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The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) once again played host to the internationally renowned Design Indaba Conference and Expo earlier this month. This year, the event celebrated its 20th anniversary of championing design.

“This is another iconic event that the centre has been privileged to partner with over the last 10 years”, says Chief Executive Officer, Rashid Toefy. The conference, expo, film festival, music festival and events aligned around it attract in excess of 50 000 people per year.

“Events such as Design Indaba play a vital role in boosting Cape Town’s desirability as a premier meetings and events destination as well as the economy”, he adds. In the past five years alone, Design Indaba has contributed more than R1.3 billion to the South African GDP – the single biggest economic impetus to the design industry in the country.

As Cape Town celebrates its status as the 2014 World Design Capital, this year’s events incorporated an exciting programme line-up, which paid homage to the design industry and creativity. Design Indaba is not only hugely inspirational in local and international work and new sustainable ways of doing business, but it also has a serious business impact.

“In 2014 over 800 registered buyers were recorded, the highest number in the event’s 20 year history”, says Design Indaba Founder and CEO, Ravi Naidoo. More than 200 of these buyers hailed from overseas. “This year’s Design Indaba Expo attracted over 40 000 visitors a significant increase from the 36 000 of last year”, he adds. In addition the event attracted widespread media interest and registered media hailed from as far afield as the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, amongst others.

“The success of the Design Indaba Expo is that the key objective of this event is to provide a platform for new and upcoming designers to showcase their products and services. It is therefore based on a business model that is geared at affording exhibitors the full spectrum of benefits, most importantly exposure. The total media value generated around the event is in the region of R40 million. Design Indaba  does not charge it’s exhibitors a turnover based rental or commission on sales as we believe that the economic success of the event needs to be driven by the economic return to our exhibitors”, says Naidoo.

This year for the first time, an African pavilion was featured, which showcased the latest developments in architecture, fashion, social and industrial design, and technological innovation and talent from countries such as Morocco, Malawi, Uganda and Angola.

In order to provide access points to a greater number of delegates, the Design Indaba Conference Simulcast has now expanded to Potchefstroom in addition to existing simulcast venues in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth. This brings the Design Indaba Conference delegate numbers to just over 3 000 with 45 667 people interacting with the brand over the last 10 days.