essen, germany — IPM Essen, the International Plant Trade Fair, here, just 60 miles from Holland’s border, draws visitors from all over the world.
On Jan. 24-27, the 35th edition of this trade show attracted 57,000 attendees and 1,577 exhibitors from 45 nations. Retailers experienced the sights and sounds of the newest plant breeds, innovative horticultural technology, floristry trends, as well as sales-promoting products for point-of-sale. The many takeaways for a serious floral professional were both quantitative and qualitative.
The ambassador from the Netherlands opened IPM Essen in an entertaining ceremony. Fresh flowers were showcased on an entire floor, with center-stage workshops, trend hotspots and display windows in every style and color combination. Fresh flowers and plants became display soulmates instead of internal competitors.
Plants are now dominating modern living spaces and gardening in the city is becoming more popular. So it was no surprise urban jungles and grow-your-own trends were major subjects at the trade show. Educational events were hosted by cutting-edge experts ranging from landscaping architects to global horticulture association represetnatives.
Attendees appreciated the presentations that focused on real-life merchandising and selling. Appealing shop displays and marketing concepts were shown in the Creative Centre and each vignette waved the flag of fundamental customer attraction.
Another standout was the exceptional craftsmanship of the vendor booths. Large customer-enticing murals encompassed each booth with suspended merchandising techniques that delighted the crowds. The juxtaposition of austere elements contrasting with shiny glam was crafted within visual displays ranging from bare-wood pallets to crystal. Plush, posh buyer lounges were available for both feet and phone re-charging.
Each of the four days of the show delivered big merchandising ideas, new innovative products, streamlined technology and global networking. By the end of this year’s IPM, 92 percent of the exhibitors and 92 percent of the global attendees had already agreed to take part in IPM Essen 2018, Jan. 23-26.
Cindy Hanauer is founder at Grand Central Floral in Jacksonville, FL. She can be contacted at 844/MYFLORAL (844/693-5672) or 904/327-1951 or Cindy@GrandCentralFloral.com.