Talk to Marlyse MIENDA AMOR, Director of Operations of the Yaounde Conference Centre.
How are the events at the Conference Centre currently going?
With the onset of the pandemic in Cameroon and the obligation to respect the barrier measures prescribed by the government, the Conference Centre first suspended all scheduled events. Then, we proceeded to disinfect the premises. When the measures were relaxed, we chose some events that we could host. But for this, the Conference Centre took a series of measures, namely: the reduction of the number of seats in our rooms, the distance of one meter between the chairs, the compulsory hiring of the disinfection tunnel of our partner BOHEN and the wearing of the mask required at the entrance. Since the reinforcement of the Governmental measures on March 05, 2021, we require from our customers the presentation of the Authorization of Event delivered by the Subprefecture.
In this difficult context, we can imagine that the Conference Centre’s revenues have dropped…
Of course. Our main activity being the rental of rooms and spaces, our income has taken a serious hit. If we take as an example the blackout in January when we usually host New Year’s Eve ceremonies and Annual Conferences, you can see that this is a huge loss of income. In addition to weddings that had already been paid for in advance, there were no new reservations. On the contrary, we had several postponements or cancellations of events.
On the commercial side, what strategies are you putting in place to keep the Conference Centre alive?
We continue to follow up with the client after the event so that they can return when the barriers are lifted. In the lower part of the Conference Centre, we are continuing to develop the halls and outdoor areas for certain events. In the sense of improving the quality of service, we are continuing to think about packages, i.e. that the client can find everything on-site at the Conference Centre. We are communicating a little more on digital (WhatsApp & Facebook) to offer our services and inform our customers about the Conference Centre news. Our policy is to get a little closer to the customer and especially to be able to offer him quality services at very…democratic prices.
Interview by Michée Félix PEM