27 May 2024, 14:38
By Furniture News Feb 19, 2013

An introduction to Interiors LDN

A new event from the organiser of Interiors UK is coming to the capital in May. Interiors LDN aims to meet the demands of London’s A&D and retail communities, providing a range of – principally commercial – high-end furnishing solutions. Furniture News asked UBM’s Andrew Vaughan to outline the fair, and the wider context of the May Design Series event …

Can you deliver a summary of the show and the wider event?

Interiors LDN is a new commercial contract- and retail-facing event, carefully edited to ensure it delivers beautiful-quality furniture, fabrics, flooring and accessories to a high standard. It will present current pieces that reflect high design values and tastes, and are priced so as to be relevant for the larger contract projects where the specifier and retailer needs a more volume and uniform product solution to furnish, for example, a large apartment block, restaurant or hotel chain.

It is a part of the May Design Series, four co-located trade events for London including The ARC Show, kbb LDN and DX, created to provide the definitive destination for inspiration for London-based interior design, property, architectural and retail communities that buy and specify for projects around the world.

What demands prompted the launch of Interiors LDN?

There was a massive gap in the London market for a well-designed, large-scale and, importantly, commercial, trade event, where the A&D and retail communities could complete all of their broad sourcing requirements in one place, and at a timeline that has allowed them to have finished the international show circuit, and, now having explored all the new launches, be ready to actually start making decisions and spending their money at Interiors LDN.

“We are focusing on the commercial contract sector, with only an element of high-end retail”

The May Design Series serves to bring together leading practitioners and the finest international brands to form a world-class comprehensive trade show in the heart of London. These four separate focused, commercial events will combine to serve the broad sourcing needs of these key buyers.

What fundamentally differentiates Interiors LDN from Interiors UK?

We are focusing on the commercial contract sector, with only an element of high-end retail. London is a hub for creative industries satisfying the consumer appetite for design, and a magnet for designers from all over the world. By bringing the Interiors concept to London, we can tap into London’s vast international reach. To give it even more prominence, we have situated Interiors LDN within the vibrant and design-conscious East London, and scheduled it to complete the end of the European show cycle.

Another key factor is that we uniquely really understand the London-based specifiers because we own the market-leading magazines in these sectors (BD, Building and Property Week). We understand that they have very distinct requirements, and so it is only right that we provide a show which suits their specific desires and needs.

What type of exhibitors best reflect the show’s identity?

We’ve hand-picked our exhibitors, so we’re proud to be working with every one of them. The exciting list of hand-picked exhibitors at Interiors LDN includes Rolf Benz, Spectral, Boca Do Lobo, Tisca Tiara, Sharon Marston, Timorous Beasties, James UK, Cameron Peters, Ted Todd and Deadgood.

And, excitingly, across the whole of the May Design Series, the inclusion of brands who haven’t shown in the UK before has been very encouraging, with Iguzzini, Erco, KKDC, Leicht, Lignet Roset and Viaduct all joining the event.

As the show has developed, how has it evolved in scope and approach?

The event started out as kbb LDN, focusing on the kitchen and bathroom sector, but the response was so overwhelming that other sectors I had worked with – including furniture and flooring – approached me about a section for them. So the vision now is to build a broad interior product event.

“All of us must diversify to survive and grow, so being able to source or be inspired across sectors is a fantastic benefit for all involved”

A further development is that we realised that just growing a large trade show wouldn’t work in the London market, so we employed Ab Rogers (son of renowned artchitect Lord Rogers) to work with us on creating the next generation of trade event, where navigation and signage are well-thought through, and the design and look of the event really does make attending an enjoyable and inspiring experience.

Describe the show’s special features, unique qualities and visitor benefits …

The show has some very exciting features – for example, we have run a bar design competition with the Royal College of Art, so our bar in Interiors LDN and DX will be innovative and inspirational. We have also signed a unique collaboration with Materia to deliver a materials lab where samples can be seen and touched – and also watch out over the coming weeks for some unique initiatives we have been working on with our fantastic exclusive show partner the Society of British Design (SBID).

We have some other very impressive joint initiatives and collaborations still to unveil over the coming weeks. The show really is the place to be, and the place to be seen. Visitors will be able to see the latest launches and unique products from around the world in one destination. There’s going to be a great buzz about the show, and it’s going to provide a key networking opportunity for both buyers and suppliers.

At Interiors LDN, visitors will be able to listen to a whole range of inspirational and insightful expert speakers at the Conversation Series, who will be discussing the pressing issues for the industry.

In addition to all the major brands that are exhibiting, we also have a showcase of the latest emerging talent.

The recent history of London summer furniture exhibitions is not the most encouraging …

We are in a different year, and the London market has moved on so much and become an island in its tastes and buoyancy. 75% of the global specification is now done from the London headquarters. It is the right time, and the demand is very clear for a large-scale broad interiors event. We are certain that the show will be a success.

It has been thoroughly researched ­– for example we found that 94% of the London design professionals that we spoke to said they were interested in a new interiors event. We also found that 63% felt that May was the ideal month and the perfect time in the buying cycle. 

What do the shows running alongside Interiors LDN offer the typical domestic furniture/furnishings buyer?

The complete May Design Series experience is going to be really beneficial to our visitors. For example, visitors to Interiors LDN that are working with open-plan living spaces will be able to cross over to kbb LDN, The ARC Show or DX for a wealth of inspiration. Whether it’s an open-plan kitchen and living space, a boutique hotel-style combined bathroom and bedroom, or statement architectural and decorative lighting, between the shows, visitors will be able to find everything they need by visiting one destination.

The fact is that the lifestyle buy and sell is increasingly important. All of us must diversify to survive and grow, so being able to source or be inspired across sectors is a fantastic benefit for all involved.

Are there any exhibitors/features you’re expecting to prove particularly popular?

We think visitors are really going to be excited by the whole experience of the show as this year we have enlisted the renowned designer and creative genius Ab Rogers. He is designing the May Design Series, and is going to unite the four shows under a single creative vision. Ab will be turning the exhibition experience on its head, so that visitors feel invigorated, inspired and fulfilled.

Are there any other matters you’d like to mention?

Having launched and run some of the largest commercial interior events in the UK over the past 16 years, I have mixed all my experience into the May Design Series. New initiatives – such as having a maximum stand size of 100m² and editing the floor plans with great care and attention – are all geared towards offering the customer the greatest possibility of achieving a good ROI from displaying. London deserves its own international event, and we are determined to provide this.

Andrew Vaughan is the brand director at event organiser UBM, which is responsible for the May Design Series – which takes place from 19th-21st May ay ExCeL, London.

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