The first-ever Showbiz, Entertainment & Arts Expo (SEAexpo), that takes place in Johannesburg in September, is set to steer South Africa's inter-related creative industries towards global standards and trends. The SEAexpo will include advancements in technology, which has a tremendous impact on the growth potential of these industries.
The 2014 SEAexpo, which is part of the Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival, will be the very first of its kind for the showbiz, entertainment and arts industry in South Africa. It is endorsed by the Department of Arts and Culture as an advocate for the 'Mzansi Golden Economy' strategy which aims to streamline the cultural industry as one of the economic drivers.
SEAexpo will take place on 9 and 10 September 2014 at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg. The expo will include a two-day conference which will see invigorating talks from industry influencers and thought leaders who will discuss the role of creative industries on the economic stage. Among the headline speakers is international trailblazer, playwright, director, choreographer and business executive - Welcome Msomi.
"We are happy to see that government has taken a leading role in spearheading the arts and culture sector as an important economic engine that is productive and one that can sustain the livelihoods of South Africans. It must be promoted and cherished," said SEAexpo marketing manager Thabo Maleka.
"The sector has to also adapt to cater for technological challenges. People can now download films and music instead of going to cinemas and frequenting retailers. The South African industries have to develop attractive services to grow their customer bases," he said.
Consulting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers' Global Media Outlook 2010-2014 predicted that the entertainment and media industries will grow substantially regardless of threats to their traditional print, television and film markets. Has this been realised? What are the challenges? The firm believes that the main challenge for the South African creative industry is "the lack of co-ordination of development activities in the sector as a result of weak organisational base, fragmented activities and a lack of reliable data, which forces this young industry to remain unstable".
The creative industry is also a non-traditional sector, built around a freelance and part-time work structure, forcing many creative people to be dependent on income from other employment. The way in which talented people find work and how project runners struggle to find talent will be tackled at SEAexpo.
"We are starting the conversation and we are connecting industry professionals and businesses with new opportunities. We want this event to be Africa's premium thought leadership exhibition and conference show for the creative industries," said Peter Sibeko, MD of C-Major Productions, the company behind 2014 SEAexpo.
With the support of the right stakeholders, the SEAexpo will mobilise economic growth for creative industries, instil innovation and drive business productivity. This inaugural two-day event promises to make the right change. The event is proudly supported by Proudly South African, the City of Johannesburg, South African Tourism, the South African Association of Creative Industries and Musikmag.
Exhibition opportunities are still available at the 2014 SEAexpo. Interested parties can email or call 011 794 8453/6475. Entrance is free for all visitors who pre-register online at www.seaexpoafrica.com/visitors. For all those who do not pre-register, entrance fee is as follows:
Adults R50; Students R30 (student card is required); Pensioners R30 and Children under 12
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