It is widely acknowledged that a proliferation of successful entrepreneurs is an imperative in South Africa. They bring to life new technologies, products, services and, along the way, create new markets and jobs. They’re lighting the fire in the engine room of the country’s economy.

A number of these intrepid men and women are realising the networking power and professional prestige of running their own industry conferences. However, the massive amount of time and effort required to organise and run such events can be inhibitive to entrepreneurs, especially when their working hours are already long and hard.

The value of partnering with a hands-on, experienced, connected, budget-conscience and conference-literate travel management company (TMC), cannot be over-emphasised.

It goes without saying that the chosen TMC must be a logistic expert that manages flights, as well as any/all other travel-related, accommodation, transport and security matters.

What differentiates a good TMC as a conference partner is the ability to gain an intuitive understanding of the clients’ unique event requirements and then exceed them with a big idea.

The TMC will recommend an events company that meets the entrepreneur’s financial and physical requirements. The TMC will know a number of such companies and, using negotiated preferred rates, secure the entrepreneur the best deals.

Once secured, the TMC will brief the company who then liaises directly with the client. However, as the coordinator, it’s important that the TMC stays in the loop and can proactively or reactively manage issues as they arise.

Fundamentally, the TMC’s role is to manage the successful complementing of different teams of people all with different skill sets; people with whom the TMC has a time-proven relationship based on mutual respect and trust.

Once the client has agreed to the big idea, depending on the budget, the idea – or theme – becomes reality via;

Transparency is an essential requirement for the securing of ongoing, sustainable and mutually rewarding business. A reasonable TMC management fee that’s within budget will be greatly appreciated by the entrepreneur, especially when the TMC and its specialist teams are perceived to have over-delivered.

Relationships based on trust and respect transcend the inevitable challenges that arise during industry events, especially when they are seen in context and solutions are professionally and seamlessly implemented.

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