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Interview with Ms Wendy Wen

Kohan Textile Journal

Interview with Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd

• please explain more about 2015 edition of Intertextile shanghai for our readers? (number of visitors, exhibitors)

Following the success of last year’s edition when new exhibitor, visitor and exhibition space records were set, we expect 2015 to attract similar numbers: around 1,400 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions, and some 43,000 trade buyers from over 90 countries and regions.

After 20 years in existence, the fair is now seen as the leading home textiles trade event in Asia, attracting premium European suppliers, a wide range of offerings from Asian and Middle Eastern companies, as well as a huge selection of Chinese exhibitors. While the fair has traditionally been known for upholstery and bedding & towelling, in recent years it has expanded to cover the full range of home furnishing products including carpets & rugs, wallcoverings, non-textile curtain accessories and sun protection systems,digital printing and design products & resources.

Highlights this year include the Exquisite Europe area which features the Belgium and Italy Pavilions, as well as a number of premium editors including JAB, Designers Guild andLaCanTouch. The fair also features well-known fabrics & bedding suppliers such as Curt Bauer, Mundotextil, Hield and Nelen&Delbeke.

On the domestic side, around 1,000 exhibitors offer a huge range of home textile products to cater to every need. An entire hall is focused on branded upholstery fabrics suppliers, while three halls include Chinese regional pavilions with different product specialities. Other halls focus on product categories including bedding, carpets, accessories, leather products and non-textile items.

• could you please share with us more details about events , seminars or conferences during the show?

This year we have revamped our fringe programme to include more design-related events. This has been in response to the rapid development of the design industry in China, and the fast-increasing awareness by Chinese consumers of design trends as well as their desire for a higher level of living standard which is reflected in their home furnishings purchases.

The full design segment of the fringe programme includes a trend area featuring four themes that express the 2016 lifestyle trends, product presentations by exhibitors that bring these themes to life, a trend concept show that uses exhibitors’ products to illustrate the themes in a real-world setting, and the forum space where well-known designers and trend experts will gather to express and exchange their views on interior designs and market trends.

A Soft Furnishings Design Forum will also take place at the fair, while those looking to understand domestic market trends in more detail can learn more at the China Home Textile Trend Forum.There will also be a number of seminars taking place on non-design topics.

• what is the new venue features and why you move the exhibition to new venue?

The National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) is a brand-new venue in Shanghai’s Hongqiao district, and is the world’s largest fairground with 500,000 sqm of exhibition space. Compared to the previous venue in Pudong, the more convenient layout of the halls means buyers can more easily get around, while the spacious halls means a more pleasant environment for exhibitors and buyers.

The main reason for the move was that this venue is located closer to the textile manufacturing hubs in provinces surrounding Shanghai, and being situated next to a major transportation hub, means more quality trade buyers will attend the fair. This was the result at our Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics fair in March which experienced a huge increase in domestic buyers.

• what do you think about home textile industry in middle east and north africa?

We see a lot of potential in Asia, but China in particular, for products from the Middle East and North Africa. At last year’s fair, the organiser of the Morocco Pavilion noted that the pavilion was very popular with buyers, and that traditional Moroccan products are also very popular in China. Consumers are increasingly looking for new styles from around the world to decorate their homes, and these regions are definitely one of the places they are looking.

• becouse most of our readers are in middle east and north africa region can you explain more about your expectation from this region in aspect of visitors and exhibitors?

We already have strong participation from Turkish exhibitors at the fair, as well as from Morocco in the past, and believe there are increasing opportunities in Asia forexhibitors from the Middle East and North Africa to take advantage of. In particular in the carpet & rug sector which is a growing area in China as more middle and upper class consumers being to consider decorating their home with these products. This is related to the whole-home decoration concept, which is increasingly popular in China, where consumers use one consistent theme throughout their entire home decoration, and this often follows the styleof a particular region of the world. With carpets & rugs becoming used more, this offers up opportunities for suppliers from the Middle East and North Africa.

In terms of visitors, Turkey, the UAE and Iran were fifth, sixth and seventh respectively last year in terms of top 10 visitor countries (excluding Greater China), so the fair is already well known in the region. We expect this to increase as the fair offers a more diverse range of products, as well as price points with options in the low, mid and high segments.

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