Sandton Central continues to solidify its status as a top business and lifestyle hub in South Africa, with a notable rise in bookings for events and conferences. Following the successful hosting of the 2023 BRICS Summit, the precinct’s marked revival is attributed to the world-class facilities on offer, from state-of-the-art conference venues to luxury hotels, all of which come together to create a unique experience for both local and international visitors.
Shaun Bird, General Manager of the Sandton Convention Centre (SCC), says, “This year marked the second time we’ve hosted the BRICS Summit, a testament to the trust and reliability the global community places in our facilities. I’m incredibly proud of our team who, despite a 5-year gap and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, showcased the Sandton Convention Centre’s world-class standards by delivering seamlessly on every aspect of the event.”
Adding to the strength of the Sandton Central precinct are the iconic Sandton Sun and Sandton Intercontinental hotels. These venues have become the preferred choice for local and international sports teams and are home to the Springboks and Proteas when required.
As events steadily make a comeback, both local and international companies are looking to the precinct as their venue of choice. “Our local convention centre bookings are picking up considerably. While smaller internal corporate events are navigating the changes brought by work-from-home trends, our exhibition space is witnessing increased interest. Attendance at these events is impressive, with a positive forecast, especially moving into 2024.”
Bird is confident of an upward trajectory on the international convention bookings front. “Such events, particularly on an international scale, have extremely long lead times, sometimes stretching to three to five years. We’re optimistic about a rise in these bookings from mid-2024 and anticipate a return to pre-COVID levels by 2026, assuming all remains constant politically and economically.”
He adds that the SCC’s unique positioning within Sandton Central lends itself to hosting successful events, irrespective of their scale. “The Sandton Convention Centre stands out thanks to top infrastructure within walking distance. With direct Gautrain access and proximity to premier hotels, hosting at the SCC is convenient and cost-effective. Plus, its location near top shopping centres offers delegates so much more than just a business experience.”
Elaine Jack – CID manager of the Sandton Central Management District comments ‘Sandton Central continues to work tirelessly in providing a safe and aesthetically friendly place for people to conduct business in the precinct. We are encouraged and motivated that the buzz is back in the precinct, and we endeavour to deliver and welcome our visitors back into Sandton Central.’
The revitalisation of Sandton Central and its growth in local and international conference and convention bookings signifies its resilience and the concerted efforts of its community. Among other initiatives, its ongoing Traffic Signal Secondary Power programme has gained even more momentum as leading corporates actively adopt intersections within Sandton Central to ensure traffic lights remain operational during loadshedding.