This year’s winners of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) Roar Awards were announced at a prizegiving gala evening held at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 29 February 2024. Leading local exhibition organisers RX Africa saw their Decorex Africa portfolio scoop three coveted awards in three categories, winning for Best PR Campaign for Decorex Africa, Best Consumer and Trade Exhibition under 6000sqm for Decorex Cape Town, and Best Consumer and Trade Exhibition over 6000sqm for Decorex Joburg.


‘We’re elated!’ says portfolio director Sandra Barrow, ‘but also humbled and inspired to push even harder to make this year’s shows in Cape Town and Joburg even more impactful for our exhibitors, trade guests and members of the public.’

The ‘Roar’ in Roar Awards is a handy acronym for R – Respect, O – Opportunities, A – Achievements, and R – Recognition. According to AAXO, the Roar Awards are ‘aimed at acknowledging and recognising excellence in exhibition organisation.’ 

The prestigious awards ‘provide organisers with a platform to showcase their event, positioning the exhibition as an award-winning event and allowing for further growth opportunities.’ All entries were judged on their successful exhibition strategy incorporating marketing, public relations, operations and activation.


Carol Weaving (Managing Director - RX Africa), Julie Powell (Senior Client Executive), Sian Cullingworth (Business Development Director), Sandra Jardim (Marketing Director), Sandra Barrow (Portfolio Director), Mia van Zyl (Marketing Coordinator).

Decorex Africa’s standout PR campaign for both its shows last year was managed on behalf of the portfolio by Scout PR & Social Media. Says agency director Lauren Shantall: ‘We congratulate the Decorex team on successfully revisioning their shows and being recognised for such. We’re thankful to have had the opportunity to represent them in the traditional and non-traditional media space, and we’re grateful to AAXO for the acknowledgement.’

The AAXO Best PR Campaign award category is designed to recognise the most innovative and effective public relations campaign implemented by an AAXO member for an event. The winning campaign needed to have successfully generated significant media coverage and buzz, ultimately contributing to the success of the event. 

The Best PR Campaign was judged on a number of criteria including creativity and innovation, media impact, audience reach, measurable results, budget management, team collaboration, ethics and integrity.

Scout PR & Social Media demonstrated impressive year-on-year results, showing a 35,4% increase in media coverage and generating an AVE of over R81million. The earned social media coverage generated increased by 126,7% compared to 2022.

The theme for Decorex 2023 was ‘Reimagined’, and that is exactly how the show organisers approached both the organisation of the show and the media campaign around it. The Decorex Africa team wanted to showcase the events as more than just trade shows but as an industry platform, and pushed the boundaries beyond the walls of the exhibition halls. The first-ever Cape Town Decor and Design Week and Joburg Decor and Design Week were introduced into the mix, and for the first time, 100% Design Africa and Design Joburg were collocated in one hall, uniting the industry and providing a one-stop decor and design powerhouse under the banner of better celebrating the industry, promoting the exhibitors, and exciting and attracting new visitors. 

Decorex Joburg, 100% Design Africa and Design Joburg ran simultaneously, each retaining its 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, which was Joburg Decor and Design Week. The collocated shows made for the biggest design and decor event on the African continent. 

The PR campaign worked exceptionally well to highlight the many unique ways in which the Decorex Africa portfolio events and the exhibitors on display were embracing out-of-the-box innovations and bringing world-class decor and design to South Africa.


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