A few industry colleagues were discussing various event website updates including registrations plus the almost elimination of ‘drudge’ tasks that technology has brought to the MICE industry.

Yet when it comes to technology cost reductions by connecting with soft-ware provider servers situated in far-flung tech. savvy countries such as India, China and the like – the challenges persist.

Despite all the communication wizardry that accompanies many of these relatively well-established ‘international’ tech companies – the MICE consumer – similar to doubtless many other sectors of the economy wish to interact with the human beings responsible for ensuring that the soft-ware purchased and driven somewhere in ‘the clouds’ can answer their simple queries.

For example South Africa being three hours behind New Delhi means that a query lodged at 1400 CAT is unlikely to be responded to until sometime the following day. If it is a Friday – the time factor and downtime customs of both countries could exacerbate the challenge further.

However the tech. challenge extends even further. An international tech company intent on marketing and selling to the African markets should financially invest with a presence in a country such as South Africa. In this regard ‘an agency’ or representative does not cut it.

Surely a registered company with a rented office albeit relatively humble plus an employed South African individual ‘clued-up’ to handle the myriad of queries and be the tech. company’s ‘person-on-the ground’ is not asking too much in showing confidence in our economy. Paying for soft-ware applications in SARands would certainly also add to building relationships which could be of immense financial benefit to the international technology industry going forward. Food for thought? Email

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