In several respects, Germany can be described as the country for furniture – as is also reflected in the development of the imm cologne. The event has returned to its former strength and has been reporting a steady increase in attendance figures since 2009. This is due on the one hand to a trade fair platform that has proved its worth and on the other to the stable economic situation and high demand for furnishings within the Federal Republic.
“For many years now, this trade fair has been an absolute must, even if there are a few weaker years behind us,” explains Frank Haubold, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse. “In 2012, we were once again able to welcome a lot of first-time exhibitors to the imm cologne – young, up-and-coming companies who saw their presence at the trade fair as a way of gaining a stronger foothold in Germany and Europe. But it wasn’t only new providers who came to Cologne: a lot of firmly established manufacturers returned as well – precisely because the German furniture show enjoys such a good reputation and, in recent years, has been able to improve its standing even further.”
Translated into figures, this means an increase from 948 exhibiting companies in 2009 to no fewer than 1,159 this year. In addition, the number of visitors grew by 15% to approx. 115,000 in the same period.
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.
Koelnmesse is reporting an extremely strong demand from exhibitors for space in the imm cologne‘s prime segment. In contrast to the 2011 event, it won’t just be halls 4.1, 5.1 and 10.1 that are dedicated to top-quality living room and bedroom furniture, mainly from the high-end segment; in 2012, Hall 5.2 will be reserved for this prime-quality furniture as well. Whether they’re looking for a modern interior, tables and chairs or dining room furniture – visitors to the prime segment will go home with a comprehensive overview of what the international market has to offer. They can also look forward to some groundbreaking world firsts in terms of multifunctionality and technology. Some exhibitors – including a great many who will be taking part in the imm cologne for the first time – are revealing a few of their trump cards in the run-up to the fair.
Alu-Style is one of the new providers who will be joining the furniture fair for the first time; accordingly, the Hungarians are coming to Cologne with high expectations. Up until now, Alu-Style has been better known as a player from the supplier industry and has been attending the furniture for many years as a visitor. Now the company wants to establish itself in the international furniture industry with its tried and tested systems for sliding doors, shelving, tables and walls. The company’s trade fair presentation will focus on its sliding doors – including the new “Albatros” line. Alu-Style cites flexibility as the crucial trend of the future: the declared basis of all Alu-Style’s products.
2011 has got off to a successful start for the furniture industry. The good mood in the industry is also reflected in the registrations for the sleep area at imm cologne. Overall, around 80 percent of the hall space has already been rented.
“It’s fun to see that we have managed to make imm cologne the most important trade fair for my industry. No matter who we talk to these days, companies are looking forward to imm cologne expectantly. We have not only been able to gain new exhibitors for Hall 9, but many exhibitors have also expanded their space”, says Dr Ulrich Leifeld, Managing Director of the Professional Association of the Mattress Industry, headquartered in Essen, commenting on current registrations.
Itâs been called âhomingâ for years: that magical word, that complete residential concept. Nature, genuineness and heartfelt cordiality are the order of the day, something you instinctively know from your own conception of the pastoral idyll. And for this, there are cosy sofas, fireplace-heated rooms, plush carpets, silky pillows, walls of natural stone, mineral bathtubs, solid wood dressers.
Of course, natural materials like wood, glass, stone have become readily available, along with a colour palette in natureâs spectrum. People are becoming more sensitive to â and sensible with â the resources of this world. Even with furniture, they are paying closer attention to the material and its origins. They are paying heed to the volume of raw materials, and their recyclability. Itâs worth noting here that discussion of the âcradle to cradleâ approach is beginning. âCradle to cradleâ aims at a virtually one hundred percent recovery of all components, and opposes their disposal on the rubbish heap, or their incineration, or their recycling into far inferior components. Increasingly, raw materials are being re-used. Some European furniture manufacturers are already pursuing this prudent approach today.
At imm cologne 2011 and LivingKitchen, roughly 110,000 furniture pieces and even more furnishings are on display. Nearly 30 percent of these are completely new innovations. Given all the diversity, there will always be furniture and furnishings that enjoy particularly strong demand.
Homing and furnishing have become more diverse, colourful, cosmopolitan and above all, more important on a global scale. Thatâs why good furniture design today is successful at every point on the map. Furniture design will always transcend boundaries, and no longer be held captive behind a national border. As the motto âdesign goes globalâ implies, supply and demand are evolving worldwide. The international volume of trade in furniture has therefore doubled over the past nine years. Thatâs good news not only for international clientele, but also for the international furniture industry.
Ralph Anstoetz, managing partner of JAB Anstoetz in Bielefeld, Germany, is strengthening his presence in Cologne as a result of this new feature: “Given our positive experience at last year’s furnishing fair in Cologne, and the fact that even more top textile designers have decided to come to imm, this year we will also present our subsidiaries Chivasso and Soleil Bleu par Wellmann.” The other exhibitors in the Pure Textile segment are also preparing intensively for the Cologne show – and planning to penetrate new sales markets.
Strong and inspiring ideas for relaxing living rooms, bedrooms and living space in general are expected for the 2011 international furniture fair in Cologne. From 18 to 23 January, exhibitors from all over the world will be showing their interior visions for 2011 in the Prime segment of the imm cologne (Halls 5.1 and 10.1). The Prime segment has been totally reorganised. An upscale centre for living room and bedroom furniture has been created in Hall 10.1, enhanced for the first time by the Solid segment for solid wood furniture.
Dr. Lucas Heumann, chairman of the Herford-based “Pro Massivholz” initiative: “We want to implement the move from Hall 4.2 to Hall 10.1 in such a way that the economic success of previous trade fair appearances is not only repeated but increased. We’ve got every chance of doing just that, because apart from the producers of solid wood furniture, Hall 10.1 will also contain a great many other very attractive manufacturers who produce furniture for living areas.” In the first half of 2010, says Dr. Heumann, the German market for solid wood furniture “developed better than the rest of the German furniture industry” as compared to the same period of the previous year.
What was the most interesting thing about the imm cologne Trendboard Workshop for you?
Itâs always interesting â and important â to reflect on what we do and share our ideas about design. I like the fact that the Trendboard initiative is able to structure our collective thoughts into something that could be useful and helpful to other designers.
The Trend Book shows whatâs happening in design right now and what motivates the people who make use of this design offering. In your opinion, where are the strongest influences on product and interior design coming from?
For a designer, there are always multiple influences. Personally Iâm curious about art and architecture, but I always centre my inspiration around understanding people, how they live, how their behaviour is changing. Thatâs the root of new aesthetics.
In 2011 DÂł Design talents will be staged for the sixth time at imm cologne. This event for young designers, which consists of the three areas DÂł Professionals, DÂł Contest and DÂł Schools, will generate momentum for the interior design of tomorrow. The inspiring and visionary designs that are presented here will be flanked and supported by other events and installations.
One innovation that will be introduced next January will be a form of presentation that aims to connect young designers even more closely with the trade fair activities. The designs of the winners of the D3 Contest will be presented in the pure village area rather than at the previous venue in the lower area of Hall 3. The stands of the DÂł Professionals will also be placed nearby, in a âneighbourhoodâ of their own located one level higher in Hall 3.2. The intimate atmosphere and well-planned trade fair architecture of the pure village exhibition format, which was introduced in 2010, offers an ideal framework for the firework of ideas and unconventional designs generated by the next generation of interior designers.