30 September 2010

Find the Future of Flooring at DOMOTEX!

Jim Gould, founder of The Floor Covering Institute and respected Industry Consultant, contributes this post about Finding the Future of Flooring at DOMOTEX.

With over 40 years of industry experience, Jim shares his observations of the DOMOTEX brand of events and how he considers it a "Treasure Hunt into North America's Floor Covering Future". Products and trends that were first seen at DOMOTEX continue to influence the US market and he is eager to see what new experiences he will be exposed to at future DOMOTEX events.

[Click here for links to previous posts that Jim has contributed to this blog.]

Thank you, Jim!

~ Katherine

Jim Gould, Floor Covering Institute, Find the Future of Flooring at Domotex

DOMOTEX: A Treasure Hunt Into North America's Floor Covering Future

By Jim Gould

I love attending Domotex. Why? Because it's like a treasure hunt into the future of floor covering.  A visit to Domotex allows you to observe European trends and that's like gazing into a flooring crystal ball for North America: always inspiring and sometimes life changing. Every time I go, I find something new and exciting that inevitably challenges what we consider to be flooring norms in North America.

I'll share with you a few of my personal experiences.

Pergo Laminate Flooring

Many people in the floor covering industry associate me with bringing Pergo to America. How that happened is that in 1992 Paul Murfin (now an executive at Armstrong) and I were walking through the Domotex Hannover show looking for a unique wood supplier when we stumbled upon the Pergo exhibit. It caught our attention! Laminate had been sold in Europe for a while; in the States, we had never heard of it. Even the people at Armstrong had no idea what I was talking about. In 1993 my company, Misco Shawnee, brought Pergo to the U.S.

Glueless Laminate Flooring

Since then, every journey to Hannover has yielded at least one idea or discovery that has made the trip worthwhile. I first saw glueless laminate at Domotex. A demonstration of Alloc’s aluminum locking system at Domotex inspired Unilin to profile tongue and groove to lock together.

Flooring Color, Design & Display Ideas

While America is the largest consuming market for floor covering in the world, we certainly don’t have a lock on innovation, product advancements or fashion trends. Innovation and inspiration in flooring come from all over.

Colors and design trends vary around the world and nowhere is that more evident than at Domotex. Bolder European colors may not sell in the US. However, they do spark the imagination of those attending.

Sometimes, just the way products are displayed shows a creative flare that can help retailers, distributors and manufacturers. Take carpet for example. While Americans were stuck displaying carpet on waterfall fixtures, I noticed that Europeans were using sophisticated lighting and design to showcase carpet as fashion.

Robotic, Laser Driven Wood Floor Sanding Machine

Manufacturers keep product innovations secret before unveiling them in front of over 40,000 floor covering professionals at Domotex. There’s always treasure to be found - and it’s not always the large manufacturer that has the most interesting innovations. A couple of years ago I found a robotic, laser driven wood floor sanding machine.

Click LVT, Wood Veneer on HDF Core, High Gloss Laminate Flooring

Several years ago I saw the first “click” LVT by a German company. I expect that at this year’s show at least 15 new manufacturers will introduce their variation of this hot product. Meister showed wood veneer attached to an HDF core at Domotex long before Shaw introduced Epic. High gloss laminate was displayed years before Armstrong introduced Grand Illusions.

Over 1,400 manufacturers exhibit in Hannover in January and over 1,000 in Shanghai in March at Domotex Asia. Many of these manufacturers you may not recognize, but then at one time American’s didn’t know Pergo or Unilin either. For a guy who loves flooring it doesn’t get better than this!

Exposure to new things is the key to recognizing how coming changes in flooring may impact your business and it gives you an edge to capitalize on those changes. If I missed a Domotex show I wouldn’t feel like I knew what was happening in floor covering. For me it’s a must.

If you are interested in finding the future of floor covering spend just a few days at one of these flooring shows and you’ll feel like you’re on a treasure hunt and gazing into a flooring crystal ball. Domotex Hannover runs January 15-18, 2011 and Domotex Asia runs March 21- 24, 2011. Both shows are worth the trip and I hope to see you there. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about attending as either a visitor or an exhibitor.


Jim Gould is President of the Floor Covering Institute

23 September 2010

Floor Covering Weekly Global: DOMOTEX 2011

Floor Covering Weekly Global: DOMOTEX 2011
With less than 4 months to go, preparations for the upcoming DOMOTEX show in Hannover are heating up. DOMOTEX 2011 is shaping up to be a huge global success and the numbers are there to prove it as reported in the latest article from Floor Covering Weekly’s Global newsletter.

The article features feedback from our team in Hannover that includes Susanne Klaproth, DOMOTEX Director, Martin Folkerts, Director Global Fairs, Deutsche Messe Hannover and Onuora Ogbukagu who is the spokesperson for Deutsche Messe. Also commenting is our industry consultant, Jim Gould from the Floor Covering Institute. He is correct in pointing out that this upcoming DOMOTEX will have a large focus on sustainability and that CONTRACTWORLD is positioning itself to attract the European A&D community.

Floor Covering Weekly Global

Vol. 4 Issue 8 August
Asia/South Pacific • Europe • The Americas • Middle East

Domotex prepares for a big year in 2011

By Kimberly Gavin

Domotex's Onuora Ogbukagu
Domotex Hannover and Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor are both preparing for strong shows in January and March 2011, respectively, show organizations say and industry watchers agree.

Domotex Hannover, scheduled for January 15–18, is already 95 percent booked with exhibitors, show organizers recently reported. Onuora Ogbukagu, spokesperson for Domotex, told FCW, “We have currently sold 95 percent of the exhibition space — a great success since we are still five months from the show. We are expecting to reach approximately the same number of exhibitors as last year [about 1,400].”

Through June, bookings were higher than last year, according to Susanne Klaproth, head of the department. “We are very optimistic about Domotex Hannover 2011. The positive trend in the level of stand bookings reflects the confidence of the exhibitors and demonstrates that the action we took last year to further develop Domotex was exactly right.” 

Domotex's Susanne Klaproth

Klaproth added that bookings are especially high for the handmade area rug sector. She attributes this to the decision to move the category to the northern end of the Messe. And this year, Domotex is opening up its Carpet Design Awards to rug manufacturers who aren’t exhibiting at the show.

Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor, scheduled for March 22–14, also has high expectations. The show will host some 1,000 exhibitors and will cover eight and a half halls. More than 60 percent of the space has already been booked.

With the Chinese economy already recovered from the 2009 crisis, the upcoming 2011 Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor is very likely to exceed the 2010 record-breaking figure of more than 40,000 trade visitors. The organizers are now working on increasing the number of foreign visitors from Asia-Pacific and improving the quality of local and regional buyers at the show.

With the tagline “Innovation and Respect for Nature,” the 2011 edition will offer an Innovative Product Display Area for exhibitors to show their products free of charge in a specially designed area. Environmental issues will be at the core of the Wood Flooring Forum. The Wood Flooring Forum will be held on March 21, a day ahead of the opening of the show.

“Asia offers a great future for the flooring industry, and it is happening now,” said Martin Folkerts, director of Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor. “Looking at the flooring industry perspectives in China, and encouraged by last year’s very positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors, we feel committed to deliver the high quality platform the industry needs to conduct business in this blooming economic environment.”

With the changes in manufacturers happening, it’s an important time for buyers to look at the market and reassess their partnerships,” said Jim Gould, president, Floor Covering Institute. He added that both shows offer an unprecedented ability to view what’s out there.

For suppliers as well, both shows offer a great way to reach a broad international market, efficiently and economically, Gould added. The show in Germany will focus on the contract market and the environment, while China will focus on innovation and the environment.

A single store owner may not look at business as being global, but it really is a global and international industry,” Gould said.

Thank you, Kim, and Floor Covering Weekly Global!

If you don't already, you might consider subscribing to Floor Covering Weekly Global and FCW PrimeSimply click on this link.

I look forward to seeing you at Domotex 2011!

~ Katherine

Katherine León
Director of Sales - DOMOTEX and LIGNA Worldwide Events

Hannover Fairs USA
1170 Howell Mill Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 404.214.0432

16 September 2010

NYC Carpet and Rug Shows: September 2010

NYC Carpet and Rug Shows: Metro Market Week 2010
There was a buzz and energy this past week in NYC with the launch of Fashion Week September 9-16, 2010. Designers were all over the city showcasing their latest clothing fashions and styles. While many in the textile industry were busy making decisions for their fall apparel collection so were buyers in the carpet and rug industry as they attended several shows.

I attended Metro Market Week and NYCIS for the first time.

Metro Market Week which takes place in individual rug and carpet showrooms throughout NY and NJ ran concurrently with The New York International Carpet Show (NYICS) at the 7W New York building.

NYC Carpet and Rug Shows: NYICS 2010Just in the shadow of the Empire State Building and the traditional carpet district not too far in the distance, the NYICS showcased 33 handmade rug producers.

In its 6th year, The NYICS has slowly increased in size and moved from its previous location at the 69th Regiment Armory to its current location in the heart of midtown. Free shuttle bus service was offered between NYICS and ORICA, taking place across the Hudson River in NJ.  The Oriental Rug Industry Center of America (ORICA) was holding its Fall Market.

Interestingly, there were also many carpet producers that extended complimentary transportation to and from their showrooms so buyers can have the flexibility to visit as many rug producers as possible.

The mood at fall market was upbeat and positive. Many of these rug and carpet producers are slowly seeing an improvement in their sales and are looking forward to a successful and productive years to come.

If you attended any of these shows, I'd love to hear your reactions.

~ Katherine

Katherine León
Director of Sales - DOMOTEX and LIGNA Worldwide Events

Hannover Fairs USA
1170 Howell Mill Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 404.214.0432

09 September 2010

BuildDirect's Rob Banks on DOMOTEX and Social Media

BuildDirect's Rob Banks on DOMOTEX and Social Media
If you are like me and have embraced Social Media as a viable tool to reach out to your customers, then you probably know Rob Banks, Co-Founder of BuildDirect. He was recently featured in a Mashable post about how CEOs in various industries are using Web Video to engage with their customers. Fortunately for us, Rob is not only responsible for running one of the leading online manufacturer/wholesalers of building material, but he is also a loyal attendee at DOMOTEX Hannover and DOMOTEXasia/CHINAFLOOR.

I was introduced to Rob through an industry friend and we spoke about his company’s goals and how they are using the various Social Media outlets like Twitter, Blogs and Web Videos to make personal connections with their customers.

Rob explained that the building material industry has a very traditional way of doing business and most have not embraced social media. Contrary to most of their counterparts, BuildDirect understands that their customers are consuming media and information differently from the more traditional methods and they are leveraging that knowledge to reach those customers.

Rob told me a great story where Twitter allowed him to meet a potential business partner from Scotland. Since -of course- he is very active on Twitter, they were able to connect and actually met personally at DOMOTEX as “pre-qualified strangers” because of their online interaction. Since the meeting they have not only established a business relationship but a personal one as well.

Take a look at these two blog posts with highlights and video footage from DOMOTEX:  BuildDirect at Domotex Flooring Show in Hanover, Germany and 2010 Domotex Show in Germany and wood flooring thoughts.

BuildDirectAs Rob and I spoke further about his experience at DOMOTEX, he explained that he only attends 3 trade shows a year and two of them happen to be DOMOTEX Hannover and DOMOTEXasia/CHINAFLOOR.
  • His main purpose in coming to Hannover is to get a glimpse of the trends that will be hitting the North American Market in the next year of two.
  • He views DOMOTEX as a valuable time saver where he is able to set-up pre-arranged meetings with top level executives and decision makers from all over Europe.
The one piece of advice he can offer to other attendees interested in international products is to do your homework prior to DOMOTEX. Set meetings with those suppliers you are looking to do business with ahead of time.  If you are prepared prior to attending, the event is not only an incredible time saver, but it will also minimize your travel costs by avoiding you having to travel the world over to meet with individual companies.

Thank you, Rob, for spending time with me on the phone.  Thanks, too, to BuildDirect for making me laugh after watching BuildDirect’s Pancake Day. These guys sure know how to make a work day enjoyable!

You can connect with Rob Banks on Twitter and via the Building Materials with Co-Founder Rob Banks Blog.

You can find BuildDirect on Twitter, on Facebook, on YouTube and actively engaged via the BuildDirect Blog, BuildDirect CEO Blog and the Green Building Blog.

Rob, I look forward to connecting with you in person at DOMOTEX 2011 in Hannover!

~ Katherine

Katherine León
Director of Sales - DOMOTEX and LIGNA Worldwide Events

Hannover Fairs USA
1170 Howell Mill Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 404.214.0432