Regional Market Outlook on Meetings and Events Market in South Africa
The South African M&E industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8–10 percent in 2018. It is also estimated that the meetings spend will reach $323 million by 2020.Top global event management companies and local event management companies present in South Africa were identified and profiled based on their service capabilities, key clients and service capabilities. Local suppliers were further analyzed based in their B-BBEE level of certification.
- Popular destination: South Africa is one of the sought after destinations in the global meetings industry
- Number of congresses: South Africa had hosted 90 international and regional association conferences between January and October 2016. South Africa has already secured 66 international association conferences and meetings for the five years starting in 2017
- Contribution: The Meetings and Events industry contributes about R115 billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product every year
With an annual growth rate forecasted at close to 8–10 percent in 2018, the M&E sector in South Africa is growing not because of market demand alone but even due to better co-ordination and structural collaboration between the government and local economies.
Key Trends in the Market
The key trends impacting the meetings and events industry in South Africa are conducting similar events like that of Europe, increasing number of meeting associations and technology development, due to which, the standard of event production has improved.
Increasingly intense scrutiny, regulations and an increase in brands, defined by their ethical and environmentally friendly business practices have turned sustainability from a ‘nice-to-have’ into a business imperative.
Increasing Number of Associations
Currently, there are 2,000 active African associations of various sizes, with the average of between 100 and 200 delegates each.
Changing Participant Demographics
As changing audience demographics pose new challenges and opportunities, event organisers are gradually shifting from a ‘one event fits all’ solution and deliver a more customized, personalised service.
Event organisers in South Africa have started using state-of-the-art event apps or creating virtual networking opportunities. They are also creatively combining physical and digital components to meet the growing participant expectations.
Regional headquarters of global suppliers and buyers are based in South Africa. Meeting professionals, based out of South Africa, are more adept and professional in dealing with meetings related services.
Cloning of European Events
Major organisers are cloning their European events to convene an annual “sister show” in Africa, and Johannesburg is typically the first choice.