interzum, the world’s leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design, held in Cologne, drew to an end on 24th May 2019, with outstanding results. For four full days, interzum served as a source of inspiration for the design of future living spaces and presented the technical, haptic and visual refinements with which tomorrow’s furniture will set new standards. With 1,805 exhibitors from 60 countries (2017: 1,732 exhibitors from 59 countries), more companies than ever before showcased their innovations across an exhibition area covering approximately 190,000 sqmtr. In addition to increasing its exhibitor numbers, the trade fair considerably expanded its international reach.

The proportion of foreign visitors rose to around 75 per cent (2017: 73 per cent). Out of a total audience of 74,000 visitors, over 55,000 came from outside Germany. “We significantly exceeded our goal of topping the 70,000-visitor mark,” said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, who is delighted with the results. “This has been an almost magical anniversary event in every respect and one that we will all remember. An industry demonstrated its immense capacity for innovation in truly impressive style,” he added.

With this year’s outstanding figures, interzum has continued its impressive success story. The number of trade visitors has risen by more than 28 per cent since 2015. The atmosphere in the trade fair halls was excellent: Exhibitors and visitors from across the globe were very satisfied with the event. This was reflected in the highly positive verdict from the participating companies, who confirmed interzum’s leading position as the industry’s number one trade fair in the world.

Alongside visitors from Germany, the most strongly represented European nations were Italy, France, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Significant increases were seen in visitors from Asia (+22 per cent), with particularly strong growth from China (+48 per cent), as well as increases from Central and South America (+24 per cent), Eastern Europe (+21 per cent) and North America (+7 per cent). The exhibitors reported that they did excellent business and established many new contacts from around the world. In its anniversary year, interzum mastered the balancing act of being an industry meeting place for trade visitors on the one hand and a hotspot for the creative professions on the other. A large number of inspiring presentations by companies contributed to this.

This year interzum demonstrated particularly impressively that it is not only a trade fair for the supplier industry, but also a 360- degree event that presents visions of how we will live in the future. By addressing this issue, it takes up a place alongside imm cologne/LivingKitchen and ORGATEC. In addition to familiarising themselves with the product ranges of suppliers to the furniture industry, manufacturers, architects and designers were able to discover a host of innovative materials and production processes. With a diverse range of special event areas, talk and discussion areas, piazzas and workshops on disruptive materials, surface design, digital printing, digital products and materials, smart systems, mobile living spaces and new technologies, interzum 2019 linked a broad spectrum of future issues and product innovations for tomorrow’s homes. The standout themes this year that will set the direction of future developments were the continuing rise of individualisation, energy efficiency and sustainability, light (LED), digitalisation (including voice control), micro living and “slide and hide.”

interzum 2019 in numbers

interzum 2019 hosted 1,805 exhibiting companies from 60 countries (2017: 1,732 companies from 59 countries). They included 356 domestic exhibitors (2017: 367 exhibitors) and 1,449 companies (2017: 1,361 companies) from outside Germany, with foreign companies accounting for 80 per cent (2017: 79 per cent) of total exhibitors. Including estimates for the last day of the fair, the event attracted 74,000 trade visitors from 152 countries (2017: 69,000 trade visitors from 152 countries). The next interzum will take place from 4 to 7 May 2021 in Cologne.

interzum award 2019

Right on time for the 60th anniversary of “interzum”, the best designs in the global furniture supply industry and interior design have been selected. During the award ceremony for “interzum award: intelligent material & design 2019,” the deserved winners accepted their awards on the evening of 20 May in Cologne’s Theater am Tanzbrunnen. They entered the competition with their products, product refinements, materials and innovations, and won over the six-member jury with their design quality.

New record number of registrations

Participants from 22 countries entered their products in “interzum award 2019”, which was held for the tenth time already by Koelnmesse in cooperation with Red Dot. The manufacturers submitted a total of 260 entries to be in with a chance of winning the respected industry label. This marks an increase in the number of registrations, highlighting the significance of design as a factor that adds value.

Convincing achievements

Six experts tested, discussed and assessed the objects live and on site. Their decision was taken based on criteria such as the level of innovation, material quality, form, functionality and sustainability. Together the jurors selected 59 products that clearly set themselves apart from comparable objects thanks to their outstanding design and awarded those products the distinction “High Product Quality”. They also awarded 12 “Best of the Best” titles, the top distinction for outstanding design achievements that set new standards for form and function in their industry.

Award ceremony with proud laureates

The achievements of the winners of “interzum award: intelligent material & design 2019” were recognised on the evening prior to the launch of this year’s “interzum”. In the course of an exclusive reception, Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse, and Red Dot Vice President Vito Orazem handed over the well-earned certificates to the winners of the distinction “High Product Quality”. The category “Tiny Spaces” featured in the award for the first time, with Koelnmesse recognising and responding to the trend of small-space living.

The “Best of the Best” winners were officially honoured as the central part of the traditional kick-off event for “interzum”. President and CEO of Koelnmesse Gerald Böse joined the jury members to hand over the certificates on stage to the winners to mark their success. The jurors included Dutch designer Dick Spierenburg as well as Belgian designer and Professor at the Royal College of Arts in Gent Prof. Danny Venlet. Other jury members were Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Martin Stosch, who lectures on the Wood Technology degree programme at Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences, and designer Winfried Weber from hülsta. The jury was completed by Prof. Martin Beeh, materials expert and university lecturer on Design Management, and Vito Orazem, who congratulated the winners on their remarkable success.

These manufacturers are the “Best of the Best”

Bekaert Deslee from Belgium, Välinge Innovation Sweden and the Vita Group from the UK together with Veldeman Bedding from Belgium are just some of the 2019 “Best of the Best” winners. Other laureates that received the top distinction in “interzum award” included Salice and Vibo from Italy as well as Austrian manufacturers FRITZ EGGER and Sperrholzwerk Schweitzer, with the latter winning not one but two awards. There were also German companies amongst the winners of the sought-after industry prize, namely Hettich Marketing- und Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG, HOMAPAL, Karl W. Niemann and out for space. Their success bears testimony to the outstanding design quality of their award-winning solutions as well as their competitiveness.