What’s a festival without a gathering? A discussion with Johannesburg In Your Pocket

Looking for the recording of our panel discussion – Can domestic tourism live up to expectations? Please find our blog post and full recording of the domestic tourism discussion here!

Social distancing is now no longer a buzzword it is a daily reality, so large gatherings such as festivals may well be off the cards for some time. This means that arts, culture and entertainment is now only accessible online, presenting unique challenges and opportunities for the performance of culture.

As part of our new series of online panel discussions with Joburg’s tourism and hospitality industry, on Tuesday June 30 we sat down with the organisers of some of South Africa’s biggest festivals to ask: what next for festivals in an era of social distancing?

Joining in the discussion was Rucera Seethal, Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival MakhandaOsmic Menoe, Founder of Back to the City Festival,  DJ Kenzhero, the creative heart of Obrigado Festival and co-owner of The Artivist and UntitledBasement venues, and Dawn Robertson, CEO of Constitution Hill, home of the Basha Uhuru and Afropunk Joburg festivals.

The focus is on how these festival organisers are navigating the new entirely digital cultural world as they have taken their festivals online; how they have maintained and reached out to new audiences; the skills needed for this digital future; and how future festivals might look.

Key topics covered in this panel discussion

THE NEED TO UPSKILL To be successful in the rapidly growing online events space it is essential to devote time to developing new skills. What new digital skills should you be pursuing and how can you upskill yourself online?

CONNECTING WITH AN ONLINE AUDIENCE How can you make a digital event stand out as having a unique value for audiences? How can you connect with your audience before, during and after online events to ensure they remain engaged with the experience?

FINDING NEW AUDIENCES THROUGH ONLINE PLATFORMS How can virtual events be used as a platform for finding and growing new audiences, both locally and internationally, and make the most of the global tourism potential of local culture?

PROFITABILITY AND PAYMENT MODELS Can you make audiences pay for online experiences when they have become used to getting so much online for free? Is corporate sponsorship a realistic model for keeping online events profitable or can you rely on the loyalty of your audience?

HYBRID EVENTS When the world is allowed to gather at events again how will digital events merge with physical ones? How will a ‘hybrid’ virtual festival with a physical component unfold?

POSITIVE IMPACTS OF DISRUPTION The events and entertainment industry is set to change forever. What opportunities can be found within this rapidly changing space that mixes virtual and physical experiences? How can you use this digital reset to create a new online presence for your brand?

Watch the full panel discussion online here

Catch up on our previous panel discussion webinars!

In May we launched our Johannesburg In Your Pocket webinar series, talking to tourism and hospitality businesses about what it is like to operate during these strange times, and how to prepare for a future tourism landscape where social distancing will be the norm.

EPISODE 1: Life inside a quarantine hotel with the team from Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centrein Fourways, Johannesburg.

EPISODE 2: How to add restaurants back to the menu with David Higgs (Marble, Saint), Saul Mervis (The Grillhouse restaurants) and Sakhumzi Maqubela (Sakhumzi Restaurant).

EPISODE 3: What’s a tour guide without tourists? Guiding through a locked-down city with Gerald Garner and Charlie Moyo of JoburgPlaces, Kennedy Tembo of Microadventure Tours and Jo Buitendach of Past Experiences.

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