In partnership with the Host City of Cape Town, RX Africa launched FAME Week Africa in October 2021, an event set to become Africa’s annual cornerstone of business development for the film, arts, media and entertainment industries.
Connecting industry professionals and creatives and turning every moment into an opportunity, FAME Week Africa transformed three days of networking, meetings, screenings and conferences, into lasting business.
“Planning the live event took place during the Covid19 pandemic, which presented distinct challenges that had to be met head-on to achieve any measure of success. However, we had a new weapon in our arsenal,” says Carol Weaving, Manging Director, RX Africa.
With the rebranding of Reed Exhibitions in June 2021 to RX globally, a new code was created as the foundation of all employees. Known as RX NIMBLE, the code provides a platform of six strengths that ensure RX employees are able to move forward as a united team and produce events that are highlights on the calendar for the industries that they serve.
NIMBLE stands for Networked, Inclusive, Magical, Brave, Love of Learning and Entrepreneurial, and here we showcase how RX Africa and the FAME Week Africa team executed each strength to contribute to the massive success of FAME Week Africa.
For FAME Week Africa to acquire the respect of industry professionals locally and internationally, the organisers required highly valuable and well-networked entities to work as a team, so from the outset, RX brought in industry professionals who are experts in their field to represent various markets.
“Over and above the members within the FAME Week Africa team, a wide variety of film, art, media and entertainment professionals were included to contribute valuable ideas and opinions in various industries, enabling us to host virtual meetings throughout 2021 leading up to the event in October,” says Judy Goddard, Event Director, FAME Week Africa.
In the months leading up to FAME Week Africa, the FAME team continuously explored new and innovative ways to create space for the relevant industries to connect and network thus FWA Connect was born.
“The success of FAME Week Africa reflected the real benefit of networking in the exchange of information, advice and referrals; with the appropriate people brining their expertise to what is the true benefit of networking: More minds are better than one,” Goddard notes.
RX is a place where opportunity is open to all. Humans are built for connection and everyone feels included. RX understands the need to constantly hold itself accountable to be aware of blind spots and embrace and include the diversity of thoughts and experiences that make life so interesting and creative. This ethic is encouraged in all staff, as part of the RX culture.
Consciously working towards inclusivity at all times, FAME Week Africa is an example of bringing together various backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, experiences, places and spaces to ensure FAME reflected a plethora of diverse voices, each speaking to where they come from.
FAME team members continuously held each other accountable to include holistic diversity in the content, programme and events at FAME Week Africa. The film, art, and entertainment bus routes across the City of Cape Town shared important stories and creative work of individuals from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities.
One cannot deny the human desire for magic and art: That first moment the doors open; creating something that didn’t exist and from nothing and seeing the results blossom is the most magical thing we can do.
RX encourages members to enjoy the process of creative events, have fun and be proud of what they do. The FAME Week Africa concept itself allowed the team members to do precisely that – it’s no secret that the film, art, media and entertainment spaces are known as the fun, creative, exciting industries and the event turned this into a huge celebration of this culture.
Since the beginning of time, magic and art have existed hand in hand. From a philosophical viewpoint, the link between art and magic displays the hidden rules of nature, investigates the visible world, and showcases the realm of dreams and desires.
RX Africa knew the imperative role FAME Week Africa would play in supporting the revival of these industries and the magic they engender.
The event filled the magic role with the joy, inspiration and wonder from the film, art and entertainment bus routes to the glamorous welcome party and the fabulous FAME Reel Talent Showcase red-carpet gala extravaganza. Throughout FAME Week Africa the magic was underscored by laughter, joy, music, inspiration and entertainment.
Trying something new always means taking risks – and what could be riskier than an event of this magnitude, taking place in a regulation-rich pandemic, with content focused on the very industries shut down by the pandemic?
RX knew the industries needed an organisation to place the big bets to revive and re-inspire those sectors that so desperately needed it. RX did exactly this – it played big and won.
Constant unknowns abounded, including the changing of lockdown levels, protocols, travel and crowd restrictions, RX stepped into the ring with vigour. Bravery was key and RX took it on the chin, constantly exploring alternatives and possibilities. Teams shared and implemented their learnings and moved forward with confidence.
Martin Hiller, the Content & Creative Director of FAME Week Africa personified bravery in bringing his wildest ideas to the FAME Week Africa team, who were encouraged to be brave enough to take on the challenge of bringing Martin’s ideas to life.
This bravery contributed vastly to the massive success of FAME Week Africa as well as reinvigorating all sectors of an ultra-creative community in dire need of inspiration.
Love of Learning
In taking on the task of creating FAME Week Africa, RX knew there would be huge opportunities for learning and growth, given the event being the first of its kind, as well as the challenge of working around a global pandemic. It was the perfect playground for growth, learning and innovation.
One of the learning curves FAME Week Africa brought was the uncertain up-and-down of travel bans, lockdown level changes and event capacity restrictions. RX quickly learned that the constant lockdown changes were continuous, and often spontaneous, as the behaviour of the virus was novel and unpredictable.
RX approaches challenges with a mind unconfined by rigid, preconceived ideas about how to do things. Teams developed the humility required to learn from others and be curious enough to seek and share learnings.
As South Africa continues to comply with national lockdown regulations, difficult but necessary decisions were made to ensure a safe event for as many people as possible to attend and enjoy FAME Week Africa within Covid19 protocols.
RX members are encouraged to “act like a founder” for all events. This approach enables team members to have an entrepreneurial mindset, constantly looking for opportunities and feeling empowered to make decisions responsibly.
The culture made FAME Week Africa a safe space for team members to not only share their wildest ideas, but also put their best foot forward for any action or role over and above their designated position in the FAME Week Africa team.
Entrepreneurship was a constant thread throughout the FAME Week Africa 2021 program content, with entrepreneurs as panellists and hosts at the event. Topics discussed throughout FAME Week Africa were heavily focused on entrepreneurship and the values of entrepreneurship.
The impact the RX NIMBLE Code had a significant role in the success of FAME Week Africa 2021. RX Africa was responsible in applying NIMBLE whenever an opportunity presented itself.
Networking was on a massive scale with industry professionals contributing their experience, skills and opportunities. RX placed elevated value on inclusivity by inviting voices of different backgrounds to play a major role in FAME Week Africa.
Magic was inspired and experienced at every turn, and event organisers were brave in creating this exquisite event in the midst of Covid19, with magnificent concepts throughout the three-day event.
“The team embraced and applied their love for learning, enabling them to be agile and adapt to sometimes daily changes. RX believes the very essence of entrepreneurship instinctively lead each member of the FAME Week Africa team toward the success of the now-annual event,” says Weaving.
NIMBLE is a code underpinning every step towards prosperity, not only for FAME Week, but for every event, business decision or opportunity presented. It is not theory; it is a code for living.