INDABA stakeholders and delegates can expect a very different INDABA 2014, with a new look and feel and the emphasis on the facilitation of business.
About 200 Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) members gathered at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 19 November 2013 to hear from Jan Hutton, South African Tourism (SAT) chief marketing officer, who outlined some of the key changes that will be implemented at INDABA over the next two years.
This was the first of three roadshows that SATSA is hosting with SAT (Durban and Cape Town are next) for members to learn about the proposed upgrade, as well as SAT’s new domestic tourism campaign.
Hutton spoke frankly about the challenges that have faced INDABA over the past few years, and how SAT is committed to transforming the show to make it more relevant to its target market.
SATSA members were given a transparent platform to air their views, openly share historical issues of dissatisfaction, and also contribute valuable suggestions on how INDABA should be revamped.
While the trade can expect to see a number of meaningful changes at INDABA 2014, it will not be practically possible to implement all envisioned improvements in the short period leading up to next year’s show. SAT is acutely focused on a two-year journey to secure INDABA’s dominance on the continent.
Hutton emphasised that INDABA is being reinvented to make sure it remains highly competitive, relevant to its core business purpose, and meets the needs of exhibitors, buyers and delegates. She added that a survey would be sent to the trade to request feedback on the proposed roadmap changes.
‘For INDABA to maintain its position as the premier travel trade show on the African continent, it has to present sufficient value to the trade. We are recreating an event that has a strategic golden thread running throughout, connecting all aspects, ensuring each has its specific purpose and fits within the context of the show,’ she told SATSA members.
With INDABA’s transformation into a contemporary pan-African trade show, it is being rebranded to bring the face of Africa to life and to be more representative of the continent – re-injecting fresh energy and revitalised clarity, underpinned by the exciting opportunity to do business with some of Africa’s top travel brands, all under one roof.
'We are modernising INDABA on every level – in format, look, feel and content – to make sure it’s relevant and future-proof. We aim to personalise the show so that it represents the genuine concept of the coming together of all people,’ she explained.
Hutton added that come 2015, INDABA will have moved away from the idea that the bigger and more opulent one’s stand is, the more important and valuable it is.
‘We are now single-minded about configuring a highly efficient trading environment. We are moving much more in the direction of travel trade show global best practice to ensure that the value is around quality of engagement and quality of buyers and exhibitors, and that the right criteria are in place for participation at INDABA. The focus is much more on business facilitation and the quality of the deals and business connections that are made during INDABA,’ she commented.
For example, there will be a Hosted Buyers' Village that will facilitate greater engagement between buyers and exhibitors in a high-frequency format. Read more »