South-east Asia’s largest furniture trade show, the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), has concluded its first-ever virtual exhibition, MIFF Furniverse, which was held in August.

Developed to connect global furniture markets with real-time trade opportunities, the inaugural online exhibition consisted of three geo-targeted live market events, catering for different time zones and regions: Asia Pacific; North and South America; and Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.

Event organiser Informa Markets reports that MIFF Furniverse attracted 922 total buyer visits from 84 countries and regions. The virtual event also attracted buyers new to MIFF (30% of the total).

Over 2400 business leads were generated, and exhibitors expected to generate $1.16m in sales from the event, with particularly strong demand from US buyers.

MIFF's general manager Karen Goi explains that a total of 70 (mainly Malaysian) exhibitors participated in MIFF Furniverse 2020. 

“This year is a challenging moment for the global furniture industry and has pushed us to move forward," she says. "With the rise of digital, it creates new opportunities for businesses to thrive in the new normal. This is a new experience for all of us, and MIFF Furniverse is certainly a new milestone for MIFF as we embark on this digital transformation journey together with our industry friends.

"Buyers expressed that despite looking forward to attending MIFF physical event when it is possible, they were positive towards MIFF Furniverse as their alternative sourcing solution. They found the platform easily accessible and useful as they can still source furniture and meet with manufacturers that suited their timeframes.

"Buyers also defined areas for improvement and their preferred features for the platform, and we are taking this feedback into account for further advancement in our digital journey.”