Time for exchange: imm cologne 2022 to focus on business, networking, inspiration and face-to-face conversations
The global interiors event further expands its presence in the digital sphereimm cologne 2022 is stepping into the starting blocks, inspired by the international interior business event’s motto, “Time to exchange ideas”. #Backevenstronger is the idea driving the team led by Matthias Pollmann, Claire Steinbrück and Dick Spierenburg. “We were the last trade fair with a global appeal to be hosted in 2020 and will probably be the first such event to return in 2022. In January, imm cologne will focus clearly on bringing market actors together and providing a platform for resuming business on face-to-face terms. But at the same time, we are further strengthening the event’s digital orientation,” says Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse.
With the pandemic on the wane in Europe, new opportunities are opening up again. Haptic product experiences, inspiration live and in-person, and face-to-face networking are now urgently needed to stimulate exchanges and commercial activity between national and international market actors. “However, imm cologne 2022 will also have a new digital dimension. In future, we want to connect industry players 365 days a year. That means that imm cologne will present and drive the most important trends and innovations in interior design in both analogue and digital formats as it pursues its mission to design tomorrow’s living spaces together with the interiors industry,” says Pollmann.
A focus on business
If there is one kind of business almost any company wants, it is more business. Driven by this idea, the industry is capitalising on the widespread sense that a new beginning is on the horizon and making imm cologne its central forum. “Many exhibitors have taken advantage of the early-bird discount, and we are happy with the current level of registrations,” says Claire Steinbrück, Director of imm cologne. “The outlook for the European interior design market provides plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Germany is experiencing an upward trend, especially in the export business. The extended lockdowns have given home interiors a completely new significance for consumers, and not just in Germany. This makes imm cologne the perfect platform to present innovations at precisely the right time: Attention is guaranteed. There is no better place for transforming new developments into business opportunities,” says Steinbrück.
Three components create business opportunities 365 days a year
The pandemic has been a steep learning curve in digitalisation, not just for Koelnmesse but for the whole interiors industry. Digital components will therefore be the logical extension of the physical showcase in the trade fair halls. Knowledge and content will be the focus online, while experience and the social aspect will be the priorities at the event, but the boundaries between them will always be fluid. Linking all these components is networking, which will be fostered both online and offline and will continue to be a crucial element. This will enable imm cologne’s export-oriented exhibitors to reach key, booming target markets, such as China and the USA, even if there are no visitors or only small numbers of visitors from these countries at the event. “We are offering three conceptually interlinked components that ensure we are prepared for all possible scenarios and make us even better equipped to inspire and connect all participants,” says Pollmann. “Even if the in-person event remains the core element, digital formats will extend the trade fair throughout the entire year: The magazine by imm cologne offers inspiration for living spaces 365 days a year, while ambista is a platform for new business opportunities and networking all year round. With this triad, Koelnmesse is perfectly positioned to present a sophisticated hybrid trade fair format.”
Inspiration for the design of living spaces
The focus on exchanges will also continue in the content presented at imm cologne. This area is primarily overseen by imm cologne’s Creative Director, Dick Spierenburg: “imm cologne isn’t about individual items of furniture. It is about designing living spaces – from a holistic perspective. New focus areas in the hall layout together with tried-and-tested and expanded live events will present visions of home living that go far beyond furniture. This will give the lifestyle aspect even more emphasis,” says Spierenburg. In a new move, the Pure Platforms format will be integrated into Hall 11, where it will provide a compact, inspiring showcase for exciting lifestyle brands specialising in home accessories and furniture, lighting solutions, paints and related interior design product ranges. “But when we are talking about tomorrow’s living spaces, I think the link to cross-industry sectors is becoming increasingly important. These sectors are already helping to shape our living environments today, and they will have an even greater influence on them in the future. “I’m referring to sectors such as home electronics and the smart home as well as mobility solutions,” adds Spierenburg. The Connect interior world will be the new platform for connected home living in Hall 4.2. It will showcase innovative solutions and smart applications for connecting living spaces. Connect will serve as a catalyst for opening up new, cross-industry business potential, as it provides an interface to other sectors such as energy management, mobility, logistics, telecommunications, security and healthcare. Ideal for stimulating exchanges, cross-industry formats generate attention for participants and provide access to new networks through workshops and excellent use cases.
imm cologne will present a balanced mix of successfully established and new formats in January 2022. Combined with its digital components, the magazine by imm cologne and ambista, the leading international trade fair for the interiors industry is set to reach a new level as it pursues its mission to provide the ideal platform for business, networking and inspiration for the interior design world.