Las Vegas: USA: South Africa proudly showcased its diverse and vibrant business events offering
at the prestigious IMEX America, held last week at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. With almost
15,000 confirmed participants on the show floor, of which over 5,000 were buyers, the
exhibition was a great platform for the 20 South African exhibitors who partnered with the
South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) to cement South Africa’s position as a top-
tier destination for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions.
As an emerging global player in the business events sector, South Africa left an indelible mark at
IMEX America where the show floor was buzzing with excitement as buyers learned about the
array of immersive and unique tourism products that make South Africa stand out from the rest.
Participating in such global trade shows continues to yield returns for the South African business
sector. The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) will host its annual
conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in May 2026. This comes
at the back of a meeting which took place at the SANCB stand during last year’s IMEX in Las
Vegas when the ISMRM representatives visited the SANCB stand, engaged with the Cape Town &
Western Cape Convention Bureau, a unit within Wesgro and the Cape Town International
Convention Centre (CTICC) team with a request for proposal, and within a short period of two
months, the deal between the Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau, CTICC, SANCB
and ISMRM was signed and converted. This conference will see over 5000 delegates from over 55
different countries coming to explore South Africa.
This is an illustration of the value and economic benefit of participating at global business
events trade shows. From breathtaking event venues, luxurious accommodations, and state-of-
the-art conference facilities to unparalleled natural beauty, South Africa offers a unique and
enchanting experience to both international and domestic visitors. During the event, the South
African delegation presented an array of immersive and unique tourism products that make
South Africa stand out from the rest. Both the South African exhibitors and buyers from across
the globe found the show to be an ideal platform for networking, collaboration, and the
exploration of exciting future business opportunities.
Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer, Zinhle Nzama, the South African exhibitors represented
the country very well. South Africa meant business. “Team South Africa had their hands full as
they moved from one meeting to the next and the message was clear: South Africa is ready to
host quality business events, with world class infrastructure fit for global meetings, events and
incentives travel” she said.
She said South Africa’s exhibitors were overwhelmed by walk-in clients over and above the
scheduled meetings, which bodes well for our tourism industry and injection to our GDP.
The SANCB team was also busy recruiting buyers for Meetings Africa, South African Tourism’s Pan
African business events trade show, which will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from the 27th to the 28th of February 2024.
In closing, Nzama said, “2023 was IMEX America was fantastic, and as our team and our valued
partners depart Las Vegas energized by the quality of buyers and their enthusiasm for the
destination, we held close to 500 meetings, over 10 group presentations and have generated
close to 200 leads. We are looking forward to hearing testimonies from our exhibitors about
converted deals over the coming months.