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February 25, 2015

AIPC Convention Center Summit Looks at Collaboration Potential

More than 50 senior-level convention center management executives, industry advisors and representatives from key client groups met in Johannesburg, South Africa on February 23 in an all-day session to share insights and discuss the way forward for the development of the African venue product. Supported by AIPC - the International Association of Convention Centres - in partnership with Meetings Africa, the session let participants compare global performance data and best practices with the unique challenges and opportunities faced by a rapidly evolving African product, and identify new potential for cooperation and collaboration amongst facilities across the continent.

A recent global survey of center performance noted that the participating African centers demonstrated some of the highest rates of business growth and product innovation. Key areas for discussions included how to address unprecedented levels of global competition, respond to rapidly evolving expectations in the market and increase appreciation by governments of the fundamental role played by centers in supporting the growth and diversification of local economies.

“Given that well over 70 percent of convention centers worldwide are funded either directly or indirectly by government, it is important that communities and governments alike both understand how centers help deliver new knowledge, exposure and investment in support of economic development,” AIPC Executive Director Rod Cameron said in a statement. “At the same time, these same groups need to be given confidence that their facilities are competitive on a global basis. The very positive sense of cooperation and shared mission expressed throughout this session indicate strongly that African centers are ready to meet the present and future challenges of the industry and make Africa’s product amongst the most competitive in the world.

The session concluded with a strategic workshop that identified potential projects for regional cooperation and development. These will be explored over the coming months in preparation for future regional application to the benefit of the overall industry on the African continent. 

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