The Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) around a number of activities.

Delegates were abuzz upon arrival of the second day of the SAACI Annual National Congress, as a big announcement was due to take place.

Attendees were not disappointed when the City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ) Executive Mayor, Geoffrey Makhubo, arrived to sign a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SAACI on various areas of co-operation under what will be known as CoJ | SAACI Business Tourism Collaboration.

CoJ Executive Mayor, Geoffrey Makhubo, with Kim Roberts, SAACI National chairperson, during the signing of the CoJ | SAACI Business Tourism Collaboration that took place at the Indaba Hotel on 20 May 2021.

What does the MoU cover?

The MoU will explore the following areas of opportunity:

i. Co-bidding and mutual co-ordination – the creation of joint bidding activities for key identified conference/conventions for the CoJ. A joint approach with SAACI members will be developed to ensure that ‘Destination Johannesburg’ increases its number of hosted business events. Identification of clients where the city would be of interest followed by the creation of joint proposals/bids highlighting or based on synergies between SAACI members and the CoJ with legacy benefits through working together.

ii. Enterprise development – the creation of a full business events value chain, which will form the framework of a dedicated business events incubation system or programme [CoJ | SAACI Business Tourism Collaboration] which will develop capacitates of entrepreneurs and also grow innovation organically in line with the future needs of the industry.

iii. Research, statistics analysis, and intelligence – analysis of studies focused on industry trends, security (risk analysis), governance (impact of policy that may influence how business events are managed in the future) and defence (terrorism). This will include identifying opportunities for both the CoJ based on current leads and existing partnerships with SAACI.

iv. Business events promotion and sales activity – the collaboration will identify how association buyers and industry decisionmakers are educated on ‘Destination Johannesburg’ with the aim of forging long-term relationship development.

v. Work opportunities – establish job creation programmes in business events industry that are a specific key part of the collaboration.

vi. Youth learning – access and utilisation of the SAACI Online Academy matched through masterclasses which will be developed within the parameters of the MoU. The unemployed graduates and youth active in the business events industry will be considered in the development of this programme.

vii. Joint collaboration for MICE strategic initiatives – through agreements/MoUs with partner associations, a joint implementation of high impact initiatives will be embarked on.

“SAACI views strategic partnerships like these as a way in which public and private sector can work towards the recovery of the industry,” enthused Kim Roberts, SAACI national chairperson, on the signing of the MoU.

The full press release can be viewed here.

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