Hello Ambassador 2013 was hosted over two days within the belly of the State Theatre in Pretoria’s CBD. It featured CEOs of advertising companies, film makers, architects, fashion designers, event promoters and assorted progressive-minded liberals. Needless to say there was a treasure trove of information open for devouring by those who turned up, which seemed to be just over the one hundred persons mark on the Friday and grew to about fifty more persons on the Saturday.
The presentations featured a wide range of topics, from general presentations about the artist and the work they have done and love, the shifting face of modern advertising and the ever prominent place of the creative within it, technology’s relationship with music, a history of one of the most beloved dance music promoters in South Africa and discussing the emergence of a New Wave of modern South African cinema.
As such some presentations were much more substantial than others and one could plainly see those who were comfortable with public speaking, as such the stand out lectures came from Sibs Shongwe-la Mer, Giuseppe Russo, Ryan McManus, Johan Auriacombe, Xolisa Dyeshana and Peach van Pletzen. All in all there was boundless creativity and innovation was shown by the speakers, each making it well known just why they are so prominent in their respective fields. All this was nestled between stalls run by local creatives selling their wares, from fashion, artistic prints, photography and mesmerizingly lifelike sketches done in Bic pen.
There was even a Hello Ambassador Street Festival which drew out conference attenders and spectators from Church Square while they got to watch bands and dance crews perform. Hello Ambassador is just one of the initiatives that is turning Pretoria into the Cool Capital that it should be and getting people back into the CBD. I have no doubt that Pretoria is going to top whatever happened to Johannesburg’s inner city.
I will note that this event could have been better attended and that where you step up your game. Hello Ambassador is going to progress on a level that will make it one of Pretoria’s finest offerings and you should want to be part of that. And maybe we’ll be on a level that will see us speaking at the conference one day.
Hello Ambassador was a true gathering of some of South Africa’s best talent, a gathering that I think has been long overdue, and I hope spawns many more similar to this, furthering cross-pollination of minds and the creation of a strong community between the up and coming creative leaders and the public.