• Good sales result: buyers can source all their stock requirements for the whole season ahead
• Organizer Ulrich Zimmermann: “Even in hard times like these, we’re a reliable partner for the trade”
• Number of international visitors increases, despite ongoing travel restrictions
An encouraging 4,800 trade visitors from 66 countries attended the 32nd International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW) in Cologne. The visitors seized the opportunity to secure the stock they urgently need for the coming season. The first IAW spring fair held since the start of the pandemic was thus able to match the outcome of the trade fair that took place last autumn, despite the difficult circumstances, e.g. another jump in the covid infection rate, as well as existing problems with the global supply chain which have been further complicated by the war in Ukraine.
“The keen interest among both buyers and exhibitors confirms that it was right for us to have gone ahead and held this event as planned”, explains the organizer Ulrich Zimmermann. Of course, the IAW benefitted from the experience of the previous fair last autumn, in particular the effective and triedand-tested hygiene concept. The event provided the perfect setting for the interaction of all participants.
A big plus point: products available at short notice
In the run-up to the IAW an optimistic mood was apparent among the exhibitors. The spring fair attracted 222 bookings from 20 countries, which represented an increase of ten percent compared with the relaunch event in September 2021. The optimism of the exhibitors was confirmed by the level of orders taken and the response to the display covering 30,000 square metres in Halls 6 and 9 of the Cologne Exhibition Centre. In view of rising freight costs and unreliable supply chains, buyers at present are very interested in obtaining merchandise that is available at short notice so demand is high. Europe is the focus of the IAW. Transport routes between suppliers and buyers are short and thanks to its renowned diversity the IAW again covered all key segments and market niches. The spectrum of products offered ranges from beauty and body care products to household goods and innovative technology for the retail trade. As in the past, buyers also found a vast and unique array of surplus goods and clearance products. They greatly appreciated the diverse range of popular products in profitable categories.
Supporting program featuring experts from the trade
The informative supporting program always proves a hit among visitors from the online and bricks and mortar sectors. The program kicked off on the first two days of the trade fair with the E-Commerce Arena, which was organized by Restposten.de. The Arena provided participants with valuable tips for selling on large platforms and outlined the changes expected to affect the trade in the future. The „ecommerce quarter“ exhibition area also brought systems suppliers and service providers together with operators in e-commerce. At the IAW Trend Forum, organized together with the trade platform ‚zentrada‘, industry experts outlined the consequences of the pandemic and how to succeed in the trade, even under the most difficult circumstances.
“The 32nd IAW has again proven that the event is a reliable partner and a secure source for retailers,” says organizer Zimmermann. “We have been able to consolidate the IAW’s reputation as the leading international order fair for promotional products, seasonal impulse articles, trending merchandise and bulk-selling products.”
Aid initiative for Ukraine
Amidst the elation over the good business, the organizers, exhibitors and visitors at the IAW could not fail to be affected by the war in Ukraine. The trade fair organizers felt compelled to join a humanitarian aid campaign initiated by the logistics service provider DB Schenker and Germany’s Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW). Exhibitors donated products that were urgently needed in crisis regions of Ukraine and Poland. These included, for example, blankets, first aid kits, power banks and long-life food products.
The next IAW will be the autumn fair, which takes place from 6 – 8 September 2022 in the attractive Halls 6 and 9. The same venue has been booked for both events planned for 2023 (28 February-2 March 2023 – parallel to Asia Pacific Sourcing – and 5-7 September 2023). For the latest information on the 33rd International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW) visit www.iaw-messe.de.