The most successful Ambiente for more than a decade closed with a 3.5% increase in the number of visitors. Altogether, 144,000 buyers from 161 countries attended the world’s leading trade fair for the consumer-goods sector. Ambiente was also in top form on the exhibitor side – for five days, 4724 exhibitors from 89 countries presented trends and innovations for the coming business season and, with 329,300 sq m of exhibition space, occupied the same area as last year.

“Ambiente has never been so international and important for the sector as today. This confirms our positioning of the Ambiente brand as the world’s leading trade fair for the consumer-goods market. The positive economic climate in Germany and the upturn in the world economy have given the fair a substantial boost,” said Detlef Braun, Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt.

More than half of the trade visitors at Ambiente 2014 came from outside Germany. The top 10 visitor nations after Germany were Italy, France, the Netherlands, the USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Spain, China, Turkey and Russia. While the number of German visitors remained stable, Ambiente welcomed more visitors from all growth regions of the world. Significant increases in the number of visitors were noted from the recovering economies of West and South Europe, e.g., Greece, Ireland and Spain. There were also noticeably more visitors at the fair in Frankfurt from East Europe and the Gulf Region. Moreover, the future World Cup and Olympic Games host, Brazil, was represented at this year’s Ambiente by 23 percent more visitors than the year before while round 20 percent more visitors travelled to Frankfurt from this year’s Ambiente Partner Country, Japan.

The increased level of visitor internationality was also given a very warm welcome by the majority of the 1410 exhibitors in the Giving section. Gilde-Handwerk Macrander GmbH & Co.KG made numerous contacts to potential customers from outside Europe and overseas: “even more than at Ambiente 2013”, said general manager Hamid Yazdtschi. “The internationality of the fair is one of the quality criteria for events at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre.”

This opinion was also shared by Lars Adler, CEO of Hoff Interieur: “We were very pleased with the increase in the level of internationality of the fair. We welcomed a particularly large number of buyers from countries such as Turkey, as well as from East Europe. However, there were also many visitors from France, Italy and Spain, which means that Ambiente was able to hold its leading position.”

Exhibitors gave an even more positive rating to the number of new contacts made and the orders placed by visitors this year. “Of the customers we reached at the fair, around ten percent were new customers, the rest existing customers. Compared to the last Ambiente, this year has been better and we beat last year’s results. In fact, we had reached the level of sales achieved at the last Ambiente after just three days”, said Ingo Schaubel, CEO of Oozoo Timepieces, about the course of business at Ambiente 2014.

On the visitor side, the level of visitor satisfaction remained constant at the very high level of 96 percent. Overall, 81% of buyers hold executive positions in their companies. Thus, the visitor standard has risen another five percentage points compared to the previous year. And this is also reflected by the level of purchasing authority – 70% of visitors are solely or jointly responsible for their company’s ordering decisions at the fair.

Adrian Boltze, CEO of the Boltze Group, confirmed this, saying: “The standard of visitors was good. They made on-the-spot decisions and all segments of the market were represented at our exhibition stand, including the German retail trade.”

The higher visitor standard was also noticeable for Susanne Stahlschmidt, sales manager of Troika Germany: “There were even system buyers with decision-making authority here at the weekend and they placed orders with us. Our impression is that the mood has improved significantly.”

The fair climate of consumption in Germany and the gradual upturn in the world economy were also felt: “The trade is in the mood for placing orders. The mood is good and buyers have confidence in both our products and the market. Ambiente is quite simply the meeting place for everyone in our sector with an interest in design. Moreover, our business at the fair was better than ever before on both the national and international planes. This year, every day was better than at the last Ambiente”, said Magnus Busch, business development/key accounts, Dfp Design.

In common with established brands, new exhibitors, such as Meori, were also able to achieve their goals at Ambiente. Thus, about the company’s first time as an exhibitor, CEO Dirk Meyer said, “This was our first Ambiente and I can say that it has been an outstanding success for us. The spectrum of potential customers here in Frankfurt ranges from specialist retailers to department stores and they come from all regions.”

As in the past, this year’s Ambiente was a trend and design platform for the whole sector. Numerous special presentations, trend tours and awards ceremonies took place during the five days of the fair in Frankfurt am Main. One of the main highlights was the trend show by trend bureau bora.herke.palmisano, which presented the four main trends expected to dominate the product assortments of the retail trade during the coming season. Great interest was also shown in the special Design Plus Award exhibition.

This year, 30 products were honoured for their special design qualities. As in previous years, another magnet for visitors was the ‘Solutions’ special show – curated and organised by London-based product designer Sebastian Bergne. To be seen were 23 new products from the tableware, kitchen and housewares segments, distinguished by functional innovations and outstanding creative solutions.

With the Next promotional programme, Ambiente 2014 also provided a platform for young, creative companies. The programme is aimed at start-ups, which have already gathered initial business experience and now want to take their first steps towards the international market in Frankfurt. This year, 32 young manufacturers and design studios presented their new collections in the Next areas at the Young & Trendy, Carat and Loft sections.

Innovative design, clear lines and traditional handicrafts skills blended with a big and colourful pinch of joie de vivre – a combination that makes Japanese products unrivalled throughout the world. This was to be seen vividly at the Super Ennichi special show created by Japanese designer Yukio Hashimoto as part of the Partner Country programme of Ambiente 2014. The highlight of the programme was Japan Day on the Monday of the fair when all eyes were on the Land of the Rising Sun at a variety of events including a business panel on gaining a foothold in the Japanese market and a tour of the fair with actress and super model, Rila Fukushima.

Next year’s Partner Country – the USA – was announced at a ceremony on Monday evening. At Ambiente 2015, the USA will present its world of consumer goods within the framework of an extensive programme of events.

The next Ambiente will be held in Frankfurt am Main from 13 to 17 February 2015.