COLOGNE, Germany - The world's largest trade show for woodworking supplies, interzum will be held as a virtual event in 2021.  The biennial show will still take place May 4-7.

“What our exhibitors need now is planning certainty. In view of the fact that the pandemic situation continues to develop so dynamically and in close consultation with the sector, we’ve decided to hold interzum as a purely digital event," said Oliver Frese, COO of Koelnmesse, the show's organizer.

Photo: Koelnmesse/Hettich stand 2019

Plans were already in motion to make interzum a hybrid event before the switch to virtual was announced.  "We had deliberately designed the trade fair concept to allow us to switch from hybrid to digital at any time,” Frese said. “With our digital solution interzum@home, we’re offering suppliers to the furniture industry and interior design sector a highly attractive platform for presenting their innovations on a digital global stage that can undoubtedly be considered state of the art.”

Photo: Koelnmesse/Arauco stand 2019

“In these extraordinary times, Koelnmesse’s interzum@home offering provides us with an optimal way to bridge the gap until interzum 2023. That’s very welcome from the industry’s side," said Dr. Andreas Hettich, chairman of the interzum advisory committee. "The digital platform enables us to present our products and innovations to a broad audience and thus achieve maximum reach, even if it certainly can’t replace a physical trade fair,” he added.

The 2019 show featured 1,805 exhibitors from 60 countries, spread across 190,000 square meters. Of the 74,000 visitors, more than 55,000 came from outside Germany.

Photo: Koelnmesse/Sureteco stand 2019

Along with presenting new products and trends, the digital platform will enable exhibitors and attendees to maximize networking opportunities, develop new international contacts and maintain contacts with existing customers. “In the future, digital reach will be factored in as a new and additional success criterion for all our trade fairs,” said interzum Director Maik Fischer. “To a very large extent, interzum@home lives from and for networking: it gives exhibitors and visitors a way to identify exactly the right person for their personal business from among all those taking part, for instance. The visual Discovery Graph is a very simple, entertaining and interactive tool for finding relevant contacts and companies – either via the networks, personal contacts or a match with the specified interests,” Fischer added.

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