Positioning, new products, bulk orders: Tendence aims for growth and the pole position in 2017

More than any other trade fair, Tendence stands for change and the current challenges facing the international consumer-goods industry. From 27 to 30 August 2016, more than 24,000 buyers (2015: 27,4661) took advantage of the event with its 955 exhibitors (2015:1,1001) from 45 countries (2015: 471) to place orders, discover new products, gain inspiration and make and cultivate contacts. “Despite challenging indices, the quality of the visitors and the volume of orders placed were excellent. Tendence is the platform for doing good business”, commented Stephan Kurzawski, Senior Vice President, Messe Frankfurt. “From 2017, all the indicators point to growth. To this end, we are supplementing the profile of Tendence with new product groups and expanding existing ones. Additionally, we will strengthen the new- product character of the fair and attract the bulk-buying business back to Frankfurt. For this, there is only one solution: from next year, Tendence will take the pole position for the second half of the year”, adds the trade- fair manager.

Covering 82,000 square metres of exhibition space (gross), Tendence was once again an important trend-orientation platform for the trade. At the same time, buyers not only purchased new consumer goods for the winter season but also successfully tackled the compilation and configuration of their assortments – and this despite the mid-summer weather outside the exhibition halls. After all, putting innovations on the shelves is a must for the busy Christmas season. Additionally, exhibitors used Tendence to present their initial spring and summer collections. “The new products being shown by German and international exhibitors were again extremely interesting for the retail trade. This also applies to the supplementary services offered by Messe Frankfurt, such as new products and compact events. From 2017, the emphasis must be on helping Tendence on its way to new successes by communicating the new concept and the earlier dates, as well as the indisputable advantages they offer”, said Thomas Grothkopp, Director General of the German Home and Office Association (Bundesverband Wohnen und Büro e. V. – BWB)). The proportion of international buyers remained unchanged at 20 percent compared to the previous year. After Germany, the top ten biggest visitor nations were Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, China, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Japan and Spain. The level of visitor satisfaction remained stable from the previous year at 88 percent.

Exhibitor opinions
Compared to the last edition, this year’s trade fair profited from the first conceptual adaptations and new products groups. Numerous exhibitors said they were pleased with the results of Tendence 2016.

Lovely Home – Ulrich Barnewitz, Head of the Field Sales Force, Boltze: “For us, Tendence in Frankfurt continues to be a very important platform for national and international business relations. We are satisfied with the volume of orders placed and also see great potential for the further development of the fair. In this connection, we regard the earlier dates for next year’s fair primarily as an opportunity – for both exhibitors and visitors.”

Seasonal Decorations – Benno Kronenberg, Sales Manager, Esschert Design: “At first, I had only low expectations on the course of business at the fair because this was our first time back after a three-year absence. The results show: this was a good decision. Customers we had lost track of have now found their way back to us and reanimated the contact. Which I am very pleased about.”
Pure & Elegant – Jan Philippi, owner / CEO, Philippi:
“I am really keen on Tendence. No other fair offers such a broad spectrum of first-class exhibitors in the field of high-grade home accessories. After the course of business so far this summer, we had no great expectations and have been very pleasantly surprised. The proportion of international customers, for example, from Russia, the Ukraine and even Australia, was super.”

Gift Classics – Lars Adler, CEO, Hoff Interieur:
“Despite the various prophecies of doom, Tendence closed its doors with a significant plus for us. Both the number of customers and the average order size were significantly up on the previous fair. Additionally, we were very pleased with the large proportion of visitors from outside Germany – 35 percent of the total – especially from East Europe, which confirms Frankfurt’s position as an international trade-fair venue during Tendence, too.”

Jewellery & Accessories – René Mertens, co-owner, Schmuck Import/Export Mertens:
“We were really surprised by the results of Tendence 2016. It went so well that we were more than satisfied by the half-way point. The visitors were highly professional and the Sunday was incredibly busy. Since we are already well established in Germany, most of our new customers came from abroad, for example, from Ireland, France, Denmark, Belgium and Switzerland. And one thing remains unchanged: you are most likely to encounter big customers in Frankfurt.”

Young Gifts – Cornelia Bechthold-Grafe, CEO, dfp Design:
“We are very pleased with Tendence 2016. There were, perhaps, fewer visitors at the fair. However, the buyers who came to our exhibition stand placed significantly more orders. Although most of our customers come from Germany, we also made good contacts with foreign companies, especially from countries such as Italy, Switzerland, France and East Europe, as well as Romania and Bulgaria.”

Village – Florian Berger, CEO, Donkey Products, spokesman for the Village: 
“The Village concept works. What we, the exhibitors, have developed and organised here is simply super. It is a different way of thinking. With the Village, we create an experience of a special kind for the customers, and this has been given a very warm welcome by buyers. After all, it is no longer enough for exhibitors to make a normal presentation at a fair. You must always offer something slightly different.”

Culinary Gifts – Armin H. Enders, Marketing and Sales Director for Germany, AdHoc:
“For us, Tendence is the most important fair in the second half of the year. Here, customers are distinguished by a high propensity to buy. The changes to the exhibitor structure made so far, for example, with gourmet products, are good and have been given an interested reception by customers. However, the exhibitor structure must become even more varied so that future Tendence fairs continue to be held in high regard.”

Liquid Gifts – Christoph Puff, CEO, Puffs Brause:
“The Liquid Gifts product segment is proving to be very popular. People left themselves a lot of time and explored this wide-ranging selection with great interest. We are extremely satisfied.”
More exhibitor comments can be found on our website.

Manufacturers, retailers and the fair aim for growth
The mood at the fair was given an additional boost by the plans of
Messe Frankfurt to target the needs of the sector even more precisely with an integrated concept to be introduced next year. The concept calls for the reorientation of the long-established event with a three-pronged concept with a stronger focus on product ranges for the spring and summer of the following year. Buyers will also be able to see new products for the winter much earlier than at present thanks to the new timing of the fair at the end of June / beginning of July. For those sections of the trade that buy in bulk, this change offers particular strategic advantages. At the same time, exhibitors are well aware that it is up to all concerned to once again make the fair a genuine new- products platform.

The next Tendence will be held at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre from 24 to 27 June 2017.

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