Design Indaba 2012 hits the sweet spots

Design Indaba did it again in 2012 – with the numbers to prove it! The past four years saw Design Indaba contribute R1 billion to the GDP.

For five days, from 29 February to 4 March 2012, Design Indaba Conference and Expo transformed the Cape Town International Convention Centre into a global hub of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Collectively more than 50 000 people experienced how creativity is being actively employed, across a variety of disciplines, to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Design Indaba Conference, which took place from 29 February to 1 March, saw speakers hailing from a diverse range of creative disciplines from around the world take to the stage in the Mother City. Close to 3 000 delegates were inspired and enlightened on a variety of topics, from architecture and furniture design to cuisine, landscape design, digital art and more.

Dedicated to expanding the reach of the Design Indaba experience, the conference is simulcast each year, via a live video feed, to additional venues around the country. Cape Town audiences have been privy to the simulcast since 2006, while Johannesburg experienced it for the second time this year, and Durban hosted its inaugural Design Indaba Simulcast. The growing number accommodated by the simulcasts highlights an overwhelming interest in the event, and Design Indaba hopes to broadcast the conference to even more venues in 2013, possibly further afield than South African soil.

2012 was also a record year for Design Indaba Expo, with some 40 232 visitors making their way to South Africa’s foresmost showcase of high-quality, locally produced design.

From 2 to 4 March, 367 exhibitors strutted their stuff at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, exhibiting everything from ceramics to fashion, product design to architecture, craft to new media, and everything in between.

But the Expo is so much more than just a showcase. This year, a total of 416 registered buyers, of which 156 were international, used Design Indaba Expo as their creative shopping centre of choice, to source proudly South African designs for their respective retail outlets at home and abroad.

While the inspiration flowed freely at Design Indaba and invaluable relationships formed, it is the numbers that really speak to the impact of the annual event. Design Indaba 2012 has officially contributed R326.9 million to South Africa’s National Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Impressively, the bulk of this comprises business orders to the value of R180.9 million. These figures are the outcome of an independent economic impact assessment by Professor Barry Standish of UCT’s Graduate School of Business.

Design Indaba also contributed significantly to the Western Cape Gross Geographic Product with R101.5 million, of which business orders totalled R53.5 million. Employment created by the event is also significant, at no less than 1 151 part- and full-time jobs.

What's more: In the past four years Design Indaba has contributed a total of R1 billion to the South African economy!

One of Design Indaba’s biggest assets is the global network that it is able to tap into. This was observed by the 14 international media partners that it attracts, along with 5 local, resulting in a combined media value of R36.9 million, and extensive exposure for the Design Indaba brand, the City of Cape Town and South African design across all corners of the globe.

Ravi Naidoo, founder and CEO of Design Indaba, attributes the measurable impact of this year’s event to Design Indaba’s 17-year commitment to leveraging creativity to fuel an economic and social revolution in South Africa. And when it comes to defining the success of the event, the numbers say it all: the proof is in the pudding.