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US-Africa Business Summit

US-Africa Business Summit

“Empowering U.S.-Africa partnerships through seamless event execution, innovative production, and strategic collaboration.”

 

The 16th Annual U.S.-Africa Business Summit hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa brought together 1800+ attendees, including public and private sector executives from both domestic and international sectors. Notable attendees included close to 50 African Ministers, over 100 U.S. Government Officials, numerous African Heads of State & Government, U.S. Cabinet Officials, and Heads of U.S. Government Agencies.

 

The Corporate Council on Africa

The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) is the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting business interests in Africa. Established in 1993, CCA has been pivotal in promoting business and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa, serving as a trusted intermediary for over three decades. Our mission is to strengthen commercial relations between the United States of America and the nations of Africa, fostering a climate conducive to investment and trade.

 

The Annual US-Africa Business Summit

The objective of the US-Africa Business Summit is to enable leaders to connect with government and private sector decision makers over the course of four days to drive U.S.-Africa sustainable business partnerships.

 

 

The Challenge

 

The 2024 U.S.-Africa Business Summit faced several significant challenges. Firstly, the event had not been held in the United States since 2017, and the client was accustomed to extensive support from African government planners and destination management companies (DMCs) for production management and AV services. This change required adapting to new processes and expectations. Additionally, the client, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), had never worked directly with a professional production company before, presenting a steep learning curve in understanding the requirements for executing an elevated conference. Another major challenge was that the primary organizer, Jo Melissa Gonzalez, was managing the Summit with a small team. The planning timeline was incredibly short, with only a two-month lead time from contract signatures to event execution. This condensed timeframe demanded rapid and efficient coordination. To complicate matters, there were numerous changes and additions in scope leading up to the week of the event, requiring constant adjustments and flexibility from the production team. Flexibility and change management are two areas Vario excels!

 

Navigating Challenges

The main challenges were:

  1. Shortened Planning Window: From contract signature to event load-in was approximately two months. A typical conference of this size we recommend a minimun of six to twelve months of pre-production time.
  2. Re-creating the US Summit: Previous to 2024, the US-Africa Businses Summit had not been held in the US since 2017.
  3. Managing Expectations and Delivering on Multiple Fronts: With limited resources, the internal meeting planner relied heavily on the Vario Productions team to provide Creative direction, Production Management, and on-site live translation support.

 

 

Consultative Approach

 

In response to these challenges, Vario Productions implemented a series of strategic solutions to ensure the successful execution of the Summit. They provided expert guidance throughout the pre-production process, helping the client navigate the complexities of organizing a large-scale international event. Recognizing the need for organization, Vario created a comprehensive Master Workbook tailored to the Summit’s logistics, which extended beyond production needs to encompass all event aspects. This workbook became an essential tool for the client, aiding in the meticulous coordination required. Understanding the client’s need for dedicated support, Vario offered full production guidance and took charge of liaising with in-house AV and venue services, effectively removing this burden from the client’s plate. Regular site visits and weekly pre-production planning calls ensured that all details were perfectly planned and executed. Vario’s team also ideated multiple Plenary Stage design concepts, accommodating several rounds of change orders and the evolving scope of work. Their proactive approach and adaptability were crucial in managing the dynamic nature of the event’s requirements.

 

 

Working with In-House Providers

 

Vario Productions delivered a comprehensive suite of services to support the 2024 U.S.-Africa Business Summit. Their production support encompassed full AV and production services for the Plenary sessions, nine breakout rooms, and an onsite press room. The team coordinated closely with the in-house exclusive vendor, Freeman, to handle rigging and power needs, ensuring seamless integration of all technical aspects.

 

Creative Oversight

 

Creative services played a vital role in the event’s success, with Vario developing consistent branding elements, including backplate imagery and Plenary Hold Slide graphics. They also created session title slide graphics and content for marketing, informational, and sponsor loops, as well as step-and-repeat stage backdrop graphics.

 

Unique Multi-Lingual Opportunities

 

To cater to the diverse linguistic needs of the attendees, Vario arranged for live interpretation services in English/French and English/Portuguese across several rooms, with ten total booths available throughout the event spaces. Vario’s distinctive approach involved detailed attentiveness and the creation of a master workbook that outlined every aspect of the event, from vendor logistics to in-house AV coordination. This comprehensive and proactive service offering ensured that the Summit not only met but exceeded client expectations.

 

 

What Sets Vario Apart

 

Vario Productions stands out from the competition through its meticulous attention to detail, comprehensive planning, and adaptability to complex event requirements. Our ability to create customized solutions ensures seamless execution even under tight timelines and evolving scopes. By providing dedicated support and fostering close collaboration with clients, Vario not only meets but consistently exceeds expectations, delivering high-quality, impactful events that drive meaningful connections and partnerships.

 

A Celebration of Success

 

Partnering with Vario Productions for the 2024 U.S.-Africa Business Summit was a strategic decision that led to a successful and impactful event. Vario Productions provided comprehensive support and expert guidance, ensuring a seamless execution that exceeded the client’s expectations. The Summit not only facilitated important connections and discussions but also marked significant milestones in U.S.-Africa trade relations.

 

Testimonial

 

Partner With Vario

From ideation to execution, we’re with you every step of the way. Consider us an extension of your team and let’s explore all that we can accomplish together.

We would love to answer your questions through email, phone, or a scheduled discovery consultation.