The SA Events Council has warned that, due to the lockdown restrictions, business events are no longer happening and South Africa is consequently missing out on the significant benefits they confer. These include creating opportunities for business to network, form partnerships, boost sales and close deals, while events also stimulate tourism, create jobs and support knowledge sharing – which can help to advance whole industries.

These benefits are sorely missed, especially at this time when our economy so desperately needs all the support and opportunities available to it.

“We are losing the human interactions that have greased the wheels of business for as long as we can remember, and this loss is negatively impacting our economy’s ability to rebuild.”

In this vacuum, digital alternatives to face-to-face meetings have been embraced. However, these are not an adequate replacement, argues the SA Events Council; “Online connection simply does not allow for the same ease of connection or negotiation. We are losing the human interactions that have greased the wheels of business for as long as we can remember, and this loss is negatively impacting our economy’s ability to rebuild.”

The umbrella body that represents the full spectrum of the South African events industry through its 14 member associations adds; “Connecting people is what we, in the events industry, do, and it is clear that the intrinsic value of business events went largely unrecognised until Covid-19 brought our industry to a grinding halt. Whether it is a breakfast meeting, a product launch, an exhibition, trade show or a conference get-together; events lie at the heart of business growth. Our industry is part of the root system that feeds every branch of business.”

“Our industry is part of the root system that feeds every branch of business.”

SA Events Council logo and Trust Us campaignThe positive news is that, as soon as restrictions are eased enough for business events to resume, the sector is ready. Having developed its own set of rigorous health and safety protocols, drawing on both international best practice and local expertise, the foundation has been laid to safely host exhibitions and events. Event industry businesses have also used this forced downtime to upskill, prepare and professionalise their offering to be able to operate effectively in our ‘new normal’.

As such, the SA Events Council calls on the public and private sector to #TrustUs – “Trust us to help you restore your business and contribute to rebuilding the economy.”

 

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