‘When all is said and done it comes down to the money’ so says the South African corporate gifts industry. This was one of the main confirmations of the 5th MICE Focus Group on Friday 24th May at the 5 star Gallagher Convention Centre.

Wherever possible South African businesses support local – yet it is difficult to comply when the landed price structure at our ports is as competitive as a third of the South African manufactured product.

Focus group participants were entertained with an outstanding array of décor and design ideas from Janet Landey of Party Design. One of her many shared highlights were tee shirts made out of recycled plastic water bottles. Who said there was not a use for those many thousands of plastic water bottles favoured by most venues?

It was enlightening to view how any venue whether warehouse, marquee or convention centre- and all types in between – can be transformed into any conceivable theme from: underwater scenes to outer space backdrops. Great emphasis was placed on the rules governing what we do in creating these exciting and lasting memories:

*Background music required a license to use;

*Backdrop theme artists were paid royalties each time used;

Participants were also exposed to the Skills Village folk within the Ellis Park precinct which displays a wide variety of community-generated products.

An expose into time management – a future Focus Group topic – concluded the morning’s inputs prior to the Q&A test in which both compliance and attendance certificates will be issued to participants as well as the presenters.

The next MICE Focus Group takes place on Friday 21st June at Gallagher Convention Centre and the topics will be: (1) Drilling deep into the do’s & don’ts of personal information legal compliance by Advocate Louis Nel and (2) Driving Service Excellence through meaningful Customer Satisfaction measurement – by Wayne Duvenage Change Agent, Entrepreneur and Service Excellence Guru.

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