Conference Design

Looking Back & Ahead with the CTICC

25th March 2021

Running convention centres means creating unique experiences, resulting in a feeling of belonging to a community. To do so successfully, a culture of learning and exploration is a must have, as well as a commitment to agility and sustainability. This is precisely what Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) showcased over the last few months.

The recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) was the occasion to look back at a period that brought its lot of challenges and opportunities. From July 2019 to March 2020, the venue hosted 397 events, including 34 international conferences, meeting their annual target. 

The largest international event was AfricaCom 2019, which was attended by almost 12,000 delegates, while other major local events included the Cape Homemakers Expo 2019 and the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2020, as well as Mama Magic: The Baby Expo. In addition, the CTICC attracted a number of new events such as the Korean Consumer Showcase, the Asian Racing Conference and the Doha Debates. 

Never shy of innovation, the CTICC also instituted its ‘own events’ this year, with the first CTICC Gift Fair attracting almost 3,000 visitors in November 2019. Here you can access a video that shows the full story of the event. 

Another example of CTICC’s homegrown events included the AllSport Expo. This one-stop-shop sporting exhibition was formally launched in March 2020 and was planned for September 2020. However, it was postponed due to the pandemic. As CTICC CEO Taubie Motlhabane explained: Although the CTICC could not host the full in-person exhibition due to COVID-19 restrictions, we demonstrated our agility by adapting the event and hosting digital AllSport coaching workshops in October and November 2020.”

A specific and renewed emphasis on Africa-focused events during the year also built on CTICC’s reputation, with events such as the Africa Energy Indaba, the Manufacturing Indaba and Africa Halal Week, as well as MTN’s Global Connect trade expo. 

Adapting to the ever-changing COVID-19 environment 

If the pandemic brought its lot of challenges, it also and most surprisingly gave birth to opportunities, as social distancing, remote working and connecting through technology has become the new – or next – normal. 

“The CTICC adapted swiftly and has not only implemented comprehensive COVID-19 safety measures under the C19-Care initiative but has also introduced remote working, as well as a range of new hybrid and digital event options for its clients,” remarked Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde. 

The centre can now safely host events that fit the current constraints on public meetings, harnessing the very latest technology. A range of digital experiences is available, including a “walk-through” virtual experience. 

Keeping sustainability to the fore

In keeping with its sustainability focus, the CTICC diverted 71% of its waste from landfill. Municipal water consumption was also reduced by 33.1%. This was partly due to the CTICC’s reverse osmosis plant, which converts groundwater to drinking water. Overall energy consumption dropped by nearly 5% compared to the previous financial year. 

“The CTICC has been committed to being a responsible environmental citizen since it opened its doors in 2003,” said Motlhabane. “We are conscious of the environmental impact of our operations and make every effort to reduce our consumption of water and energy.” 

What’s next?

“It has been almost a year since COVID-19 started disrupting our economy. The CTICC, like many others, has been impacted by this global pandemic. We have had to adapt quickly and continuously. The future dictates that we continue to be agile and flexible, if we are going to thrive,” said Motlhabane. 

“Our priority now is to get the CTICC back to full operational activity so that we can continue to contribute to South Africa’s GDP and the Western Cape’s GGP. We will focus on finding new ways of doing business and continue to innovate in the event space. We have hope and we will work hard to ensure that our hope becomes reality,” she concluded. 

For more information about conferences at the CTICC, contact

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