The new business year got off to a confident and optimistic start at the four-day DOMOTEX HANNOVER tradeshow for carpets and floor coverings: "Despite the tough economic climate, DOMOTEX attracted more exhibitors than the comparable previous event, while at the same time experiencing a further increase in the caliber of attending professionals and providing the industry with new ideas through a range of innovative info forums," commented Stephan KГјhne, the member of the Deutsche Messe Managing Board in charge of DOMOTEX.
Although many exhibitors went into this year's show with cautious expectations, there were numerous reports of brisk business activity. The general mood among exhibitors could be summed up as: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." At approximately 38,000, attendance was down - as expected - compared with last year's event, which had been staged under significantly more favorable market conditions. There was virtually unanimous agreement among the show's 1,394 exhibitors, however, about the high quality of leads generated in Hannover. "Any crisis also creates a wealth of new opportunities. DOMOTEX 2009 has emitted positive signals in tough times and given the industry valuable guidance for the road ahead," emphasized KГјhne.
According to Hans Joachim Schilgen, President of the German Home Textile Industry Association: "Our members came to DOMOTEX with realistic expectations. Their ultimately positive verdict was based on the many promising talks held and deals signed. New developments got a lot of attention, and interest in sustainability was on the rise. DOMOTEX has clearly lived up to its reputation as the international marketplace for innovations and new leads."
Dr. Ali Ipektchi, Chairman of the European Carpet Importers Association (EUCA), commented: "In good times, trade fairs play an important role. In difficult times, their importance is greater still, since the industry needs a main gathering place at which to compare notes on the challenges ahead. The overall mood at DOMOTEX was positive, despite a measure of uncertainty about the outlook for 2009."
Emphasizing the show's strong international appeal, KГјhne remarked: "With 82 percent of exhibitors and 64 percent of trade visitors coming from abroad, DOMOTEX has underscored its significance as a beacon for the global flooring industry - even in a time of international economic incertitude. Exhibitors and visitors value DOMOTEX as a sharply focused event where pros meet pros and deals are done."