Tag Archives: Events

Venue Spotlight: Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa is known for its unprecedented natural beauty, but many people don’t think of Cape Town when planning a meeting. Cape Town is home to the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC), a world-class conference center whose popularity is growing exponentially throughout the meetings and events industry. Located inKruger2 the heart of the city, CTICC features state-of-the-art audio visual equipment and diverse banquet options. Conveniently located near a number of outstanding hotels, including the Westin Cape Town, the Southern Sun Cullinan, and the Southern Sun Waterfront, your attendees will appreciate the convenience as well as the beauty that CTICC and the surrounding area have to offer.

Aside from the illustrious convention center and the easily accessible airport, another attractive reason to hold your meeting in Cape Town is the variety of experiences your attendees will have the opportunity to indulge in.

Some of the most amazing culinary experiences in the world can be found in Cape Town. Just to give you an idea, here are a few suggestions:

La Colombe

Features French cuisine with an Asian twist and has a reputation of being the best restaurant in all of South Africa! While it is listed as fine dining, the ambiance lends itself to a casual business meeting as well as a romantic night out.

Codfather Seafood & Sushi

Located in Camps Bay, it is no wonder that this place is hailed as having amazingly fresh seafood. The chef prepares the dishes as simply as possible to pay proper homage to the freshness of the seafood.

Constantia Uitsig

Located in the original Cape Dutch Homestead, Constantia Uitsig serves up Mediterranean cuisine. The Chef at this restaurant believes overcomplicating dishes takes away from the natural taste and freshness of the food. Customers rave that the food is consistently superb!

When your attendees are not enjoying the many culinary treasures in Cape Town, be sure to suggest that they check out the many tours and unique sightseeing opportunities that the beautiful city has to offer:

Table Mountain:

As evidenced by its name, Table Mountain is a flat topped mountain and is featured in the flag of Cape Town.  Visitors can take a cable car to the top of the mountain to find more than 1500 species of plants and spectacular 360 degree views of the South African countryside. 

Shark Diving:

Diving with sharks is not for everyone, but for the adventurous traveler, South Africa is home to approximately 40 different species of sharks. Roughly eight companies in the region offer shark cage diving. For those interested in a less thrilling option, be sure to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium.

Winery Tours

Wine is big business in South Africa, so it’s not surprising that there are nearly 800 wineries located throughout the country! With so many options, it might be difficult to know where to start.

  • Situated within a comfortable distance from Cape Town, Stellenbosch would be appropriate for a lovely day trip. Stellenbosch is home to a number of top-rated wineries, many of which date back to the 17th century.
  • Vergelegenis Estate is possibly the oldest estate in South Africa. Since 1999, Vergelegen Estate and its wines have earned more than 200 awards.
  • Meerlust Estate has been long recognized for its world-class wines as well as for the beauty and tranquility of its grounds. Meerlust is renowned for its elegant, Bordeaux-style Rubicon blend, and its 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon won the bronze medal at the Decanter World Wine awards in 2012.
  • Rust en Vrede earned fame when it was purchased by rugby legend Jannie Engelbrecht. Rust en Vrede is known for its focus on Shiraz, Cabernet, and Merlot. In 2000, it was the first South African winery to be named in the Top 100 Wines of the World by US Wine magazine.

Robben Island

Robben Island was made famous for housing political prisoner Nelson Mandela. Once known as a place of isolation and banishment, the island has been reintroduced as a museum and remains a reminder of the price South Africans paid for their freedom.

Beaches

With over 1800 miles of coastline, there are plenty of beaches to choose from. The Eastern Cape and the Wild Coast offer some of the most secluded and spectacular beaches in South Africa. Additionally, the penguin colony at Boulders Beach is home to a growing colony of African Penguins. Wooden walkways allow visitors to view the penguins without getting too close (be careful, they bite!).

No matter what your interests are there are a number of things to do and experience in and around Cape Town, South Africa. Its unique setting allows for a truly memorable experience.  For more information on the numerous sightseeing and touring options within Cape Town and South Africa as a whole, please be sure to check out the Dragonfly South Africa website.

Have you ever been to Cape Town? Did you participate in any tours during your stay? Whether you did or didn’t, what were your overall most memorable experiences from your trip?

**Special thank you to Suzanne Nugent, Conference Assistant at Integress Meetings and Events for her significant contribution to this post.

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Dream a Little Theme

Picking a theme for your events can be just as important as your guests’ experience. Not only can a good theme help to keep your attendees engaged and excited to be in attendance, it can also keep them talking about the experience even after the event has ended. We recently held a corporate team-building event here in Atlanta. Ishutterstock_107378192-[Converted]n reviewing the meeting agenda it became clear that the content would be rich in corporate initiatives and training…a potential snooze-fest for a majority of attendees. So prior to initiating the planning process, we sat down to discuss the various ideas we had to build a theme that would keep everyone engaged, awake, and entertained. In the end, we agreed on an “In Concert” themed day. Badges were created to look like backstage passes, upbeat songs specific to each speaker’s topic were played as an intro, and a blues band was hired for an evening team-building activity. During the team-building event, attendees were broken out in to teams to create their own blues song that they then performed with the live band at the start of dinner. We even played up the theme by replacing boring center pieces with glow necklaces and other concert paraphernalia. In the end, everyone had a blast – the meeting was a huge success!

So how did we get there you ask?

Brainstorm, brainstorm, and then brainstorm some more.

First, it is important to know your audience. Tossing ideas back and forth with people can give you a clue as to how others may perceive your theme. Decide on an idea that is clear, easy to follow, and one that will be consistent throughout your event. Once you’ve decided on a good theme, you may be surprised by how easy your event will be to plan.

A few things to consider before putting your thinking cap on:

  • What’s your budget?
  • What’s the purpose of your event?  Is it a birthday party, anniversary party, wedding, corporate function, etc?
  • Who is your client? Are they party animals or are they serious professionals looking to relax?
  • Will your event be indoors or outdoors?
  • Where is your event being hosted? It might be fun to incorporate a local theme.
  • Consider your venue and what is has to offer. How does it inspire you?

The great thing about planning these days is that there are a number of resources you can utilize to assist with your brainstorming. One such resource is Pinterest. If you haven’t signed up for this social media gem then you may want to reconsider it. Search terms like “event themes” and “party themes” within the numerous boards and pins reveal inspiration from previous users’ events and unique ideas that will wow your attendees AND help you stay within your budget.

The number of themes out there is endless…it all depends on your imagination. Here are a few theme ideas to help get your creative juices flowing:

  • Rock ‘n Roll
  • Casino
  • Hollywood
  • Red Carpet Award Show
  • Sports
  • Mardi Gras
  • TV and Movies
  • Masquerade
  • Luau
  • Fire and Ice
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Decades

What could you incorporate into one of the themes above to make it unique? What was the most successful themed event you planned? What did you find to be the most challenging part of planning it?

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