The Grand Designs Live Expo landed for the fifth consecutive year in Johannesburg at the Coca-Cola Dome over the May 23-25 weekend 2014. Sponsored by Dion Wired, this year’s Grand Designs Live proved, once again, why it is the South African leader in raising mindfulness about home inspirations and innovative new technologies in building, interiors, home wares, gardens, kitchens and bathrooms, and creative gourmet cooking. With 250 exhibitors and an array of entertaining and informative workshops and talks on DIY home improvements, cooking and gardening, it was predetermined that the Grand Designs Live 2014 would be a success.
Rob Nathan, Marketing Director of Media 10 Limited, and one of the people responsible for bringing this expo to South African shores said, ”Learning about the different sustainable techniques in building is what the show is about. We want the Grand Designs Live to be synonymous with the words build, design, eco-technology and inspiration.”
”I want people to leave the show saying ‘I went to the show and it was great’,” said Nathan. This was a feat not too difficult to reach for this award winning show. “The South African Grand Designs Live has won show of the year for the last four years and it looks fantastic. It has the same hallmarks as our UK and Sydney shows, so it’s up to international standards,” Nathan continued.
Even with all its success, the show has some challenges. “The most difficult thing we deal with is that people see this as a project based show and they think if they have no home improvement project they’re busy with, then they shouldn’t come,” Nathan said. Though this may be the case for most, some of the 26, 000 visitors who went to the show thought spending time with friends and family surpassed the allure of show. The show floor saw exhibitions which showcased beautiful décor, building, gardening and cutting edge technologies such as the customized crystal chandeliers, eco-furnaces, magnetic water heaters, home security systems and the latest in home entertainment and fitness technology.
“We have to be careful not to make the show too tradey,” Nathan said, making it clear that the show is about more than the industry movers and shakers marketing their products or services. “People want inspiration but they also want to have a good time and because we don’t want people to get bored with the show we need to constantly refresh it,” said Nathan. “We’re out here looking for other opportunities and we want to find out what else we can do with the Grand Designs Live brand. Expanding (however) depends on competition in the industry and the economy,” Nathan continued.
One such enthusiast of The Grand Designs Live, Apinda Mpako said, “I came to spend some time out of the house with my family. I love the food section. We’ve tasted the wines, beer and jams that are on display. And I managed to find the perfect cushions for my couch.” “I’m always looking for new things for my home and I see myself coming again next year,” Mpako continued, possibly prophesying the show’s continued success.