Here we are again, back to the biennial event that, since 1968, has been a global reference for the industry in even-numbered years. At its 24th edition, the exhibition gathers in Milan the entire world of wood and furniture technology and supplies every second May.

Despite the difficulties of recent years, Xylexpo has been working − with a serious and professional approach − to maintain a relevant position, making all the necessary efforts to be a "strong moment" for international exhibitors and visitors.

EXHIBITORS

The event is scheduled at Fieramilano-Rho, from May 13, Tuesday, to May 17, Saturday. Five days of meetings, networking, update and business, with a lineup of 440 exhibitors over a net exhibition area of 27 thousand square meters.

There are 123 exhibitors from abroad, with Germany in the first place (51 companies), followed by China, Spain, Austria, Great Britain and the Czech Republic, and all the others. Companies gather in Milan from 27 countries, searching for tight interaction and confrontation with industry operators from all over the world.

VISITORS

Positive signs on the visitor side: one week before the opening, the number of pre-registrations was 30 percent higher than on the same date two years ago, indicating a positive climate. We cannot deny that this is not the best of periods, and those who expected Xylexpo 2014 to play the drums of stronger recovery cannot be satisfied. However, this does not cancel the fact that there are signals of greater optimism, although many historical brands that made the history of this Italian industry are no longer in business.

THE LAYOUT

In the past few editions, Xylexpo has learned to present itself as a concrete, solid event, with narrow margins for luxury and celebrations, adopting an honest approach to provide real tangible opportunities for exhibitors and visitors. This year, this approach has been reaffirmed with the decision to use three halls only, to the benefit of accessibility and networking effectiveness. A concrete and rich exhibition made-to-measure for visitors. An “honest” exhibition, working hard to make the 2014 edition a bridge towards 2016, when a different economic scenario will enable the event to leverage the full potential of a country like Italy, still a leading actor in terms of technology offer and demand. Three halls will be used: Hall 1 and 3 will feature technology for panel processing and modern furniture industry; in Hall 2, primary operations and solid wood processing.

Talking about space, we must point out that many companies chose to reduce their booth areas compared to the past. We can say that no one is missing at Xylexpo, but everyone decided to adapt their presence to the current situation of the Italian market. While, on one hand, the exhibition clearly addresses the global industry, on the other it is also clear that Italy is the main target, with its strong record of design, creativity, technology and production capacity.

The Italian industry includes almost 300 companies committed to the development of technology for wood and furniture, 182 of which are Acimall members; 9 thousand employees; more than 1.5 billion Euro turnover in 2013, accounting for 17 percent of total global production, with an export share exceeding 77 percent, more than 1.1 billion Euro in value. Respectable figures...

This picture ideally fits into the Xylexpo frame, with the contribution of important comebacks such as Cefla Finishing Group, Biesse Group, Casadei Busellato and Cms Group-Balestrini and Elmag-Superfici, both Scm Group companies.

STRONGER COMMITMENT

Like never before, this year Xylexpo has deployed a number of new initiatives, not only to strengthen the recognition and appeal of the event, but also to attract an increasing number of “new visitors” in a deeply changing industry. This is the goal of our widespread action on social networks, and several initiatives (often “one-to-one”) carried out in collaboration with an international network (50 offices around the world) that has been even more stimulated and involved this year.

Delegations from ten countries are coming to Milan as a result of our collaboration with the Italian Foreign Trade Agency Ice. For operators from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the United States, dedicated meetings and in-depth networking with exhibitors have been organized. It is worth reminding that, as usual, Xylexpo has major sponsors and partners: Eumabois, the Italian Ministry of Production Activities, Cfi-Comitato Fiere Industria (Confindustria) – and proactive collaboration with Ice-Italian Foreign Trade Agency and Fiera Milano.

The exhibition is concrete and useful, leveraging strong partnership with exhibitors, "working together" on what can be definitely considered as a common asset. An example of this partnership was the participation of many exhibitors (Biesse, Cefla Finishing Group, Finiture, Fravol-Uniteam, Giardina Finishing Group, Greda, Homag Group, Imal-Pal, Incomac, Ormamacchine, Salvador, Vitap, Wittenstein and Wde Maspell) in the first edition of “XIE-Xylexpo Information Event”, an opportunity for “top exhibitors” to play a leading role in the meeting with Italian and European media at the Xylexpo European Press Conference, held last 28 February. This project showed the effectiveness of networking, of “doing” things together, of sharing not only objectives but also methods and opportunities.

The second step of this strategy was the decision to give a recognition to Xylexpo 2014 exhibitors who, in recent years, have been able to preserve their drive to innovation, not only in products and in business management, but also in communication processes, which are increasingly important for successful relationships with media and, most of all, with resellers, agents, final users and other players. The results of the first edition of Xia-Xylexpo Innovation Awards will be communicated during a dedicated event for media and exhibitors, on the second day of the exhibition, Wednesday, May 14, at the Xylexpo Arena (hall 2, stand P30-Q31), starting at 17.30.

SERVICES FOR OPERATORS

Hundreds of meetings between demand and offer have already been planned through the “MatchMaking” software platform, introduced two years ago to help visitors plan their agenda of meetings with exhibitors; a quick and easy tool to define your agenda during pre-registration on www.xylexpo.com, so that you can make the most of your time spent among the stands.

After the successful launch in 2012, Xylexpo will also be back again on smartphones and iPhones, with a free app for iOS and Android devices.

Source: Xylexpo

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