Tableware International March April 2022

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Viewpoints Roundtable

Roundtable

talk Ambiente will now be held simultaneously with Christmasworld and Creativeworld as the Home of Consumer Goods, what are your thoughts on the change? Zieher: Since Ambiente is very important for us, considering our business relations into over 90 countries, we recognise changes with some natural scepticism. However, we have an understanding that there is more room available with the new hall, and of course that the show’s organisers need to optimise business strategies to push efficiency, since they had difficult times, too. So we trust the Ambiente team with their experience in that sector to do the right thing and we look forward to a better show for everyone with somewhat carful optimism. Lifetime Brands: We think this is a fantastic change. We didn’t think Ambiente could get any larger but obviously with the addition of the fabulous new Hall 12 since the last show, it ensures that the show becomes a destination for more and more buyers in all areas of home. This is particularly key as retail destinations are now fusing their categories in a far greater way than ever before and for buyers, it means it becomes an

We bring together some of the industry’s finest to hear their thoughts on the future of trade shows... efficient use of their time to cover as many categories as possible. Seasonality has always been key in retail but it is becoming an increasingly important factor in driving footfall overall as buying channels now look to balance out post Covid. RCR: I think it’s good news. Combining several events with different themes in the same period can attract a greater number of visitors, bringing new realities to the world of tableware and open up new opportunities. I would have expected even more radical changes, for example an anticipation of the fair event in October instead of February, but in any case it remains the most important event of the year for the world of tableware and we’re eager to be together in person again with our partners. Dunoon: We are quite excited about the 2023 Ambiente exhibition merging with Christmasworld. Part of our customer base is from the gift trade and this will create a wider audience for Dunoon. The earlier dates of 3rd to 7th February are good as it gives us more time to prepare the spring and summer orders for our customers.

Post pandemic, do you think tradeshows still have a place in the industry? Lifetime Brands: Possibly more so post pandemic than ever. People have missed seeing people, touching product and having those conversations you just can’t have over Zoom. This could be a real resurgence for trade shows if the organisers manage the changes well, incorporating what we truly love about a trade show and what they were not delivering before the pandemic. Sometimes, the costs

Claire Budgen

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Peter Smith Sales director, Dunoon

RCR Crystal: Absolutely, yes! We are Italians, meeting customers, hugging them, laughing with them is part of our life. I can’t imagine how sad it would be to interact with people just behind a camera. Zieher: I am pretty sure the shows will not totally vanish, since one of the important parts in doing business internationally is trust. Since meeting your partner personally affects this greatly, we will continue to attend shows. There is only so much you can

“Since Ambiente is very important for us, considering our business relations into over 90 countries, we recognize changes with some natural scepticism” Nikolan Borger, Zieher can be prohibitive to the return and so organise more effective spaces / product hubs where exhibitors could manage costs better for example. And ensure there is support for the product category they are offering. An exhibition with only a handful of exhibitors in a certain product

Meet the panelists

Commercial director, Lifetime Brands Europe

category for example is not going to be time well spent for buyers.

Fabio Lupi Sales & marketing director, RCR Crystal

Nikolan Borger, Marketing manager, Zieher

substitute by a Zoom meeting, though we are glad that they exist. Another factor is novelties can be better assessed when you can inspect the real deal, with a direct look and feel of the actual thing. Especially for companies that provide exclusive design items made of exquisite materials like us, lifting an item, experiencing its weight and the surface structure is something even the most elaborate online tutorial can´t provide. So, I guess the shows might turn even more into a place where the extraordinary can be experienced live. Dunoon: Regarding exhibitions, we will be more reflective on which ones we will exhibit at in the future with Ambiente being the main show for us. We have an active field sales force that visit both UK and overseas customers, so it isn’t as important to attend so many exhibitions as previous.