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SAACI Conference in Review

saaci conference 2017 logo

The 2017 SAACI Conference (Southern African Association for the Conference Industry Congress) took place between 2 and 4 June 2017. Held at CSIR in Tshwane, this forward-thinking conference welcomed professionals from a diverse selection of conference industry fields, from event organisers to event infrastructure suppliers, event management companies, service providers, industry stakeholders and many others.

As the only congress in South Africa that caters exclusively to professional conference and event organisers, the event offered a unique opportunity for the industry to connect, network and collaborate. Taking place over three days, the congress programme offered a mixture of inspirational keynote speakers, panels and workshops, along with a social programme including dinners and other events.

Key Insights from SAACI Conference 2017

This year’s event offered a number of insights, trends and highlights that make it one of the most unforgettable events for the conferencing and events industry. The Compex team were on hand to network with fellow event and conference specialists, while also equipping the event with mobile charging units to further help attendees connect. Some of our top highlights over the course of the event included the following:

The venues: CSIR International Convention Centre was the primary hosts of the conference. A reconnect evening was held at Monte de Dios on Friday, while the Gala Dinner took place at 012 Central on Saturday evening. All these venues demonstrated absolute professionalism, with friendly staff, clean facilities and well-coordinated service offerings.

The speakers: The keynote speaker on Friday was Siphiwe Moyo (Get Over It – Innovation at Work). Siphiwe is great – his talks are inspirational and to the point. Memorable lessons from this speaker:

“Lives are not changed by intentions, they are changed by actions.”

“Don’t allow the fear of making mistakes hinder your innovation.”

“Life is hard – get over it”

On Saturday, the keynote speaker was Richard Mulholland (Pitch Slap). Richard was also great, giving a very upbeat presentation. Highlights from his talks:

“Blaming PowerPoint  for a bad presentation is like blaming a pan for a bad meal.”

“Your job is to activate your audience.”

The impact of our charging units: We had two charging units on-site, and they were always busy. It is always a massive personal challenge for delegates to stay connected. At Compex, we challenge ourselves to help make people’s lives easier and we are glad that Compex could offer that service to delegates.

Key insights: Both Siphiwe and Richard were inspirational, presenting straight to the point topics. We live such busy lives that we need to get the big things right the first time, while we get over the little bumps in the road quickly enough to move on, work harder and deliver excellence.

Quote of the conference: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results – work hard to move forward.” – Siphiwe Moyo

Opportunity for networking and collaboration: There are many opportunities for networking and collaborating in the events industry when attending events such as SAACI. It can be intimidating for some to walk into a room filled with people you may not know and just start networking. Most can relate, but it is essential to overcome those fears and get stuck in. As suppliers, we need to be confident in what we can deliver and provide the solutions and value for our customers. That confidence needs to start with networking and collaborating with our fears. It’s also very important to find a good balance in meeting new people and staying connected with your old connections.

The organising committee: The organisers deserve a great deal of recognition, they did a fantastic job. A lot of thought was put into the events, all the speakers were on point, as positioned evening functions were hosted at excellent venues, and the entire conference in general was well planned and provided attendees with food for thought

The Compex team thoroughly enjoyed this year’s SAACI event, and we can’t wait for the next industry event to collaborate and network with our industry peers.