Imm Cologne is the first interiors show of the year. How challenging is this “lead”?
“We’ve been seeing increased demand for interior design since 2007. At around the same time, the imm Cologne decided to step up its continuous development away from a trade fair exclusively for furniture and towards a comprehensive interiors show. More and more new product launches are being shown at imm Cologne, and it’s increasingly setting trends that remain valid on the interiors market for the whole of the coming year. As a result, our exhibitors are increasingly gearing their product developments towards the beginning of the year at the imm Cologne. We’re delighted because we work very hard on this show throughout the year and then, in the stressful pre-Christmas period, of all times, we have to be very focused indeed. So we’re all the more delighted when Cologne becomes the epicentre of the interiors industry every January”.
How important is it for a fair to have a wide range of exhibitors, from different countries. Which are the top 5 countries regarding the number of participants?
“We want to be far more than “just” an interiors show; we aspire to reflect the entire global market and provide a platform for successful business as well. Both the visitor and exhibitor numbers indicate growing international participation. That means visitors and exhibitors are benefitting equally from our increasingly international orientation, and that’s very clear evidence of just how important the imm Cologne is for the interiors industry. Of course german furniture and interiors brands have a very strong presence at the imm Cologne and therefore in their domestic market too, closely followed by exhibitors from China, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland. We’re currently seeing a recovery in the Spanish furniture market and increasing participation from Spanish exhibitors. All in all, we attract exhibitors from more than 50 countries”..
The exhibition is differentiated into various sections. How does that help visitors?
“With close to 240,000 square metres of exhibition space, it’s almost impossible to see everything in just one day. That’s why we’ve subdivided all the different interior design ideas into 11 segments. Some of them are spread over several halls and several levels. These segments provide orientation for navigating the exhibition centre, which allows visitors to focus on, say, the design-oriented Pure segment, or concentrate on all the different suppliers in the Sleep segment. And by the way, we’ll be featuring a brand new segment at the imm Cologne 2018: Pure Architects. In the newly designed Hall 4.2, which is equally interesting for both home builders and architects, the imm Cologne will be showing integrative solutions for areas of the home where the furnishings are closely connected to the walls, floors and windows. That also includes the bathroom, which is increasingly exhibiting the same qualities as living space”. .
Over the last few years the participation of greek companies at imm cologne has increased rapidly. Could you define the opportunities that greek participants can gain by participating at imm Cologne?
“The advantages of exhibiting at imm cologne aren’t dependent on nationality; all our exhibitors stand to benefit from the attractive German market, which has a high need for renovation. And quite apart from that, exhibitors at the imm cologne get to meet the major buyers responsible for the global trade in furnishings; and last but not least, product developers also come to imm cologne to conduct research and find inspiration – a tour of the imm cologne is probably the best opportunity there is for finding out about where interior design stands right now. I can definitely imagine we’ll be seeing greek furniture companies at the imm cologne again soon – there’s a demand for ideas, and new ideas are rewarded with successful sales figures”. .
In your opinion, which features differentiate imm Cologne from the rest of the interiors / furniture exhibitions? What competitive advantages does this internationally significant fair have to offer?
“There are lots of reasons why the imm cologne is a very special fair. I’ve already described some of them – like the fact that it’s well known as a business platform that generates a high volume of orders for major markets. But there’s one aspect that’s particularly important to me: the imm cologne aims to be a comprehensive interiors show – and not just a furniture fair. At the imm cologne, you can find virtually any product associated with virtually any aspect of interior design. And we’ve recently expanded our offering for bathrooms and lighting significantly. As a result, buyers and interior designers won’t just discover the latest furnishing and decorating trends at the imm cologne, they’ll find valuable information for their day-to-day work as well. We’re seeing that people have an increasing need to make their homes contemporary, comfortable and convenient, as well as increasing expectations of interior design in the contract business. We’re constantly enhancing the experience visitors take home from the fair, as well as the additional benefits they stand to gain from our information platforms and trend formats. There’s plenty to see at imm cologne, and numerous events and exhibitions take place in the city itself during Cologne Design Week too”.
How supportive are all the parallel events that imm Cologne encompasses – things like “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” and the “Pure Talents Contest”?
“We aim to offer our visitors added value. Besides lecture forums like The Stage that provide platforms for the latest know-how, there are also a great many inspiring and innovative installations. This year, for instance, there’ll be a vision of the home designed by Czech lighting designer Lucie Koldova (Das Haus 2018: Light Levels), a complete house under the Smart Home banner and some extremely creative design installations (Featured Editions). And the Pure Talents Contest – which will be celebrating its 15th birthday with a special exhibition at the imm cologne – also provides inspiring insights into design concepts that originate outside the restrictive parameters of high-volume production. What’s more, because all the major design labels exhibit here, the imm cologne 2018 will provide a complete overview of the latest developments in design”.
In your opinion, what’s the key to the great impact imm Cologne has? How you would decode the constant increase in interest?
“Let’s be honest, a trade show is always a reflection of the overall economic situation – which is currently very good. But even so, we’ve learned a lot from past crises and sharpened our focus. We’re good listeners and have adapted lots of our activities and measures to the needs of our exhibitors and visitors. Together, all the market players can turn something like the imm cologne into a really interesting fair, and I’m convinced that the imm cologne 2018 will be a truly fantastic show”.
As far as we know you’re already preparing the imm cologne 2019 show. Is it too early to ask what new things we can expect at imm Cologne 2019?
“We’ll continue to work towards our goal of becoming the biggest interiors show in the world. In 2019, LivingKitchen will be an important part of imm cologne again. We’ve also been looking into the digitalisation megatrend and its effects on the development of the interiors industry for a long time now – actually, we've already held several congresses and workshops on the subject. We’ll be forging ahead with that, and it will certainly have an impact on the imm cologne. And of course we’re also looking forward to the new interior trends that will be on show at the imm cologne 2019”.
info*imm cologne 2018
15 – 21.01.2018
See more here