Business Tourism generates about R42bn for SA’s economy – and the continent’s largest décor, design and lifestyle expo is gearing up to further boost the events sector by expanding their outlook with an exciting new collaboration for 2017.
Decorex SA takes a fresh, inspired approach to home, lifestyle and business in 2017
There’s no denying South Africa’s status as a top tourist destination. But little is made of our ranking as the leading business events destination on the continent. Last year alone, the country hosted 140 international association meetings and conferences, attracting just under 80,000 delegates – and tenfold more visitors – according to Grant Thornton’s Tourism Business Index. With over 1,000 world-class conference and exhibition venues, there’s a space on the calendar for any interest and industry.
But an exhibition is only as good as its offerings, and one that has stood the test of time is South Africa’s premier décor and design showcase, which even draws visitors from around the globe. Since its inception in 1994, Decorex SA has played a pivotal role in shaping the country’s décor and design industry – and the creative team driving its continuing success is gearing up to thrill décor enthusiasts, business leaders and industry professionals alike, with a massive range of spectacular offerings in 2017.
The Decorex SA portfolio is backed by globally renowned exhibitions company Reed Exhibitions, a leading global events company responsible for the international license of 100% Design and world-class exhibitions such as Decofair in the Middle East, Reed Gift Fairs, Maison & Objet Paris, Asia and Americas and Beletage Fabric & Design Expo in Austria.
A household name in décor and design trends, Decorex has remained a trailblazer by constantly evolving to meet the needs of a demanding industry: in 2013, Decorex Joburg introduced 100% Design South Africa, a curated showcase of groundbreaking designs and designers – expanding focus from the home to include the hospitality and office industries. 2017 will see the inaugural International Sourcing Fair, an exclusive forum for sourcing and buying retail and commercial products aimed at office, home, gift and hospitality markets. This exclusive business expo will be spearheaded and managed by the Decorex SA team.
The first Decorex Joburg exhibition, launched by in 1994, featured 144 exhibitors in just one hall at Gallagher Convention Centre. Today Decorex SA is an established, trusted brand with three annual expos showcasing the country’s top décor and design talent in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Covering over 50,000m² of exhibition space, featuring over 1,200 exhibitors and attracting over 120,000 visitors.
Now, true to form, Decorex SA is gearing up to bring a fresh new perspective to their much-anticipated annual events by teaming up with Inspire Trade Expo, the country’s exclusive business-to-business furniture, décor, design and retail trade exhibition. In the two short years since its launch Inspire Trade Expo has already made a significant impact on the industry with on-trend décor and design items, specifically within the office sector, showcased by wholesalers, importers, exporters, manufacturers, agents and distributors.
“With our legacy of hosting some of the top home décor and design brands, featuring state-of-the-art installations and unique pavilions, we are constantly looking at new ways to innovate and inspire,” says Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions.
“We believe that collaboration is key to our growth and expanding our creative offerings, and 100% Design South Africa’s unparalleled success proves it. This collaboration with Inspire Trade Expo is an unparalleled boon for the design-industry event sector, as it creates a critical mass of exhibitors and visitors, simultaneously utilising the strengths of both highly respected brands,” adds Carol.
This inspired union of consumer and trade shows not only highlights Decorex SA’s commitment to boosting South Africa’s décor, design and related manufacturing sectors, the partnership also has numerous added benefits for all industry players, including providing a much-needed injection of foreign investment and trade to these arenas. And, says Rina Fortmann, Inspire’s expertise in the trade arena will significantly bolster Decorex SA’s dedicated Trade Business Programme, “Inspire has a strong office sector, which will be a growth point within the 100% Design South Africa exhibition.”
Key to Decorex SA’s status as a market leader and the most prestigious lifestyle event on South Africa’s calendar is the expertise of the talented team leading it. With over 100 years of combined experience, the calibre of the key players is unrivalled, guaranteeing a high-quality mix of refreshing, and trend-forward feature exhibits and top-notch guest feature designers.
Carol Weaving, Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions, is also Chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) and on the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) committee and has garnered many awards in her 28-year career, including: Top Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2014, Standard Bank Top Women Awards) and Top Performing Business Woman of the Year (2011).
Rina Fortmann, Exhibition Manager on 100% Design South Africa and International Sourcing Fair, is the former Managing Director of Inspire Trade Exhibitions and was the award-winning MD of SARCDA Gift Toy & Decor Trade Expo for over 20 years.
Laurence Brick, Retail expert, is the Creative Director of 100% Design South Africa. Laurence is co-founder and MD of Platform Creative Agency as well as co-founder of Loads of Living, SA’s first dedicated luxury bedding emporium that evolved into a fully-fledged homeware chain store.
Cathy O’Clery, Creative Director of 100% Design South Africa and co-founder and creative director of Platform Creative Agency, is also design facilitator for Design Network Africa and is a world-renowned African Design Expert.
Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Director: Decorex SA & 100% Design South Africa, implemented the Design & Trend Forecast talks and managed the integration of 100% Design South Africa within the Decorex SA Portfolio. Under her stewardship, Decorex Cape Town and 100% Design South Africa won the EXSA Awards for the best trade and consumer exhibitions in South Africa, in their size categories – the only decor and design exhibitions in the country to win at these industry benchmark awards.
With the creative strategy for 2017 now in place, excitement is mounting as the Decorex team sets about interpreting some fascinating trends and prepares for a whole new wave of amazing new installations and features.