Fruitful days for the flooring industry in Asia, the 26th to 28th of March have been days of great performance which have proven important achievements and brought a variety of new ideas to DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR 2013 in Shanghai, China.

The show positioning in its developing regional market

Shanghai, being the business centre of China, and the leading role this unique show conducts within the wide Asian Pacific region, combined with the expertise and deep involvement of the show organizers in the Chinese and regional industries were key success elements for this 2013 edition of show serving the industry since 1999.  

As officially announced during the Wood Flooring Forum, held one day before the show opening at the Jumeirah Himalaya Hotel and hosted by both DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR and the Chinese National Forestry Industry Association, the floor sales volumes certified in China in 2012 were alone 377 million sqm (performed by 1,518 Chinese manufacturers), while the actual estimation of total sales amount would be around 500 million sqm.

Flooring industry players should never forget that the Chinese market (both the construction and flooring market) is developing fast and facing important changes. From a world’s main production base, China has become one of the biggest consumers of floors in the world, with products and services quality consumers’ standards rising very fast as well.  

In general, China’s economic transformation resulting from urbanization and industrialization is happening 10times the speed of the first country to urbanize (UK) and at 100 times the scale, which is an historical renowned record.

By 2025, cities all around the world will need to construct floor space equivalent to 85% of all of today’s urban residential and commercial building stock. All regions of the world are contributing to growth in urban flooring demand, but China’s share will be the highest one (38.3%) between 2010-2025 (McKinsey, June 2012). The potentiality of this market is thus evident, with the rest of Asia also developing at outstanding, promising rates. DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR 2013 has once again been the place where to meet the above mentioned Asia Pacific region’s opportunities.

An in-depth insight into the 3-day show

Professional visitors this year were positively impressed by the interesting new products exhibited at the 15th edition of show, platform of a not yet mature but more and more exciting flooring industry. The show itself, attentive towards its attendees’ needs, launched an original marketing campaign focused precisely on the new flooring products and materials on the market. “InnovAction flooring” by DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR, won the praise of the many journalists who visited the show as well as the attention from visitors who were helped in finding the newest products throughout the ground by means of floor maps, free show guides and booth signs highlighting the InnovAction participating companies.  

The industry has proven higher quality and innovative products, backed by tangible technological and high-engineering researches at DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR 2013.

Many big and leading companies exhibited at the show such as Power Décor, Kronoswiss, Berry Alloc, Sino Mapple, LM Flooring, Prado Style, Amorim, Dasso, Sika, Homag, Klumpp Wood Coatings, Yasuda, Dajulong, Gerfloor, Armstrong, LG Hausys, Forbo, Balta, Mannington, Dupont, Oriental Weavers, Suminoe, Shanhua Carpet Group, Tibet Sheep Carpet, Universal, Hongjia, and pavilions organizers such as Flanders Investment & Trade/ Belgium, Carpet Export Promotion Council/ India , American Flooring Alliance/USA, ITKIB/Turkey and the Federal Ministry of Economics/ Germany.

4 halls (10,000sqm each) were filled with the whole range of carpet products and technologies, 2 the halls for the ever expanding resilient flooring sector, and 4 halls dedicated to the wood flooring products and floor technologies (these were moved from the East halls to the North bigger halls of the SNIEC this year).

The upgraded product segments allocation and the use of 1 more main entrance than the previous years, made some adjustments to the visitors flow and guaranteed a smoother visitors’ access especially on the opening day, always very busy at DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR. 

42,165 professional visitors walked the show ground in March 2013 (+ 5.8% compared to 2012). A remarkable increase of 14% was recorded among the international visitors, whilst Chinese visitors’ attendance also grew not only in quantity but also in quality. Fueled by a rich onsite events program, a hosted buyers program and a pre-show database development in which the organizers will keep on investing for the next edition, a wider base of visitors’ profiles could be met at this 15th edition. DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR 2013 visitors were 73% Chinese and 27% overseas from 107 different countries, top five visiting countries being South Korea, USA, Japan, Australia, and India.

An increased number of buyers and contractors visited the show together with the traditional visitors such as agents, distributors/wholesalers, franchise dealers, real estate developers, companies owning commercial and residential buildings, government officials (many consul generals came to visit not only the companies exhibiting within the 8 country pavilions, but also individual international exhibitors). A new specific program, including forums and onsite trainings, dedicated to the floor retailing world attracted this year a good number of Chinese retailers to the venue.

Indeed increased efforts from the show organizers have been put also on the recruitment of architects and designers, a visitors profile becoming more and more important for the show exhibitors businesses. A program made of high-quality products areas (Materia exhibition, InnovAction Area), conferences targeting architects such as the Shanghai Architect Fair joined by names like Zhang Yonghe, Jacob van Rijs, Cheng Taining, and a co-located show dedicated to high-end construction product (Deco+ Exhibition), are some of the initiatives realized this year for architects and designers.

To meet the market trends and help the industry developments, conferences on e-commerce booming in the Chinese flooring industry and on green technology solutions for carpet production, as well as trainings to improve the professional skills of technical staffs have been organized by DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR in cooperation with experts, associations and partners. 

As David Zhong, President of VNU Exhibitions Asia, mentioned at the second day of the show, “Exhibitors and visitors found in the show organizers strong supporters to their business and are happily satisfied with the results from their show attendance. Smiles are certainly not a scientific way to quantify the success of a show, but to see many happy faces among professional people is a first positive indicator of attendees’ satisfaction”.

Still much can be done for the improvement of the show and of the industry as well. The Chinese and Asian market have much to learn under many aspects, such as intellectual property rights and flooring related services, but opportunities and good prospects are rich and real.

The organizers welcome the world to the next year edition of the show on March 25-27, 2014.