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23 June 2015

Education, sharing knowledge and keeping abreast of the latest trends

Originally published on the SAACI Website: SAACIMatters VOLUME 28 NO.6


As many of the companies in our industry are generally owner managed, most of us cannot afford to employ a high number of staff on a continual basis.

After years of experimenting with various options,  I found that I needed to employ SMMEs and students studying event management to manage an event. This gave me the opportunity  to grow new blood into our ever growing industry and at the same time provide our clients with the best possible service.   By so doing I was able to pass the baton onto a new generation of professionals. Not just a new generation of order takers!

Nothing ticks client’s boxes more than their Social Responsibility programmes – your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

A unique selling proposition (USP, also seen as unique selling point) is a factor that differentiates a product from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind. A USP could be thought of as “what you have that competitors don’t.”

A successful USP promises a clearly articulated benefit to clients, offers them something that competitive products can’t or don’t offer, and is compelling enough to attract new clients.

All the staff used during the build up to and during the event should be drawn from students who are not yet gainfully employed.  They should be mentored and provided with a Certificate of Competency on completion of the project. This definitely ticks client’s Social Responsibility boxes.

Your staff, whether they are full or part-time, should be taught to understand and be sensitive to:

  • The expectations of the client.
  • The importance to the client and to the venue of the questions asked
  • What the venue cannot do – all options must be explored before this decision is made
  • That the different cultures in South Africa all need to be respected and taken into account when providing facilities.
  • The individual needs of the client.

Melanie Sillince
Core Competency

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