After two editions of this annual design festival were cancelled or postponed, the fair organisation is now taking the plunge. On 5 September, the starting shot will be fired for edition 2021.
IT WILL BE NEW AND IT WILL BE DIFFERENT
There will be no overcrowded fair at Rho Fiera or crammed subways, nor will there be any heavily attended events in Milan city.
The fair itself will be concentrated in two clearly laid-out halls, smaller and more sober, with uniform stands according to a creative concept by Stefano Boeri. It will be a kind of gallery where exhibitors will only show their novelties.
The showrooms in Milan city can generally only be visited by appointment, and many brands do not even rent expensive premises in Milan for the duration of the fair. They choose to receive their customers in their own company showrooms outside Milan.
How busy it will be, how the brands will handle it, what impact all those showrooms outside Milan will have: no one can really predict.
SO IS IT WORTH IT?
Some of our clients therefore doubt whether it is worth going to Milan this time.But it should be crystal clear: if you run a furniture shop, you should hurry up and pack your bags for Milan.
THE MOST OBVIOUS REASON
For many brands, it is the first opportunity in a year and a half to show their innovations in real life.
THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON: TO CONNECT
This is the most crucial reason to visit this edition. After this hectic period, it is an ideal opportunity to strengthen personal ties with key suppliers. A year and a half without trade fairs and with many travel restrictions have meant that many people have been on their own little islands for too long, with little room for that all-important really warm, personal contact.
There will undoubtedly be fewer visitors. So those who do visit will therefore be able to count on a generous dose of personal time and attention from their suppliers. And those suppliers will truly appreciate the efforts of the customers who visit their showrooms.
Such qualitative networking has never brought anyone any disadvantage, has it?
DIFFERENT AND BETTER?
That things will be different is certain. But that is not such a bad thing. The packed crowds in the corridors of the exhibition centre, the rush to the stands, the overflowing 'to be visited' lists .... There were few who were really happy about it.
This year, the showrooms are often only accessible by appointment. To be able to work Covid-proof in the first place, but the signals we are getting from our brands are very clear: they find the fact that they can give real one-on-one attention to the customers they have not seen for such a long time the biggest advantage.
THE START OF SOMETHING NEW?
We take a guess: the Salone del Mobile will never again become the expensive mass event it used to be. Stands costing hundreds of thousands of euros, which after a week of service disappear into the rubbish? Who can still justify that in times where circular economy and environmentally conscious living are becoming more and more important?
So we are very curious and impatient to see it all from the front row, because this might be the starting shot for renewal and rejuvenation in the way such events are handled.
We hope that many Belgian and Luxembourg furniture retailers will see what a unique edition this will be and understand that it is, above all, an exceptional opportunity for quality networking.
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