If you consider yourself creative, names like Cool Capital and Hello Ambassador should already feature in your conversations with your like-minded friends, and if you’ve never heard of them it’s time you pull your eyes away from your computer’s screen and venture beyond the confines of your studio.
This year’s event incorporated a street festival, an after party and a creative expo which showcased the design competition’s winning peace by Tuks fine arts student Izak Buys. However, it is the speaker line-up that really defines this event and easily justifies the ticket price.
The presentations ranged from advertising agency CEOs speaking about the business of design right down to sessions with local photographers telling their own success stories. MTV Base channel director Tim Horwood gave a presentation on the expanding music scene in Africa, and Ogilvy CEO Abey Mokgwatsane provided insight into the business of marketing, ending with an interesting quote: “The big are not always going to eat the small, but the fast will always eat the slow.”
On the other side of the spectrum was designer Louis Minnaar who presented a powerful personal story that highlighted the stress, anxiety and emotional trauma that so often accompanies the deadlines of designs brief. The tension that existed from the broad range of presentation made for a gripping two-day conference that never left one bored from repetition. Of course, no conference is complete without a bit of humour. Comedian Kagiso Lediga gave an explicit 10 minute satirical narrative on the finer aspects of farting in public.
After two days of solid creative input only one question was left unanswered: “Where are all the people?” Despite trending on Twitter on both days, the venue barely reached 50% capacity and this was definitely not due to lack of quality. Hello Ambassador has undoubtedly curated a conference that deserves a “sold out” banner on its door. Fortunately, it will be coming back next year to offer even more creative inspiration and motivation.
Artwork at the expo. Photo: Henry Engelbrecht