One thing that the COVID-19 lockdown has taught us is that no matter what hurdles may come our way, South Africans are innovative and resilient creatures. When the social distancing measures were first put in place there was an initial concern about how our sponsored annual and monthly events would continue to bring great minds together for knowledge sharing. However, the majority of event organisers (who are truly entrepreneurs at heart) were quick to take action and adapt with the aid of technology.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in South Africa, we were fortunate that the Standard Bank SME Summit went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, we weren’t as lucky with our other lined up big events. Women in Tech Africa and ECOM2020 were both postponed to dates later in the year with the hope that things would have died down by then. The organisers of DevConf, however, were determined to not let social distancing prevent the conference from happening. The event organisers teamed up with online live streaming platform Antfarm and communication platform Slack to facilitate a one-day virtual event that combined the Cape Town and Johannesburg events. A number of our own devs attended and had only great feedback about how it went (the event organisers were on the ball and organised Uber Eats meal vouchers for all attendees that can be redeemed post-lockdown, and have also arranged for their awesome swag bags to be delivered post-lockdown).
Future Females, one of our monthly sponsored events, were extremely quick to adapt their monthly meetups to cater for the COVID-19 self-isolation measures. Future Females moved all of their region-specific events and seminars online, opening them up (sometimes for free) to anyone around the world who is interested in attending and learning from leaders in their respective fields on how to make their startup or business succeed in the modern world.
Future Females will be hosting the virtual #OwnYourIncome Summit on the 21st & 22nd of April. Over the two days, experts will share their experience and give advice about building different business models. For more information, visit the summit’s website.
The next Future Females Cape Town event will be taking place via Zoom on 29 April, where speakers will present on how to effectively market your business online. For more information about this event, as well as upcoming events, visit the Future Females Facebook page.
The Heavy Chef event sessions in Cape Town and Johannesburg have also proven to be immensely popular online among local (and now international) entrepreneurs for the value and insights that the invited speakers impart.
The next event, which will be live streamed on Crowdcast, will take place on 23 April where the speakers will talk about how we all can adapt, overcome and innovate our way past COVID-19. More information about all upcoming events can be found on the Heavy Chef website.
The local chapters of Startup Grind, which form part of the world’s largest community of startups, founders, innovators and creators, have also recently migrated their meetups to online. We initially came on board as a sponsor for their meetups because we recognised the value that they provide to local entrepreneurs, and we are confident that they will be just as valuable online.
The next Startup Grind Cape Town event will be happening online on 16 April with a lineup of international speakers who will be giving their insights on how we can respond and pivot our businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. More information about this webinar and future events can be found on the Startup Grind Cape Town Facebook page.
The organisers of these events have proven themselves as true innovators by adapting to our current situation to ensure that everyone can still benefit from the insights presented at their events. Coming together (virtually) is how we are going to stay sane and get through these uncertain times, so we hope that you will join us at these aforementioned events from the safety and comfort of your own home.