The Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo is known for showcasing top talents and experts in design, décor and home improvement. As many of you may know the judging of the Expo falls to a panel of impressive industry leaders. This year, we’ve lined up three impressive judges who we feel understand the judging criteria, both from a technical and theoretical perspective. These judges ultimately decide who walks away with a prestigious stand award. 

2020’s judges are Philile Mathebula, circulation and marketing manager from SA Home Owner. Charmaine Brough, award-winning exhibition manager and Joe Strydom, creative director from vintage merchants,Trouvé. 

Here is a little bit more about our 2020 judges.


Philile Mathebula

Philile Mathebula is SA Home Owner (SAHO) magazine’s circulation and marketing manager. She is passionate about making readers aware of the SAHO brand through brand awareness initiatives such as exciting competition giveaways, exhibitions, reader events and TV and radio commercials. Philile has been in the field of marketing for over 8 years, for a range of consumer glossies.

Charmaine Brough

Exhibitions have been an exciting and ever-challenging part of Charmaine’s career for over 3 decades. As part of the original team who launched and organised the HOMEMAKERS Expo nationally in 1994, she left HOMEMAKERS as exhibition manager responsible for organising, marketing and coordinating the brand for 26 years. Her extensive experience, as an event organiser as well as exhibitor, stand her in good stead to understand what it takes to succeed in the world of exhibitions.  She notes that exhibition trends and design elements come and go, but feels that from both perspectives one must never lose sight of the most important role player in the mix – the visitor!

Joe Strydom

Joe Strydom is the creative mastermind behind the Trouvé brand. He has a unique talent for turning one man’s junk into another man’s treasure. Known for renovating everything from old cupboards and trunks, to antique suitcases and doors, Joe’s style has a French Country feel to it and is easily distinguishable from others.

He will also have demos at the InHabit Workshop show feature. Here he will be doing a demo on chalk paint and one on up-cycling. Joe says “I’m very passionate about up-cycling and using found objects in interior design. At Trouvé we have developed a series of workshops that teach people how to apply creative thinking to their own pieces and spaces. I will showcase the best examples of these workshops at the InHabit Workshop. I will also share tips and tricks when using chalk paint.

We decided to ask the judges a few questions and here is what they shared.

What will you be looking for in the winning Expo stands this year?

Philile: Creativity; interactive ideas that attract visitors to the stand; the interaction between persons manning the stand with visitors; overall look of the stand, it needs to be appealing to the eye.

Joe: Above all, I’ll be looking for creativity. Clever use of space and showcasing their product or service in the best way. I will also take into consideration if the space is inviting, does it draw me in as a shopper? Once inside, ill be looking at attention to detail.

What design elements should a winning Expo stand have?

Charmaine: Most importantly create a “WOW” factor to make your space ‘stand out’ as visitors only have a couple of seconds to decide if they should look at your display or not.  If you miss this opportunity they will walk past and move onto the next interesting display. Your product and brand message must also be aligned with this wow factor so that there is no doubt about what your product or service is all about.  A catchphrase or slogan boldly displayed helps to announce exactly what you are selling. Homeowners are at the show because they have a NEED – provide the solution to their need or problem with impact and speed. Capitalise on maximum exposure to as many visitors streaming past as you can.

Are there any stand trends in 2020 exhibitors should engage with to be a contender?

Charmaine: Consistency of quality and design integrity never go off trend.  Renew and reinvigorate your stand material. No one wants to look outdated or out of style.  If your product is on trend how you display it must be as well. For instance, no tattered and out-of-vogue signage.  This just gives your display an out of date look and tarnishes your brand image.

Warming the atmosphere within the space – this is a home show after all!  Use warm and natural finishes and fabrics to fall in with the theme of the show – let visitors envisage your product in their homes.

Philile: Are there any stand trends in 2020 exhibitors should engage with?  Yes, 3D wall art; Led screens; large block letters.

Get your tickets to the 2020 Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo.