Domotex, the flooring industry’s flagship fair held last month in Hannover, Germany, has once again proved its strong international appeal. Attracting 40,000 visitors from over 80 nations, Domotex served as the ideal hub for creativity, originality and new ideas to thrive, as Hospitality Interiors’ Victoria Noakes discovered.

1350 enterprises from 60 nations presented their latest products and collections at this year’s Domotex – including carpets, textile floorcoverings, resilient floorcoverings, parquet flooring and laminated coverings, in addition to installation, cleaning and application technologies.

This year the industry concentrated on bold colours and daring designs, as Jochen Köchler, member of the Deutsche Messe – event organiser – managing board states: “The time when floors played a subordinate role to interior furnishings is over. The current diversity of materials, colours and designs is unlimited, making floors an interior design object – a trend which was clearly visible throughout the exhibition halls.”

High satisfaction among exhibitors and visitors
Exhibitors praised the highly international diversity of the show’s visitors, with more than 60% coming from abroad. Half were from European countries other than Germany, while 21% came from Asia and 11% from the Americas. A gratifying jump in attendance was registered from North America as well as South, East and Central Asia.

Visitors’ professional qualifications and decision-making authority were compelling across the board. More than 90% of those attending reported being directly involved in their companies’ purchasing decisions.

“If you want to cultivate international contacts and tap into new markets, you can’t afford to miss out on Domotex. This is where companies can meet up with potential business partners from every corner of the globe,” continues Jochen.

The show’s attendees once again consisted primarily of wholesale and specialised retail buyers, at 30% and 20%, respectively. Skilled tradespeople, buyers from interior design and furniture stores as well as architects also used Domotex 2013 to check out the latest market offerings.

Geert Vanden Bossche, marketing director of the Balta Group – based in Sint-Baafs-Vijve, Belgium – comments: “For us, being at Domotex is important because we can see about 90% of our customers here in just four days. The show’s stand-out virtues are its size and the large number of attendees. Beyond that, the Domotex brand stands for a 20-year tradition of excellence which inspires trust and draws in the crowds.”

Pure originality
This year’s event hosted a creative display of unconventional, brave designs and bright, statement colours. The Flooring Deluxe concept rooms served as a platform for innovation and experimentation, with premium textile floorcoverings, parquet and laminates taking centre stage. “Fresh, modern designs are proving instrumental in triggering end-consumer interest in high-grade, designer floorcoverings,” says Jochen.

“By picking up on this trend and dedicating a showcase to it, we are giving our exhibitors rich opportunities to highlight their creativity and increase their impact.”

Textile floorcoverings, parquet and laminates were featured at the Flooring Deluxe exhibits in halls 6 and 9, where visitors could immerse themselves in unusual and extraordinary installations and experience trends for the upcoming season.

In the textile floorcoverings segment, graphic and geometric patterns, stripes and classic weaves were in vogue. In laminate coverings, experimental wood optics with woodgrain colour accents proved the trendsetter for the coming season. However, the strongest demand continues to be for softwood and hardwood optics. Parquet floors with hand-scraped, brushed or distressed finishes are also gaining in popularity. Apart from the perennial favourite of warm brown tones, more colourful hues are also in increasing demand.

The latest trends in hand-made carpets were on display at the Souk Deluxe show, in addition to the presentation of the Carpet Design Awards. Here, the interplay of intense colours and striking designs dominated the scene. The future role being carved out by photo print optics was also conspicuous, with all three finalist carpets in the Best Innovations category at the Carpet Design Awards making use of such motifs.