Gifts Today magazine

Increased internationality at Tendence

Germany's leading order platform for the Autumn closed its doors on September 1 with high levels of satisfaction and internationality

The international Tendence consumer-goods fair has closed its doors with an improved rating on both the exhibitor and visitor sides. Around 35,000 trade visitors from 88 countries took advantage of this important event (2013: 37,306 visitors from 86 countries[1]) during the four days of the fair. After Germany, the top 10 nations on the visitor side were Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, China, Poland, Great Britain and Spain. As last year, one in five visitors came from outside Germany.

This year, however, the level of visitor satisfaction was even higher, rising by four percentage points to 90 percent. “Despite the challenging market, we succeeded in maintaining the level of internationality, which is particularly important for export-oriented companies. Tendence has confirmed its position as Germany’s most international and biggest order platform in the second half of the year. Both exhibitors and visitors were able to achieve or even exceed their goals for the fair”, said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH. On more than 98,720 square metres of exhibition space (gross) (2013: 102,400 square metres (gross)1), 1,211 exhibitors from 51 countries (including Ecostyle and Webchance; 2013: 1,290 exhibitors from 56 countries1) presented their latest products for the coming spring and gave national and international retailers the chance to place follow-up orders for the Christmas business

On the visitor side, double-digit rates of growth were recorded from, for example, Greece, Great Britain, Poland and Spain. The number of visitors from the major Asian consumer-goods markets – China, India and Japan – was also up in comparison to 2013. Due to the difficult economic situation, fewer visitors travelled to Frankfurt from Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria
Giving: the order platform for the gifts sector.

With an unrivalled spectrum, the Giving section is characterised by a huge range of ideas for gifts and thus attracted buyers from the retail trade, department stores and the wholesale trade. Altogether, 646 exhibitors presented their latest collections in the four product groups, Gifts Unlimited, Young & Trendy, Carat and Personal Accessories. The spectrum ranged from classic gifts to original, trendy articles for every occasion, e.g., stylish fashion accessories, jewellery, wristwatches, decorative articles, gourmet gifts and stationery.

Tendence: quality not quantity
The overall rating given by exhibitors for the fair was positive, and this was confirmed by the trade associations. Thus, Stephan Koziol, Chairman of the European Lifestyle Association (Europäischer Verband Lifestyle – EVL), said, “Tendence 2014 was good and lots of exhibitors are very pleased. The supplier standard is very high. The emphasis is on quality, not quantity. This is the unique selling proposition of Tendence.” Thomas Grothkopp, Director General of the German Association for Tableware, Housewares and Home Decor (Bundesverband für den Gedeckten Tisch, Hausrat und Wohnkultur e.V. - GPK), also emphasised the high standard and significance of Tendence: “There is no doubt that the German retail trade profits from the international consumer-goods fairs in Frankfurt, which save retailers from having to travel to fairs abroad. Tendence is very important, especially when it comes to placing last-minute orders for the Christmas business, as well as early orders for the coming year. This was confirmed once again by this year’s event in Frankfurt.” 
Higher level of satisfaction on the exhibitor side, too
Representatives of leading companies underscored the view of the trade associations. “We at Gilde Handwerk are pleased with the course of business at the fair. Most of our non-German visitors came from Austria, France and Italy. Additionally, we made many new contacts with customers from outside Europe”, said Hamid Yazdtschi, CEO of Gilde Handwerk. After the four days of the fair, Lars Adler, General Manager of Hoff Interieur, also gave Tendence a positive rating: “Despite the crisis in the Ukraine and the Lufthansa strike, we welcomed just as many customers on the first two days as in 2013 and achieved a slight increase in average sales.” Moreover, the export share rose by five percentage points to 35 percent in comparison to the last Tendence. A similar note was struck by Werkhaus owner, Holger Danneberg, who said, “In my opinion, Tendence has a good mix – the exhibitor quality is excellent. Additionally, the level of internationality is high. We had customers from Italy, Saudi Arabia and France.” Also satisfied with the course of business at the fair was, Dimitrios Aptidis, Sales Manager of Räder Wohnzubehör Bastei Lübbe: “Although the market is difficult, our trade-fair season is fantastic and we are currently pleased with our results at Tendence.” The event was also good for DFP Design: “It has been a super fair and this can also be seen in the sales figures. For us, Tendence is one of the most important fairs – it is well structured with the most important markets”, said Eduard Grafe, co-proprietor of DFP.

Tendence offers a great potential for attracting new customers
The other results of the exhibitor poll also show that the level of exhibitor satisfaction with the course of business at Tendence rose somewhat compared to last year. Moreover, the orders placed by buyers during the fair and the number of new contacts made – from both Germany and abroad – were rated more highly than in 2013. All of this generated a very good atmosphere in the exhibition halls. “I come to Tendence primary because I find new customers here who I would otherwise not meet”, said David Hagenkötter, CEO of the young Crispywallet company. His opinion is also shared by Johannes Berner, Managing Director of Gourmet Berner: “The fair has been sensational for us and we have been able to gain around five percent more new customers.” For watch manufacturer Unique Time, which exhibited in ‘Time Square’ (Hall 9.3), taking part in the fair was worthwhile not only in terms of new customers: “This year’s fair has been better than last year’s thanks to a slight increase in visitor numbers. In addition to regular customers, around 40 percent of our visitors were new buyers”, said Unique Time CEO Payam Shaghafi. The fact that visitors to Tendence “not only look but also place orders” was also confirmed by Florian Craciun, General Manager of Zwei. On behalf of Donkey Products, CEO Florian Berger reported that Tendence is the most important platform in the second half of the year: “At Tendence, you have the chance to see your position in the market. And this is a benchmark for us.”

Young designers at Tendence
New ideas are always in demand and this is clearly shown by the success of the ‘Talents’ promotional programme. For 13 years, Messe Frankfurt has been supporting young designers by providing free promotional areas where they can present their initial ideas and small product series. In Hall 9.3, 21 young jewellery designers enriched the wide range of products to be seen at the Carat segment. By contrast, the Talents area in Hall 9.0 focused on design in the field of contemporary arts & crafts with the emphasis on products made of wood, glass, ceramic and textiles. 19 designers made presentations there. The participants were selected by the Frankfurt Museum of Applied Art, the German Arts & Crafts Association (Bundesverband Kunsthandwerk) and Messe Frankfurt. 

Focusing on arts & crafts
Arts & crafts has always been one of the main themes at Tendence and, this year, the work of artistic craftspeople was to be seen in four of the six exhibition halls with whole areas devoted to arts & crafts at Interiors & Decoration in Hall 9.0 and Carat in Hall 9.3. The arts & crafts highlights included the popular ‘FORM 2014 – Design from Crafts and Industry’ exhibition. With 185 award-winning products, it gave visitors a good overview of both outstanding hand-crafted articles and industrial products – all made by 66 Tendence exhibitors.
Commenting on the positive course of business at the fair from the point of view of the arts & crafts business, Christina Beyer, Director of the German Arts & Crafts Association, said, “Both the arts & crafts exhibitors and our association have been very pleasantly surprised that renowned museum shops and galleries were not only among the visitors here at Tendence but that they also placed orders before departing. For the future, we hope that the part of the fair that attracts such customers, in other words, the arts & crafts segment, will be expanded even further.”

The Hessian State Award: top marks for arts & crafts
In addition to the ‘FORM 2014’ exhibition, the presentation of the 64th Hessian State Award for German Arts & Crafts was another Tendence highlight. Germany’s oldest State Award was presented at the fair by Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Minister for Economics, Energy Transport and Regional Development, on 1 September. Worth a total of € 8,000, the award honours the work of artistic craftspeople. First prize went to sculptor and wood carver Christoph Finkel, second prize to Alexa Lixfeld for her glass objects and third prize to ceramic designer Christine Ruff.

Value added for the retail trade: window-dressing live
Under the motto ‘Before Christmas’ Karin Wahl presented helpful tips and ingenious ideas for window dressing for the third time running on a special area at Tendence. Three times a day throughout the fair, she demonstrated how concepts for the shop window can be transferred to the interior of the shop. The focus of the workshop was on ways in which retailers can create attractive shop windows by telling a story and making relatively small changes over a period of several weeks. She also presented imaginative product worlds on the themes of ‘Interiors & Decoration’, ‘Wining & Dining’, Personal Accessories & Jewellery’ and ‘Gift Articles’.

Ecostyle and Webchance trade fairs generate synergies for Tendence visitors
As a nodal point within Tendence and Ecostyle, the 25 Webchance exhibitors generated impulses for networking the bricks-and-mortar and online trades under the mottos, ‘Mobile’ and ‘Multichannel’ on 30 and 31 August. Established internet retailers and, in particular, newcomers to the online world, had the opportunity to find out about innovative and easy-to-implement sales and advertising models. Additionally, ‘Interpreneurs’, i.e., internet entrepreneurs, reported on their experiences and discussed practical issues. A magnet for visitors and link between the three concurrent events was the lecture programme, which attracted a good 2,200 participants, a ten percent increase over the previous event (2013: 2,000).

75 Ecostyle exhibitors and designers presented a broad spectrum of products from pull-out paper sofas and bags made of coconut fibres to smartphones produced under fair-trade conditions. All of the lifestyle products to be seen at the four-day trade fair have been produced with the aim of combining future-oriented design with functionality and sustainability. Moreover, in addition to its function as an order platform, Ecostyle was the venue for a rich programme of lectures offering insights into the subject of sustainability. The open concept of Hall 9.2 also promoted reciprocal visitor interest in Tendence and Ecostyle.

New at Tendence 2015: five events at the same time and place
Two additional events will be held within the framework of next year’s Tendence at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre from 29 August to 1 September 2015: the Hair and Beauty trade fair and the new Eat & Lifestyle consumer fair. As usual, the next Ecostyle and Webchance will be held concurrently with Tendence. The Webchance Academy will offer Heimtextil visitors details of the latest trends and tips for internet advertising and sales during the trade fair from 14 to 17 January 2015.

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