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November 28, 2016
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Sub-Saharan Africa: SCC appoints new Exhibition Sales Manager


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Daksha Vallabh joined the Sandton Convention Centre team as Exhibition Sales Manager in October 2016 bringing with her many years of experience in the industry, as well as in other sectors.

daksha vallabhBorn and raised on both the East and West Rand, her initial tertiary training was a scholarship diploma in radiography from Witwatersrand Technikon. She worked as a radiographer for several years in Johannesburg before moving to a new field and working as a supervisor for Trade Information Systems for six years.

It was while there that Vallabh was approached by Kagiso Exhibitions and Events to be an event organiser and run their exhibitions, and she took up the challenge. “I quickly fell in love with the excitement and vibe at exhibitions – and when I was offered a position at one of our leading exhibition companies I immediately accepted, and I haven’t looked back since.”

Her interest in the exhibition industry grew from there. She studied further and achieved a national diploma in Exhibitions, Events and Conference Management from Damelin in 2006 and a certificate in Project Management from Wits University in 2009.

Since then Vallabh has worked at several other reputable exhibition companies including the Creative Axis, the Business Revolution Group, Events on Show, Scan on Show, and more recently for Sun International, before joining Sandton Convention Centre.

She identifies highlights in her career as “planning and project managing Meetings Africa, one of the biggest business tourism exhibitions in Africa; the exhilarating opportunity to travel abroad to manage the South African Tourism Pavilion at various international exhibitions; my position as Key Accounts Manager for Associations at Sun International; and more recently, my new position at Sandton Convention Centre. I have always admired the culture at SCC and I regard this position as a major highlight in my career.”

Vallabh’s position at SCC entails maintaining good relationships with exhibition organisers whose exhibitions are hosted by the SCC, while also sourcing new exhibitions. “It’s exciting to promote the SCC as a venue because it is ideal with all the world-class facilities necessary for exhibitions, as well as its location in the heart of Sandton, the business hub of South Africa, and close to many reputable hotels, including several Tsogo Sun hotels.”

She adds that her years of varied experience in the industry, the relationships she has built up over the years, as well as her passion for the industry, have prepared her well for her position at SCC. Meeting her clients’ needs and working side-by-side with a great and highly efficient team of people in such a prestigious venue makes her new role even more appealing and exciting.

Vallabh recently attended Green Forum training and believes the South African exhibition industry needs to work harder to be compatible with international standards, particularly in respect of greening. “I believe it will benefit the industry as a whole if organisers are educated on making their exhibitors responsible for off-setting their carbon footprints by reducing the ‘fancy bells and whistles’ on their stands. We should also be using recyclable and biodegradable material for stands if they are for one-off use; use more natural light and air conditioning only if necessary; use soft copy rather than hard copy collateral on stands; and reduce travelling time as far as possible.”

Vallabh acknowledges that the industry in South Africa does face the challenges of overcoming international perceptions of safety and security issues here as well as a turbulent political climate, but “we have a very dynamic team that has fresh and innovative ideas on how to grow our respective portfolios – and I have no doubt that the SCC will continue to be a leading host venue for major international events.”

On a personal note, Vallabh is married and has two children – a son who is completing his B.Com IT degree and a daughter who is studying psychology. Her family is a source of inspiration for her, as is working with enthusiastic, positive and hard-working people, and exploring her creative side with drawing, painting, crafts and mosaics. A lot more travel features on her bucket list: “I have travelled extensively both for work and in my personal capacity, but I still have so much of the world to explore!”

Shaun Bird, GM of SCC confidently welcomes Daksha: “We are delighted that Daksha has joined our dynamic team. Her experience is extensive and ideally suited to the SCC systems along with her deep understanding of the needs of the industry, as well as her consummate skills, not least of which her people skills, will add great value to our line-up. We look forward to many productive and enjoyable years with Daksha in our staff arsenal.”

 


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