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Assessment after imm cologne 2012: The furniture and interior design sector booms, positive expectations for imm cologne 2013

Koelnmesse can look back on a very successful imm cologne 2012. In addition to the trade fair organizer’s well-rounded concept, this success was also due to other reasons, according to Dr. Lucas Heumann, Chief Executive of the Trade Associations of the Wood and Furniture Industry: “On the whole, Koelnmesse has understood the exhibitors’ wishes and implemented them in a series of flexible and customized offers. However, this success is also due to the overall economic situation. The market in the German-speaking countries, which is addressed by the core of the exhibitors in Cologne, is almost the only one in Europe in which consumers are currently showing an increasing tendency to buy.” As a result, a survey conducted by Koelnmesse GmbH shows that the exhibitors of imm cologne 2012 provided extremely positive feedback 100 days after the fair.

Many exhibitors have full order books more than three months after the end of the sector’s leading international trade fair, which focussed on the trends, designers and new products for furniture and interior design.

This positive result is also confirmed by Dirk-Walter Frommholz, Chairman of the Association of the German Upholstered Furniture Industry. “The post-fair business is becoming more and more important,” he says. “Companies that attract the buyers’ attention at the fair will enjoy a good furniture year.” This is a clear indication that imm cologne is not simply a communication forum, but also an internationally established business platform. As a result, it sets itself apart in a positive sense from other sector events. The trade fair’s structure, which focuses on specific product sectors, is the key to success for many exhibitors – as are the visitor structure and the level of the visitors’ decision-making authority.

imm cologne’s newly established Advisory Committee also confirms the survey results. “The two trade fairs held in 2011 and this year have thoroughly modernized and strengthened imm cologne. The fair’s difficult years are now definitely a thing of the past. A powerful leading trade fair strengthens an already strong furniture-producing nation, and a prominent presence in one’s own country serves as an important and effective signal worldwide and at home,” says Elmar Duffner, President of the Association of the German Furniture Industry and Chairman of the imm cologne Advisory Committee. The trade fair’s positive overall result and the concrete success of individual exhibitors are already having a positive impact on the upcoming event in 2013. The number of registrations is now much higher than it was at the same time last year. The interest expressed in Italy is particularly noticeable.

* Artanova: “imm cologne is one of the few trade fairs that you could still call an ‘ordering event’.”
* B&B Italia: “We’re really very satisfied. We had many customers from Switzerland, Austria, and the Benelux countries, as well as from the USA.”
* Bretz: “imm cologne is not only the gateway to Germany, the European market with the highest sales figures at the moment, but is also a gateway for sales to the whole world.”
* De Sede Group: “For us, the trade fair is an important platform on which to intensify our international customer contacts and present our new products.”
* Draenert Studio GmbH: “It exceeded our expectations. The return of international brands to the fair – especially those from Italy – represented a clear commitment to the trade fair and its importance.”
* Geha Möbelwerke: “The number of visitors and new contacts in the export business increased noticeably. Geha greatly benefited from the high visitor turnout.”
* Grohe: “imm cologne has proved to be the perfect kick-off for the 2012 trade fair year.”
* MDF Italia: “The return of international brands underscores the success of this year’s imm cologne.”
* Kartell: “Among the various international furniture fairs, imm cologne is the best market for getting in touch with German customers.”
* Ligne Roset: “Cologne is the most important trade fair venue for us – it’s our big ordering event. All of our customers make their international purchases here.”
* Malchalke: “The trade fair and its results were much better than what we had expected in advance.”
* Parador: “As the meeting place for international planners, architects and facility managers, imm cologne enabled us to concisely present the Parador Identity product and our new sales channel, as well as establish new contacts.”
* W. Schillig: “For W. Schillig, imm cologne was a resounding start into a successful year for upholstered furniture in 2012.”

The list of exhibitors for the January event contained a veritable who’s who of the international furnishing sector as well as new market players from Germany and abroad. A total of 1,157 suppliers from 54 countries impressed visitors at this year’s imm cologne with their innovations.

The number of visitors was also impressive. A total of 115,000 visitors came to Cologne, representing a 14 per cent increase on the comparable previous event in 2010. During the trade visitor days 42 per cent of the visitors to imm cologne came from abroad, making it a very international fair. On the one hand, there was a substantial increase in the number of buyers from Europe, especially from the Russian Federation and Italy, while, on the other, there was also a slight rise in the number of visitors from North America and Asia. The Public Days also registered a very high turnout, attracting around 40,000 end consumers, who let themselves be inspired by the interior design worlds.

The next trade fair duo
imm cologne // LivingKitchen will be held from
14th to 20th January 2013