International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW) closes on high note with two new records. “Sensational – once again” was the verdict of Ulrich Zimmermann, Director of Nordwestdeutsche Messegesellschaft, the organizers of the 16th IAW, which closed its gates yesterday. Already it is clear that the 16th International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions, Europe’s leading event for trend-led and top-selling products, has been a huge success for dealers and buyers.
The three days of the International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW) have simply flown by. The exhibitors were able to report the “best sales in years” and “books brimming with orders”. By the second day of the IAW, familiar faces at the trade fair had already begun booking their stands for the next event in February. “I am always delighted by the enthusiastic response our trade fair concept receives from exhibitors und visitors”, says Ulrich Zimmermann. “In the final analysis, they are the people who ensure that the IAW is always a true celebration of retailing.”
The autumn trade fair was a complete success for the organizers too. The IAW team was able to chalk up two amazing results in terms of exhibitor participation. Firstly, IAW had more stands than ever, with a total of 291 exhibitors taking part. Secondly, in addition to the regular faces at the IAW, the fair welcomed 70 first-time exhibitors, who were keen to engage with the trade audience from various countries. In fact, there were around 7,800 visitors from some 50 countries, a figure which underlines the increasingly international character of the event.
The newcomers at the IAW were especially surprised by the exceptional response that their products generated among the trade audience. “As we are launching our tablet PCs on the German market, the IAW was very important to us as a showcase for new products. The trade visitors seemed genuinely interested in our products and were particularly impressed by the quality standards and technology we deliver”, concluded Alin Niscon, Managing Director of Allview, a Romanian manufacturer and distributor of dual SIM mobiles and electronic equipment. Andrew Coxhead, Sales Manager with Rayburn Trading, Manchester, was surprised that the trade fair “… has such a high level of international participation.” He added: “We are very pleased with our first-ever appearance here at the IAW in Cologne, and made some good contacts.” Companies that regularly exhibit at the IAW also praised the IAW. Carsten Wedekind, head of marketing at Krüger und Gregoriades Im- und Export, said: “This trade fair continues to meet the high standards and expectations it sets itself. We were able to gain many new customers, including some very interesting big clients.”
In addition to the broad range of products exhibited, the IAW offered a wealth of information and insights. The IAW Trendforum invited numerous top experts to take part in an exciting lecture program. On the first day of the trade fair, pricing policy was the keynote theme of the forum. These sessions examined the question of how companies could resist the downward spiral of prices. The opening session of the conference began with a talk by Ulrich Eggert, owner of Eggert Consulting. He outlined current developments and strategies for the retail/wholesale trade, while Elmar Fedderke, Managing Director of Walgenbach GmbH & Co. KG, asked whether “price is always the bottom line”. Fedderke, a graduate in business management, argued that quality does not come cheap. He stressed the importance of clearly explaining services and benefits to consumers and of communicating to them the added value they would receive. A team of experts from Marcellino’s Academy, which included Managing Director Tosin David, explained how sales can be improved by emphasizing emotional benefits in the pricing strategy.
On day two in the zentrada Forum, editor-in-chief Martina Schimmel and colleagues outlined the opportunities for pan-European business. Ingo Schloo, Managing Director of the zentrada network, spoke about the prospects and challenges facing dealers and buyers in Europe, while Dirk Jäger, an expert with retail consultants Shopmacher, provided useful insights into the potential problems of pan-European online business.
On the third day, Google AdWords specialist Carsten Röhl delivered an impressive final lecture. Röhl asked: “Is it really possible to be listed at the top with one’s own website?”, and answered his rhetorical question with an emphatic “Yes!”
The attendees of the IAW Trend Forum this September took part in a great prize draw held at the end of the lecture program. The prizes were donated by exhibitors. The main prize was the Allview AllPro Speed tablet PC.
The ever-popular presentation of the Trendseller Product Award remains a highlight at the IAW. It is bestowed on outstandingly innovative products. The winner this autumn was Kaufmann Neuheiten GmbH from Walddorfhäslach. The product singled out for this prestigious award was a baby seat in a carry bag. The Sack ‘n’ Seat is a handy and practical solution – with just a quick tug on the bag the child’s seat comes out. Commenting on their decision, the judges explained: “Whether parents are in a restaurant or visiting friends, Sack ‘n Seat provides a handy chair for children aged six months to 2½ years that is secure and safe.” Second place went to the salt water car kit from the Hamburg-based firm Krüger und Gregoriades Im- und Export GmbH. The kit not only appeals to the inventiveness and inquisitiveness of children and young people – it also offers an entertaining introduction to alternative energy. kh-security from Haidenrod-Kemel received third prize for an idea that offers senior citizens greater security in their day-to-day lives. The company offers an alarm system that can be attached to walking aids, wheel chairs or walking sticks and emits a loud signal that can be activated in times of danger or distress. It can also be used as an alarm in the event of a medical emergency. The judges were also very impressed by the dual roller blind exhibited by German company Lichtblick from Thalwenden. Their new product, Duo-Rollo, which can be fixed to a window frame without drilling, received a special prize from the panel. Taking part in the IAW becomes an even more significant experience for winners of the Trendseller Product Award. On the basis of past experience, companies which have received the prestigious Trendseller accolade have found that sales of the winning products rose considerably.
“Following a great autumn event we can all look forward to the next IAW”, says Ulrich Zimmermann. “We are confident that there will be a strong response from exhibitors next spring.” The next IAW will take place from 26-28 February 2013 in Cologne.
Other comments on the International Trade Fair for Promotional Products and Imports:
Jürgen Heinkelein, Head of Sales, Kaufmann Neuheiten GmbH, Walddorfhäslach, Germany
“We were extremely pleased to have won the Trendseller Product Award. We have already been approached about it on countless occasions and will definitely be using this trade prize in our marketing activities. Sales of Sack ‘n’ Seat will definitely get another boost.”
Marcus Dauth, Cepewa GmbH, Karben, Germany
“Once again, we were able to achieve some very good sales and are more than satisfied with this result. We will definitely be back the next time round.”
Bart Vermeire, Fornord ImportDistribution, Orcq, Belgium
“Overall, we can draw a positive balance on the event. Good business deals, good sales, good contacts.”
Henk olde Monnikhof, Carnavalswereld, Oldenzaal, Netherlands
“We exhibited here for the first time and are very pleased with the way the fair went for us. The trade audience showed a lot of interest in our products, so we’re looking forward to the prospect of returning next autumn”.
Marcel Lampe, Sales, Koopmann International B.V., Amsterdam, Netherlands
“As always, the IAW provided us with a great platform for showcasing our products. The first day of the fair was especially lucrative.”
Nathan Blecher, Bergner Europe GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany
“In short: brilliant in all respects!”
Bertil Wessels, Sales Manager Edco Eindhoven B.V., Eindhoven, Netherlands
“The trade fair was a success for us: we were able to cultivate relations with existing contacts, while also getting plenty of new leads.”