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Custom conference products yield over R43 000 in sales and orders

Thursday, 28 November 2019  
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The CDI recently assisted seven businesses with the development of customised products for an international jellyfish symposium which took place in Cape Town this month. It was a unique opportunity that saw the CDI over the past six months host a creativity workshop, offer one-on-one product development consultations to the local SMEs, and facilitate the conference market where over R43 000 and sales and orders were secured.


The CDI and the organisers of the 6th International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium started the discussion earlier this year about the opportunity to develop some unique locally-designed craft products for the November event hosted at the Two Oceans Aquarium. This gave rise a small range of themed products for this event, which the we reported on here in July.


Professor Mark Gibbons of the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the University of the Western Cape, and one of the Symposium organisers said:


"As organisers of the symposium, the first time it has been held in Africa, we wanted to emphasise the theme of development, educational outreach, branding and local entrepreneurs. Feedback from delegates was overwhelmingly supportive of the initiative, and I would like to see CDI partner with more such opportunities in the future."


Here’s what some of the business owners had to say about the experience:


It was a great experience from beginning to end. To start off with we got to be involved in a lovely workshop and tour around the Aquarium to really get our creative juices flowing. The CDI then created great spaces for us to sell and display our products. So thanks to the CDI for the curation. The market opportunity well exceeded my expectations. I was positively overwhelmed with the amount of sales I made and amount of interest in all of the products. I would most definitely like to get involved in more conferences and events around natural sciences, and the like as I think it's the perfect route for my brand. I gained a great new perspective on how I can take my business forward, finding a niche in natural sciences and keen to go deeper into that field.
Nehanda Magan, Nehanda Designs

It was a great opportunity and it stretched me a bit. Conceptualising an idea on paper to a finished product was worth it. The briefing sessions throughout prior to the symposium were of much help. It was exciting to see how interested people were in my samples. Coming up with new product ideas and seeing them to fruition is a bit daunting but this opportunity made it so much fun. I made two contacts from France, one from Germany, one from the USA and one from Portugal who were greatly interested in my jellyfish socks and cushions.
Lewis Ndlovu, Kingsdale Emporio


I am personally impressed by the uninterrupted support from CDI in general and Caragh Barwise (CDI’s Product Support Coordinator) in particular from day one to the last day. The journey was not an easy one because one could not surely know what to expect at the jellyfish symposium but the quality of support and interaction between designers kept us going. The opportunity was great for me as first-time participant. The support received from CDI was wonderful.
Joseph Kalango, Design Cradle


The opportunity was great way for me to market my business out there. The idea of designing for a specific product was challenging but the creativity workshop helped. Also the teamwork of our group kept the energy flowing. What was very helpful was the support from CDI for vendors as we could ask questions if we were not sure. Also helpful was that CDI could help with the refinement of ideas to present a product that was worthy of such an event.
Rene Baron, Baron Design House


The products developed are live on the website www.jellyfishbloom2019. See here for the catalogue.


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