Anyone who wants to know which trends will make a mark in retailing in the next few months automatically heads to Cologne. The countdown for the IAW has already begun. In 2014 this most important trade fair for promotional goods and trend-led merchandise will be bigger and more representative of the global market than ever before.
Will the Brazilian rattle be the new vuvuzela? Which product trends will emerge from the big events of the coming season? What kind of merchandise will appear in national colours. Can we expect to see flip-flops or chefs’ aprons in black, red and gold or red, white and blue at the summer parties and barbeques? There’s no doubt that the most popular products will be showcased first at the international trade fair for retail promotions that opens on 25 March. Exhibitors from across the world will be taking part in the IAW (25-27 March 2014, Cologne exhibition centre, Hall 10.2), the most important fair for orders of promotional products, trend-led merchandise and mass-selling items. In short, an event that is sure to provide a real boost to sales.
Naturally, the upcoming World Cup will be a major theme in Hall 10.2, but with exhibitors occupying a total area of 25,000 square metres there will be plenty of other highlights. Visitors can expect a wealth of bargain-priced, fast-selling trend products from every sector of retailing – from toys and writing utensils to textiles and tools. There’ll be plenty of seasonal products for outdoors with themed display areas dedicated to “Garden & barbeque” and “Outdoor & Camping“.
All the signs indicate that the Spring Fair is going to be an unprecedented success. As Project Manager Kerstin Manke says: “We have broken our record with well over 300 exhibitors taking part this time. Display space had been stretched to capacity last time, with virtually every metre booked, so we had to act quickly to secure new display space. This means we have a display area of more than 25,000 square metres at our disposal. The 19th IAW will thus be the biggest IAW ever.” The level of international participation will also be higher than ever. Almost 30 percent of the exhibitors come from outside Germany and with approx. 8,200 visitors from over 60 countries the event will be an international meeting-place for the trade. The cosmopolitan character of the event obviously adds to the special atmosphere: “The 2014 Spring Fair will be a colourful festival for the trade”, says Ulrich Zimmermann, Managing Director of Nordwestdeutsche Messegesellschaft and organizer of the IAW.
The organizers are again staging a supporting program exlusively geared to trade professionals. On each of the three days of the trade fair experts will be speaking about new ideas and retailing concepts. The opening event will be moderated by Channel 21 presenter Ralf Kühler, who is a well-known figure on German television. The first speaker will be the Cologne-based marketing expert Ulrich Eggert. This first day of the trade fair will also see the presentation of the IAW Trendseller Product Award, an event which always attracts a great deal of interest. A panel of experts from the trade, distribution and marketing will select those products which they feel have the potential to become top sellers on the basis of their uniqueness and special properties. Not surprisingly, all eyes will be looking for a sales hit like the vuvuzela was four years ago…