Cologne, Germany - It is easy to sum up what makes a leading trade fair: it has international appeal, is one of the must-attend events for companies and decision-makers, and sets the agenda in its sector. Three criteria that imm cologne meets completely. Everything from the world of interior design –from high-end design to lifestyle products for the mass market –will be on show in Cologne in January. imm cologne has recorded strong growth in the mid-market segment from Eastern European and Asian exhibitors —thereby once again living up to its reputation as the largest interior decor showroom in the world.
As in previous years, the middle of the market will be located in Halls 5.1 and 3.1, where the companies that account for the majority of sales in the furniture sector will be appearing. In these areas, trade fair visitors will be able to meet companies that produce items of furniture for everyday use: storage furniture makers and manufacturers of dining room sets and occasional furniture who play their part in making design, functionality and convenience affordable for a broad section of the population. They are the pioneers of what is known as the “democratisation of design”.
For imm cologne 2017, which will open its doors from 16 to 22 January, this popular area of the trade fair has experienced strong international growth. In addition to companies from Eastern Europe, Asian markets such as India and Taiwan will also have a strong presence. The reasons for its appeal are plain to see: all the interesting contacts for the segment are gathered in one place at imm cologne. It is where large international buyers will put together their ranges for the next season. For seven days in January, the halls beside the Rhine will be the central marketplace where retail groups, chain stores, discount chains and other high-volume sales channels place their orders —and not just for Germany but for the whole of Europe and other international markets. Alongside many individual stands for international companies in Halls 3.1 and 5.1, visitors will also find national pavilions for companies that are too small to have their own stand or that want to get a closer impression of imm cologne first. Romania, India, Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Taiwan will be represented in these areas again. New additions are the pavilions for Russia, Moldova, Kosovo and Ukraine.
The world does business at imm cologne —a statement that is no mere claim but also reflected in business data after the events: for example, Romania had a strong presence at the most recent edition of imm cologne in 2015 and saw its exports to Germany of living room, kitchen and bedroom furniture rise by 31 per cent to the third quarter of 2016 compared to the previous year. This puts Romania in the top 10 exporters in this segment —a position that its companies want to expand: just under 1,000 square metres of exhibition space have been reserved at imm cologne 2017 to present Romanian furniture products. Other regions have achieved similarly impressive results, including Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Balkan state’s export share rose by 41 per cent, and it is appearing at imm cologne in Hall 3.1 across 210 square metres of exhibition space. The Asian region will also be representing the global middle market in Cologne: Indonesia has reserved just under 600 square metres to show products by its furniture industry, whilst Taiwan and India have booked 200 and 140 square metres respectively.
“At imm cologne, we show the complete spectrum of what the furniture industry offers —and not just in product terms but also in terms of the character of the companies,” says Arne Petersen, Vice President Trade Fair Management. “It is not just the major industry players who can make contacts here, but also medium-sized companies from around the world that are geared towards the mass market. This is what is making imm cologne more successful with every edition of the fair.”