Event Date: 30 September 2020


The challenge

BirdLife South Africa has for about 15 years held physical Bird Fairs, initially at the Johannesburg Zoo and latterly at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden.

These have been very popular and they have been an important activity on the calendar of Gauteng birders.

Due to Covid-19, BirdLife South Africa decided to have a virtual event in 2020.

Of course, because it was to be virtual, they were able to have a truly African event. They secured the support of many South African organisations and a growing number who work across the continent.

We are using an amazing platform which will allow a range of people to present both pre-recorded and live talks.

There will also be discussions, interviews, demonstrations and even a quiz. We will also have many exhibitors, from bird tour operators and bird clubs to optic companies and bird feeder manufacturers.

– BirdLife South Africa


96 469 Page Views

1 562 delegates

137 535 sponsor and exhibitor banner impressions.

982 messages sent between delegates.

The Why

BLSA’s goals was an opportunity to shake the event

  • Bring birders from around the world together to
    experience the first ever virtual birding fair.
  • Connect attendees with their peers to encourage
    sharing knowledge.
  • Encompass all aspects of a face-to-face event into a
    completely virtual experience.
  • Give attendees the ability to bid on exciting items.
  • Live morning safaris.
  • Show BirdLife South Africa as a forward‐thinking and
    innovative non-profit organization.
  • Exciting art galleries.


Activity Feed

Ever wanted a social experience without having to link to social media?

The event app can do that.

By allowing delegates to post photos and comments on the app, engagement was increased and excitement levels increased throughout the event, all from the privacy of the app.


The event app gives the ability to give instant feedback, either to show to the audience, or as insights for the speakers. Answers can be anonymous, or tracked to a user.

This allows both honest and anonymous feedback, or direct feedback which you can help an individual with.

To the team at BirdLife South Africa, the presenters, the speakers, you have made an amazing day”. Thank you all so much. We are looking forward to the next Virtual Bird Fair.

– Sybil Regan

The African Bird Fair has truly come of age with this, South Africa, Africa and the world. I am in awe of what the team pulled off. Brilliant!

– Mel Tripp

BirdLife South Africa’s Senior Marketing Advisor

Well done on a super virtual Bird Fair! I was amazed at the quality of presentations and format – truly amazing for a first attempt.

– Henk Nel



When moving from a physical event, held at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden to hosting a virtual event, the initial hurdles of interaction morphed into possibilities of a country-wide event. South Africa wasn’t enough, and it morphed quickly to include many countries in Africa and beyond.

– “Many congratulations on the Virtual Bird Fair, it was a great idea and well executed. I thought the early morning game drives were brilliant, and the sessions I attended were all excellent.”

– Nick Prentice
Former Treasurer of BirdLife International

What an absolutely fabulous day. If there were any glitches they didn’t happen while I was on-line. It was super-slick. I do think that this lockdown experience may have propelled us into a whole new way of doing many things. Peter Harrison’s presentation reduced me to tears, again.”

– Yvonne Pennington

BirdLife South Africa Board Member