The most unique aspect of GITEX AFRICA is that it will be everyone's first. There are no seasoned veterans to share insights.
With GITEX AFRICA fast approaching, attendees are certainly gearing up for what promises to be an exciting event. As THE premier technology conference in Africa, GITEX AFRICA offers opportunities to explore the latest technology trends, network with industry experts, and learn from thought leaders across fields. You know by now that you should be in Marrakesh, Morocco from 31 May – 2 June 2023. This article is not a travel guide through Marrakesh or even Morocco, neither is it a how-to on immigration. It points you purely in the direction of the event and what to do once you arrive at the venue.
The most unique aspect of GITEX AFRICA is that it will be everyone’s first. There are no seasoned veterans to share insights. That means you will need a few tips and tricks to help you make the most of your time at this one-of-a-kind event. How should you navigate the event, how can you network effectively, and which sessions and exhibitors should you prioritise then visit? Exciting stuff!
Navigating GITEX AFRICA
GITEX AFRICA promises to be stupendous – a large and complex event featuring hundreds of exhibitors (900+ to be a little more exact), too many sessions to attend with countless networking opportunities. To navigate the event effectively, you are going to have to plan ahead, going as far as making a detailed schedule of the sessions and exhibitors you want to visit. Your first stop is the GITEX AFRICA website. It is the most comprehensive source of information in your arsenal, and you will no double need to bookmark it considering all the times you will be visiting it. It provides a wealth of information that includes the full schedule of sessions and exhibitors. Take some time to review this information and create a schedule favouring your maximising of the event.
Once you have planned your schedule, you will need to map out. Familiarising yourself with the layout of the biggest tech event in Africa is not for the faint of heart. And you are a tech warrior who can navigate with the best of them so we are not worried about you. The lay of the land does go beyond knowing your entrances from your exits or the flow of the space. You will need to take a few minutes to review the event map and identify the locations of the sessions and exhibitors you plan to visit. This will help you navigate the event quickly and efficiently.
An event like GITEX AFRICA throws together people from all over the continent and the globe. You will want to meet new people, interact with old friends and come away with a new sense of appreciation. This is the opportunity to network with industry experts and thought leaders. You are going to need a plan. That means approaching the event with a clear set of goals and objectives. It means doing your homework BEFORE the event and taking the pains to identify individuals and organisations you want to connect with. These include potential business partners, investors, or even mentors. Only after you have identified your targets should you move forward. Of course, you will need to approach them from the point of knowledge by knowing what to say. This helps a great deal in case you get starstruck…
You will need to do more than anticipate lulls in the conversation. Be proactive about networking. Do not hesitate to introduce yourself to new people and strike up conversations. On that note, you might want to practise your elevator pitch. The beauty of networking is you never know who you might meet or what opportunities may arise. Don’t just meet people either. Make it a point to connect with them after the event either through email or connect with them on LinkedIn to continue the conversation and explore potential opportunities.
Prioritising Sessions And Exhibitors
It can be hard to pick and choose your sessions and exhibitors at GITEX AFRICA because there is just so much great stuff, so little time with so much to see and do. This is why you simply must prioritise your time and focus on the sessions and exhibitors most relevant to your interests and goals. Again, go to the GITEX AFRICA site and do your homework. Take a look at bios, session descriptors and exhibitor profiles. Be picky, because I guarantee you it will not be possible to sprint through the venue meeting everyone and knowing everything. Decide before you pack who you are going to see and make a beeline for them upon arrival. Keep in mind that shows run from 10h00 – 18h00 so you might want to try for an earlier start for the exhibitions. That, or cruise them in the course of the day.
Be studious, taking notes and asking questions. You didn’t come all this way to be a wallflower. That will also help you retain information and insights, and come in handy when you meet new people, have sparkling conversations and engage with other attendees. That counts when visiting exhibitors too. Be curious. Stay hungry.
As a rule, tech events have these sweet spots that GITEX AFRICA has definitely included in their agenda.
Exhibition Halls: Discover the latest technologies, innovations, and solutions as showcased. It offers a great opportunity to interact with industry leaders, gain insights into emerging trends, and witness live demonstrations of cutting-edge products and services. AI, cybersecurity, digital banking, and IoT are just some examples of halls housed at the venue.
Start-up Zones: There is a reason tech events have dedicated areas or pavilions for start-ups. These zones explore innovative ideas and solutions presented by emerging entrepreneurs. Engage in conversations with the founders, learn about their offerings, and identify any promising collaborations or investment opportunities from the 400+ start-ups on site.
Keynote Sessions: Industry experts, thought leaders and visionaries attract a following both on and offline. These sessions are a fantastic way to access valuable insights into industry trends, emerging technologies, and future directions. They not only share their experiences, predictions, and strategies, but they also share broader perspectives on the tech landscape.
Panel Discussions and Workshops: Find panel discussions and workshops that cover specific topics of interest. These interactive sessions bring together experts from across various fields to engage in thought-provoking discussions, share practical knowledge, and exchange ideas. Attendees can gain actionable insights, ask questions, and network with other participants.
Innovation Zones or Pavilions: Dedicated areas highlighting innovation zones or pavilions at GITEX AFRICA. These areas showcase groundbreaking technologies, research projects, and prototypes that push the boundaries of what is possible. It’s an opportunity to witness future-focused concepts and engage with inventors and researchers. It is also an opportunity to get your own creative juices flowing.
Networking Areas: There is a reason GITEX AFRICA is referred to as “The year’s most powerful tech networking, learning and business generating gathering.” Take advantage of designated networking areas or lounges to connect with industry professionals, potential partners, and like-minded individuals. One of the best parts of attending a physical tech event is meeting with brilliant industry minds. Engage in conversations, exchange business cards, (be sure to carry plenty of those in anticipation), and build valuable relationships that can lead to future collaborations or partnerships.
Industry-Specific Zones: Some tech events may have dedicated zones or areas focused on specific industries or sectors, such as healthcare, finance, transportation, or education. Visit these zones to explore industry-specific solutions, attend specialized sessions, and connect with experts who understand the unique challenges and opportunities within those sectors.
We Recommend The Following
This was not an easy pick! But, there are three highlights we would love to attend and hope you will come on that journey with us.
The Start-Up Adventure: This falls under the North Star 10x track. That’s your keyword. GITEX AFRICA describes it thus – “An agenda that spotlights the most agile founders from unicorns and high-growth startups who have been successfully navigating the market turbulence – discover who they are at the 10X Stage. Why did Venture Capital funding in African start-ups deploy over a record $5 billion last year and what are their current plans in light of the bank run and revaluations and corrections? Are we going to find the next unicorn in Africa?” Meet investors and founders.
The CEO Agenda: Look for these keywords and track called CEO Forum that reads “Are you ready to transform your business and stay ahead of the curve in a global economy beset by inflation? Look no further than the GITEX AFRICA CEO Forum- the premier gathering of pan-African business leaders and investors. Join top executives as they discuss the latest strategies for diversifying investments and revenue streams, leveraging AI, blockchain and automation to improve business processes and reduce costs.”
The GITEX AFRICA Digital Summit: Think of this as a singular global platform focused on the realisation of long-term opportunities in Africa. The Summit highlights featured keynotes and sessions by invitation only. It will feature not just Pan-African governments and C-Suite executives, but it also has a generous sprinkling of global speakers from the UAE, the US, China and Israel. Critical themes range from analysing the current state of play in the continent’s digital economy to fast-tracking an integrated and inclusive digital public infrastructure.
Here is the best part. Register here, and use our one-of-a-kind code, CIOA50 to get yourself a lovely 50 per cent discount to access all things GITEX AFRICA.