Unfazed by a surprise snowfall and freezing temperatures, Gautengers turned out in their droves to visit Decorex Joburg at Gallagher Convention Centre over the past long weekend.
Carol Weaving, managing director of Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group which owns Decorex, congratulated the organising team, saying that Africa’s largest décor, design and lifestyle show was a jewel in the crown of the Thebe exhibition portfolio.
“Visitors and square metres are down at a lot of other consumer shows, but Decorex’s unique interactive infotainment model contributes to the show’s success. It’s a great day out,” she said.
Weaving hinted that Thebe was close to securing an international tie-up involving Decorex SA as well as a growth strategy into Africa but declined to give further details at this stage.
Thebe owns and manages a total of 18 exhibitions, including Mediatech Africa, Sports Events Tourism Exchange and the Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo. The company also manages venues at facilities such as the Coca Cola Dome and the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban.
Last week Thebe was named the Top Gender Empowered Company in the Travel, Leisure and Entertainment industry at the Top Women Awards.
“Thebe is 95% female – a fact that really works in the exhibition industry because women are extremely detail orientated,” Weaving said.
She added that Thebe’s approach was very much to reinvent and reinvest in its exhibitions and the three Decorex SA shows in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg would be taken to another level in 2013.
“We believe in leading, not following, and what we have in mind for the next step is very exciting and will greatly enhance Decorex’s existing position as Africa’s leading décor show,” she said.
Weaving added that a décor and design brand like Decorex was pretty robust, since whether people were buying new houses or staying put because they were cash strapped, they would never stop wanting to renovate or improve their living environment.
Weaving, a former chairperson of the Exhibition Association of South Africa, said the challenge facing all exhibitions was the existence of some disreputable organisations that threatened to give the exhibition business a bad name.
“I’ve seen so many people burnt in this business. Before getting involved in an exhibition, you need to do your homework to ensure you’re dealing with the right people and we need a regulatory authority with teeth,” she said.
Sherri Chipps, recently appointed portfolio director of Decorex SA, said the fact that Plascon remained the sponsor of Decorex after 19 years, was testament to the fact that this exhibition held true value.
“Sponsorships are incredibly difficult to get and keep in the current market, and we look forward to working with Plascon to ensure their investment is worthwhile,” she said.
M-Net as Decorex’s media partner was a “no-brainer”, with the demographics a perfect match.
As a passionate supporter of local South African design and décor, Decorex was already working on some exciting content plans and collaborations to make Decorex 2013 even more “dazzling and incredible”, Chipps said.
This year Decorex Joburg occupied 6 halls with more than 700 exhibitors showing off the latest in colour, fabric and flooring trends, the newest in bathroom and kitchen innovation and accessories as well as on-trend and inspiring interior settings.