“IFFT/interiorlifestyle Living” Closed Its Doors On a High Note

The premier trade fair for all interior products, IFFT/interiorlifestyle living (19 – 22 November, 2008) closed its doors on a high note. It attracted 26,912 visitors, an 18 % increase from the previous "International Furniture Fair Tokyo (IFFT)". The fair was relaunched, fusing two essential trade shows in Japanese interior design / furniture sector: the furniture-oriented fair organized by International Development Association of the Furniture Industry of Japan (IDAFIJ) called "IFFT" and autumn version of "Interior Lifestyle" (Ambiente Japan & Heimtextil Japan) organized by Mesago Messe Frankfurt.

With 367 companies (301 domestic exhibitors, 66 overseas exhibitors) from 14 countries and regions filling up three halls at East Hall of the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre, "IFFT/interiorlifestyle living" delivered much wider ranges of high-quality products than the previous IFFT. The visitors found a variety of indoor and outdoor products including furniture, home textiles and lifestyle-related consumer goods.

Colourful highlights: "heimtextil TRENDS 2009/2010 Preview", "heimtextil x lifestyle brands", "TREND CAFE". Besides a wide range of high-end exhibited products, special presentations added colorful highlights regarding the usage of home textiles for stylish living space made the fair more informative and entertaining than ever before. IFFT/interiorlifestyle living: With new attractions "heimtextil x lifestyle brands", "heimtextil TRENDS 2009/2010 Preview", "TREND CAFE", the 2008 fair informed and entertained its visitors.

A favourite highlight of the visitors was the "heimtextil TRENDS 2009/2010 Preview". Heimtextil, the biggest international trade fair for home and contract textiles for decades, serves as a platform for manufacturers, the trade and designers from all over the world. The fair not only features the latest interior furnishing products and concepts but also highlights the trends for the next 18 months. IFFT/interiorlifestyle living offered its visitors a chance to preview this Trend presentation for the coming 2009/2010 season. Mr. Eiji Honda, Representative of the Interior Culture Institute, said, "I have visited the Heimtextil over the past three decades and I feel that this year's Trend is probably the best of all."

Especially, the collaborative exhibition of the home textile editors and renowned Japanese lifestyle brands named "heimtextil x lifestyle brands" gained much attention. The participating Japanese lifestyle brands includes: Essence, Nazero, Rockstone, Sempre, Time & Style, WiseWise. And all the home textile editors collaborating with them are also world-famous editors such as Casamance, Christian Fischbacher, Designer's Guild, KINNASAND, Need'K, Nya Nordiska.

The participants of this highlight said that it was a refreshing experience. Mr. Kohei Tokoo, contract design leader of Time & Style, commented "Honestly, the preparation for the fair was even harder than usual, as we have to get to know the textile products offered by our collaborative partner. We used their textile on the seating face of our chairs. I think that the beautiful textile gave our chair a new look, and visitors seemed to enjoy this refreshing style of exhibition. Compared to the IFFT 2006, where we exhibited last time, the new edition of the fair is much better. I mean better in the quality of exhibition and the quantity of visitors."

Positive feedback from exhibitors
As there are several interior-related fairs held concurrently, many of those engaged in housing and furniture industry from around the country made their ways to Tokyo Big Sight to find out what is currently on offer in the industry. The atmosphere was lively and feedback from participants was generally excellent. Many of the exhibitors both from the furniture sector and lifestyle-related consumer goods sector gave positive feedback on the new concept of the fair and commented on the high professionalism of the visitors.

Mr. Nobuyuki Hamada, Key Account Manager of Carl Hansen & Son Japan K.K. said; "We exhibited at IFFT five years ago. Compared to then, the quality of the visitors seems to be getting better. We had many visitors throughout the fair. Though we have had business with most of the retail stores on some scale that deal Scandinavian furniture already, we were able to meet those from small-sized stores or stores outside Tokyo with whom we never had contact before. That was the best benefit we obtained from the fair. The renewed IFFT/interiorlifestyle living functioned as a great opportunity for business talks in the sector. We designed our booth just like our showroom to showcase the collection of our products, and as intended, many visitors took time to look around the booth."

Mr. Shogo Higashi, President of Kitani Japan Inc. also appreciated the new look of the fair, "IFFT used to be the leading event in the sector, but started to lose momentum the last several years because of decreasing Japanese exhibitors. Since Mr. Kohei Takata has taken over as conceptional creator of the fair a few years ago, a favorable change can be observed. We decided to take part in the 2008 fair knowing that Mesago Messe Frankfurt had become its co-organizer. We expected innovative changes, and the fair met our expectations. The fair was designed in the visitor-friendly way with well-categorized zones and easily viewable signs. Together with several events held concurrently, the fair succeeded in offering a huge selection of products and useful information to its attendees. I was very happy to meet many enthusiastic visitors at the fair. I got a good response!" Kitani Japan Inc. manufactures and sells furniture of Scandinavian design.

Those exhibiting interior design products also enjoyed participating in IFFT/interiorlifestyle living for the first time. Mr. Yoshimasa Sato, President of POS Co., Ltd., remarked on positive responses from the visitors. "We have exhibited at Interior Lifestyle held in Tokyo in June and Ambiente held in Frankfurt in February for many years, so I thought that trade fairs organized by Messe Frankfurt should undoubtedly make an excellent contribution! We decided to participate in the new edition of the fair with the hope of meeting new customers and approaching new markets. It was up to my expectation! We were able to make contacts with new interior coordinators and architects. Especially, interior coordinators appreciated seeing the collections of our products directly which they normally see in our brochure. We were happy about the feedback from the visitors."

The next fair: Interior Lifestyle
3 – 5 June 2009, Tokyo Big Sight

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