J2Ex Conference called a benchmark in South Africa’s Sunday Times
Run an effective, memorable conference
Sunday Times, 23 Nov. 2014. Find on page 17 of the BusinessTimes section.
CONFERENCES can lack direction, with the after-hours events being more memorable than the formal programme. However, a recent conference run by the Journey to Excellence programme with the Southern Africa Initiative of German Business, held in Antananarivo,Madagascar, provided an example of a conference that worked, said Yashivan Govender, founder of FirstStep.me.
“There was almost a year of planning, with the key delegation being flown into Antananarivo three days before the conference began to go through practice sessions and dress rehearsals for their presentations,” said Govender, who had this advice:
Like any business, every conference needs money. If you want an environment that is conducive to producing a memorable conference, it will come at a price;
It is critical that the event is managed well and runs smoothly. This can be ensured through the hiring of competent staff, who are prepared to handle anything, especially the unexpected;
Take the time to select good speakers, experts and attendees; and
Make it more than a talk shop. Over five days after the Madagascarconference, a select group stayed on to implement projects that were developed during the workshops. “It was a great example of a group of international experts being willing and able to create an impact in a region desperate for foreign attention,” said Govender.
— Margaret Harris