With sustainability firmly at top of its agenda, the 50th edition of home and contract textiles show Heimtextil saw 2952 exhibitors and a rich content programme attract some 63,000 visitors (down from 67,216 in 2019 due to "the unusually early date", states organiser Messe Frankfurt).

"The industry is currently facing huge challenges," says Detlef Braun, CEO of Messe Frankfurt. "And some of those taking part at Heimtextil have really felt this. However, exhibitor satisfaction has remained at the same high levels as last year. And visitor satisfaction has even increased from 93-95%.

"In addition to the early date, the reasons behind the reduced visitor numbers are mainly down to strong consolidation of specialist shops and developments in the stationary retail trade in the direction of ecommerce. The trend has also experienced an economic slowdown. This is in line with the fact that as many as 34% of our exhibitors rate the current economic situation in the sector as 'poor', compared with just 18% the year before."

The anniversary edition of Heimtextil offered the richest event programme in the show's history, with over 150 lectures and panel discussions, 30 guided tours of the fair and numerous other events, plus the popular Trend Space.

For the first time, the United Nations Office for Partnerships presented the worldwide Sustainable Development Goals at the exhibition. "Heimtextil was the next step on our tour to present the Sustainable Development Goals in collaboration with Messe Frankfurt's Texpertise Network and the Conscious Fashion Campaign," says Lucie Brigham, chief of office at UNOP and guest of honour at Heimtextil's opening press conference.

Heimtextil also focused on furnishing hotels and public buildings, with around 370 companies specialising in contract business, while the Sleep! The Future Forum, which discussed all aspects of sleep and product innovation in the fields of sleeping systems, bedding and bedlinen, enjoyed an even greater reception.

Next year's Heimtextil will take place from 12-15th January.