Shanghai, China. By every measure, this year’s DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR trade fair, which ran from 22 to 24 March, was a resounding success. DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR is already regarded as the leading international flooring show in the Asia-Pacific region, and in 2016 it attracted more exhibitors and visitors than ever before. Some 1,303 companies from 39 nations (2015: 1,275) showcased the latest products and trends to an audience of 50,389 industry professionals from over 110 nations at the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC). Year on year, the number of visitors was up by just over 9 percent, setting a new record.
"These figures once again confirm the leading position DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR enjoys in the Asia-Pacific region. They are also a clear indication of the confidence that the big flooring industry players have in the show as the best platform at which to do business in the region," said Martin Folkerts, Director of Global Fairs at Deutsche Messe as one of the show’s organizers. "The feedback we received from our exhibitors this year was resoundingly positive, with many emphasizing the high quality of the visitors and buyers who attended the show. DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR has consistently grown both in terms of size and quality, and we are committed to ensuring this development continues."
Visitors to this year’s fair discovered the latest technologies and innovations and were able to forge new contacts and conduct business in 12 exhibition halls covering a total of 140,000 square meters (just over 1.5 million sq. ft.) of gross display space. They were also able to take part in more than 30 conferences, events and workshops run by world-renowned flooring experts and designers on the latest practices, applications and challenges in the flooring industry.
Quality international networking and business matchmaking events
This year marked the first time that a North American distributor delegation, consisting of 12 of the USA’s most prominent industry representatives, visited DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR. The delegation was co-organized by the Floor Covering Institute LLC, Floor Covering Weekly and The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD). The delegation also took the opportunity to visit a number of the local manufacturing plants of exhibiting Chinese companies.
As part of the Bamboo Flooring Hosted Buyer Program, an international delegation of bamboo flooring buyers visited the Anji Bamboo Pavilion, which occupied all of Hall E3, on the first day of the fair. The program is a joint project between the trade fair organizers and the Anji Country Commercial Bureau. Right after the show, the delegation was accompanied by DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR representatives on a three-day tour of Anji County to explore business opportunities with local manufacturers.
Another special hosted buyer matchmaking event put the spotlight on hand-knotted carpets. Also held on day one of the fair, this B2B networking event was hosted at the Design Carpet Salon in Hall W5. There, hand-knotted carpet exhibitors from India, Pakistan, Iran, Nepal and Afghanistan had ample opportunity to mingle with buyers from China and other countries.
Events such as the World Flooring Forum, co-organized by DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR and the China National Forest Products Association, shed light on the latest trends and developments in China’s wood flooring market. In addition, the China International WPC Development Forum 2016 provided domestic and international leaders in wood-plastic composites production, raw material supply, engineering, construction and research with a quality platform for wide-ranging dialogue on investment opportunities and industry trends and innovations.
Environmental sustainability and innovative spirit
This year, environmental protection and innovation once gain ranked among the keynote themes of the show – as reflected in programs such as the GreenStep Asia Awards and the InnovAction showcase.
The 4th GreenStep Asia Awards, which were staged in cooperation with Floor Covering Weekly, gave flooring exhibitors a chance to showcase their contribution to sustainable development at all levels. The competition is open to all manufacturers worldwide who have manufacturing facilities in Asia. First prize in the "Green Pinnacle" category went to Weihai Shanhua Carpet Group, while Zhejiang Xingyue Carpet Industry took top honors in the "Green Product" category, and Zhejiang Kingdom Plastics came out on top in the "Green Process" category.
Each year, many companies use the InnovAction innovation platform to showcase their latest products and product developments to the global market. This year, a total of thirty companies were awarded for their innovative products, although only three made it to the very top of the list to take out the "Best of the Best" award: Wuxi Fuxing Carpet in the carpet category, Hangzhou Dasso Technology in the parquet flooring category, and Zhejiang Hailide New Material in the resilient floor coverings category.
Co-located design shows
This year’s fair featured a number of co-located events where companies were able to sell products and services in fields allied to flooring and interior design, share knowledge, gather information and engage in cross-marketing and networking. Two of these co-located events are worthy of special mention: Cadex and Materia:
Cadex is an architecture and design showcase that was co-staged with DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR for the very first time this year. Comprising more than 10 special events, conferences and workshops, it attracted over 50 innovative materials suppliers and some of the biggest architects, interior designers and property developers in the industry.
The Materia showcase was first held in 1998, and its purpose is to foster closer links between architects and producers of new materials. This year’s event, which spanned three days, once again showcased the latest material innovations from around the world for more beautiful, sustainable and high-quality environments.
The next DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR will be held from 21 to 23 March 2017. Preparations are in full swing, with around 63 percent of the available exhibition space already booked.
For more information about the show, visit www.domotexasiachinafloor.com.