COLOGNE, GERMANY -- On Jan. 22, 2012, the imm cologne and LivingInteriors drew to a close in Cologne with a very good result. For seven days, 1,157 companies from 54 countries showed the interior design trends of the coming year. Including estimates for the last day of the show, the trade fair duo lured 115,000 visitors to Cologne.

“Cologne is the key business platform for the global furniture economy – as this trade fair has once again impressively demonstrated,” said Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse. “This year we were bang on course. We had more exhibitors, were more international – the Italian contingent was stronger than it had been for a long time – and visitors got to see lots of genuinely new products. All in all, a result like this means we are again playing at the very top of the furniture sector’s premier league,” continues Böse.

With his statement “This year’s furniture fair exceeded our expectations yet again,” Dirk Uwe Klaas, chief executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen Möbelindustrie), came to a similar conclusion. “With this kind of momentum, 2012 may well be a very good year for furniture– and as far as Germany is concerned, our furniture industry may well become the engine that drives consumption,” he said.

A total of 115,000 visitors came to the metropolis on the Rhine – 14 percent more than at the last comparable event in 2010, even without LivingKitchen. With foreign visitors accounting for 42 percent (based on the trade visitor days), the imm cologne was once again a very international trade fair. Firstly, there were far more buyers from Europe, especially from the Russian Federation and Italy, and secondly, there was a slight increase in the number of visitors from North America and Asia. The Public Days were also very well attended. Around 40,000 consumers came to seek inspiration from the interior worlds on show. “We see this result as proof that our many and varied activities, aimed not only at national and international trade visitors but at consumers as well, have been successful,” says Katharina C. Hamma, COO of Koelnmesse. “The imm cologne 2012 has thus established itself as an order-writing and information platform."

Opinions on the trade fair

• “Koelnmesse is one of the best exhibitions in the world.”

Walter Orsenego, DESALTO SPA

• “The trade fair went...very well... I looked into enthusiastic faces and heard glowing, philosophising words. We had some good talks, it was pleasant, we took plenty of orders – and that makes us happy too, of course. After all, at the end of the day, we make our living by selling furniture.”

Henning Axel Kantner, director Marketing and Sales, Interlübke

• “We’re very satisfied. We were overrun, not only by vendors and buyers but by journalists as well. For us, Cologne is the most important trade fair venue of all – at international level, all our customers do their buying here. For us, it’s the most important order-writing show there is.”

Sabine Böhm, CMO, Ligne Roset

• “We really are extremely satisfied. The feedback was huge. In general, the trade fair met with a very good response from the German market. We also had a great many customers from Switzerland, Austria and the Benelux countries – i.e. from the neighbouring European countries. But also from America, for instance. So you could definitely say the show enjoys international popularity and we’re very happy about that. And we’re also more than pleased with our decision to return to this trade fair.”

Andreas Haumesser, PR, B&B Italia

• “The Cologne show is always an international forum – from Saudi Arabia all the way to Korea and Japan.”

Ulrich Gaupp, Hukla Matratzen GmbH

• “The response is: overwhelming! During the course of the fair – right up until today – the visitor structure has been highly international. Mainly from the Middle East and Asia.”

Claudia Rethmann, Press / PR at Wöstmann

• “A very positive response. Definitely also partly because the Möbelmeile consortium is presenting itself as a community and we are therefore exhibiting jointly and, at the end of the day, providing a point of contact.”

Andreas William, CMO, Nolte Delbrück

• “We were busy the whole time – with a high volume of visitors not only from the domestic market but particularly from abroad. The response was very positive, with the result that we’ve got high hopes for the future. The neighboring European countries were strongly represented: Belgium, the Netherlands, France, but also the UK.”

Christian Neubert, CEO Express-Möbel and CS-Schmalmöbel

Nowadays interior design is inextricably linked with textiles, wallpapers and carpets. As a result, furniture is very often selected together with decorative fabrics, wallpapers and flooring. At the imm cologne, these worlds come together in ideal fashion. With last year’s pure textile show and the new LivingInteriors format at this year’s fair, the trade show has consistently pursued the imm cologne’s evolution as an interior design fair. The new trade fair format, which was held together with the imm cologne for the first time, showcased perfectly staged interior worlds consisting of furniture, bathrooms, floors, walls and lighting that met with an excellent response from trade visitors and consumers alike. “We went to Cologne expecting to encounter lots of interior architects. That expectation was totally satisfied. Over the last two days, our booth has drawn big crowds of consumers as well.

All in all, we were extremely satisfied with the way the 2012 trade fair turned out,” says Guido Reibel, CSO, Bauwerk Parkett GmbH.

Besides LivingInteriors, Pure Village and its new highlight “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” was another of the public’s favorites. Especially over the weekend, visitors made the most of the chance to inform themselves about the coming season’s trends.

Trends for 2012

• The major trend theme is nature. Natural-looking and natural materials exude a sense of honesty and authenticity. Solid wood and veneer furniture is just as popular as parquet flooring. As for covering fabrics, real leather, lots of wool and wool felt are popular, the latter often knitted.

• Furniture is getting smaller. A growing number of single people are living in smaller spaces and need petite and multifunctional furniture. As various areas of the home merge, furniture has to be light and flexible because it is used wherever it happens to be needed at any given time rather than remaining in the same place for years on end. This not only includes smaller upholstered furniture, but small desks and bureaus as well, because the communication technology we use is getting smaller too.

• Wall units are becoming ever more compact and slender. The chunky TV is increasingly being replaced by an elegant flatscreen model, and thanks to digitised information, contemporary customers no longer need so much storage space. LED lighting technology has arrived in the furniture and interior design sector where, besides providing energy-saving lighting, it is being used to create lots of colourful atmosphere as well.

Kitchens set to return to Cologne in 2013

In 2013, the international kitchen trade show LivingKitchen will be held in Cologne parallel to the imm cologne. The international kitchen fair is an independent event held every two years. It has three Public Days and brings together renowned national and international exhibitors from the entire kitchen industry. LivingKitchen thus not only shows kitchen furnishings and built-in appliances but sinks, taps, sophisticated kitchen worktops and kitchen accessories, lighting and kitchen-related services as well. With a year still to go until the event, 90 registrations have already been received and more than 60% of the planned space has already been reserved.

The imm cologne and LivingInteriors in figures

1,037 companies from 54 countries took part in the imm cologne 2012, with 65 percent of exhibitors coming from outside Germany. 120 companies participated in LivingInteriors 2012. In total, 1,157 companies exhibited at imm cologne // LivingInteriors. The amount of space occupied amounted to 240,000 m².

Further information and photo material is available from: imm-cologne.com;  LivingInteriors-cologne.com; and  LivingKitchen-cologne.com.

The next dual trade fair imm cologne// LivingKitchen will take place Jan. 14-20, 2013.

Source: Koelnmesse

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