The Top Seven Digital Conferences to Attend in South Africa in 2018

7 March 2018 |

If you’re anything like me, a person who plans and makes lists for everything, you will probably appreciate that I lock important events into my diary long before tickets are sold out.

Each year, I research upcoming conferences, networking events, and expos that relate to my job as a Digital Transformation Consultant. The problem is, there are dozens to choose from and some of them don’t always live up to expectations.

Don’t fret though. Here is my curated list of industry events with a short breakdown of what you can expect from each. If your conference budget is tight, don’t worry – I’ve included webinars and free events to help you choose what’s right for you.



#1: Chief Digital Officer Africa Conference

What It’s About:

The Chief Digital Officer Africa Conference has serious pulling power. The line-up of speakers is always impressive (heavy weights from the insurance, banking, and telecommunications world) and the topics are usually incredibly forward-thinking – ideal for anyone who has been tasked to shape and drive their organisation’s digital transformation agenda.

If you’re looking for more practical discussions, I suggest you break off into a Stream Session, which is a small group discussion and networking opportunity.

Details: 5-7 March, Johannesburg

Check out:

#2: eCommerce Money Africa Expo and Conference

What It’s About:

This year’s #ECMA18 is going to be big. It covers a broad range of topics related to digital, tech, commerce, fintech, and more, delivered by an impressive mix of industry experts and entrepreneurs across a wide spectrum of industries. The event is so big that it has two dedicated conference streams: eCommerce and MoneyAfrica, as well as an expo floor with scheduled masterclasses, tech demo sessions, and talks.

There is no way you can get to all of the presentations and discussions, so plan ahead and pick the most valuable talks for you to attend over the two-day event.

Details: 14 – 15 March, Cape Town

Check out:

#3: Mondato Summit Africa

What It’s About:

If I have to pick only one event to attend this year, the Fifth Annual Digital Finance & Commerce Executive Conference is it. I haven’t attended it in the past, but the agenda stands out from the rest, and you’re not likely to encounter a topic here that you’ve already seen or heard at an event before.

Instead of unpacking digital transformation as a topic itself, the event goes straight to work on topics that CDTOs, CIOs, and other c-level executives with digital KPIs are already grappling with, such as digital finance, e-commerce, fintech innovation, financial inclusion, data, markets, and competitive environments.

Expect a good mix of exhibition and demos, expert presentations, and panel discussions.

Details: 17-18 April, Johannesburg

Check out:

#4: Digital Transformation Congress

What It’s About:

If digital marketing insights are what you’re looking for, you can skip this one. This focuses on senior executives tasked with digital transformation from a technology, organisational development, and policy perspective. It’s likely to attract mega corporates, if the speakers list is anything to go by.

Details: 26 July, Johannesburg

Check out:



#5: Digital Customer Engagement & KYC Conference

What It’s About:

The Digital Customer Engagement & KYC Conference’s name says it all: it looks at the convergence between digital technologies and customer environments. It promises to share both strategic insights, as well as practical advice and discussion.

I haven’t attended this conference before, but am considering it because there aren’t a lot of conferences out there that focus on both digital and customer disciplines.

Details: 7-8 March, Johannesburg

Check out:


#6: Township Shopper Marketing Summit

What It’s About:

The Township Shopper Marketing Summit will engage brands on various topics and buyer groups that are often misunderstood or underestimated, such as Black Twitter, black businesswomen, the power of music in township get-togethers, and the rise of Kasi traditional foods. To my knowledge, this is a one-of-a-kind event.

Though this event doesn’t focus on digital marketing, I do think this is a great opportunity for agencies and brands to educate themselves on this market segment when planning digital marketing and product development with them in mind.

Details: 10-11 May, Johannesburg

Check out:

#7: DigiMarCon Africa 2018

What It’s About:

The Digital Marketing Conference Africa 2018 (aka DigiMarCon) is the African leg of the global DigiMarCon events that take place across the USA, Australia, England, Singapore, Dubai, and South Africa. It hasn’t released its agenda or speakers list yet, but expect leading marketers, agencies, brands, publishers, and developers on the circuit.

Expect a mega-event with loads of networking opportunities, shoulder-rubbing with industry peers at keynotes, and learning from the experts’ stories.

Added bonus: the website provides you with a “ROI Letter” template you can use to get your manager’s approval to attend the event. It’s a bit cheesy, but it’s a nice value add.

Details: 8-9 November, Johannesburg

Check out:


Free PROSCI Webinars

What It’s About:

The PROSCI website is a great source of information for change management practitioners and their regular live webinars are worth a watch. They’re often scheduled for North American diaries though, so if you miss a webinar, don’t worry because they archive them and you can replay the webinar and download the slides.

Topics they’ve recently covered include How to Manage Resistance to Change; How to Engage your Sponsors; and How to Leverage the Project Change Triangle.

Check out:

If you found this list helpful, please share it. And, if you have any events you’d like us to know about, we would love to hear from you.

Ika van Wyk

Head of Digital Transformation – Creative Spark, an M&C Saatchi company