We asked a few questions to Jacqui Nel, Director of EF-GSM South Africa, and Vice Chair of the IELA Industry Relations Working Group since June 2018.
She joined the IELA Membership in 2017 and directly jumped into commitment with the association, getting involved in the Industry Relations Working Group. So keep reading!
IELA: You are the Director of EF-GSM South Africa since 2002. Could you please tell us how you got involved in the exhibition logistics industry?
Jacqui: I was working for a Commercial Clearing Agent and needed a change. I got hold of a friend, who ran an HR business within the Shipping Industry and he had just received a request from a newly opened RE Rogers South Africa office, that they were looking for an Operations person. I applied and the rest is history.
IELA: How has the industry evolved since then in South Africa?
Jacqui: In 1993, the Exhibition Industry was beginning to grow, and when Madiba (Nelson Mandela) came out of jail and became president, South Africa was put into a "honeymoon era". Madiba very smartly united people from all cultures, and so the Exhibition Industry grew. Overseas companies were looking to invest in South Africa. The industry grew very quickly & it was exciting to be involved in this glamour era of our country.
IELA: You participated in several IELA Partnering Events before you registered for the IELA membership in 2017. Could you please share with us your experience as an outsider at the Partnering Event and how do you value becoming an IELA Member in June 2017?
Jacqui: I would say that with Mariane as Chair, she began working hard to unite people, and with a new vision brought value to the Association. I felt it was then the right time to join and help make a difference in the industry. I really love the new energy of the Association, and Elizabeth has very contagious energy.
IELA: You chose to get involved right away in the association’s activity by joining the Industry Relations Working Group, and now you are Vice Chairwoman since June 2018. What does this position mean to you?
Jacqui: I love the Exhibition Industry and for many years I have been involved with EXSA (Exhibition Association of South Africa) I believe that everybody needs to belong to an Association. It markets our companies to clients, it gives credibility to our businesses, it connects us to our industry and keeps us informed of the changes and trends in the world. This is vital for our businesses to grow.
IELA: What are in your opinion the strengths of this WG and what could you say to motivate IELA Members to join up and get involved in your projects?
Jacqui: The Industry Relations WG connects IELA to the various associations around the world, and it markets our valuable service to clients around the world. Our role is vital to the success of an exhibitor at an event. As knowledge is key, the WG is working on collecting data on the size of our industry so we can market this to the various associations, who will then be able to see the value of our services.
About the IELA Industry Relations Working Group:
Its mission is to develop contacts with organisers, associations, and all exhibition-related parties, in order to strengthen IELA's image and to get its members recognised as the leading voice in exhibition logistics.
In general, the group informs the exhibition industry about the benefits our association can offer.
Some of the WG’s Tasks: Participate actively in the task forces of global and regional associations, secure opportunities for IELA speakers at exhibition Industry related events, participate in congresses, events, and seminars, and establish formal agreements (MoU)
Get to know more about the members of the Industry Relations Working Group. Curious to know what goes on? Send us your questions below!
The International Exhibition Logistics Association is the global industry network that provides top quality performance and expertise in the exhibition logistics sector. IELA is a worldwide trade association dedicated to enhancing the professionalism of the transportation logistics and freight handling segments of the exhibition & events industry. Currently IELA has 173 members and 31 affiliates in 56 countries. (February 2019)