South Africa; Bringing the IMEX honours home



South Africa scoops three highly prestigious IMEX 2015 Awards that ‘elevate South Africa’s standing as a global Business Events destination of choice.

IN A HISTORIC first for South Africa, the destination has bagged three globally prestigious and coveted awards at the world’s biggest business event trade show, IMEX 2015. More than 14 700 delegates from 150 destinations attended three intensive days of business.

IMEX 2015 took place from May 19 to 21, 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany.

South Africans bring home the following IMEX 2015 Awards: the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum International University Challenge; the Destination Marketing Humanitarian Award; and the PCMA Global Meetings Executive of the Year Award.

The South African winners at IMEX 2015:

·           Anzelle Vorstman, a tourism and hospitality student at North West University, won first place in the internationally acclaimed IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum International University Challenge. She attended IMEX 2015 after winning the South Africa university challenge hosted at South African Tourism’s Meetings Africa in February, 2015;

·           Joburg Tourism won the Destination Marketing Humanitarian Award that recognises the destination marketing organisation that best demonstrates leadership and community support; and

·           Pieter Swart Conference Consultancy South Africa (CCSA), won the PCMA Global Meetings Executive of the Year Award. This award honours a meeting planner who demonstrates vision, commitment and passion for the advancement and education of the global meetings industry.

“The IMEX Awards distinguish you and your destination as a global leader and bench setter,” says South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima. “We heartily congratulate each of the winners, and thank them for flying South Africa’s flag high. One needs to be a consistent performer to win one of these awards. The accolades are a reward for uncompromising dedication to excellence. The recipients have been recognised by the world for the standards they set, and that other destinations and people aspire to.

“As important,” he adds, “the awards send a strong message to the global Business Events market that South Africa is home to people and organisations that are Business Events pioneers, and that hold significant intellectual capacity and practical know-how in the profession. The accolades work to elevate South Africa’s standing as a Business Events destination of choice globally.”

The IMEX win comes days after the International Congress and Convention Associations (ICCA) 2014 rankings announcement that saw South Africa climb two places up the rankings (from 34th place to 32nd) making it the number one Business Events destination in Africa and the Middle East. The City of Johannesburg shot 35 places up the ICCA rankings (from 136th spot in 2013, to 101st spot last year) to make it one of the fastest ascending cities in the world for Business Events hosting.

The IMEX accolades also follow the appointment of South Africa National Convention Bureau Business Events Ambassador, Professor Douglas Oliver, to the board of the BestCities Customer Advisory Board. The BestCities Global Alliance is a global collaboration comprising the convention bureaus of twelve cities: Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver.

“South African Tourism’s SANCB has been working hard to roll out a strategy that will attract more Business Events to South Africa. Key to this is demonstrating that we have people on the ground who are passionate and knowledgeable. We extend our heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to them for advancing South Africa’s success as a Business Events and meetings destination,” Mr Nzima says.