In summer 2022, the imm cologne embarked on a journey towards a refreshing of its traditional trade fair brand. Why was that important from your point of view?
The last few years have certainly turned the world upside down and with it our lives. But many things have also only come up as a result of the last few years that have remained hidden for a long time. That’s why we are now forced to change things and radically question decades-old traditions. There is certainly not just one right way, but it is important to set out now! For us, this means proceeding step by step, trying things out, always adapting, learning, moving forward and never losing sight of the goal – that is the path we are now taking and the Spring Edition is the starting point.
Where will the Spring Edition set new accents?
In the home sector, which is certainly larger, the focus is more classically on business. Here the fair serves as an order platform. Supply and demand are matched at a high international level. In the Pure segment, the focus will be on design, inspiration and networking. In this way, we are redefining the term business in the Pure section. In addition to the products, I think it is important to have other inputs and to talk about the topics that are prevalent in our industry. For example, we need to talk not only about sustainability, but also about materials. The question of whether we need so many new products every year or whether we can’t be more modest when it comes to developing things and changing their look to keep them new. So we have to discuss the topics that are important for the industry and that I see as the task of our fair. And all this in a very compact time frame.
For decades, the heart of Pure was Hall 11 – doesn’t the new Galleries concept demand a profound rethink from visitors and exhibitors?
With the new and creative stand construction concept, which has been developed exclusively for the Spring Edition, the most visible change is certainly taking place in the area. Yes, this is certainly a big step for all of us, but if we want to shape the future of the imm cologne, the transformation must first take place in the halls, but above all the exhibitors and visitors must also be ready for this transformation. The Spring Edition offers enormous potential here to try out new, more experimental things.
Pure Galleries is a compact, creative concept that perfectly suits furnishing brands with high demands on their brand identity. It is a very modern way to present their current products to target groups, e.g. for the German market. With COR, KFF, Brühl & Sippold and Signet, renowned German companies have already opted for the new presentation concept. From my point of view, the focused concept also makes sense for Italian exhibitors who want to place special products on the German market.
In addition, the format also offers the opportunity to think. Here I could imagine themes like colour or material or the interplay between classics and new designs. When developing the concept, I was inspired by the appearance of art galleries or art fairs. The aim is to create a high-calibre presentation world of minimalist, personalisable brand spaces.
Besides the new Pure Galleries hall concept, events are also an integral part of the “new” imm cologne. What is already planned for the Spring Edition in the events segment?
From my point of view, the pure presentation character is passé. The imm cologne’s Next Generation will illuminate and discuss the themes of “living, furnishing and how we will live in the future” in numerous formats – from different perspectives. The platform idea is a key criterion that will characterise the trade fairs of the future: In the future, platforms will enable active participation in what happens at the fair, they will connect exhibitors and visitors beyond the hall floor, they will enable and intensify dialogue.
That’s why the Speakers Corner and the Café are the central meeting point in the middle of Hall 11. On the Speakers Corner stage, the audience can expect specialist lectures, presentations and discussion rounds on industry-relevant topics, innovations and developments throughout the entire duration of the fair. At the end of the first day of the fair, exhibitors and trade visitors can then look forward to the vernissage in the Pure Galleries area in Hall 11. the first day of the fair then an open-air event on the Piazza.
How will the journey continue in 2024?
With the lessons learned from the Spring Edition, exhibitors and visitors can already look forward to the imm cologne 2024. One learning is already certain: next year, Germany’s biggest interior fair will return to the familiar date and will once again ring in the new furnishing year in January. From Sunday, 14 to Thursday, 18 January 2024, however, the fair will be shortened to 5 days. In this way, we will reflect the dynamics prevailing at the beginning of the year in the best possible way. It has been shown that January is the perfect time to bring industry and trade together.