SETE recognizes how vital social media is for all events

| July 3, 2012

Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE) 2012 organisers’ Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group is proud to announce its partnership with iSportconnect, the world’s largest sports business community. The partnership will bolster both the scope and efficacy of Sports and Events Tourism Exchange’s online marketing campaign in the lead up to their event at the ICC Durban later this year (12-14 September).

Tasked with creating synergy between South Africa’s tourism, sport and event industries and promoting the country as a popular sports and events destination, there is a clear opportunity with SETE 2012 to maximize communication between the various elements with the help of a powerful specialized social media platform like iSportconnect, as well as others like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

SETE Conference Director Sugen Pillay said that “maximising our online presence is a big part of our marketing and PR strategy. Identifying the appropriate social media platform and choosing from one of the many channels available to ensure that our messages are targeting the right audience is crucial, and in this way the specialised nature of the iSportconnect community is an ideal match. The ability to communicate with a captive audience is crucial, and the user-friendly way in which iSportconnect amalgamates all relevant and useful information renders it a powerful tool in the sports business industry”.

iSportconnect offers an exclusive online platform that brings together thousands of sports business professionals worldwide. With a wide range of applications, iSportconnect combines business and social networking, detailed insights into the latest sports business news and market data, listings of business events and executive jobs, as well as market analysis to provide a one-stop shop for the sports business community. Existing LinkedIn and Twitter profiles can be synchronised and updated from iSportconnect, which also has iPhone and BlackBerry applications. iSportconnect has no introductory fees, and has no limit on communication.

iSportconnect’s Marketing and Partnership Manager Xavier Cureau said, “We are very pleased to be contributing to the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange event, as this will further expand our image in South Africa, and we look forward to promoting a major event from Africa across Europe, USA and the Middle East”.

One needs look no further than Africa’s biggest horseracing event, the upcoming Vodacom Durban July (7 July), to see how an effective social media campaign can contribute to the success of an event. Dave Macleod, Gameplan Media Managing Director, said that “in its 116th year, the Vodacom Durban July poses numerous challenges when communicating to its extremely diverse audience of potential clients, who each have very different expectations of the event. The core racing community thrives on a nourishing stream of online racing communication, betting and studying form online, and take a major race meeting like the Vodacom Durban July in their stride. They are however outnumbered on the day by the tens of thousands of socialites and fashionistas who need to be reached and inspired to attend this event every year. Social media, and Facebook in particular, has succeeded in entrenching their loyalty. Research done in 2009 showed that just under 20% of the race day attendance came from outside of KZN, in 2011 that figure had grown by 50%, much of which is attributable to the viral ‘July Fever’ that was cultivated on Facebook. The event Facebook page (The official Vodacom Durban July) is alive with daily banter from its core 6500 followers. Beyond that figure, 60 000 Facebook users a week browse the content of the page and virally the core community that “likes” the page reaches 2 111 244 people through their viral connections”.

This year’s 2nd annual SETE exhibition will feature a number of high profile international and local exhibitors, as well as more than 60 international buyers who have been attracted by South Africa’s solid reputation as a viable location for events. The two day SETE conference (12-13 September) boasts a line up of respected and influential speakers who will engage and exchange ideas that will ultimately enhance South Africa’s sport, tourism, and event industries. As one of the quickest growing types of global travel, the sports tourism industry is estimated to have contributed over R6 billion to the South African economy last year.

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