The Association of African Exhibition Organisers – AAXO – has launched a new opportunity for young exhibition industry professionals to gain skills and experience in the sector.
The new AAXO mentorship programme will match young members with experienced professionals for mentorship designed to develop the next cohort of African exhibition and eventing industry professionals.
AAXO Board Member, Suzette Scheepers says the timing of the programme takes advantage of the hiatus in the events and exhibitions calendar brought on by the pandemic lockdown and restrictions on gatherings: “In the past, our young professionals would have been expanding their skills under the mentorship of more experienced professionals in person. However, with the current slowdown in the sector, AAXO decided to use this opportunity to directly match mentors and mentees and facilitate mentorship and training via digital channels.”
“We believe this is an excellent time to upskill our young professionals and allow them to draw from the knowledge and vast experience our senior AAXO members have in managing all aspects of marketing and exhibition management – from inspiration to creation, completion and success,” says Scheepers.
“So many considerations go into the planning and organising an event, such as operations, sales, client and stakeholder relationship building, budgeting, marketing, programme planning, health and safety at events, budgeting and market evaluations. Since we confidently anticipate a resurgence of the exhibitions industry, now is the time for us to cultivate the skills of the up-and coming exhibition sector professionals to prepare for live events, when people will look forward to connecting, networking and entertaining in more personal environments again.”
The AAXO mentorship programme allows for prospective mentors and mentees to register on the AAXO site, where they will be matched by focus areas and interests. An AAXO mentor must be a current AAXO member and have at least three or more years of experience in the exhibitions and events industry. To qualify as a mentee, applicants must be current AAXO members or be employed by an AAXO member.
The mentorship can last four months or longer, with mentor and mentee meeting face-to-face, and talking via phone or email or meeting using video conferencing. AAXO mentors will share their knowledge and professional experiences with their mentees, answer any questions mentees might have, and look for ways to offer career-strengthening experiences and introductions for their mentees.
In addition, AAXO, in conjunction with the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (AAIE) have brought the internationally recognised CEM (Certificate in Exhibition Management) online training into Africa, of which the first class of successful South African professionals graduated in 2020.
The Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) designation is a globally recognised designation that demonstrates the highest professional standard throughout the exhibitions and events management arena.
For further information regarding the training courses, and how to register, visit