Meetings Africa 2016 – advancing Africa together

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Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom rings the bell to declare #MeetingsAfrica15 officially open. (Image: South African Tourism)

Now in its 11th year, Meetings Africa 2016 is the African continent’s largest trade show for the business events industry.

Hosted annually by the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), a division of South African Tourism, this year's event provides a networking opportunity for the best and brightest minds in the global business events industry. 

Taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 22 to 24 February, this year's Meetings Africa boasts an assemblage of industry experts and distinguished international speakers ready to share valuable insights into global best practices and trends.

With an even larger contingent of qualified buyers and visitors expected at this year’s event than last year's, the tourism sector and those in attendance are certain to benefit immeasurably.

It has attracted more than 170 quality vetted hosted buyers from across the globe, all intent on pursuing business ventures with the best Africa has to offer.

In recent years Africa has begun to be recognised as a sought-after destination by the global meetings industry.

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In recent years the SANCB has increased its investment in Meetings Africa as a strategic platform (Image: South African Tourism)

Meetings Africa has been lauded as the premier business event in this industry, showcasing Africa’s diverse offering of services and products. Here African associations and meetings industry professionals can partner to help transform our continent.

Positioned as “Advancing Africa Together”, the sole ambition of the trade show is to contribute to the growth of Africa’s potential as the world’s fastest-growing and most sought-after business events destination.

Over the past few years the SANCB has increased and continued its investment in Meetings Africa as a strategic platform to mine opportunities for the country and the rest of the continent.

A key element of this year’s Meetings Africa is the addition of the European Cities Market (ECM) Summer School, which will launch ahead of Meetings Africa, from 19 to 21 February.

This will be the first time that this initiative takes place on South African soil. The Summer School, in Johannesburg, is a tailor-made course for partner organisations in the business events industry, such as convention bureaux, hotels, destination management companies and convention centres.

The school will cover topics and subjects aimed at improving South Africa’s global competitiveness, including the most up-to-date trends in the meetings industry.

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The Gauteng Convention Bureau stand at #MeetingsAfrica15 (Image: South African Tourism)

Benefits of attending Meetings Africa 2016


This is the perfect business platform at which to present your products, services and brands to senior decision-makers, buyers and influencers. Here you will meet local and international professionals from the meetings, events and business travel industry.

  • Meet more than 650 highly qualified, hosted buyers
  • Face-to-face meetings with key decision-makers
  • Targeted business matchmaking (online diary system)
  • Network with industry colleagues across multiple sectors
  • Launch new product and service offerings
  • Update the industry on your existing products
  • Participate in networking events and educationals

Exhibitors in attendance will be national, provincial and local tourism authorities

  • African Tourism authorities and products
  • Convention and visitor bureaux
  • Conference and exhibition centres
  • Hotels and accommodation providers
  • Destination management companies
  • Event management specialists
  • Professional conference organisers
  • Transportation companies
  • Business events service providers
  • Cruise liners
  • Spa resorts
  • Trade associations
  • Travel trade publications

Hosted buyers

Hosted buyers will hail from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Expect to meet

  • African, international and local meeting and event planners
  • Association buyers who organise international conventions
  • Local corporate executives who book business travel
  • Travel agencies specialising in incentive, business and conference travel
  • In-house event co-ordinators
  • Incentive houses
  • Conference organisers
  • Sales and promotion agencies
  • Marketing companies
  • PR agencies
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#MeetingsAfrica15 BONDay tourism students attend the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders' Forum (Image: South African Tourism)

Brief rundown of programme

21 February

A day before Meetings Africa’s official opening, the African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE) – launched at Meetings Africa last year – will officially open its Johannesburg office during a ribbon-cutting ceremony with hosted buyers and stakeholders.

22 February – BONDay

BONDay (Business Opportunities Networking Day) marks day one of the actual trade show. It will feature a variety of global, regional and local speakers sharing their knowledge on an array of topics affecting the business events industry.

BONDay offers those in the industry educational sessions that will inform them about new trends that can assist in growing their business. BONDay is also an ideal networking opportunity.

23 February

On Tuesday, 23 February, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom will officially open the show with an address to stakeholders that will set the tone for what Meetings Africa 2016 hopes to achieve. 

A panel discussion addressing the impact of a country’s image on its business events industry will follow the minister's opening address.

24 February

The last day of Meetings Africa 2016 features the Green Stand Awards ceremony, for the top green stands at the event.

For more information on Meetings Africa 2016 or to register as an exhibitor or visitor, please visit the Meetings Africa website.