The Cape Town International Convention Centre’s new expansion – CTICC 2 – delighted organisers and delegates alike as it successfully hosted the 21st Annual Congress of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC). The conference, held from 13 to 15 September was the new venue’s first ever event and attracted 1 500 delegates from over 500 companies.
Commenting on the success of the event, SACSC posted an enthusiastic tweet on the second day of the conference: “We are honoured to be the first event in CTICC 2. The CTICC team has been nothing but incredible in the hosting of our 21st Annual Congress. Thank you.”
CTICC Chief Executive Officer, Julie-May Ellingson said that hosting the SACSC Annual Congress was a major triumph thanks to the excellent synergy and collaboration with the client: “It was a pleasure to work with CEO Amanda Stops and the SACSC team. They were incredibly supportive and very accommodating. We work closely with every client to understand their requirements and objectives but in a brand new event space, this close partnership becomes even more critical.”
Ellingson continued: “We are proud to have hosted the SACSC Annual Congress to launch the building with panache. Interestingly, the CTICC hosted the Annual Congress in 2003 – our first year of trading. Now they are once again inaugurating a new era for the CTICC. We look forward to continuing to host their events long into the future.”
There are over 1 700 shopping malls in South Africa, and the SACSC Annual Congress is an important barometer of the industry and main themes for this year’s event were aptly focused on innovation, experience and personalisation.
The congress took advantage of several of the state-of-the-art venues within CTICC 2. Exhibition Halls 8 & 9 were transformed into the main plenary room while Hall 10 played host to a much-anticipated lunch with Olympic athlete Wayde van Niekerk and his impressive coach, Anna “Tannie Ans” Botha. Halls 5, 6 & 7 housed the parallel exhibition area where suppliers, retailers, and mall tenants showcased innovations. The client also used the centre’s range of meeting rooms and suites for other functions: a VIP reception room; a nerve centre for event managers and a media interview room.
Organisers and delegates also experienced the centre’s capabilities in hosting events across the entire venue complex as the SACSC gala dinner took place in CTICC 1 (the original building).
“We were also delighted to see one of the main reasons for the expansion – the concurrent hosting of large-scale events – justified over the week. The CTICC hosted two major events across the complex at the same time. While the SACSC Annual Congress ran in CTICC 2, CTICC 1 hosted the 1st Global Evidence Summit with over 1 000 research scientists from across the globe,” explained Ellingson.
At CTICC 2, delegates particularly enjoyed having coffee and relaxing at the centre’s new coffee shop – Coffee on the Circle. The delegates – real estate developers, property experts and retail marketers – many of whom have been involved in their own developments, were complimentary of the new venue, particularly, the centre’s world-class facilities.
Ellingson believes the centre’s first series of events will showcase the CTICC’s ability to host different event types. “CTICC 2 will host its first consumer show – MamaMagic, The Baby Expo, in October. In November the international conference, and Africa’s largest technology-focused event, AfricaCom, will celebrate its 20th edition in CTICC 2. These two events promise to attract 13 500 and 1 600 visitors respectively and will be robust tests of the new centre’s capabilities.”
Ellingson confirms client experience will be used to fine-tune CTICC 2 event management procedures: “Client feedback forms an essential part of these first events to ensure we iron out any venue challenges.”
The opening of CTICC 2 is set to enhance the convention centre’s contribution to economic growth and business tourism to the city and region.
“The CTICC is a platform where global leaders and experts meet. The events we host further the sharing of knowledge, transfer of skills and intellectual advancement while opening our destination to trade and investment opportunities. CTICC 2 boosts Cape Town’s appeal and reputation as a global meetings destination and the centre’s ability to deliver socio-economic benefits to the region,” said Ellingson.