So, you’ve decided that Gauteng is your ideal convention destination – and now you’re eager to find out more. Where do you go to find out the where, what, when and how of South Africa’s golden province?
The Gauteng Tourism Authority should be your first stop in discovering all about Gauteng. These provincial experts will be able to provide valuable information on any topic, from the meeting venue most likely to suit your needs to the best touring option once your conference is over. You’ll also be able to find out more about entertainment options and where to stay, plus hidden attractions that will make your stay in the province all the more enjoyable.
The Gauteng Tourism Authority also has specialised divisions to handle queries regarding particular areas. It has offices at OR Tambo International Airport, Sandton City and Rosebank.
If you’re seeking information specific to Johannesburg, Joburg Tourism is your best bet. As its name implies, the company is a one-stop shop for visitors wishing to know anything about South Africa’s busiest city. However, it’s also an authority on business tourism, offering a special focus on conventions and exhibitions. It is based in Rosebank.
If you require broader information pertaining to the rest of South Africa, consult South African Tourism. Here you can find travelling tips on health, safety and the weather, plus other need-to-know details for travellers, as well as important information about other major South African centres – such as where to go, how to enjoy your downtime, even what to wear while you’re doing it. South African Tourism also has a dedicated conventions division that will be able to assist visitors with conferencing queries – visit its Sandton-based offices, or log on to www.southafrica.net.
The Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) is the first port of call for those wishing to find out more about South Africa’s meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry.
The association maintains comprehensive information about the country’s leading venues, from purpose-built facilities to racecourses and restaurants, as well as information on professional conference organisers and service suppliers. In addition, because SAACI members are required to register with the association and abide by a code of conduct, you’re assured of professional standards.
Alternatively, you may wish to consult the larger venues for information about their offerings, as many provide specialised services. For example, the Sandton Convention Centre has a special events division, while the Johannesburg Expo Centre in Nasrec is known as a consummate exhibitions centre. Other large venues include the Coca-Cola Dome at Northgate, another prime exhibitions space, and Gallagher Estate.
Remember that hotel staff are also knowledgeable – Gauteng is renowned for its friendliness and excellent service levels.