At Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), 2012 was a record year for revenue growth, as Scott Langley, Marketing and Sales Manager, describes: “ Last year was a phenomenal year, our best ever; we hosted a busy calendar and one major event. The reasons were a combination of refocusing our marketing efforts, reducing operational costs but of equal importance, we continued to build our client relationships. “The global impact of the economic slump has not affected the number of events that take place - the effect is much more down to the volume of delegates attending. There are lots of organisations around the world that host annual events and rotate venues between Europe and long-haul destinations.
Some of these organisations have tightened their belts but our message is that South Africa is still affordable and value for money.” South Africa’s only convention centre, with a completely flat floor, is also the largest column-free multi-purpose space building on the whole Continent. Indeed, the venue is one of the most advanced conference facilities in the world, living up to its billing: “Where Africa and the world meet.” Durban ICC is a purpose-built, fully airconditioned centre with three convention halls that are interlinked but separate.
Moveable walls allow for a number of different venue configurations. Alternatively the halls can be opened up to form one large venue with seating for 5,000 delegates or 7,000 square metres of column free floor space. Together with the adjacent Exhibition Centre, the ICC can double its capacity to accommodate 10,000 conference delegates. The centres can function independently or as two halves of one whole. This is achieved by closing Walnut Road, a brick-paved concourse between the two centres, to provide easy access for delegates. The centre was officially opened by former President Nelson Mandela in 1997, after three years of construction, as Langley explains