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Meetings SA chats to Tshwane Events Centre marketing and facilities manager Ricky da Costa about event industry challenges, some big transformations and the exciting year ahead.

Tshwane’s premier and most versatile venue, the Tshwane Events Centre, has the capacity and capability to host any national or international event – from 10 to 10 000 guests at a conference or gala evening to large-scale trade and consumer exhibitions.

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Last year was a challenging one for the MICE and business tourism industries. How did the Tshwane Events overcome those challenges?

We offer very competitive rates per square metre and also provide a full range of logistical and project planning services. In other words, we’re not just renting a venue, we’re offering a one-stop shop for exhibitors and conference companies. In order to stay ahead of the curve we offer value propositions to clients such as a full turnkey service. Little gestures that make the customer feel special don’t have to be expensive; the devil is in the detail.

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Is there enough of a focus on the South African events industry? If not, why?

There could always be more focus on events. They’re a great medium for companies to showcase products, impart new ideas and promote new ways of thinking. Events tend to be viewed as expensive exercises that end up becoming a big party and nothing more. However, this isn’t the case. A little innovation and out-the-box thinking can breathe new life into an event. I think companies still feel they could spend their marketing budget better elsewhere.

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What is Tshwane Events Centre doing to promote the events industry?

We’re trying to offer a value proposition to our products; an ‘anything is possible’ attitude for the client. We aim to help the client move away from the old, stale ways of doing events and to be bold and do something unexpected.

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Do you feel people are still holding back with their money and what they spend it on?

For sure! We all have to watch our bottom line, no matter what sector you’re in.

Does Tshwane Events Centre have anything exciting in store for us in 2013?

This is a huge year for us with big transformations taking place that will certainly benefit our clientele. All I can say for now is: watch this space!

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Where would you like to see the industry in the next five years?
• new events
• new products launched here
• more international flavour within events
• become a sought after destination for internationals to hold conferences and events.

In many ways these things have started to take place with organisations like The African Bureau of Conferences. The bottom line is we need to offer a fresh perspective to host and pull off awesome events and conferences.

www.tshwane-events.co.za

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