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How INDEX Introduced Organisation in Design to the Middle East
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An interview with Margriet Vollenberg, Founder and Director of Organisation in Design

o Organisation in Design was founded by Margriet Vollenberg to help designers present and promote their work, Margriet curates exhibitions internationally (including in Milan, New York and Dubai)
o As Organisation in Design had never operated in the Middle East before, it was a challenge for them to understand the regional design culture and way of trade
o Due to the success of Ventura Dubai (Organisation in Design's first project in the Middle East), they have decided to participate at INDEX 2019
o Organisation in Design does not participate in any events or exhibitions in the Middle East outside of INDEX

It was early 2018 when Organisation in Design set out to enter a completely new market for the first time [the Middle East] and connect with design professionals in that region. How were they going to do it? Who were the right people to connect with?

There were 2 main challenges Margriet Vollenberg, Founder and Director of Organisation in Design, found herself facing. The first of which being that the Middle East represented a brand new culture Organisation in Design was not familiar with.

As is the case with entering any market for the first time, Organisation in Design wanted to understand what trading platforms were available? What are the regulations surrounding each trading platform? What’s the best way to generate leads and maximise sales in the region?

The second challenge facing the organisation was that most of their exhibitors had never traded in the Middle East before. They didn't have any existing business relationships or agency agreements in the region. Nor did they have any brand awareness. They were starting from scratch.

Founded in 2005, Organisation in Design is a PR and event studio with offices in The Netherlands and Italy. Under the name Ventura Projects, they curate international contemporary design exhibitions focused on quality and concept. The company is the brain child of Margriet Vollenberg who’s ethos is, ‘’design makes the world a better place and designers are an important part of this positive change.’’

After evaluating a number of different options, Margriet decided to launch Ventura Projects in Dubai and selected the INDEX exhibition (the region’s largest and longest standing exhibition dedicated to all things interior design) as the platform to do it.

Given that INDEX was Organisation in Design’s first entry point into the Middle East market, the INDEX team started by providing them with information about the region upfront. This included reports on economic performance, relevant industry insight directly from prominent regional design buyers and project updates.

Through this close collaboration, Organisation in Design were able to learn a lot about the region’s design culture before arriving at the exhibition. The 43 exhibitors who took part in Ventura Dubai met over 100 different design buyers and were very happy with the quality of the new connections they made.

Due to the success of their participation, Organisation in Dubai has announced their collaboration will be continued in 2019 with the second edition of Ventura Dubai at INDEX and they have decided not to participate in any other design exhibitions in the Middle East outside of INDEX in 2019.

‘’The INDEX team took care of everything. Due to this perfect organisation, the exhibitors were able to dedicate their time to building as many new contacts and key relationships as possible,’’ said Margriet. She went on to say, ‘’we were very happy with how everything turned out. INDEX showed us that it’s possible to enter a new market successfully if you work closely together and rely on each other’s expertise.’’


For more information, quotes and interview requests email pr@indexexhibition.com


INDEX is the largest and longest running collection of interior, design and trend exhibitions in the Middle East and North Africa. Established in 1990, INDEX is organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia and Africa: www.indexexhibition.com.

The 2018 exhibition hosted 27,448 visitors from 91 countries, 566 exhibitors from 50 countries and 23 country pavilions across 6 key design sectors which took up 38,887 gross square metres at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

In 2019, 7 of the region’s most influential design and hospitality focused exhibitions (including INDEX!) will come together for 3 days in Dubai to create The Middle East Design & Hospitality Week - which will take place from 17 - 19 September 2019 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

About dmg events

dmg events is a leading organiser of face-to-face events and a publisher of trade magazines.

We aim to keep businesses informed and connect them with relevant communities to create vibrant marketplaces and to accelerate their business across multiple platforms.

dmg events organises more than 80 events across 25 countries, attracting over 425,000 attendees and delegates every year.  The company’s portfolio of products includes many industry leading events such as The Big 5 construction shows, ADIPEC and Gastech energy events.

Founded in 1989, the company is headquartered in Dubai, UAE, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT, www.dmgt.com), one of the largest media companies in the United Kingdom.

About DMGT

Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT), an international portfolio of information, media and events businesses listed on the London Stock Exchange.

DMGT manages a diverse, multinational portfolio of companies, with total revenues of around £1.5bn, that provide businesses and consumers with compelling information, analysis, insight, events, news and entertainment.

DMGT is also a founding investor and the largest shareholder of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC and ZPG PLC.

Posted on: Apr 22 2019

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dmg events was founded in 1989 and now manages over 80 events in up to 25 countries each year. Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, it is currently active in North America, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia, employing over 300 staff.

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