Meetings magazine and The Planner celebrates the women who have made their mark on the MICE industry. Everyday this week we will be highlighting ten of the wonderful women who made the Top 40 Women in MICE list.
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Beatrix is always filled with new, fresh ideas. Her concepts are never limited to anything – if she puts her mind to it, she will do it. No matter how big or small, nothing is impossible. Beatrix takes pride in every single item her company delivers – from a simple gift to an elaborate production. Coming up with a new concept, tailored to each request, is not an easy task. Beatrix has mastered this art to perfection. Her creativity has no bounds and she uses it to the advantage of her clients. There is no such thing as second best or compromise when it comes to the client’s expectations. She encourages everyone around her to be the best they can be, not with words, but with her actions.
Beatrix describes herself as a wedding and events planner, stylist, who is obsessed with hubby, fashion, travel, and her two adorable pooches.
Having started out in the industry in 1988, Cany is passionate about the services that she provides. Cany is not only regarded as one of the leaders in the industry, but she is also well-liked and respected. She is able to connect with her clients and meet their needs as she leads her team to deliver fabulous outcomes, based team-building solutions. Their tailored programmes are inspiring and they have a reputation of motivating people. Cany creates a safe environment for team participation, with enough room to accommodate and cultivate leaders. Her impeccable record, high integrity, and creative flair guarantee satisfaction. Anyone who has worked with Cany will agree that she oozes enthusiasm and energy.
Cany loves spending time with her fur-kids, three Jack Russell terriers, and is actively involved in animal charities.
Caroline is a forward-thinking innovator, a geek at heart who lives for and loves cutting-edge technology, and is always looking for ways to apply what she learns in the MICE industry. Her company provides services such as event websites, online delegate registration, exhibition stand booking systems, abstract management for academic conferences, and social media assistance. She was the first to offer an interactive stand booking system in South Africa and has also developed a form generator that allows customised delegate registration forms to be created in just hours (formerly the work of many days). Having built an excellent team, ideas in the company flow freely. For Caroline, creativity is encouraged in her team, resulting in constant enhancements in the products offered.
Caroline founded the Virtual Board mentoring system for the Businesswomen’s Association in Port Elizabeth, and continues to serve as a mentor in this programme today.
Clare has been exposed to the industry since she was 13 years old. Her parents immigrated to Zimbabwe from the United Kingdom to run hotels in the Fort Victoria area. After college, she joined the Zimbabwe Sun Hotel Group and has been actively involved in the MICE industry ever since. She has been successfully running her company for over two decades. Clare is passionate about setting high standards for the industry and, as a result, she was a founding member of the PCO Alliance Network. She puts her expertise and knowledge at her clients’ disposal, ensuring that all events run smoothly.
Some highlights of Clare’s career include establishing the in-house conference department for PricewaterhouseCoopers, serving as a SAACI committee member, and winning the Professional Conference Organiser Company of the Year Award for the Volkswagen Marketing Conference Centre in 2000.
Cornelle is a highly driven and dedicated individual with the zeal to get any job done. She has demonstrated keen networking ability and uses her contacts to grow her client base. Identifying a client’s need and matching it with the best solution is her forte. Her hands-on approach, combined with an entrepreneurial drive and business management skills, ensures that her client’s events or exhibitions are a great success. Cornelle’s passion for people is palpable and manifests in her ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude. Her willingness and ability to share her strategies has always given her an amazing team to work with. Cornelle has a wealth of experience and believes in excellence, as opposed to efficiency.
Cornelle provided creative and innovative solutions for this year’s South African Film and Television Awards’ live broadcast, as well as the logistics surrounding the event.
Debbie’s exuberant energy and natural knack for coordination and planning make her an asset that the Colourworks team simply couldn’t function without. She loves making people happy, and her instinctive gift of being able to make all those around her smile and laugh equate to her being amazing at what she does. Debbie has experience in working on events ranging from large and intimate dinners, to retail conferences and concerts. She is a mentor to the eager interns who are part of the Colourworks creative campus, making sure that they remain inspired and nurtured throughout their time with her.
From being a cordon bleu chef, to travelling the African continent as a tour guide, Debbie has always thrived under pressure and has had a natural gravitation towards customer service and working with people.
Dudu has been an invaluable asset to HBCC for many years. Ever ready with a wide smile and a hearty laugh, Dudu’s approach to her work and all requests, even the most ridiculous and uncommon, is always to oblige. Her never-say-die attitude has helped her win over even the most difficult clients. Her vast experience and passion for her work can never be learned from a textbook. Dudu has learned, and mastered, the ropes, through many long, difficult years of hard and diligent work – making mistakes, correcting them, creating new solutions to old problems, and often going with plain and simple gut feel.
Always the first to arrive at 06:00 in the morning, and usually the last to leave late at night, Dudu is affectionately known at as the ghost of Hackle Brooke.
Exhibitions and events are powerful platforms that can bring about change, and motivate and inspire people. It is for this reason that Elaine is so passionate about what she does. When looking at her track record and impressive credentials, it is no surprise that when MMI expanded into Africa they chose her to lead the way. Elaine is an entrepreneurial thinker who invests a lot of time and energy into the trade shows she is involved with. She brings broad-based management experience to every show through her ability to think, plan, and implement strategically. Exceptionally dedicated and committed, Elaine is an asset to the industry.
While working at Gallagher Convention Centre as the exhibition and special events manager, Elaine won the Best Venue Employee at the EXSA awards for three consecutive years.
Having been involved in the industry for over 15 years, Esmaré is ambitious, clear-minded, hardworking, and purpose-driven. Her dynamic spirit and personal quest for perfection are among the greatest assets any company could ask for. Esmaré is respected by her peers and her clients, as she is constantly able to provide innovative solutions. Her leadership skills are founded on her integrity and passion for her career and the industry. This is evidenced by the awards she has picked up along the way. In 2008, Esmaré won the Starwood Europe Africa Middle East Incentive Award for exceeding targets and, in 2012, she received the title of Manager of the Year at the CTICC. She has helped positioned the CTICC in the international business events market as one of South Africa’s leading convention centres. Esmaré is also the venue chairperson for SAACI.
Esmaré and her husband have a smallholding in Langebaan that boasts 1 000 olive trees and a small vineyard. After harvest, they bottle the olives and make their own wine.
In the events management industry, they say you are only as good as your last event, and there is a lot of truth in that. Every single event has to receive the same meticulous attention to detail and be approached with the same high level of passion and professionalism in order to deliver on excellence. Those who know Estelle know that passion, attention to detail, and professionalism are the essence of her personal commitment to her clients. It is also threaded through her work and the way she manages her business.
Estelle is a Certified Meeting Professional, has an international benchmark qualification for a professional conference organiser, and has been running her business for the past 23 years. In that time, she has served literally hundreds of clients, across industries and sectors, by producing impeccable events, both small and large.