An Exclusive Interview with Creative Industry Summit’s Founding Partner Mai Salama Telling Us All About The Event

As the 12th edition of Creative Industry Summit has come to an end after 4 amazing days, full of educational sessions and workshops, we took this opportunity and had an interview with the founding partner Mai Salama to answer a few questions about the event and the expansion plan.

Here it is.


1- What made you excited about starting Creative Industry Summit?

In 2014, we launched the Creative Industry Summit aiming at spreading the mentality of embracing creativity in all fields & arenas, offering a platform for people with great ideas to gather in an inspiring environment. This came with the realization of how creativity became the main element of success for any industry, and not limited to art and entertainment. So, we promise creative minds everywhere to never miss out on opportunities, through bringing together the best of the best in all industries locally, regionally, and internationally. With a strong lineup of Game-Changers, Business Leaders, Artists, Gurus in various fields from across the Region and Around the Globe, C-S inspires and educates everyone, from students to CEOs, to become the pioneers of their sectors.

Today, we couldn’t wait to celebrate our 12th edition more than ever, and in the wake of the pandemic, the world witnessed the importance of creativity. If you are not creative in your approach, you will never succeed nor shine.


2- What is it that you still haven’t achieved regarding the summit?

The sky is the limit for the Creative Industry Summit. Our ultimate goal for the coming period is to maximize cooperation with the Arab countries exchanging knowledge and experiences in the creative field through our summit. We look at C-S as a homegrown brand and product that we strive to expand regionally. Hence, we are dedicated to taking new editions of the summit to other countries to share the Egyptian-born creativity abroad with the rest of the Arab world. Our mission is to reach and empower the largest number of people, towards discovering and capitalizing on their creative potentials to achieve the best results in their fields, contributing to development in the whole region.


3- What is the result you want to get from C-S?

With each and every edition of the Creative Industry Summit, we seek to create a sustainable impact that goes beyond the event, through working on 3 main pillars.

First, our starting point was to gather all creative minds across sectors to showcase their work, network, and in many cases start new business opportunities. We wanted to bridge the gap between the younger generation, those in their mid-career, and the pioneers in creativity.

Second, Introducing creative ideas which turned into reality, such as Sophia The Robot who was introduced to Egypt for the first time in the Creative Industry Summit. She reflected the development in AI to the extent that the robot enjoys her own identity, imagination, and reactions.

Third, we seek to launch several initiatives to support creatives all year long, empowering and supporting those who have creative and innovative ideas. She Strikes is a prime example of our programs, as it builds a community to support women by the women in creativity.


4- How does it feel to be back in the physical world once again?

We were beyond excited to come back bigger and stronger than ever. This year, we wanted to attract more audiences with the 4-day Extravaganza taking over the Nile Ritz Carlton with talks, panels, keynotes, workshops, exhibitions, and performances. We connected bodies, educated minds, inspired souls, and warm hearts.

Also, we were keen on engaging more students, so we contacted many universities to reach more young creatives. We provided registration spots for students at affordable prices and offered content relevant to their interests and needs. With the belief that young generations are the leaders of tomorrow, we wanted to play a vital role towards the future.


5- What is it that you took from the virtual edition?

The pandemic has imposed many challenges that came with a number of opportunities as we started getting creative in overcoming them. We have learned to find the silver lining and contribute to the new normal, so we created C-S 2020 as a FULL ON Virtual Edition. It was an e-conference experience where you can network, chat, talk to speakers, comment, and interact.

This year, we were thrilled to launch a hybrid edition that combines the features of both physical and virtual events. In addition to the live ceremony, C-S 2021 brought very strong speakers who are not easy to fly all the way to Egypt, streaming to our audience from 17 countries across the Middle East, Europe & America.


 6- If you would describe this edition in 3 words, what would they be?

Celebration, Creative, and Excellence.


 7- How does it feel to collaborate with the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and how would it affect C-S?

It is a significant step for the Creative Industry Summit towards our aspirations to cooperate with key players in the creative scene across the region and create a mutual umbrella for all creatives. We are proud and thrilled we signed the MOU with Balaconah, which operates under the advertising committee at the Chamber of Commerce in Riyadh. Thanks to this collaboration, we encouraged expertise and knowledge exchange between Egypt and KSA, reinforcing our leading creativity platform and inspiring attendees to work on realizing their dreams.


8- What are your future expanding plan for C-S?

Being the creativity leading hub in Egypt and the MENA Region, the Creative Industry Summit’s vision is to unleash the creative power of people across the Arab world. Therefore, we have vigorous expansion plans working on the two levels; locally and regionally.

Locally, we develop our content and offerings to appeal to more audiences from different generations, expanding our participants’ age group. Regionally, not only do we seek cooperation with creativity gurus across the Arab world, but we also work on creating an on-ground presence for the Creative Industry Summit in various countries. In doing so, we help more Egyptians & Arabs to lead better lives and take part in the ongoing development in all sectors.


9- Which part of the event you’re always excited to witness?

I find the whole journey of organizing the event full of passion. However, as a people person, I get really excited to see the audience get inspired, explore new horizons, and form connections with the right people to bring breakthrough ideas to reality. Seeing the manifestations of these ideas on the ground heightens our enthusiasm and confirms the impact of the Creative Industry Summit.


Creative Industry Summit took place on Sunday, the 28th at the Nile Ritz Carlton and we have to say we were impressed with the huge success. 

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