Elsewhere on SITEGlobal you’ll find over five and a half hours of recordings, the proceedings from a day long Summit led by Tes Proos, President SITE Africa & Director, Crystal Events Africa. Addressing key topics such as “How soon can business meetings safely resume?” and “Health & Safety – Protocols and Guidelines for Safe Travels and Events”, the Summit brought together some of the finest minds in Business Events on the African continent to discuss, debate and dialogue around issues of searing relevance to our world today.
We asked Tes what inspired here to create this “EduFest” for Business Events in Africa? “I am continually inspired by the generous spirit of the African people,” she said. “Many African countries have been suppressed in one way or another for a long period of time. That has been changing rapidly, especially over the past 5 years. Success stories from countries such as Rwanda and Ethiopia have been totally inspiring. I have been privileged to meet leaders from around the continent in recent years and their passion to grow the business tourism industry – not only within their countries, but across borders – is contagious.”
The list of speakers at the Summit is a veritable “who’s who” of MICE in Africa with participation from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, the Ghana Tourism Authority and the African Society of Association Executives as well as high profile pan African agencies like David Sand, Founder & CEO of UWINIWIN & former President of SITE.
But Tes also leveraged her global contacts, providing perspective and context through the intervention of SITE’s CEO, Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP, past president, Hugo Slimbrouck of Ovation Global DMC and the wonderful, ubiquitous, Linda Pereira.
When asked what lessons she learned by undertaking this mammoth task, Tes said: “I received unexpected yet invaluable assistance from completely unexpected sources. The entire experience revived my faith in humanity as well as my conviction that Africa has the potential of becoming a leading business tourism destination. It just needs to be enabled. The spirit and passion is well and alive amongst the people of Africa.”
So what advice does she have for SITE leaders and members in other parts of the world? Tes says “SITE Global is offering a highly supportive community and I recommend that members who are not active within their chapters reach out and engage, not only with fellow members but all players in the industry. We need each other to lean on to help get through this tough time.
Here are 3 things that I learned:
1. Nothing is impossible
2. Collaborating across borders is vital for survival and future economic development
3. Relationships are key to everything.”
Tes was also highly complementary of SITE for moral and technical support, calling out, in particular, Head of Chapter Engagement, Rebecca Wright, and Head of Digital, Aoife McCrum.
You can find the wonderful repository of content created at the Summit here.