Design Opinion South Africa

Media 10 up their game in southern Africa

Grand Designs Live has a reputation as a show that innovates and gets better year on year. In the United Kingdom, where the show originated, it has won numerous awards. So it's no surprise that after five years of success in South Africa, the show owners, Media 10, are moving from being silent partners to opening offices in South Africa.

Rob Nathan, Director, Media 10, who was in South Africa last week for the opening of the 2015 Grand Design Live show, which took place at the Dome in northern Johannesburg, says they felt that the time was right for them to up their game in South Africa. "We have been almost 'silent partners' with Grand Designs Live since its launch and now that the show is mature we feel it needs some more hands on attention from Media 10 directly."

Media 10 up their game in southern Africa

He added that while the show is in a great place, Media 10's partners, Specialised Exhibitions are Business to Business (B2B). "With 12 years of running Grand Designs Live in the UK, it makes sense that we put the Media 10 blueprint on to the event. When it launched, it shook up the industry in South Africa and we don't want to rest on our laurels."

He explains that understanding between Specialised Exhibitions and Media 10 was always that it was prudent for the event to be wholly owned by Media 10. "This will allow us to open our office in the region, assess the events industry and make long term plan as we have done recently in China," he says.

Therefore it is their intention to launch more shows in the region. "Our intention is to focus on Grand Designs Live in the short term, but also to identify which events suit our skill set and match the opportunities in the region.

He added that Media 10 were always looking for new ventures and opportunities - be they launches or acquisitions. "Our long-term aim is to grow the South African division in the way that we have grown the UK arm."

He says that Grand Designs Live is fantastic and that status needs to be maintained. "The reputation of Grand Designs has been built but time moves on and we now have to take it to the next level. We are going to de-construct the show, look at all areas, from layout to exhibitor mix, to advertising and put our stamp on it."

He told Bizcommunity that when speaking to the exhibitors at the event this past weekend, it was evident that the news of Media 10 taking over was very welcome. "Sometime events, even the most successful, need to take a look at themselves and we will be doing that with Grand Designs Live. Expect subtle but significant changes in 2016."

This year's show had the theme, up-cycling and featured a 3D Tunnel experience by Whirlpool as visitors entered the show.

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.
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