Menu Close

Seminar Programme


Wednesday, 25 November 2020








Opening Address




Safety Panel Event Safety Protocols: safety plans and the use of Technology to ensure that all measures are in place to have successful events


Panel chaired by Errol Ninow, MD at Gintan Luthuli Associates. Panellists include: Kevan Jones, Board Member of the SA Event Council, Executive Director of SACIA, Andre Erasmus, EMS Fire Safety – Events – City of Johannesburg , Bongani Khoza, Operations Director at Lodge Events, Shaun Bird, GM, Sandton Convention Centre, Hannes Venter, GM at the Expo Centre and Projeni Pather, Chairperson at AAXO




SA Tourism




AAXO graduation ceremony / What is pertinent to the opening up of the events industry.

Thursday, 26 November 2020








Impact of COVID-19 on the South African economy and tourism industry as well as the business events industry




Minister Address




We Open, We Gain and We Bounce Opening up of the exhibition events industry.




Closing remarks

Speaker Profiles

Dr Alex Granger

Dr. Alex Granger is considered one of the top leadership and personal mastery speakers, management consultants, and Life coaches in Africa. His work is embraced by business leaders of blue chip companies, associations, institutes, and government leaders. He has been speaking since 2002. 

He holds a Ph.D in Philosophy with his thesis on Epistemological Mindsets, a Doctor of Excellence (Honoris Causa), an Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) from the Gordon’s Institute of Business Science with a distinction in Leadership, and he is a certified NLP Life Coach, and certified Virtual Instructor Led Trainer (VILT). 

His messages can be described as insightful, transformational, dynamic, life-changing, incredibly meaningful, and highly impactful. Alex has worked in executive and senior leadership positions for blue chip companies such as Bidvest, Imperial, Standard Bank, and Tsogo Sun. 

He is the author of six books, Co-Founder and Chief Purpose Officer of Twice Blue, and CEO of The Possibility of YOU. Alex is also a member of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (affiliated to the National Speakers Association), the Black Management Forum, and COMENSA.

Andre Erasmus

Andre Erasmus is the Station Commander Events with the City of Johannesburg. His career with the city started within the fire service department in 1987.  In 2009 he joined the events department. Andre is currently assisting the events industry with compliance to the City’s By-Laws which includes the Sports and Recreational Events Act.

Barba Gaoganediwe

Barba is an all-round Strategic Communication and Marketing Practitioner who has been in the marketing and strategic communications field for the past 18 years. He has under his belt public management qualifications from the then Technikon Northern Transvaal now TUT and went on to study B.A Communications at the North-West University in 2000. He is currently enrolled at Vega School of Brand Communications Leadership for the coveted Strategic Brand Communications programme.

In 2004 he was selected amongst the 25 national government communicators country-wide to undergo an intensive training programme of government communications and marketing conducted by WITS Business School, Uniliver, Rhodes University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation and received the much-celebrated certification as a professional communicator and marketer.
Barba was part of the initial national government team that looked at various models of government communications and travelled extensively in the period leading up to the formation of GCIS.
He served as the Deputy Director Media Liaison in the office of former Premier Popo Molefe and there he oversaw campaigns like the Presidential Imbizo and Batho-Pele. In 2003 he was appointed Director for Media & Communications at the North-West department of Health and, served as the official MEC and departmental spokesperson until 2006.

From October 2006, Barba was appointed as Senior Manager for Strategic Communications at the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA), an entity charged with the responsibility of marketing Gauteng as a competitive global city region across Africa and the world. He was the driver of the provincial business of football project which brought Soccerex Expo for the first time in Africa, promoted Gauteng fashion offerings at Durban July events in association with Metro FM and was the lead co-coordinator of the provincial business showcase at the historic Corp17 Conference in Durban. Towards the end of 2009 Barba was seconded to the Gauteng Gateway 2010 project team working as the head of international media relations project alongside the then GTA CEO Ms Dawn Robertson.

During the FIFA 2010 World Cup, Barba worked as the main point of contact for the international media and liaison with both the LOC and FIFA media teams. He spearheaded the brand Gauteng 2010 inspired photo shoot, hosted Africa fashion showcase event during the World Cup off days and hosted a series media tours for both accredited and non-accredited foreign journalists. Barba played a leading role in the creation and adoption of the new Gauteng brand, it starts here and its promotion using the brand key pillars of innovation, origins, lifestyle and business as the main key activation points.

Through his extensive marketing work and experience in coordinating government efforts together with private sector partners, Barba was also appointed the 2010 cluster champion in the National Communicators Partnership housed by Brand SA responsible for Marketing and advertising and further served in the provincial 2010 marketing technical team.

Barba is now Gauteng Tourism’s Head of Communications and official spokesperson for the agency since 2011. His responsibility includes the driving of the destination marketing agency’s brand communications and management strategy, overall management of GTA’s digital asserts and leading the implementation of the e-marketing strategy and providing overall stewardship of the global media relations programme. Barba was last year appointed by the Communications Minister to serve on her Communications Advisory Panel advising the Minister of the new strategy to integrate the work of the SABC, ICASSA, Brand SA, GCIS and Nemisa.

Integrated Brand Communications and Marketing Management remains his passion and his vision is to establish a training institute focusing on unearthing future strategic marketers and communicators ready to embrace the fourth industrial revolution.

Bongani Khoza

Age: 37 Years Old

Company: Lodge Security Events

Occupation: Operations Director (Safety and Security)

Experience: Events Safety and Security since 2003.

Events qualifications: Special Events Grade A Officer and Samtrac Safety Officer

Craig Newman

An accomplished CEO, Business Leader and Exhibitions expert with over 25 years’ experience and a rich history in the exhibition and events management environment. Offering advanced skills in networking to develop strategic relationships, developing and implementing business strategies aimed at achieving sustainable growth, and leading high-performing teams to consistently deliver on or exceed client expectation. 

Fully adept at driving results through effective networking and service-delivery focus with a proven track record in consistently leading successful exhibitions.

Currently serving his 3rd term as the outgoing UFI President and served 14 years as the CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre. He is now the Group CEO of GL South Africa.

Errol Ninow

Errol is Chairman of Gintan Luthuli Associates, a business founded in 1980 and specializing in Risk, Integrated Management Systems, Health and Safety and Corporate Compliance.

The company is a leader in the field of OHSE, ISO Implementation and internal QMS audits, Disaster Risk Management and Corporate Compliance. He has served on EXSA committees for many years as treasurer as well as in other capacities and has been inducted into the EXSA Hall of Fame, in recognition of his contributions.

Gary Corin

Gary Corin has been with Specialised Exhibitions for 24 years, working his way through the ranks of the business prior to his becoming managing director.

His role for the early part of his career with the company entailed managing marketing communication efforts across the show portfolio and corporately. He gained experience in various facets of exhibition organising including sales, marketing, operations and business development.

He now leads a young, energetic and multi-disciplinary team.   Gary attained his BTech Marketing from the University of Johannesburg, became a Chartered Marketer (South Africa), and completed his MBA through the University of Hull in the UK. He lectured on various courses at Damelin for 7 years.

In his spare time, Gary is involved in the development of cricket at school and community level, having chaired the Board of Eastern Cricket Union. He’s also completed 6 Comrades ultra-marathons and spends his free time pursuing sports activities with his family.

Hannes Venter

Hannes matriculated at Marlow Agricultural High -1970 and attended Pretoria Technikon from 1972- 1975 studying Veterinary Technology.  He then went onto the University of The Free State from 1976 -1978 to study a degree in Agriculture.

Accolades that he has received are an Animal Husbandry Scholarship in France in 1988; Marketer of the Year from the Central Agricultural Society in 1994; Personality of the Year from SA Holstein in 1995 and he became a World Holstein Council  Member-RSA in 1996. 

His career path started as GM of SA Holstein from 1991-1996.GM of Wits Agricultural Society from 1996 to 2000.  GM  of the National Exhibition Centre from 1998 to 2000.  He then became GM for the Expo Centre/Nasrec from 2000 to 2004 and is presently the GM for Johannesburg Expo Centre, a position he has held since 2004.

Hannes has held various positions and received various Awards namely.

  • Exco Member Central Agricultural Society 1993/ 1995.
  • Exco Member SA Show Holding Society – 1997/ 2000.
  • Chairman Advisory Board – Potchefstroom College of Agriculture 2000-2001. 
  • Exsa Board Member   2001 -2002.
  • Exsa Employee of the Year 2016.
  • Exsa Hall of Fame 2017.

He has been the organiser of the following  Major Events.

  • National Jersey Championships – 1986. 
  • National Holstein Championships 1995.
  • World Holstein Council RSA / 1996.
  • National Youth Show – 2000.
  • Vulamehlo Emerging Agriculture – 1997-2000.
  • Rand Easter Show – 1997-2000.

Kai Hattendorf

Kai Hattendorf is Managing Director / CEO of UFI, the Global Association of the

Exhibition Industry. As such, he is responsible for UFI activities and events globally, as well as the operation of its Paris headquarters as well as the offices and

presences in Bogota, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

Currently, Kai also serves as President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council

(JMIC), the global council of international and global associations serving the Business Events Industry.

Prior to his current role, Kai worked in the exhibition industry for numerous years in

senior management positions at Messe Frankfurt’s global headquarters, focusing on transformational issues ranging from digitisation to marketing and communications.

Kevan Jones

Kevan’s career started in the media industry in 1983 when he joined Grafcon (Which? magazine) which was a start-up operation and over the next 7 years he worked his way from the sales office to the managing director’s desk. From there he joined Doddington Direct in 1991 and remained there until September 2003.  His career then took him overseas to Dubai when he joined AV Specialist MENA FZ LLC which was a UAE-based publishing and communications company. In 2009, he returned to South Africa and is currently Executive Director of SACIA – an organisation dedicated to promoting the adoption of ethical business practices and professional standards in the communications industry. Under his leadership the Association has grown steadily and become the largest provider of specialist training in the marketplace.

Kevan, over the last 15 years, has dedicated himself to working in the “third sector” of non-profit management. He is accustomed to working with limited resources, raising funds for priority projects, advocacy and consensus-based decision making.

Projeni Pather

Projeni Pather is the Chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) and Managing Director of Exposure Marketing. In 2004, Projeni founded Exposure Marketing, the organisers of the MamaMagic Baby Expo, which has since grown to become the largest and most successful parenting platform in South Africa.

Her 20-year career in exhibitions and events, her active leadership, and her engaging personality have led Projeni to become the South African industry's principal voice. In 2020, Projeni Pather was integral to forming the South African Events Council (SAEC). She is the perfect choice as the council Spokesperson to unite the events industry under one strong, powerful voice.

Projeni is also instrumental in the SAEC, sub-committee interacting directly with the South African Minister of Tourism and South African Tourism to ensure the reopening of the exhibition and events industry. Her willingness to lead with authority has allowed her to position the exhibition industry’s challenges on national broadcast channels, including ENCA, SABC News, and Radio 702. In addition, Projeni is a distinguished keynote speaker and intuitive thought leader, that regularly contributes to industry media.

She is a dynamic force in the exhibition industry driven by a passion for collaboration, communication, and innovation.

Shaun Bird

Shaun Bird’s career kicked off In 1995, when he was appointed Assistant Banqueting Manager at the Royal Hotel in Durban straight out of Hotel School. In 1996, he moved to London and spent 3 more years at both the Holiday Inn and The Waldorf Hotel as the Banqueting Manager.

In 1999 he returned to South Africa and took up a position, again as Banqueting Manager, but with Tsogo Sun…first time around. As he settled into life in South Africa again, he joined the newly formed Fedics Leisure Division, and was Project Manager for a number of Casino Operations and Golf Clubs.

In 2008 he was approached to join the Peermont team in Botswana as Operations Manager, at first for the Convention Centre, and soon after for the whole Grand Palm Casino Complex. 8 years later he found himself back in South Africa, and rejoined his old team mates from Tsogo Sun; but this time as the General Manager of the Sandton Convention Centre.

Sisa Ntshona

Sisa Ntshona is the Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism, a position he has held since October 2016.  He is at the helm of steering the mandate and all operations of the National Destination Marketing Organisation’s head office and country offices. With over 20 years’ experience, he has held several strategic leadership positions across different jurisdictions in Africa & Middle East in blue chip corporations and multinationals.

Having initially joined Barclays Africa as an Investment Banker, he later moved to become the Head of its SME Banking Division, a role he held until joining SA Tourism. Mr Ntshona also has worked in the aviation industry for South African Airways, Financial Services Money Transfer, Western Union and Manufacturing, Parmalat Food Industries.

An accountant by training, he holds a string of commerce qualifications including a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Pretoria and an International Executive Programme (IEP) from INSEAD Business School in France. He has also served on a number of boards including as non-Exec Board Member for the Enterprise Development Council of South Africa.

Suzette Scheepers

Suzette Scheepers has extensive experience in organizing events and exhibitions and is the Chief Executive Officer of Messe Muenchen South Africa.  She has acquired great experience in the exhibition and other business sectors. Suzette Scheepers was Managing Director of Paradigm Conferences and Events in South Africa. Before that, Ms. Scheepers worked for many years as Executive Manager focusing on Product Development, Congress and Exhibition Management and Customer Relationships at amongst other the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Here she demonstrated her start-up experience in a major South African loyalty network.

Suzette Scheepers has worked in various international management positions as far afield as Argentina, USA, Malawi, UK and Israel.

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa is the Chief Executive Officer at the Tourism Business Council of South Africa with 20 years’ experience in International Marketing, Business Development, International Trade Relations, and Leadership among others in tourism.

Tshifhiwa has worked for various companies in tourism value chain including South African Tourism, Myriad Marketing, FEDHASA, and others. He has also consulted for various companies focusing on projects development, marketing management, travel and events management, and communications.

Tshifhiwa holds a BBA Marketing Communications (Hons), Diploma in Marketing (Institute of Marketing Management) and a National Diploma in Tourism Management (University of Johannesburg). He is currently completing his MSc in International Business, Leadership, and Management with University of York.

AAXO, CEM Graduation

AAXO, in conjunction with the IAEE, hosted the internationally recognised Certified in Exhibition Management® programme in Africa for the first time this year. The CEM qualification is a globally recognised designation that demonstrates the highest professional standard throughout the exhibitions and events management arena. It was first created in 1975 to raise professional standards in the event industry, and it continues to be the premier mark of professional achievement. The designation is obtained by the completion of eight online courses offered, including modules on Conference and Meeting Management; Security, Risk, and Crisis Management, and Strategic Planning and Management.  Congratulations to the Africa’s first CEM graduates of 2020 who will joining the ranks with over 3 400 CEMs internationally.