The conferencing industry historically has always been about groups of people from diverse backgrounds and even different geographical locations coming together to share and communicate ideas. Conferences offer a high potential to advance a particular cause or idea and a conference is a unique opportunity for innovation due to the vast melting pot of expertise and interest.
In order to achieve this goal of creating a knowledge melting pot, international researchers and practitioners to share their knowledge and expertise are drawn from different fields of work and of course relevant to the theme of the conference. These experts are contracted from within the country, other African countries and quite often beyond Africa. Delegates in conferences in the same manner are drawn from within the country, around the continent of Africa and beyond.
The fundamental mechanism in arranging these conferences involves traveling to host venues and cities. A big factor in traveling is the health and well-being of delegates and expert speakers. It goes without saying that the world and the African continent has recently sat on the edge due to the global burden of the deadly Ebola virus and its complications as an emerging pandemic.
The conferencing industry has without a shadow of doubt been one business sector which has heavily been affected by this pandemic. This is because medical research has established that the Ebola virus is spread through physical contact and exchange of bodily fluids. This health research fact has hampered on the cornerstone and fundamental mechanism of the conferencing industry which is about different groups of people meeting and being in physical contact through traveling and even engaging in progressive discourse.
Due to the Ebola outbreak and as a control measure, a number of airlines have cancelled flights to affected regions, immigration and border controls have also seen a great shift, in some counties even the normal meeting of groups of people has been discouraged as a health precaution.
The Ebola virus has therefore become a social, humanitarian and economic crisis and because the conferencing industry encompasses all of these, the impact has been huge and detrimental to this key economic and social sector.