According to the partners, business events are essential for Africa's economic development, creating jobs and improving infrastructure. 

In fact, the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) and the country's business event industry have secured 63 bids for international meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions between 2024 and 2029, with an estimated economic value of R1 205 248 000 (USD$65-million) and the potential to attract 46 470 global delegates.

To honour the contributions of the local events and exhibition sector and to mark Global Exhibitions Day (GED) — an initiative led by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry — AAXO, EGF and EXSA are joining in this global celebration on Wednesday, 5 June under the theme 'Exhibitions are catalysts to sustainable futures'.

GED 2024 aims to emphasise the crucial role of exhibitions in promoting sustainable development through four key messages, including the following: 

  1. Exhibitions drive progress and serve as platforms for discussing, creating and showcasing solutions to universal challenges.
  2. Exhibitions facilitate economic growth, connecting industries and driving job creation.
  3. By providing a sustainable way to drive business and development, exhibitions gather communities in one place and manage environmental impact effectively.
  4. Exhibitions are community builders, bringing people together face-to-face to connect, collaborate and contribute.

Embracing the Ubuntu principle of 'I am because we are', the GED South African Experience will showcase various activations centered around the three pillars of Ubuntu:

  1. Compassion
  2. Cooperation, and
  3. Community. 

"This initiative aims to highlight the essence of the Ubuntu philosophy, emphasising the interconnectedness and shared humanity among individuals. Through a series of engaging activities and events, the GED South African Experience seeks to promote understanding, collaboration and solidarity within the community, fostering a spirit of togetherness and mutual support," says Devi Paulsen-Abbott, chairperson of AAXO.

From Thursday, 30 May until Wednesday, 4 June, AAXO is hosting collection points nationwide, urging the events industry to donate old banners or lanyards which will be gifted to Skills Village in Johannesburg on the morning of GED. The event will repurpose the items to create school bags, making a positive impact in the community. 

AAXO will host their Leadership Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, 4 June under the theme 'Empowering Economies: Unleashing the Power of Industry Success and Economic Growth in 2024 and Beyond'.

The Summit aims to explore how exhibitions drive economic growth and will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions and workshops, offering learning opportunities and networking sessions. The programme for the Leadership Summit can be viewed here

The GED South African Experience concludes on Global Exhibitions Day, with an adrenaline-fueled event on the skidpan. Organised by AAXO, JEC, MasterDrive, EGF and EXSA, attendees will enjoy adventures, delicious food and networking opportunities while expert instructors will guide guests through driving challenges, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

To register for the Leadership Summit or GED South African Experience, click here

For more information, visit You can also follow AAXO on Facebook, LinkedIn, X or Instagram

*Image courtesy of Facebook