Interior Lifestyle Award winners announced
Interior Lifestyle Tokyo, held from 14 – 16 June 2017 at Tokyo Big Sight, came to a successful close after welcoming 787 exhibitors (Japan: 645, Overseas: 142) and 27,573 visitors . This year, the show had to be held on a smaller scale due to already ongoing construction work at the fairground in anticipation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, despite the situation, the show received excellent feedback from both exhibitors and visitors alike for providing a whole array of new contacts, projects and ideas.
Positive comments from various zones, including the “WANTED!” Atrium Highlight and the “GLOBAL” international zone
Many exhibitors commented positively during and after the show, and were particularly impressed with the quality of visitors they met during the three days. Many of these exhibitors were presenting their latest innovations at various zones dedicated to lifestyle concept themes. The products in these zones ranged from interior items like apparel, jewellery, arts and crafts, to high-end home electronics and food.
For example, a number of trend-setting items were presented at the Atrium Highlight area, under the theme of ‘WANTED!’. Meanwhile, the latest designs from overseas were showcased at the ‘GLOBAL’ international zone, and the most popular Scandinavian brands were at the ‘NORDIC LIFESTYLE’ area. Japanese artisanal skills with a modern touch gathered at the ‘JAPAN STYLE’ zone, with the latest designs displayed under ‘MOVEMENT’. Elsewhere, work from many up-and-coming young designers were displayed at the ‘TALENTS’ and ‘NEXT’ areas, and an array of well-designed packaged food was exhibited at 'FOODIST'. The ‘KITCHEN LIFE’ zone was dedicated to innovative dining items, and numerous everyday products which exhibit stylish and functional properties were promoted at ‘HOME’, ‘ACCENT’ and ‘EVERYDAY’ areas.
In particular, the Atrium Highlight, which was themed as ‘WANTED!’ this year, had a strong influx of people during the entire fair. The eye-catching western themed ‘WANTED!’ posters described the exhibitor’s various business needs and urged active communication between visitors and exhibitors. Owing to the posters, exhibitors were able to find a number of apprentices, pop-up store venues, designers and business projects among the visitors. Thanks to the collaborating director Hiroshi Eguchi’s creative concept, the Atrium Highlight successfully supported the participants to help reach their various business goals.
Tetsuyasu Nakano, from the Marketing Group of Maruman Corp., commented: “We exhibited here to promote our new ‘BODONI’ product brand, as well as to source new sales channels and to enhance our brand image. We’ve attended this show before, but this year we had many more business talks and business cards. We’re extremely happy about the results.”
In terms of the international exhibitors this year, companies from 21 countries and regions joined. These included Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, the UK and the US.
Deborah Beevor, Managing Director of Quail Designs Ltd. (UK), spoke about her second participation: “I had exhibited as part of the British pavilion last year and as the responses were fantastic, I decided to join individually this year. The visitor quality was excellent again. As my business style is to take orders directly, I wasn’t looking for agents nor importers. There were many Japanese retailers who showed a lot of interest, and 60 percent of those who visited my booth were repeat buyers. I believe it’s very important to continue exhibiting for a while, and I will definitely come back next year.”
Meanwhile, PORTO DO PORTO made a successful debut at the FOODIST zone. General Manager Ayaka Saito said: “We import food products from Portugal, and after comparing many interior related events, we decided to join Interior Lifestyle Tokyo. The responses went beyond our expectations and our products were purchased on the spot, which is a rare case at other events in Japan. There were many buyers from interior shops, and we were grateful that they favoured our passion towards our products and our business policy, and understood that our products were not imported in huge lots. What surprised us was that an apparel shop showed interest, telling us that we all fall under the ‘lifestyle’ category. We are extremely satisfied with our results.”
Interior Lifestyle Award winners announced
Aside from the product developments on display at the show, the range of fringe programmes – such as the talk show event LIFESTYLE SALON 2017 – gathered visitors who were seeking out the most updated business hints and tips throughout the three-day sessions. One of the most popular programmes at the LIFESTYLE SALON was the Interior Lifestyle Award ceremony, which was held on 14 June. Awards were handed out in two categories: ‘Best Buyer's Choice 2017’ and the ‘Young Designer Award’.
The Best Buyer's Choice 2017 was given to Sanyo Paper Co.、Ltd. for their paper-made outdoor products. The grantor of the award was Shinya Tanaka, Corporate Officer, General Manager of Merchandising Division of CASSINA IXC, who said: “I value their new approach to apply recycled industrial paper to outdoor goods, while there are so many paper items. Their design is cute and approachable.” Rokujiro Harada, President of Sanyo Paper, later commented: “This is our second time joining Interior Lifestyle Tokyo. We were very happy that we were awarded for the way we maximise our industrial paper through good designing and upcycling. We announced our award on Facebook and the responses were great there, too. We’re happy about our fantastic business outcome altogether, and we would like to come back next year.”
The winner of the ‘Young Designer Award’ was selected among the participants at the TALENTS area, and was subsequently offered to exhibit at the Ambiente’s TALENTS zone in 2018. The award was given to designer Takeshi Nishio of ‘DAYS’. The grantor of the award, Nicolette Naumann, Vice President Ambiente brand at Messe Frankfurt, said: “The items had a fresh take on small furniture, with clever solutions for small and young households.” Takeshi Nishio spoke about his design inspiration: “There is this fixed idea that furniture is heavy and immovable, but I wanted to design something that had more flexibility. This mobile furniture enables everyone to locate the item wherever and however they want. For its flexible design, I believe there will be more variety and choice in product distribution. Many interior shops and web shops approached us during the show and it was great to know that my furniture was needed, and I would like to come up with more product concepts that can be useful and easily understood for future editions of Ambiente.”
The next Interior Lifestyle Tokyo will be held from 30 May – 1 June 2018 at Tokyo Big Sight West halls 1, 2, 3, 4 and the Atrium. Sister fair IFFT/Interior Lifestyle Living will run in the coming autumn from 20 – 22 November 2017 at Tokyo Big Sight West halls 1, 3, 4 and the Atrium. For updates, please visit www.interior-lifestyle.com
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 2016 results: 822 exhibitors (Japan: 627, Overseas: 195) attracting 30,168 visitors.
Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,300 employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €647 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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