INDABA 2014: Africa on show
We are walking to gateway C of Johannesburg airport, to leave South Africa after Indaba 2014. The Event and Marketing team are all carrying bags full of well-worn Poken crew work shirts, duty free gifts and the kind of bitter sweet feelings that linger around after a full week of life enhancing experiences and encounters with a lot of truly inspiring people. Sandra notices a large banner spanning from ceiling to floor. “I love quotes” she says, and we pause a moment to take a picture. The large white lettering reads:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
These words couldn’t be more fitting.
So what was Indaba? 1300 exhibitors and over 10 000 buyers, government types and members of the media gathered in Durban, South Africa for the largest event show case on the continent. How does it happen? In short- a lot motivated people working together toward a mutual goal. Was it a success? With over 250 000 digital documents and business cards exchanged, in short- absolutely.
The show room floors exploded with culture as Dancers, singers, food, craft and even a baby ostrich were on show to celebrate the ways in which people live and to make sure everyone had a really great time. And everyone did. The Poken Africa crew did an amazing job at the reins of the `Indaba Connect` experience and the Students from Durban University of Technology were only too happy to contribute in any way they could. (Seriously, I had students asking me every day if they could stay longer to help. How often does that happen at the office?). They worked hard and were great ambassadors for Poken, South African Tourism and themselves. It definitely made saying good bye such an emotional thing. Just ask Nina.
But it was more than just the Braai (South African Barbecue) that made Indaba a success. It was Poken`s ability to still cater for everyone. Buyers interested in collecting contacts were able to do so and exhibitor stands all had their desired info available at the touch of a Poken spark. Even people needing help with setting up accounts, or an explanation of how Poken can help them maximize their Indaba experience, were aided by the team. Every ones` needs were treated as important and handled with the energy and thoroughness that Poken brings to all events. And in the end, this approach has proved to be a hit. Exhibiting companies alongside buyers and government departments have all given `Indaba Connect` glowing reviews.
As Sandra packs away her camera and we continue toward gateway C, to the plane that will take us back home, it is safe to say that we all can’t wait to get back to South Africa for Indaba 2015.