BIELEFELD, GERMANY – A budding battle of woodworking supply trade shows, pitting ZOW versus Interzum, "damages the industry" according to the spokesman for ZOW.

Peter Meyer, CEO of Survey Marketing & Consulting GmbH & Co. KG, organizer of ZOW held annually in Bad Salzuflen, said the decision by several "heavyweights," of the supply industry to exhibit at Interzum only next year, will not force ZOW to deviate from its 2007 show schedule or future plans.

ZOW is scheduled for Feb. 26-March 1. Interzum, a biennial exhibition, will take place 10 weeks later, May 9-12 in Cologne. While Interzum, which runs right before Ligna Hannover, draws an international audience, it is generally conceded that ZOW's success in attracting attendance from Germany's rich furniture production region of Westphalia, has been a factor in Interzum’s declining attendance in recent years.

"Those who are currently orchestrating the unhelpful debate and attempting to drive a wedge through the industry with their sweeping black-and-white portrayal of the issues are doing so either for personal motives or because they don't understand market relations," Meyer said. "In either case, it can only serve to damage their customers, the Germany furniture industry."

In a press release, Bernd Riechers, managing director of Hettich International, said his company is pulling out of ZOW in 2007 to throw its full support to bolster the re-launch of Interzum, which traditionally has claimed the reputation of being the world's leading fair for furniture supplies and components.

"The traditional Interzum fair was well on its way to jeopardizing its international significance to the disadvantage of visitors and exhibitors alike," Riechers said. "The aim of reinstating Interzum as the leading global trade fair is being welcomed and supported in unity by the fittings industry, as well as leading manufacturers from the timber products and surfacing industries."

Hafele, another German-based hardware specialist, also issued a press release citing its plans to cancel exhibiting at ZOW in favor of showing at Interzum. Sibylle Thierer, managing director of Hafele, said, "We are concentrating on Interzum as the international leading exhibition in the industry. For this reason we shall not be exhibiting at ZOW.

"We are absolutely convinced that there needs to be one leading exhibition that gives international expert visitors an overview of the market and provides the furniture construction industry with new impetus," Thierer added. "If Interzum develops in line with our expectations, ZOW will become the exhibition for the regional specialist public in the years when Interzum takes place."

"Every business has to follow its own market interests," Meyer said. "With ZOW, we offer the international supply industry a distinctive and dedicated event right at the heart of the region where their customer base is located. It stays true to the marketing principle that the seller always has to come to the buyer and not the other way around. It's this timeless principle that has made ZOW such a great success for our exhibitors and this is just the challenge that ZOW will live up to in the future."

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