By Nancy Meyer
COLOGNE, Germany--Koelnmesse, organizer of the IMMCologne furniture fair, has added several new features and stepped up marketing in preparation for January's edition of the annual event.
The next edition will be held Jan. 14 to 20 at the Cologne fairgrounds.
In 2007, the international furnishings show featured 1,300 exhibitors, 63 percent of which were from abroad, and drew 115,000 visitors, of which 40 percent were from abroad, according to Koelnmesse figures.
This year promises to be bigger, with about 1,400 exhibitors from 50 countries at the fair, plus more than 150 international designers' and manufacturers' showrooms in the Cologne municipal area, and as a result, more international visitors are expected.
"We would like to see more Americans," said Mette Petersen, president and managing director of Koelnmesse, who pointed out that the fair's truly international nature, featuring top designs from Europe as well as Asia, is a hallmark of IMMCologne.
The show is also very easy to shop, since it's organized by product category and theme, Petersen added.
New for 2008 is the "immPure" exhibition of about 200 companies, providing an overview of the most important design trends. For the first time, this design sector will be a juried show-within-a-show, and will be held in Hall 11. The "Art of Kitchen" sector of immPure, full of high-end kitchen furnishings, will return and become an annual feature.
Under the "d3 design talents" label, the "young wild ones" will present their design interpretations in the d3 schools (formerly "future point"), d3 contest (formerly "inspired by Cologne") and d3 professionals (formerly "energy") in Hall 2.
After five years of presenting "ideal houses," the fair will feature new concepts under the design theme. These include "Compasso d'oro," 50 years of Italian furniture design, which will also encompass all of Italian design.
Additionally, a new feature of the show is a partnership with a different country each year to celebrate that country's design talent. The Netherlands and Dutch design will be spotlighted in 2008.
Meanwhile, the individual product segments will be further delineated into subbrands: immPrime, immComfort, immSleep, immSittable, immSmart, immBasic and the new immSolid to showcase solid wood suppliers.
To pique curiosity for the 2008 event, Koelnmesse has released an international trend book, a yearly production of international designers and a tool for architects, designers, manufacturers and retailers worldwide.
Prepared by five leading trend experts, the Cologne Trend Forecast, Interior Trends for 2008 has identified these trends: Outside In, Neo Nature, Design School and Priceless.
The first trend outlines the blurring of inside and outdoor living and furnishings, and a blending of shapes, materials and colors, inspired by nature.
The Neo Nature trend takes design's obsession with the high-tech beyond the blob to more digital imitation of nature, as in an "art nouveau of the digital age."
The Design School trend is characterized by ruthless experimentation, the "unfinished process, irreverent attitude, design pollution and a new naive/playhouse," the trend forecasters pointed out.
Finally, Priceless is a trend characterized by limited editions, the "design artists versus the design investors," eclectic collections and a total look encompassing unique objects, and an emphasis on form over function.
The full trend boards will be displayed at the show.
For information about travel and logistics, visit
http://koelnmesse.de _blank external-link-new-window>koelnmesse.de.