On the 28th of June, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) celebrated its 16th birthday.
“In 16 years, the CTICC has reached all and exceeded many, of the goals set for it,” says Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the CTICC. To mark the occasion, the CTICC shared 16 of the achievements that contributed to the success of this iconic Cape Town landmark.
1. Job creation, economic contribution and training – The CTICC has created more than 115 000 jobs since 2003. In the last financial year alone we created 8 553 direct and indirect jobs, a 9% increase on the previous year. In an economy that is shedding jobs, this is something we are particularly proud of. Furthermore, R3.1m was spent on training, which included growing the student and graduate training programmes, and training for staff. We currently have 25 students and graduates learning with us.
2. Growing the knowledge economy – The CTICC is a place where people meet to exchange knowledge. With this in mind the CTICC specifically aims to attract events aligned to the key catalytic sectors identified by the City and the Province as priorities for trade and investment growth: tourism and events; agri-processing; the green economy including renewable energy; business process outsourcing; retail including clothing and textiles, digi-tech; oil and gas; and electronics.
3. Response to the water crisis – Over the last six years, the CTICC has reduced its water consumption year-on-year. At the height of the drought, waterless hand sanitisers were installed and water to the basins turned off. Rainwater tanks now capture and store up to 265 000 litres of rainwater. This together with 20 000 litres of condensation from the air-conditioning units and all grey water from the complex is captured and used for cleaning and gardening.
4. The CTICC expansion – The building of CTICC 2 has allowed the CTICC to host bigger events and more events. This has increased job creation and the CTICC’s contribution to the overall economy. Physically, CTICC 2 added 31 000 m² of additional space to the existing complex allowing for concurrent events to take place across the CTICC complex.
5. Food and Beverage trends – The CTICC adapts its food and beverage offering to fit clients’ ever-evolving needs, including cultural food and special dietary requests, from dairy-, gluten-, nut- and seafood-free to vegan and vegetarian. With Executive Chef Roberto de Carvalho directing the kitchen, menus are as versatile and adaptable as the CTICC’s exhibition spaces.
6. Innovations in the Information and Communications Sphere – The CTICC continually upgrades and deploys the latest hardware and related software to support the business in the provision of a world-class ICT infrastructure as required for event-hosting activities. While the CTICC previously outsourced its ICT needs, there is now a dedicated in-house ICT department, with its core focus the continual enhancement of systems in the technology space.
7. Communicating with our community – The CTICC communicates with clients, visitors and the people of Cape Town via social media platforms Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, as well as via traditional marketing channels. Social media increasingly plays a pivotal role in communicating with the CTICC’s constituency and allows the centre to develop a trusted relationship with followers, who learn about events, the CTICC’s social and environmental sustainability initiatives, and much more.
8. Bringing additional revenue streams online – Extensive research on additional revenue streams has demonstrated that there is an opportunity for the centre to create and deliver its own events. The first of these will be the CTICC AllSport Expo, which will bring together under one roof all major sports enjoyed in the Western Cape – and some of the lesser-known ones.
9. Future-proofing the CTICC – The centre appointed an engineer to investigate various alternatives for water saving, including grey water recycling. After extensive research it was concluded that a Reverse Osmosis Plant was the most feasible option for the CTICC. Now fully operational, the plant pumps sea and ground water, removes any impurities and produces as much as 200 000 litres of potable (drinking) water per 24-hour cycle. The centre was recognised for its efforts when it received the 2019 Delegate Choice Award for Innovation at the AIPC Innovation Award 2019.
10. Versatility of space – The CTICC complex consists of two beautifully designed buildings, CTICC 1 and CTICC 2 with a combined capacity of 140 855 m². Purpose-built to host international and local conferences, trade shows and exhibitions, the centre offers world-class, highly versatile exhibition halls, comprehensively equipped private boardrooms and meeting rooms, large auditoria, and divisible spaces for banquets – all supported by state-of-the-art technology, and exceptional food and beverage services.
11. Catalyst for development on the Foreshore – In the 1900s, the Foreshore was reclaimed and Duncan Dock was constructed. For many years, it was not a particularly beautiful part of Cape Town, but that changed with the construction of the CTICC, which opened the door for new commercial developments and future plans.
12. Bringing business tourism to Cape Town – In 2019, ICCA again confirmed Cape Town as the number one meetings destination of choice and last year the city was named the “World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination” at the 2018 WorldTravel Awards. The CTICC has played no small part in Cape Town’s rise in popularity, with 105 international events already secured and scheduled to take place at the CTICC between now and 2026. Increased business tourism to the city has resulted in the provision of a direct flight from New York to Cape Town.
13. Planning for people, planet and profit – Following a triple-bottom-line approach to sustainability – people, planet and profit – the CTICC strives to support the implementation of events in a sustainable manner that benefits both the society in which it operates and the environment as a whole. The centre’s comprehensive environmental policy is monitored by a dedicated sustainability committee, Nurture Our World (NOW. The NOW team, comprising representatives from all areas of the business, works to ensure that social and environmental sustainability stays at the centre of every aspect of the CTICC.
14. Intelligence for the new digital landscape – It is the CTICC’s intention to facilitate the sort of economic growth that must accompany the advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The focus on technological, medical and financial services events has been consistent. These Trade Fairs and Exhibitions, all of which touch on technology, allow local businesses to interact with international role players, scope out the competition and absorb market trends. Trade shows such as AfricaCom, eCommerce Africa, Source Africa and the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa all tap into elements of the new knowledge economy.
15. Keeping it local – The CTICC procures only the freshest produce and develops menus with available and seasonal produce. By purchasing locally produced and grown produce, we reduce flyer miles thus reducing our carbon footprint. One of the centre’s community partners, Abalimi Bezekhaya, provides organic vegetables on a bi-weekly basis. Menus offered are seasonally appropriate and include “zero waste” and “water-wise” options.
16. Ubuntu: I am because you are – Corporate social responsibility spend doubled in the past financial year to R1.8m, and included more than 40 activations which covered donations of food, water and equipment; sponsorship of venues for events; staff-supported volunteering activities focused on particular awareness-raising campaigns. The centre’s local community partners engage with their communities in various ways including educational and income-generation initiatives, feeding schemes and urban gardening projects, predominantly in the Khayelitsha, Lavender Hill and Mitchell’s Plain areas.
Ellingson concludes: “The success of the CTICC over the past 16 years is attributable to the collective efforts of our shareholders, our board, our staff, our clients and our suppliers, as well as the people of Cape Town. We are very excited about the future, and look forward to further increasing our contribution to this remarkable city, the Western Cape and the wonderful country we call home.”