Decorex Africa ̶ Celebrating 30 years of design inspiration

Decorex Africa - Celebrating 30 years of design inspiration                                                                                                                  

After the success of Decorex Africa’s radically reimagined return in 2022, RX has taken this dynamic trade and consumer event to the next level with the launch of South Africa’s Cape and Joburg Decor & Design Weeks. Marketing Director Sandra Jardim reveals how, in its 30th anniversary year, the event is inspiring and driving more business than ever.

Decorex Africa has been at the forefront of decor, design, and lifestyle trends for three decades, helping to launch thousands of businesses and putting an indelible stamp on the industry. But times change. The pandemic offered us the opportunity to reflect deeply on our role, and the value we provide to the industry and our clients. This perspective inspired our reinvention.

In 2022 we launched Decorex Africa® Reimagined, delivering on our promise to provide vital direction and leadership for the architecture, décor, and design industries. Our reinvigorated event embraced tight curation, progressive creative direction, an upmarket new Johannesburg venue, a specially commissioned state of the industry report, a brand new design summit, and a fresh brand identity focused on culture, community and storytelling, all of which was rewarded by supportive exhibitors, a robust trade programme, and enthusiastic crowds. 

More than 51,000 targeted guests visited Decorex 2022 at both Cape Town International Convention Centre and the upmarket Sandton Convention Centre (SCC), which was far better suited to the reimagine campaign and market we wanted  to attract.

“We didn’t get a chance to stop,” commented exhibitor Lana Fredericks of Okra X Muyzu, “just as we were finished talking to one customer, there’d be another waiting in line!”

Houtlander’s Stephen Wilson said the company had “an outstanding exhibition which was not only commercially successfu in terms of sales but also great for our brand overall. It was a pure delight to reconnect with some of our fellow designers and meet fantastic new ones and we can’t wait to participate again!”

A city-wide celebration of creativity

After the tremendous success of Decorex Africa’s radically reimagined return in 2022 we took things to the next level for 2023, our 30th anniversary year, with phenomenal results.

Not only was our Cape Town event in June a sell-out, but in August, for the first-time ever, we brought together South Africa’s three leading decor and design exhibitions under the banner of ‘Joburg Décor and Design Week’ to better celebrate our industry, promote our exhibitors, and excite and attract new visitors.

Decorex Joburg, 100% Design Africa and Design Joburg ran simultaneously, each retaining their own powerful and distinct identity, while all around them, South Africa and Africa’s top designers, retailers and creatives joined forces for a city-wide celebration of creativity, inspiration, and insight. The co-located shows made for the biggest design and decor event on the African continent – a real feather in South Africa’s cap!

Within the Sandton Convention Centre, over 400 brands unveiled their latest creative products and design inspirations, under the curatorial eye of former magazine editor and design consultant Bielle Bellingham, Decorex Africa’s executive creative director. Platforming the best catalyses attention and fuels growth, by creating a more considered, pioneering, reliable and enjoyable set of event experiences and opportunities.  

Top designers, including leading lights in the local creative field, gave presentations and demonstrations across four dynamic and stimulating live stages. These free talks were a huge win with our audiences. Highlights included Dr Sechaba Maape’s discussion on African indigenous design identity, Steve Smith’s panel on the business of design and Steve Tanchel and Kokona Ribane’s discussion on South Africa’s digital art future.

Assuming a bigger role in platforming and growing South African, and African, design and designers is a major focus for Decorex Africa which is why were delighted to partner with Proudly South African, the government sponsored ‘Buy Local’ campaign. The waves of innovation from our show were felt across the globe, with one of the Proudly South African member companies, Homewod, selling 50 chairs to a retailer all the way from Turkey!

Karin Cawthorn of South African furniture, lighting and design accessories company, KARE, summed up the feedback we received from many satisfied exhibitors, when she said: “What an experience! From the very beginning – the organization, communication, and feedback – was professional, timely and clear. The show proved to be great exposure for KARE Johannesburg, as we were able to connect with regular clients and introduce the brand to new prospective clients and trade.”

Over the last 30 years, Decorex Africa has hosted 14,600 exhibitors and welcomed 1.3 million attendees through our doors. And we are committed to being a catalyst for the evolution of the interiors, design and lifestyle industries for decades to come.

We will do this, not only by platforming the best of African design, but also by exporting it around the world through international trade programmes, and by leveraging our relationships with sister RX events, including Maison&Objet, in Paris, one of Europe’s most important interior design events.

See you in 2024!