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Event trends – Local is lekker

The year 2018 has seen many changes to the way event organisers approach their planning. Sustainability is a key feature this year, with organisers utilising solar energy as well as recycled and upcycled goods as the backbone of events and their marketing.

A few years ago, fancy straws were all the rage at events. In 2018 you’d better have steel, glass or bamboo straws or risk offending half your attendees! Balloons, glitter and streamers… these all have questionable eco-credentials. These changes might at first appear aesthetic but in reality they are part of a greater social shift taking place globally.

Keeping up with these shifts is the bread and butter of any successful event planner. It’s make or break, so we thought we’d help out and give you insight into another change that’s guiding the event planning process in 2018.

Local is lekker!

The phrase ‘local is lekker’ has been around for a long time but only recently have people started living it. The idea seems straightforward but in reality there are many layers to it. Firstly it speaks to our cultural identity, the fabric of who we are as a people and country. Why would we copy New York or Paris when we could showcase Cape Town and Durban? Why would we spend all our budget importing items when we can source unique goods locally that make for a far more authentic experience?

So let’s look at some of the ways you can incorporate local into your lekker event!


Food isn’t only the easiest way into a man’s heart – t’s the easiest way into any heart! So catering is a good place to start. But how do you go local? You can’t exactly serve boerie rolls and mopane worms just for the sake of being South African.

The idea is to distill the flavours of South Africa and bring those concepts into the world of modern cuisine.

Think snoek pate and roosterkoek for a starter, Springbok medallions for mains and ice cream with a quince syrup reduction for dessert. Just because it’s local, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Your guests will thank you for it!


Start at the bottom and work your way up. Easily the most important part of going local is supporting local communities. The idea is that charity starts at home. Anything truly local should start with the communities in your area. Anything you can’t get locally can be sourced from further afield.

The ultimate example of this would be creating sustainable supply chains by working with surrounding communities to achieve desirable results. This could entail training, startup capital and planning.

This might be a hassle in the beginning but once sustainability is achieved it will balance out and save you time and money in the long run.


Many people misinterpret this idea. Most will scoff at the thought of using local African aesthetics or venues for an event because their first impression is that this entails skin carpets, gumboot dancing or a savannah-type styling. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

South Africa hasn’t stood still since the early 20th century! South Africa is and always has been a fast developing country with multiple cultural identities coming together to create a unique take on modern lifestyle and aesthetics.

Visit Maboneng, Braamfontein, Woodstock or any of the other trendy areas around South Africa and you’ll be greeted by a truly African style that doesn’t include skins and hunting trophies. This is what the future of Africa is all about: urbanisation, collaborative art, fashion spaces and a creative mix of cultures coming together and inspiring something that is completely unique to Africa.

Using the tips above will ensure your event is memorable and not simply another generic affair, void of any real substance. There is a whole world of culture waiting to be tapped into and it’s right on your doorstep!

Chat to The Canvas Riversands and find out how we can help you create the ultimate event or function.