2022: The Golden Year for the Creative Industry Summit

Founded in 2014, The Creative Industry Summit (C-S) served as the MENA’s first platform encompassing everything related to the Creative Economy.  And with that vision, came its first conference edition where Egypt’s leading creatives, brands, and entities were united in a stimulating environment of invaluable knowledge sharing. Since then, C-S has held 18 successful editions -including 3 collaborative ones- with talks and panel discussions led by some of the region’s most successful creative figures and entrepreneurs.

And this year, C-S has reached new heights in its successes. In just 3 months, it has held 4 immensely successive events -2 of which were its own- and has once again maintained its reputation as the region’s powerhouse for creative leaders, thinkers, innovators, and gurus. So let’s take a closer look at their 2022 triumphs . . .


1. The Creative Industry Summit Annual Festival 2022 – Cairo, Egypt

Under the theme “Let’s Talk Creative Economy”, C-S held its 14th edition on September 27-29 at Cairo Business Park with a roster of creative tycoons from around the world who came to share their expertise and take on the future of the Creative Economy.

The festival hosted 24 talks, 6 workshops, and 24 panel discussions led by global and regional creatives from leading brands and entities such as VICE Media, Coca-Cola, Meta, and FP7 McCann Cairo.

C-S is known for tackling the Creative Economy through a multitude of diverse tracks, and this edition was no different. The event held several thought-provoking discussions in many creative disciplines such as tourism, art, retail, content creation, FMCGs, and marcom. It also featured speakers who shared future practices these industries will be adopting, on both regional and global scales. In addition to the summit’s substantial success, it was also a tipping point for its founders, who had reaped the rewards of their long-standing efforts.

“This year, our biggest achievement is the actualization of our ownership of the only platform for the Creative Economy in the Middle East. My moment of joy was during the Annual Festival, when someone came up to me and said “Congratulations, it is truly a festival in every aspect”. And at this point, I felt that the work, effort, and partnerships that we invested in all these years has actually paid off”.

-Neamat Khalil, Founding Partner of The Creative Industry Summit & Chairwoman of The Worx EMC

Aside from being a triumphant edition for its founders, C-S also proved successful on several fronts, such as getting Islam ElDessouky and Marc Adams to give workshops for the first time ever in the region.

It was ElDessouky’s first workshop in Egypt, as well as Adams’ first workshop in the MENA region. ElDessouky held a thought-triggering workshop titled “How to Get The Best Out of Your Creative Team“; whereas Adams’ workshop was named “How to Be the Luckiest Brand on Earth“. You can check the full lineup of incredible speakers and panelists here, or if you’d like our recap of the event containing key takeaways, you can head over here.


2. The Advertising & Creativity Forum –  Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

C-S’s second 2022 success was hosting its first-ever regional edition, named “The Advertising & Creativity Forum, in Saudi Arabia at the exquisite Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center on October 30-November 1. Partnering with the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce & Balaconah, C-S held an unmatched 3-day advertising and communication-focused event.

The summit contributed to the advancement of the region’s advertising industry by sharing key insights, visions, and recommendations to pave the way forward. And once again, C-S served as an intersection for industry experts to come together and exchange expertise, and create new cooperation channels through a series of panel discussions, workshops, and exhibitions. 

Mirroring -if not advancing-  its success in Egypt, the event featured renowned talents within the KSA’s Creative Industry; tackling advertising, marketing, and communications. Some of these talents represented several prestigious businesses in the KSA such as Prince Sultan University, STC, and Extend-The Ad Network.

Similar to its Annual Festival, C-S’s regional edition featured workshops over the course of 3 days ranging from intermediate to advanced levels given by global and regional top-notch professionals and executives for the first time. As you can imagine, these workshops received substantial praise from all attendees; especially those in KSA who experienced C-S’s event for the first time.

If you’d like to peruse the 3-day agenda and know more about all the regional speakers, head over here.


3. Techne Summit – Alexandria, Egypt

Only four days after its regional success, C-S flew to Alexandria to secure another 2022 win. And that was co-hosting the famed Egyptian, Techne Summit at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on November 5-8, with its own advertising track comprising 14 panelists.

Techne Summit was founded in 2015 by Tarek El Kady with the vision of becoming an international entrepreneurship and investment event that represents the startup ecosystem in multiple industries across the Mediterranean region. To this day, it has united 21,000 attendees, 300 speakers, 800 startups, and 180 investors from over 70 countries.

And this year marked the inauguration of their relationship with two collaborative editions; one in Cairo and one in Alexandria. As per usual, C-S’s advertising track was nothing short of creative inclusion. The widely diverse lineup included regional figures from across several industries such as health care, content creation, FMCGs, marketing, and advertising.

Known for bringing miscellaneous and stimulating conversations to the table, C-S hosted 3 panel discussions addressing mainstream and highly relevant topics:

  1. Expiry Dates for Content Creators: How to Stay Relevant
  2. Jingling Turning Into Anthems: Power of Music in Ads
  3. The Ramadan Effect: How Holiday Seasons Control the Advertising Industry

But that’s just scraping the service; the 3-day event featured over 300 speakers, which you can read more about here.


4. Cairo Design Week – Korba, Egypt

As for its final 2022 triumph, C-S bravely ventured outside its familiar parameters and took an interest in art; more specifically, design. On November 19-25, C-S co-hosted the first edition of Cairo Design Week (CDW); a 7-day event uniting all local artists in the nestled neighborhood of Korba, Heliopolis. The event featured art installations, exhibitions, and showrooms depicting all art forms.

Launched in 2022, CDW was created as the MENA region’s junction for all that is design. And in its first edition, it has transformed Cairo into its very own canvas of installations, exhibitions, and showrooms across the city, to pave the way for regional success.

Taking place in the land of history and architecture, the art-infused event was widespread across 8 distinct locations in Heliopolis: the Baron Palace, Villa Korba, Al Cayan Building, the Ghernata Palace, Odyssey, Photopia, the Ahmed Helmy Museum, and Korba Street.  And the Ghernata Palace is where C-S gloriously took part in the successful event.

Seamlessly curating a 4-day agenda, C-S brought together an impressive lineup of speakers representing the multi-faceted design industry of Cairo. And that included panel discussions and fireside chats from the country’s leading design-based entities and craftsmen in real estate, architecture, interior design, visual arts, and many more.

For more information on CDW’s first edition and program, head over here.


What Lies Ahead for C-S

If you haven’t made the obvious conclusion by now, let us say it aloud: The Creative Industry Summit is far from capping its successes here. In fact, C-S’s founding partner, Mai Salama, agrees with us . . .

“This year we had a lof of great editions; starting with the Annual Festival and then our very first and special regional edition in Riyadh, where we hosted over 2,600 people over the course of 3 days. Following that was Techne Summit, and Cairo Design Week, where each edition had its own allure, flair, and magic; which made us realize that we are all for Egypt. We are homegrown and born in Egypt. We will continue to have our Annual Festival in Egypt; however, we plan to serve and cater to the Arab region, as well as inspire, network, connect, and entertain by being the only platform dedicated to the Creative Economy.”

-Mai Salama, Founding Partner of the Creative Industry Summit, and Managing Partner of The Worx EMC

Salma Wahby

A marketing graduate who first set foot in the creative industry at 17, Salma is on a mission to narrate the stories behind some of the most iconic businesses and individuals in the MENA region's marketing landscape.