About Us

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EXSA (the Exhibition & Events Association of Southern Africa) was formed in 1980 and has grown since then with three active Forums covering Venues; Organisers; and Suppliers/Services to the industry. There has never been a ‘School for Exhibitions’, until now.

The EXSA Academy has been formed by two exhibition industry stalwarts who recognised the urgent need to up-skill industry employees and employers and thus comply with all events legislation, requiring all companies in the field to be experienced, trained and qualified.  The EXSA Academy has been fully endorsed by EXSA.


Sue Gannon







Sue started her career in exhibitions in 1975 with De Beers’ Diamond Promotion Service and the Jewellex Exhibitions where they held mini-expos all over the country.  She then ran the SA Antique Dealers Association for over 10 years as well as organising their annual exhibitions in Cape Town, Joburg and Durban.  In 1993 Sue joined the consumer exhibition Decorex SA where she ultimately headed up their portfolio of three annual shows.  Sue has also been involved in publishing and owned the elite bridal magazine “Femme Bride”.  Over the years she has been a part of SA Fashion Week;  the Good Food & Wine Show;  Wedding Expo;  Rooms on View;  Cape a la Carte; and many of the Topco major awards evenings.   Sue headed up EXSA as their General Manager for over six years.


Joy Donovan


Managing Director of Lester Donovan Group (Pty) Ltd., trading as ExpoExpertise. Joy started in the exhibition industry in 1972 designing and building stands and organising exhibitions. Since then, she has organised over 200 exhibitions, built hundreds of stands and trained over 8000 exhibitors. Joy was a founder member of EXSA in 1980 and served on their Executive Committee for many years. In 1980 Joy also developed a passion for skills development and  went on to qualify as a SAQA-registered facilitator, assessor, moderator and earned her Hons. Degree in Event Management from UCT in 2012.