Here we are in the final countdown to the South African Food and Wine Blogger Indaba. FOUR more sleeps people! It is crunch time and I am frantically looking for all the lost balls and trying to field them into the net….in other words tying up loose ends, finding last minute products to stuff into the goodie bags! This is the most exciting time for me, when I see all the fruits of my many hours of labour coming together, I see and hear all the excitement from you who have booked a seat and it gives me so much satisfaction. My little house is looking like a mini warehouse…I am so thrilled by the wonderful and generous response from those companies who have come on board as sponsors. And there are a LOT of them….slowly I am managing to do the html code for the logos and slowly the list of them is growing down the side bars of the blog. Please do take a look at them and click on them to go and visit these generous people who will be making you all happy on Sunday! Those of you who are flying in to Cape Town for the Indaba do please take into account that you need to travel light and bring extra space for goodies…….just saying!
Before I introduce some more presenters for the day I would just like to ask one last time if there is anyone attending Indaba 2012 who has specific dietary requirements to please contact me today and let me know what those are. I am speaking specifically about Halaal or Kosher meals and allergies if you have them. If you are vegetarian I also need to know and rather urgently please. Thank you to those who have already given me their requirements.
Early this year when I started thinking about the Indaba and speakers I naturally also had to think about who would be standing on the podium to welcome everyone, someone who would be able to jump up and tell everyone to
shut up quieten down, someone who would be able to tell a joke or two with aplomb and remember the punch line…someone who would make the running of the day a smooth one in other words…..my thoughts kept turning to ONE person…..if only I could convince him to accept my proposal and see it as as an honour!! HAH! Score one to me………….I give you the main man the MC for the day, PAUL RAPHAELY – NoMU
Paul Raphaely really should have been an animator, or a professor of military history or maybe a writer….instead this gentleman with the naughty boy smile and great sense of humour is one half of the executive team making up NoMU Brands, arguably one of South Africa’s leading trend and innovation food companies. As Marketing Director Paul manages the creative and strategic direction of the brand while also playing foil to Tracy Foulkes’ endless stream of invention. With a degree in Political Philosophy and a background in advertising and then Brand Management (his job description at Seagrams Africa literally read: ‘You will be required to consume alcohol, professionally and responsibly’) both locally and internationally, Paul’s focus and approach has always aimed mostly towards the trick of extracting maximum value for minimum investment. With NoMU’s continued growth and development, his techniques have been visible to anyone and everyone who has ever worked with him, referring endlessly to his favourite saying: ‘If you aren’t breaking through the clutter, you are just adding to it.’
Paul is a true Cape Town local, born and bred, proudly referring to himself as Lawrence of Suburbia. He lives in Newlands surrounded by dogs, goldfish, children and reasonable catering. Not quite animation or military history but the food he admits, IS pretty good…I have no doubt that Mr Raphaely will break through any Indaba clutter to help us all enjoy a relaxed yet stylish event.
JOHN GARDNER – JOHN BROWN MEDIA
I met John Gardner recently at the Taste of Cape Town where he introduced himself to me and prompty told my husband that I am his latest stalker A thorough Mr Nice Guy, with a great sense of humour to boot, John will be covering the very interesting and new topic to the Indaba agenda, Pinterest. According to his bio he has over 15 years experience in digital marketing both in the UK and South Africa and can be considered a true digital native. John has worked across all major digital platforms and has a deep understanding of the interconnectivity of the digital web and how to tweak it to get the best results.
After working for 2 years in the UK, John started his own digital company which he ran successfully for 3 years. In 2010 he joined The Publishing Partnership as Digital Director, where he successfully worked on Jet, Legit, RCS, Private Edition and BankMed, to name a few. He joined John Brown Media as head of Digital in March 2012.
John has the ability to cross over from print challenges to digital solutions in a way that’s both seamless and eloquent in its simplicity.
When not focused on digital projects you can find John quizzing baristas on how to make a perfect cup of coffee or converting friends and colleagues to the joys of iPhone photography. Instagram has one billion reasons to be pretty cool, after all!
And for that ad break……………….
One of the very first sponsors that I acquired in 2010 was Le Creuset South Africa. It has been such an honour working with the lovely folk of this iconic company. Who doesn’t desire to boast about owning just one of their beautiful cast iron or stainless steel products? I know that mine permanently live on the hob in my kitchen, always on show for everyone to see! This year once again, Le Creuset has given generously and two very fortunate delegates will be leaving the Indaba with one of these
and one of these………..
Isn’t that awesome? Thank you Le Creuset South Africa for your very generous sponsorship once again this year!
MARK FORRESTER – WOOTHEMES.COM
London-born Mark Forrester is half English and half South African. He completed his tertiary education in Cape Town, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Cape Town and a design diploma at a local design agency.
Mark is a proud co-founder of WooThemes.com – a leading WordPress theme & plugin company. With a team of 21 members spanning the globe they offer premium off the shelf WordPress products serving a community of 200,000+ active users. He heads up the product design and development from their headquarters in beautiful Cape Town where he lives with his wife and baby son Max. In his previous life this ever evolving digital designer turned online entrepreneur was a mobile disc jockey, a part owner of an IT company called Gravit8 and the designer behind the South African social media aggregator Afrigator.
Mark will be speaking about how to improve your blog by taking advantage of some of the very powerful functionality available today in WordPress themes & plugins. He will cover design and what you should consider before choosing a theme; the merits of choosing a commercial theme as a building block; customising your theme; and plugins that help you promote, sell and display your content.
RICKY VAN DER WALT – SHAPESHIFT INTERACTIVE
Ricky van der Walt has always been interested in what makes people tick. Why we make the choices that we do, why we react to situations in a certain way – and what the implications are.
He arrived in the world of the web after making inroads into the print industry, with a few detours on the way along all paths of marketing.
Since 2003 Ricky has been the marketing and client relations director of Shapeshift Interactive, a full service design and development studio situated on a wheat and lavender farm on the Durbanville wine route. His role gives him the opportunity to interact with a range of different clients and personalities, from multinational financial service providers to local artists and radio celebrities.
Ricky loves nothing better than getting to know his fellow human beings, discovering and exploring all their intricacies and idiosyncrasies. The latest Malcolm Gladwell book and a decent chilli con carne is a close second!
Ricky will be talking on the subject of web design and usability
I am so grateful to each and every one of these fabulous people who are supporting me in various ways and assisting us all to learn new things. I cannot wait to hear more about these subjects.
EDIT: Sadly Ricky will not be able to speak as he has taken ill. But never mind…….it will give you all a bit of time to ask some questions during the other topics! Get well soon Ricky!