Feria Hábitat Valencia is putting the final touches to its preparations for the upcoming edition of the fair, which takes place from 18th to 21st September at Feria Valencia and is poised to boast a markedly stronger international profile in terms of both supply and demand.
One stand-out feature of the fair, which is taking over all the available space on Feria Valencia's Level 2, will be the significant presence of high-end Italian firms, which are staging a major come-back at the Hábitat showcase. In fact, the number of Italian exhibitors that have confirmed already is twice as high as the number that came on board from across the Alps last year.
These are top-level operators that are once again investing time and effort in the Spanish market, which is now recovering and attractive to international suppliers. Those that have already committed include companies such as Cattelan, Target Point New, Corium, Franco Ferri, AmbiensVR, Officina Nove, F.Lli Rossetto, Fan Europe, Magniflex, Plust Collection, Ilpo, FIM, Novamobili, Nidi and Tonin Casa - just some of the Italian names that are exhibiting at Hábitat for the first time. Alongside them will be manufacturers Sitland, Siru, Ferroluce and Antonio Lupi, which exhibited last year.
Portuguese firms are also set to account for a significant proportion of the foreign exhibitors at Hábitat. Companies returning or taking part for the first time include Ducampus, Materflora, Cortimoveis, Gualtorres and Grupo Costa & Januario, together with designers Serip and Fenabel. To date, there are almost 40 Portuguese set to exhibit at Hábitat.
France, Germany, Slovenia, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Romania, Turkey and the Czech Republic are some of the other countries that will be contributing to a number of international exhibitors that is expected to account for over 20% of the total Hábitat showcase.
Twice as many bookings from foreign buyers
Whilst the international component on the exhibitor side is significant, the forecasts also predict that very high numbers of foreign buyers will be there too. In fact, the fair has booked twice as many travel and accommodation packages than last year, with the result that almost 2,000 VIP buyers will be coming from 45 different markets. The move is a joint initiative between Feria Valencia, public bodies such as IVACE Internacional and ICEX and trade associations ANIEME and FEDAI.
Hábitat will also, as part of the international buyer recruitment drive, be promoting an initiative specifically targeted at the contract sector that will involve identifying a large group of specifiers from Latin America who are working on major residential, hotel or shopping centre projects in Central America and the Caribbean and inviting them to attend.
It should be remembered that Feria Hábitat Valencia is also a major international business platform for exhibitors. Last year, 18% of the 23,174 visitors to Hábitat came from abroad, more specifically from 51 different markets.
“Hábitat is on the way to being a first-class intern ational showcase once again,” explains the event's director, Daniel Marco. “There is no question that our showcase is attractive to international purchasing decision-makers. Spanish exports of furniture grew 2.8% in the first quarter of this year, and the figure for the Comunitat Valenciana rises t o 10.5%. Hábitat is therefore a very positive platform for consolidating our products’ competitive edge abroad.” “Also, though,” Marco explains, “demand in Spain is recovering more and more and we are a very attractive market for the leading European manufacturers - especially for those in the industry's benchmark countries such as Italy. We have seen a distinct increase in interest in exhibiting from major Italian companies, which will in turn, of course, make the fair's overall offering even more appealing.”