The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has announced that Cape Town, South Africa has been selected as the Regional Hub in Africa to host its first ever hybrid congress in 2020.
The Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau, in partnership with the South African National Convention Bureau, submitted a bid to be considered as one of seven Regional Hubs to host the 59th ICCA Congress 2020.
Leading the way in re-imagining the future of global events, the Chief Executive Officer of ICCA, Senthil Gopinath commented: “This years’ Congress is the first hybrid experience that ICCA will host, and we’re excited to be able to offer delegates the opportunity to join from a regional hub. The South Africa National Convention Bureau and the Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau, after submitting a combined bid, was selected as our regional hub hosts in Africa because of their commitment and dedication, and we trust that they will support us in providing an excellent programme and experience for our delegates in this region.”
Taking place from 1 – 3 November, delegates are invited to join congress using three options – in the host destination of Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei virtually or by joining a live event at one of the Regional Hubs. The venue for the Cape Town event will be the Century City Conference Centre. Adhering to current regulations, a strict allocation of 50 delegates will be allowed to attend the event in person, adhering to national social distancing regulations. Should regulations allow in November, the event could attract up to 150 delegates from across the continent.
Ms Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convention Bureau Officer of the SANCB said; “Winning this bid is a major achievement for the country and the continent of Africa. Our role as SANCB is to ensure that we integrate the African continent business events under a singular strategic positioning of “Advancing Africa Together” which aims to market Africa as an ideal business destination and showcases Africa’s readiness and capabilities to host world-class business events for the industry. We must kick start international tourism as the country gears up to open its boarders again for international travel in 2021.”
“It is an honour for Cape Town to be selected to host the ICCA conference. This affirms the confidence that the International Conference Association has in the Western Cape’s ability to deliver a high-scale hybrid event of this nature. The announcement reaffirms the destination’s reputation as a world-class conference and events destination, capable of hosting safe events in a post COVID-19 world,” said David Maynier, Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities.
This format allows for an interactive pre-Congress programme where the entire ICCA community are invited to connect with each other, explore new ideas, formats and technologies. It is envisaged that the event will allow for a framework to enable the meetings industry to thrive, now and into the future.
Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management within the City of Cape Town, added, “As host city we will receive regional hub host branding on the ICCA congress website, and at the Road to Kaohsiung sessions - taking place virtually prior to the conference. The branding opportunities offer great exposure to the Mother City over a 2 month period (September to November 2020), with our destination package offering of meetings, natural beauty and attractions for both leisure and business delegates reaching the ICCA membership which comprises of over 1 100 member companies and organisation in almost 100 countries and territories worldwide.
“The safe re-opening of air connectivity to international corporate and leisure travel is key on our agenda, and we hope to welcome all delegates from around Africa safely to the Mother City in November. With the recent Proof of Concept Conference, the business tourism sector successfully demonstrated how the industry is well equipped to continue business in a safe and responsible manner. We look forward to demonstrating from touch down, to conference, to take off, how prepared the industry and greater value chain is to resume business,” concluded Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.