Issue 52 Nov/Dec 2013
ONE OF THE MANY things I love about my job is the people that I get to meet. Our industry is filled with vibrant personalities that inspire me. One such person is Gcina Mhlophe – an actor, storyteller, poet, playwright, director and author. I met her at the 2013 South Africa Travel and Tourism Summit where she was tasked with showcasing the importance of storytelling. Her performance was captivating. According to Mhlope, travellers want authentic local experiences. “Our stories are unique selling points that reflect our intrinsic personality, values and culture.”
One of the findings from the summit was that more destination management companies (DMCs) are adopting first person storytelling marketing campaigns instead of traditional one-way communication with uninspiring slogans and boring promotional texts. Event organisers need to follow suit.
The city you are having your event in, the venue, catering and even the decor have a story attributed to them and delegates will appreciate knowing something about them. I look forward to hearing these stories and being able to share them with you in Meetings.
In this issue, we share the stories that make the Free State a popular MICE destination and why Zambia is appealing to the business and incentive traveller. John Fisher, director of FMI Group based in the UK, shares his views on how the different generations respond to their environment and how this impacts professional conference organisers and DMCs.
COP 11 was held in Namibia and we take a look at the lessons event organisers can learn from holding an event of this nature. We also shed light on conferencing trends and take a look at the popular venues and service providers that stood out this year.
As we prepare to say goodbye to 2013, I wish you all a great festive season and look forward to hearing all your stories in 2014.