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Inside the ‘Gateway to Africa,’ CTICC stands tall

Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) is thriving from within its sought-after location.

Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)
Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)

Contributing more than R19 billion to South Africa’s GDP and sustaining 7,000 direct and indirect jobs,
CTICC is growing at a time when many international exhibition organizers are partnering with local organizers to gain a foothold in the market as well as gain access to 1 billion consumers on the continent.

“International exhibition organizers are viewing Cape Town as the ‘Gateway to Africa,’” explained Rashid Toefy, CEO, CTICC. “Bearing testament to this, Cape Town had one of its food, beverage and lifestyle exhibitions, the Good Food & Wine Show, acquired by Italy-based exhibition company Fiera Milano S.p.A.”

Since opening its doors on June 28, 2003, CTICC has welcomed more than 5 million visitors. It hosts 500 events per year, including 14 exhibitions and 13 trade fairs.

“The Centre has hosted large-scale dance parties and international artists, such as Deadmau5, Pitbull and U.S. rapper, Rick Ross, to name a few,” said Toefy. “The Centre also hosts the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, which is the only indoor horse sale in the world.”

Providing 13 meeting suites to accommodate up to 24 guests each along with eight meeting rooms of varying sizes to hold up to 330 delegates, CTICC includes two auditoriums to accommodate a combined 2,120 attendees.

With ceiling heights spanning between 10 and 18 meters and designed to accommodate heavy industrial or commercial exhibits, 11 200m² is dedicated to column-free exhibition space.

Exhibition space at CTICC
Exhibition space at CTICC

For meetings and tradeshows, the venue provides audio-visual systems, including microphone management, simultaneous interpretation, audience participation and voting systems as well as video and teleconferencing, and video and audio-taping services.

A 2000m² Grand Ballroom provides city views of the flat-topped Table

Mountain. Whether this ballroom setting is used for buffets or banquets, it can hold between 1,020-1,300 people. Dishes are served hot from CTICC’s kitchen, which is linked to seven satellite kitchens.

Consistently wanting to improve to better serve customers, CTICC has captured international attention.
The Centre became the first on its continent to become a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, which convenes companies together with UN agencies to support fundamental principles in the areas of labor, human rights, the environment and anti-corruption.

The venue also achieved three ISO certifications. International Organization for Standardization is a worldwide developer that gives specifications for services and good practice to make the industry efficient and effective.

In addition, CTICC became the first in Africa to achieve the AIPC Gold Quality Standards Accreditation, in which the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) recognizes excellence in convention centre management.

CTICC ballroom
CTICC ballroom

To continue delivering memorable experiences, CTICC officials launched an expansion project through 2016.

“We want to ensure that the expansion meets the needs and demands of local and international exhibition and conference organizers and be a space in which meetings, conferences and exhibitions can be transformed into unforgettable world-class experiences,” said Toefy. “Pending the outcomes of various legislative processes that fall outside the CTICC’s sphere of influence, the expansion will take three years to complete.”

Additional capacity would also allow visitors to attend concurrent events, and CTICC could attract more of Cape Town’s meetings and events. To increase exhibition and meeting space, the Centre aims to build a world-class green building.

“Sustainability, environmental and social considerations form part of our DNA, and we have managed to incorporate this into every facet of our business,” said Toefy. “This commitment to sustainability has shaped the thinking and approach of our suppliers as well as conference and exhibition organizers.”

Becoming the only exhibition and convention centre in the world to align its reporting processes to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework for two years in a row, CTICC achieved a Level-B rating. GRI is a non-profit organization that provides a worldwide Sustainability Reporting Framework that is widely used for organizations to measure and report their economic, environmental, social and governance performance.

A global association of the tradeshow industry, UFI presented CTICC with its 2013 Best Reporting on Sustainability Award.  The Centre also won the Green Supplier Gold Award, in which IMEX and Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) recognize environmental excellence and innovation within the meetings industry.

From its centered location in Cape Town, CTICC can be accessed by car, bus, train, canal and taxi, but convention officials encourage walking and bike riding to minimize visitors’ carbon footprint.

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