Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The 13th annual Sunday Times Generation Next event will be held on May 11 at the Sandton Convention Centre. Generation Next, which has earned a reputation as a leading youth brand preference event, consists of a youth marketing conference, interactive showcase and an awards ceremony.

Sunday Times Generation Next is conceptualised around research undertaken by HDI Youth Marketeers, which sets the agenda for the conference. The event is engineered so guests can hear directly from the youth market, with members of the youth sitting on panels alongside youth marketing experts. As such, it’s an important event for brand, marketing, media and advertising professionals who want to get to grips with consumption habits and trends of the youth market.

This year’s study overview will be delivered by HDI Youth Marketeers MD Catherine Bothma. Her address will focus on the key findings of the Generation Next Survey, for which 10,000 young South Africans answered questions about youth culture, behaviour and lifestyle.                                                                     

Fhatuwani Mukheli, art director and photographer at the I See a Different You creative collective, will share his thoughts on the topic of youth ambassadors. He will consider whether there is any value in celebrity brand ambassadors, or whether marketers should be looking to new types of ambassadors and finding them among social media influencers. The discussion will look at how to find the right ambassador for a brand, and whether or not your brand actually needs one at all.

Other topics to be covered will include trends in the youth space, and the opportunities available here for youth marketers, and digital, social media and creative advertising.  Siya Beyile, CEO of the Threaded Man and Siya Beyile Holdings, will discuss youth entrepreneurship, delving into the business opportunities and careers that youth engage with. Creative parenting expert and author Nikki Bush will talk about the ethical, legal and psychological issues around youth marketing. A series of panel discussions will also unpack stereotypes around the youth market, youth trends and insights, and focus on 20 millennials to watch.

Sunday Times Generation Next is brought to you by the Sunday Times and HDI Youth Marketeers, in partnership with headliners Nedbank and Brand SA (an official custodian of the SA nation brand), Proudly South African and Kotex. Maybelline New York, Adidas, Bounce SA, Shell, Sandton City, Vodacom, Avon and KidZania Johannesburg are corporate and display partners at the event this year.

The big take-out: Leading youth conference Sunday Times Generation Next 2017 will take place on May 11 at the Sandton Convention Centre. 

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