Decorex has become one of the first events in Africa to take interior design online in order to continue to support the industry, and its exhibitors, through the pandemic.

Decorex Africa & 100% Design South Africa has brought the design community together every August for the past 28 years. Not to be defeated by Covid, the team pulled out all the stops in October to enable the industry to engage and conduct ‘business as usual’, virtually.

“Although we couldn’t convene physically this year, we were determined to do something to support our community, stimulate trade and help reignite the economy” says Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Director: Lifestyle, Design & Retail. “Everyone is having to adapt and innovate in the face of the pandemic and having redesigned our trade model from the ground up, we have been able to reconnect our exhibitors with buyers even if on a small scale, within our pilot virtual show.”

At the heart of Decorex’s virtual and interactive platform was a comprehensive Exhibitor Directory, available for buyers to view, pre, during and post the virtual event, which included links to exclusive exhibitor promotions and their websites.  The platform also offered live video chat and chat functionality to enable exhibitors to meet one-on-one with their customers. Attendees were engaged by a live programme of speakers presenting the latest trends and inspirational content. And to extend visitor reach, the team ran a promotional programme on social media drawing attention to ‘shop now’ opportunities, product launches and give-ways.

“We attracted 200 exhibitors and 1020 pre-qualified trade visitors to the three day event and generated over 20,000 unique page views” says Amanda. “For us this is just the start. Following our virtual pilot we will be initiating a full 365 approach to ensure all members of the design, décor, hospitality, build and retail community can continue to connect virtually in the weeks to come.”