Still going strong – and now with a new partner: the trade fair IAW in Cologne


Firmly established for many years as the premier trade platform for trend-spotters and commercial buyers, the International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW) will be open for business from 7 to 9 March 2016. Visitors and exhibitors can look forward to an incredible choice of products in Cologne, one of Europe’s most important trade hubs. This combination of prime business location, knowledgeable industry insiders and innovative merchandise makes the show a magnet for buyers, who will not only find what they are looking for right now, but will also be inspired for the coming season. So it is no surprise that the last show attracted nearly 9,500 visitors and well over 300 exhibitors, who did good business over several days.
Boasting 28,000 square metres of exhibition space – equivalent to over seven football pitches – the displays in Halls 6 and 9 will undoubtedly be geared towards spring and summer 2016, packed with seasonal and on-trend items, as well as aggressively priced promotional goods. Easter, barbecue parties, camping trips or indeed the 2016 European Championship: whatever the warmer months of the coming year bring, the IAW has the right consumables for every occasion. The year-round sellers will also be well represented. Here the range includes textiles, toiletries, toys and food, household articles and decorative items – in fact, there’s something for every buyer here, plus a host of other fast-selling items.
But the IAW is not just about boosting sales figures. The show’s organizers conduct ongoing market surveys and canvas the views of visitors to ensure that every IAW is a little bit better, and offers a little bit more, than the last one. The ever-popular supporting program, for example, covers many topics of current interest and fields an impressive line-up of guest speakers. The Trend Forum is well worth a visit, with talks by our experts on all three days of the show. Between them they cover as much ground as an entire weekend seminar elsewhere, offering up-to-the-minute insights into areas as varied as e-commerce, corporate communication and marketing. One of the highlights of the Trend Forum is invariably the IAW Trendseller Product Award. And knowing who the winners are as soon as they are announced puts you in a strong position. You could be the first to stock the latest innovative and trend-led product on your shelves, guaranteed to be one of the big sales hits of 2016!
This unique mix of trade buying event, trend barometer and networking opportunity is exactly what IAW visitors and exhibitors want, as demonstrated by the steady growth in both exhibitor and visitor numbers. Alongside the regular flow of first-time exhibitors, it is also gratifying to note the rapid growth in international exhibitor numbers. The total of over 9,000 visitors in 2015 not only beat all previous records, but also indicated great things to come in 2016 if the upward trend continues. And with a new partner on board, the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR, the next IAW is starting from a very strong position.
Ulrich Zimmermann, Managing Director of trade show organizer Nordwestdeutsche Messegesellschaft, is proud of the new joint venture: “The cooperation between the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR and IAW will attract increased attention and interest from both sectors, which is obviously very good news for our exhibitors and visitors. We saw the synergies that come from staging two trade shows in parallel when we teamed IAW with Asia Pacific Sourcing in 2015. So now I am very pleased to be working together with the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR in spring 2016.”
The INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR runs from 6 to 8 March 2016, occupying Halls 1 – 5 and 10. In 2014 the show featured 2,787 exhibitors from over 50 countries, and as the world’s leading trade fair for the hardware industry it attracted some 44,000 trade visitors from 136 nations.
The overlap between the IAW and the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR is not just a matter of scheduling: they also share a lot of common ground in terms of content and coverage. Traditional DIY stores and garden centres discovered this a long time ago, and are eager to win new customers by branching out into new product lines and stocking trend-led impulse buys. More and more hardware suppliers are embracing this strategy successfully, which is why there is so much market crossover here. The resulting demand for promotional goods has been growing for some time – and now the IAW is finally bringing buyers together with suppliers.
Because these two trade fairs are taking place at the same time, exhibition space is obviously limited. So any business interested in exhibiting at this upcoming IAW show must act quickly to secure display space. First-time exhibitors can benefit from a special deal: for a small additional fee in addition to the basic stand rental charge, they get a fully assembled stand plus a special PR support package.

Further information, registration forms for exhibitors and a free ticket ordering service for trade visitors can all be found at


The IAW-Newsletter

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