Hot on the heels of a highly successful 2019 Rand Show and with planning for Rand Show 2020 already well under way, the Rand Show management team have just revealed an ace up their sleeve. An ace by the name of Didi Okoro, their newly appointed Sales Manager.
With a passion for media and sponsorship sales that started in 2005, Didi joins the Rand Show team with 15 years of hands on industry experience. A founding member of boutique media house Contact Media, she started off as part of the sales team and rapidly rose through the ranks to become Head of Sales. After launching and managing several high-profile titles, Didi’s creative influence truly came to the fore on The Afropolitan magazine, one of South Africa’s premier black business and lifestyle magazines. Didi’s vision and creativity assisted Contact Media in developing The Afropolitan into a brand that now boasts global recognition, and led to her developing Afro Nights, a music inspired event that celebrated being an Afropolitan, which she successfully ran for five years. From there Didi decided that she wanted to strengthen her digital media knowledge and joined digital communications agency, TouchBasePro, where she cut her teeth on all things digital for a year before joining the Rand Show.
This remarkable young woman is a force to be reckoned with and has big plans for Rand Show 2020. We took some time to get to know Didi and get her take on this exciting new challenge.
Why are you excited to take on this new challenge?
DO: This for me is a dream role. I have always loved events and the adrenalin rush that comes with them. Rand Show is clearly the front runner of events in terms of size and is so close to a lot of our hearts because of the memories most of us have from it. I cannot wait to not only apply everything I have learnt over the years, but I am also so excited to learn truck loads more from this great team that I am joining. The most thrilling part for me, is the fact that I came on just as we began the rebranding and repositioning of the brand, and I can’t wait to be a part of this change that is going to blow away the City of Johannesburg.
The Rand Show has been around for many years, do you have any personal memories that you’d like to share?
DO: My first memory of Rand Show is from 1990, as a 12-year-old girl, when I travelled out of town alone for the first time with my friend and her mum to come to the Rand Show. I remember being super excited about all these wonderful things to see and do, and after the show was over it almost felt like I had travelled overseas. From there I would visit the show as young adult again on a number of occasions with my mum and sisters. To date my mum remains a die-hard Rand Show fan. My goal for Rand Show 2020 is to leave visitors with that same wonderment which I felt decades ago, to truly leave them feeling like they’ve never experienced anything better.
What are your thoughts about women in this industry?
DO: Women in this industry are a force to be reckoned with and I have met the most inspirational and amazing leaders in my time, who happen to be women. We are not in a competition with men, there is simply too much work to be done, so why lose focus on something like that. We are proud to be strong, smart, intelligent and knowledgeable women, and with these traits, backed by passion and drive, our focus is always on the job at hand and doing it to best of our ability.
What are you hoping to achieve in 2020 for the Rand Show?
DO: Firstly, let me say, we will always appreciate our past exhibitors and remain loyal to them. However, the demographic of South Africa has changed over the last 125 years and the things that our core target market is interested in has changed with it. I hope to succeed at embracing this change through my strategy of attracting new and exciting exhibitors, new and exciting activations and just an all-round reigniting of excitement in the Rand Show through our offering.
Finally, why should people visit Rand Show 2020?
DO: Let me start by saying – the rand show is for you not for us. That is why we have gone through the aggressive rebranding and repositioning of the Rand Show. One of the most exciting additions is our new eight themed zones which will allow consumers to go straight for what excites them. The Zones will host everything, from the Kids Play Zone, Gaming Zone, Lifestyle Zone, Motoring Zone, to the all-new Foodie Zone, all of which are an experience not to be missed. Rand Show 2020 is earmarked to be the best show we have had in over a century, and there will be something to delight every member of the family. With the show now shortened and jampacked into six days, we can only hope you will be able to visit all the Zones and stands, because there is going to be so much to see and discover, every Zone will be better than the next. The Rand Show is not a trade show…come connect, make memories and discover something new. You will not regret it. See you at there, at #myrandshow!