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"I'm very excited that the trade show business is finally starting up again!"

22 Nov 2021

Retailers need personal encounters, inspiration and haptic product experiences – the world's leading trade fair Ambiente will offer the industry all of this from February 11 to 15, 2022. Interview partner: Yvonne Engelmann, Director Living and Giving

Yvonne Engelmann, Director Living und Giving
Yvonne Engelmann, Director Living und Giving

1. From February 11 to 15, 2022, Ambiente will showcase the most important themes of the entire consumer goods range in the areas of Dining, Living, and Giving. At last, industry and retail can experience trade fairs again. What does that mean for you?

Yvonne Engelmann:
I'm very excited that the trade show business is finally starting up again andTo be able to accompany our customers as a partner and to meet them again. The need for personal contacts and direct exchange is growing. In discussions with our customers, we notice that the world’s most important consumer goods trade fair in 2022 is once again a set date. Digital is good, but it's not enough given the volume of orders from our customers – there is a great need for trust, to talk to each other and to meet in person. So far, we're getting very good receptions and our customers are looking forward to the event: more than 2,400 exhibitors from 74 countries have already committed to attending. Visitors can expect a packed information and inspiration program on more than 272,000 gross square meters and 22 hall levels. As a result, the site will have an 87 percent occupancy rate compared to the last event in 2020. This shows us: the industry wants to meet in person again. This has already become clear during visits to other trade fairs. There we saw that ordering on site – experiencing products in real life, seeing innovations and the personal exchange – as a "booster" so to speak to get out of the crisis is particularly important to our industry.

Of course, security plays a major role during the event. To ensure safe working and networking at our trade fairs in Covid19 times, Messe Frankfurt has developed a detailed safety and hygiene concept. At its core, this is similar to what we have come to know in the retail sector in recent months, our "new normal" as it were, which we all live and implement in our private everyday lives. For example, an important safety factor for our customers is the ventilation of the exhibition halls: Three to five times an hour, the air is completely replaced by fresh air from outside, so that a regular exchange takes place. In addition, the hall height of eight meters ensures further safety. According to the current status, trade fair participants must present a current vaccination or convalescence certificate at the entrance. There are also further measures such as online ticketing with full registration and consistent contact tracking. The safety and hygiene concept is of course constantly adapted to the regulations laid down by the authorities, which we will implement analogously in the interests of trade fair visitors. All current measures are also available on the Ambiente website.

2. Ambiente is a trendsetter and source of inspiration for the consumer goods sector. As a marketplace for innovations, it presents the trends that end consumers are waiting for in retail. What can visitors look forward to?

Yvonne Engelmann:
As the leading international trade fair for the consumer goods industry, Ambiente is the ideal platform for marketing new products internationally, for dscovering innovations and for gaining new impetus. You won't find the global range like this at any other trade fair. We have great exhibitors and brands presenting their trends and latest products: From design-oriented suppliers such as Georg Jensen from Denmark or the Irish company Max Benjamin, both of which are returning to Hall 8.0, to new exhibitors such as Jab Anstoetz and industry giants such as Blomus, Broste Copenhagen, Dôme Deco or Eichholtz, buyers will find a wide selection of well-known exhibitors here. In addition to aesthetically beautiful and trendy products, sustainability with all its facets is now a core global social and economic issue with enormous reach and significance. More and more people are becoming more mindful and critical when shopping, are usually well informed and ask about the origin, manufacturing conditions as well as materials of the products on offer. This has already been clearly evident at Ambiente for several years. Today, with its special interest "Ethical Style", it is the international trading center for sustainably produced consumer goods. Ecologically and socially responsible exhibitors are selected by an independent jury on the basis of their application and receive an "Ethical Style" mark in the online exhibitor search as well as a sign on their stand on site. The companies are selected in six different categories, such as resource-saving manufacturing, fair production or environmentally friendly materials. The importance of sustainability is already demonstrated by many of our European brands. The UNHCR projects, which are very close to my heart, are also an important part of Ambiente. The initiative of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) works together with partners from the business community to secure sustainable livelihoods for refugee artisans. MADE51 is also participating again in Ambiente 2022 as part of a special presentation.

3. Are there changes in the areas of Living and Giving?

Yvonne Engelmann:
Yes, there will be some changes in Living and Giving. We have revised the concept and formed new synergies. For example, we have created added value for retailers in Hall 8.0. In the Interior Design area, brands like Dottir, Dorothee Lehnen, Piffany, Uashmama, Yamazaki Europe share the hall with Urban Gifts exhibitors like Bigso, Design im Dorf or Remember. So here we have created an optimal interplay between the accessory-oriented design area and Urban Gifts. We have also created something similar in Hall 11.0. Here, home-oriented exhibitors such as Cor Mulder meet seasonal decoration and offerings for the green market such as AM Design, Duiff, Gasper or Sifcon, and these in turn meet classic, decorative gift exhibitors such as Cepewa, Enesco or G. Wurm. In Hall 9.0, exhibitors such as Greengate, Gilde Handwerk Macrander, Kare, IB Laursen, Present Time or originalhome will present their latest highlights at Interiors & Decoration. With these synergies, we offer our exhibitors new customers in the halls and our retailers a wider range for their additional assortments.

Living und Giving @Ambiente
Living und Giving @Ambiente

4. Hall planning in Global Sourcing will also be optimized and adjusted for the coming Ambiente. What will change?

Yvonne Engelmann:
As the world's leading trade fair and largest sourcing platform outside China, we want to provide the right impetus and inspiration with the new hall structure. That's why we have packed Global Sourcing under one roof again: The area is concentrated in Hall 10 – from the basement to the roof. We have had this in the past and will return to the shorter distances for buyers. One of the reasons for this is China's relatively restrictive travel policy and the resulting reduced participation opportunities for Chinese exhibitors. Global Sourcing buyers can still look forward to very international exhibitors from overseas. We already have commitments from Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Peru, Taiwan or Tunisia.

5. Topics such as hospitality or contract business are highlights of Ambiente. What do you have planned here?

Yvonne Engelmann:
The construction boom continues unabated – buildings are being built and properties are being equipped. The contract business is becoming increasingly important. Ambiente is therefore an important meeting place for professional buyers from the Living and Giving sectors. It offers buyers the unique opportunity to order Front of House products from the HoReCa collections of the Dining exhibitors as well as the Lifestyle collections of the Living and Giving exhibitors. Professionals and decision-makers from the hospitality industry, professional buyers, furnishers, interior designers or designers for hotels, restaurants, clubs and coworking spaces will find the right furnishing concepts and high-quality design at Ambiente. Buyers from the contract business sector will find an attractive range of international brands in Frankfurt. For our buyers, it is important to order products not only in the purely functional HoReCa environment, but in the environment of a lifestyle trade fair like Ambiente. Demand from the market is high. In addition, visitors can once again expect a stand-alone HoReCa hall in 2022, as well as top speakers at the HoReCa Academy in Hall 6.0.

Those participating in the program will be flagged in the online exhibitor search and will also be available separately as "Special Interest". A sign will also be displayed at the Contract Business exhibitors' booth, making it easier for buyers to find the company they are looking for. The Contract and HoReCa Guide will be offered online in the coming year to provide additional orientation for buyers and decision-makers from the hospitality business and contract business.

6. What will the supporting program at Ambiente 2022 look like?

Yvonne Englemann:
Trends and innovations are not the only important topics. After almost two years without international consumer goods fairs, impulses and content as well as special presentations are essential for the industry. The topic of how to act in a crisis is particularly topical. In addition to the safety and hygiene concept, we are therefore deliberately investing in content and thus added value for our visitors. In 2022, we will again have an Ambiente Academy in Hall 9.0 and a HoReCa Academy in Hall 6.0. Here, renowned speakers will provide insights into current market developments and invite visitors to engage in an extensive exchange of ideas. Visitors will find the decisive international style trends in the Trend Area in the Galleria. On behalf of Messe Frankfurt, the bora.herke.palmisano style agency is researching the shapes, colors and materials worldwide that will excite consumers. The three most important trends will be staged with exhibitor products. A visit to Talents is also worthwhile: young designers on their way to the market will be showing their products in the Talents areas Interior Design (Hall 8.0) and Arts & Craft (Hall 4.0). Clever kitchen and household helpers that make our lives easier can be seen in the special Solutions presentation in the foyer of Hall 4.0. In addition, Ambiente 2022 will again provide the setting for numerous prestigious awards ceremonies. The Kitchen Innovation Award and the Plagiarius Negative Award for Product Piracy will also be presented at Ambiente. The Tableware International Awards of Excellence, an award for tableware products that are functional, beautiful or original and tell a story, will also be presented again. The winners will be announced during Ambiente. The Hessian State Award for German Arts and Crafts is one of the most important awards that artisans in Germany can receive, and it is the only state award that is offered across the borders of a federal state. The award will be presented at Ambiente 2022. The German Design Award will be presented on the first day of the fair. Visitors can view the award-winning products of the German Design Award in an impressive special presentation in Hall 8.0.

7. Digital exchange has been part of our everyday life in recent months. Is a complementary online platform planned for Ambiente 2022?

Yvonne Engelmann:

Yes, Ambiente will be supplemented by additional digital offerings and networking formats in the form of digital addition from 2022. Visitors will be able to attend live as well as network online and follow the trade show highlights in content streamings. For me, the whole thing is comparable to participating in a partner exchange: Here, too, matchmaking happens with the help of artificial intelligence. To find the right partner, you have to invest some time in creating your profile. This is similar with digital addition: the more precisely the profile is created, the better the match of the proposed business partner.  

For international visitors who are not allowed to come to Frankfurt due to travel restrictions, Ambiente digital addition thus enables efficient networking with exhibitors on site in Frankfurt. In this way, we are taking an important step towards the future and extending the duration of the trade fair. The digital exchange is already possible one week before as well as two weeks after the presence event. In addition, our online platforms Nextrade and Conzoom Solutions have already been providing the consumer goods industry with industry-relevant content 365 days a year since 2019 and offer digital order and data management. The direct order function via Nextrade will become even more attractive and interactive in the future, as the expansion of the showrooms in 3D will ensure even more experiential shopping. Thanks to digital walk-through capability, shoppers can reach their destination intuitively and with just a few clicks.

Internationale Frankfurter Messe / International Frankfurt Trade Fair

The next Ambiente will take place from 11 to 15 February 2022.

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Ambiente is the leading international trade fair and the world’s number one in products associated with dining, cooking, household items, furnishings and ornaments, interior design, gifts and fashion accessories. In 2020 Ambiente opened a dedicated hall for the hotel, restaurant and catering industry (HoReCa), thus establishing itself as the leading international front of house platform. As a global contract business hotspot Ambiente has a strong emphasis on the international contract market. It is “The Show” for the entire industry. The breadth and width of its unrivalled product range make Ambiente unique throughout the world. Ambiente 2020 featured 4,582 exhibitors from 92 countries, attracted around 101,000 trade visitors from 158 countries and presented classic and innovative products over a period of five days. Moreover, this most important global consumer goods exhibition offers a wide range of industry events, programmes for newcomers, trend presentations and award ceremonies.

Nextrade – the digital marketplace

The digital ordering and data management system for suppliers and retailers in the consumer goods industry extends the trade fair and allows orders to be placed at any time of day or night, 365 days a year.

Conzoom Solutions – the platform for retailers

Conzoom Solutions is a knowledge platform that offers the consumer goods industry a wide range of studies, trend presentations, workshops and guidelines for the point of revenue. It provides a complete overview of Messe Frankfurt's international portfolio in the consumer goods sector – bundling a wide range of information for retailers.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

The Messe Frankfurt Group is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Group employs approximately 2,450 people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 29 subsidiaries around the world. The company generated annual sales of approximately €257 million in 2020 after having recorded sales of €736 million the previous year. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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