Durban ICC re-invents itself with online events experiences

As a leading meetings and conference Centre on the African continent, the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) remains at the forefront of digital innovation and has introduced a new range of online events that will make the lives of its clients and delegates easier.

The Durban ICC has always aimed to position itself as “Africa’s Leading Convention Centre” but during this unprecedented global situation, the centre has been focusing on the development of their high-tech Virtual Event solutions. Having invested in the latest, cutting-edge meeting technology, the centre is re-inventing itself as the continent’s leading high-tech convention centre. “Without moving away from our existing market positioning we are adding this competitive edge and aiming to also be recognised as “Africa’s Smartest Convention Centre”, said Durban ICC Chief Executive Officer, Lindiwe Rakharebe.

The Centre is offering a range of innovative solutions such as Live-streaming events, Remote-presentation events, Hybrid events, and Video-on-Demand. For the uninitiated, a Hybrid Event is simply the combination of a traditional face-to-face event with an online component, which extends the reach of the conference to a wider audience using technology like live-streaming.

“The best part is that companies are taking advantage of this kind of event solution even during the lockdown by using the technology we have on offer and not having to wait until live events fully start up again. Some are even able to reach much larger audiences by taking their events online than they would have with their traditional live event.” added Scott Langley, the centre’s Director of Marketing, Sales and Events.

“We have already had a phenomenal response from clients to our virtual conferencing solution. We are able to assist clients run their events from the comfort and safety of their own homes. We also have a range of online event offerings and pricing models to choose from, depending on the kind of event our clients would normally organise. This solution can provide a financial lifeline to organisations which rely on events to generate revenue”, added Langley

The Durban ICC has been operating in this virtual space for a while now. They ran their first collaborative hybrid event in September 2019 which was an association conference held at the Centre and was live-streamed to a national audience. Since then they have run a number of international hybrid conferences with several simultaneous streams from various venues which were streamed to audiences all around the world.

Commenting on their hybrid event experience with the Durban ICC, Clare Fincham, General Manager of the South African Society for Labour Law, said, “When we hosted our association’s 23rd Annual Conference at the Durban ICC last year, it gave us the opportunity to incorporate the live-streaming element for the first time. This allowed our members who weren’t able to be there in person to experience the event in real-time and not miss out on the excellent content which we had worked hard on arranging.

“Another great feature was that the individual conference sessions were then available for view from the Durban ICC’s website after the event. The members who attended the sessions found them to be very useful and informative and we were delighted to be able to offer this benefit to our members, and also as an extra revenue stream for SASLAW.”

The virtual events offer a range of benefits, for instance, the digital delegate can:
 Get all the content of the live event from the comfort and safety of their homes
 Watch the speakers via the video feed and view any presentations via the picture in picture mode
 Engage remotely with the event in real time via the event’s chat function or social media channels
 Share the content with others in their organisation directly without having to repeat it themselves second-hand to their colleagues
 Choose to consume the event content at a later time if that suits their schedule
 View selected elements from the event programme which pertain to their area of interest.