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Exhibitions South Africa

Global Exhibitions Day focuses on sustainable development

Global Exhibitions Day (GED) on the 5 June will honour the contributions of the local events and exhibition sector with the theme Exhibitions are catalysts to sustainable futures.

Business events are essential for Africa's economic development, creating jobs and improving infrastructure.

The South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) and the country's business event industry have secured 63 bids for international meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions between 2024 and 2029, with an estimated economic value of R1,205,248m ($65m) and the potential to attract 46,470 global delegates.

The initiative is led by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO), the Greening Forum, (EGF) and the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (Exsa).

4 crucial messages

GED 2024 aims to emphasise the crucial role of exhibitions in promoting sustainable development through four key messages:

  • Exhibitions drive progress and serve as platforms for discussing, creating, and showcasing solutions to universal challenges.
  • Exhibitions facilitate economic growth, connecting industries and driving job creation.
  • Exhibitions provide a sustainable way to drive business and development, exhibitions gather communities in one place and manage environmental impact effectively.
  • Exhibitions are community builders, bringing people together face-to-face to connect, collaborate, and contribute.

Embrace the Ubuntu principle

The GED South African experience will embrace the Ubuntu principle of I am because we are through various activations centred around the three pillars of Ubuntu: compassion, cooperation and community.

These include:

  • From 30 May until 4 June, AAXO will also host collection points nationwide for the events industry to donate old banners or lanyards. These will be gifted to Skills Village in Johannesburg on the morning of GED to be repurposed into school bags.

  • AAXO's Leadership Summit will take place in Johannesburg on 4 June under the theme Empowering Economies: Unleashing the Power of Industry Success and Economic Growth in 2024 and Beyond. The summit will explore how exhibitions drive economic growth and will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, and workshops, offering learning opportunities and networking sessions.

“This initiative aims to highlight the essence of the Ubuntu philosophy, emphasising the interconnectedness and shared humanity among individuals.

"A series of engaging activities and events will promote understanding, collaboration, and solidarity within the community, fostering a spirit of togetherness and mutual support,” says Devi Paulsen-Abbott, chairperson of AAXO.

The GED South African experience will conclude with an adrenaline-fueled event on the skidpan organised by AAXO, JEC, MasterDrive, EGF, and Exsa.

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