On 09 November 2017, the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA) and the International Federation of Exhibition and Event Suppliers (IFES) held an association meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. What made this a landmark event was the signing of a reciprocal membership agreement between the two organisations, which will benefit them as well as EXSA’s members.
Doug Rix, the EXSA Chairperson, says, ‘’IFES is a global collaboration network of professional, quality, focused exhibition and event industry suppliers, and it therefore makes perfect strategic sense for EXSA to join this global partnership and align ourselves accordingly.”
He adds, “The Federation’s motto, ‘support and be supported’, speaks to the vision and ethos of EXSA #transformation – which is the current transition we are making into a new and more robust association.”
Uta Goretzky, the Executive Director at IFES, adds, “This partnership helps IFES to widen its network around the globe and welcomes EXSA and its members into the IFES family. Whenever a question within the EXSA membership arises, the IFES network will help to find the right solution.”
EXSA members can now join IFES at a discounted rate; the once-off application fee of €1,000 will be waivered and an additional €50 discount will be applied to the annual membership fees.
Rix adds, “Our IFES membership will enable our supplier and venue members to be provided with the platform for international co-located events, co-ordination on joint working groups, reciprocal guest member attendance at Industry events, and an integrated approach for the sharing of information, knowledge and resources of our respective organisations.”
Justin Hawes is the current IFES Treasurer and Vice President, and the Managing Director of EXSA and IFES member Scan Display. He welcomes the new collaboration, and says, “Being a member of these two organisations has helped Scan Display to grow tremendously over the years. We have learnt so much from both professional bodies, and we have also generated direct business from our IFES membership. I believe this is a fantastic opportunity to develop the industry and our businesses.”
EXSA will also receive a €100 payment for every ten of its members who join IFES, providing a new revenue opportunity to invest back into the association.
EXSA is the 10th national association to become a member of IFES, says Goretzky. Meanwhile EXSA has forged a number of partnerships with other international industry bodies, including: UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry; IAEE, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (USA); AOE, the Association of Event Organisers (UK); and ESSA, the Event Supplier and Services Association (UK). EXSA is also a founding member of the Event Greening Forum, a South African association that promotes sustainable growth and development to the industry.