Billed as the world’s leading trade fair for consumer goods, the event is fully booked and more international than ever before, with 81% of exhibitors hailing from outside Germany.
In total, 4,441 exhibitors from 89 countries are presenting their wares in a space equivalent to the size of 43 football fields (308,000sq m gross) across three segments: Living, Giving and Dining. Last year, 141,000 visitors from 153 countries attended Ambiente.
Detlef Braun, executive board member of the show organiser Messe Frankfurt, said: “The economy is booming – and in fact has been doing so for over eight years now. All the signs are pointing towards consumption: in Germany, Europe and the entire world. The expected volatilities of the last few years have not had any impact. The global economy is continuing to head for growth, and this is clearly reflected in the internationalism of Ambiente. Open markets and international trade are opportunities for growth – and this means many people will be better off.”
The Netherlands has been named as the partner country for Ambiente 2018, and a special presentation entitled ‘DO DUTCH’ in Galleria 1 has been created by renowned Amsterdam-based industrial designer Robert Bronwasser. He has used consumer goods from the Netherlands and placed them in a ‘new and surprising context, presenting them in a way that is minimalistic yet colourful’.
Another Dutch VIP guest at Ambiente will be TV personality Sylvie Meis, who is also very popular in Germany.She will be checking out the latest interior design trends at the show on Partner Country Day (Monday February 12).
An additional feature for Ambiente 2018 is a new experience-oriented presentation entitled ‘From Point of Sale to Point to Experience’ in the foyer of Hall 4.1. Nicolette Naumann, divisional manager at Ambiente, said: “This an ideal starting point for anyone coming to Ambiente.” It aims to answer questions such as: ‘How will tomorrow’s products be presented attractively? Which online applications look promising for the bricks-and-mortar retail sector? In this presentation, ‘the visitor becomes a consumer and makes a customer journey, on which digital and analog measures are intelligently combined’.
Other features include the new Business Matchmaking Service tool, to help visitors or exhibitors find suitable contacts, and the Ethical Style Guide, which draws attention to the manufacturers of sustainable and ethically-manufactured consumer goods. Meanwhile, the needs of hotels, restaurants and cruise liners for robust yet high-quality design elements and dining facilities is mapped by two subject areas: HoReCa and Contract Business.
Further highlights include ‘Next’, where young designers who have recently entered the market are displaying their products for the Dining. Giving and Living segments, at the Talent areas. For Dining, up-and-coming designers are showcasing their ideas for cooking, good food and tableware in Hall 4.0 F71. For Giving, the focus is on unconventional jewellery and fashion accessories in In Hall 9.2 A61. For Living, furniture and home accessories are on display in Hall 11.0 H10.
Another focal area is the Solutions exhibition in the foyer of Hall 4.0, which concentrates on kitchen and household gadgets that are innovative and well designed ‘intelligent solutions’. London-based industrial designer Sebastian Bergne is the curator of this special presentation. He has been advised and supported by Kate Birch, Editor of ‘Tableware International’ of UK and Dr Claudia Wasser, editor-in-chief of ‘Trend and Style’ of Germany.
Ambiente will also host a series of awards for outstanding achievements. A particularly coveted prize is the German Design Award in Galleria 1, which seeks to honour excellence in product and communication design. The Kitchen Innovation of the Year in Foyer 5.1/6.1 covers kitchen furniture and equipment, large electrical appliances, small electrical appliances, cooking and kitchen utensils, and kitchen accessories.
Finally, the Plagiarius award in Hall 5.1/6.1 Foyer is given to manufacturers and resellers of ‘particularly flagrant counterfeit products’. An accompanying exhibition aims to raise awareness of brand protection.