BY: Madelein Jansen SAAFoST KZN & Local Organising committee chair
SAAFoST (South African Association for Food Science and Technology) presents its Biennial Congress, and it is the KZN Branch’s turn to host this prestigious event.
Not knowing what the future will hold, in September of 2020 a decision was made by the KZN Local Organising Committee to offer the 24th Biennial Congress on a virtual platform.
Learning from other’s mistakes
Many factors were considered prior to selecting the virtual platform, but ease of use and being able to intuitively navigate the website were the two most important considerations. Since COVID-19 forced the world into various levels of lockdown, many events were converted into virtual events, and with SAAFoST Congress only due in September 2021, the organisation had the luxury of learning from other’s mistakes.
New and novel opportunities
In its journey to find the right service provider for the virtual congress, the organisation realised that going virtual offers many new and novel opportunities that previously would not have been possible. The most significant being the ability to draw many international speakers from various FMCG and Academic institutions. For a face-to-face congress, one of the many benefits is the ability to network, to catch up with old friends and previous colleagues (the Food industry in SA is only so big after all) So in the trade-off, SAAFoST believes delegates to the SAAFoST Virtual Platform will find new knowledge, value, enjoy the entertainment and make new connections.