With innovative product ideas and international flair the International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports in Cologne fully lived up to the expectations that exhibitors and trade visitors had of this jubilee event.
The International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW) in Cologne concluded on a high note on 25 September 2014. The results were a fitting tribute to the twentieth anniversary of the event, with more than 300 exhibitors showcasing their products in two halls on a 26,000 m² display area – a trade fair record. Approx. 8,500 trade visitors from more than 60 countries were attracted by the broad product range showcased at the autumn trade fair. “We almost achieved the excellent results of the spring fair and actually improved on the figures for the 2013 autumn fair”, says Ulrich Zimmermann. “It was especially gratifying to see that our exhibitors were pleased with the event. This reflects the excellent business results and the level of orders”, concludes the trade fair organizer.
“From day one we felt very happy with the event”, reports Werner Gunz from the Austrian distributor Gunz Warenhandels GmbH. “We took many orders and were also able to make new contacts. Obviously, as it’s September, sales of Christmas merchandise were excellent.” Other exhibitors concurred with this positive verdict. “Our first IAW has been a great experience. We have staged an extensive presentation and are delighted that it was so well received by the trade visitors”, said Cedric Michel from Anitex–Larbrinca in Portugal. “We were able to make many interesting contacts.”
The main theme of the product range exhibited was largely in line with the autumn-winter season. Winter clothing and accessories such as scarves, hats, throws and blankets, cushions, thermal socks, fancy dress costumes, decorative items, toys and games – the exhibitors offered a broad array that left no wish unfulfilled. In addition to seasonal merchandise there were plenty of traditional top-sellers as well as some particularly appealing innovative products which ranked among the highlights of the trade show. From the smart watch phone to a wire manager for headphones and an automated stirring gadget – the imaginative exhibitors at the IAW arrived in September with some truly commercial products.
However, the success of this three-day trade summit in Cologne does not result solely from the broad range of products and the efforts of the exhibitors. On all three days of the trade fair leading experts from the retail and marketing sectors were on hand to speak about current trends and practical aspects of the business. At the autumn fair in 2014 the IAW Trend Forum and other supporting sessions as from zentrada.network and Restposten.de afforded an excellent basis for discussions. The focus this year was on such topics as generating customer loyalty, product presentation and how to succeed in e-commerce.
The supporting program was presented by the well-known TV moderator Ralf Kühler, Martina Schimmel, chief editor of zentrada.magazin, as well as Stefan Grimm, managing director of GKS Handelssysteme GmbH.
At the end of the third day of the IAW many exhibitors were already preparing themselves for what came next after the trade fair. Enthused by the excellent results and the efficient organization provided by the trade fair team, many companies already decided to book exhibition space at the next IAW. One of them was Eric Uyttenboogaard from Mesa Products International, who said: “The IAW offers us a good mix of new and existing customers. We are always very successful here. For this reason we will look forward to coming here again next time.” The next International Trade for Retail Promotions and Imports will take place from 3 – 5 March 2015 in Halls 6 and 9 at the Cologne Exhibition Grounds.
At the same time, the Cologne venue will be the location of the related trade fair Asia-Pacific-Sourcing (APS) in Halls 5.1 and 5.2, where more than 600 exhibitors will showcase Asian products suited to bulk buyers and wholesalers. The product portfolio embraces tools, locks and fittings, hardware and other ironmongery products, as well as mountings and fastening systems, gardening tools and garden furniture. The event perfectly complements the IAW and will generate synergies benefiting exhibitors and visitors alike. Save the date!