Espritmeuble, held in Porte de Versailles, Paris, is an exhibition created by furniture manufacturers for the industry. With the third edition of the event coming up from 6-9th December, Victoria Noakes speaks to president of the show, Gaétan Ménard, to discover more about this year’s plans and what to expect at the event ...
What is Espritmeuble’s aim?
Espritmeuble’s mission is to give pride and vision to the industry even in tough times – to help it discover what it’s capable of. By gathering the whole family of the furniture industry together, having a good time and sharing experiences and information, we hope to help improve confidence and promote innovation and action within the marketplace.
Who will be exhibiting at Espritmeuble this year?
92% of the brands from last year are coming back again this year, and we also have 15-20 newcomers including Tempur and Calia Italia. The show has a great standing in Europe, with manufacturers from Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium and more in attendance. Our main objective is to have a broad offering for retailers.
Will there be any special features at the event?
We have been working on a lot of new content for this year, especially for our English-speaking visitors. We want to provide more information regarding the French market – not only based on products and brands, but also about consumer behaviour and projections for the future. We have a partnership with French TV channel BFM Business – a major channel for economic and financial news – which will make Espritmeuble the centre of attention for the duration of the event.
The theme of the show this year is focused on new technologies. In the middle of the exhibition there will be a section called FabLab, which will promote 3D printing and the impact it has on the furniture industry.
We also have a partnership with VIA, the organisation which deals with design in France, which will hold a presentation during the show to help people to understand the future of design. A special high-end welcome will also be extended to the biggest retailers in Europe, in the form of Club VIP.
What makes Espritmeuble unique from other European shows?
Some of our exhibitors will not be present at other events in the UK or in Cologne – especially those from the south of Europe and France – so Espritmeuble is the ideal place for the trade to visit them.
The date is also a great advantage. The idea for us is to make it so that retailers can get their product delivered just after the Christmas sales – when they have emptied their stores, they will receive their orders right after. We decided on the December dates to respect the way that retail stores operate.
What can visitors expect to discover from the French market?
The evolution of the French market has been quite significant in terms of style. Some retailers from the UK might have in mind the historical styling of French furniture, which has actually completely disappeared from the market today. It is now modern and contemporary, and I truly believe that there are some offers that UK retailers will find exciting and inspiring.
How is Espritmeuble attracting international visitors?
The importance of international visitors is vital to us. We have a strong invitation offering for UK visitors this year – with travel, food and drinks all paid for, and we organise a special evening on the Monday.
We are going to work harder this year for the UK, to provide more information about the French market, product and evolution. As part of our partnership with BFM Business, we aim to deliver this information frequently, and hope to have it ready by next year.
We are really hoping to attract as many UK retailers as possible – I think the event is a great platform for the UK to rediscover some of our exhibitors. My British friends have told me they love the wine from the region, so it gives them just enough time to prepare for Christmas!
This article was featured in the October issue of Furniture News magazine.