The Johannesburg Expo Centre, parent of the newly created Joburg Easter Festival, has bought back the Rand Show brand from Kagiso Media, which purchased it from the centre in 2000. The deal, concluded late Friday 16 January 2009, follows a decision by Kagiso Media to wind down its wholly owned Kagiso Exhibitions & Events (KEE) subsidiary through the disposal of its assets and trading entities and will see the show incorporated into the festival.
Raymond H Burke, Expo Centre shareholder and chairman of Dogan Trading; Murphy Morobe, chairman of Kagiso Exhibitions & Events and CEO of Kagiso Media, and Craig Newman, CEO of Expo Centre.
This will allegedly create the largest exhibition show of its kind in the southern hemisphere. “The Rand Show will be fully incorporated into the Joburg Easter Festival,” said Expo Centre shareholder Raymond Burke, “creating an annual entertainment and lifestyle mecca unlike anything seen before in South Africa.”
The Joburg Easter Festival will take place for the first time 3 - 13 April 2009 at the Johannesburg Exhibition Centre, Nasrec, Gauteng. Billed as a replacement event at the Expo Centre, following the end of the Rand Show's tenure there, the latter was to be relocated to Gallagher Estate.
“In the best interests”
Commented Murphy Morobe, chairperson of KEE and CEO of Kagiso Media, “We believe the deal to sell the Rand Show brand to the Johannesburg Expo Centre is in the best interests of the South African exhibition industry, as it will eliminate confusion among both exhibitors and visitors. Furthermore, the Rand Show in its current format is custom-designed for the Expo Centre venue, so it can be staged without any disruption to the exhibitor and visitor base over the Easter holidays.
“We are delighted that we have been able to conclude this deal with Kagiso Media as the Johannesburg Expo Centre has been the traditional site for the Rand Show since 1984 when it moved from Milpark, under the ownership of the Witwatersrand Agricultural Society,” added the CEO of Expo Centre, Craig Newman.
According to Burke, the innovations planned for the Easter Festival, coupled with the traditional fare of the 114-year old Rand Show, strikes the perfect balance between legacy, innovation and continued category leadership.
The Joburg Easter Festival will comprise in excess of 120 000m2 of expos, including new, super-sized shows in themed halls that include a dedicated children's entertainment area, outdoor and leisure, digital and technology zone, home living, an international exhibit and the first sport show staged in over a decade. “Favourites such the international food festival, the fun fair and other aspects of the Rand Show that has generated more than a century's festival legacy will be included,” added Burke.
Christened the Joburg Easter Festival, incorporating the Rand Show, the event is expected to attract in excess of 250 000 visitors. Burke said that a fresh approach to the event will enhance the visitor experience. “Months of planning and re-imageneering have delivered an event pitch that will appeal to a wider audience and result in an upmarket event and a new platform mix of entertainment and exhibitions - a great day out for the family.”
Largest outdoor film festival
Beyond the smorgasbord of exhibitions, a host of entertainment is planned, ranging from favourites to new additions. The Joburg Easter Festival will feature what should be the largest outdoor film festival in South Africa, several music shows, an arts festival, workshops, carnival processions and dedicated entertainment and informational sessions in all sector specific expo halls. The creative exhibition will also feature, for the first time, a collection of artists, artisans and innovation showcasing by small businesses and creative entrepreneurs among others.
“The event is benchmarked against new-generation events like the Dubai International Show,” explained Burke, “and will remain unrivalled in its magnitude.”
Burke believes that the incorporation of the two brands will also contribute significantly to regional tourism. “Major cities globally have all crafted unique events that reflect the identity of citizens. Rio de Janeiro has its carnival; New Orleans the Mardis Gras and Johannesburg now hosts the Joburg Easter Festival. We aim to establish the new brand as one of the city's annual calendar highlights, attracting local, regional, national and international visitors.”
He said that, of the expected visitor count, organisers expect a significant percentage to originate regionally while national and international attendance presents large growth opportunities.
The Nasrec precinct, centre of the 2010 universe, recently underwent massive regeneration, with some R60 million invested in upgrades and refurbishment at the Johannesburg Expo Centre alone in conjunction with the 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the City of Johannesburg. This includes installation of high-tech IT systems required for ultra high speed communication transmission and extensive landscaping.
2010 International Broadcasting Centre
The Expo Centre will serve as the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) during the world cup, with more than 2500 of the media representatives expected to deliver the event to a viewership of more than 30 billion. It offers 80 000m2 of outdoor and 45 000 m2 of indoor exhibition space, along with 20 000 secure parking bays.
Said Newman, “The Johannesburg Expo Centre, through Dogan Trading, has entered the business of organising exhibitions and events with the staging of Automechanika South Africa and the co-hosted Joburg Transport Expo on March 18-21 and the Joburg Easter Festival the next month. The Expo Centre has plans to progressively increase the number of exhibitions and events it owns and operates.”
As for Kagiso Media, according to Morobe, “through an in-house activations and new-business opportunities capability, [it] will continue to pursue a number of dynamic opportunities in the events arena that are more aligned to the revenue generation interests of Kagiso Media and the Kagiso Group as a whole.
“These will include various opportunities around the FIFA 2010 World Cup. To this end we intend to maintain appropriate capacity necessary to continue with the implementation of these specific initiatives and fulfillment of other existing contractual obligations,” he concluded.
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