12.–16.01.2025 #immcologne

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Positive balance sheet

That was imm cologne 2020

That was imm cologne 2020


Increase in visitors compared to 2018

Contrary to the trend of the industry’s other spring trade fairs, more visitors flocked to imm cologne 2020 than in 2018. Where there were 125,000 then, it was over 128,000 this time (including the estimation for the last day of the trade fair). The event also recorded a slight increase in the number of trade visitors from Germany. This is good news provided that the German trade is undergoing a process of concentration – smaller companies are being merged into larger ones, meaning that the total number is falling as a result – and because the trend of the last few years had meant we should expect the opposite.

imm cologne is international

From 82,000 trade visitors (2018: 80,704), around 50 per cent came from abroad. The best represented countries were the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and France. The largest increase was as a result of visitors from the following countries:

  • Switzerland (+18 per cent)
  • The Netherlands (+11 per cent)
  • Belgium (+10 per cent)

The development of visitors from Italy and Russia was good news. Europe could make a total increase of 3.8 per cent. There was a considerable increase in visitors from North America (+14.1 per cent). As a result of the trade dispute with the USA, China consolidated at a high level with around 3,000 visitors.

Influx of global top brands

International visitors at imm cologne 2020

The e-commerce leaders of the industry used the event to do business. Photo: Thomas Klerx, Koelnmesse

imm cologne wasn’t just convincing in terms of quantity. The trade fair’s registration data shows that the quality of the trade visitors was also at an international top level. Trade visitors and international top visitors from the furniture trade and interior design were registered, many of whom were from global top-30 retail chains, for example:

  • United Kingdom, including DFS, Heal’s and John Lewis.
  • Scandinavia with Iddesign, Jysk and Svenska Hem, the Indoor Group from Finland, Bromölla and Sängjätten, who all visited the trade fair for several days with their complete purchasing teams.
  • Decision makers of the large international department stores, including Alinea and but from France, El Corte Inglés from Spain, Nitori from Japan and Boston Interiors from the USA.
  • The industry’s big guns in e-commerce – including Amazon, the Otto Group and Wayfair.

The Pure area at imm cologne was visited by considerably more design-oriented furniture shops from the USA, Canada, Asia, Russia and Korea. Proof that what was on offer at the trade fair had an effect on the international specialist retailers.

imm cologne gave an entire industry new, creative inspiration.

Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse

Word of satisfaction

The quantity and quality of the visitors made both organisers and trade visitors equally optimistic. ‘With this result, imm cologne not only underscores its outstanding position for global business, but also its significance for the German market by attracting an increasing number of planners, architects and property developers from the country,’ says Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse. ‘imm cologne has emotionally prepared the relevant themes this year, providing an entire industry with new, creative inspiration. With its international reach, it has ensured a dynamic trade fair to mark a promising start to the new year,’ the CEO of Koelnmesse says ecstatically.

The CEO of the Association of the German Furniture Industry Jan Kurth also summarised positively: ‘For the exhibitors, imm cologne was an economically successful trade fair, which gave the industry a good start in the 2020 furniture year. Once again, Cologne has proven its status not only as a platform for contact and inspiration, but also as an ordering trade fair. Together with all those involved, we will continue to build up the significance of this central event in a changing market environment.’

New layout for better orientation

imm cologne 2020’s success is due to a necessary content-based and conceptual development, in which the trade fair focussed on two different topic areas for the first time: ‘Pure’ presented the whole world of trendy design brands, while ‘Home’ was the new home for interior design solutions with a lifestyle character. In the end, everyone agreed that the new layout added to clarity and provided visitors with better orientation. With the significant expansion of ‘Let’s be smart – Smart Village’, the trade show also placed even greater emphasis on the topic of smart living and offered the industry a highly attractive platform for cross-industry matchmaking.

Chairs as a trend at imm cologne 2020

The trade fair focussed on two different topic areas for the first time: ‘Pure’ and ‘Home’. Photo: Harald Fleissner, Koelnmesse

Exhibitors and visitors also welcomed the new structure of Hall 10 and the content-related added value of the special Future Interiors area. Here, the focus was on German furniture trends and the important topic of sustainability. The conceptual development of Hall 11 in the Pure Atmospheres area was viewed as an important step in the development of imm cologne.

In addition to the conceptual innovations, the trade fair also became significantly more emotive with the trend areas ‘Das Haus’, ‘Future Interiors’ and ‘Pure Atmospheres’. The 2020 international furniture fair not only created space for ‘Interior Moments’ but also provided inspiration for business. Especially this year’s mixture of new business, emotion, internationality and future topics gave a promising sign of the further development of imm cologne

Together with our market partners from industry and trade, we’re consistently developing imm cologne into the global marketplace of the international furniture and interior design industry. It will also require courage and resolve to go in new directions.

Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse

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