Welcome to Cologne!
Admittedly the name doesn´t trip off your tongue with ease just yet. When talking about this year´s International Hardware Fair in Cologne you tend to want to add the familiar old second part of the name as well. But no, that´s all in the past now. So: welcome to the International Hardware Fair in Cologne! When professionals from the industry, both national and international, get together in this cathedral city on the Rhine between 28 February and 3 March we hope we´ll be able to record a good atmosphere, lots of new ideas and products, and a goof pinch of optimism.
The hardware sector and the fair both deserve this. It appears that we are getting over the credit crunch and the economic crisis more quickly than was expected for quite some time. The demand for a leading global fair seems to be getting somewhat more pronounced again, so that we can definitely look towards Cologne with quite some hope in this respect.
We have brought out this DIY International pocket supplement in English to give you a foretaste of the fair: compact, informative and comprehensive, it provides you with all the information you need on just 20 pages. It is also being included with the January issue of diy and published as an e-version at www.DIYglobal.com. If you want to know more, plenty of extra information can be found at www.hardwarefair.com.
Dr. Joachim Bengelsdorf
Download: The entire scope of hardware expertise (PDF file)
Focus on hardware expertise
The International Hardware Fair features a new structuring of the product ranges .
The International Hardware Fair is being held at the Koelnmesse exhibition centre from 28th February to 3rd March 2010. Over this four-day period trade visitors from all over the world will be able to gather information about the innovations and trends displayed by approximately 2 700 suppliers from 51 countries, while also placing orders for the coming year and establishing new business contacts. ?Cologne will become the international business hub for the sector by bringing together professionals from trade and industry with buyers and suppliers, enabling them to hold discussions and lay the groundwork for the coming year,? says Oliver P. Kuhrt, executive vice president of Koelnmesse. In addition to an informative supporting programme and services designed to help bring about business deals, visitors can look forward to an international range of exhibitors now reorganised into five product segments.
In 2010 the International Hardware Fair will encompass five clearly structured product segments: Tools, Industrial Supply, Fastening & Fittings, Locks & Fittings and Home Improvement. As a result, the focus will be even more strongly on the product categories displayed than in the past, allowing the manufacturers to present their products to the public in a target group-oriented manner. The new visitor-friendly layout also means that dealers and buyers from industry can quickly find their way around the fair and gain a compact overview of the innovations for their specific area of responsibility, while at the same time being able to schedule their appointments in a time-saving manner.
The fair?s biggest segment, Tools, will be presenting a very deep and broad product range. More than 2 000 companies will exhibit a comprehensive range of hand-operated and power tools, as well as power tool attachments, in Halls 1 to 3, 4.1, 10.1 and 10.2. Industrial supplies, along with workshop and industrial fittings, will be displayed by about 200 companies in the Industrial Supply segment in Halls 4.1 and 4.2. Visitors will find innovations for fixing and fastening technologies from 150 suppliers in the Fastening & Fittings segment in Hall 5.2, while products from the Locks & Fittings segment will be presented by 100 manufacturers one storey lower down in Hall 5.1. Fastenings and fittings from Asia will also be found in Halls 1 to 3, where the product ranges from Asia will be concentrated. The product range will be rounded off by exhibitors in the Home Improvement segment in Hall 5.1, where visitors will find products from the builders? and DIY supplies segment.
Around 80 per cent of the exhibitors at the International Hardware Fair will be coming to Cologne from abroad in order to seek out new business partners, while maintaining and expanding their global contacts. The European country sending the most suppliers to the fair is Italy, followed by the UK, France and Spain. There will also be large contingents from further afield: from China, Taiwan, India and the USA. Nearly 60 per cent of the visitors came from outside Germany in 2008.
Trends and new products
Trade visitors will have the opportunity to see a broad spectrum of innovative products from around the world over the four days of the fair.
Around 2 700 exhibitors will display their innovative solutions and reveal the latest trends in the five areas of Tools, Industrial Supply, Fastening & Fittings, Locks & Fittings and Home Improvement. It is almost impossible to provide a comprehensive overview in advance of the 2010 International Hardware Fair due to the wealth of product highlights on show there. In addition, many manufacturers understandably want to keep their future turnover-boosting products under wraps at this point in time. Nevertheless, a few sectoral trends are already apparent.
Tools: More functions ? greater time savings
See, touch and test: in the run-up to the fair, some manufacturers are promising trade visitors a more ?hands-on? experience than ever before, with many new tools they can try out themselves. Two years ago a new multifunctional ratchet that was presented to trade fair visitors in Cologne for the first time caused quite a sensation. Since then, this innovative product has been redesigned and equipped with additional functions. Now the improved product will be presented to trade visitors at the coming fair. Furthermore, some exhibitors have announced that they will be launching modified tightening tools that will provide the user with even more advantages while working.
There will also be many new products in the area of abrasives. For example, trade visitors in Cologne will see a tool that can simultaneously cut and deburr material. This feature reduces the standard changeover times for the discs.
Fastening technology: robust screws and smaller packs
A new trend is emerging in the area of screws, especially those used for hardwood. The current generation of screws is of excellent quality and features impressive material hardness, which gives them unprecedented strength. These products make the skilled tradesman?s work far easier because now he can, in theory, even forget about pre-drilling since the screws won't break any more during insertion. This innovation will make the construction of decking significantly easier. Nevertheless, manufacturers continue to advise people to pre-drill, especially when working with hardwood, as it helps to prolong the life of cordless screwdrivers and ensures a shorter insertion time.
Many manufacturers will be presenting an even broader range of products than before. Thanks to so-called ?accompanying product ranges? such as dowels, other fastening elements and chemical products, customers will receive considerably more added value from their specialised suppliers. Another trend among manufacturers is towards smaller supply units. Both trends demonstrate how suppliers are deliberately and consistently focusing on the merchandising of their products now.
Locks & fittings: Less noise thanks to new damping techniques
Visitors will also find many interesting innovations in the locks and fittings segment. New hinges with an integrated damping effect will be presented, especially in the area of furniture fittings. Decorative products made from new materials in new forms and colours will also be on view. The functional fittings section will include new extension systems for drawers, on display for the first time ever at the Cologne Hardware Fair.
DIY: new concepts in product presentation
In the future, those who want to make their homes more attractive will increasingly purchase products in soft pastel colours. This is, at least, what many of the companies exhibiting in the home improvement segment currently believe. These warm new colours not only appear as wall paint but also in colour-coordinated products such as switches, sockets and skirting. Even ladders, waste bins and folding steps are presented in the current trendy shades.
Another important focal point of the fair is the area of product merchandising for the self-service business. Here the store operators are demanding from suppliers the development of new packaging solutions and display panels in order to increase and enhance their space productivity. February will see these new presentational ideas and concepts being shown to the trade in Cologne. Another important development is the increasing concentration of DIY retailing on so-called soft ranges such as china and ceramics that complement the traditional product assortment. The trend in the DIY sector is increasingly towards higher-quality products; more and more suppliers are adapting to this trend.
Manufacturers advertise quality products
In addition to presenting their innovative products, many manufacturers also use the Cologne Hardware Fair to engage in discussions with their trade partners about matters such as new concepts, especially in the area of sales support. And one topic above all is writ large at the fair: quality. Two years ago there were lively discussions in Cologne with the Association of the German Tool Industry (FWI) on the use of ?Made in Germany? as a quality label. A lot of German companies want to advertise their business and their products again next year with the help of this quality label.
Information and entertainment
The supporting programme at the fair offers a great deal of know-how for experts from both trade and industry.
To allow suppliers and buyers to contact each other even before the fair begins and plan their visit as effectively as possible, Koelnmesse is offering an online Business Matchmaking service. This tool enables trade visitors to contact exhibitors from their respective product area before the fair has even commenced and arrange meetings at the exhibitors? stands. The service tool will go online at www.hardwarefair.com around two weeks before the fair commences.
The Matchmaking programme known as the ?Buying Day? will be held on the day before the fair opens. The event will be organised by the Home Improvement Presidents Council in cooperation with Koelnmesse. Here the home improvement/DIY trade ? primarily from North America ? and internationally operating producers will gather to take part in individually arranged meetings.
The event will provide exhibitors with the opportunity to talk to interesting customers in advance. By the same token, the platform will also enable buyers to gain a rapid overview of which exhibitors? stands are worth a longer visit, with a view to purchasing new products for the coming season. Information on similar events and the conditions of participation can be found at www.presidentscouncil.com. Lowe?s, one of North America?s leading DIY store operators, has already announced that it will be taking part.
The sector-specific forum called ?Tools Live ? Highlights on Stage? in Hall 4.1 will provide trade visitors to the fair with an exciting mix of tools-related information and entertainment. There will be diverting presentations, panel discussions and product presentations to the benefit of business in the sector.
What are the latest developments in fastening technology and what are the top products- Visitors will get answers to these questions at the Fastening Technology Innovation Centre in Hall 5.2.
What power tools are currently available on the market? What can they do, and what innovations will the future bring? These are the questions that will be addressed by "Modern power tools for more productivity, safety and ergonomics", a special exhibition conceived for trade visitors. The exhibition is being organized in cooperation with the Association of the German Tool Industry (FWI) and the German Tool Museum in Remscheid.
On 1st March the German DIY Retailers? Association (BHB) will be organising the BHB Forum in Koeln-messe?s Kristallsaal, beginning at 6 pm. At this event the BHB will also present its customer service award in cooperation with Faupel Communication and the publishing house of Rohn. The customer service award is presented to companies that have come up with outstanding concepts in the categories of innovation, communication and marketing.
Exhibitors and visitors who would like to find out more about some of Germany?s interesting DIY retail groups can take part in a DIY store tour from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm on Tuesday 2 March. The tour will be organised by Dähne Verlag in conjunction with Koelnmesse.
Drills, bits and brushes
?Modern power tools for more productivity, safety and ergonomics? is the name of a special show staged in
cooperation with the Association of German Tool Manufacturers (FWI).
Which power tools are currently available on the market? What can they do, and what innovations will be available in the future? These are the questions addressed by a special exhibition called "Modern power tools for more productivity, safety and ergonomics", which is being presented to trade visitors from across the globe at the International Hardware Fair. Almost all the leading manufacturers in this segment will have exhibits in the show. It is being organized in cooperation with the Association of Ger-man Tool Manufacturers (FWI) and the German Tool Museum in Remscheid.
Visitors can expect to see a comprehensive view of the diverse world of currently available cordless tools and saws, multi-tools, hammer drills and accessories such as drills, bits, brushes and cutting discs. In
addition, the special show also provides information on trends and future developments in this product category, which celebrated its debut in 1895 with the first hand-held power drill, made in Stuttgart by Wilhelm Emil Fein.
This special display presents exhibits from such companies as TTS Tooltechnik Systems, Robert Bosch, AEG & Milwaukee Elektrowerkzeuge, C. & E. Fein, Black & Decker, Exact, Hilti, Keil Werkzeugfabrik, Osborn International, August Rüggeberg, wekador, Wera-Werk, Wiha Werkzeuge, Witte Werkzeuge and Wuro Wilh. Uebach.
Easy and stress-free
Package deals and online tickets are available for fair participants. Both visitors and exhibitors are eligible for special rail concessions.
Whether they?re travelling by plane, train or car, exhibitors and visitors who decide early on to attend the Cologne International Hardware Fair can plan their travel with ease and, in many cases, save money.
Cologne-Bonn Airport, a main hub for several no-frills airlines, is located not far from the exhibition site. The regional railway or S-Bahn (No.13 train) takes visitors from the airport to the exhibition centre in just 15 minutes. Various airlines offer low-price flights to and from Cologne; the current schedule lists no fewer than 100 low-cost destinations. This allows visitors to the International Hardware Fair to combine their trip to Cologne with additional business meetings in other European countries at no great additional cost. And the earlier they book their flights, the more likely they are to be offered especially favourable rates. Low-price flights are available through the Koelnmesse booking system in the "Travel Service" section of the trade fair's website, www.hardwarefair.com.
Koelnmesse is also cooperating with Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company, to offer trade fair participants special prices on rail tickets to the exhibition site station, Köln Messe/Deutz, from anywhere in Germany. Exhibitors and visitors coming from Germany can purchase a return second-class train ticket to Cologne for just € 89 (first class: € 139). This special price is valid for distances of up to 350 kilometres. For a journey to Cologne within Germany of more than 350 kilometres, a return ticket costs € 139 in second class and € 219 in first class. The price does not include seat reservations. Further offers are available for selected routes from Switzerland (Zurich), the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and Belgium (Brussels). The ticket is valid only if the bearer can present proof of online registration as a trade visitor, or show an admission ticket or exhibitor pass. Bookings can be made at www.hardwarefair.com in the "Travel Service" section.
Koelnmesse?s hotel services include partnerships with about 120 hotels in Cologne and the surrounding area, all of which offer excellent rates for trade fair participants. Hotel reservations can simply be made online at the "Travel Service" section of the fair website. Travel and accommodation can also be booked together as a package deal.
We strongly recommend that participants make an early decision to come to Cologne. The fastest way for visitors to gain admission to the halls is to register in advance and order their admission tickets online. The visitor registration function and the online shop have been available since 1 November 2009. Admission tickets are sent out immediately by e-mail. These entitle visitors to enter the halls via the "fast lane" and to travel free of charge on buses, trains and trams in and around Cologne on their way to the trade fair and during the event. This is because visitors and exhibitors can use their admission tickets to travel free of charge throughout the VRS network of the local Rhine-Sieg public transport authority.
Temple art and tons of hairspray
Art and culture in Cologne beyond the trade fair halls.
In addition to the comprehensive range of products and services presented at the International Hardware Fair Cologne, there will be many exciting things to see and do outside the trade fair halls in the city of Cologne.
Cologne is home to many different types of museums. The Museum Ludwig is currently presenting an exhibition of works by the Düsseldorf-based artist Leni Hoffmann, which will run until the end of March 2010. This contemporary artist's exhibition is the first in a series that deals with the topicality of the Russian avant-garde. The exhibition presents works by Leni Hoffmann that were especially developed for the Museum Ludwig (www.museum-ludwig.de).
The Museum of East Asian Art will be presenting an exhibition of 117 works from Bhutan which were created between the eighth and 20th centuries. What's special about the exhibition, "The Dragon's Gift: Sacred Art in Bhutan", is that nearly all of the works on display have been collected from temples that are still used as religious centres, where they are worshipped as sacred objects (www.museenkoeln.de/ museum-fuer-ostasiatische-kunst).
Whether you prefer operas or musicals, Cologne has many highlights to offer you during the International Hardware Fair. Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Macbeth", which is based on Shakespeare's play of the same name, will be performed at the Cologne Opera House on 27th February 2010. The opera tells the well-known story of intrigue, lust for power and murder. Then on 28th February the audience of the Cologne Opera House will be transported by Richard Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier" (The Knight of the Rose) back into the milieu of the Viennese aristocracy of 1740, at the beginning of the reign of Maria Theresa of Austria. (www.operkoeln.com).
If you're looking for something more modern, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" will be staged as a musical in the Gürzenich on 2nd March. The show is based on the original production by Ch. De Lellis and P. Langerand and tells the story of Victor Hugo's best-selling novel. This musical features sophisticated stage technology, spectacular dancing and enchanting melodies. Also during the fair, the hit musical "Hairspray" will be a guest production at the Cologne Musical Dome, which is next to the Cologne main railway station. During the trade fair, the original version of the musical will be performed on 27th and 28th February, and again on 2nd and 3rd March, at the Musical Dome on Breslauer Platz (www.musical-dome.de).
From Cologne's Carnival season through to "Kölnisch Wasser" (eau de Cologne) and on to the city's breweries, for those who are interested in Cologne's "peculiarities" and history, a visit to the Cologne City Museum is a must. Due to be held here from 27th February 2010 is an exhibition under the title of "25 Years of Parodying Carnival" ("Karneval instandbesetzt? Politik, Protest, Provokation und Persiflage - 25 Jahre Stunksitzung"), which focuses on the history of a popular, alternative Carnival-related cabaret and its presentation of politics, protest, provocation and satire.