The successful planning and hosting of the SASTA Congress results from the dedication and commitment of the members of the COC, together with a capable and professional conference organising partner. Turners Conferences and SASTA Congress have been a good fit and much credit is due to Turners for anticipating and acting on the various requests through the planning of the 2017 SASTA Congress.
The planning of the 2017 SASTA Congress began in earnest in December 2016 when Paul Schorn and Warren Lawlor drafted the exhibition floor plan and the exhibitor and sponsor prospectus. A breakfast launch was organised for prospective exhibitors in March 2017. The sale of the exhibition stands and sponsorship for the event helps SASTA to keep the registration fee at an affordable rate. SASTA hosts the breakfast to thank the exhibitors and sponsors for their continued support and to give them the early bird opportunity to book their favourite exhibition stand for the next congress.
We received a record number of paper and poster submissions for this year’s congress. The Editor-in-Chief (Dr Deborah Sweby) and the Factory Editor (Natasha Sharma) had their hands full putting the various papers through their paces, while the SASTA Secretariat (Danile Macdonald) fulfilled her role in coordinating this process. There will be additional parallel sessions on Day 2 of this year’s congress due to a full programme resulting from the high number of paper submissions. SASTA delegates will need to study the programme and quicken their step so that they can get to the various sessions of interest.
There is a late start on Day 1 of congress to allow delegates to register, collect their 90th Congress commemorative gift and the specially chosen congress bag. There will also be time for coffee and a chat as you meet up with old friends and new comers to the industry.
You will not go hungry during this year’s congress. A menu was crafted to meet and excite everyone’s taste buds. Alana Patton has planned the menu for congress. Patton and I met with the ICC chef in order to ensure that every dish on the menu is prepared according to SASTA’s exacting standards. We trust that you will enjoy the various snacks and meals during the course of congress.
We take note of every comment, suggestion, compliment and criticism so that we can continue to improve the quality of the SASTA Congress. Please send us your feedback from your experiences at the 2017 SASTA Congress.
I would like to thank everyone on the SASTA COC for working tirelessly through the year in order to ensure the success of the 90th Annual SASTA Congress.
Dr Sumita Ramgareeb
SASTA COC Chairman