Positive trend underlined at the IAW, Europe’s biggest trade fair for retail promotions and imports


Continued increase in exhibitors and visitors from outside Germany
Trendseller Product Award goes to the BOZE Watchphone

The recent IAW Spring Fair 2011 in Cologne closed on a high note. The retail trade’s top event for trends and orders of promotional, trend-led and top-selling products again succeeded in out-performing other specialist fairs in this sector. Approx. 6,700 trade visitors from 50 countries attended the three-day event for a variety of reasons: to place orders for the coming season, test new product ranges and discover the new trend-led products displayed by 220 exhibitors on a total display area of 22,000 m². The IAW more than lived up to its reputation, again registering an increase in the number of visitors from across Europe and further afield. With 56 companies from 13 countries taking part this time, foreign exhibitors accounted for 26 % of all exhibitors.

Kendy Meinicke, whose Petersberg-based company PM Euro Trading GmbH sells bargain lines, surplus goods and promotional products from Asia, has taken part in the IAW from the very start. In his opinion there is no alternative: he recognizes that the IAW is a consistently reliable source of big orders from retailers in Germany and other countries. This view was endorsed by Bayhan Deniz, managing director of Textilworld Trade GmbH based in Oststeinbeck, who reported that his company enjoyed a pleasing level of orders as from the first day of the trade show. These two statements are echoed by Melanie Otte, managing director of IKO Import in Neunkirchen: “We always achieve substantially more orders at the IAW than at regional trade shows.” For this reason she and her company will be back for the next trade fair in the autumn.
In addition to presenting an impressive and diverse array of products, numerous trade professionals at the IAW Trend Forum offered new ideas, inspiration and concrete solutions for day-to-day business. For exhibitors and visitors alike it is a unique opportunity to catch up on trends and gain an insight into the market. Many of them grabbed the chance again to attend presentations such as “Come along, listen and boost your sales” and “Retailing transformed – it’s always possible to sell more and better!” and thereby gain practical advice on sales strategies, marketing, advertising and PR.  The Trend Forum was moderated by TV presenter Ralf Kühler with characteristic humour, charm and expertise. Considerable interest was shown in online business, in particular the emerging Groupon or Daily Deals concept, which was presented on the second day of the trade fair at the zentrada.network forum on eCommerce promotions.

Another highlight of the fair was the presentation of the IAW Trendseller Product Award, which celebrates exhibits selected by a panel of retail professionals on the basis of their potential to become top-selling products. This time the judges were wowed by one product in particular: the Burg Watchphone from BOZE GmbH in Kaiserslautern, which combines all the functions of an “ordinary” watch and a mobile phone. Depending on the model, it facilitates SMS messaging, the use of an MP3 Player and also has an integrated digital camera to take photos. It can be operated using a stylishly designed key pad or a touch screen. The Watchphone features wireless Bluetooth technology to communicate with external equipment, thus offering ultimate mobile telephony! The phone works with nearly every SIM card, whether via contract or pre-paid. The panel found the Watchphone highly innovative and cited this as a key reason why it won first place as the IAW 2011 Trendseller Product. The winning company is particularly pleased to have won the award and thereby gained more attention among trade visitors, as it is the first time that they have attended the IAW. Sascha Knohsalla, member of the distribution team at BOZE GmbH, confirms that their stand enjoyed “good footfall from start to finish”. You can find out more online at www.burg-watchphone.de

Second place went to another worthy winner: the Snap on Power Grip from the Norwegian company Vidcom. This grip can be attached to the shaft of shovels, spades or snow shovels, etc. as an additional handle. The grip acts as a kind of arm extension, thus making the work less strenuous by spreading the load and reducing back strain. Based on a simple idea, this is an innovative, useful product. A visit to the company’s website at www.vidcom.no provides more information.

The panel agreed to bestow third prize on the Energy wristwatch Ampli5. Worn as a decorative bracelet or on a chain, it is proven to rebalance and improve physical performance. The Ampli5 balances and restores the body’s natural energy field – the effects are immediate and verifiable. For more information visit www.ampli5europe.de

Countless other potential top-selling products, as well as trend-led and highly competitive, bargain-priced promotional products will be on show at the Autumn Fair, which takes place from 20-22 September in Hall 6 at the Cologne Exhibition Grounds

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