The world’s flagship fair for carpets and floor coverings , Domotex, came to a highly successful conclusion on Tuesday, Jan. 14, having attracted a total of approximately 45,000 visitors from more than 80 nations.

Domotex 2014 has delivered an impressive performance thanks to its uniquely international appeal, high attendance, the well-received ‘Innovations@Domotex’ concept, plus a considerably more buoyant mood in the industry,” stated Dr. Jochen Köckler as the managing board at deutsche messe responsible for Domotex. “Staging Domotex as a key business platform and idea-giver at the outset of the year makes it an extremely attractive event for carpet and floor covering buyers and decision-makers from around the globe.”

The industry made a strong showing in terms of quality and innovativeness with 1,350 companies from 57 different nations showcasing their latest products and collections at the Hannover Exhibition Center. “The huge array of invitingly cozy carpets, sophisticated parquet and laminate flooring, stylish designer floor coverings, and masterful hand-woven rugs on display sported captivating designs and an astounding variety of materials, colors and patterns which all testify to the highly innovative spirit of the international floor coverings industry – an industry which is clearly in great shape for the upcoming season,” said Köckler. The mood in the exhibition halls made it clear that the mood in the industry had taken a considerable turn for the better, with exhibitors speaking of greatly improved business prospects and an anticipated upturn in sales.

Innovations@Domotex off to successful start

Making its debut this year, the “Innovations@Domotex” showcase put a fresh spin on Domotex as a trendsetting event with lots of fresh ideas to offer. The concept – which is aimed at sparking heightened interest in select innovations and designs on show by participating exhibitors – proved to be “a major success right from the start”, said Köckler. The more than 60 highlights featured within Innovations@Domotex represented the “very essence of the tradeshow”, he continued, adding that “visitors gave top marks to the new showcase” and that it would now be a centerpiece of Domotex for years to come.

Exhibitors, too, were full of praise for Innovations@Domotex: “The new approach generated a lot of interest, and visitor traffic proved that it struck a nerve with attending professionals,” remarked Robert J. Munisteri, director of international sales at Masland Contract based in Saraland, Ala. The new format was also warmly embraced by architects and interior designers and decorators. Innovations@Domotex provided visiting professionals with a convenient and inspirational source of orientation and information, while the Innovations@Domotex Talks featured well-known personalities from the architecture scene and fostered valuable dialogue on a host of topics related to floor coverings. “The Innovations@Domotex areas enabled architects and interior designers to get a quick, concise overview of the many highlighted innovations, and the Innovations@Domotex Guide helped them to explore the innovations in advance so they could plan their tradeshow agenda efficiently. The new concept made it possible to discover and get enthused about highlights of pointed interest to them,” commented Susanne Brandherm of Brandherm + Krumrey Interior Architecture, Cologne.

Highly international appeal – great satisfaction among exhibitors

Exhibitors at Domotex were sought out by potential business partners from every corner of the globe. Fifty-seven percent of the show’s visitors came from outside Germany – approximately two thirds of them from other European countries, plus around 20% from Asia and about 10% from the Americas. The biggest visitor nations included the United Kingdom, Turkey, the Netherlands, the United States and Italy. Remco Teulings, President of the EMEA division of Tarkett based in Nanterre, France, praised the event’s international character by saying: “For us, Domotex is the most important tradeshow in the world – the only place where we can present our innovations to such a wide audience.” Further praise was expressed by Mohamed Farid Khamis, Chairman of Oriental Weavers Holding based in Cairo, Egypt. “Nowhere else can you see such a highly international gathering of industry players displaying the latest products, trends and technologies. Our company operates worldwide, which is why we place such great importance on generating international business leads. Domotex  is really and truly a sales exhibition, with all the major buyers coming here to do business,” he said.

Also in terms of the caliber of its visiting professionals, Domotex delivered right on target, with over 70% indicating that they play a major role in their companies’ purchasing decisions. The main visitor categories at Domotex consisted of wholesale and retail buyers – at 25 and 34%, respectively. Purchasers from home furnishing and furniture retailers as well as architects were also well represented. Attendance by members of the skilled trades was clearly on the rise, reaching 25% of the total.

The second edition of the Wood Flooring Summit (Hall 9) was a major success, serving as a networking hub for the international parquet and laminate flooring sector. “The Wood Flooring Summit at Domotex brings together all the key names in our business. You can tangibly feel how this trade fair gives the industry a boost. All the effort that went into attracting a large audience has definitely paid off,” remarked Volkmar Halbe, chairman of the Management Board at Parador in Coesfeld, Germany. The “Future of Home Living” lectures also drew a lot of interest, with top-flight speakers sharing their visions on living environments soon to become reality.

The Skilled Trades Hub provided an extensive array of exhibits and presentations involving practical solutions of interest to parquet and floor layers, interior decorators and painters.

The special display entitled “1st Rug Avenue” demonstrated how traditional Oriental rugs can serve as a perfect complement to trendy interiors. And the best hand-woven carpets were honored by the industry’s key competition: the Carpet Design Awards, which drew participation by 329 international designers, with 33 entries making it to the final round.

The next Domotex will be staged from Jan.17 - 20, 2015.