Design expo generates buzz, but not sales
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Participants at Desain.ID 2012 say that high registration costs for the Indonesia’s interior design industry were worth a chance to create brand awareness and boost sales.
“I have spent around US$30,000, including renting exhibition space, setting up a booth and getting goods in from Singapore, just to be here,” Alan Tay, the director of the Xessex wallpaper and wall coverings business, said.
Xessex was one of 150 participants who have set up booths for the four-day exhibition, which ends on Saturday at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC).
Alan said that he did not intend to make gains to expenses although he found the cost of participation quite expensive.
According to Alan, participation meant exposing his business to potential customers, ranging from interior designers to individual home owners. “Joining this exhibition is a long-term investment, and a serious one, too,” Alan said.
Fayruzka Juanita Rampen, the design manager of the Q Space interior design studio, said they were more interested in raising awareness about themselves among visitors than winning new clients on the spot.
“We also want to introduce what interior design is all about to the public,” Fayruzka told The Jakarta Post.
Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan previously said that the interior design industry, as part of the nation’s creative economy, was growing rapidly alongside the buying power of the nation’s expanding middle class.
Alan said that Indonesian was a promising market. He said that he established a branch of his Singapore-based office in Jakarta nearly two years ago after seeing Indonesians visiting his Singapore office.
“We realized that our Indonesian clients really like wall coverings,” Alan said, adding that his store sells imported wall coverings whose prices can reach Rp 900,000 ($94) per square meter.
By opening a shop in Jakarta, Alan has gone from serving two Indonesian clients a month to at least 20.
Alan added that Indonesia was a good market for wall coverings as people had the means to buy the products and since they saw wall covering as an indicator of a comfortable lifestyle.
Amita Muharani, the trade fair division manager at Dyandra Promosindo, the exhibition’s organizer, said that the exhibition was aimed at helping interior designers and those in the brand and image building part of the industry.
“That’s why we’d like participants to showcase their latest products,” she told the Post.
Besides interior decorators, the exhibition features glassware, lighting and flooring sellers, all of whom rented booths costing between Rp 1.8 million and Rp 2.4 million a square meter.
She said that the number of media publications covering interior design topics mirrored the size of the industry, although she lacked data on the worth of the interior design industry.
“There are more than 28 media publications specializing in interior design that have partnered with us. This shows that the industry is indeed promising,” she said.