Hannover, Germany — “Domotex has once again delivered proof of its great international appeal and its pivotal role as the flooring industry’s flagship fair,” remarked Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the Deutsche Messe AG Managing Board, at the close of the event. “40,000 visitors from over 80 nations came to discover the latest product innovations and trends for the upcoming season.” This constitutes a slight rise in attendance over 2011 as the most recent comparable staging of the event. Köckler continued, “Our exhibitors succeeded in reaching their international clientele and laying the groundwork for the business year ahead. Domotex thoroughly fulfilled its function as a unique business platform and an idea-giver for the international carpet and floor coverings industry.”
1,350 enterprises from 60 nations presented their latest products and collections, including carpets, textile floor coverings, resilient floor coverings, parquet flooring and laminated coverings as well as installation, cleaning and application technologies. This year the industry stressed bold colors and daring designs. “The time when floors played a subordinate role to interior furnishings is over. The current diversity of materials, colors and designs is unlimited, making floors an interior design object – a trend which was clearly visible throughout the exhibition halls,” stated Köckler.
High satisfaction among exhibitors and visitors
Exhibitors praised the international diversity of the show’s attendees, with more than 60% coming from abroad. Half were from European countries other than Germany, while 21% came from Asia and 11% from the Americas. A gratifying jump in attendance was registered from North America as well as South, East and Central Asia. More than 90% of all attendees reported being directly involved in their companies’ purchasing decisions.
“If you want to cultivate international contacts and tap into new markets, you can’t afford to miss out on Domotex. This is where companies can meet up with potential business partners from every corner of the globe,” continued Köckler.
The show’s attendees once again consisted primarily of wholesale and specialized retail buyers, at 30% and 20% respectively. Skilled tradespeople, buyers from interior design and furniture stores, as well as architects also used Domotex 2013 to check out the latest market offerings.
Köckler’s appraisal was echoed by Joe Williams, vice president of international sales for Beaulieu of America (based in Dalton, Georgia). “Domotex is the biggest global trade fair of its kind, and that is what makes it so important to us. Here we can get in touch with buyers from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Beaulieu of America benefits from the special drive emanating from Domotex Hannover, which sets it apart from other tradeshows.”
Geert Vanden Bossche, marketing director of the Balta Group (based in Sint-Baafs-Vijve, Belgium), added, “For us, being at Domotex is important because we can see about 90% of our customers here in just four days. The show’s standout virtues are its size and the large number of attendees. Beyond that, the ‘Domotex’ brand stands for a 20-year tradition of excellence which inspires trust and draws in the crowds.”
Sheer creativity: Industry presents unconventional designs and bold colors
At the Flooring Deluxe display, premium textile floor coverings, parquet and laminates took center stage. “Fresh, modern designs are proving instrumental in triggering end-consumer interest in high-grade, designer floor coverings,” said Köckler. “By picking up on this trend and dedicating a showcase to it, we are giving our exhibitors rich opportunities to highlight their creativity and increase their impact,” he continued.
Textile floor coverings, parquet and laminates were featured at the Flooring Deluxe exhibits in Halls 6 and 9, where visitors could immerse themselves in unconventional installations and experience trends for the upcoming season.
In the textile floor coverings segment, graphic and geometric patterns, stripes and classic weaves are en vogue. In laminate coverings, experimental wood optics with wood-grain color accents are the trendsetter for the coming season. But the strongest demand continues to be for softwood and hardwood optics. Parquet floors with hand-scraped, brushed or distressed finishes are also gaining in popularity. Apart from the perennial favorite of warm brown tones, more colorful hues are also increasing in demand.
The latest trends in hand-made carpets were on display at the “Souk Deluxe” show as well as at the presentation of the Carpet Design Awards. Here, the interplay of intense colors and striking designs dominated the scene. The future role being carved out by photo print optics was also conspicuous, with all three finalist carpets in the “Best Innovations” category at the Carpet Design Awards making use of such motifs.
The Skilled Trades Hub: Home base for floor-laying professionals
A first at this year’s Domotex was the new Skilled Trades Hub, where visiting floor-laying practitioners could find everything of value to them at one convenient location in Hall 7. Here they were able to try out machines and tools and plug into valuable know how as presented by big name solution providers. “Our goal was to give the skilled trades a home base of their own at Domotex, and we succeeded,” concluded Köckler. “The Skilled Trades Hub served as a central rendezvous for parquet and floor layers, interior decorators, painters and carpenters.” Skilled tradespeople accounted for 20% of all Domotex visitors.
Domotex 2014 to feature Wood Flooring Summit
Originally debuting at Domotex 2012, the Wood Flooring Summit for the parquet and laminate flooring segment is scheduled to return at the next Domotex, which will be staged from Jan. 11 to 14. 2014. “We are already in close communication with the relevant industry associations and market players to ensure we can build on the success achieved by the inaugural event,” Köckler said.