Successful debut

interzum @home 2021: A review

As the leading international trade fair for furniture manufacturing and interior design, this year's interzum took place as a purely digital event. From 4 to 7 May, interzum @home emotionally prepared the relevant topics for the industry and presented them to an international audience. Over 10,000 participants from 132 countries were active on the new online platform. 

May 11 2021

"The last few days have shown how creatively the industry approaches new challenges," said Oliver Frese, COO of Koelnmesse, at the end of the fair. "But for me, they were also very impressive proof of the relevance and the charisma of the interzum brand in the world." 

Thus, a total of 142 companies from 24 countries took part in the new interzum @home, which this year moved their world premieres for innovative products online. The global megatrends such as digitalisation, individualisation, mobility and urbanisation were reflected not only in the exhibitors' presentations but also in the diverse supporting programme of the digital platform.

Impressions from interzum @home © Koelnmesse

Networking, exchange and content

From the very beginning, the focus of interzum @home was on networking, knowledge exchange, top-class content and product innovations. "It was an exciting event for everyone and a huge learning curve," says Katrin de Louw, who organised the Trend Stage with her agency Trendfilter. "Judging by the current situation, where we are sitting at home in our home offices, I was happy to meet business friends anyway." 

Both the Trend Stage and other digital stages offered numerous expert presentations and workshops to encourage knowledge transfer. "In order to increase the reach and, above all, to address target groups in regions of the world that have not yet found their way to Cologne, the platform certainly offered added value," stated Dr. Sascha Peters, whose trend agency Haut Innovation was responsible for the programme of the Green Smart Materials Stage. 

Green Smart Materials Stage © Koelnmesse

"Green" perspectives for the industry

Sustainability was the main focus of interzum @home. In addition to "green" materials for building and living, the programme of the stages revolved, among other things, around the currently urgent topic of reusing mattresses.

Under the title "Mattress Recycling", attention was drawn to the problem of the 35 million mattresses that are disposed of every year in Europe alone. Sustainable solutions in the field of materials and design were also presented by the interzum award 2021, whose online presentation opened the fair. All products awarded the title "Best-of-the-Best" use innovative approaches to conserve resources. 

Products awarded the title

Trends for tomorrow's living

The traditional role of the renowned live event interzum as a trendsetter for living and furnishing was continued by interzum @home. In addition to the topic of sustainability, other megatrends were the focus of a total of 230 digital events during the fair. For example, the effects of the Corona pandemic are echoed in antibacterial and antiviral surfaces for furniture or flexible solutions for furnishing. 

The increasing fusion of living and working was reflected in new storage systems or hybrid design concepts. New decors and fittings for more design freedom were also on show. The advantages of additive processes were again highlighted in presentations that promoted 3D printing for the production of furniture or entire houses.

Furniture and lighting made of antibacterial birch bark © Moya/Frieder Reuter

Successful case for hybrid orientation

The product premieres presented at interzum @home are reflected in developments that will accompany the furniture industry and interior design in the coming years. An elementary component of the new platform was the opportunity for networking and, as a result, visitors took advantage of the diverse range of products on offer at the platform on all four days of the fair for a lively exchange of ideas. 

In total, there were over 80,000 chats and audio-video calls. More than 10,000 leads were generated during the duration of interzum @home, so that more than one lead was found every minute. "Digital reach will be used as a new additional success criterion for all our trade fairs in future", Maik Fischer, Director of interzum, is convinced. Overall, however, the exhibitors agreed: a digital trade fair cannot be a substitute for interzum in Cologne. 

From the trade fair's point of view, too, the concept of the future is hybrid. "The digital building blocks for interzum 2023 will logically complement the physical presentation in the halls," said Maik Fischer. "In the future, the focus will be on knowledge and content on the web, experience and socialising on site - but always with flowing transitions."

Author: Broekman + Partner

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