Indaba continues shift to focus on meetings

The proposed design for this year’s Business Buyers’ Lounge.
The proposed design for this year’s Business Buyers’ Lounge.

With new tradeshows entering South Africa and the tradeshow landscape in general changing, Indaba is shifting away from big stands to a focus on business meetings.

South African Tourism CEO, Thulani Nzima, says SA Tourism is reinventing the show. “What we have seen the last two years with Indaba is that its’ really been reinventing itself to make sure that [the show] remains relevant to the exhibitors and buyers alike.” Nzima says the value for money for the exhibitors and buyers is in the quality of the meetings that they get from the show.

“While we are aware that there are competing events in the country,” Nzima says, “the difference is that we have given our exhibitors a mixed breed of the exhibition execution. For instance, we still accommodate those that want to build stands and meet their clients and do PR exercises whilst at the same time writing out business, but we are also aware that there are those that focus a lot more on meetings.”

For this reason, Nzima says Indaba has also scaled down on the exhibition stands. “We are not only presenting exhibition stands – we also have table tops.” He explains that the focus with table tops is on business meetings, adding that competing exhibition companies are as offering this format. “Very few companies are still focusing on big stands.”

This year’s Indaba will see the Premier Lounge return in the form of the Business Buyers’ Lounge, offering exhibitors a customised space focused on conducting business meetings. Unlike last year, table tops stands in this space will not be limited to exhibitors who had taken up Indaba stands.

Furthermore, Nzima says significantly more meetings have been scheduled this year using the matchmaking tool in the Indaba app. “We have packed the diaries,” he says.

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