Resisting the economic crisis


– 9th IAW – International Trade Fair for Promotional Products – another success
– Positive trends in exhibitor and visitor attendance
– Eco-friendly torch wins the IAW Trendseller Product Award

Cologne, 6 March 2009.
The mood was positive when the IAW – International Trade Fair for Promotional Products concluded in Cologne last Thursday. Almost 200 exhibitors, including 45 from outside Germany, took part – thus matching last year’s results. More than 6,000 trade visitors came to the event in order to discover the latest retail trends and products, novelties, original ideas and promotional products. Trade show organizer Kerstin Manke reports: “The trade has demonstrated that it’s not going to take the recession lying down; exhibitors reported a high level of orders as well as a good atmosphere in the exhibition halls.” She added: “It is gratifying to receive such encouraging reports.” Energy effi ciency was one of the main keynotes. Accordingly, German company Stolz GmbH exhibited a new microwave egg cooker which not only prepares the perfect egg for breakfast, but also uses 90% less energy than the conventional method of boiling eggs. Among the other highlights a lot of interest was shown in compact equipment such as torches, radios and shaving equipment powered by integrated wind-up dynamo generators or long-life environment-friendly solar batteries instead of the conventional batteries or rechargeable batteries.

The IAW Trendseller Product Award, bestowed on the most outstanding modern and innovative product designs, this time went to the Barracuda torch produced by Aquam Europe. Other prize-winning products were handy luggage scales with an integrated measuring tape, a durable garden hose with an extensive set of useful accessories and the Dash Pad, which can be attached to smooth surfaces such as a car dashboard and provides a place to safely stow items such as cell phones, glasses, etc. When removed it leaves no marks or adhesive residue. Another highlight of the trade fair was the cuddly toy dog Roffl es, which is fi tted with sensors and motors enabling it to bark, laugh and move around. A laundry ball fi lled with mineral salt pellets that is put into the drum of the washing machine and does the work of laundry detergent, conditioner and water softener also attracted a lot of interest, while products from the wellness, sport, leisure, lifestyle and fashion segments continue to be popular.

Most of the big-name retail chains from Germany and neighbouring European countries were represented at the trade show by their chief buyers. A large proportion of the visitors were buyers from consumer markets, discounters, supermarkets, buyers’ organizations and mail order companies, with independent retailers, furnishingand DIY stores making up the rest of the professional audience. “We were highly satisfi ed by the response and high calibre of the visitors,” said Joachim Hoffmann from the company Otto Simon, which exhibited a greatly admired radio-controlled UFO toy. “We had not exhibited at this trade show before, and I must say that the trip was defi nitely worthwhile,” concluded Kristjan Ervald from the Estonian textile company Glasmir. Kurt Langer, managing director of Toys & More Handels GmbH from North German Pinneberg, was delighted by the response to his products, which included an aqua scooter and a children’s fi tness bike. He enthused: “It was pandemonium at our stall.”

The Trend Forum – which gets bigger every time – again proved a real success. Located at the heart of the trade fair it provides a platform for retailing and trade experts to speak on topical issues affecting the sector. This time, for example, Uwe Erker, head of the competence centre of Münchener Nymphenburg Consult AG, offered fascinating insights into the mind of the consumer in a lecture entitled “Understanding consu-mer needs – staying ahead in diffi cult times”. Before working as a consultant, the retailing expert had been a top manager with the leading German retail chains Kaufring AG and Karstadt. He provided information and insights into target groups, their motives and emotions when making purchase decisions, and how the POS can be used as a medium to convey emotional benefi ts. On the second day of the event the zentrada Forum addressed the theme “Correct presentation, improved sales”, which focussed on the role of conventional retail advertising as well as clever advertising and sales promotion campaigns aimed at increasing footfall and sales on a day-to-day basis. The Forum opened with a talk by the Cologne-based retail and marketing expert Ulrich Eggert, whose chosen topic was “The Future of Discounting in Germany”. Some of the audience were surprised to learn that although retail sales are generally down, some areas are enjoy inggood business. In fact, the discounters are growing at a faster rate than ever before. Another attractive feature that gained the interest of the buyers was the Promotion Price Barometer presented by Klaus Jürges, a market researcher from Gesellschaft für Handel- und marktforschung mbH in Wathlingen, Germany. This useful tool enables retailers to quickly compare 4.5 million prices in the food and non-food sectors – and adjust their own offers accordingly. The diverse, practice-oriented program of the IAW Spring Fair met with a positive response from trade visitors. This success is not merely an affi rmation of the status of the event. The IAW has emerged stronger and is undisputedly Germany’s most important and biggest trade fair for promotional products.

The IAW Autumn Fair will take place from 01. – 03. September 2009 at the Cologne Exhibition Centre in Hall 6.

Journalists will fi nd more information on the tradeshow – plus repro-ready images – at The speakers at the Trend Forum have made the content of their lectures available. This material can be ordered free of charge from Kerstin Manke at

The IAW-Newsletter

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