Africa’s top Travel Show goes high tech with Indaba Connect

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poken indaba connect 2014

Africa’s grandest tourism marketing event, INDABA 2014, kicked-off on Saturday with an energetic opening ceremony led by inspiring words from South African Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima, eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo and Tourism MEC for Kwa-Zulu Natal Mike Mabuyakhulu; whilst popular South African Afro-pop group Mafikizolo passionately entertained the excited the crowd.

In his speech, Van Schalkwyk highlighted how tourism in Africa will experience fundamental and profound change in the industry: “I am convinced that, 20 years from now, history books telling the story of tourism on our continent will describe how a modernized and truly pan-African INDABA has been one of those pivots that helped us to take tourism to the next level on our continent.”

And helping “Africa’s Top Travel Show” to achieve a more modernized INDABA this year is the INDABA Tech Zone, which explores the power of digital technology and how it’s moving the tourism industry forward in Africa. Aside from Tech Exhibitors who are showcasing exclusive digital tourism products and services that are unique to Africa; all delegates have been sporting a Poken device around their necks for the last three days that aims to ease the networking experience through a simple touch.

Photo courtesy POKEN

Photo courtesy POKEN

How INDABA CONNECT’s Poken device works

Say no more to sorting hundreds of business cards after massive events such as INDABA 2014 where networking is really the core reason of attending. Poken, a USB device that resembles an outstretched hand, serves as a digital replacement for your physical business card.

According to Poken’s website, “Poken is also an instant ice breaker and a conversation starter that will improve your networking experience by letting you share a richer snapshot of who you are in a very simple and fun way.”

By registering your basic contact information online and opting to include social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, your unique digital details are stored in the USB device and will only be exchanged with someone else when tapped together through NFC technology.

When you touch your Poken to another Poken, it will glows a brilliant green, which confirms that you’ve just collected a digital object or exchanged your contact details and social networking information with another person.

INDABA CONNECT aims to facilitate long-term and meaningful connections; and the light-weight Poken USB device creates a common platform to communicate even well after INDABA 2014 concludes Monday evening.

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SUSAN WONG

Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

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