What better occasion than the annual conference organized by the American Institute of Architects to display a beautiful compendium of Italian excellence? From 21 to 23 June, at the Javits Centre in New York, the 2018 conference of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) will host Italian Moodboards, an exhibition focused on products and materials for finishes that made its debut in March at MADE expo.
Ready for its second debut in a very short space of time, the event is an opportunity that has been wisely seized by MADE expo, part of FederlegnoArredo, and ICE – Italian Trade Agency -, an established partnership that relentlessly focuses on the internationalization of Made in Italy products in a highly competitive environment in which success is not only dictated by entrepreneurs and products, but also by the ability to promote them in a professional, captivating manner. “There will be radical differences between the American project and the Made Expo 2017 version”, clarifies Giovanni Grassi, general manager of MADE eventi.
The exhibition, which has benefited from a valuable collaboration with Studio Marco Piva since its first edition, now takes inspiration from 9 major metropolises around the world, offering a tour of exciting and engaging design environments. The products will be the stars of large “working tables” on which you can touch samples of materials related to specific companies and projects. Additionally, a reception space will facilitate direct dialog between industry professionals. Oriented business meetings will directly involve companies, resulting in B2B business trips and visits from foreign operators. It will be a unique opportunity for direct contact with the community of American architects from all over the state. A valuable, profiled and motivated target to discover new solutions and materials.
“The aim, on the one hand, is to strengthen the visibility of Made in Italy in a context that is already very favorable. Italy has in fact been a European leader in the exportation of furnishing products to the USA for many years,” comments Andrea Ferrari, ICE office manager in Miami, who managed the organizational relationship with the AIA. “On the other hand, we want to support an increasing number of Italian companies in the process of entering the American market. This has always been a considerable challenge due to the American market’s specific characteristics: the market size, size and operational sophistication of local distribution, highly professional and dynamic commercial culture, product exposure needs, product support services, etc. In order to be successful, Italian companies must first establish their geographical priorities (which federal states they should start operating in). They must also understand the distribution channel and leverage architects and interior designers, who are a fundamental component in product marketing. They need to ensure efficient management of business negotiations, providing all the basic information (product strengths, American references and certifications, price lists in USD, product delivery terms, etc.). They must also select business partners for product display in the showrooms and establish a strategy for managing their after-sales service and product installation. Lastly, they need to take into account the fact that ‘service’ is playing an increasingly dominant role in relation to ‘product’ in the US market. It is therefore important that Italian companies study these new market trends and increasingly propose new business ideas (for example, with regard to the Internet of Things, eco-friendly houses, etc.).”
Giovanni Grassi completely agrees: “In the US, service is considered as important, if not more important than the product. If you only focus on the latter, you can make individual ‘deals’, including major deals, but without service and distribution continuity, it is difficult to establish stable positions.”
“Italian entrepreneurs have responded very positively towards Italian Moodboards,” Grassi stresses. “The American Conference of Architecture is rarely held in New York and it is not often that one can exhibit in a city with such great potential and come into contact with a sophisticated target in a prestigious setting like the Javits Center. Furthermore, the exhibition + commercial presence formula allows us to present ourselves at our best, while at the same time focusing on receiving concrete feedback. We have involved 11 top-level companies in the interiors and finishes sector, which is evidence that when a high-quality project is proposed, companies respond, even those who have already been in the country for years.” “From the American point of view,” Grassi adds, “there is great appreciation for Italian attention to detail and customization, along with normally genuine amazement towards the so-called ‘heritage’ and expertise that typifies Made in Italy.”
“As a result,” emphasizes Andrea Ferrari, “the American market has a very positive perception of Made in Italy. It recognizes that Italian companies have a great talent when it comes to creating products and identifying and inspiring new trends in the international market. It is aware that this talent is based on mastery of a historical culture of material craftsmanship, combined with a great aesthetic sense in terms of designs and color ranges, together with an incredible capacity for innovation, which can be recognized in the modern industrial processes that it has adopted. American consumers have gradually developed their sense of aesthetics thanks to Made in Italy’s important contribution. Today, we are experiencing a real boom in the creation of design districts in the major American urban centers and we owe this phenomenon to Italian design, which has successfully presented itself as a stylistic reference point in the rich American market.”
For more information: conferenceonarchitecture.com
Photo credits © Andrea Mariani