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As the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) grows and expands, part of the vision of the organisation is to form partnerships with other bodies that share in AAXO’s vision of a profitable and thriving exhibition industry. This is in keeping with the mandate of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), and for this reason, AAXO and SAACI have entered into a strategic partnership which will result in a greater number of benefits for members of both organisations.

SAACI represents various industry sectors such as conferences, exhibitions, services, technical providers, transport services and venues, whilst AAXO was formed to be the voice of exhibition organisers. The synergy between the two bodies and their interactions within the exhibition industry presented an opportunity for co-operation and resource-sharing. The agreement will allow for the exchange of ideas between the two bodies, as well as providing increased opportunities for members of both organisations to connect. Members now have the option to attend both AAXO and SAACI networking sessions and training courses, which increases the body of knowledge within the entire sector.

Carol Weaving, member of AAXO, says that the partnership made a lot of sense with regards to giving members added value. “SAACI is a well-oiled machine, with great benefits for members and fantastic relationships and a strong reputation within the industry. Collaborating with them will give AAXO members access to SAACI resources – and vice-versa – and it gives us both an opportunity to enhance the level of professionalism in the South African and African exhibition industry for the good of all who work within it.”

“The key messages and take-aways from our congress this year was the need to collaborate. This collaboration is not just for our member’s individual businesses but also for all the associations in the business events sector. SAACI is a firm believer that we should not just grow the proverbial slice of the pie but we need to grow the pie. As South Africa, Southern Africa and the African continent at large is showing great growth potential in business events with many new venues and hotels being constructed we need to find ways to work together in the best interest of our members and stakeholders. Partnering with AAXO is another step in the right direction and we are excited of this new formed partnership between our two associations,” adds Adriaan Liebetrau, the chief executive officer of SAACI.

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