Showtime in Frankfurt: more visitors and greater internationality at Ambiente 2016


Ambiente, the world’s leading trade fair for the consumer-goods industry, closed its doors today after welcoming more visitors and recording a further increase in the level of internationality on both the exhibitor and visitor sides.

Altogether, 137,000 buyers from 143 countries (2015:134,600*) attended the world’s most important consumer-goods fair. 4,387 exhibitors from 96 countries (2015: 4,814 exhibitors*) presented their latest products and trends in 27 halls at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre. Due to construction work on the new Hall 12, this year’s Ambiente took place on 308,000 square metres of exhibition space (gross) compared to 328,400 last year* – a conscious but temporary reduction in exhibition space aimed at ensuring the usual high standard of quality and service for exhibitors and visitors in the future, too.
“The whole world does business here at Ambiente. Frankfurt in February is where the trends are set for the international consumer-goods industry over the coming year. An impressive demonstration of this is to be seen in the good propensity to order and the high standard of German and international buyers. The economic signs are set to go”, said Braun, Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt GmbH. Confirming this, Dr Andreas Buske, CEO of Zwiesel Kristallglas, said, “The number of international visitors has risen yet again. In particular, we welcomed delegations, many of them including senior managers, from major trading houses. Also encouraging is the large number of buyers from the USA, despite the warning about travelling to Europe. Overall, the mood is good; visitors are willing to buy, committed and dedicated.”

For the first time, the proportion of visitors from outside Germany accounted for 55 percent of the total (2015: 53 percent) – more than ever before. The top ten visitor nations after Germany were Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, China, the USA, Switzerland,
Turkey and South Korea. The number of visitors from Germany remained stable while, with more than 6,000 visitors, an additional 500 buyers made their way from Italy, this year’s Partner Country, to Frankfurt. Above-average increases were also noted from Japan, South Korea, South America, Africa, the Middle East and countries bordering the Mediterranean.

Nicolas Luc Villeroy, Head of the Tableware Division of Villeroy & Boch, was also very upbeat about the level of internationality at Ambiente: “We are very pleased with the course of business at the fair and the positive echo from our worldwide business partners. For Villeroy & Boch, Ambiente is the most important platform for presenting our new products to a global audience of trade buyers.” In a very similar vein, Lars Adler, CEO of Hoff Interieur, said, “We are highly satisfied with business at the fair. Ambiente is a thriving fair and the increased level of internationality makes it even better. On average, the size of our orders has increased greatly. Ambiente works – it is THE show.” Equally enthusiastic was Michel Nouafo, Vice President of International Household Sales at Vitamix: “As the leading trade fair for the consumer-goods sector, Ambiente continues to be the most important platform for presenting our range of products and reaching new target groups. And, of course, we are looking forward to coming back again next year.”
Also very pleased with the results of its participation in Ambiente 2016 was Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen, which returned to the fair after a long absence: “We at Meissen were delighted to take part in this year’s Ambiente. We were able to renew many old connections and make highly promising new contacts with potential customers from all over the world. The fair is an excellent networking platform and a great opportunity to obtain first-hand reactions to new products, and to see the current trends in the sector at a glance”, said Meissen CEO Dr Tillmann Blaschke. 

Ambiente is also a well-established order venue for buyers from the worldwide contract business / hotel, restaurant and catering (HoReCa) sector. Confirming this, Andrea Täuber, Director International Sales,
Schönwald, said, “Ambiente is nowadays indispensable, especially for international business. This is where you meet buyers from all over the world and make new contacts. At Ambiente, we always find visitors from our target group of hotels and foodservice. And it is the only fair that shows the latest table-top trends. Ambiente is a fixture on the trade-fair calendar.”

Bernd D. Ehrengart, Managing Partner of Lambert, also drew a positive conclusion: “In my eyes, Ambiente was very well attended from the moment the doors opened and we are more than satisfied. We noticed that the mood in the sector is good and this was reflected by a great willingness to purchase and, for us, in very full order books.”

Speaking from the visitors’ perspective, Thomas Grothkopp, Director General of the German Association for Tableware, Housewares and Home Accessories (Bundesverband für den gedeckten Tisch, Hausrat und Wohnkultur e.V. – GPK), also gave the five-day fair a positive rating: “The German and large parts of the European retail trade came to Ambiente. The days in Frankfurt were certainly well spent because nowhere else can visitors find such a wide variety of suppliers for the entire spectrum of tableware, kitchenware, gift articles, home accessories, etc.” This was also documented by the stable high level of satisfaction (96 percent) expressed by visitors.

From the Tiber to the Thames

In a ceremony during Italy Day at Ambiente, Italy handed the Partner Country Globe to next year’s Partner Country, the United Kingdom. This year, renowned Italian design Paola Navone curated and designed ‘La
dolce vita’, a wide-ranging presentation reflecting the broad spectrum of products offered by Italian Ambiente exhibitors. Additionally, there were a variety of activities and events revolving around the Partner Country. German-Italian actor Mario Adorf was the guest of honour on Italy Day and, during a tour of several exhibition halls – a ‘viaggio culinario’ – he was able to discover modern tableware and kitchenware design at its best.

Next year, Ambiente will be held from 10 to 14 February 2017 and spotlight British design.
* Figures FKM-certified

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