Following months of rigorous consultations and negotiations AAXO (Association of African Exhibition Organisers) and EXSA (Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa) have signed an agreement to work together under the EIA (Exhibition Industry Alliance) umbrella. EXSA will focus on being a Supplier and Venue focused Association whereas AAXO will be Organiser focused. The respective associations are dedicated to ensuring that members receive the best possible benefits by sharing an annual industry directory, EIA Awards ceremony, market research, various training sessions, collaboration at the annual Exhibition of Exhibitions as well as the popular EXSA annual conference.
AAXO and EXSA will continue to run independently under their respective management teams and collaborate on major projects as listed above. Parts of the agreement include the introduction of the EIA package, which will see members paying discounted rates for membership of both associations with access to intellectual property and research conducted by both institutions. The EIA package will allow members to attend training offered by the associations at member rates.
AAXO and EXSA hosted the first ever Exhibition Industry Awards ceremony under the EIA, Exhibition Industry Alliance in January 2017 at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg. The event was a massive success with just under 350 industry players in attendance in celebrating the highlights of the exhibition industry for the past year. The entries are now open for the second edition of the awards which will take place on 1 February 2018 and it promises to be bigger and grander than the inaugural show. Organisers, venues and suppliers are urged to submit their entries whilst booking their tables for the event which sets the tone for the year.
AAXO is committed to working with EXSA to form a united front for the exhibition industry where exhibition organisers, venues and suppliers can work together for the greater good of the industry but at the same time focusing on their respective industry sector issues and priorities. September 21st has been marked as a historical date within EXSA as the members voted to transform EXSA to become the new progressive exhibition and events industry venue and supplier focused association.
“We are eager to start implementing the points of the agreements which will benefit the industry whilst ensuring that the sector is professional and credible for all” commented Carol Weaving on the partnership. “We are excited about the new strategic direction of transforming the association and in turn the sector through the EIA agreement,” said Doug Rix, EXSA Chair till January 2018 AGM, ‘’Transformation, not change, became inevitable, for they are not the same. Change means implementing finite initiatives which may or may not cut across the Association and where the focus is on executing a well-defined shift in the way things work. Transformation focusses on a portfolio of initiatives, which are interdependent or intersecting. More importantly the overall goal of transformation is not just to execute a defined change, but to reinvent the Association and discover a new or revised business model based on a vision for the future of OUR Industry.’’
The EIA is excited to unite the exhibition and events industry in South Africa and as an industry we can stand together and work towards a common goal.
“We are only as strong as we are united” – JK Rowling