"This further development of DOMOTEX in a number of key areas corresponds to changing market requirements and the industry’s continually evolving needs. We will throw an even more exciting spotlight on floor covering innovations and trends and offer added value for new exhibitor and visitor categories."

The new exhibition layout will involve a reorganization of product categories, providing trade visitors with even better orientation and a superior market overview. "Up to now we had been assigning exhibitors exclusively according to product categories. Many exhibitors however carry more than just a single category. Since the range of offerings from many exhibitors has undergone this development and the relevant product categories are increasingly beginning to overlap, while at the same time certain segments have also been growing rapidly over the last few years, we needed to make a change," reported Gruchow.

"So, in line with the wishes of numerous exhibitors and visitors, we are moving hand-made carpets and rugs from halls 14, 15, 16 and 17 into halls 2, 3 and 4. Mats and clean-off systems will remain in the eastern portion of hall 4. Machine-made carpets from halls 2 to 5 will be moved to halls 5 to 7. Hall 8 will feature innovative, design-oriented providers of modern, hand-made rugs . This will mean an even stronger physical concentration of hand and machine-made rugs, in accordance with the wishes of our exhibitors," commented Gruchow. In addition, the organizers will be turning Hall 9 into a base for lifestyle and brand-oriented enterprises from the entire range of product categories in a setting dominated by the annual DOMOTEX keynote theme.

Carpets from halls 5 and 6 will be moving to Hall 11, while resilient floor coverings and luxury vinyl tiles as well as parquet, wood and laminate floorings from halls 6, 8 and 9 being grouped together in halls 11, 12 and 13. The exhibition organizers are taking particular care to meet the needs of exhibitors who are carrying an increasing number of floor covering types. In a related context, the application and installation sector will move from Hall 7 to Hall 13.

The newly added halls will be ideally accessible via two additional entrances: The South entrance features a covered connection between halls 9 and 11, leading visitors directly into either hall, while rail passengers can take a skywalk from the "Hannover Messe/Laatzen" train station directly to the doors of Hall 13. The North 2 and East 3 entrances will remain in operation, with several taxi stands and train stations all contributing to the ideal connections. As in the past, parking lots and ramps will be available along the northern, southern and western perimeters of the exhibition grounds.

From product-centered focus to inspiring trend-setting atmosphere

In addition to a new exhibition layout, DOMOTEX will also create an inspiring atmosphere in which trends, innovations and lifestyle will come to life. "With the focus still squarely on floor coverings, the revamped show will sport a more holistic approach," remarked Gruchow. "Visitors will be emotionally impacted and inspired. The new contextual layer will augment the show’s traditional offerings in a well-balanced way." He said the new concept would involve annually choosing a theme for the event and making it tangible in a series of immersive activities and experiences. The chosen ‘frames’ are to be based on in-depth analysis of sweeping industrial and societal trends, one of which will be chosen to receive major textual and spatial emphasis at the next show. "The keynote theme will be a major thread running through all of DOMOTEX, including during the run-up to the show and at the event itself. This will lend the topic of floor coverings even more power and radiance," he concluded.

Keynote theme for 2018: "Unique Youniverse"

"Unique Youniverse" is the keynote theme for 2018, focusing on the ever-increasing process of individualization, which will express itself in years to come via the omnipresent search for self-determination and uniqueness, driving topics like self-reliance and the do-it-yourself economy. The industry-relevant aspect relates to more custom products and services, which can even be individually produced. Customers have a desire to be more directly involved in the design process. New and more sophisticated technologies are making it possible to create uniquely personalized customer experiences and a "Unique Youniverse", said Gruchow.

Content, inspiration, emotions

In translating the keynote theme into the space on the exhibition grounds, Hall 9 will play a key role, creating a diverse realm of experience that reaches its peak at the heart of the show. This will be the location for brand and lifestyle-oriented companies. This hall will also house the special "Framing Trends" showcase to which companies, newcomers, artists and actors – individually or in groups – can contribute. The "Unique Youniverse" keynote theme will be highlighted most distinctively there.

The special Framing Trends display in Hall 9 will be divided into four different modules, featuring contributions from a number of different players. The Flooring Spaces module for instance will feature creative displays by floor covering firms reflecting the keynote theme. And the Living Spaces module will bring together partners from various disciplines who will work together to construct inspiring lifestyle displays. In the "NuThinkers" module, students, young designers and start-ups can present the innovative projects they have developed on the topic of "Unique Youniverse". And the "Art and Interaction" section will feature exhibits from the worlds of art and design that use interactive and multimedia presentations to make the keynote theme tangible to the senses.

In addition, a special "Talks" program will feature lectures on topics relating to the "Unique Youniverse". The speakers will consist of architects, designers and other industry experts, addressing not just various industry trends, but also topics of overarching, creative and social relevance. Their informative and inspiration-rich offerings will be rounded out by contributions from bloggers, artists and trend consultants, as well as by guided tours through Framing Trends by experts from various sectors – all with tie-ins to the keynote theme. The event will moreover sport meeting areas with a lounge-type atmosphere and a café for networking.

Finally, 2018 will also see a change in the days on which DOMOTEX is staged. The new run of the show will be from Friday to Monday (and no longer Saturday to Tuesday). This means that DOMOTEX 2018 will open on 12 January and close on 15 January. This corresponds to the preferences voiced by many exhibitors for the event to officially open on a Friday.