Celebrating a decade of hotel/Guest House Concierges and Guest Relations Managers’ networking platform, The South African Concierge Forum turns 10 this year.
What began as a small gathering of dedicated hotel Concierges and Guest Relations Managers in 2010 in Johannesburg, has grown to an escalating number of attendees at the annual conferences, and now being held in three additional cities.
The South African Concierge Forum this year celebrates 10 years since it was established in 2010 by founder and organiser, Deon Prinsloo. He has over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, and is currently the Guest Relations Manager and Head Concierge at The Palazzo Hotel in Johannesburg. Prinsloo also holds the much-coveted Golden Keys – one of 15 South African members of the Society of the Golden Keys of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Les Clefs d’Or as is it commonly known as the Golden Keys.
“We wanted to create a platform that enables hotel Concierges and Guest Relations Managers from 4 and 5 Star Hotels in Johannesburg and nationally, to share ideas and experiences as an ongoing educational toolkit. The decade success is embedded in the South African Concierge Forum motto: ‘Inspire, Share and Shine’ – and this is the purpose of the Forum,” says Prinsloo.
He explains that 10 years ago, what started with few people at The Palazzo in Johannesburg, has since grown to an annual event that is hosted in three other cities outside of Johannesburg. In addition, there are ongoing educational and network forums held quarterly to ensure Concierges and Guest Relations Managers are kept informed about industry changes and trends, both locally and globally.
“The growing demand for, and popularity of this platform expanded to Cape Town and Durban in 2015, and in 2016, the first annual conference was hosted in the Garden Route” In 2015 Kagisho Ditira joined Deon with the organising of the Conferences concentrating on collating Data, doing research, exhibitors and photography.
He says the annual South African Concierge Forum Conference not only celebrates excellence in Concierges and Guest Relations association establishment, but also celebrates 10 years of networking of likeminded people within this segment of hospitality and new learnings.
“We look forward to growth in education and key learnings in the coming years as we strongly believe that Concierges and Guest Relations managers are at the core of transforming the hospitality industry into hotel and tourism ambassadors.”
The 2019 conference dates will kick off in Durban on 4 September at the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Hotel, on 18 September, at the Cape Town conference will be held at Beluga Restaurant, and in the Garden Route, the conference takes place on 25 September at Kurland Hotel. The final conference will be the 10th anniversary celebration on 2 October at the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in Johannesburg.
There is no charge to attend the conferences, however, attendance is only open to hotel Concierges and Guest Relations Managers.
Prinsloo says the 2019 conference theme is ‘Ten of the Best’ and will highlight the achievements of the past 10 years, key milestones and great partner and sponsorships which have helped the organisation to grow, and also expand to other cities.
This year’s conferences will be attended by a number of industry professionals who will deliver key, and inspiring messages about the hospitality sector, as well as exhibitors who will be showcasing their establishments or products that are essential to the industry.
Among other guest speakers lined-up for the Johannesburg conference would be the Forum’s patron, Thuli Sithole a former Miss South Africa who will talk about the ‘Ultimate Concierge’ to inspire guests. Hotel representatives across the country will attend the Johannesburg conference to commemorate the 10th anniversary.
“Each year, our conferences are themed in line with what is pertinent at the time, and also speaks directly to the Concierges and Guest Relations Managers’ line of work.”
Factors such as the growth of digital technology and its impact on Concierges and Guest Relations Managers, as well as improving guest experiences on a continuous basis were some of the themes covered in the past 10 years. We expect to revisit some of the topics, with new additions to help us further improve on service delivery whilst learning at the same time, adds Prinsloo.
To book your place at this year’s conference, email Deon.Prinsloo@tsogosun.com