25/08/2020 - On 18 January 2021, imm cologne and LivingKitchen will open their gates – that’s a certainty as far as the organizer of imm cologne, is concerned! “We want to blaze a bold trail into the new normal together with the industry,” says Matthias Pollmann, Koelnmesse’s Vice President Trade Fair Management, summarising the task ahead with respect to imm cologne.
As things stand, 70 per cent of the hall space has already been booked. “Given the present circumstances, this really is a very good registration figure,” explains Matthias Pollmann. “Compared with previous months, we are also currently seeing increased interest overall in holding live trade fairs. The motivating realisation is gaining ground that real-life interactions between people are essential when it comes to establishing and building business relationships,” continues Pollmann.
And that’s not all: from the consumer’s perspective, the subject of home living is emerging from the crisis as a winner. In a similar way to other areas of life like camping, home offices and digitalisation – as well as the furnishing-relevant themes outdoor living, cooking and eating and home spas – home furnishing is one of the segments that people consider even more important as a result of the pandemic experience. It is also one of the segments that is recording an increase in demand – in some cases, the upswing has been significant. Although expectations with regard to the event character of trade fairs are certainly not as high as they have been in recent years, the expectations placed by consumers on the home living experience are all the higher.
A responsible approach to the present – and looking towards a changed future
Exhibitors can expect a trade fair with high safety standards for all participants, a strong public appeal through the media and digital alternatives to reach those visitors who cannot take part in person. “Unfortunately, however, there is still uncertainty in the industry due to the repeated emergence of hotspots in Europe. That is why I am absolutely convinced that we need to start living the ‘new normal’ now. We can’t wait for a return of the old days. Instead, we have to be bold and shape the future together,” comments Pollmann.
Safety for visitors and planning certainty for exhibitors
To ensure the safety of exhibitors and visitors, Koelnmesse has worked in cooperation with the public authorities to develop #B-SAFE4business, a concept that makes provision for all measures relating to hygiene, medical care and organisation. On top of that, Koelnmesse has drawn up a hygiene and infection control concept, which complies with the current provisions of North Rhine-Westphalia’s Corona Protection Ordinance and the requirements of the relevant health authority. Measures include discharging used air from the exhibition halls to the outside and drawing in entirely new fresh air so that aerosols cannot spread via our ventilation system.
Standing firm in competitive markets
The aim of holding the trade fair duo of imm cologne and LivingKitchen in January is to provide the industry with an effective and reliable platform so that the furniture and kitchens industry in Germany and Europe does not lose ground against international competition. “From my perspective, a successful restart does not necessarily call for a showcase consisting exclusively of innovations. What is crucial is being present at the fair with your products. In the interiors sector, where touch and feel and the ability to experience the products in person are particularly important, the cancellation of many industry trade fairs has stimulated a renewed need among trade visitors to attend the fair,” says Pollmann, describing the industry’s sentiment.
Given the reinvigorated passion for home living and subjects related to the home that has arisen during this period of crisis, this spirit of optimism suggests that the time is right for the trade fair business and the interiors trade to return to the spotlight. After all, we have never before valued our homes as highly as we do today, and never before have people had a greater need to turn their own four walls into a place of refuge that offers quality of life. imm cologne will also signal the return to a functioning growth market in the 2021 interiors year – international furnishings brands will scarcely be able to overlook Germany as a sales market.
The interiors industry relies on experiencing products in real life
The objective of the organizing team is to give the industry the best possible trade fair experience in January. And not just in terms of the actual safety of customers but also their perceived safety. But they are also counting on the industry’s will to do business again – and this is where interior design is definitely one of the sectors of the economy that is particularly dependent on experiencing products in real life and on their presentation at a trade fair. However, one is convinced: “Now is the time to be bold and blaze a trail into the new normal.”
imm cologne: 18.–24.01.2021
imm cologne: 18.–24.01.2021