28 August 2009

Jim Gould, DOMOTEX Advisor

Jim GouldA couple of years ago the executives of DOMOTEX contacted me to ask if I could help them improve the experience of American attendees and exhibitors to their shows. Not only was I flattered with their question and show of confidence, I was thrilled to have a chance to increase the effectiveness of the show that had impacted my life so dramatically.

Like most Americans in the floor covering industry, my career was focused on America. My distributorship was located in the Midwest and everything we sold was Made in America. I had no knowledge of the international market, how it differed from what I knew or how it might help in my business. Following the recommendation of a friend, I made my first trip in 1990 and had my eyes opened to a whole new world. I was amazed at how the industry presented itself, the selection of products, the manufacturers, even how the products were displayed and merchandised. Two years later I stumbled across Pergo at DOMOTEX HANNOVER in Germany and it changed my business career and my life.

Of course, since then our industry has become much more global. Laminate from Sweden, wood flooring from Germany, vinyl from Belgium and ceramic from Italy, expanded into products from China, Brazil, Viet Nam, New Zealand… literally around the world. Since 1990, I have attended and searched every DOMOTEX exhibition. I look for what is new and different; amazingly I always find something that had not been shown in the USA. Sometimes it is an insight into the future since many products and looks are previewed overseas before they ever show up in America.

The international draw of DOMOTEX brings manufacturers from around the world; many, like Pergo in 1992, have never been seen in the American market because they do not know how to sell into this huge market. At the same time DOMOTEX offers American manufacturers an efficient and economical way to show their products to new markets. In just four show days over 40,000 potential customers can be exposed to the product or concept. If it generates excitement, further investment and investigation is justified; if little interest is generated, a lot of time, effort and money to develop that foreign market will be saved.

Since I joined the DOMOTEX team as an advisor in 2008, we have tried to enhance the experience of both American exhibitors and attendees; to maximize the return on everyone’s time and money in being part of DOMOTEX. This year we will organize local visits to retail stores to better understand how floor covering products reach consumers in other markets. We will act as match makers putting buyers and seller together who might otherwise walk past unseen opportunities. Engaging the US Department of Commerce, we will help exhibitors identify and target potential export markets.

While we have a DOMOTEX sales team here in the U.S., I hope anyone with questions about DOMOTEX will also contact me. Whether it is advice on Germany, Hannover, hotels, exhibitors anything at all, please send me an email to jgould@floorcoveringinstitute.com or call me at 314-812-2700. As an industry insider, I look forward to helping.

Jim Gould

Floor Covering Institute LLC

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19 August 2009

Welcome To The Domotex Blog!

Domotex 2009Willkommen!

We are pleased to Welcome you to The Domotex Blog, our blog relating to Domotex - The World of Flooring, the largest trade show in attendance and exhibit space and flooring's leading international exhibit!

Domotex is a flooring world that takes place in Hannover, Germany, January 16 through 19, 2010, in Shanghai, China via Domotex asia/ChinaFloor, March 23 through 25, 2010, and in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, May 10 through 12, 2010 via Domotex Middle East.

Via The Domotex Blog, we intend to share with you perspectives and information highlighting the benefits of participating - by exhibiting in, attending and/or buying from - in Domotex, the trade show, as well as international insights relevant to the flooring industry.

In addition to hearing from those of us from Domotex intimately involved in the show, we also plan to include perspectives from experts in the flooring industry, in North America and internationally. The views expressed here will represent our personal views and not necessarily those of our parent company, Deutsche Messe. However, we are experts in our fields and eager to share that expertise with you.

We encourage you to add comments and suggestions. Trade shows can be overwhelming. Add to that an experience in unfamiliar territory, in a foreign country, with jet lag, and the combination can be rather intimidating. The goal is to address as many unknowns and questions you have so that all you have to worry about is the jet lag!

A few rules.

This blog is about open conversation and honest communication. Please keep the conversation relevant to the general interest of all readers, maintain respect for everyone involved (no matter the circumstance), and offer comments that add value and depth to the conversation.

We will moderate comments, and reserve the right to exclude any offensive or irrelevant posts.

However, we would rather that conversation flow freely. So, please be respectful and simply think before you type. We promise to do the same, and although we may not be able to respond to every comment, we’ll do our best to do so in a thoughtful and timely manner.

We also request that you not post private information [e.g., a phone number or address] as this is a public forum.

We will not share any subscription information with outside parties. We may try to email you, though, for additional followup. And, we may refer to your comments in subsequent blog posts.

Given these guidelines, we encourage you to let us know of topics of interest. The goal is to educate you about the international trade fair experience, help you get the most out of the experience, and share global flooring perspectives.

Thank you for reading and, again, Welcome to The Domotex Blog!

The Domotex Blog Team

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