Ambiente 2020
Impacted by coronavirus and Ciara

Foto: Ambiente

Trends, new products and international business – these are traditionally at the focus of Ambiente in Frankfurt, which took place from 7 to 11 February 2020. The world’s largest consumer goods trade fair had grown to 4,635 exhibitors [1] from 93 countries [2], covering 310,240 gross sqm [3]. Ambiente was the first leading trade fair to be affected by the impact of the coronavirus on travelling. Another clearly noticeable factor was Storm Ciara. Business in the halls, however, did not suffer as much as expected, and, in all, large numbers of orders were placed throughout the trends and new products platform. Nevertheless, exhibitors were disappointed with the strong sense of uncertainty among visitors and therefore the absence of quite a few retail channels. Yet those who did travel to Frankfurt benefited from an outstanding ordering environment.

In total, around 108,000 buyers came to Ambiente from nearly 160 countries [4], seeking inspiration and looking to procure products for their new collections. 62 per cent came from countries outside Germany. One major reason for the reduction in visitors’ numbers was the impact of the coronavirus. Many German and international retail companies, and indeed major ones, had banned their workforce from travelling. Also, from Sunday onwards air and rail traffic were at times completely paralysed throughout Germany and Europe.

“If a trade fair is impacted by two such events, it really does face enormous challenges,” says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. “But our exhibitors assessed the situation correctly. And the trade visitors came to Frankfurt with a positive mindset and keen to place orders,” the experienced trade fair specialist adds. Satisfaction ratings among visitors continued to be at a robust level of 95 per cent. Due to the unusual situation, noticeable shifts could be observed among the top ten visitor nations. After Germany, they were Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Turkey, the United States, Russia, Japan and China. This year growth could be observed in the numbers of visitors from Estonia, Japan, Jordan, Colombia, Romania and Turkey.

Thomas Grothkopp, Managing Director of the German Trade Association for Residential Accommodation and Offices (HWB), adds: “Ambiente has demonstrated yet again that there’s a need for the real world of products, brands and people as an environment for concluding mutually beneficial deals. Retailers made extensive use of the opportunities that are provided by Messe Frankfurt at Ambiente.”