On Thursday 16th May 2013, interzum came to an end with good results. The world’s leading trade fair for furniture production and interior finishing recorded a slight increase in visitor numbers compared to 2011, with around 53,000 visitors – including estimates from the last day of the trade fair – from 148 countries.

interzum organiser, Koelnmesse, was keen to highlight the high, international turnout for this year’s event. Around 70% of visitors to the show were from abroad, with a clear rise in visitors from Asia, North America and Eastern Europe.

A total of around 53,000 trade visitors – came to Cologne for the exhibition. Around 18,000 visitors were from Germany, but more than 35,000 came from 148 countries around the world, including China, the US, Great Britain, Russia, Poland and Turkey.

Of the 1512 companies from 62 countries, only 391 of them came from Germany with the rest being made up of a wide variety of other countries. Italy was most strongly represented with 266 companies, followed by Turkey with 101.

The total exhibition space grew by around 6%. As at previous versions of interzum, decision-makers were the main visitors at the trade fair, which exhibitors have always found praiseworthy.

“With the current growth in exhibitors and especially in international visitors, interzum again proved that it is the location worldwide that gives the market and thus the sector’s business its impetus,” says Katharina C Hamma, MD of Koelnmesse.

Praise for this year’s interzum has been quick and coming from all sectors of the industry. Leading International fittings producer, Blum, the impressive stand of which attracted hundreds of visitors throughout the show, is particularly emphatic in its praise.

“This year’s interzum was one of the best we've ever experienced and reinforces it as the leading trade fair internationally for the supplier industry,” says Hubert Schwarz, MD of Blum. “We were able to conduct interesting conversations with our customers and received a great deal of feedback, recognition and enthusiasm for our innovations and our concept studies.”

As ever, throughout the whole of interzum the vibrant visual nature of the products on display made the show very striking, with areas resembling fashionable nightclubs more than an exhibition hall. In particular the innovation of interior section – situated in Hall 4 represented a real chance for companies to shine.

Pegged as the ideal place to see the future of furniture and interior design, innovation of interior boasted a smart materials exhibit as well as stands from all associated companies.

Of particular interest in other areas was the Vauth-Sagel stand. Keen to unpin its Made in Germany topic, the company had erected two Westphalian-style hunting lodges with a bar/restaurant to serve visitors who had come to see its wides range of innovative storage space solutions and waste-separation systems for the kitchen furniture sector.

“For us this year’s interzum was close to the best we've ever experienced since we started exhibiting here,” says Claus Sagel, MD of Vauth-Sagel. “The trade fair went very well for us and the mood was thoroughly positive. All important trading partners were on site with their customers and the most important markets were present. It shows that such a leading trade fair here in Cologne cannot be replaced by anything. We are very satisfied with interzum 2013.”

Steve Platts is the editor of Hospitality Interiors sister publication, FP – a leading title dedicated to the furniture joinery and production industries.