OurAfrica.Travel embraces virtual, creates thousands of connections

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OurAfrica.Travel is a global virtual travel trade show, originally launched in 2020 to fill the void left by the cancellation of all African trade events during the pandemic. Overwhelmed by the success of the previous year and requests for its second edition, the 2021 show once again went ahead online and connected travel specialists and buyers from around the world.

To not only make these connections possible but also, facilitate deep engagements between the attendees, OurAfrica.Travel decided to lean on the expertise of the leading virtual and hybrid events platform, Hubilo. The world-class all-in-one platform was born during the pandemic – just like the travel trade show, to create a new way for global buyers and African exhibitors to connect.

OurAfrica.Travel 2021 offered its buyers and exhibitors the opportunity to pre-schedule one-to-one meetings and take control of their own calendar through Hubilo’s platform. With the power of matchmaking, buyers could entrust Hubilo’s built-in algorithm to suggest which stands to visit and which suppliers to meet based on their interests and event goals. This proved a popular feature amongst all participating exhibitors and local and international buyer partners who facilitated over 239,643 networking interactions throughout the event.

Hubilo’s platform made it easy for 340 exhibitors and 1,177 global buyers creating business-critical partnerships for the year ahead and supporting important causes. Event attendees, who included global tour operators, travel agencies, and MICE organisers who sell Africa, could also take advantage of an intuitive user interface and clearly displayed relevant information in the ‘what’s happening’ section, navigating seamlessly through the event.

“OurAfrica.Travel captured their audiences over 10 days to connect, buy and support investment in African businesses. Hubilo worked with their team to create an engaging and immersive virtual event that resulted in nearly a quarter-million networking interactions and almost 24,000 meetings held––with the support of the Hubilo customer success team to keep it all running smoothly, and ensure the required results.” said Greg Volm, Hubilo SVP of Sales and Success.

The virtual event platform made lead generation possible for all buyers with its enhanced networking capabilities. Exhibitors could engage with prospects at their branded booths with immersive video conferencing.. Each visitor’s activity was logged and exhibitors can reach out to the most interested buyers with full context. Hubilo also shone the spotlight on top-tier sponsors with attention-grabbing adverts and banners alongside live-sessions for top-billing sponsorship experiences.

OurAfrica.Travel 2021 show span across ten days, with meeting dates aligned to specific geographical regions to accommodate local buyers across the globe:

1-5 March – Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania

8-12 March – North America and South America

Through Hubilo’s platform, attendees pre-booked and conducted 23,857 meetings over a four-week period and exchanged 93,970 messages. The total amount of profile views amounted to 104,835, with 62 causes nominated, including:

  • building a network of women leaders across the African continent
  • protecting areas where lions can thrive
  • educating audiences about the devastating impacts of the African Elephant ivory trade

The entire travel trade show was available on-demand too. Its founders, partners, and Hubilo’s expert team are already planning to beat the numbers during the 2022 show, so watch this space.

Results

OurAfrica.Travel 2021 show was a gathering of the most passionate, determined, and resilient people across the travel industry. In the middle of the pandemic, the event re-united, re-connected, and re-committed old relationships whilst helping exhibitors and buyers to network with new suppliers and conduct business.

Trade show organisers and attendees were able to take advantage and experience a wide range of Hubilo platform’s features, including:

  • Easy navigation and quick overview of the current event sessions
  • Matchmaking algorithm to find the perfect business partnerships for the year ahead
  • Demo rooms with one-to-one pre-scheduled meetings
  • Activity-centric engagement tools, such as gamification, live polls and Q&As
  • 24/7 customer success service
  • Robust platform analytics to track event KPIs, including the number of registrations, attendee engagement, networking, and quality of leads

The 2021 show was an even bigger success than the previous year’s one, with the 2022 event already in the planning stages.

Here are the final event numbers:

  • 10-day event across six continents
  • 4 weeks of networking
  • 340 African exhibitors
  • 1,177 global buyers
  • 23,857 meetings held
  • 239,643 networking interactions
  • 104,835 profile views
  • 93,970 messages exchanged
  • 62 causes nominated
  • The cost per meeting for an exhibitor was just over $3/R48, with buyers attending free of charge

The entire event was also carbon-neutral – if not carbon positive – perfectly in line with the community and environmental causes, it helped to support and raise awareness of.

Testimonials

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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