The Rand Show media launch kicked off in style this morning at the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) at Nasrec, when the host with most and master of ceremonies, Idols star Boki Ntsime, serenaded the media.
The CEO of JEC, Craig Newman, opened the media briefing talking about the longevity and staying power of the Rand Show.
“We’re delighted to have been running for 124 years in such a fast-paced and ever-changing world, and we hope to continue giving Rand Show attendees a phenomenal experience,” said Newman. Newman continued by addressing some of the activities that will take place at the Rand Show, including Home Affairs giving the public an opportunity to apply for smart ID cards, the return of the Naked Scientist presented by 702 (due to popular demand) and, for the first time ever, the House of Horrors powered by 5FM.
Next the South African National Defence Forum (SANDF) Director Defence Corporate Communications, Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, addressed the media by talking about the capabilities of the SANDF. “We are demonstrating to South Africans that the SANDF does not only engage in combat missions during wartime, but plays an important role serving communities during peacetime,” said Brig. Gen. Mgobozi.
Brig. Gen. Mgobozi continued by discussing the SANDF’s disaster management programme, where they help families affected by catastrophes like flooding and fires. Visitors can view a full disaster simulation on Terrace 2. “The Rand Show is about family and fun. If you don’t have a family, come to the Rand Show anyway and find one!” added Brig. Gen. Mgobozi.
Nonnie Kubeka, head of the Gauteng Conventions and Events Bureau at Gauteng Tourism Authority, discussed the importance of citizens attending the Rand Show. “We would like for you to spread the word, so more people can come to the Rand Show,” said Kubeka. With visitors from east African countries, the SADC region and even from overseas coming to the Rand Show, Kubeka highlighted the importance of this annual event in creating employment.
“When more people come to the Rand Show, more employment is created and the more wealth is created for the citizens of Gauteng,” said Kubeka.
With the inaugural House of Horrors experience at the Rand Show, the producer Josh Lindberg, gave an enticing presentation about the other worldly and bizarre world he invites you to enter into. “The House of Horrors is an experience that you will never un-see. I like to describe it as ‘a black swan’ moment, which will take you out of your ordinary reality” said Lindberg. “When entering this paranormal experience, you need to come with an open mind,” he added.
From the briefing, the media were escorted by smartly uniformed SANDF personnel to begin their tour of some of the highlights mentioned above. First stop – the SANDF static display, to illustrate the many facets to their disaster management skills, capabilities and equipment. The area featured different exhibits to show how SANDF would operate in the aftermath of a flood. Building bridges (in some cases floating bridges), to enable access to the disaster zone, was the first display, followed by search and rescue, medic tents to stabilise civilians before moving them to hospitals, and then set-ups to clean dirty water to prevent the spread of diseases.
Additional exhibits show how SANDF deals with mine warfare and bomb disposal, while the SA Navy had a presence with some of their high-tech equipment, including boats and diving equipment.
After such serious business, the media were encouraged to blow off some steam at the amusement park, where they were invited to buckle up for a ride on the Skyrider. The spinning swing ride had a twist, as it also ascended up into the sky while rotating. Many queued up for a repeat spin. The amusement park has a multitude of rides on offer, catering for small children as well as adults with a wide range of fear factor tolerances. This year the funfair has also extended its operating hours to 21:00 instead of 19:00, to allow those visitors who come through after work to get real value for their money.
The final stop was the House of Horrors. This feature is a first for South Africa – an immersive theatre experience whereby small, intimate groups of visitors are invited to wander through a fully-interactive, nightmarish dream-scape. Multi-media and special effects combine seamlessly with talented actors, props and many eerie surprises. If you come back to the Rand Show on different days, don’t be (too) scared to enter the House of Horrors again. Because of its interactive approach, the format is dynamic and no two shows will be quite alike.
The sensitive nature of the show’s content means that no under 13s are allowed to enter, and 13-16 year olds are advised to be accompanied by an adult. Fortunately parents don’t have to miss out, as the Kids Expo is next door. Parents can sign their child in to be safely cared for, so they can lose themselves in the House of Horrors and collect them afterwards, once they’ve collected their senses.
Since its establishment in 1894, the Rand Show has become one of South Africa’s largest and most iconic consumer events and a highlight on the annual events calendar, having entertained multiple generations of South African families. Staged annually at the Johannesburg Expo Centre in Nasrec, it serves as an important launch pad for exciting brands and businesses and caters to the entire family. Categories include sport, children’s products and services, wellness, outdoor living, science, technology, government departments, trends, design and home living, as well as world-class exhibits by the SANDF, a unique feature not seen anywhere else. The expo attracts over 200 000 visitors each year, mostly families across all cultures in the middle to upper income brackets. Often referred to as Johannesburg's biggest day out