The Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) successfully concluded its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 1 August 2023, during which it addressed the current state of the African events industry and introduced its new board for the term 2023/2024. The AGM brought together industry leaders, stakeholders, and key players to discuss pressing issues and opportunities within the events sector across the continent.
The newly appointed board members represent a diverse array of companies and expertise, showcasing the dedication of AAXO to fostering collaboration and promoting excellence in the African events industry. The board members were announced as follows:
Chair: Devi Paulsen-Abbott, Energy Capital & Power
Devi Paulsen-Abbott, with her extensive experience in the events sector and her commitment to driving growth and development in Africa, will continue her tenure as the Chair of AAXO for the term 2023/2024. She expressed her enthusiasm about the opportunity to lead the association and work towards advancing the events industry across the continent.
Vice Chair: Gary Corin, Specialised Exhibitions (a division of the Montgomery Group)
Gary Corin’s leadership as Vice Chair is expected to further strengthen AAXO’s position and enhance its contributions to the development of specialised exhibitions throughout Africa. With his track record of successful ventures, Gary Corin is well-equipped to support the association’s goals.
Treasurer: James Bull, Informa Group
As Treasurer, James Bull’s financial acumen and experience will play a crucial role in ensuring AAXO’s fiscal health and sustainability. His knowledge of the events industry and financial expertise will aid in implementing effective strategies for the association’s growth.
Spokesperson / Immediate Past Chair: Projeni Pather, Exposure Marketing
Projeni Pather, who served as the Immediate Past Chair, will continue to be involved as the association’s spokesperson. Her in-depth understanding of the events landscape in Africa and her previous leadership within AAXO will provide valuable insights and continuity.
The new board members also include:
Tracy Gounden, Messe Frankfurt (Director)
Chanelle Hingston, VUKA Group (Director)
Adele Hartdegen, Dogan Events (Director)
Joshua Low, dmg events (Director)
Tiisetso Tau, Synergy Business Events (Director)
Cornelle du Preez, Gallagher Convention Centre (Venue Committee Chair)
These board members, each accomplished leaders in their respective organisations, will bring their collective expertise and vision to drive AAXO’s initiatives, uplift the events industry, and foster international partnerships and collaborations for the benefit of Africa.
“AAXO expresses our gratitude to the outgoing board members for their dedication and contributions to the association’s growth over the previous term. We appreciate the unwavering support of all of our members and partners in supporting us in driving the economic growth of our continent through events,” said Devi Paulsen-Abbott, Chairperson of AAXO.
Paulsen-Abbott reflected on the mission of the association for 2022/2023, Building Back Better, showcasing how AAXO achieved results in building a thriving industry following the effects of the pandemic with the help of its members. Looking at the 2023/2024 year, AAXO will focus on driving the messaging that exhibitions are the most powerful face-to-face marketing channel, driving the growth of the industry across the marketing sector and through government outreach to relevant departments.
Returning in the first quarter of 2024 will be the annual ROAR Awards, aimed at recognising and acknowledging merit in exhibition organisation, exhibitor participation and service excellence.
The new board members are set to commence their roles immediately and look forward to working together to elevate the African events industry to new heights.