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International buyers flock to MAISON&OBJET

The MAISON&OBJET show, which took place from Sept. 9-13 in Paris, recorded an increase in overall visitor attendance from the previous year, up 2.7% and supported by an 8.2% increase in the number of international visitors.

While the share of French visitors fell slightly (down 1%) designers and distributors from all over the globe flocked to Paris, with a new show of strength by buyers and designers from overseas, non-European markets, led by the Americans (up 19%) and Japanese (up 16%). There was also significant growth in the number of visitors from Eastern Europe (up 56%), the Middle East (up 39%), South America (up 19%) and Asia (up 18%). Members of the European Union were also out in force, with stable visitor numbers (up 1%), despite a decrease in Italian visitors (down 10%).

The international audience now represents 43% of the trade show's visitors, positioning the event as a key reference point in the global home fashion market. This position is confirmed by increased international media coverage and a 42% increase in accreditations issued to foreign journalists.

Although the French press did not attend in such high numbers this year, MAISON&OBJET is a key vantage point for emerging trends and high-end creativity. Marked by its interdisciplinary and selective character, MAISON showcases cutting-edge trends and concepts, which are also recorded in the 19th Inspirations book published by the MAISON&OBJET Home Observatory, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2012.

Show highlights

The "Fil Vert" (Green Theme) pathway: Local initiative, global movement

Launched at the initiative of MAISON&OBJET, the "Fil vert" pathway highlighted standout environmentally responsible approaches by exhibitors, based on the recommendations of a panel of independent judges. This is MAISON&OBJET's way of promoting innovation in sustainable development initiatives, which have become key factors in contemporary creativity. The show's dedication to sustainability recognizes a paradigm shift which places mankind and the environment at the center of growth and adds long-term value to products and collections.

MAISON&OBJET is committed to green business practices, and throughout the event carried out a major awareness-raising campaign in collaboration with designer Edouard François to recycle the trade show's waste.

New exhibitors on the "Fil Vert" pathway in September 2011: Art Terre agency, ArtBrasil, BlackBody, British European Design Group, EKOBO, Laurence Brabant Editions, the Fourmies Bleues, Lina Forlino and Pied de Poule.

Focus on Japan

In a show of support following the natural disasters which have devastated the country, MAISON&OBJET dedicated "Talents à la Carte" entirely to Japan, accompanied by the "Dessine moi le Japon" exhibition. These were two highlights of the show, whose opening was attended by the Japanese ambassador to France, Mr. Yasuo Saito.

Inspirations areas with the theme of singularité (individuality)

Soon it will be 10 years since the MAISON&OBJET Observatory began providing its specialized insight into emerging trends via spaces that have since become key landmarks for the show's visitors.

"Hors-piste", "Couplicité" and "Obsessions privées" - the Inspirations areas created by François Bernard, Vincent Grégoire from the NellyRodi trends agency and Élisabeth Leriche - have once again shed light on the latest trends from the perspective of this session's chosen theme: singularité. This theme is also explored in the 19th edition of the Inspirations book.

The retail space

MAISON's first-ever retail space dedicated to distribution was a big hit. A real focus point for visitors' inspiration, it showed retailers and storeowners exciting new ways to enhance their displays and offerings. Along with the usual talks arranged by the trade show's organizers, this retail space represented MAISON's determination to provide its professional visitors with ideas and knowledge to take away from the show.

Business Lounge: A dedicated space for interior designers and architects

Interior designers and specifiers represented 34% of total visitors to MAISON&OBJET. These business generators had available to them a lounge where they could meet, network and discuss concepts and inspirations from the show.

With the SBID (Society of British Interior Design) design awards' prize-giving, MAISON&OBJET's Business Lounge was one of the show's major attractions.

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