EXSA Conference 2017 in Review

Taking place between 9 and 11 July 2017, the EXSA Conference 2017 was all about creating a customer centric experience. The Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa brought event professionals together at the spectacular Askari Game Lodge in Magaliesburg for a three-day conference that focused on customer experience.

According to Forbes, customer experience is the ‘cumulative impact of multiple touch points’. Over the course of a customer’s interaction with any business, there are numerous interactions taking place on websites, social media, and phone as well as those that take place on a face-to-face basis. Customer experience is more important than ever before, with customers rewarding the businesses who offer the best level of service at every single touch point.

The EXSA 2017 Conference focused on ways to create such touch points, while also offering resources and inspiration on how businesses can aim for positive interactions that benefit both customers and companies. Compex Account Manager, Molly Modisakeng, was there to take in the valuable lessons enjoyed over the course of EXSA 2017. She shares her thoughts with us today in this wrap-up of the event.

Key Insights from EXSA Conference 2017

As the Compex representative on the scene, Molly had plenty of insight into what the EXSA Conference 2017 had to offer attendees. Some of her top highlights over the course of the event included the following:

The venue:

Askari Game Lodge in Magaliesburg was the venue for EXSA 2017. This idyllic game reserve offered a welcome contrast from busy convention centres, giving attendees a chance to enjoy early morning game walks, while enjoying the tranquil background of the African bush.

The overall experience:

For Molly, this event offered a chance to delve into the intimate nature of the industry. She was excited to have the chance to connect to some of the biggest minds and influencers in the events industry.

The speakers:

The event featured amazing speakers, each offering plenty of food for thought. The theme that seemed most common was how as an industry, we could pay more attention to our customer experience, as consumers are now more interested in the feeling they get when they associate themselves with brands, more than the price. As a whole, companies are becoming more interested in culture, CSI and sustainability.  Joe Hatting from Lumi Technologies spoke about Selective Reality. Lynn Baker, certified World Class Speaking Coach discussed how brands can move beyond customer service to driving customer experience.

Greatest impact:

Molly’s greatest insight was the talks and workshops had regarding customer experience. Says Molly about this insight, “It has always been apparent that it’s important to create experience with clients, but when we looked into detail at how other companies in all the different sectors do it, I actually saw what a difference experience can make in so many industries beyond events.”

The difference in SA industry vs the industry in Europe

Augmented Reality has most certainly taken over the Western industries. Molly notes that just about everything and anything these days is created in the form of an app or social media platform. For instance, attendees were shown an example of an EXSA trade show organiser who opted to do an entire show via Virtual and Augmented Reality. As crazy as it seems, Molly notes that it actually worked.

The networking opportunities:

Molly enjoyed getting the chance to get to know some of the key players in the industry, while learning some tips and tricks along the way and making new friends. She also reports that one of the speakers talked about the value of a database to serve the industry’s clients and suppliers, or a history map of the eventing and exhibiting industry. These features may well help to increase collaboration in the often competitive events industry.

All in all, Molly thoroughly enjoyed the conference, and came back with plenty of fresh inspiration.