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A successful start to the new year for the industry: imm cologne 2016 received 80,000 trade visitors from 128 countries

From 18 to 24 January 2016 at imm cologne and LivingInteriors, a total of 1,185 companies from 50 countries presented the trends in furniture and furnishings for the coming year.

Buyers from the trade with decision-making authority made for a dynamic trade fair during the first five days. With around 80,000 trade visitors from 128 countries, the event recorded a slight increase (4.8 percent) in trade fair visitor numbers compared to 2014. The proportion of visitors from abroad was 46 percent (based on the trade visitor days). The development in the number of visitors from overseas was positive, while the trade fair duo recorded an especially significant increase in the number of visitors from Europe.

This outcome shows that imm cologne is unmatched as a business event for the global furniture and furnishings industry“, said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, summing up the event. “This is where the world comes together to do business, which offers a lot of new opportunities for export-oriented companies. At the same time, this fair duo has proved once again that business and creative inspiration are not mutually exclusive“, Böse continued. “imm cologne was a wonderful furniture show and has got us off to a very successful start to the 2016 furniture year. With so many new products and ideas, innovations and great models in all price ranges, we are confident that the German furniture industry will achieve another increase in sales this year“, added Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM). This was confirmed by Hans Strothoff, President of the Federal Association of German Furniture, Kitchens and Furnishing Retailers (BVDM): “This year’s imm cologne really stimulated a keen interest in furniture. Rarely has the mood in industry and trade been so positive as at this fair. Wherever you looked, only smiling faces and great optimism. imm cologne has really catapulted the industry into the new business year with a swing.”

The atmosphere among visitors was characterised by business, networking and the search for trends. In the past few years, imm cologne has raised its international profile, not just among exhibitors, but also among visitors. 2016 saw a significant increase in buyers from Europe, primarily from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria. The event also registered a clear increase in the number of visitors from overseas, especially from the USA, China and India. Including estimated figures for the last fair day, a total of 120.000 visitors were inspired by the interior design worlds.

In addition to the products on show, the highlights of the 2016 trade fair once again included “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”, a walk-through simulation of a home, which was designed this year by Sebastian Herkner, and the “Smart Home” special exhibition at LivingInteriors, where numerous companies showcased solutions for a cleverly networked home that are already available today.

Trends at imm cologne/LivingInteriors 2016

Homes are becoming homier once again
Cosiness and a feeling of security are increasingly important in the home. There is also a clear enthusiasm for new combinations. Along with furniture and decorations, accessories and home textiles that suit people’s preferences when used individually are combined freely. The result is homes that are as unique as their inhabitants.

Mid-century design is booming
Across all product sectors, a striking number of furniture designs are reminiscent of those from the 1940s through the 1960s. These designs make efficient use of materials, have delicate features and are lightweight and above all smaller. The trend can be explained by the smaller living spaces available in city homes, though also by a general sense of nostalgia. Like an old friend, sleek mid-century furniture proves its value in uncertain times.

Natural materials are on the rise
Wood, glass, stone and metal: natural materials are particularly popular. In addition to the large proportion of wood used, for example in tabletops, chair and table frames, valuable natural stone is an increasingly common material in tabletops. Popular varieties include the European classic “marble” as well as exotic South American stone with particularly unique veining. The use of tree bark in wall decoration is another trend on the horizon.

The next imm cologne will be held from 16 through 22 January 2017 in Cologne – together with LivingKitchen, the international event for all topics related to the kitchen

Source: imm cologne

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