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Improved level of interaction and quality displays is what counts in any valuable expo, writes Robert Yawe.

Participating in exhibitions has unfortunately been relegated to a shot-in-the-dark activity as has become of the trend of advertising through the print and electronic media.

It is our expectation that by providing guidelines and feedback on the judging procedure we shall get exhibitors to look at exhibitions differently. Indeed, this being an interiors expo, it is one of the major reasons we held an exhibitor briefing at the Tribe Hotel, an example of a hotel with fascinating architectural works and interiors.

When exhibiting, you need to be clear in mind about what you’re intending to achieve. Before the interactions, ask: “Is it contacts that I want to collect so as to make follow-ups later or do I just want to create awareness of my products and services? Based on this, you will then be in a better position to develop the exhibition stall.

Etched into their memories

It is important to avoid trying to offer too many varied products or services. Look for what your core items and which are supplemental then emphasize the core products. This allows you to have a visitor leave your stall with a specific product or service etched into their memories.

After the expo, you can introduce other products you have either via mail shots or when they (clients) come to visit you in your premises where you will have more time to explain the dynamics of your products.

You need to realize that your stand at an exhibition is an extension of your organization.

The image portrayed here is a reflection of your organization as a whole. The level of product knowledge, your interaction with visitors and the detail of the products displayed is what shall be carried in the minds of the visitors from that day forward.

Getting prospective clients

A critical function of attending an expo is to collect contacts of prospective clients. So make sure that on the Monday after the expo the contacts are tabulated and at the least a “thank you” message sent out by the end of the week. It has been proven that an adult’s brain will not retain information for more than seven days if it is not reinforced or used.

This contact needs to be continuous especially in a situation where the purchase cycle is long. However, bear in mind that most Africans and Asians place more value on a word-of-mouth reference. The person you keep in touch with might not buy but will spread your message further and wider than any known advertising media.

Manning the stall

With SMS messages at 10 cents, while email and a web page cost next to nothing, you have no justification for not keeping in touch with your prospects.

The time, effort and detail you put into opening your permanent office or showroom should be the same way your stand should be handled at the expo. You cannot afford to have the stand closed at lunch hour. Make sure there are shifts. In this regard, avoid recruiting stand assistants on the day of the expo.

If you must use temporary personnel instead of your regular staff, then make sure they are fully briefed on the products and a clear escalation process agreed upon. Since expos are exhausting as well as physically and mentally draining, avoid having a single person at the stand throughout the duration of the expo.

Adjudication criteria

In providing this service we would like to explain the judging criteria for the stands based on internationally acceptable best practice code.

  •  Does the exhibit satisfy the basic pre-requisite of brand identification? Is the branding clearly visible from all available approaches?
  •  Do the key messages of the expo form an integral part of the stand and are they immediately discernible to the visitor?
  •  Can the visitor move freely and logically through the exhibit enabling them to fully ‘engage’ with the exhibitor?
  •  Is it immediately clear what the exhibitor is offering?
  •  Do the forms employed in the exhibit allow the exhibitor to take command of the space they occupy?
  •  Does the exhibitor leave an indelible impression at every touch-point?
  •  Does it connect with the audience?
  •  Has the exhibitor exploited lighting successfully in the creation of a memorable experience for their visitor?
  •  Have they sought to explore new and interesting materials or possibly determined to use traditional materials in a more imaginative and interesting way?
  • Is the stand ‘fit for purpose’?

The right arrangements

Let’s take the example of a stand for a company that produces or markets tile grout in various colours. Since the expo mainly targets home builders and owners it is very important to note that they would prefer the aesthetics and not technical properties.

A stand with a tiled shower cubicle on one site and a kitchen with a tiled backsplash would be more effective than an assortment of the packaged product strewn on the floor of the stand. With such a display it is quicker to explain the functions and benefits of the product leaving a clear and uncluttered message with the visitor.

As we project to have subsequent events after the 2nd Ideal Interiors Expo, it is our hope that we shall see an improvement in the level of interactions and displays.

The writer is the managing director of Quadrant Shift Africa and the chairman of the adjudication panel.

Interiors Updates

Contemporary African Art



This is a joint exhibition by two artists (Husband & Wife Oywecha and Ruth). Each showing Talent & Own Expressions.

In Ruth’s Art, she expresses her thoughts, dreams and emotions not forgetting other ideas from within and without. She tries to create by seeing everything as they are in constant effort. She has always tried to nourish her feelings and doing so by deriving materials from the world about us and assimilating the external world about us and assimilating the external world within herself and projecting them into mediums as her own creation. Her art has evolved significantly and in the process, she has become an accomplished and prolific artist.

In Oywecha’s painting color and his technique combine to express and or elicit powerful emotions. Some have linked his paintings with cubism, which is sought to depict an intellectual and abstract reality. His paintings have a tendency of pulling apart and examining conventions of existing models of expression, his own characteristics and unique style. Some term his work as geometrical due to its simplification.

0718-500101, 0733-582643

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Interiors Updates




Rarely are middle-class homes built with a top of the level interiors-architectural approach and mix expansive space to allow the home occupant to style the space, but as writes Jeniffer MBOGORI, Kivulini Thika is a rare homely setting with stylish apartments.

The magnificent development of Kivulini Thika situated along the Thika Garissa Road that is only a few minutes drive from Thika’s-Central Business District set a remarkable standard for affordable residential units that’s emerging in Kenya of late.

The awesomely compelling homes spaciously built on a five acre prime land is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious addresses in Thika comprising 31 beautiful maisonettes and 96 stylish apartments.

All residences are characterized by light open spaces, high-quality finishing, and a design concept that few other developments can match.

Refined architectural thinking

With ample parking, stunning landscaping and onsite community shopping facilities Kivulini Thika oozes an ultimate statement of a lifestyle that combines the elements of top class living. Its refined architectural thinking thus offers a special connection to would be home-owner or tenant. Making the good use of Kivulini – a Swahili word that means at the shade -the unique dwelling place gives an impression of quality treat from this sound architecture and interior design works.

There’s no doubt the team behind the project actualized it and put functionality of every room at the forefront. This is certainly where one hardly feels like any other home-buyer or a new tenant in a new place but the inviting environment as well as the architectural works jogs the mind of the visitor to invest.

Large open Plans

While having the homely feel of the maisonettes with three large bedrooms, master en-suite, ample wardrobe space, a separate WC/Shower room, large open plan reception and a dining room with study area and fireplace one can’t help but feel the warmth of modernity that makes Kivulini Thika significantly differently.

The well ventilated spacious kitchen with a large store room adjacent an independent store and yard is so inviting as it is graced with an outdoor nyamachoma terrace and private garden.

Additional benefits to this stylish home is a well thought-out guest WC/cloak room, two dedicated car parking spots and a detached en-suite domestic servants quarter. A fascinating dedicated roof-top clothes-hanging open air space, built-in gas connection with secure external bottle cage depicts a thought process of an architect and interior designer who really had in mind about the functionality of each home.

Interiors at Kivulini Thika is all about going beyond expectations. While the elegance starts from the wow exterior landscape, the interiors speak of switched-on pomp of a lifestyle that is prided by many home seekers or home buyers.

Elegant flooring using high quality tiles, chic built-in wardrobes, quality ironmongery, stylish and practical kitchen cabinets, quality sanitary fittings including vanity basins with mixers/taps, WC and shower gives a tinge of the positives that each residence holds.


For details contact:

3rd floor, Imperial court, Westlands Road, Nairobi
0727 752 244/020 744 593/5/ 0737 151 566

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Interiors Updates

Chummer revamps commercial division



One of the region’s leading fabricators of custom metal works has in recent months moved to strengthen its commercial business division in the wake of huge demand from property developers in the region for the firm’s high quality metal works.

Chummer has been conducting business in the regional market for a while and has grown a reputation for high quality design and fabrication of unique and custom crafted ornamental metal for residential and commercial use.

Ornamental Chummer Iron WorksChummer GardensIn recent months, the firm has stepped up its efforts to serve the wider commercial market in the region.

“The market is thirsty for quality and elegant design,” says the General Manager, Mr. Mudasir Gul. “Gone are the days when you would just fabricate metal and hope for a good day in the market.

We have since found our niche in the art of crafting ornamental metal.”

Given the volumes and quantities involved in this segment of the market, the firm has equally moved to transform is delivery capacity and mechanisms to ensure it can meet demand at any one given time from as many clients.

“It is not easy to deal with a market that is rapidly growing, more so if that market is the commercial segment,” Mr. Gul says. “For instance, to fabricate stair rails that would be fitted in a commercial development of a so many floors may require plenty of material and a faster delivery approach. These are the considerations we have been working upon to ensure we deliver successful as we have so far done.”

It also means having sufficient manpower, equipment and constant supply of electricity to ensure the work is done faster and without any interruptions. Chummer has ensured all these factors are in play, and the firm is believed to be setting a precedent that should be emulated by other players in the industry to ensure the market is served adequately.

Ornamental Chummer“As it is, we can only serve the market to a certain level, however efficient we are at what we do,” Mr. Gul says. “All of us in this segment of the market must wake up to the realities facing us so we keep up pace with the rapidly changing environment for both interiors and exteriors of any building projects in progress.”

The firm has in recent months excelled so well in residential property arena, and is said to be one of the leading suppliers of stair rails, ornamental lighting fixtures, gates, fences, balconies, window frames, metallic beds, tables and chairs as well as plexi glass. The firm has since launched a massive drive for its stainless steel and aluminium product range as well, which has attracted a huge demand from clients.

Chummer is said to be leading the quest to meet the demands of the entire East Africa region with these products, an objective that has placed the firm on a very strong course towards success.

Chummer has been conducting business in the regional market for a while and has grown a reputation for high quality design and fabrication of unique and custom crafted ornamental metal for residential and commercial use.

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