It was a good turn-out for the Networks Focus Group when Caroline Ackermann CMP presented a clients perspective on the vexing issue of site inspections while Helen Brewer CMP followed on – in a tennis-style – before, during and following presentation from the venues point of view.

Copious notes were taken while Nigel Walker CMP set the scene as the morning sessions MC.

There were many highlights but the most popular take-home value was three-fold.

(1) Safety in the form of ensuring that before the Focus Group proceedings got underway the venues facility officer briefly explained the procedures in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Many meeting planners picked up on this one and the end result was a request for a safety procedural communique to be sent to all venues that should be undertaken each and every day, for each and every booking. The CMP Network will further distribute to appropriate member associations such as FEDHASA for distribution to their venue members in particular.

Dont be shy take pictures! proclaimed Nigel Walker when discussing venue layouts, meals, dcor and the like. In this day and age of quick-and-easy snap-shots on your mobile what you see and order can be captured and attached to the accepted quotation

No longer ordering those red table cloths with yellow overlays that suddenly arrive on the day as blue table cloths with white overlays! And what of those main courses of chicken kiev with tossed noodles on the side garnished with lashings of parsley that turns out to be chicken a la king with rice tossed with green peas on the side? Yes.a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, concluded Nigel Walker.

Derek King CMP closed the Focus Group by aligning the morning session to the international best practice domains, skills and sub-skills.

Roz Prinsloo CMP who attended the site inspection Focus Group undertook a precise on behalf of the Network on SASREA (Safety in Sports & Recreation Events Act) The outcomes were a greater knowledge of the contents of the Act although the South African Police reiterated the need for more dialogue and understanding going forward.