Cabinet Maker previews the 79th edition of the Brussels Furniture Fair.
The Brussels Furniture Fair is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most welcoming and enjoyable trade fairs. Time and time again, its original, warm approach and cosy, yet business-like atmosphere takes the sector by surprise. Exhibitors at this impressive, vibrant trade show invest in presentation and stands that give innovations the attention they deserve.
Both exhibitors and visitors know what to expect from the Brussels Furniture Fair. First and foremost, it showcases a commercial offering for the broad mid-market segment, from low to high. Furniture dealers want to buy new products for the next furniture season. In Brussels, at the right time of year, they will find a whole host of innovations that will enable them to renew their own ranges. And when it comes to new products, exhibitors will once again be giving their very best this year.
What came before
After a small decline in visitors in 2014, show organisers were pleased to be able to announce a modest increase of 0.82% at last year’s event. This increase was entirely down to foreign visitors, although the downward trend of Belgian visitors was reportedly stabilised. It was chiefly the Netherlands (+4%) and Germany/Austria/Switzerland (+2.7%) that accounted for the increase in visitors.
At 19,296, the total number of visitors in 2015 came close to the target level of 20,000. Ultimately, the key thing for exhibitors was whether or not they had done good business. Reactions overwhelmingly suggested that the result was positive. The majority of exhibitors were either satisfied or very satisfied, not only with visitor numbers, but also with the quality and profile of visitors.
An efficient visit
Clear segmentation saves visitors time and effort by providing a clear overview of what’s on offer. This helps you to plan your visit efficiently, which leaves plenty of time for new discoveries. You can map out your visit to the fair on the Brussels Furniture Fair website, where you will also find a full list of the 2016 exhibitors.
As usual, the show is divided into six sections; City, Brussels by Night, Mozaïek, Fusion, Holland a la Carte and Square. Read on for a brief overview of each:
Three halls of trendy contemporary furniture and seating from leading international manufacturers with a powerful appeal. From extensive collections to interesting niche products for a modern lifestyle.
Brussels by Night
Europe’s main point of reference when it comes to bedroom comfort. Ahead of the field in both technical inventiveness and innovative design and atmospheric bedroom concepts. In this hall you can assemble your new bedroom comfort collection from a specialised international range.
The entry segment of the market is becoming increasingly attractive, as Mozaïek demonstrates. Collections of price-conscious and trendy products enhance one another in Hall 9. An up-to-the minute mix that sells itself.
Undoubtedly the most atmospheric hall at the Brussels Furniture Fair. Rustic and romantic furniture collections supplemented with decoration and home accessories. Often inspired by nostalgia or ethnic sources, in designs that appeal to today’s customers.
Holland a la carte
An all-inclusive concept for Dutch manufacturers, enabling them to feel completely at home at the most important trade fair in the Benelux. As well as being a point of reference for Dutch industry professionals, this is also a key focal point for international visitors.
High-quality collections of accessible design as an alternative to the major international brands are here presented around a central bar. Striking design products for timelessly modern interiors.
Are you curious to see some great brands that guarantee interesting products at the fair? If so, organisers have already revealed a few worthwhile new names – for the first time, and of course not yet complete: Aleal, ARC Mobiliario, Nardi Interni, K+W, Skovby and Tetrad will be new at Brussels. And Ada, Calligaris, Confortluxe, Lee&Lewis and Mathy by Bols are returning. In Brussels by Night Avek and M-Line will be welcomed back again after a year’s gap. And of course the most loyal exhibitors will be there as usual.
The annual Balthazars will once again be awarded at the Brussels Furniture Fair. The award aims to give an extra boost to exhibitors at the fair who have made striking achievements in terms of product development. From the models submitted, a professional jury selects four winners, each of which receives a certificate and a Balthazar. A Balthazar is a giant 12-litre bottle of champagne, the equivalent of 16 standard bottles.
When and where?
The Brussels Furniture Fair will take place once again in the breath-taking setting of Brussels Expo Centre, overlooking the Heysel Exhibition Park, and in the shadow of the fantastical structure which is ‘Atomium’. The show opens for four days from Sunday 6 November, from 9am – 7pm each day.
By car: Exit7bis (Brussels Expo), Parking C – then take footbridge over Romeinsesteenweg/Chaussée Romaine
OR via Miramarlaan/Avenue de Miramar
Metro: Line 6 direction Roi Baudouin, stop: Heysel
Train: Midi station + metro line 6 direction Roi Baudouin, stop Heysel
Want to plan your visit to the fair immediately?
You can book a hotel right now at the Brussels Booking Desk, the Furniture Fair’s official accommodation partner. Hotels prices start at €79 a night, including breakfast. It’s easy to book online, and you get immediate confirmation. The Brussels Booking Desk is offered free by visit.brussels, BECI and the Brussels Hotel Association.
However important an element the sense of the spectacular is to the fair, it has to meet and deliver on expectations. The offer in Brussels is always very diverse yet coherent. The fair caters for a number of well-defined target groups, in search of a specific product range.
The strength of a fair is directly related to the strength of the offer on show, but it’s the entire picture that has to fit. Style, decoration, atmosphere, communication, experience, a warm welcome, personal contact; in this digital era there is more need than ever for human and personal contacts, also in business. Professional relationships become more and more long term relationships and experiments with unfamiliar suppliers become less attractive. Moreover, there’s no way to create a physical experience online, buying furniture is still largely a matter of seeing, feeling, touching, trying, and receive additional information.
The content, personal relationships and the atmosphere, all come together to create a special moment. These are the key elements that make the Brussels Furniture Fair what it means today. A visit to the Fair is a must for many furniture dealers, and for anyone who is professionally involved with interior design. The Brussels Furniture Fair has once again proven that a trade fair plays an important role in commercialising collections. It is a standing appointment at which furniture manufacturers and dealers meet up; a time to get down to business. And the fact that it has also lived up to expectations is the best possible reward for all the work and investment that is required in the run-up to a trade fair, for exhibitors and organisers alike.