When the words ‘Rand Easter Show’ are uttered by anyone, nostalgia and great childhood memories immediately come flooding in, depending on when you were born of course. Following a two year hiatus, the event officially returned this year and despite being mired by nonstop rainfall throughout the days it took place, the Rand Easter Show was a welcome sight and a great experience for those who were lucky enough to be part of it, us included.
This year’s spectacle saw the return of its Rand Show Live Music Concertwhich afforded families the opportunity to enjoy the event picnic-style while being entertained by some of Mzansi’s top music artists including Shekinah, TKZee, Mafikizolo, AKA and much more.
Among all the rainfall – delirious screams (due to the various rollercoasters and wild rides) and festivities – we got the opportunity to catch-up with the event’s CEO, Adele Hartdegen who was kind enough to entertain some of the burning questions we had:
First of all, congratulations on pulling this year’s event together, how has the organisation been different from previous years especially taking into account all the COVID-19 procedures?
The organisation of the event for this year was challenging as our industry has been unable to operate for the last two years, this caused a loss of staff and suppliers which meant we had to put on a quality show with fewer team members. The COVID procedures posed a real challenge as we first awaited the relaxation of the Level 1 regulations and then the cancellation of the National State of Disaster.
The COVID regulations required us to do more planning and stricter controls on our event operating plan, additional costs were incurred for sanitising stations, increased cleaning intervals and COVID signage as well as additional team members to monitor compliance. As we operated under the new 50% venue capacity regulation we also had to create vaccination stations outside the gates, which to our delight people did use before entering the show.
What has the reception to this year’s event been like? Especially with all the rainfall to take into account?
The show was off to a great start on the Easter Friday with a warm sunny day and a great vibe in and around the venue, we still had good visitor traffic on Saturday and Sunday even though the rain and cold snap put a little damper on the excitement from Friday. Thankfully we had a lot of indoor activations and shopping areas this year which allowed visitors to still experience the show without being affected by the rain.
Was there a specific theme or anything that was different in this year’s event?
This year was a restart for the Rand Show, never in the history of the show was it not held for two years in a row. Since the last show in 2019, we were also acquired by an international company and this year’s show was managed and executed by an entirely new team. The overall theme was just to welcome families back to the show that they know and love. From the exhibition perspective, this year, in particular, we focused a lot on buying local – SMME’s need a platform to showcase their goods and have access to market, we in turn require these SMME’s to grow to create employment opportunities and boost the local economy. Rand Show is unique in its approach to offer a large trading platform to SMME’s.
What was your favourite thing about this year’s event?
The best part about the show is just walking in and around the event, seeing happy families enjoying music, entertainment, food and shopping. We really missed our visitors and exhibitors and seeing everyone getting back together makes everything we do worthwhile. Monitoring our online reviews and comments warms our hearts when people ask why we only have the show once a year and seeing how many people visited the show this year for more than one day as they could not see everything on offer on their first day.
For those that have never experienced it before, with a view to them attending next year’s event, could you explain what makes The Rand Show special?
The Rand Show just has a special vibe, from the moment you enter the gates you can feel the excitement in the air. The show is also a one of a kind event in Gauteng that offers something for families, young and old. The show covers so many fields of interest, from adrenalin filled MotorX, drifting experiences and helicopter flips, to cake decorating and entertainment for the kids with some of their favourite TV characters. The SANDF offers insight into their capabilities and equipment accompanied by a host of musical acts and food experiences on offer throughout the other outdoor areas in the show.
It was a pleasure to form part of this year’s spectacle, our thanks to both Adele as well as the organisers for the experience. We’re definitely looking forward to next year’s edition, hopefully with less rainfall!