On 10 July, the doors seamlessly opened to what promises to continue to be the most important decor, furniture and retail event on the African continent. This was the inaugural Inspire Trade Expo, which ran until 12 July 2014 and was the brainchild of expo genius Rina Fortmann, who was not only a director of SARCDA for many years, but who also chaired EXSA (Exhibition Association Of Southern Africa). This show was a properly controlled trade show where every single visitor had to pass a host of stringent criteria in order to be allowed access, due to the focus being on quality trade visitors instead of thousands of consumers.
There are many décor and design shows and expos annually occurring in South Africa, but these are all consumer shows and certainly not our target market, explains Fortmann. Inspire was conceived, to promote décor, design and furniture to the retail, design and hospitality industry, to strengthen the trade of great local product and manufacturing. This very first show attracted the right quality trade buyers and for the Inspire team, 2015 is definitely about growth of our trade buyers by vastly expanding our marketing strategy into Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa.
The feedback from the majority of exhibitors, was that this was unlike any other show in the country, with the quality of leads and networking opportunities being second to none. There has been huge interest from those that were initially skeptical about participating in a first time expo, with many now clamoring to get a good position for 2015. The criteria will remain high and the standards of stand design and merchandise will have to meet those as set up by Inspire so that we can continue to produce a world-class exhibit, says Creative Director and Exhibition Manager, Anita Bloom.
The 2,800 trade buyers that visited the expo were a good blend of retailers, architects, hotels, lodges, interior decorators and designers, as well as corporate procurement within the industry. The feedback from the buyers is that the quality was at international standards, new product innovation was evident and that Inspire was a great platform to network and do business without the interference of the consumer.
The expo also featured a much needed retail segment, which included presentations by some of the countries leading retail exponents as well as Hi -Tech product. Retail specialist and trend forecaster Dave Nemeth, who is the business consultant to the show, explains that this is an area that will certainly grow within the expo as retailers scramble to be at the forefront of innovation. If you have an exciting retail solution or product, this is definitely the show to showcase it.
Bookings have already opened for 2015 and sponsorship opportunities are being considered for 2015. Interested parties can contact The Sales and Marketing Director Claire Fortmann or get more info directly from the website on www.inspiretradeexpo.co.za.