Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, 16 May 2018 – Following the recent revelation in widespread South African media of an events management company’s deception tactics, the urgent issue of professionalisation of the events industry in Southern Africa has again been thrust into the limelight.

The above-mentioned company’s modus operandi, which according to media reports has been going on for many years, was to advertise and use well-known subject matter experts to market their training and networking conferences while accepting non-refundable payments for these conferences. Rudi van der Vyver, CEO of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) states: “This conduct is of massive concern to SAACI and has reaffirmed our commitment to attend to this issue with urgency.”

Van der Vyver adds that SAACI’s stance on the importance of this issue has not wavered. “The above example highlights why the industry in the Southern African region needs to professionalise fully and why SAACI membership is so crucial to achieve industry stabilisation and sustainability. As the recognised umbrella body of the events industry in the region, we are always willing to discuss any issue directly with our members and we encourage open communication at all times,” he says.

Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, CCBO of the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) adds: “We need a professional industry to attract meetings, and the ability to deliver is key in winning these meetings. Maintaining our reputation as a country is therefore imperative.”

Clients/delegates are encouraged to get in touch with SAACI or the SANCB (a division of South African Tourism) should they have concerns or want to check the authenticity of any conference or formal paid event.

SAACI remains fully committed to protect and strengthen the larger/broader industry in order to create a safe, ethical and growing business events industry for our members to successfully operate in.

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