New Decorate Life Сombined Autumn Show Attracts 70,000 Visitors...

With around 70,000 visitors from all over the world, the new Decorate Life combined show exceeded the number of visitors predicted by the organisers, Messe Frankfurt, before the doors opened. "With this debut, we have laid a solid foundation for the next events. The good response from the international trade shows that we are on the right track with our concept. Unfortunately, the unfavourable economic developments in recent weeks have had a negative impact on the number of German visitors", said Dr. Michael Peters, Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt. "We are aware that we still have much to do with our new combined show."

Encouraging is the further increase in the level of internationality on the trade-visitor side. 35 percent of buyers travelled to Frankfurt from outside Germany. This represents an increase of six percent compared to Tendence 2007 with double-digit rates of growth being recorded by many countries including Italy, Portugal, Turkey, France and Switzerland. Also well represented were Japan and the entire Middle East. The trade-visitor quality was also good and was reflected, inter alia, by an unchanged, high level of purchasing and decision-making authority. Buyers awarded the range of exhibits top marks in terms of variety and quality. Moreover, 88 percent said they had also achieved their goals for the fair this year and were satisfied to extremely satisfied with the products to be seen.

In contrast to this was the decline in the number of German dealers, which can be traced back primarily to the downbeat economic prognosis. 19 percent of German visitors rate the current economic situation as being poor, which represents a decline of six percentage points compared to Tendence 2007 and seven compared to Ambiente in February 2008. The industry sees the coming months even more pessimistically with 41 percent of all companies polled saying they consider the current economic situation to be bad.

Thomas Grothkopp, General Manager of the German Association for Tableware, Household Goods and Home Culture (Bundesverband für den gedeckten Tisch, Hausrat und Wohnkultur e.V.), Cologne, noted: "The Decorate Life combined show necessarily suffered from the downturn in demand following the European Cup and the energyprice explosion. The fact that fewer orders were placed than many exhibitors would have liked is due to the difficult sales situation. However, from the point of view of our trade association, the current situation also represents a chance: a chance to look for new suppliers and products, to discern new trends and to gain inspiration from the highend design of The Design Annual."

Table and kitchen: activities and design for the trade
There were also plenty of opportunities to find inspiration in the Table & Decoration product segment in Hall 4.0 of Tendence. For example, at the Taste it! special exhibition for professionals. "Once again, Taste it! did more than justice to its name. It whetted the appetite for an emotional and active product presentation. To this end, there was a two-part programme that offered practical tips by professionals for professionals in the morning and gave visitors the chance to look over the shoulder of celebrity chefs during the afternoon. Cooking is 'in'. And the sector can take advantage of this to put greater emphasis on products for the table and kitchen", said Thomas Kastl, Director of the Table, Kitchen and Housewares Section at Messe Frankfurt.

Foodvision GmbH used the Taste it! area to present the Kitchen Innovation Award for the second time. "Winners from other sectors who would otherwise attend other fairs felt completely at home in the environment of Taste it! for professionals. For us, it was a highly successful event", confirmed Harald Schultes, General Manager of FoodVision GmbH. Also, Werner Weiherer, General Manager of Porzellanfabriken Christian Seltmann, was pleased with the response to the cooking show with Alfons Schuhbeck organised by his company. "The joint presentation by Königlich Tettau, Seltmann-Weiden and Alfons Schuhbeck gave the company and our sales partners an incredible image boost. You have to be active to be successful. Doing nothing results in nothing."

High-end design from the Far North
That high-grade design is growing in popularity was very clearly to be seen in the great interest shown by trade visitors in the new Nordic Design Area where six brand-name companies from Scandinavia – Iittala, Menu, Normann Copenhagen, Rosendahl and Stelton – made a joint presentation in Hall 4.0. Ulrich Edeler, Sales Manager of Deutschland Stelton A/S: "Nordic design has enjoyed growing popularity over recent years and is also making very good headway in Germany. This success is only guaranteed when both function and design are first class. And that's the case with us". "We are very, very pleased with the course of business at the fair", added Peter Husted, Sales Manager of Normann Copenhagen. "The visitors were very surprised by the presentation. The identical appearance of the stands gave the impression of a design landscape in which the products could be displayed to great effect." Jan Piet Bütehorn, Sales Manager Germany of Menu A/S, seconded this opinion: "The 'Nordic Design' concept was given a very good reception. It helps customers find their way around. Customers want to see and experience the products."

Home design: success through quality and concept
The exhibitors in the Interiors & Decoration section generated a high degree of enthusiasm in the trade thanks to the high quality and sophisticated concepts offered. Bernd D. Ehrengart, Managing Partner of furniture and home-accessories manufacturers Lambert in Mönchengladbach, said, "Compared to the last, very satisfactory fair, we have noted a further increase in sales, which yet again shows that anyone offering quality and innovations has a good chance of success. Those who do their homework are likely to come away on top. New collections and original stand concepts awaken visitors' curiosity. I am very much in favour of the new concept of the event." Particular interest was shown by the trade in furniture and home accessories that combined elegance and quality with design and identity. Thus, Dr. Hartmut Bretz, Managing Partner of Bretz Wohnträume GmbH, commented: "We presented our new collection – Collection Bretz Art Couture 2009 – for the first time at Tendence in Frankfurt and received 100-percent confirmation from trade visitors that our design strategy is spot on. We are highly delighted with the new dates of the fair in early July, which is perfect for supplying our customers when the season begins in early September." Appealing to the sector, he added: "For 2009, we hope that even more internationally renowned exhibitors from the premium design segment will opt to exhibit in Frankfurt and thus make their fair even more attractive to international visitors."

Changing the dates of the event to the beginning of July was given a particularly warm welcome by regular exhibitors and considered to be a step in the right direction. A convinced Detlef Klatt, General Manager f Living Interior Design GmbH, said, "We are overwhelmed by he positive echo. All of our fears about bringing the dates of the fair forward have been allayed. The customers are buying and our turnover had reached gigantic levels by the half-way point." Sibylle Erler, Marketing & Sales at SIA, added, "We rank among the proponents of the new dates and the result leaves no doubt but that we were right. Sales are up on last year and we are very pleased. Once again, this year's fair has confirmed our impression that dealers who take the initiative and think in conceptual terms are particularly successful and well rewarded for their courage."

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