Meeting and Events Australia’s Corporate Event of the Year: South African Tourism Event Roadshow

Event dates: 8th – 18th October 2018

South African Tourism’s (SAT) aim is to promote the country domestically and internationally, whether for leisure, business or events tourism to the Australasian market. SAT holds a five-city roadshow (Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland) for trael agents bi-annually. 

Event services

At each of the five roadshow cities, the Forum Group team delivered consistent, high quality event management solutions including:

  • Sourcing venues and venue hire / management
  • Catering
  • Entertainment
  • Audiovisual
  • Signage
  • Theming
  • Concept development
  • Invitations, registrations, reminders, RSVP management, database management
  • Photography
  • Travel and accommodation
  • Logistics – Transport of goods between events
  • Managing VIP’s invitees or spokespersons
  • Procurement / financial management
  • Creating the script, presentation production and stage management

The challenge
The challenge for our team was to produce a unique industry event that generates awareness on South Africa and builds confidence in selling the destination to increase conversion.

Today, businesses are fiercely competing for customers’ top of mind awareness. Consequently, it’s important to stand out from the crowd and cut-through the barrage of messages.  We helped SAT deliver an award-winning event that got the travel industry talking about South Africa.  The fast pace and competitive environment of the travel industry forces internal marketing departments in the tourism and destination bureaus to compete for the attention of the same travel agent market. When South African Tourism wanted an event with a difference – we knew we had to create one that stood out from all other events in the travel industry.

Creating the event concept
Forum Group Events & Marketing’s team created an engaging live talk show style concept over an evening dinner event. The format enabled our celebrity MC/host Comedian and South African ex-pat, Urzila Carlson, to give 17 travel vendors an opportunity to showcase their products in a way that directly engaged guests about travel experiences in South Africa throughout the evening – much more entertaining than the average PowerPoint presentation!

The events showcased the best that South Africa has on offer. Forum Group planned the program, entertainment, styling and catering authentically to reflect the vibrancy of the destination. From the moment guests arrived at the events, they were completely immersed in authentic South African elements including food, beverage, music, MC and entertainers. Décor and styling elements were transported between venues to recreate the theme for each event location.

How we made it happen

We created an experiential series of events showcasing the sights, sounds, smells, flavours and textures to give each attendee a taste of what it is like to travel to South Africa.

  • There were a number of key stakeholders involved in the event including 18 South African operators. We collaborated with South African Tourism and acted as an extension of their marketing team to ensure that clear and consistent messaging was delivered. We interviewed each of the 18 South African operators who were participating in the live show to obtain their points of difference. We created a script for the two hour evening production, conducted full day rehearsals with the MC and operators.
  • The MC, Urzila Carlson added her unique comedic twists to the 30 page script.  Urzila was a great influencer, with a significant social media following she spread the word of “meet South Africa” throughout the 2 weeks of the road show.
  • The couch style stage set included life size animals (zebra & elephant) was surrounded by South African native plants and flowers adding the scent of South Africa to the sensory experience.
  • Authentic South African drummers greeted the guests upon arrival with their lively music.
  • South African food and wines were also infused into the menu with guests sampling traditional items such as Biltong and peri peri sauce.

The results

The event was heavily marketed to the target audience and in 2018 we recorded an increase in number of Partner and Operator Participation by 22% from 2016 to 2018.  Each event attracted between 150 – 360 targeted guests.

The registration numbers increased from 1241 in 2016 to 1302 in 2018. All 5 events were sold-out within weeks of launching registration.  Our client at South African Tourism was delighted with the creative, financial and social impacts of the 5-city roadshow.

What our clients say

“A massive THANK YOU to you all for delivering SAT another amazing ANZ Roadshow.
I think this year you should get extra credit for pulling it off with such short notice!! It really is a credit to your team who work tirelessly to make sure we and our stakeholders are all very happy with the event. We have received numerous emails saying how much everyone enjoyed dealing with your team and how fab the show was.”
Melyne Hovasapian, Trade Relations Manager,  South African Tourism Australasia

“I believe we achieved our objectives of creating a high profile image of South Africa as a desirable and fantastic destination!”
Herbie Rosenberg of Africa Reps