Tag Archives: Meetings

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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Will Paperless Meetings APPeal to Attendees?

There are plenty of apps out there that assist with all aspects of meeting and conference planning. For example, push apps that “push” information, such as venue maps, speaker lists, presentation titles, sponsors, and city information, directly to the event attendees.

There are a lot of attractive reasons to utilize these tools. For instance, printed material costs for meetings/conferences can be very high. Unfortunately, more often than not, attendees use these materials during the meeting/conference, but may leave them behind after the meeting concludes. Meeting apps also allow for dynamic and interactive meetings. Attendees and speakers can learn more about the other attendees and interact with them online, as well as in person. Apps are great options to offer in conjunction with event sponsorship, and best of all, apps allow you to Go Green!

Apps are interesting and exciting ways to disseminate information for your meeting. However, can we truly rely on our attendees to be technologically savvy enough to know how to download the app and how to navigate through the app to get the most out of it? For many attendees, who already have smart phones, the answer is probably yes. Further, know your audience! If you are doing a meeting or conference for a technology company, you can feel fairly certain that this application would be comfortably navigated. If you are doing a large, international pharmaceutical meeting, you may have some hiccups. Consider setting up a tutorial kiosk or preparing how-to flyers for those who may not be as familiar with using these types of applications.

The downside of using apps for meeting materials is that some people prefer having a physical program/book/itinerary to hold (just as some people refuse to purchase an eReader because they love holding an actual book). Therefore, consider printing up a few copies of your materials, just in case.

If you are considering using a meeting app, but don’t know where to start, try out a free app such as Bloodhound. This way you can test the user metrics without shelling out a ton of money. You can offer the paperless option and printed material option to your attendees, speakers, and sponsors, and measure how many use the online application versus the printed material. If it turns out to be a popular feature, you can consider using it for future meetings.

Have you ever used an app as an alternative to meeting materials? What kind of feedback did you get from your attendees?

**Special thanks to Suzanne Nugent, Conference Assistant at Integress, for her significant contribution to this post.

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