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Versatile platform: imm cologne 2017 promotes contract business

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Motorola Headquarters, Chicago/USA (architecture by Gensler), Scope Seating by COR
Foto: COR

Exhibitors and trade visitors appreciate imm cologne as a platform for contract business. The equipping of hotels, shops and other projects is of increasing importance for manufacturers from the furniture and interior design segments. In Cologne from 16 to 22 January 2017 they will present a diverse offering for these segments, from new products through individual consultation to tailored solutions.

Whether hotel room or lobby, shop, museum cafe or lounge, more than 150 exhibitors will present new and tried and tested concepts and products for the contract business at imm cologne 2017. Specialised suppliers for high order quantities will present their competence and experience in Cologne. Under the keyword “Contract Business”, planners are finding new impulses for their projects and a diverse offering. The bandwidth at the international interior design trade fair extends from equipment for hotels and food service, furniture for lounges and reception areas, offices and educational facilities to design for the health care and wellness segments.

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System 180: K-Serie, Workbench
Foto: System 180

For exhibitors like the Berlin company System 180, contract interiors are their “bread and butter” business. “Here we earn approx. 80 percent of our turnover in the furniture-making segment”, according to sales manager Francesco Coccia. In order to develop new ideas extending beyond standard solutions, many exhibitors of imm cologne rely on tailored concepts. Under the keyword “Customizing”, products are adapted to meet the wishes of customers. “The boundaries are shifting – series production furniture is increasingly also being supplemented by individual solutions”, establishes the designer Magnus Mewes, who will be presenting his furniture made of old oak barrels at the coming imm cologne.

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Weinbar Schmidt Z & Ko in Berlin/Germany, furniture by Magnus Mewes
Foto: Schmidt Z & Ko, Berlin

Many exhibitors, who actually originate from the private living segment, also see the increasing relevance of contract interiors. “Thanks to the contract business, we as manufacturers have the possibility to access new target groups”, confirms the sales manager of the renowned furniture brand COR, Stefan Kappel-Sudbrock. The wishes of the client are very individual at COR, so that the upholstered furniture manufacturer implements numerous customised solutions. A tailored design is also becoming increasingly important in other segments. “We apply one area of focus to very individual and novel design concepts”, according to the managing director of the outdoor specialists Fischer Möbel, Will Seyfang. “To this purpose we want to cooperate intensively with planners.”

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Room Mate Giulia Hotel (design: Patricia Urquiola), Milan/Italy
Foto: Room Mate Hotels

International exhibitors appreciate imm cologne as a platform for new contacts with planners from the contract business. “We are increasingly involved in the contract segment and contract interior designers, architects, contract interior decorators and other specialists from countries important for us in terms of sales”, says Roberto de Lorenzo, owner of Milano Bedding. The Italian manufacturer of beds and sofa beds hopes to further increase the present sales share of the contract business of around 25 percent. Many other exhibitors also offer individual consultation services for planners. Specially trained employees are available as contacts for the contract theme. Own service tools also make it easier for architects, interior designers and other experts to plan contract interiors, right up to the development of complete concepts.

Individual possibilities for planning appear more necessary than ever with a view to today’s design requirements. Patricia Urquiola sees an increased blurring of the boundaries between private living and contract property segments: “Sometimes one finds oneself in more public, and at other times in more private surroundings. However, this can be the case in a hotel lobby or in the office, at the airport or at many other places.” The Spanish star designer has been a regular guest at imm cologne as a designer, and since 2015 also as an art director of the Italian furniture brand Cassina. “I have been coming to the fair in Cologne for many years. There are so many things brought together here. The whole thing is really very complex.”