Frankfurt event throws spotlight on contract business as the number of exhibitors increase
A positive mood prevailed at Ambiente 2012, the world’s leading trade fair for consumer goods held in Frankfurt, Germany, last month.
The event, which focuses on furniture and furnishings, attracted 4,543 exhibitors from 87 countries, up from previous year’s figures of 4,442 participants from 85 countries.
The degree of international participation has also increased with three-quarters of all exhibitors coming from outside Germany (73 per cent in 2011).
“Despite the unsettled economic climate, the consumer-goods sector remains on course,” said Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt, organisers of the event.
With 140,000 visitors, Ambiente 2012 was slightly down in terms of visitor numbers compared to the record 144,991 visitors in 2011. However, this was still an increase of five per cent over the last economically comparable year, 2010, says Messe Frankfurt.
“We are very pleased with the number of visitors from our home markets, such as Germany and France, but also from South America, the US and Australia,” said Nicolas Luc Villeroy, head of the tableware business unit of Villeroy & Boch. Despite the difficult economic circumstances in southern Europe, the number of international visitors remained stable with an increasing number of visitors being registered from the expanding markets of eastern Europe, as well as from Russia, the US and Japan. The top five visitor nations in 2012 were Italy, France, the US, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Ulrich Frank, head of the table & kitchen division of wmf group, added: “The export side was there in its entirety. This is a genuine export fair that generates an outstanding echo. There was no sense of being in a crisis and there are also no signs that we are heading in that direction.”
The power of attraction exercised by the Ambiente brand was given a further boost by a package of measures focusing on the contract business. For exhibitors of the consumer-goods sector, the contract business offers a worldwide potential for growth.
“Today, the contract business is a market segment with high rates of growth,” said Stephan Kurzawski, senior vice president, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition.
This year’s programme revolving around the contract business included not only a special exhibition and a dedicated lecture and meeting area but also a new business platform on the internet.
“Via our matchmaking portal, we put a good 180 registered contract-business suppliers into contact with buyers. And that too before the fair even opened its doors,” added Kurzawski.
This year, Ambiente welcomed its first partner country – Denmark – which resulted in a 42-per-cent increase in the number of Danish exhibitors.
In addition to Danish exhibitors such as Eva Solo and Stelton, a special presentation entitled ‘10+ Design Forecast Denmark – Future Living’ offered insights into sustainable Danish design.
The overall level of satisfaction expressed by the visitors from more than 160 countries was also stable on a very high level and, at 95 per cent, was only slightly lower than the 96 per cent registered in 2011, according to the organisers.
With this growth in the level of international participation, Ambiente is the optimum presentation platform for export oriented exhibitors. “Internationally, Ambiente is the leading trade fair in the sum of all its qualities,” said Stephan Koziol, CEO of Koziol ideas for friends.
Commenting on the success of her company at Ambiente, Renate Möller, CEO of Scholtissek, said: “We are extremely satisfied. We have achieved our targets and are very much looking forward to a big jump in our export business.”
Hamid Yazdtschi, CEO of Gilde-Handwerk Macrander, reported: “We are very pleased with the course of business at the fair. The visitor quality was high and we welcomed more international buyers than in 2011.”
Other highlights at Ambiente 2012 included the Talents presentation by young designers, the ‘Plagiarius’ negative award for product piracy and the Design Plus Award.
The next event will be held from February 15 to 19, 2013 in Frankfurt.
Messe Frankfurt is Germany’s leading trade fair organiser with € 457 million ($607 million) in sales and 1,769 employees worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries, five branch offices and 52 international sales partners, giving it a presence in more than 150 countries.