3S Media, together with The Planner Guru and Meetings magazine, has announced the winners of its Women in MICE Awards 2021.

3S Media, a specialist B2B media company, has today announced the winners of its Women in MICE Awards 2021.

The announcement wraps up what is recognised as Women’s Month in South Africa, with the Awards being a showcase of the remarkable achievements made by some of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry’s top players.

Commenting on the announcement was Shanna Jacobsen, Managing Editor of Meetings magazine and The Planner Guru, part of the 3S Media group and the producers of the Women in MICE Awards: “We have all come through an incredibly difficult period that has resulted in major losses, which has taken a serious toll on the industry as a whole. It is for this reason that we feel it is more important than ever to recognise the women who have been a beacon of hope for so many, and who have led their teams demonstrating courage, compassion, innovation and resilience during this time,” notes Shanna.

The Women in MICE Awards launched in 2014 and are in place to celebrate female excellence across the MICE industry. Just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit South Africa, the Women in MICE Awards were relaunched as a categorised event. Following the postponement of the Awards last year, the 2021 event will be the seventh annual Women in MICE Awards.

Here are just some of the reasons the winners of each category were chosen for this year’s Women in MICE Awards:

SERVICE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
Trudi Freed, Director, HiSide Events

Trudi is recognised for her managerial style, excellent customer service and her ability to create trusting relationships. This is evidenced in her service to her clients, with relationships spanning more than 15 years.

VENUE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR
Lindiwe Rakharebe, CEO, Durban ICC

Under Lindiwe’s leadership, the Durban ICC has made an immense macroeconomic contribution to Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa, adding billions to South Africa’s GDP and creating thousands of jobs.

COLLABORATOR OF THE YEAR
Kezy Mukiri, CEO, Zuri Events (Kenya)

Through her partnerships, Kezy co-hosted the inaugural Africa MICE Summit and commemoration of the Africa Meetings Industry Day on 9 September 2020, bringing together leading organisations in MICE from across Africa and beyond.

INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTION OF THE YEAR (shared)
Tes Proos, President SITE Africa

For showing incredible leadership in her collaborations with the industry to ensure it was reflected as a key economic contributor, in addition to initiating the first study on the value of incentive travel in South Africa.

INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTION OF THE YEAR (shared)
Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director – Travel, Tourism, and Creative Industries, RX Africa

Placing an emphasis on synergy, together with her team, Megan uses the exhibition and eventing platforms to create opportunities for industry brands to market their products and services to a captive audience.

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Carol Weaving, Managing Director, RX Africa

With her proven ability to innovate, Carol brings a unique and unstoppable force to RX Africa. A strategist at heart, she delights in growing both personally and professionally, as well as empowering her team to reach new heights and develop their own path to success.

CERTIFICATION & QUALIFICATION PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
Angelique Smith, Co-owner, Event Synthesis

As a qualified moderator, facilitator and health and safety officer, Angelique has been pivotal in ensuring compliance of Covid-19 protocols within the MICE space during a time when it has been needed the most.

MENTOR OF THE YEAR
Cheryl Norwood-Young, Managing Director, Where Next Event Management

Cheryl has mentored many university students over the years and has passionately mentored her own staff, from interns to company directors. She has been involved with numerous CSI projects, charities and NPOs.

HEALTH & SAFETY STANDARDS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR
Carmen Wagener, Portfolio Director – Operations, RX Africa

Having worked in the industry for over three decades, Carmen has used her industry knowledge as well as the Covid-19 event protocols to produce an RX event how-to guide that ensures the safety of staff, exhibitors and visitors.

ENTERPRISE TEAM OF THE YEAR
RX Africa

With a staff compliment that is 70% women, led by the highly successful and entrepreneurial Carol Weaving, RX Africa is committed to ensuring that it is inclusive and diverse in all aspects of its business. One of its most notable achievements includes Africa Travel Week 2021 wrapping up its first virtual trade show and content programme with over 5 000 successful 1-on-1 meetings, 4 000 views of content sessions and over 4 300 minutes of speed networking.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Linda Pereira, Executive Director, CPL Meetings & Events

In addition to her long and respected career as one of the most influential voices in the meetings industry, Linda is internationally recognised as a speaker, writer and educator. She has been invited as a speaker in over 143 cities across all continents. Linda is known as the Destination Diva for her work as an expert bidder and is a feared competitor. She is often contracted by a variety of destinations to present bids on their behalf and has played an active role in many major events and bids for world events.

“It is clear from the 52 entries we received across the 10 categories that there are distinct pockets of excellence. We have also seen participation from outside of South Africa’s borders, showing that the Women in MICE Awards are growing in interest and reach,” highlights Shanna.

Lastly, to ensure transparency of the judging of the Women in MICE Awards entries, 3S Media enlisted the assistance of five of the industry’s top roleplayers, including:

  • Corné Koch, Head, Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau
  • Nomasonto Ndlovu, Head: Tourism, Heritage & Hospitality, Transnet
  • Nonnie Kubeka, Head, Gauteng Convention & Events Bureau
  • Sonto Mayise, Acting General Manager, KZN Durban Convention Bureau
  • Vanessa Perumal, Managing Director, JT Communication Solutions
“On behalf of 3S Media, I would like to take this opportunity to personally and publicly thank each of the judges for their valuable contribution throughout this process as this also means that the Women in MICE Awards are credible,” says Shanna.

The producers of the Women in MICE Awards will announce the date of the awards ceremony at a later stage.

For more information on the Women in MICE Awards, click here. For all queries, including media requests and interviews, contact Shanna Jacobsen directly on shanna.jacobsen@3smedia.co.za, or +27 (0)79 884 6939.

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