Tribal Meetings to co-ordinate 8th International Aquarium Congress

4 March 2010 | Two Oceans Aquarium

Tribal Meetings has been appointed by the Two Oceans Aquarium as the official conference organiser for the 8th International Aquarium Congress (IAC) which will take place in Cape Town in September 2012. This decision was taken after intense scrutiny of the proposals received, and took into account a number of criteria such as black-economic empowerment credentials, hands-on management and experience.

“The opportunity for aquariums around the globe to bid for an IAC comes around once in 12 years. Depending on where they are situated, in that year they will be bidding either against all aquariums in the Americas, or all aquariums in Asia and Australasia, or all aquariums in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The chances of winning a bid are therefore remote. This puts into context the enormity of bringing this event to Cape Town and to South Africa. Unlike other conferences, the IAC is unlikely to occur again in this region for many, many years – if ever! It is, therefore, a great honour and a great privilege for the Two Oceans Aquarium to be hosting the IAC in Cape Town in 2012,” said Dr Patrick Garratt, Director of the Two Oceans Aquarium.

“We believe that Tribal Meetings is the best suited PCO [professional conference organiser] to meet our needs in producing an outstanding Congress and associated travel programmes, and we look forward to working with Muhammed Khan and his team to ensure that the Congress is an experience never to be forgotten.”

Khan proved to the Aquarium’s selection committee that his company’s extensive experience in conference organisation and co-ordination, infrastructural support and destination management would ensure a professional and highly successful 8th IAC. Further consideration was also given to the company’s commitment to social partnerships and its role in the upliftment of communities and the disadvantaged.

“I am always excited when South Africa, particularly Cape Town, wins the bid for a prestigious congress. We believe that the 8th International Aquarium Congress being hosted in Cape Town will bring a new element to this great event, not only by virtue of its location but also by the unique oceanic environments that the area has to offer. With this in mind, Tribal Meetings and its partners are committed to delivering the best congress ever!” said Khan.

The IAC takes place every four years and is a prestigious and vitally important event within the public aquarium industry worldwide. The Two Oceans Aquarium is proud to have won the bid to host this event. It will be the first time that the Congress is on the African continent and in the southern hemisphere.

The Congress will take place from 9 to 14 September 2012 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The 2008 Congress in Shanghai saw a record attendance of 700 delegates representing 290 institutions from 45 countries and regions. It is believed that the 2012 event will build on this record, with an anticipated attendance of between 500 and 800 delegates, 200 accompanying people and 100 exhibitors. The delegates represent a variety of public aquariums and scientific organisations from across the world.

It is an honour for the Two Oceans Aquarium to have been given the opportunity to host the 8th IAC. The Congress will give Cape Town and the Western Cape a platform to showcase the amazing marine diversity of Southern Africa to the world aquarium industry as well as to international scientific organisations.

For further information regarding the 2012 International Aquarium Congress and its planning, contact Jillian Grindley-Ferris on

  • Author: Two Oceans Aquarium
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