13th an­nual congress of shop­ping cen­tres ex­pected to nur­ture lively de­bate

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

VIG­OR­OUS de­bate and an­i­mated en­gage­ment are ex­pected to fea­ture at the 13th African Congress of Shop­ping Cen­tres next month as shop­ping cen­tres and re­tail­ers tackle the chal­lenges of the cur­rent mar­ket.

Pro­vid­ing ac­cess to the lat­est think­ing, in­no­va­tion and in­for­ma­tion about shop­ping cen­tre and re­tail trends in South Africa, the congress will in­clude pre­sen­ta­tions and panel dis­cus­sions by ex­perts, opin­ion mak­ers and the in­dus­try’s lead­ing minds. It is spon­sored by Growth­point Prop­er­ties Lim­ited, and is set to take place at the Sand­ton Con­ven­tion Cen­tre from Septem­ber 16 to 18.

The con­fer­ence is the largest gath­er­ing of re­tail and re­tail prop­erty peo­ple in Africa with more t h a n 1 0 0 0 d e l e g at e s, i n cl u d i n g re­tail­ers, shop­ping cen­tre own­ers, de­vel­op­ers, in­vestors, leas­ing and mar­ket­ing agents, store de­sign­ers and fit­ters, fa­cil­i­ties man­agers, construction pro­fes­sion­als and other sup­pli­ers to the in­dus­try. It is hosted by the SA Coun­cil of Shop­ping Cen­tres (SACSC) and sup­ported by the In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of Shop­ping Cen­tres (ICSC).

“This con­fer­ence en­ables del­e­gates to learn and be chal­lenged and by do­ing so, to im­prove their busi­ness growth and prospects as well as those of the en­tire sec­tor,” says Nor­bert Sasse, CE of Growth­point Prop­er­ties.

Fa­cil­i­tated by busi­ness broad- caster Chris Gib­bons, the key­note speak­ers will share their views on the in­dus­try in a power-packed pro­gramme.

“The prom­i­nent speak­ers col­lec­tively rep­re­sent a vast, holis­tic and very valu­able com­pi­la­tion of knowl­edge, which will ben­e­fit del­e­gates enor­mously,” says SACSC pres­i­dent Julie Hil­lary.

Top­ics rel­e­vant to the pre­vail­ing eco­nomic con­di­tions are aimed at em­pow­er­ing shop­ping cen­tres to per­for m op­ti­mally, with themes fo­cus­ing on re­tail per­spec­tives, the eco­nomic out­look, mar­ket­ing and cus­tomer ser­vice, in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal ar­chi­tec­ture, re­tail prop­erty de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ment.

Del­e­gates can look for­ward to a pre­sen­ta­tion by Gil­lian Saun­ders, di­rec­tor, Grant Thorn­ton, on the out­look for the longer, post-2010 term and prospects for the re­tail and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­tries.

Also of in­ter­est is Mike Stop­forth, prin­ci­pal of Cere­bra, South Africa’s so­cial me­dia com­pany, who will share his in­sights about the power of al­ter na­tive me­dia and so­cial net­work­ing – which is tak­ing re­tail mar­ket­ing by storm in de­vel­oped coun­tries.

An ex­hi­bi­tion will run par­al­lel to the main event, al­low­ing del­e­gates to learn more about other com­pa­nies in the re­tail space and to ben­e­fit from net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Visit www.sac­sc­congress.co.za or www.sacsc.co.za

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