Preferred locations of our events are upmarket hotels. The location can be arranged by either Africa Business Communities or by the host.
In case of an open, informal networking event – like the one we did in Amsterdam, Kigali, Accra and Nairobi – it will normally be possible to make an arrangement with the hotel at no costs – provided that there will be no presentations and that the participants will pay for their own drinks.
Most hotels are more than happy to welcome us because of the significant media exposure. In some cases, they even offer free snacks or a welcome drink to the participants.
As you can see on our event pages, the hotels that are involved in our events will get a lot of free publicity and they may count on a better occupation of their offering – hotel rooms, restaurant dinners, etc., since some of the participants of the event will make use of it.
We think that we have a good opportunity in attracting sponsors without having them on stage for a presentation, so we can preserve the open and informal status of the events and keep costs at a reasonably low level at the same time.
Anyhow, if a sponsor does want to give a presentation at the event, the character of the event will gradually change from open to closed and from informal to formal. In any case, it is very important to keep presentations short and give participants plenty of time and opportunity for networking – this is what they come from far and nearby for, not for the presentations.
In case of a more official program with sponsors, we also have the opportunity for the host to present. Of course the host speaks first. During the presentation, we expect the host to welcome the participants on behalf of Africa Business Communities and – as a good ambassador – highlight our services. The host will also be able to briefly present his or her own company and activities.
When there is an official program with sponsors that want to give a presentation, the hotel needs to provide a conference room. When a sponsor is giving a presentation, the participants will not expect to pay for their own drinks. In summary, it means that the consequence of having an official program is that there will be costs for the venue and drinks.
One last remark about the location: instead of a hotel, we can think of other locations too. We think that there are good opportunities for organizing events at the office of the sponsor. The sponsor can be a country as well. Why not organize a great event at the South African Embassy in Washington DC?