africa and Christelle Grohmann, director, BDO, South Africa, Linda Pereira, managing director, CPL Events Portugal and Hamza Farooqui, CEO, Millat Investments & Hyatt Rosebank.

The MICE Masterclass, which has been a permanent fixture of Meetings Africa in the last five years, is set to once again deliver a sector changing session to discuss how the global pandemic influenced the MICE industry and how it is planning to come back stronger than ever, with input from industry leads.

Being hosted in collaboration with South African Tourism and BDO South Africa, the goal for the 2022 course is to help delegates make sense of the way ahead as the world starts to open again.

The course further aims to skill beginners and new entrants into Africa business travel and MICE industry and, also to upskill business travel and MICE tourism professionals, practitioners, operators, and executives in Africa. With the year 2022 marking a turning point yet with several unknown scenarios and new rules of the MICE game, it has given confidence for the industry that the recovery of the sector may be well ahead of expert predictions. This has made this year’s masterclass a must-attend for industry practitioners to apprise themselves with the latest trend and how to adapt going forward.

Another key highlight is for delegates to gain insights into strategies for business continuity and industry revival from a MICE and business tourism sector perspective.

This year’s programme will share more light on new approaches to bidding, innovative venue and events management, business development, incentive travel and novel MICE business models in the “new normal” are also some of the key areas of discussions among several others.

As a Continuing Professional Development programme, the masterclass serves as an avenue to bring together experts across the international MICE sector to dialogue, explore and share practical measures as well as sustainable interventions for the recovery and survival of the MICE and business events sector in Africa.

Ultimately, the programme will provide a holistic view of the opportunities for the Africa MICE industry.

The course will be delivered in a highly interactive manner with strict adherence to COVID 19 protocols and safety.

However, speaking on the reasons to attend ABTMM, the organisers said that the 2022 Masterclass is crucial for the following:

Analysing the global trends and opportunities in the meetings & business events industry for the African industry; guiding professionals to craft strategies and tactics focused on growing arrivals, sales, revenues and conversion future of events and meeting tourism as the engine of economic recovery for COVID-19 and offering a platform for destinations, convention bureaux, convention and conference centres, hotels and others to showcase innovative and sustainable products and solutions that are driving forward MICE industry.

Other reasons are: allowing dialogue, gaining new insights, networking and ultimately creating a pathway for more innovative industry; inspiring and demonstrating how destinations and Africa MICE and tourism leaders and professionals should develop a roadmap for the future of the industry and to look into how Africa MICE industry in COVID-19 era is benchmarked against the rest of the world.

Read also: What to know about AfCFTA’s $10bn adjustment facility

According to Kwakye Donkor, CEO, Africa Tourism Partners, the Masterclass seeks to sharpen the skillset of practitioners and adequately prepare them for the transition and post-Covid recovery.

Moreover, the participants will include chief executives, senior executives, general managers, chief marketing officers, sales & marketing directors, heads of departments, corporate sales managers, meeting planners PCOs, DMCs, event managers and exhibition directors among others.

Since its inception in 2018, the annual Pan-Africa Business Tourism & MICE Masterclass (ABTMM) in collaboration with BDO South Africa and partnership with South African Tourism, the Masterclass has grown from strength to strength.

It has brought over 700 industry professionals, practitioners, youth, SMMEs and Convention Bureau as well as National Tourism officials to learn, share experiences and knowledge as insights on how to collectively grow intra-Africa MICE/Business together.

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