Europe’s biggest trade fair for retail promotions and quality imports attracts record number of exhibitors and visitors


Numerous first-time exhibitors from Germany and abroad ensure the broadest range of products ever at the IAW. Prestigious Trendseller Product Award goes to Lichtblick for its innovative system of blinds and shutters.

Following three action-packed days, the leading trade fair for promotional, trend-led and revenue boosting merchandise and trade orders came to a triumphant end. Several records were broken. The event was fully booked with approx. 260 exhibitors from Germany and abroad taking part – an increase of 20%. Thanks in part to the involvement of many first-time exhibitors from outside the host nation Germany, including the Netherlands, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, the IAW is now seen by the trade as a top international event. With over 7,500 buyers and trade professionals attending, the trade fair again registered a record number of visitors. Approx. ten percent more visitors from outside Germany came compared with the last IAW in the spring.

“The impressive figures chalked up for the autumn event demonstrate clearly that the IAW is firmly established as the no.1 platform for this sector”, says Ulrich Zimmermann, managing director of Nordwestdeutsche Messegesellschaft Bremen-Hannover mbH, based in Oldenburg. “Buyers come here to learn about current trends and place direct orders. No other trade event offers such a concentrated market overview.”

Speaking on behalf of Top Action during the first day of the trade fair, Norbert Läufer reported: “I am already very pleased with how the IAW is going – both the visitor footfall and the high level of orders taken give reason to hope for healthy post-fair business.” This optimism about the level of orders taken at the fair was shared by other exhibitors. “We are exhibiting our product ranges here for the first time”, said Henry Holmgren from the Swedish company Firma Robetoy. “Our offering of toys and games has attracted a lot of interest. We have already been able to make numerous promising contacts.” Holmgren and his colleagues praised the great atmosphere and tremendous service offer at event. “All of this will encourage companies to exhibit at the IAW again next year.” The office supplies and stationery supplier Top Point enjoyed a high level of sales at the event. Their spokesman Jörg Knauth reported: “Our clients were surprised and appreciative of the vast range on display – in fact, many came on more than one day.”

The professional character of the trade fair was underlined by the high-calibre speakers who took part in the IAW Trend Forum. At panel discussions and expert lectures, professionals and experts shared their know-how with trade visitors and delivered new ideas and innovative solutions for day-to-day business.

A line-up of speakers, including Ulrich Eggert, Eggert Consulting, Tosin A. David, managing director of Marcellino’s Academy, and Marcel Leeb, director of Marketing & Sales MGM, addressed the topic “Retail trade in a state of flux – how to succeed on today’s marketplace?” in a question and answer session. The zentrada Forum dealt with the keynote theme of “Secure online order and payment procedures”. Finally, in a session which focused on techniques to improve sales and marketing, Tosin A. David, managing director of Marcellino’s Academy, and business coach Manuela Pein explained the role of psychology and neuro-marketing in generating sales.

The IAW Trendseller Product Award again proved to be very popular among professional visitors. First prize went to the company Lichtblick from Thalwenden for its impressive range of high-quality, innovative blinds and shutters. “Lichtblick markets an attractive and affordable range of blinds, roller blinds, etc.,” said popular German TV presenter Ralf Kühler, who was on the panel of judges. One outstanding feature of this system is that blinds can be attached to the window frame without having to drill holes. The fact that no damage is caused to the frames makes it attractive to both homeowners and tenants.

Seventeen products from the most diverse segments reached the final round of this closely contested competition. Second place went to Jörn Stemmler of Vagros Stemmler GmbH in Delmenhorst, North Germany, for the MycroCam, a camera no bigger than a cigarette lighter. The judges selected two products for third place. The handy little paper punch from Top Action in Schortens, Germany, was picked out as admirably practical and easy to use at school or in the office. It shared third place with the TV simulator Fake TV from kh-Security in Haidenrod-Kemel. The device ís designed to deter opportunist burglars by simulating the flickering light produced by a television set.

“Once again, the suppliers and buyers who took part were more than satisfied with the outcome of our trade fair”, said Ulrich Zimmermann. “That is our best reward.” The IAW boss promised: “The IAW will continue to grow.” Thus the trade has every reason to look forward to the IAW in the spring, when it takes place in exhibition hall 10.2 at the Cologne Exhibition Grounds from 20-22 March 2012.

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