Conference Management
Destination Management
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Conference Management

African Agenda is a leading professional conference organiser (PCO) and destination management company (DMC) to associations, businesses, government, NGOs and non-profit organisations. As the only sub-Saharan African member of the International Association of Congress Organisers (IAPCO), our reputation for professionalism is underpinned by:

Operational excellence

We excel in operational efficiency to ensure that your time spent on conference organisation is strategic and productive. Our experienced, proactive and results-focused team of conference experts contribute:

  • Ethical business practices
  • World-class service delivery
  • A highly respected brand that is trusted and translates to buying power among conference service providers
  • Invaluable conference finance management and advice
  • Extraordinary and creative social programmes
  • Sustainability-centric conferences that deliver meaningful legacies
Optimised profit, minimised risk

As a strategic conference partner, we advise on the ideal conference legal entity. We also:

  • Inform client decisions with our comprehensive research, evaluations and analyses
  • Negotiate contracts with suppliers to minimise risk and facilitate cash flow
  • Manage accommodation block bookings with no risk to the conference
  • Manage conference finances to create the environment for success. This includes:
  • Take responsibility for budgeting and sensitivity analyses
  • Undertake day-to-day financial control, accounting and cash flow management
  • Manage VAT, tax, financial reporting and audit-ready financial statements
  • Secure sponsorships and exhibitors
  • Consult and advise on bridging finance and cash flow support
Innovation

African Agenda is a pioneer in conference innovation and creativity. Our experience and expertise extends to:

  • Programme innovation
  • The implementation of appropriate new technologies
  • Programme formats and session styles that maximise engagement
  • Marketing, including the use of digital and social media

Download our brochure About African Agenda for more about our world-class conference and destination management services on the African continent.

Destination Management

We offer in-depth knowledge of Africa’s most magnificent locations; an extensive network of trusted suppliers and industry contacts; and local buying power.

Our services also include creative social planning, memorable destination experiences, meticulous logistics and venue management, housing bureau, transport and ground handling, touring and legacy programmes and outreach consulting.

Attention to detail, years of experience and our consultative approach set us apart, while our genuine love for South Africa – and the other African countries in which we operate – make us the perfect PCO and DMC partner to professional associations, businesses, government, NGOs and non-profit organisations.

Download our brochure About African Agenda for more about our world-class conference and destination management services on the African continent.

Menu of Services

African Agenda is an established and reputable conference organiser and destination management company to professional associations, businesses, government, NGOs and non-profit organisations.

We are the only sub-Saharan African professional conference organiser accredited by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and we have also achieved the top accreditation from the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI). These accreditations confirm that we have, in addition to the requisite skills, expertise, ethical integrity and professionalism, the office infrastructure and systems capacity to handle large national and international conferences. Our services, which can be tailored to meet specific requirements, include:

Bid preparation

Bring the conference to your city with our help. If your local association would like to host the next annual international convention, let us help you prepare the bid to host. We will:

  • Co-ordinate with the convention bureau to secure your preferred dates and venue as well as high-level endorsements
  • Assist with the development of a conference budget
  • Assist with the conceptualisation of the conference
  • Develop and collate bid document content and imagery
  • Co-ordinate the design, printing and shipping of the bid document
Pre-conference planning and needs assessment

We also assist in developing the objectives, timelines and principles for your conference. This includes:

  • Conducting research and a needs assessment 
  • Preparing and managing a detailed critical path timeline
  • Driving and managing the planning process
  • Holding regular meetings with the organising committee, and compiling minutes and action lists with regular progress reporting
  • Consulting on conference greening and how to make your conference more environmentally friendly
Venue selection evaluation and management

We match your specific conference needs with venues that best meet those needs. To this end, we:

  • Prepare a comprehensive meeting profile and Request for Proposal (RFP) to send to preferred venues, and we manage the RFP process
  • Conduct site inspections of proposed venues and hotels
  • Consult on room configuration optimisation
  • Consult on venue and accommodation greening
Supplier identification, evaluation and management

We identify additional suppliers such as AV/IT, interpretation, printing, transport, catering, decor, and more as needed. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Identifing and veting the full range of required suppliers
  • Briefing and ensuring fulfilment of professional obligations
  • Managing suppliers on-site
  • Consulting on preferential procurement
Contract negotiation with venue and suppliers

Using our experience, we negotiate the fine print of supplier contracts. In doing so, we:

  • Ensure your interests and needs are met
  • Reduce your liability as much as possible
  • Negotiate fair cancellation clauses
  • Address future rate increases, exchange rate fluctuations, etc.
  • Advise on insurance needs where necessary
Technology: AV, IT, interpretation and interactivity

We arrange all AV, IT, interpretation and interactivity technology and our team always stays up to date with new technology. Our support extends to:

  • Briefing and contracting technical suppliers
  • Managing on-site audio-visual, IT and interpretation services
  • Arranging for video conferencing, audio and/or video recording, webcast or podcast services
  • Providing speaker audio-visual support and training and managing speaker preparation rooms
Accommodation/housing desk

In sourcing and managing accommodation that suits the needs of your conference, we negotiate guaranteed rates and preferential terms as well as manage group bookings. We also:

  • Identify suitable accommodation with a range of prices and standards
  • Negotiate guaranteed rates, preferential terms and conditions and favourable cancellation terms
  • Manage group bookings at the official conference hotels
  • Administer accommodation bookings and payments through the participant registration process
  • Prepare rooming lists and manage payments, changes and special requirements
Programme secretariat and speaker management

We can assist your programme committee in developing a programme that engages participants and makes efficient use of time, space and expertise. We also excel at:

  • Co-ordinating programme development with the programme committee
  • Managing programme schedules
  • Inviting, following up with, and confirming, speakers
  • Briefing confirmed speakers, contracting and arranging travel if necessary
  • Issuing Call for Papers
  • Managing abstracts and paper submissions
  • Collating all submitted abstracts/papers for review
  • Administering poster sessions
  • Arranging for academic credit or continuing professional development (CPD) points
Conference proceedings, papers and publications

We arrange for any conference documentation to be presented in hard copy or electronically and provide all support on:

  • Collecting and collating abstracts/papers for publication
  • Co-ordinating design and production of an abstracts/papers book
  • Collecting and collating material for a conference handbook
  • Co-ordinating design and production of a conference handbook
  • Proofing, checking and signing off of all publications
  • Managing designers, printers and deadlines
  • Sourcing appropriate technology for a “paperless” conference in line with a green policy
  • Preparing customised certificates of attendance for CPD requirements
Websites, email campaigns, marketing and promotion

We assist in developing a comprehensive marketing plan to increase attendance and enhance conference reputation. This includes:

  • Co-ordinating design of conference identity and branding
  • Developing and collating marketing content
  • Developing, hosting, maintaining and updating a conference website, including online registration if necessary
  • Co-ordinating the design and production of marketing materials including first and second announcements, registration forms, brochures, calls for papers, postcards, flyers, banners, advertisements and promotional gifts
  • Managing designers and printers to ensure quality publications delivered on time
  • Co-ordinating with courier/shipping services to deliver marketing materials
  • Co-ordinating electronic mailing services including database preparation, mass personalised mailings and mobile text communications
  • Managing PR activities, developing media kits and accrediting journalists
Budgeting and financial management

We manage your budget, cash flow, banking and conference finances and we:

  • Assist in creating a detailed budget of estimated income and expenses
  • Manage and maintain budget
  • Set up independent bank account, reconcile and manage banking charges and VAT
  • Process purchases as approved by the organising committee
  • Process all accounts and manage cash flow
  • Prepare final financial statements post-conference
  • Contract audit services where necessary
Registration services

This includes combining our efficient staff with conference management software to make pre-conference and on-site registration a breeze. It also involves:

  • Hosting and operating the conference secretariat for registration and all enquiries, with dedicated phone and email
  • Building online registration with a secure payment portal
  • Managing and administering a bursary process, including provision of visa assistance and travel arrangements
  • Receiving and processing registration and payments securely
  • Administering accommodation bookings through the registration process
  • Registering participants for social, tours and companion programmes
  • Preparing and sending confirmations and invoices to all registered participants
  • Providing current financial and registration reports at regular intervals
  • Preparing and printing customised name tags
  • Preparing and printing participant lists and optional event lists
  • Providing on-site registration systems and managing registration staff
Sponsorship management

Fundraising is a necessary component of conference success and a professional, co-ordinated approach is essential. Our service includes:

  • Developing and designing a sponsorship prospectus and sponsorship pack
  • Managing the fundraising process, providing support to key fundraisers
  • Contracting sponsors and ensuring fulfilment of obligations to sponsors
  • Managing sponsor branding rights and any sponsor special events
Exhibition management

Let us develop an exhibition to serve the trade associated with your conference. We will:

  • Design, develop and manage a conference-related exhibition
  • Develop an exhibition floor plan and layout
  • Develop an exhibitor prospectus/kit
  • Contract and co-ordinate all exhibition-related suppliers
  • Administer stand reservations, confirmations and contracts
  • Manage on-site exhibition build-up, staffing, security and breakdown
  • Facilitate freight forwarding and shipping needs
Logistics planning and execution

Using our experience in project management and foresight, we handle all the conference logistics to ensure that the conference runs smoothly and our team is experienced at:

  • Providing advance scheduling and co-ordination of room configuration, technical equipment, catering, transport, parking, social programme and tours
  • Developing transport plans and managing transport to and from the airport, and between hotels and the venue
  • Arranging for services to meet the needs of those with special requirements, e.g. disability or dietary
  • Arranging for security services
  • Arranging for VIP services
  • Designing and producing directional signs and nameplates
Event management

We provide complete on-site logistical and programme management during the conference. This includes:

  • Managing the registration desk and staff
  • Managing the help/information and tour desks
  • Managing the venue, catering, and all suppliers and service providers
  • Managing sponsor and exhibitor needs, including meeting branding obligations
  • Managing all speakers, presenters, chairpersons, entertainers and AV staff to ensure that the programme runs smoothly and on time
  • Communicating any housekeeping messages or other announcements to MC or chairpersons
  • Managing head table and speaker nameplates, any room configuration changes and roving microphone needs
  • Co-ordinating all VIP security and protocol needs
  • Managing VIP, meeting, holding and speaker prep rooms
  • Preparing and breaking down all conference and exhibition areas
  • Reviewing and approving daily charges and bills
Social and companion programmes, tours, excursions and special events

We’ll design vibrant social and companion programmes to enhance your conference, and we’ll tempt your participants with world-class pre- and post-conference travel options offering the best of Africa. Let us also:

  • Design and manage welcome receptions, gala dinners, afternoon excursions, golf days, cultural events and more
  • Highlight the unique African setting and advise on local entertainment, cuisine, and cultural and scenic must-sees
  • Develop an interesting companion programme that will encourage participants to include their families in their conference travel plans
  • Co-ordinate a full offering of pre- and post-conference travel options, as well as day tours for individuals or groups
Conference evaluation and post-conference reporting

We will develop a conference evaluation to encourage learning and determine if objectives have been met, as well as:

  • Design, distribute, and collect evaluations from participants, speakers, sponsors, etc.
  • Provide statistical analysis and reports of evaluations
  • Send thank-you letters and final correspondence to participants, speakers, sponsors, etc.
  • Prepare post-conference evaluation and report
  • Assist in scheduling follow-up conferences