30 December 2009

DOMOTEX Hotel Service

DOMOTEX HotelService

DOMOTEX Hannover Web-based Hotel Service Offers Valuable Travel Resources

Have you checked out the new DOMOTEX HotelService resources? It's an ideal resource for searching on the hotels available in the Hannover area. You can do so based on star [i.e., 'sterne'] ratings, location as well as price.

The site also offers links to many other resources about Hannover, Germany.

The HotelService site is accessible from the home page of the official Domotex Hannover site via an eye-catching red box [see below] or by going directly to the HotelService site.

HotelService In case you are at a different stage of planning for your trip to Hannover, listed below are contacts from the DOMOTEX HotelService. They can answer your specific questions and help make your stay in Hannover that much more enjoyable and productive.

Contact persons at HotelService Hannover Marketing und Tourismus GmbH

Accommodation service

Placement of hotel rooms in Hannover and the Hannover Region
Public hotlines:
Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 555
Fax: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 556
Email: hotels@hannover‐tourismus.de
Contact person: Mr. Benjamin Wirtz Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 16849792

Tourist information service

General information on Hannover, HannoverCard, information material
Public hotlines:
Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 111
Fax: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 112
Email: info@hannover‐tourismus.de
Contact person: Ms Gönül Tut Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 16849731

Ticket service

Information and tickets for trade fairs and events of any kind in Hannover
Public hotlines:
Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 222
Fax: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 112
Email: tickets@hannover‐tourismus.de
Contact person: Ms Azadeh Joze‐Delshadian Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 16849721

Transfer services, assistances and travel escorts

Transfers of any kind, placement of coaches, placement of assistances and travel
escorts also in foreign languages
Public hotlines:
Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 333
Fax: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 334
Email: staedtereise@hannover‐tourismus.de
Contact person: Ms Nadine Riegel Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 16849734

City tours

Organisation of city tours and guided city walks
Public hotlines:
Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 333
Fax: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 334
Email: staedtereise@hannover‐tourismus.de
Contact person: Ms Nadine Riegel Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 16849734

Accompanying programmes

Accompanying tourist programmes in Hannover and the Hannover Region
Public hotlines:
Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 333
Fax: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 334
Email: staedtereise@hannover‐tourismus.de
Contact person: Ms Nadine Riegel Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 12345 – 333

Congress– and incentives service

Organisation of events und incentives during trade fairs
Email: info@hannoverkongress.de
Public contact person: Ms Britta Garvens Tel.: +49 (0) 511 – 16845313, Fax: +49 (0) 511 – 16845314

NOTE: You may also want to refer to Jim's post about Domotex First Time Travel Tips.

As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. See you in Hannover!

~ Rita

Rita Dommermuth, Hannover Fairs USA
rita@hfusa.com - Tel: 562-901-9191

23 December 2009

Hannover Holiday Traditions

Season's Greetings from DOMOTEX

Holiday Traditions in Hannover & Germany Anticipate DOMOTEX 2010!

Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays!
Donna Hyland, who wrote about Navajo Textile Weavers demonstrating their rug art at Domotex, shares a few holiday traditions famous in Germany and Hannover. We hope they get you in the mood for the Holiday Season as well as for DOMOTEX 2010!


In German families, for about two weeks before Christmas the room where the tree will be (and usually the focus of the house for holiday celebration) is locked so children can not enter. As German homes have a lot of interior doors (actually for heat conservation as well as for privacy), it’s common to have to go through a doorway into the kitchen, living room, dining room, etc.

In that room is where all the preparations for Christmas are going on; the parents put up the tree and decorate it. There is usually a glass pickle hidden on the tree; the first child to find it receives a small extra gift. On Christmas Eve, a festive dinner is prepared and the door is ceremoniously unlocked/opened for the sparkling lights and ornaments to be observed. Afterwards the children are hurried off to bed to sleep in anticipation of the arrival during the night of Saint Nicholas and his gifts.

Beginning around the first week of December, another wonderful Christmas tradition takes place in towns all over Germany known as Kris Kringle Markt, all festively lighted and well attended at night. At the Christmas market you’ll find beautiful glass and wooden ornaments, wax angels (most famous from Nuremburg), fancy candies, food specialties and very nice hand made wooden toys, especially marionettes and hand puppets. The famed nut crackers represented in all kinds of characters are made near Hannover; visitors can take a tour.

Hannover is known for its cookies (Bahlsen world headquarters are in Hannover). Everyone simply must try the gingered cookies, pfefferneuse, and chocolate rolled wafers, these are spectacular and come in standard packaging as well as tins. Special Christmas production emphasizes the holiday. In the 1990s, when I first started going to Domotex, I would bring home a box full of different Bahlsen cookies, purchased at the factory. Then one year I realized the cookies could be bought at the Shop-Rite in my own New Jersey town!

Beginning the first week of January you will encounter the very fragrant remains of cut trees mounded for recycling at the street squares where subway stops are located. Of all the times I’ve gone to Hannover (54 to be exact but that’s for other exhibitions as well), the pine smell is a fond remembrance of Domotex time.

Makes me want to jump right on that plane and head to Germany today! Not too long now for DOMOTEX 2010!


Thank you, Donna!

From all of us at DOMOTEX, we wish you very Happy Holidays, Frohe Weihnatchten, and best wishes for 2010!

We also can't wait to see you in Hannover for DOMOTEX 2010.

~ Rita

Rita Dommermuth, Hannover Fairs USA
rita@hfusa.com - Tel: 562-901-9191

18 December 2009

AFA's Wanda Ellis Urges Going Global At DOMOTEX

Wanda Ellis, AFA

Meet Wanda Ellis, Executive Director of the American Floorcovering Alliance (AFA)

Why AFA Considers Going Global and DOMOTEX So Important To The Floor Covering Industry.

Dear DOMOTEX blog readers,

It is my pleasure to introduce Wanda Ellis, executive director of the American Floorcovering Alliance (AFA).

For those who do not already know her, Wanda has organized an AFA Pavilion at DOMOTEX for quite a few years and, before that, she contributed to the USA Pavilion. Wanda has made sure that the participating AFA members and especially those located in Georgia have fully benefited from the international sales platform that DOMOTEX can offer and has coordinated her activities closely with the State of Georgia, another strong supporter of the industry.

Wanda has taken her members to Hannover, Shanghai and Dubai. The Domotex staff here in the US and in Hannover appreciate her dedication and hard work. She is a strong believer in creating worldwide sales opportunities for her members.

We would also like to congratulate the AFA on its 30th year and look forward to welcoming the AFA members at DOMOTEX 2010!

Here is Wanda on some of her experiences.


This year, AFA is celebrating its 30th anniversary, with a members’ reunion mixer. AFA (or CMMA back then) was started in 1979 by mid-sized carpet manufacturers for the purpose of bringing dealers/distributors to town to sell products. After all, Dalton was known as the “Carpet Capital”.

Not being around during that era, I missed out of cleaning out the local Holiday Inn guest rooms to make room for the carpet samples. I have to rely on tales told by the founder members that were involved! But, the stories abound about the markets back in the good ole days at the Holiday Inn. They all say those were the times when shows were fun and they made money. Certainly, life was a bit easier. I will enjoy talking to some of the manufacturers at our reunion party to learn more.

With consolidation, mergers, & acquisitions, CMMA had to undergo some changes. No longer could the regional markets survive. In 1991, CMMA became DFCMA (Dalton Floor Covering Market Association) to keep pace with the industry changes.

By 1997, it was apparent that DFCMA had to go global. So, in 1998, I teamed up with the State of Georgia to develop international export programs for mid-sized mills. Our first venture was Domotex in Hannover. Thinking that we could take some sample books, meet customers, and bring back orders was naïve at best. After the first year, I realized that there had to be a long term commitment from our association, as well as the mills, in order to make it worthwhile.

This started what I term to be one of the most important programs for AFA & our industry. Being located in the Domotex USA Pavilion in the beginning, we were able to help our exhibitors have a presence at one of the most important international marketplaces in the world.

Year after year, we gradually developed a network of customers from around the world, looking to buy USA goods. At the same time, we were building a strong support system for our group of exporters. We wanted to make it as easy as possible to help a company go global. Everything but samples are provided for our exhibitors to simplify the process.

Now, more than ever, it is crucial that any manufacturer look to cost effective ways to develop business in new markets. With the US market down, new emerging markets overseas is the next place to look.

2010 will be an extremely difficult time for any US manufacturer to hold steady with what production base they have been able to maintain over the last 18 months. Hopefully, by taking a small stand with AFA at Domotex, more will survive until our economic situation takes an upward turn.

Look for us at DOMOTEX 2010 in Hall 5, Stand B29. We have 12 AFA members (45 people) exhibiting in our Pavilion and an additional 5 non-exhibiting members visiting Domotex with us. On hand to assist are representatives from the Georgia Economic Development - Alice Carson from Atlanta, Nils Gerber from the Germany office, and an interpreter/hostess.

See you in Hannover!


Thank you, Wanda!

Wanda Ellis has been with the American Floorcovering Alliance since 1993. In addition to her role as executive director, where she handles marketing, membership programs, press releases, meetings, trade shows, and financials for the AFA, Wanda serves on the North Georgia Export Council ETAC Committee and is a prior board member of the American Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Georgia Sheriff’s Home for Girls.

If you have questions for Wanda or me, please don't hesitate to ask. See you at DOMOTEX 2010!

~ Rita

Rita Dommermuth, Hannover Fairs USA
rita@hfusa.com - Tel: 562-901-9191

11 December 2009

Anticipating DOMOTEX: Russia Opportunities

US Commercial ServiceContinuing on with our series about anticipating DOMOTEX 2010 and the opportunities for flooring, here is a report on Russia that Catherine Meyer from the U.S. Commercial Service shares with us courtesy of her colleague Valeria Khalina.

As Catherine explains, Russia is an interesting market because many DIY stores are opening there (10 in the 1st half of 2009 and another 214 are in planning) as well as in Poland (24 in 1st half of 2009 and 11 in planning).

Furthermore, German and French DIY companies are expanding into Eastern Europe.

According to statistics, many DIYs are being planned for Romania. Unfortunately, this report is only in German, but if you have an interest, let us know and Catherine can bring some information to Domotex.

If you are interesting in DIYs, be sure to contact Jim Gould know so you can take part in the German DIY tour he is organizing for North American VIP Delegates.

Opportunities in Russia

(Note: a full length report will be available to U.S. firms at Domotex)

The market for building products was actively developing until the fall of 2008, growing at an average of 20-25% per year, when the global financial crisis arrived in the Russian market. One of the industries that was heavily impacted by the crisis was the construction industry. The market for building products is very dependent on the overall construction activity in the country. Therefore, when there was a drop in the rate of construction, the demand for building products and materials dropped as well, causing the building products market to stagnate. Experts predict the market for building products to resume its growth in 2011.

Floor coverings

In this industry segment before the financial crisis, experts were forecasting steady growth. The most popular product in this segment is linoleum. It accounted for 61.4% of the market in 2008. The total market volume in 2008 was 272. 8 million square meters out which 128.6 million square meters was produced locally and 161.5 square meters was imported. The local Russian market is heavily dominated by a German company called Tarkett, which has a production facility in Samara. They manufacture 80% of all linoleum sold in Russia. In 2009, it is expected that the market volume will considerably decrease given the continuing financial situation.

The other popular product that is used for floors is ceramic tiles (22.5% of the market). The total market volume in 2008 was 102 million square meters out which 73.8 square meters was produced locally and 34.6 square meters was imported. There are about 25 main local manufacturers of ceramic tiles in Russia. Experts also predict the decrease in market volume in this segment in 2009.

During recent years, laminate has become popular among Russian consumers (11.2% of the market). This segment was one of the most promising as its growth rate during the past several years was 40-50% per year. At the moment, imports of this product are higher than exports; however, experts predict that in a couple of years the market share of local manufacturers will reach 65% because of foreign manufacturers such as Kronospan and Swiss Krono Group. Both companies have production facilities in Russia.

Parquet is also becoming more popular in Russia (2% of the market). The total market volume in 2008 was 7.3 million square meters out of which 6.5 square meters was produced locally and 2.0 square meters was imported. Experts predict a small increase in 2009 market volume. Even though parquet boards are cheaper than piece parquet, its market share is only 30%. Before 2004, the main suppliers of parquet boards were foreign companies (65%). Over time, Russian manufacturers have become more aggressive and today they account for about 60% of the parquet board market. In the piece parquet segment, the Russian manufactures are dominating; however, imports are growing. In 2000, imported products took 5% of the market and in 2007 – 20%. This is related to the fact that floors made out of exotic woods are very popular among Russian consumers.

Other products (3% of the total market) such as synthetic carpet, carpet (from such natural fibers as wool), cork floors, etc. are also growing their presence in the Russian market, but at the moment are not as popular among consumers.

Best Prospects

Best prospects include parquet (especially from exotic woods), laminates and other flooring products that are not actively present in the Russian market. U.S. companies need to create an aggressive marketing campaign and introduce those products to the Russian consumer.

Potential Barriers

• Language: most communication is done in Russian.
• Distance from the United States
• Tough competition from European and Asian companies
• Possibility of corruption and bureaucracy in many areas of business
• Certification issues
• 18 % VAT plus high import taxes (vary from 15 to 20%)

For more information about doing business in Russia, please contact:
The U.S. Commercial Service, Moscow, Russia, via email at: Valeria.Khalina@mail.doc.gov.

Or, visit our website: http://www.buyusa.gov/russia/en/

The U.S. Commercial Service — Your Global Business Partner

With its network of offices across the United States and in more than 80 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://www.export.gov/eac.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this report is intended to be of assistance to U.S. exporters. While we make every effort to ensure its accuracy, neither the United States government nor any of its employees make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information in this or any other United States government document. Readers are advised to independently verify any information prior to reliance thereon. The information provided in this report does not constitute legal advice. The Commercial Service reference to or inclusion of material by a non-U.S. Government entity in this document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement by the Commercial Service of the entity, its materials, or its products or services

International copyright, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2009. All rights reserved outside of the United States.

Thank you, Catherine, for this report!

As it relates to DOMOTEX, the U.S. Commercial Service in Frankfurt is your contact for export assistance. Although each country has a trade specialist, the Frankfurt office - and Catherine Mayer - coordinates those offices. Catherine Mayer will be at DOMOTEX 2010 and scheduling meetings with American visitors and foreign buyers to promote the sale of American made products.

If you are attending DOMOTEX and want to benefit from the services provided by the US Department of Commerce, Commercial Services Division, please be sure to contact Catherine Mayer, Jim Gould or me to schedule an appointment. US DOC services include market research, introductions to foreign markets and guidance on how to do business in any specific foreign country.

~ Rita

Rita Dommermuth, Hannover Fairs USA
rita@hfusa.com - Tel: 562-901-9191

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04 December 2009

Anticipating DOMOTEX: UK Flooring Market

US Department of CommerceContinuing on with our series about anticipating DOMOTEX 2010 and the opportunities for flooring, here is a report on the UK Flooring Market brought to us by Cheryl Withers of the London office of the U.S. Commercial Service and colleague of Catherine Mayer.

Opportunities in the United Kingdom

The UK Flooring Market

The UK market for floor coverings was worth around $9.7 billion in 2008. Carpet accounts for around 55% of the UK market. It has traditionally been the most favored form of floor covering in the UK primarily because of the climate and the comfort factor. However, wood and tile are increasing in popularity and gaining more of a market share. The non-domestic sector (offices, retail, leisure, and education) is also experiencing a shift to wood. Solid wood was popular during the 1990s but the situation has reversed as laminated wood [i.e., engineered wood] has become increasingly cheaper to purchase. Sales of solid wood are still expected to increase but so is the competition. The UK imports a large amount of wood from Scandinavia and Germany. The market has been affected by the current recession but I expect the current drive for more new housing and refurbishment projects to have a positive influence once the crisis ends. Natural/eco products or unique products would be particularly welcomed.

Flooring Journals/Trade Associations

Mr. Allan Little
British Textile Machinery Association
Mount Pleasant, Glazebrook Lane
Glazebrook, Warrington WA3 5BN
Tel: +44 (0)161 775 5740
Fax: +44 (0)161 775 5485
Email: btma@btma.org.uk
Web site: http://www.btma.org.uk/

Mr. Ashley Heath
The Tile Association
Forum Court
83 Copers Cope Road
Kent BR3 1NR
Tel: +44 (0) 8663 0946
Email: info@tiles.org.uk
Web site: http://www.tiles.org.uk/

Mr. Michael Hardman
Chief Executive
The Carpet Foundation
MCF Complex
60 New Road
Worcester DY10 1AQ
Tel: +44 (0)1562 755 568
Fax: +44 (0)1562 865 405
Web site: http://www.carpetfoundation.com/

British Wood Flooring Association
1A Vicarage Lane
Warwickshire, CV22 6QP
Web site: http://www.bwfa.co.uk/

Contract Flooring Magazine

Contract Flooring Journal

Tile UK

For more information about doing business in the UK,

Please contact:

Cheryl Withers
U.S. Commercial Service
American Embassy
24 Grosvenor Square
London W1A 1AE
United Kingdom
Tel: 44 (0) 20 7894 0471
Fax: 44 (0) 20 7894 0020
Email: cheryl.withers@mail.doc.gov

The U.S. Commercial Service — Your Global Business Partner

With its network of offices across the United States and in more than 80 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://www.export.gov/eac.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this report is intended to be of assistance to U.S. exporters. While we make every effort to ensure its accuracy, neither the United States government nor any of its employees make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information in this or any other United States government document. Readers are advised to independently verify any information prior to reliance thereon. The information provided in this report does not constitute legal advice. The Commercial Service reference to or inclusion of material by a non-U.S. Government entity in this document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement by the Commercial Service of the entity, its materials, or its products or services

International copyright, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2009. All rights reserved outside of the United States.

Thank you, Cheryl, for this report -- and Catherine for involving your colleague!

As it relates to DOMOTEX, the U.S. Commercial Service in Frankfurt is your contact for export assistance. Although each country has a trade specialist, the Frankfurt office - and Catherine Mayer - coordinates those offices. Catherine Mayer will be at DOMOTEX 2010 and scheduling meetings with American visitors and foreign buyers to promote the sale of American made products.

If you are attending DOMOTEX and want to benefit from the services provided by the US Department of Commerce, Commercial Services Division, please be sure to contact Catherine Mayer, Jim Gould or me to schedule an appointment. US DOC services include market research, introductions to foreign markets and guidance on how to do business in any specific foreign country.

Next, opportunities in Russia.

~ Rita

Rita Dommermuth, Hannover Fairs USA
rita@hfusa.com - Tel: 562-901-9191

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30 November 2009

Anticipating DOMOTEX: Poland Opportunities

BuyUSA - United States Department of CommerceWith DOMOTEX 2010 just a few weeks away, you might be interested in an update on European markets. We asked Catherine Mayer, from the United States Department of Commerce, Commercial Service division in Frankfurt, Germany [please refer to our previous post titled U.S. Commercial Service Offices Offer Foreign Trade Support], to share some highlights. Catherine and her colleagues in Eastern Europe bring the following countries to our attention: United Kingdom, Russia and Poland.

In this blogpost, we will detail opportunities in Poland. Look for a discussion of opportunities in the UK and Russia in separate posts.

Opportunities in Poland

Poland is of particular interest because the UEFA soccer championships will be held there and in the Ukraine in 2012. As a result, a great deal of building - hotels as well as sports facilities - is anticipated in conjunction with that event.

To put into perspective the scope of this championship, the two countries expect approximately 500,000 visitors during the event - which lasts 3 weeks. In addition to adding facilities, both countries will need to renovate existing structures.

U.S. companies will have significant business opportunities stemming from the 2012 build out ranging from architecture/design/engineering and construction services to equipment and support services. They may want to bid on such projects and/or participate in related export opportunities.

For more information, link to U.S. Commercial Service site for Poland which includes a section specifically about the UEFA 2012 soccer championships - with more details on what Poland and Ukraine need to upgrade.

The Ukraine U.S. Commercial service site can be accessed via this link.

Catherine Mayer will be at DOMOTEX 2010 and scheduling meetings with American visitors and foreign buyers to promote the sale of American made products. If you are attending DOMOTEX and want to benefit from the services provided by the US Department of Commerce, Commercial Services Division, please be sure to contact Catherine Mayer, Jim Gould or me to schedule an appointment. US DOC services include market research, introductions to foreign markets and guidance on how to do business in any specific foreign country.

Catherine will have available a mini-report on Poland at DOMOTEX 2010.

Next, opportunities in the United Kingdom.

~ Rita

Rita Dommermuth, Hannover Fairs USA
rita@hfusa.com - Tel: 562-901-9191

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16 November 2009

Domotex First Time Travel Tips

Jim GouldIf DOMOTEX 2010 is your first trip to Hannover, Germany, let me suggest a few first time travel tips and answers to the questions you might be asking yourself.


The weather in northern Germany in January is unpredictable. Generally it is cold, 40s F during the day, and often rainy. That said, I have been there on beautifully warm sunny days in the 50s, cold and raining in the 30s and during a snow storm. Try to check the forecast and plan to dress warmly to get to and from the show and evenings. Once you are at the Messe, the buildings are connected and there is little need to go outdoors.


Generally, people dress in “business casual” which to me means ties are not necessary even though some attendees will wear them. Ladies are always dressed stylishly in Europe no matter if they have on the latest fashion dress or jeans. If you take an overcoat or umbrella, it can be checked at the entrance and picked up at the end of the day. Wear comfortable shoes since the buildings are large and you will be on your feet all day walking.


The place where the exhibition is held is called the “Messe” pronounced “mess-ah” and referred to as the fairgrounds. Domotex is such a major event in Hannover, that most people know what you are referring to when you say the name. The fairgrounds are very large including 13 buildings and a million square feet of exhibition space. Different buildings highlight different product categories. Several are exclusively area rugs, some separated by country of origin. Others will show primarily carpet, laminate or wood. One area is called ContractWorld and focuses on products and services for the commercial market. When you arrive you will come in to one of a couple of entrances. It is my understanding that some have recently been renovated so we should all just follow the crowd into the show. The entrance is where you can purchase tickets and a show directory but if you sign up early enough to join the North American VIP Delegation, these will be provided to you at no charge.


Obviously the people in Germany speak German. At the show most exhibitors either speak English or have translators on their stands that do. Luckily, English has become the default language for all of the other countries that do not speak German. Often Europeans use different terms for products referring to wood flooring as 'parquette' (par-Ket), carpet as 'tapis' or sheet vinyl as PVC. Other products like laminate, cork, LVT are the same.


Most buildings have restaurants and depending on the building they may range from a stand up coffee shop to a sit down restaurant with waiter service. The food is generally European and I highly recommend the bratwurst dipped in mustard at one of the standup counters. Some of the exhibitors offer food to their customers as well as bottles of water.


I recommend not renting a car although parking is available at the show if you get there early each day. Taxis are available from the hotels to the show but getting a taxi in bad weather at the end of the day could mean standing in line for quite a while. Many nearby hotels have free van service for their customers; public transportation (tram) is available, free to fair goers. It runs from the lower tracks of the station at the entrance to the show and stops all over town.


The Euro, the standard currency throughout Europe, is worth about $1.50 which is historically high. Foreign currency can be changed into Euro’s in the airport, at your hotel or at banks at the Messe. Credit cards are accepted at most places however most taxis require currency. An exchange fee is charged and the exchange rate varies. Generally speaking the best rates and fees are on credit card purchases and at your hotel.

Let me know if you have any other questions since we want to make your trip as comfortable as possible. For information like show hours, exhibitors, etc., check the Domotex website.

For those of you for whom this won't be your first trip to Hannover, what would you add to this list?

I look forward to seeing you in Germany,


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08 November 2009

German DIY Tour Available to North American VIP Delegation

Jim GouldLast year during Domotex 2009, I decided to take an afternoon to tour several major German floor covering retailers that I had read about for years. I discovered that several DIY stores like OBI, Praktiker [Praktiker Wikipedia entry], Hagebau, Toom and Hornbach were located within 10 miles of the fairgrounds.

For years I attended Domotex to see products from around the world and gather merchandising ideas from exhibitors’ displays. I'd fly to Germany arriving early Saturday morning, catch an hour nap at my hotel and be at the show in the afternoon. After a couple of full days visiting and walking past more than 1,000 exhibitors, I'd drag myself to the airport and fly home.

That changed with my visit to these German DIY stores!

German DIY: HornbachIn just a couple of hours I was able to see each of these European giants, several of which give Home Depot and Lowes a run for their money. The experience was eye opening. I could not believe that it had taken me so many years to take advantage of my travels to Hannover to witness firsthand the German retail floor covering market.

In fact, I thought this tour was so worthwhile that I asked Domotex to organize a similar opportunity for attendees of our North American VIP delegation.

German DIY: HagebauFor the 2010 program, Domotex has arranged for a six passenger van for the use of the North American VIP delegation on a limited schedule.

VIP attendees who sign up IN ADVANCE will be shuttled to at least three stores quickly and efficiently. The tours should take only two hours. Vans will pick up participants on the fairgrounds at a pre-scheduled time.

German DIY: OBIThe best news of all is that Domotex is picking up the tab!

There is no charge to participants who are registered as part of the North American VIP delegation. This sure beats hiring a car and driver, mapping out your visit and worrying about parking.

Sometimes it's just good to be part of the right group!

If you have any questions or have not yet signed up for the North American VIP delegation for Domotex, contact me at jgould@floorcoveringinstitute.com. Space will be limited so make your reservations as soon as possible.

~ Jim

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30 October 2009

Join DOMOTEX VIP North American Delegation & Make The Most of Your Visit

Jim GouldWere you aware that Domotex organizes a VIP North American Delegation? It's a great way for truly making the most of your visit, particularly if you are new to Domotex or new to Europe.

My first visit to Domotex was in 1990. The floor covering industry had broken away from Heimtexil in Frankfort a year earlier to establish an international show specifically for floor covering in Hannover, Germany.

That first visit I was lost and intimidated by the size of the show. I was also awed by the presentation of so many beautiful products. The exhibitor’s names, product colors, styles and composition were all very different from what I knew in America. Looking back it probably took me three years before I felt comfortable, and could distinguish between exhibitors that were major manufacturers and those that were simply local distributors.

Luckily, I had travelled Europe a lot before 1990 so I wasn't surprised by the differences in electricity, currency or language. I do remember, however, not knowing about the weather, appropriate dress, local transportation, how to register, location of the show, where to stay or eat. When I started to consult with Domotex, I explained my experience and questioned how we might be able to enhance the Domotex Experience for North American exhibitors and attendees and make the show and Hannover less intimidating, more comfortable and more user friendly.

To that end Domotex helped organize a VIP North American Delegation.

Sounds fancy but in reality it is a valuable package of perks being offered to North American visitors FREE. If you are attending Domotex in Hannover, Germany, January 16-19, 2010, you are eligible, just let me know you are going and I will sign you up, no charge. Here is what you can expect from becoming part of the VIP North American Delegation:

- Pre-registration to show, no standing in lines
- Free Admission tickets to the show (value $33 per day)
- Free Show Directory (value $25)
- Assistance with air reservations
- Negotiated hotel rates and room block
- Free local van, tram or train from hotel to the fairgrounds
- Free access to quiet VIP meeting area
- Appointment with US Department of Commerce Trade Specialists
- Visit to Retail Floor Covering stores in the Hannover area,
- Help scheduling appointments with key potential vendors or customers
- Answers to any questions you have about Domotex, Hannover or the European floor covering market.

Participation in the VIP Delegation does not mean that you must use any of these services. Get your own hotel or book your own air travel if you like. We are just offering the service if you want guidance or to check your prices.

Our goal is to be there if you want us and to enrich your Domotex experience. Whether you need help arranging business meetings, guidance on how to “work the show,” or simply need information about making your trip to Germany and Europe more fun, let us know and we will do our best to help.

First time traveler to Europe? We will send you a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about weather, dress, transportation, electricity, currency, credit cards and language.

First time traveler to Domotex? Let us know and we will help you know what to expect.

The Domotex VIP North American Delegation really is a great way to make the most of your visit to Hannover and Domotex! Please don't hesitate to contact Rita Dommermuth at rita@hfusa.com or me at jgould@floorcoveringinstitute.com. We both look forward to helping make this Dometex visit the best ever!

~ Jim

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23 October 2009

DOMOTEX 2010: News for U.S. Attendees

DOMOTEX 2010 Visitor BrochureNews about DOMOTEX 2010 for U.S. Attendees
October 2009

Anyone interested in visiting DOMOTEX this coming January may want to check out the show’s highlights on the DOMOTEX website. I have summarized a few of them here to whet your appetite! Please ask us about our U.S. delegation now forming.

High international profile: 80 percent of the exhibitors come from outside Germany

Compared with virtually any other trade show, DOMOTEX HANNOVER is an extremely international event. For example, 80 percent of the exhibitors come from outside the host nation. Exhibitors from some sixty countries come to Hannover to conclude business deals and make new contacts. Germany is represented by the largest contingent of exhibitors, followed by Belgium, Turkey, India, the Netherlands, China, Italy and Switzerland. The U.S. is represented by over 30 exhibitors this year.

Magnet for decision-makers: 70 percent of the visitors are from top management

There is no more attractive venue for top international decision-makers. In fact, 70 percent of all the trade visitors attending DOMOTEX 2009 came from senior management.

Anyone who has personally seen DOMOTEX knows that no other event offers trade visitors such a good overview of the global marketplace. The main display categories at DOMOTEX HANNOVER are:

• Carpets/rugs (hand-made)
• Woven carpets/area rugs (machine-made)
• Textile and resilient floor coverings
• Fibres, yarns and textiles
• Wood and parquet flooring
• Laminated coverings
• Laying skills, cleaning and application technologies

DOMOTEX 2010 Hall PlanVery important news for anyone interested in hand-made carpets - they are now displayed at the northern end of the Grounds in halls 19 - 23

The display category “hand-made carpets” will be shown for the first time in the exhibition halls at the northern end of the Exhibition Grounds [in red on the image to the left]. These halls can be accessed directly from the main entrance Nord 1, an entrance used by large numbers of visitors. Ample parking is located adjacent to these halls plus they are well connected to the Hannover public transportation network.
The new location makes it easier for trade visitors to find the individual keynote displays. Roofed walkways make the trip between halls provides shelter from the winter weather. The new halls presents a much better delineation of the full range of hand made types and styles and a convenient lounge offers a great place for business meetings and social interaction.

Here is a link to the DOMOTEX 2010 Visitor Brochure [which includes the hall plan graphic].

I’ll be sharing more highlights over the next weeks, but don’t hesitate to contact the U.S. office anytime for assistance.

Hannover, GermanyWhile you are in Hannover, take some time out to visit the city. Follow this link to the cultural scene.

~ Rita

Rita Dommermuth, Hannover Fairs USA
rita@hfusa.com - Tel: 562-901-9191

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16 October 2009

The US, The World & The Floor Covering Industry

Jim GouldI learned an important lesson when I was younger: that the US, as big as it is, exists in a larger world; the more I could learn about the rest of that world, the better I could understand and anticipate US business issues, particularly in the floor covering industry.

During the summer of 1966, I worked in a small town in northern France called Notre Dame de Gravenchon; a picturesque town of less than 5,000 people nestled in the Seine River Valley. The city’s largest employer was SOCOBU, a synthetic rubber manufacturer owned by Standard Oil of New Jersey. It was their factory that I called home for six weeks of my youth. The town was not a tourist attraction, although my memory says it should have been, and to my surprise no one spoke a word of English. Calling on my six years of high school and college French, I communicated using “fr-anglais”, a combination of their native tongue mixed with my butchered classroom teachings.

Most noteworthy about that experience was the realization that these factory workers knew the names of my Senators from Missouri and I did not know any names in their government except President Charles de Gaulle. They told me about the JFK conspiracy theories and why Martin Luther King had been shot. Except for the misconceptions that Roy Rogers roamed the Wild West and Al Capone still lived in Chicago, they knew more about my country than I did. Embarrassed by my lack of knowledge about the rest of the world, I committed myself to expand my focus and this served me well in my business career.
Church of Notre-Dame-de-GravenchonBelieve it or not, the US floor covering industry is just one part of a worldwide business that is constantly being impacted by non-American issues. Oil prices set in the Middle East is just one obvious example, but what about the whole green movement? Ten years ago, Europe was listening to the Greenpeace demonstrators while many Americans considered them extremists. Today, environmentalist concerns are driving major projects from the Carpet America Recovery Effort to renewable flooring made of bamboo and cork. The 2008 passage of the Lacey Act Amendments closed the American door on wood flooring imports made from illegally harvested logs and practically eliminated endangered species like Merbau from the market. This was not a radical surprise for those who had been following developments around the world and the increased awareness of environmental issues including the growing black market in illegal logs.

So what is the best way to keep up with changes coming down the pike that will impact our floor covering business in the USA?

The easiest way I've found to stay informed is through our industry media; print, broadcast and Internet. And, it's equally important for manufacturers, distributors and retailers to get out of their domestic comfort zone and venture into new lands to see what the rest of the world sees every day. That's where DOMOTEX can be a valuable resource.

Domotex is the largest and broadest international floor covering show in our industry. Held in Hannover, Germany each January, the show gives one excellent exposure to innovative products, new trends and innovative display ideas. In addition to Germany, DOMOTEX offers shows in Shanghai, China in March and another in Dubai, UAE in May. I don’t mean to diminish Surfaces, Coverings, Cersaie or Cevisama. Quite the opposite! These are all great shows and each not only provides valuable perspective, but is also far better than staying at home. However, Domotex offers you that world perspective that I mentioned above as being so critical for understanding and anticipating US business issues in flooring.

Note that these are not vacation trips justified by a business show. To benefit from Domotex you need to spend two to three full days walking the acres of buildings and talking to the 1,200 exhibitors about their products. It is exhausting, but also very rewarding and, to me, one of most energizing things you can do for your business.

As Americans, we need exposure to the rest of the world to have a complete picture of what is happening in our industry here in the US. I hope to see you at Domotex in Germany from January 16 – 19, 2010.


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09 October 2009

Ed Korczak, NWFA on Why Exhibit at DOMOTEX

Ed Korczak, NWFAThe National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has recognized the value of foreign trade shows for years. Along with the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the NWFA has sponsored a collective space for their members to exhibit at DOMOTEX. By joining together as a group, they stand out from other single space exhibitors and can share some of the costs associated with showing at Domotex. Why exhibit? Let’s listen to Ed Korczak, Executive Director and CEO of NWFA:

For the past seven years, I have attended Domotex as the CEO/Executive Director of the National Wood Flooring Association based in the United States. The NWFA is an international trade association dedicated to promoting and advancing the hardwood flooring industry, and Domotex seemed like the perfect venue for reaching out to other markets worldwide. Boy, what an understatement.

I learn what the rest of the world is doing in floor covering at Domotex Germany. The show represents all facets of the floor covering industry. It fills 13 large exhibition halls and attracts some 1,400 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees each year. What is even more impressive, though, is that the vast majority – exhibitors and attendees alike – are from markets other than Germany. It definitely is a global show with a large global presence.

NWFA National Wood Flooring AssociationWhat I quickly discovered the first year is that Domotex offers flooring companies one of the best opportunities to expand into international markets. That first year, the NWFA sponsored a pavilion for its members to exhibit at the show. We had six members take advantage of the opportunity. This year, we are up to 14 members exhibiting in the NWFA pavilion, with a waiting list. That is because our members recognize that Domotex offers them an opportunity to introduce their products to a diverse international audience, in one place, at one time, and at minimal expense. At Domotex, our members can try out their products on a targeted audience of global buyers – both manufacturers and consumers – before they invest millions of dollars in production for a product that may need modifications to sell overseas. It just makes economic sense.

And Domotex Germany is just the tip of the iceberg. The NWFA has attended Domotex Shanghai and Domotex Dubai as well, and with similar results. Domotex represents a tangible opportunity for anyone interested in expanding their markets globally. Domotex provides the venue. You simply have to provide an open mind, as well as the ambition and determination to succeed in a global environment.

Thank you, Ed.

For more information about exhibiting at DOMOTEX, contact Rita Dommermuth at rdommermuth@hfusa.com. The NWFA group space is sold out for January, 2010 but if you act quickly other space is still available.

~ Rita

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02 October 2009

Navajo Textile Weavers Demonstrate Rug Art At DOMOTEX

Marie Sheppard looking on as one of our booth’s neighbors
makes a headdress from napkins
Marie Sheppard at DOMOTEXDear DOMOTEX Blog readers:

This blog post has been contributed by my colleague Donna Hyland on behalf of Sharleen Daugherty. Donna “officially” retired from Hannover Fairs in 2002, but re-joined HFUSA last year to boost our sales outreach efforts for DOMOTEX and INTERSCHUTZ 2010, our fire-emergency technology show.

Prior to leaving HFUSA – and her central position as the DOMOTEX project director – she fulfilled a long-held dream of bringing a group from the Navajo Nation and their beautiful hand-woven textile art to DOMOTEX.

The project team in Hannover turned an area of the show into a virtual Navajo setting, complete with piles of rocks, hand cut fences to display their rugs, and “taxidermied” goats and sheep, all of museum quality construction. The exhibit also included sand paintings, pottery, silver and stone jewelry, figures, and natural dyed woven baskets.

Experience a first-hand account from Donna and Sharleen of this great adventure.

Rita Dommermuth

DOMOTEX 2000, Hannover, Germany:

Lufthansa passengers Hoskie and Sheppard report to Terminal B, Gate 21, immediately. Your flight to Frankfurt is ready to depart. Repeat. Lufthansa passengers Hoskie and....”

The loudspeaker blared, but in the din of airport noise it could easily go unheard. My heart raced. I felt waves of panic rush over me—just like the dreams I’d been having. But this time it was real; Minnie and Marie were missing.

An experience of a lifetime, actually three lifetimes, had begun. My company was representing the United States at DOMOTEX 2000, and I was accompanying two Navajo weavers on their first international journey. This was just one of many “firsts.” Minnie Hoskie and Marie Sheppard lived in remote regions of the Navajo Reservation, a 25,000 square mile area located primarily in the northeast corner of Arizona. The eighty-mile trip into Gallup, New Mexico, was the furthest the 65-year-old Minnie had traveled from her home in her lifetime.

I have a book full of wonderful memories and photographs of our time in Hannover, Germany, but only the space to tell you a few. The enormity of the fair grounds made an instant impression. Our booth was located in a building easily the size of three football fields. It housed exhibitors of handmade weavings and carpets from around the world. During setup time it became apparent we were the only females in this exhibit hall, a minor inconvenience to the male exhibitors when Minnie walked into the men’s bathroom upon finding the women’s locked.

Marie Sheppard looks on as Minnie Hoskie demonstrates her art.
Marie Sheppard and Minnie Hoskie at DOMOTEXThe hospitality of the German people also made an impression. Minnie and Marie were instant celebrities as they strolled the streets of the small town where we were housed in their colorful Navajo garb. On the night after our arrival, our hotel hosted a reception in honor of the two women; Marie had her first taste of a German delicacy, congealed duck fat spread on crackers.

Cultural exchanges rank as the most memorable and meaningful. Throughout the exhibition there was a steady stream of visitors from around the world visiting our booth to watch the two women who sat on the floor in front of traditional looms. Language was never a barrier; the magic that came from their hands was all that was necessary. On the last day of the event an entourage of women and young girls dressed in burkas paraded into the hall and straight to our booth. They stayed for over an hour, taking turns at sitting alongside Minnie and Marie and admiring their silver and turquoise jewelry.

And then there was the group from China who opened a brief case revealing bundles of $100 bills and wanted to purchase our entire exhibit—the summer hogan (name of a typical Indian dwelling), the stuffed life-size sheep and goats, the handmade loom stands, and all the weavings. The venture was foiled when they learned that I could not obtain hundreds of weavings every month, that looked “just like” Marie’s award-winning rug, for their Hong Kong market.

It wasn’t all business. Hannover Fairs hosted a party for the exhibitors, a grand event held on the grounds at a Hofbräuhaus. Minnie and Marie had their first taste of German beer, learned to do the Macarena and other traditional dances, and when the band played songs from each country represented, quiet and shy Minnie stood on a bench shouting out an Indian war hoop at the playing of “New York, New York.”

These are memories of a time when people from around the world, representing hundreds of cultures and countries, came together in peace and harmony. They will never be forgotten.

Contributed by Donna Hyland, DOMOTEX & INTERSCHUTZ Sales Manager, HFUSA.

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25 September 2009

From Rita Dommermuth and the DOMOTEX Hannover Fairs USA Team...

Rita DommermuthI am Rita Dommermuth and, on behalf of the worldwide DOMOTEX team, I would like to welcome you to the DOMOTEX blog.

We are here to assist with any and all questions related to DOMOTEX and encourage you to share your DOMOTEX experience with us and others. We would also like to answer your questions and will respond to your observations about the annual show in Hannover, Germany (taking place in January) and DOMOTEX events in Shanghai and Dubai (in the spring of every year).

DOMOTEXOver the half dozen years that I have been involved with DOMOTEX, I have seen a real evolution in floor coverings and technologies. DOMOTEX offers such a vast goldmine of styles and technologies from every corner of the world that cannot be found anywhere else in one place that it is -- by far -- my favorite show event. I compare it to the United Nations because rarely do you see professionals from as many corners of the world, nor as much variety, from the timeless and beautiful handmade rugs that will be the antiques of tomorrow to the latest in machine made creations that defy imagination.

DOMOTEX, world of flooringBut the most important aspect of DOMOTEX is its reach into markets and potential for finding partners, distributors and new suppliers.

From the U.S. perspective, I appreciate the efforts of several organizations that have been part of DOMOTEX almost from the beginning, the American Floorcovering Alliance (AFA) based in Dalton Georgia, the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) in St. Louis MO, and the State of Georgia – a great supporter of the flooring industry. We also have a superb level of media interest in the U.S. which we appreciate.

DOMOTEXWe have also won new friends. More recently, the U.S. Department of Commerce has provided trade support through its certification process and the NWFA has been joined by the American Hardwood Export Council.

I would also like to extend our appreciation to Jim Gould and his colleagues at the Floor Covering Institute for the reality check they have provided, since DOMOTEX can only be an effective marketing tool if it responds to the expectations of its participants. It is those friends and partners that we will rely on to provide information and input that will be helpful to you and you will see them on this site from time to time. But we don’t want to stop there. Everyone who has ever participated in DOMOTEX is an expert and first-hand accounts are the best way to experience the shows.

DOMOTEXThe DOMOTEX team encompasses many individuals who all play their part in creating a worldwide event that brings value to participants. I will provide more details in future blog posts, but let me start here by introducing Donna Hyland, sales manager of DOMOTEX, who organized the first USA Pavilion at DOMOTEX. Donna will provide additional comments from time to time sharing her DOMOTEX highlights.

We are here to provide you with the best DOMOTEX experience possible and invite you to join what we hope will be a lively community!
See you in Hannover, Shanghai or Dubai!

Rita Dommermuth
Hannover Fairs USA
Long Beach CA

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18 September 2009

Domotex 2009 TalkFloor Highlights

TalkFloor DomotexDOMOTEX 2009 received wonderful visibility from the flooring media. In a previous post, Rita shared with you the highlights covered in her interview with FloorDaily. This post covers the highlights from our interview with TalkFloor's Dave Foster.

On January 19, 2009, Rita Dommermuth, Monika Arnold and I spoke with Dave Foster recapping DOMOTEX 2009. The interview lasts 39 minutes.

Always Something New @ DOMOTEX.

With the backdrop of a global recession, some predicted DOMOTEX 2009 to be a bust. Instead, Rita reported the show had a record number of exhibitors with attendees filling every hall. Officially, attendance was down slightly but I was impressed with how upbeat show attendees and participants were.

Americans were well represented in the American Floorcovering Alliance (AFA) and expanded National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) spaces. These organizations, with economic support from the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the American Hardwood Export Council respectively, had provided affordable exhibition opportunities for American manufacturers and service providers to show their goods. Combined with stand alone booths from Mohawk, Beaulieu, United World Logistics and others.

Buyers from around the world visited current suppliers and searched for new opportunities. While floor covering business is down 20% globally, Rita said the other 80% must have been shopping and buying at DOMOTEX. She saw many buyers from fast growing areas like Asia and the Middle East. Rita and Monika reported that they heard upbeat reports because the quality of visitors was rated very high by everyone. The international flavor of the exhibition was proven by more than 80% of the exhibitors and nearly two thirds of the attendees coming from outside of Germany.

Filling 13 large exhibition halls is not easy but nearly 1,400 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors needed that much space. Complete halls were filled with handmade oriental rugs from every corner of the globe; a literal magic carpet bonanza. Other halls featured laminates or wood, vinyl and luxury vinyl tile, broadloom carpet, fibers, installation and maintenance equipment. Monika explained that one highlight of the show was contractworld, a designated commercial exhibition hall that drew 2,500 architects and designers to view products, listen to presentations and network with their peers.

Clearly “green” was a major part of every exhibitor’s presentation. I told Dave that while American’s are catching onto this concept, it is in full bloom in the rest of the world. Evidence was seen in product innovations, in seminar topics and in the buyers’ questions. Europe already has strict regulations regarding Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, water usage and recyclability. While Americans took a large step forward with the Lacey Act Amendments (2008), Europe is quickly moving down a similar path.

I always find something new that makes my trip to DOMOTEX worthwhile. This year’s “find” was an robotic wood floor covering sander. Guided by lasers, this R2D2 looking robot, methodically sands an entire room evenly without human intervention. Advancements in products and installation systems were shown in click luxury vinyl tile and click ceramic to name a few otherse. There is always something new at DOMOTEX. What better venue or economically efficient method is there to show a new product or design and get immediate market feedback?

Dave broadcasted the interview on his Dalton radio show and then printed excerpts on his Internet site to update his readers. As good as Rita, Monika and I tried to be in describing the show, there was no way we could capture the flair, the products or the excitement of the DOMOTEX experience.

For more information about DOMOTEX 2009, read the official release documenting the 2009 DOMOTEX event which makes the points:

+ DOMOTEX 2009 emits positive signal in tough economic climate
+ Caliber of visiting professionals higher than ever
+ Exhibitors emphasize innovation and creativity
+ Special displays and events highlight latest trends
+ contractworld: networking hub for international architects
+ A particular highlight: the world's largest Nain carpet
+ Highly exportable concept

Let me know if you have any questions.

~ Jim

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11 September 2009

U.S. Commercial Service Offices Offer Foreign Trade Support

US Dept of CommerceOur Government Does Help via the U.S. Commercial Service by offering support for doing business in foreign countries. Were you aware?

A couple of years ago I had the good fortune of being introduced to Catherine Mayer of the United States Department of Commerce, Commercial Service division in Frankfurt, Germany. Now before you repeat the threadbare joke about being from the government and wanting to help, let me tell you about my experiences with Catherine and what she does.

In hopes of encouraging American businesses to export, our government has set up Commercial Service offices in key cities around the world.

Staffed with dedicated people who know the local government, language, customs, laws and general business environment, they are a tremendous resource for American companies that want to expand their business into new territories. Want to meet a prospective client in their country? On occasions, Catherine has arranged for a meeting invitation to be sent from the American Consulate and even offered meeting space in Consulate buildings. I thought that would be pretty impressive to most foreign buyers.

Last year at Domotex in Germany, Catherine arranged for Alexander Kansky, a trade specialist living in St. Petersburg, Russia, to speak to American exhibitors about the growing markets of Russia and Eastern Europe. One large American manufacturer scheduled a follow up trip to Russia enlisting Alexander to help schedule appointments.

Whether it is data on market size, the names of companies involved in a certain industry sector, amount of duty that will be charged, translation of documents or environmental requirements, our US Commercial Services staff is your right hand at locations around the world. They have a range of websites from the Commercial Services Trading Partner site (a good place to start), to the International Trade site. Interested in a specific country? They have a website dedicated to almost every country around the world. For example, check out China and Germany.

Come to Domotex in Hannover, Germany, January 16 – 19, 2010, contact Catherine to pre-arrange meetings with potential partners in Germany or set up an appointment to discuss your needs in person. Can’t make it to Europe this Winter? No problem. Commercial Services offers a range of services via the Internet from a beginners guide to exporting to sophisticated webinars on timely subjects, including seminars about exporting or importing. Visit The Global Design Build Products & Services e- market Express, too, so you can receive notification of research, events, business opportunities and webinars relevant to your global interests.

Anyone interested in expanding their business should partner with the experts in Commercial Services and take the uncerrtainty and anxiety out of expanding into unfamiliar territory.

For further information, contact:

Catherine MayerCatherine Mayer at the American Consulate General U.S. Commercial Service, Gießener Straße 30, 60435 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49/69/7535-3159
Email: Catherine.Mayer@Mail.doc.gov

Some background on Catherine: she received a B.S. in Apparel Production Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and attended graduate school at New York University. She worked in the apparel industry in New York in the capacity of patternmaker, industrial engineer, and technical manager.

After moving to Germany in 1992, she received her German language certificate from the Goethe Institute and worked as Technical Apparel Development Manager for a German apparel manufacturer. She has managed a corporate fashion department and worked as a teacher and translator in Germany as well.

Catherine worked as a contractor for CS Frankfurt for a number of years and joined the staff in April 2007, assuming responsibility for the textile sector as well as the floor coverings sector in conjunction with the Domotex trade fair.

She is responsible for advising U.S. firms with regard to CS programs and services, planning and implementing U.S. product promotions in connection with major textile trade fairs in Germany, market research and industry outreach within her sectors as well as performing Gold Key and other services for clients. She is a member of the Textiles/Apparel Team and the Global Design Build team.

I look forward to seeing you at Domotex!

~ Jim

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