Over 20,000 visitors admired the best of Made in Italy during the 4 days of the Chinese edition of the Salone. China has accustomed the Italian furniture industry to great expectations. The halo of glamour that surrounds Italian design generates eager interest on the part of the Chinese, creating a situation of excitement that was already palpable on the day prior to the opening, when the exhibitors were putting the finishing touches on their booths. A similar buzz rippled through the pavilions, when Chinese lovers of design and luxury were willing to stand in long lines to enter the displays of the 127 Italian companies on hand.
One factor, apart from geography, gives the Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai an added dimension (and new character) with respect to other trade fairs in this sector: the available spaces are limited, meaning that no company can occupy gigantic areas, resulting in the battle of flexed muscles we are used to witnessing in Milan. This makes everyone get their feet back on the ground, so to speak, in a condition of equal opportunity, where all must start from the same position: the market can be conquered through the quality of products, service, and the ability to observe and interpret the fast pace of change in China.
The location, undoubtedly attractive though with some logistical difficulties, also plays a major role, and in fact Claudio Luti – President of Salone del Mobile – has confirmed that the event will not be moved in 2020. When the essential best of Italy returns in one year, what will China be like?