We sit down with Sian Cullingworth, the Portfolio Director of the powerhouse exhibition brand Decorex Africa. Leading a team of creative and dynamic people that strive to achieve only the best, by creating award winning exhibitions: Decorex Durban, Decorex Cape Town, Decorex Joburg, 100% Design South Africa and Decorex International.


What sets Decorex Africa apart and makes it the stalwart in the industry for so many years?

Synonymous with ground-breaking concepts in décor, design and lifestyle elements, Decorex Africa has managed to keep ahead of the field by constantly introducing innovative features and showcasing the best of South Africa’s décor artists.


Established more than two decades ago, Decorex Africa has become entrenched as the ultimate reflection of incoming trends in décor and design. Some 52% of trade delegates attend the show to familiarise themselves with the latest industry trends, and this is a responsibility we take seriously. Through an incredibly dynamic features programme, Decorex Africa provides a visual and sensory interpretation of style trends, bringing on board the most influential designers and suppliers.


There is a lot of work that goes into every exhibition, and so many key stakeholders are involved in its success, we are truly proud of the collaborative effort that has resulted in this award-winning portfolio.


Decorex Africa offers trade and the public at large with over 1100 exhibitors across 3 main cities; Durban, Cape Town and Joburg bringing together over 112 000 trade and consumer visitors both locally, from Africa and international countries. A dedicated hosted buyer campaign through Africa over the last 4 years has increased our African footprint and allowed more than 9 million rand in sales exclusively through our buyers.


Constantly breaking new ground, 100% Design South Africa the largest curated exhibition platform for sourcing high-end contemporary design in Africa. 100% Design South Africa is an annual platform where top brands showcase and launch their latest products, and where select designers are invited to put together show-stopping special features.


How has COVID affected the shows for this year?

After understanding that it would not be possible to host our portfolio of shows in their usual venues in 2020 due to lockdown restrictions, we looked to virtual solutions in a bid to continue to support the industry and its exhibitors and help reignite the economy. To continue to support and give back to the community, we have continued to promote the industry through our social media platforms.


The Decorex Africa portfolio has brought the industry together for the past 27 years and are naturally disappointed by this outcome but we also understand that we have the power to take action and have therefore looked to virtual solutions in a bid to continue to support the industry and its exhibitors.


In this light, we are pleased to introduce our first-ever virtual expo, which will replace this year’s physical iterations of Decorex Africa and 100% Design South Africa. The aim is to provide exhibitors and members of the trade, with a unique online opportunity to engage and conduct “business as unusual”.


In this spirit, we hope that you will find the virtual expo both a positive and useful intervention. We invite you to join us and experience our very first virtual world.


With Decorex Africa going ONLINE what value is there for the trade and exhibitor?

As Decorex Africa plays a pivotal role within the industry and in an endeavor to grow, strengthen and support the industry, there will be no cost to register to attend and be part of this trade only virtual experience.


With 3 days dedicated to bringing together the design, décor, hospitality and retail industry together into one space, to connect with over 300 carefully vetted exhibitors. The specialised virtual offering facilitates maximum engagement for trade members, streamlining the process of product and service sourcing. The three trade-only will offer industry members a unique networking platform that encourages the development of productive business relationships and keeping the industry connected.


Dates to diarise and what to plan for?

The Decorex Africa portfolio, synonymous with sophisticated décor and design, is looking forward to bringing the finest localised products, interior stylists and creative inspiration in 2021, with our live events.


In addition to an exciting line up of features and installations, visitors will get to interact with some of the city’s most innovative trade leaders – revolutionising the design, build and lifestyle industries – as well as some of the most dynamic influencers in the creative realm.


The immersive 100% Design South Africa and Decorex International - co-located with Decorex Joburg – will also give trade visitors and consumers the chance to source quality interior design products.


DECOREX CAPE TOWN // 16 - 20 June / 5 Day Show - CTICC


DECOREX JOBURG // 6 - 9 August / 4 Day Show - Gallagher Convention Centre


DECOREX DURBAN // 23 - 26 September / 4 Day Show - Durban Exhibition Centre