7 Must-Visit Events for Furniture Manufacturers
Furniture exhibitions are a great opportunity for manufacturers to present new products, find partners, and get much better exposure for their output.
But how to choose when hundreds of exhibitions are held annually, and it is physically impossible to attend and participate in such a diverse range of events? However, there is a number of fairs and exhibitions that can become most beneficial in terms of networking, boosting sales and in general keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry.
As a product rendering company, we have been creating all kinds of marketing visuals for the exhibitions – CG product shots, lifestyles, 3D animations. So if you need to get top-class imagery for your merchandise – we will be glad to help you. And if you are looking for the most promising trade fairs and exhibitions to choose from, here’s a list of top 7 events to consider in 2019.
#1. The High Point Market
Place: North Carolina, USA
Frequency: bi-annual, in April and October
The nearest dates: 6-10 April 2019
“If a product can’t be found at our event, it probably doesn’t exist at all”, The High Point Market organizers say. For about 2,000 furniture manufacturers from over 100 countries present their output here, including world-renowned brands like BDI, Ashley Furniture Industries, Aspen Home, Hooker, Baker, Bernhardt, Stickley, Henredon, La-Z-Boy, Hickory Chair. The stakes are so high that 90% of the exhibitors pay rent for the space all year long, with 10% of them occupying the showroom for the duration of the Market only.
The High Point Market brings together more than 75,000 attendees from 106 countries – retail home furnishings buyers, interior designers, architects, home builders. Moreover, the exhibition attracts widely known figures from other arenas who participate in the industry – John Coltrane, Fantasia Barrino, Donald Trump etc.
There is a whole range of amazing opportunities High Point Market offers. To begin with, participants can promote their products along with showroom location to some 137,000 event’s followers on Instagram. Furthermore, High Point Market offers sophisticated solutions for getting more useful contacts. For exhibitors can gather information on the showroom visitors by scanning their passes – and get their contacts and profiles. Another cool option the scanning gives is that after the exhibition, all buyers are emailed the list of the brands they’ve visited. Which means they won’t forget to contact the ones they liked!
Finally, the fair offers free possibilities for getting valuable press coverage. Furniture brands can send their press kits for the journalists to find – and see their collections featured in major industry publications, like Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Objekt.
#2. IMM Cologne
Place: Köln, Germany
The nearest dates: 13-19 January 2020
IMM Cologne is a vastly renowned exhibition that demonstrates the trends that will be shaping the furniture and interior design industries the whole year. Leading companies in the industry such as Koelnmesse, Calligaris, Knoll, Minotti, Muller, Mobelfabrication participate in the event. They present everything from the basics to designer items to more than 150,000 visitors from 145 countries – both trade and general public.
This is definitely one of the furniture exhibitions that offers participants the opportunity to connect with famous retailers – such as IDdesign, JYSK, Ashley Home Stores, the Indoor Group, Amazon, the Otto Group and Wayfair. Not to mention that there they can meet interior designers, architects and other specialists from the industry as well as lots of prospective buyers.
At the IMM Cologne, furniture brands can reach out to more than 127,000 people on Facebook, over 46,000 on Instagram, over 12,000 on Twitter and get an access to Pinterest profile with more than 7,000 monthly views. In order to reach this wide audience, exhibitors can order paid social media exposure during and after the event, and thus increase the reach of prospective customers.
Moreover, exhibitors can tap into IMM Cologne marketing package which includes all kinds of promotional options to increase the efficiency of the trade presence. Along many other things, it offers advertising space, exposure on official fair media, and even the possibility to hold a press conference in order to present a new product.
One more amazing benefit of being an IMM Cologne participant is the possibility to join Ambista – online business network where manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, suppliers and interior designers are brought together. The platform helps find useful contacts, engage into interesting communication and even present products.
#3. Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano
Place: Milan, Italy
The nearest dates: 9-14 April 2019
Because of its huge networking and commercial opportunities, the Salone is considered one of the most influential furniture exhibitions for businesses involved in the industry. In 2018, more than 1,800 brands participated in the fair, including the famous Pablo Designs, Hudson Furniture, and Swarovski Lighting. As for the attendees, the exhibition was visited by more than 434,000 architects, designers, distributors and other industry representatives from 188 different countries. Not to mention that at weekends, the Salon is open to general public, who comes to for all kinds of collateral events, meetings and presentations.
Firstly, exhibitors can be featured in Salone del Mobile.Milano online magazine. They can give interviews on event-related topics, and the event representatives can post these interviews in the exhibition’s social media profiles. A great exposure, considering that the Salone has over 187,000 followers on Instagram, almost 33,000 on Twitter, over 226,000 on Facebook, almost 12,000 on Linkedin and about 52,000 monthly views on Pinterest.
Another possibility to appear in the Salone social profiles is to win a prestigious award. For winners are featured in the festival social media pages and in its press releases on the official website – which is something a brand can be proud of and turn into a great advertising material.
Exhibitors can also make use of official hashtags of Salone di Milano to join social media stream during the exhibition. They can add them to posts featuring their products, and this way followers and other interested users will find these advertisers and learn about them.
Place: Chicago, USA
The nearest dates: 10-12 June 2019
NeoCon is one of the most important commercial interiors show in North America with more than 50,000 attendees – international interior designers and design organizations, architects, dealers and media. It’s focused on achievements of over 500 industry major manufacturers as well as up-and-coming companies. Going there means being in a good company – the list of exhibition’s famous participants include Baker Furniture, La-Z-Boy Contract Furniture, Century, Hickory Chair.
Besides from commercial benefits, NeoCom offers a rich educational program which includes more than 100 world-class seminars. These seminars dwell on a variety of subject, among which Retail, Dealer Strategies, and Professional Development.
Firstly, NeoCon exhibitors can advertise with NeoCon’s official media partners – Interior Design, Contract Magazine, Metropolis Specify, Archiproducts etc. This can help engage attendees online and maximize company’s visibility before, during and after the show. Secondly, participants of the famous furniture exhibition can upload their press releases and display press kits at the on-site Press Office.
For participants to tap into the power of situational marketing, NeoCon offers event-branded HTML email templates. Manufacturers can download them for free, adjust and send to potential customers and partners. A valuable marketing collateral, not to mention how wise it is to schedule the meeting beforehand and say where their showroom is situated.
#5. International Contemporary Furniture Fair
Place: New York, USA
The nearest dates: 10-12 May 2019
ICFF is the anchor event for NYCxDesign, New York official citywide celebration in design industry. It connects furniture and interior design companies with more than 38,000 of interior designers, architects, retailers and product designers as well as prospective buyers. Held in New York, the trade fair is considered to be a great opportunity for brands to showcase their original designs and see what’s best and next in the industry. Not to mention to do some quality networking: in the ICFF exhibitors list one can find more than 900 companies, among which are such famous names as Pablo Designs, iSiMAR, Speke Klein, M2L/Harvey Probber, Molo, Sonneman, A Way Of Light.
Most importantly, furniture is the category that attracts the highest numbers of visitors. In fact, 77% of attendees come to the exhibition to estimate the diversity of furniture designs and the latest trends in the industry. Moreover, statistics on the ICFF homepage also reveal that 91% of its attendees found new products there, and 90% of them are likely to attend the event again in 2019. Which means the exhibition is a perfect occasion for finding partners and clients!
Online, ICFF reaches a combined audience of over 67,000 people on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. So by ordering promo posts, ICFF exhibitors can reach out to all that motivated audience and showcase their output before, during and after the show. To do so, manufacturers should contact ICFF sales representative and specify the cost of social media post.
Furniture exhibitions usually offer various sponsorship opportunities for exhibitors, and ICFF is not an exception. It offers plenty of sponsored options allowing to boost brand awareness among attendees and get new customers. Furniture manufacturers should consider the following ones:
- taking part in NYCxDESIGN Awards & Opening Night Party, ICFF Talks – most visited events during the ICFF;
- featuring with a sponsor’s product in Contract Magazine – one of the leading publications in the industry;
- being an exclusive provider of the ICFF show bags with sponsor’s logo;
- advertising on official lCFF registration site;
- displaying in the ICFF mobile app used by visitors throughout the show;
- sponsoring the attendees ‘rest stop areas’ to have their logo featured there;
- launching email campaigns targeted at the qualified list of ICFF attendees.
#6. January Furniture Show
Place: Birmingham, UK
The nearest dates: 19-22 January 2020
Unlike other furniture exhibitions, the January Furniture Show is held in the very beginning of the year. So it is known as a kick-starter of the year for those who want to be the first to purchase the trendiest interior furnishings. The show aggregates more than 21,000 attendees every year among which one can meet big retail and contract buyers including Marks & Spencer, Amazon, Wayfair, Laura Ashley, Oak Furniture Land etc.
About 500 companies involved in interior design industry opt for exhibiting at the January Furniture Show. Here one can see the output of the biggest brands – Milly, Furmanac, Highgrove, Searchlight, Oaks Lighting, Illuminati Lighting, Battistella, ROM, Skovby, Tetrad, Nordic Style. Emerging designers and manufacturers can also present their brand-new products here. Both these categories of exhibitors have great chances to increase their sales: as per January Furniture Show homepage, the monetary equivalent of orders placed at or as a result of the show annually reaches £500 million!
On social platforms, the January Furniture Show has more than 1,500 Facebook followers, over 4,000 Twitter and over 1,450 Instagram followers. The exhibition gives an opportunity to reach these audiences ordering social promotion from event representatives. This can help continue the exhibition experience online and get more eyes on participants’ output.
Participants can also book sponsorship opportunities that are available before, during and after the show. They are used at key visitor touchpoints and are intended to drive more visitors to companies stands during the show. One should consider the following options:
- getting a dedicated page on the website, social media and exhibition homepage with company’s products and detailed info on them;
- advertising in the show preview magazine that introduces pre-registered visitors to the event and its participants;
- using sponsored emails for enticing pre-registered visitors to come to the sponsor’s stand;
- ordering visitor tote bags, aisle markers and badges, lanyards or hall banners for raising brand visibility during the show;
- ordering after-show options such as advertising on hall entrance display, floor plans and in the platinum clubs for reaching out to different categories of visitors.
Place: Paris, France
Frequency: bi-annual, January and September
The nearest dates: 6-10 September, 2019
Maison&Objet is among most authoritative furniture exhibitions for home decor, interior design and architecture attracting huge audiences from all over the world – more than 90,000 attendees, including designers, distributors and other recognized influencers. Visitors can meet here more than 3,000 international brands including 600 new ones for each edition and also industry legends like Gautier, Boca Do Lobo, Brabbu, Fendi Casa, Delightfull.
The exhibition offers a wealth of business opportunities to participants. 2017 Visitor Satisfaction Barometer showcased that 92% of Maison&Objet visitors come to there to discover new products, and 97% are looking for new suppliers. In addition, 48% of the audience make orders during the show and 63% of them – within 6 months after the show.
Exhibitors can increase exposure of their output after the show with the help of digital platform MOM. It has 2 million online visits per year and connects exhibitors with the community of interior designers. There participants can get a virtual showroom where they are able to present their output and attract prospective customers using various retail networks and reporting tools.
Apart from using the MOM, exhibitors can also opt for following marketing options:
- being featured on advertising pages in printed official catalogue that is used as a reference book by professionals during and after the show;
- ordering digital banner that will be displayed in the Maison&Objet app that serves as a guide to attendees
- ordering affiches and on-site ads.
Furniture exhibitions are must-attend events for manufacturers who want to get precious contacts of prospective customers and business partners. Also, it is a great opportunity for fabricators to ‘refresh’ old contacts in order to set up meetings with them and present their new products. Besides, trade fairs enable participants to look at competitors, understand what trends will rule the market in the current year and, ultimately, get greater promotion for their showrooms and products using the media coverage opportunities at these events. Of course, there are many more marketing possibilities, and all of them can be found on the homepages of these furniture exhibitions. But in any case, the most important things exhibitors can drive from them are deals – and fun. For lots of new ideas and fascinating conversations are awaiting Furniture Manufacturers at these events. So why not choose a great occasion among these wonderful 7 furniture exhibitions?
One of the necessary aspects here is getting quality marketing collateral for brand awareness and product promotion – both print and digital. And to get top-quality visuals on time, contact CGIFurniture for photorealistic product rendering. We’ll make sure your goods look like a million dollars at any of these events!