Final report: trade fair duo imm cologne and LivingKitchen 2013 attracts 142,000 visitors from 137 countries

After seven intense days, the imm cologne closed its doors on Sunday with good to very good results. 1,250 companies from more than 50 countries showcased the latest trends for the coming year and – including estimates for the last day of the fair – attracted 142,000 visitors to Cologne.

This year, there was a 13 percent rise in the internationality of the visitor structure – a significant increase. The international furnishing fair was able to report particularly positive growth in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe and Asia that are so important for the sector. “This result is a great signal for the imm cologne and confirmation of a performance befitting a leading international fair,” said a visibly satisfied Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse. “With this trade fair duo, we have written the next chapter in the success story of the imm cologne and LivingKitchen. Cologne is the absolute focal point of the furniture and kitchen industry – especially when it comes to business,” continues the trade fair corporation’s chief executive officer.

Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen Möbelindustrie), came to a similarly positive conclusion: “The imm cologne 2013 was an outstanding trade fair – the German furniture industry is more than satisfied. Despite the wintery weather, visitors flocked to the exhibition centre in droves. We are delighted to report numerous new contacts and customers as well as a pleasing amount of ordering activity. The marked increase in the number of foreign trade visitors is another important component for the fair’s enduring and sustainable success.”

Koelnmesse and Stylepark to turn “Featured Editions” into a highlight of “Pure Editions”

The new offering from the international interior design fair imm cologne is meeting with a very warm reception from many ambitious design providers: even though it’s by September, Pure Editions was already virtually booked out. In a compact space, the new format that has been launched within the pure segment provides exhibitors with an open stage for gallery-like presentations. The concept, location and limited capacity led to a run on the spaces in Hall 3.2.

One special element of Pure Editions are the “Featured Editions” – platforms spread throughout the room for additional installations devised by the exhibitors. The plans for this special attraction once again underline the high standards and innovative exhibition concept behind Pure Editions: the imm cologne’s creative team, headed by Creative Director Dick Spierenburg, has commissioned design platform Stylepark with its development.

Pure Editions kicks off with top-notch line-up: Vitra decides in favour of a presence at the imm cologne

The imm cologne has a new stage for exceptional interior design concepts – for products that embody a vision, for design objects that set benchmarks, but also for innovative materials and experimental studies. The new format met with a good response as soon as it was presented, especially amongst leading brand-name companies who find the concept of an open platform with a gallery-like character highly appealing.

Following the launch of the new Pure Village format three years ago, the latest project from the imm team under the direction of Frank Haubold and his Creative Director Dick Spierenburg looks set to be a success as well. With Pure Editions and the restructuring of the Pure segment, the two of them are again demonstrating their sure instinct for innovative formats and impeccable timing. Within just a few weeks, Koelnmesse had received bookings for the newly designed Hall 3.2 from several of the interior design sector’s leading design companies. The exclusiveness of the format and the installation-like character of Pure Editions seem to be thoroughly in tune with the times and are proving particularly attractive to new exhibitors such as Capo D’opera, Extremis, Serralunga, Slide and Vondom.

For Vitra, it was the launch of the new format that clinched its decision to participate in the imm cologne again after three years of abstinence. “Vitra has decided to take part in the imm 2013 and will have a presence in the new Pure Editions section. The concept is all about new, creative forms of presentation and inspiration. The format, consisting of open, inviting booth structures with complementary installations, underscores these aspirations and promises an exciting, varied atmosphere that visitors will find highly attractive. Vitra supports Koelnmesse’s approach and wants to help the format establish itself convincingly,” says Rudolf Pütz, CEO of Vitra.

German mattress industry banking on imm cologne: Sleep segment in Hall 9 already booked out

For the furniture sector but also for the German and European mattress industry, the imm cologne is the most important trade fair of all: besides being a meeting point where trade visitors from the sector can inform themselves about what’s new on the market, it also reaches interested consumers during the Public Days. As a result Hall 9, which is home to the Sleep segment, is already booked out long before the trade fair gets underway. As in previous years, the German Mattress Industry Association (Fachverband Matratzen-Industrie) will be presenting itself in the centre of the hall, where it will be providing visitors with manufacturer-neutral advice on the topic of sleep and hosting the sector’s meet@sleep event.

The average German sleeps a good seven hours per night – and thus spends more time in bed than on his sofa or cooking. Consumers therefore have good reason to invest in the purchase of mattress and bed systems that are suited to their individual requirements. This trend is very clearly reflected in the number of mattress and bed manufacturers who have registered for the imm cologne, where they can reach trade visitors and consumers at one and the same event. An increase in first-time enquiries from interested manufacturers and increased demand for more space from long-standing exhibitors – the Sleep segment is more successful than ever before.

A full half-year before the trade fair gets underway, Koelnmesse and Vice President Trade Fair Management Frank Haubold are having to tell would-be exhibitors: “Sorry, we’re booked out”. The Hilding Anders Group will be returning to the trade fair with a joint booth. It will be joined by well-known German manufacturers such as ADA Möbelfabrik, Badenia Bettcomfort, Diamona, Fey, Otten, Rummel-Matratzen and Schlaraffia. And many foreign companies, including Auping, AKVA Waterbeds and Joka, are banking on the imm cologne as well. Frank Haubold: “In order to be able to accept all the enquiries we’ve had from exhibitors, we would have needed one third more space. We would love to be able to satisfy everyone’s requests, but unfortunately we’re having to put any new enquiries on the waiting list for the time being. For us as trade fair organisers, the strong demand is a huge success, and that is due in no small part to the great support and commitment of the German Mattress Industry Association.”

Rooms Moscow 2013: Koelnmesse launches new project in Russia

Gerald Böse, CEO of the Koelnmesse Executive Board. (photo: Koelnmesse)

On 15 May 2012 Media Globe Krokus (MGK), as organiser of the Moscow International Furniture Show, and Koelnmesse signed a letter of intent. The joint aim is to establish a furniture trade fair with an international format in Moscow from 2013.

“For Koelnmesse this collaboration will be of great mutual benefit and represents an important step forward in internationalisation”, explains Gerald Böse, CEO at Koelnmesse. “Under the name ‘Rooms Moscow’ we will create a trade fair format aimed at the Russian market within the Moscow International Furniture Show. In doing so, we will bring in all the relevant furnishing areas of our globally leading trade fairs imm cologne, LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa and interzum”, Böse continues. The range on show will span upholstery, storage furniture and office furniture, as well as furniture for contract business, for the outdoor area and for the kitchen.

Rooms Moscow should provide visitors with an overview of designs for rooms, including interior fittings, floors, walls, ceilings, lighting and bath and spa solutions. This new trade fair provides a platform for companies across the world seeking access to the Russian market.

Dual trade fair imm cologne / LivingKitchen 2013 set to be a big success

Frank Haubold, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse. (photo: Koelnmesse)
Frank Haubold, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse. (photo: Koelnmesse)

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.

imm cologne 2012 has been a complete success: 115,000 visitors from 118 countries have come to Cologne

On 22nd January 2012, the imm cologne and LivingInteriors drew to a close in Cologne with a very good result. For seven days, 1,157 companies from 54 countries showed the interior design trends of the coming year. Including estimates for the last day of the show, the trade fair duo lured 115,000 visitors to Cologne. “Cologne is the key business platform for the global furniture economy – as this trade fair has once again impressively demonstrated,” sums up Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse. “This year we were bang on course. We had more exhibitors, were more international – the Italian contingent was stronger than it had been for a long time – and visitors got to see lots of genuinely new products. All in all, a result like this means we are again playing at the very top of the furniture sector’s premier league,” continues Böse.

With his statement “This year’s furniture fair exceeded our expectations yet again,” Dirk Uwe Klaas, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen Möbelindustrie), came to a similar conclusion. “With this kind of momentum, 2012 may well be a very good year for furniture- and as far as Germany is concerned, our furniture industry may well become the engine that drives consumption,” adds the Chief Executive.

A total of 115,000 visitors came to the metropolis on the Rhine – 14 percent more than at the last comparable event in 2010, even without LivingKitchen. With foreign visitors accounting for 42 percent (based on the trade visitor days), the imm cologne was once again a very international trade fair. Firstly, there were far more buyers from Europe, especially from the Russian Federation and Italy, and secondly, there was a slight increase in the number of visitors from North America and Asia. The Public Days were also very well attended. Around 40,000 consumers came to seek inspiration from the interior worlds on show. “We see this result as proof that our many and varied activities, aimed not only at national and international trade visitors but at consumers as well, have been successful,” says Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse. “The imm cologne 2012 has thus established itself as an order-writing and information platform,” continues the COO.

Das Haus – new design highlight takes concrete shape

Nipa Doshi und Jonathan Levien gestalten eine große Wohn-Installation auf der imm cologne 2012.
Nipa Doshi und Jonathan Levien gestalten eine große Wohn-Installation auf der imm cologne 2012.

Who says modern everyday life and sensuousness have to be at odds with one another? The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation by Doshi Levien at the imm cologne 2012 aims to furnish evidence to the contrary. In an installation that is visionary not just at architectural level but in creative terms as well, the design experiment is developing into a fascinating study on modern ways of living.

“‘Das Haus’ combines the best of some very different worlds. It could be located anywhere on the planet.” Designer Nipa Doshi is alluding to an encounter between modern architecture and a world of contemporary forms on the one hand and the traditionally colourful aesthetics of Asia, the chaotic-seeming building tradition of Indian or Far Eastern megacities and the open, inward-facing interior culture of Morocco on the other. According to the plans of London design team Doshi Levien, many of these elements will be brought together in their installation in such a way that something totally new emerges: “It combines unconditional modernity with a sensuous lifestyle,” says Jonathan Levien of the blueprint for the imm cologne’s new design format: “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”. His wife Nipa Doshi adds: “That’s precisely why we designed ‘Das Haus’ this way – because it doesn’t exist in this form. Only parts of it do.”

Foundation stone laid in Pure Village: “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” is under construction

(Foto: FAR Consulting)

Most of the cubes are already standing, the structure that will be shaping Pure Village 2012 is already discernible. A big open space in the middle of Hall 3.2 is the only indication that there’s still something special in the offing. And this is exactly where the foundation stone for koelnmesse’s new design event “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” is to be laid. A few days before Christmas Eve, the imm cologne’s Creative Director Dick Spierenburg came by to see how things were progressing for himself and clarify the final details with the construction manager.

imm cologne supporting programme “Architektouren 2012” presents architectural highlights in and around Cologne

No architecture, no interiors: time and time again, it is outstanding architectural works that have a decisive influence on innovative interior concepts. For as preferences with regard to contemporary buildings change, our interior design tastes naturally change as well. A look at building styles in the private sector shows that changes in certain conditions can result in entire room concepts changing.

Whereas there used to be a very clear separation between the living room, dining room and kitchen, for instance, the desire for spacious, loft-like layouts has led to the current “live-in kitchen” megatrend. As a global trend barometer for modern living, the imm cologne 2012 will therefore be offering visitors various “Architektouren” in and around Cologne in addition to the wide range of products on show in the halls of the exhibition centre.

Koelnmesse’s idea of organising excursions to the architectural masterpieces of various epochs all the way to the modern era got off to a very successful start at the imm cologne 2011. In fact, the concept was so successful that the tour programme for 2012 is even more extensive. For when it comes to internationally renowned architecture, Cologne certainly has plenty to offer.