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    EXSA Focuses on Irene Costa

    Irene CostaIrene Costa, editor of Business Events Africa has been in the business events sector for over 16 years and is passionate about its people.

    “I’ve grown in this industry and have some of the most amazing memories of events, exhibitions, conferences and incentives which I’ve been privileged to have been part of. All of this has made me who I am today.

    “More importantly, I’ve made long lasting friends. The business events industry is all about the people. The individuals who are part of this sector are extraordinary. I am passionate about all things business events!”

    “The past 18 months have been a tough time for the sector but knowing its people, I have no doubt the sector will come back stronger than ever before.”

    BEA has been in existence for 41 years and has always been a journal of record for the industry.

    “Prior to this I was with a travel trade publication titled Travel Industry Review for five years.”

    “My entry into the business events sector was unexpected. I was on a media trip to Namibia and met Godfrey King on the trip. He was the publisher of Contact Publications. On our return I received an email from Godfrey requesting if I would consider joining his team. He was in search of an editor to replace him on the publication SA Conference, Exhibition and Events Guide (now Business Events Africa) and Incentiveworld.com.”

    “Immediately, I jumped at this wonderful opportunity. Godfrey became my mentor, and I learnt the fundamentals of the industry from him but moreso, I learnt that it is all about the people and the relationships we make. Godfrey was a wealth of knowledge with regard to the industry and its history.”

    “I joined Contact Publications on 2 May 2005 (1 May being a public holiday) and immediately was thrown into the deep end with the Tourism Indaba. It was overwhelming but at the same time so rewarding. I immediately took to the sector and I have never looked back.”

    Irene said: “Contact Publications has always had a close relationship with the trade associations – at that point we were the secretariat for SAACI, and in my first week I was brought into a SAACI board meeting to take the minutes as Godfrey was on his way to an international show. Wow, I had to learn very quickly. It was my first introduction to the industry trade associations.”

    “Over the years I’ve immersed myself in the industry trade associations and am proud to be associated with them.”

    “On a personal front, I have been married to Damian for 19 years and have two amazing children. Kiara is 14 and Aidan is 11. Godfrey made it clear from the start that I always needed to maintain a balance and that family comes first.”

    “The business events industry has become part of my extended family. I love this industry and could never see myself in another industry,” Irene concluded.



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    EXSA enables connections through the networking and communication of our Forums and via our website (www.exsa.co.za).

    Besides providing EXSA’s directory of members, an exhibitions calendar and news feed, the EXSA website also offers a wealth of knowledge and industry guidelines available to its members.


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