Innovations, inspiration and sales—those are the words that best summarize Domotex, which was held Jan. 17 to 20 in Hannover, Germany, according to show officials.

The trade fair for carpets and floor coverings served once again as a meeting place for a vibrant sector and its clientele. Following four days, the show’s organizers at Deutsche Messe declared a solid performance for the event. Its highly international mix of exhibitors and attendees as well as the success of the special Innovations@Domotex showcase underscored the tradeshow’s reputation as a global magnet for decision-makers and a prime venue for unveiling new innovations.

“[Domotex] had everything: a highly attractive lineup of exhibitors and products, solid attendance figures, high-caliber trade visitors, a great many innovations and a highly international mix of exhibitors and visitors," said Jochen Köckler, the Deutsche Messe managing board member in charge of Domotex. "This is something which was immediately evident—at every stand, in every hall. This year’s Domotex got international trading off to a splendid start and has given the carpets and floor coverings industry every reason to be optimistic about the year ahead."
According to Köckler, Domotex attracted some 40,000 visitors from 100 different countries. Total attendance was thus slightly higher than the most recent comparable Domotex in 2013. The majority of visitors came from European Union countries. A significant upswing was noted in attendance from the Middle East and South, East and Central Asia.
This year’s Domotex visitors were also highly qualified, with approximately 90% reporting they either were buyers or involved in their companies’ purchasing decisions, and that they had come to Hannover with specific investment plans. More than 70% of all attendees were senior executives. The event was also a magnet for buyers from the interior decorating and furniture trades, and attendance on the part of skilled tradespeople and retail professionals was up over the most recent comparable show held in 2013. A rise in attendance was also noted for architects, interior designers and contract business professionals.
Domotex was staged in a total of 12 halls. 1,323 exhibitors from 63 different countries were on hand to demonstrate their creativity and skill, and over 85% of these exhibitors came from abroad. Domotex featured an array of innovations across the featured product categories—resilient and textile floor coverings, parquet and laminate flooring, woven and tufted carpets and application and installation technologies.
“The focus at this year’s Domotex has been on unconventional materials, newly interpreted designs and state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. Sustainability has also been a key issue. One impressive trend observed is the comeback of the Persian rug as a trendy, contemporary ingredient of interior design," added Köckler.
Johannes Schulte, president and CEO of Vorwerk Teppichwerke, based in Hamlin, Germany, added, “For us, Domotex is an ideal place to meet up with our customers and generate new leads. Here in Hannover, in the course of just a few days we are able to reach a global audience with our innovations."
Following its debut last year, the Innovations@Domotex showcase was a great success again, according to show organizers. One of the special highlights consisted of the Innovations@Domotex areas, designed as a compact and clearly laid-out showcase for 70 innovations in textile and resilient floor coverings, parquet and laminate flooring, plus contemporary handcrafted carpets and rugs.
Also in great demand were the guided tours, with architectural and interior design experts presenting a selection of exhibitor innovations, as well as the Innovations@Domotex Talks, which highlighted key industry issues. International designers like Stefan Diez, Roberto Palomba and Ross Lovegrove were on hand to take part in panel discussions, lectures and guided tours.
“Innovations@Domotex puts a completely new spin on visiting the fair. Attendees not only receive welcome support with finding stands of interest to them, but are even guided from highlight to highlight. At each stand they are treated to in-depth explanations and demonstrations, enabling them to gather a maximum of valuable information in a minimum of time," said Palomba.
There was also plenty of excitement surrounding the Carpet Design Awards, presented by Innovations@Domotex. This internationally renowned prize goes to the world’s best designer carpets and rugs in eight different categories. The decision to make the Innovations@Domotex display the physical venue and thematic backdrop for the awards gave the show a new highlight in Hall 17.
“This award is our ultimate challenge as creative artists. And the integration of the awards here in Hall 17 further highlights the sense of a busy, vibrant marketplace which is so evident here. This is a place for intensive dialogue and interaction, making it one of the real hot spots at Domotex,” explained Jürgen Dahlmanns, general manager and designer at the Berlin-based Rug Star company.
The next Domotex will run from Jan. 16 to 19, 2016.
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