INTERZUM

Cologne

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4 / 7 May 2021

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ON THE ROAD TO THE “NEW NORMAL”

“We are starting out on the road to the new normal,” says Maik Fischer, Director of interzum, describing the preparations for the world’s largest trade fair for suppliers and interior design – interzum. “We want to work with the industry to redesign the future. That is our goal and our challenge,” continues the Director. With the next edition of interzum, Koelnmesse is organising the first event of worldwide relevance for the industry since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, giving it a suitable platform on which to showcase innovative and inspirational products, discuss current issues and revive business – and all this in compliance with the applicable hygiene and safety regulations.

Given the repeated emergence of new hotspots in Europe and the persistent occurrence of infections around the world, there is still a strong sense of uncertainty in the industry. “We can’t wait for a return of the old days. Instead, we have to be optimistic and bold, and set out into the future together,” says the Director, commenting on current developments.: “After all, as far as the global furniture industry and interiors professionals are concerned, interzum 2021 is essential for generating fresh ideas and discovering innovative products, thus helping them to reinvigorate and grow their own businesses.”

To ensure the safety of exhibitors and visitors, Koelnmesse has worked in cooperation with the public authorities to develop #B-SAFE4business, a concept that makes provision for all measures relating to hygiene, medical care and organisation. Exhibitors can therefore expect a trade fair with a high standard of safety for all participants.

The event’s importance to the industry and the well-thought-out safety and hygiene concept are also being acknowledged by the exhibiting companies. When the first early-booking discount period came to an end in mid-June, the number of registrations was almost on a par with figures on the equivalent date for the record-breaking interzum 2019. “Receiving such an encouraging number of registrations in these difficult times supports our belief that the exhibitors are looking to interzum 2021 as the trigger to restart their global business,” says Maik Fischer, giving his assessment of the figures. So, with layout planning now beginning, more than two thirds of interzum’s planned exhibition area has already been booked. In addition to many well-known exhibitors, ranging from market leaders to small creative powerhouses, Maik Fischer’s team is also looking forward to welcoming some notable returnees to Cologne next year – among them the Kastamonu Group and the companies Yildiz Entegre as well Financiera Maderera. Together with a start-up area, the focus on digital printing and floor coverings is generating additional appeal and is a guarantee of further exhibitor potential in the remaining months. Companies that have not yet registered for interzum 2021 still have until 30 September 2020 to reserve their stand area at a special rate.

Key target groups are within reach

With a justified shot of confidence, the interzum team is starting the visitor acquisition process much earlier than usual. “A lot of explanations are required at the moment, of course, but we get the sense from our conversations with visitors that they not only see the necessity of attending a trade fair, but that they are also looking forward to interzum,” reflects Fischer. “However, it will all depend on the extent to which travel restrictions are lifted. Nevertheless, we are already reaching around 70 per cent of our trade visitors despite the limitations that are currently in place”, he continues. At the same time, the interzum team is also developing a hybrid event format for those participants unable to travel to Cologne. “We will develop a permanent digital extension to interzum that will be fit for the future. We will learn from the digital formats we are offering this autumn – for gamescom and DMEXCO – as well as from imm cologne and LivingKitchen 2021,” Fischer explains confidently. “In doing so, we will be giving the exhibitors the added ability to present their products digitally, communicate with virtual visitors and thereby increase the overall reach of their interzum appearance. To supplement our digital matchmaking options, we are not only expanding the business opportunities available to our exhibitors but also reaching a broader spectrum of visitors.” Thanks to all of these steps, the world will definitely meet in Cologne for interzum in May 2021 – in person and virtually.

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