Ravi Naidoo launched South Africa’s signature event for the global design stage, the Design Indaba, in 1995, with 200 attendees at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.
The Indaba, and Naidoo, has come a long way since then, adding events that celebrate design to the now hugely prestigious ravi naidooannual conference, including simulcasts to several cities, an expo, a curated film festival and a music event, A Taste of Sónar, which also has a strong visual component.
Combined more than 52 000 people interacted with events around the 2012 Design Indaba. Of those 3000 attended the film festival at the Labia in Cape Town and 2800 attended simulcast screenings of the conference in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
Over the past four years Design Indaba has also contributed a Billion Rand (including R300 million this year) to the economy according to research findings by a UCT Graduate School of Business report. Naidoo says these are not thumb-suck figures on average spend per visitor to the city, but is based primarily on hard sales figures from the expo floor, which so far this year exceeded R200 million, and attracted 40 232 visitors.