2 Jun 2016

Meeting, collaborating and forging partnerships - networking at East Africa Com 2016

By Sarah Nemeth - VIP Relations Executive, KNect365 at Informa

Last month’s East Africa Com in Nairobi served as a central hub for the East African tech and telecommunications community to engage in discussion, collaborate and grow their business network.

Throughout the years, East Africa Com has evolved into the must-attend forum for the East African ICT and telecommunications industry. As such, East Africa Com prides itself on being the region’s number one networking platform. Our conference attendees are among some of the biggest and most prestigious international enterprises, such as: Unilever, Kenya Airways, National Bank of Kenya, the BBC, DHL and KenGen. Also in attendance were government entities like the Kenya Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Kenyan Ministry of ICT and the United Nations.  

As varied as the attendees and the topics up for discussion this year, so was the vast array of networking opportunities to choose from. The platforms available ranged from an exclusive VIP dinner, speed networking sessions, a networking pool-side after party sponsored by icolo.io, as well as pre-arranged one-to-one introductions.

“Networking receptions are very well received in East Africa – it is a very enthusiastic environment”
Penuel Ongwae - CIO, Nestle Kenya


The evening prior to the event saw our VIP guests, speakers and sponsors join the East Africa team for a VIP dinner comprised of exquisite food and engaging conversation. The dinner reception was privately held at the Radisson Blu Hotel and attended by C-level telecommunication operators such as: Safaricom, Zantel and Tigo, alongside industry analyst Ovum. The leading event sponsors such as Papersoft, Huawei and SES were also among our VIP attendees. The dinner served to introduce all our VIP guests and sponsors in a relaxed environment ahead of the busy 2 day conference.

“The East Africa Com 2016 VIP dinner presented a great networking opportunity for me. We had great conversations on the themes and topics of the conference.The crowd at the dinner event was just awesome”
Danson Njue
- Research Analyst, Ovum
 
A key feature of Informa events is the executive speed networking feature, which is held over both days of the conference. These sessions have proved to be one of our most popular interaction opportunities because it allows VIP guests, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors to network in an informal but structured setting. Speed networking gives company decision-makers, investors, start-ups, government leaders and vendors the opportunity to meet and introduce their businesses and services in short, timed sessions. If buyers and sellers find eachother’s offerings attractive, they have a chance to exchange business cards and meet again later in the day for an extended one-on-one discussion.
“Speed Networking facilitates business opportunities – some of the biggest industry projects have grown over the years through contacts made during the sessions at our events”

“The opportunity to meet and interact with solution providers that are creating future-shaping technologies has opened my eyes to new possibilities we as a telco could explore, to serve our customers better and grow our business.”

Marta Paiar - Head of Sales Transformation, Safaricom

We continuously strive to optimize the networking offerings at our events and understand our audience better. In co-operation with icolo.io we introduced the networking pool-side after party on the evening of the first day. This party, which was open to all conference attendees and partners, was a huge success and was attended by over 300 event guests.


At events such as East Africa Com we ensure our VIP guests and sponsors meet their target audience by offering tailored and pre-arranged one-to-one meetings with their preferred audience from the telecommunication and digital technology sector. Unlike the short session offered at speed networking, the one-to-one sessions are in-depth private meetings. This networking feature gives both parties the chance to discuss future projects and cooperation in detail behind closed doors.
“East Africa Com was a great opportunity to network with some of the most important Kenyan telco and IT players. The meetings arranged by Informa were excellent and very relevant. We will take some great new contacts, conversations and ideas home with us”
Gonçalo Barata - Marketing Manager, Papersoft
The networking opportunities offered at East Africa Com this year were the most successful in the event’s history. The VIP relations team facilitated 450+ onsite meetings. We are delighted that the new networking functions such as the VIP dinner and the networking pool-side after party were so well received by the conference attendees. Based on the great success this year we look forward to further extending our networking offer in the coming years.

If you would like to learn more about networking opportunities at East Africa Com or any other Com World Series event, please get in contact with Sarah Nemeth, VIP Relations Executive at Informa here.