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Save the Date: A Look at Upcoming Furniture Trade Fairs and Exhibitions in 2020

We’ve entered a new year and if you’re a fan of trade fairs, 2020 is going to be thrilling, with a whole range of furniture and interior design trade fairs taking place in the UK and abroad in 2020. 

International furniture fair

If you’re a consumer with a passion for interior design and are looking for fresh ideas to brighten up your own living space, a furniture trade fair or expo is a good way to get into the know and really bolster the different areas of your home. If you’re an industry professional looking for inspiration or for stylish new brands or products that you can introduce into your own operations you won’t walk away feeling short-changed.

Below is a look at some of the major trade fairs that are taking place this year. Why not get yourself along and get in the know?

January Furniture Show (JFS)

19 Jan. to 22 Jan.

National Exhibition Centre
North Ave, Marston Green 
Birmingham B40 1NT

The furniture trade fair world gets off to a thunderous start with the January Furniture Show (JFS), which will get under way at the famous NEC, in Birmingham. Some would say the JFS is the show to end all furniture shows. As the official website states: 1 in 3 visitors don’t go to any other show. When you see a statistic like that, you know it’s serious.

The show is one for professionals in the industry and anyone visiting should plan with almost military precision what they want to see. There will be more than 50,000 different products and collections and more than 500 exhibitors. Budgets, styles and market levels won’t be an issue: the selection of products at the fair is so extensive that businesses will be sure to find something they love. 

Companies that operate in the sleep industry will welcome the return of [email protected] Several bed manufacturers will be able to reveal their new products and collections at the show. The organisers introduced this opportunity in 2019 and it was a great success. 

Interior Moments of Tomorrow Cologne (IMM Cologne)

13 Jan to 19 Jan

Messeplatz 1 Mülheim, 
50679 Köln, 
GERMANY

The Interior Moments of Tomorrow (IMM Cologne) show is another major furniture trade fair in the calendar and although, in the majority, is for industry professionals, the show opens to the public from 17 January. The fair features several themes, which it calls moments. These are:

  • Interior Moments, which focuses on trends and innovation.
  • Digital Discovery, which looks at how digitalisation is entering homes.
  • Next Generation, a focus on the designers of tomorrow and how newcomers to the industry view the future of the industry.
  • Weekend Moments, which opens the show to interior design fans of all ages and features various workshops and other activities.

One of the other highlights of the fair will be the IMM conference, where professionals can attend discussions and presentations on topics and trends in the industry. E-commerce will be a big theme of the conference, but issues such as branding and the future of furniture showrooms will also be on the table for discussion.

KBB Birmingham

Spring Fair

2 Feb to 6 Feb

National Exhibition Centre,
North Ave, Marston Green,
Birmingham B40 1NT

Birmingham is the place to be when it comes to trade fairs, it seems. The Spring Fair draws in 2,500 brands and potential suppliers for retailers and specialises in home products and gifts. This trade fair is much about connecting people as it is about trade. One of its special aims is to do something that an online space can’t: allow visitors to touch the products and speak to the suppliers directly. 

Sustainability has become a major consideration in the industry and the organisers of Spring Fair have taken this into account. There will be a sustainability trail at the show so that buyers can connect with sustainable suppliers. The fair organisers are keen to highlight any brand that operates ethically.

If you’re looking for inspiration while at the fair, you’ll certainly find it. The event has divided its marketplace into 16 different categories. You’ll be able to discover new products and brands and witness new product launches. You can also attend empowering workshops, talks and live demonstrations to achieve success if you’re retailing furniture.

Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair

4 Feb to 8 Feb

Stockholmsmässan,
Mässvägen 1, Älvsjö,
SWEDEN

The Scandinavians have impressed the world with their immense flare for design. If you’re a fan of the Scandinavian approach to furniture design, the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair is this is a fair you don’t want to miss. The fair is taking place parallel to Stockholm Design Week, which will run from 3 to 9 February this year. The fair is open from Tuesday to Friday to trade visitors only, but will then open on Saturday to the general public.

Originally, the fair started out as a local fair in 1951 and has come a long way since then. This year will be the 70th Stockholm Furniture and Light fair, so there will be that little extra magic about it as it showcases some of the very finest in Scandinavian design. 

The design writer Dan Gordan has curated the anniversary exhibition and during the fair there will be talks on design and various showrooms to admire. An additional highlight will be the exhibition ‘Hella Jongerius — Breathing Colour’ at the National museum. The artist herself will be present to talk about her artistic research into colour, light and materiality. 

China Furniture Fair

Kbb Birmingham

1 Mar to 4 Mar

National Exhibition Centre,
North Ave, Marston Green,
Birmingham, B40 1NT

If you’re in the Birmingham area and you were unlucky enough to miss both the January Furniture Show and Spring Fair, you’re still in luck! You can catch the Kbb Birmingham show, which takes place every two years and has fallen on 2020. The event focuses on bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens, giving you the chance to see some of the latest product launches.

Kbb Birmingham is huge for anyone who works in these industries and hosts more than 400 exhibitors, with some of these travelling as far across the globe as China and Taiwan to showcase their products. If you’re an exhibitor at the event, you’ll be able to network with more than 15 000 buyers in design, retail and development. This includes senior decision makers, who constituted more than half of the visitors at the 2018 kbb Birmingham.

China International Furniture Fair

18 Mar to 21 Mar (Home / Outdoor / Leisure)

28 Mar to 31 Mar (Office / Hotel)

Guangzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center (the Canton Complex)
Haizhu, Zhanchang W Rd, 新窖镇  Guangzhou, 
Guangdong, 
CHINA

2020 will play host to the 45th China International Furniture Fair, which is operating on the strategy of ‘Innovation Driven, Design Inspired’. The fair is set to be huge, with more than 4 000 exhibitors showcasing their products, and the exhibition space covers more than 760,000 squared metres. The event is split into two fairs:

  • Home furniture and decorating, and outdoor and leisure furniture
  • Furniture for offices and hotels, commercial furniture, furniture machinery and materials.

Naturally, the fair will seek to promote Chinese design, but the organisers have also stated they will be offering more and more space to international exhibitors. The aim is to become a gateway between China and the international furniture industry. By opening more and more of its floor space up to international brands, the organisers hope fresh innovative quality, content and design will flow into the Chinese market. 

This is a fair with big ambitions. The organisers are already looking ahead to biennale events in 2021, 2023 and 2025. Why not head along and get a taste of how big these plans might be? 

Big city screenshot

ISPA Expo

18 Mar to 20 Mar

Ernst N. Morial Convention Center,
900 Convention Center Blvd, 
New Orleans, 
LA 70130, 
USA

The ISPA Expo is that little bit special. It’s a huge trade show that focuses on the sleep industry, so if you’re operating in this space, you need to get yourself there. One of the highlights of the event will be a networking session for women from all sectors in the mattress industry. There will also be a session about sustainability and recycling, which looks at programmes to recycle mattresses and to reduce waste and energy consumption.

The opening keynote speech, of course, is one of the main events of the show. This year, the speaker will be musician Mark Schulman, who has just returned from a world tour with the singer P!nk and will be letting the attendees in on some powerful business strategies. He’ll use his own experience and live music as teaching tools. You don’t want to miss this.

Ideal Homes Show

27 Mar to 12 April

Olympia London,
Hammersmith Rd,
Hammersmith,
London, W14 8UX

Whether you’re a consumer or a business in the industry, The Ideal Homes show is a real chance to get yourself out there and into the know. If you like a bit of celebrity spotting, too, this is one of the places to be, since the show features talks by celebrity guests. TV presenter Nick Knowles and real estate expert Phil Spencer are just two of the big names that have appeared at the show. 

This show is about the home overall, so you can walk away knowing up to date not just on trends for bedrooms, but also for other areas of the home. If you’re visiting this year’s show, you can look forward to the Future Living Home, which will focus on the trends of upcycled living (re-using something but improving on its original quality in some way) and micro living (accommodation which does not conform to the minimum space standards in the UK). You’ll also be able to get advice from experts on ways to refresh or update your home, whether you’re looking to brighten up your bedroom, garden or other area of the house.

NEC Birmingham

International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)

17 May to 20 May

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
429 11th Avenue
New York, 
NY 10001
USA

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), which is taking place in New York, is a fair for the people who like the finer things in life when it comes to furniture. We’re talking high-end, contemporary here and there will be 600 exhibitors from 34 different countries at the show. Architects, developers, designers and visual merchandisers will all be there, seeking inspiration from this avant-garde furniture on display, as retail buyers seeking trendy luxury furniture that they can sell to their customers will also be attending.

One of the truly tremendous aspects of the ICFF is the drive to inspire designers and promote their work. When you’re not sampling the seating, lighting and other items of the [email protected] pavilion, you could also be entering the competition at the ICFF Studio and entering the design competition, in which the finalists will then present their work at the fair. Through the ICFF Schools programme, the work of students in design schools will also receive some exposure and provide insight into the direction into which this generation of designers are steering the design world.

Index Dubai 2020

15 Sept. to 17 Sept.

Dubai World Trade Center
Sheikh Zayed Rd,
Dubai
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

The Index Dubai 2020 is part of the Middle East Design and Hospitality Week, of which the second edition will be taking place this year. Index will focus on homeware, furniture, lighting, fixtures, surface materials and more… basically, the entire spectrum of interior design. There will be more than 1,000 brands and suppliers at the Index. It’s a real opportunity to connect with others in the industry.

The fair takes place at an incredibly exciting time for Dubai since, the following month, the emirate will begin hosting the World Expo 2020 from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. Dubai will do this under the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ ― with the sub-themes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability ―in its firm belief that progress and innovation materialise when we combine people and ideas in new ways. The rotating observation tower and the first ever Emirati operate will be two of the main attractions at the expo.

Furniture Fair

The anticipation is building

The year is looking to be a highly interesting one for anyone who follows the furniture industry, with lots of different trade fairs and expos, allowing different countries and regions to showcase some of the finest furniture and talent in interior design. It’s a chance to gain insight into some of the latest trends and, by doing some travelling as well, combine this with a little pleasure.

The trade fairs above are just a selection from the many (major) furniture and interior design expos lined up this year in the UK and other parts of the world. Others which might be of interest include the Manchester Furniture Show, which will open its doors on 19 and 20 July and of which organisers will release more details nearer the event, and the Bed Show, which the town of Telford hosts and of which there will be more details released later in the year. 

We’ll leave you with the enviable task of choosing an event to attend. No matter which you choose, you can be sure you’ll return feeling a lot more informed or inspired about what’s going on in the world of furniture.