With its first-world infrastructure, balmy climate and breathtaking scenery – not to mention a highly favourable exchange rate and a booming business tourism industry – South Africa is an ideal location for international conferences, conventions, trade shows and symposiums.
The country has well over 1 000 world-class conference and exhibition venues, ranging from intimate bush hideaways to large-scale, hi-tech convention centres. All of these offer a wealth of leisure activities, side-tours and events: from walking with elephants to first-hand experiences of African culture to luxury shopping and relaxation.
Take your pick from a selection of over 120 of South Africa’s top venues, arranged by province (with special treatment for Johannesburg and Cape Town):
Conference and expo venues
Hosting the big events
Johannesburg hosted Africa’s biggest conference to date, the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. An estimated 40 000 delegates, including about 190 heads of state, were spread across three of the city’s premier venues: the Sandton Convention Centre, which boasts the most advanced conferencing and exhibition technologies available; the Expo Centre, the largest convention facility on the continent; and the Wanderers Stadium.
The International Convention Centre in Durban is one of the largest in the country. Along with its adjacent Durban Exhibition Centre, it can handle conferences of up to 15 000 delegates. This venue hosts the annual Indaba travel trade show, which showcases southern Africa’s best tourism destinations and products. In 2001, it was the venue for the United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism.
Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg has a capacity of 5 000, and the Coca-Cola Dome – also in Johannesburg – and Durban Exhibition Centre can host large trade shows.
The Cape Town International Convention Centre is able to cater for conventions of up to 10 000 delegates. Operators catering specifically to the corporate market are able to organise small conferences, team building experiences, incentives and executive breakaways.
- For more information on these and other venues across the country, follow the links in the box above.
The South African Association for the Conference Industry can help you organise anything from a small, intimate meeting to an international congress.
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