SA is about to host its first investment conference to stimulate investment in the country. I am not typically a fan of conferences, but in the past month I have been exposed to two global events — the Bloomberg conference hosted by Michael Bloomberg in New York, and Saudi Arabia’s conference, or rather its programme, as I opted not to attend in a small gesture of protest. I am not sure of the programme of the SA conference, but much can be learned from other countries about hosting such conferences. First, one needs to identify the target audience. Typically, it is divided into three groups: domestic investors, international investors and the media. Different things are important to different audiences. Second, a healthy dose of entertainment never hurts, people being people. Internationally, the “entertainment” angle is provided by inviting political and financial “celebrities” to speak, either through keynote addresses or via panel discussions. Bloomberg chose to host his confere...

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