Mediatech Conference
Delegates at the Screen Africa Technology and Production Conference, part of the lineup at Mediatech Africa 2011.

The biennial Mediatech Africa, held this year from 20 to 22 July at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg, again proved to be Africa’s most advanced technology trade showcasing the latest in broadcast, film and production, professional AV, sound, lighting, staging and rigging technology.

The diverse programme at Mediatech Africa this year included more than 800 brands on display, live demonstrations, the latest outside broadcast vehicles, AV technology workshops, live outdoor sound demos, a technology and production conference featuring an international speaker line-up, and a business matchmaking programme.

Pre-registration allowed visitors to be matched to relevant exhibitors. Meetings were then facilitated between interested parties, allowing exhibitors to engage with visitors on a more personal level.

In these ultra-technological times, change is constant and rapid. The rapid rate of development of new innovations, products and technologies means it is essential for media and entertainment industry players to be up to date with the latest trends, developments, products and equipment. Mediatech Africa provided an opportunity to view, experience and engage with the very latest in technology.

Included in the event was the Screen Africa Technology and Production Conference, where issues under discussion included media asset management; 3D production and post-production; an assessment of digital terrestrial migration (DTT), the transition to digital broadcasting in African countries; DVB-T2, the ultimate DVB technologies for South Africa; and a panel discussion on DTT and its opportunities. There were also several presentation zones within the expo area, covering topics related to the film and television industry, Pro AV and integration sectors.

Mediatech panorama

Exhibitors' stands inside the Coac-Cola Dome in Northgate.

We spoke to Mediatech Africa exhibition director Simon Robinson about the event.

GFC: When did Mediatech Africa begin?

Robinson: We first ran the first show in June 2001 at Sandton Convention Centre. In 2009 we moved to the Dome, so this is our second year there, and our sixth Mediatech Africa event overall.

GFC: Mediatech Africa is the biggest expo of its kind in Africa. What other events does the continent offer?

Robinson: There are two other smaller conferences and expos: Africast in Nigeria and Broadcast and Film Africa in Kenya.

GFC: What was the exhibitors’ response to the latest expo?

Robinson: Very positive, delighted with the number of visitor and the quality, happy and proud of the standard of the exhibition as it compares to international standards set by other industry events such as IBC and PLASA.

GFC: How did visitor and exhibitor numbers compare with previous events?

Robinson: The number of exhibitors has grown year on year. Visitor numbers were similar to the previous year’s, but we saw a substantial increase in the number of exhibiting personnel on the stands and in the number of international visitors.

GFC: How successful were the discussion panels and demonstrations?

Robinson: The Screen Africa Technology and Production Conference and the Presentation Zones went down well. DTT and media asset management were the most popular, together with the live outdoor sound demos and latest stage audio systems.

GFC: Do you have plans to expand the expo in the future?

Robinson: Yes. We’re always planning, and we’re getting more and more international exposure. The conference workshop training and live demos are where we intend to expand.

GFC: Are you happy with the Dome as a venue?

Robinson: The Dome is the absolute ideal, with its parking, ease of access and size attached to Sandton Convention centre for the conference facilities and hotel nearby and just throw in a big outdoor area for live outdoor sound demos.

GFC: Would you consider having a similar expo in Cape Town?

Robinson: No. The market is simply too small there.

GFC: How would you sum up the show for visitors and exhibitors?

Robinson: If they missed it, they missed the best show yet! They could have met with international manufacturers of most of the equipment brought into South Africa.

  • The next edition of Mediatech Africa will be held from 17 to 19 July 2013 at the Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg.