More exhibitors, top visitor numbers, more great ideas: IAW celebrates a highly successful autumn trade show

  • The multi-channel platform in Cologne attracts 5,000 purchasers from 66 countries
  • Despite inflation: promotional goods provide retailers with healthy sales and margins
  • In focus: forward-looking topics such as AI, e-commerce and new sourcing strategies

The 35th International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW) in Cologne has concluded with top visitor numbers. Almost 5,000 purchasers from around 66 countries highlighted the international character of this multi-channel platform, and provided the exhibitors with strong sales. With 290 suppliers (four per cent more than in spring 2023) from 24 countries, the 30,000 m² of exhibition halls 6 and 9 were well-booked. Fresh product ideas for the coming season and the upcoming Christmas trade were also contributed by the 65 first-time exhibitors, including companies from Belgium, France, Italy, Poland and Turkey.

„This impressive response in spite of today‘s persistently difficult economic situation proves that as a multi-channel marketplace, the fair always offers exactly what the retail trade is looking for at any time,“ sums up IAW project manager Kerstin Manke. At present, in view of persistently high price levels the focus is very much on promotional products for cost-conscious consumers looking for bargains, as a survey by the Cologne Institute for Retail Research (IFH) has shown.

Attractive offers and special prices
The IAW fair also offered space for interesting niche products, which gave purchasers the opportunity to expand their range with new and more profitable product ideas. They were quick to take advantage of the many opportunities to secure exclusive offers and special prices, to expand their network and to make valuable business contacts. Functional Design, for example, attracted great interest with its unique plant tower for balconies and terraces, while Vertical Garden XL enhances gardening at home with its five planting levels and contributes to the effective greening of city centres – and of conservatories during the cold season.

New horizons opened up
The attractive supporting programme at the congress level offered ample opportunities for effective networking and provided insights into the future of retail, both bricks and mortar and online. Programme organiser Stefan Grimm is enthusiastic: „It‘s no longer about the relative importance of ecommerce and market places, but about ways in which SMEs can excel in retailing and how individual tools as well as artificial intelligence can help. In the E-Commerce Arena subjects like AI and business tips for maximising profits on platforms like Amazon and eBay were covered extensively, together with sourcing strategies aimed at boosting sales. For example, in his keynote speech at the opening of the E-Commerce Arena Joubin Rahimi, CEO of the digital agency synaigy, advised his audience to take full advantage of the fast and efficient availability of information: „ChatGPT makes it possible to ask complex questions and get detailed answers without having to spend hours researching. This opens up new horizons in knowledge acquisition and problem solving.“

Speaker and exhibitor Michael Frontzek, managing partner of the e-commerce agency MiToU, summed up the event as follows: „As always, the IAW trade show with its great presentations was well worth a visit. In addition, I was once again able to engage in lots of stimulating conversations and meet both old and new acquaintances.“

Everything more than satisfactory
„With its ‚Best Deals in Retail‘ slogan the 35th IAW accurately reflected the requirements of its cliente – le,“ organiser Ulrich Zimmermann points out. „Today‘s persistently high inflation is driving consumers to shop for bargains, so purchasers found exactly the right promotional products at the fair. These enable retailers to achieve good sales even in times of general reluctance to spend. The fact that the IAW focuses on European wholesalers and importers reduces delivery distances and procurement costs. This also keeps profit margins on the positive side of the ledger.“

The date for the upcoming spring edition of the IAW has already been set: it will be taking place in Cologne‘s exhibition halls 6 and 7 from 4 to 6 March 2024, International Hardware Fair from 3 to 6 March 2024. As a result, exhibitors and visitors alike will be offered unique synergies that will make a visit to both fairs especially productive. At trade visitors will find the latest information on the 36th International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW). They can also order their complimentary tickets there. Industry insights and trade topics will also be regularly updated on the IAW blog at

More exhibitors, top visitor numbers, more great ideas: IAW celebrates a highly successful autumn trade show (PDF)

The IAW-Newsletter

Sprache wechseln



Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden