Lorraine Jenks – Hotel Stuff

Sustainability facilitator, greening specialist, African Climate Reality Leader, and ethical food activist – as a professional speaker, Lorraine advocates responsible management practices for the public and private sectors. Lorraine’s work with Slow Food International has taken her to Italy (Terra Madre Salon del Gusto), China (SF International Convention) and Mongolia (Organic Farmers Festival).  She is involved with the “UN Ten Gardens in Africa” project and with work being done with urban food gardens in the townships.

Topic: Sustainable and ethical food

It’s not about crystal-clutching hippie hubris. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about that, them and those. It’s about protecting and future-proofing our very existence. The planet is fine – we are not.  Twenty years from now, our children will say “Hey, Mom, Dad!  You knew.  What did you do?”  So, what did you do?  What can you do?  Once we understand the “why” – we instinctively seek the “what” – then discover the surprisingly simple “how”.  Lorraine will explode the myths about starvation in Africa and about expensive, elitist organic, good, clean and fair food.

Mqondisi Gumede, #HACKTOURISM

Mqondisi is a strategist, analyst and facilitator who has extensive experience in the interconnected fields of strategy, people, marketing and digital. He believes strongly that there’s a difference between knowing and understanding, and through his content he shares the ways and means of being able to do both, creating stronger, more relevant marketing for companies and a stronger connection with their consumers. In his many roles over the years, Mqondisi has advised the likes of KPMG, Momentum, eBucks, SA Tourism, flySAA.com, Coca-Cola and Eskom

William Price, #HACKTOURISM

A digital agency veteran, who has worked on both sides of the boardroom table, as a client and agency, and has experience in two multi-national organisations. William has gone back into the startup world to consult on digital marketing, social media marketing and online strategy in South Africa and particularly in the tourism sector. William has worked in some of the largest and most successful South African digital agencies, and also successfully co-found and operated two agencies of his own, with Mqondisi Gumede.

Topic: 101 of why digital and social media for your MICE business

In the last few years, social media and mobile have disrupted business and behaviour in many ways that  no-one could have imagined. This is true for the tourism and hospitality space too, and also for professional meetings organisers and conference planners. Now, more than ever before, digital and social are becoming the key focus areas for delegates and organisers to improve engagement and increase value – before, during and after events. During their talk, they will focus on a few key principles and highlight a few must do best-practices to ensure that you and your next event don’t get left behind. You don’t have to be a digital marketing expert or a social media diva to get in on the action.

Kyle Smith, Conference Consultancy South Africa

Kyle Smith, DES, has a passion for people, information, and technology. At the age of 30 Kyle has been working and contributing to the business meetings & events industry for 14 consecutive years. Kyle works for Conference Consultancy South Africa and is the first and only certified Digital Event Strategist in Africa. Kyle leads ConfSA Digital, a department dedicated to planning, producing and measuring digital events for their clients.  He is also the Information Systems Manager, responsible for developing, assessing and implementing technology operations. He contributes to organisational policy, strategic planning as well as researching and keeping up to date with the latest trends and technology. In 2018 Kyle was invited to speak at PCMA’s Convening Leaders in Nashville Tennessee where he was also recognised among the best and brightest emerging leaders in the industry and was awarded PCMA‘s 20 in their twenties class of 2018.

Topic: Hybrid Events – it’s here…..understand, embrace or get left behind

We have all heard of the buzzword ‘Hybrid Events’, buts what’s all the fuss about? Internet broadcasting has been around for a while but we are only now seeing the adoption of this technology in the business events industry. Why and what does this mean for your organisation and your clients? Is it a threat to your livelihood, a trend that will pass by the end of winter or an opportunity waiting to be embraced? In this session, we will explore the misperceptions, facts and opportunities presented by Hybrid Events including the benefits and the value it brings to event clients, organisers, venues and suppliers and what steps you can start to take to incorporate it into your upcoming event.

Stephen Hickmore, Hospitality Industry Recruiter

Stephen is a Hospitality Industry Recruiter and co-founder of HSC, the largest hospitality industry staffing company in South Africa. Stephen studied Hotel Management at Clarendon College in Nottingham and was a trainee manager for Trust House Forte Hotels (THF).  At the age of 2 he became the training manager at the Parkview Hotel.  After a short stint in the UK, Stephen joined Southern Sun hotels.  He started his recruitment career in 1990 and his own business, Hickmore Recruitment, in 1996.  In 2004 Stephen, in partnership with the LSC group (now Imperial) founded the Hospitality Solutions Company, HSC, which 14 years later is the largest full-service staffing company for the hospitality industry in South Africa employing over 4,500 people.


Topic: Entrepreneurship and SMME Development: Ignite sessions, followed by a village chat (Stephen, Sept and Chad are all part of this panel)

This session will feature a panel discussion of experts who are successful entrepreneurs – but who also own some battle scars. They’ll talk about how their companies attracted funding, acquired customers and grew over time. It’s through their setbacks and failures along the way that they were able to grow, and where you can learn.

Kwakye Donkor, Africa Tourism Partners

Kwakye Donkor is an astute international marketing and tourism expert with a wealth of international experience and solid global network. He is the CEO of Africa Tourism Partners. Prior to joining ATP, Kwakye was the Marketing and Communications Director of the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA). He also worked, among others, as the Marketing Director at Fancourt, National Marketing and Communications Manager at Provident Financial – UK / South Africa and Senior Corporate Marketing Officer at African Bank Investment Limited and is a guest lecturer at TUT Business School. He is an award winning Chartered Marketer and has undertaken projects with international organisations and spoken at numerous International fora including UNWTO, SADC, EU, GIZ, JICA, ECOWAS, World Tourism Safety and SAT Tourism Conferences, Events and Workshops.

Topic: Beyond tourism: Legacy of big events

What’s next, is tourism growth all we aim for? How do we create market access and business opportunities through business events? Join this session to discover the broader reach of business events and the opportunities for growth offered across the various platforms. Deep dive into the real business of events.

Colin J Browne, Happy Sandpit

Colin heads up Happy Sandpit, a Johannesburg-based think tank focusing on employee engagement / experience, culture and leadership. He is the author of How to build a Happy Sandpit and the originator of the Three Day Field Trip. As a leading proponent of organisational culture and how it drives engagement, loyalty and performance, he has lectured on these subjects at Wits Business School, GIBS, Regenesys Business School and is often called upon to deliver talks on these and related topics at conferences, for organisations and elsewhere.

Rudi van der Vyver, Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI)

Rudi van der Vyver was appointed as CEO of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) early 2017, bringing a wealth of management experience in the financial services, business consulting and hospitality industries to the umbrella body of the business events sector in Southern Africa. Rudi holds a BCom (Hons) degree in marketing with the designation of Chartered Marketer CM (SA) and is a Professional Business and Life Coach. He has a clear vision to implement a SAACI strategy of continuous sharing, collaboration, innovation and growth, ultimately ensuring efficiency and professionalism across all aspects of the business events sector. He is very passionate about the business events industry and the business of events.

Topics: Annual General Meeting and Facilitator of Event qualifications vs certifications and experiences

We are all professionals in the business events industry but are we driving and operating the industry as a truly professional industry in Africa? Learn from thought leaders and industry experts about the value of certifications in creating and driving a culture of professionalism. How does this affect you and what will this do for the industry?

David Batzofin – Event MC

David was born in Port Elizabeth and moved to Johannesburg to get involved in live professional theatre, something he had been involved in at an amateur level while growing up. After theatre, he moved into television and from there to a radio presenter on both community and commercial radio stations. He has been involved in radio presenting for the past 23 years and has taught that subject at a local college for the past 5. He has MC’d a number of events, both local and International, always with a sense of humour, which, luckily has always been well received.