After debuting its annual trade exhibition NEXT as part of Decorex Cape Town, the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) has launched NEXT22 online to a global audience of trade buyers and customers.
The virtual showcase went live on 07 July 2022 and reveals the latest furniture, lighting, textiles, fashion accessories and homeware ranges from over 25 top South African talents. The online exhibition is free to access and runs until June 2023. It is made possible with support from the Department of Small Business Development and City of Cape Town.
This is the fifth edition of the NEXT Trade Exhibition, a showcase that forms part of a CDI export development initiative, which has supported over 70 businesses since inception through export training. The CDI is a South African non-profit company with over two decades of success in developing creative people, small businesses, and the craft and design sector at large.
Importers, retailers and decorators – as well as design-loving members of the public – will get the opportunity to find new ranges from participating businesses, who hail from across the nation and represent the best of South African craft and design. Exhibitors include a mix of well-established brands and rising stars such as A Love Supreme, Douglas & Company, Meyer von Wielligh, and Willow lamp, amongst others.
The benefits of the online iteration include increased longevity and wider reach, particularly with regards to the export market. “NEXT22 exhibitors gain exposure beyond the timeframe of Decorex Cape Town which already was a massive boon for designers with thousands of visitors at the event. It cannot be overstated how key the return of trade events are for the design sector, and with the extended digital dimension, we can reach thousands more trade buyers globally through the CDI’s network. We are optimistic that the growth in exports that we saw pre-pandemic can be achieved in the near future,” says CDI Group CEO, Erica Elk.
The CDI’s export development programme was initiated through the support of the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI). NEXTcompanies saw an average of over 50% increase in export sales pre-pandemic (from 2016 to 2018 to European markets). Now, NEXT22 is geared to enable a new phase of growth in trade as many parts of the world return to pre-COVID levels of business. NEXT went online for the first time in 2021 in response to travel restrictions, and now, more international buyers than ever before are discovering these new South African product ranges virtually.
Find the full NEXT22 e-catalogue and virtual experience at http://www.thecdi.org.za/next22