After mitigating the adverse impact of the global pandemic on people, it is important now to look at the challenges for the economy, which have undergone a dramatic change. The time of the futurologists is over – the future is now. Robust strategies and concrete solutions for revitalising entire industries are called for.
“The imm cologne and LivingKitchen interiors trade shows have always seen themselves as discussion platforms for exploring future issues and they have initiated appropriate formats,” says Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management and responsible for the topics of furniture and interior design at Koelnmesse. Koelnmesse has supported the digital transformation in the furniture industry over the last seven years through its annual imm cologne Congress. As an event format for discussing how we will live in the near future, “Das Haus” is a platform that allows the visions of creative designers and design teams to become reality for one week. At imm cologne 2021, “Das Haus” celebrates its 10th anniversary with the special format “Apartment Haus”. As the first designer of FutureKitchen, Alfredo Häberli designed a virtual future kitchen for LivingKitchen 2019 – a visionary blueprint for how kitchen applications could be used in the next few years.
In Connect Hub, Koelnmesse is now launching an innovative new trade fair event with exhibitors in the redesigned Hall 1plus. This is where future designs will be aligned with the latest research, possible applications and the products and services on offer, and then translated into concrete business ideas.
Connect: the new platform for connected home & living
The Connect Hub represents the communicative centre and vibrant heart of the Hall 1plus, which is being newly built as part of the Koelnmesse 3.0 masterplan and which will be ready on schedule for imm cologne 2021. Under the title Connect, the hall serves as a platform for connected home & living during imm cologne and LivingKitchen. Innovative device technology and smart applications for connecting the kitchen and the home as a whole will be presented here, and Connect is also the point of intersection with the fields of energy management, mobility, logistics, telecommunication, healthcare, technology and culture. As an additional highlight, the Connected Home demonstrates a realistic implementation of smart-home technologies for architecture and furniture in staged living environments.
Connect Hub as a catalyst: smart living in a digital future
As part of the trade fair duo of imm cologne and LivingKitchen 2021, exhibitors and trade visitors can thoroughly explore the digital future in the furniture and interior design market at Connect. Connect Hub assumes the important role of catalyst for tapping new, cross-industry business potential.
Place of connection: interactive ideas festival for the living worlds of tomorrow
Is the coronavirus crisis having an impact on home & living? Will we live in more sustainable ways in future, and how will that affect our consumer behaviour? How will digitalisation on a product level simplify our lives? What potential does digitalisation offer, and how can we apply these insights to other industries? The perspectives of different sectors on these questions, and the current state of research and product development occupy centre stage at the Connect Hub. This is where the necessary connections are established.
Connect Hub offers exhibitors various possibilities for positioning brands and products in a creative and innovative environment. As hosts they can organise different workshops, conferences and events whose content is coordinated by the Connect team. Connect Hub brings together visitors, exhibitors, products, services and future topics in innovative participation and workshop formats. It thereby provides exhibitors with an opportunity to enter into an intensive exchange with relevant target groups and trade visitors in the middle of the trade fair events. At the same time, Connect Hub offers exhibitors a chance to communicate the potential of complex digital products and business models in a visible and comprehensible manner.
Makerspace for tapping the potential of digitalisation
Connect Hub forms an interface between a number of industries that are involved in the organisation of our lives – e.g. furniture, technology, energy management, mobility, logistics, telecommunication and culture – and offers tools and event formats for the development of interdisciplinary concepts. Connect Hub is a trade fair, conference, networking event and interactive innovation workshop all at the same time. It activates the potential of digitalisation by putting the focus on the cross-markets relevant for the furniture industry. It thereby opens up an interdisciplinary perspective on the connected products, services and business models of tomorrow and beyond.
For the organisers, a key objective is to ensure that Connect Hub provides both exhibitors and visitors the chance to take an active part in the programme, and to shape the (digital) future together. Connect Hub thereby becomes a lively place for exchanging knowledge and experience.
The real-life laboratory character of Connect Hub is also reflected architecturally in the special event space. The round, atrium-like centre forms an arena accessible from four sides and optimised for social distancing regulations. Up to three event formats will take place here every day.
Connect Hub creates community
The hub is complemented by a media lounge that provides a protected and aesthetic setting for interviews and live reports – this space will be a key location for media representatives and influencers. The research results will be available live for visitors to imm cologne and LivingKitchen, and they will also be published on all the relevant channels – before, during and after the trade fair. Regular posts of pictures, videos, snaps, quotes and stories provide real-time impressions of the day, documenting the trade fair and workshop events, and making them accessible to a broad target group. A livestream programme will be presented, allowing anyone who cannot be there during the trade fair itself or who cannot attend individual workshop sessions to actively take part in Connect Hub.