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08 October 2021 17:02

Cape Town Recovers Event Industry

Cape Town Recovers Event Industry

With Star Wars fans gathering, live sketch battles, conference on creative industry, Cape Town, a leading events destination in Africa, is seeing "a great indication" of recovery in its events industry after it suffered a blow from the COVID-19 pandemic and restriction measures against it.

Betweeen October 1 and October 5, events including an animation festival, comic conference, creative industry week, were held in South Africa's legislative capital Cape Town, the first time the city has events for five consecutive days since the outbreak of COVID-19, according to Cape Town's Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith, adding that it shows that the events industry is starting to "emerge from the decline."

The coastal city in the southwestern tip of the country was awarded the number one city in Africa for business events by International Congress and Convention Association for the period 2010-2019, and won World's Leading Festival & Event Destination of World Travel Awards for several times in recent years. Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) alone hosted over 500 national and international events a year before the pandemic.

Carol Weaving, managing director of global events organizer Reed Exhibition (RX)'s South Africa branch, predicted that events in South Africa like conferences, small trade shows are going to recover quickly after the South African government further relaxed COVID-19 restrictions last week, including on the number of people who attend a gathering.

However, it could take two years for the industry to fully recover, she told Xinhua during an event of Fame Week Africa, a three-day event about the creative industry in Africa that concluded on Tuesday.
"In 2022, you will probably see things down by 25 percent from 2019. But it will recover," she said.

Events can reunite an industry sector and stimulate business, what is "absolutely" needed, said Weaving, adding that they serve as platforms for buyers and sellers, facilitating trade.
"It is the quickest way to reunite an industry sector, bringing people together and start the whole process," she said.

In her opinion, people, after experienced a shutdown of live events, are desperate for entertainment and have already had fatigue about digital events, and for the creative industry, live events are very important to get this industry back in track.

Noel Daniels, CEO of Cornerstone Institute, a non-profit private higher education institution which offers qualifications in the arts, said for the creative industry having digital events only are not sustainable, which in all shapes and sides has been "badly affected" by the pandemic.

"We can't be sitting behind the screen or glued to a television set or a big screen day after day," he said. Daniels also emphasized the importance of the arts in people's life, saying that "they have to recover."



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