After four full days of business meetings, networking and design-related activities, the International Furniture Fair Singapore 2013/30th ASEAN Furniture Show (IFFS/AFS 2013), The Décor Show 2013 and The Hospitality Show 2013 ended on a positive note, reports the fair’s organiser IFFS Pte.

The trilogy of events opened to a good flow of visitors through its doors, despite the weekend start. Anchored by 466 exhibitors from 26 countries, IFFS/AFS welcomed a total of 20,893 visitors from 102 countries to the annual international event, which included 118 buying delegations. This year, spot orders in the region of US$297m were reportedly transacted at the fair, and follow-on sales are expected to reach US$3.3b.

Over the years, IFFS/AFS has developed a reputation as a respectable show that attracts a wide range of quality exhibitors. The extensive portfolio of exhibits helps to draw buyers, making it a well-attended show that is fruitful for all participating companies.

Mike McKeever, vice-president of Les Jardins (America), says: “We wanted to expand our distribution in Asia, and we’re satisfied to have obtained customers from new markets. Singapore is a vibrant place that attracts many of our potential partners from Australia. We’ve also seen people from Papua New Guinea, India, North America and Europe.”

Also happy with the results of his company’s first-time participation is Amit Gupta, director of Ava Handfab (India). He agrees: “There is a good variety of customers here at IFFS. Around 70-80% of the people we’ve met are serious buyers.”

As much as it is an attractive event for furniture manufacturers, IFFS/AFS proved equally appealing for visitors. Ernie Koh, chairman of IFFS Pte says: “Increasingly, exhibitors are providing visitors with a full experience of their exhibit pieces. Instead of simply displaying a piece, more participating companies work hard at demonstrating how their pieces come together as a collection. The fact that exhibitors put more thought to their booths, and how they choose to return each year, tells us that they see value in their IFFS/AFS investment!”

Similar to past editions of the show, the largest contingent of exhibitors hails from the ASEAN region. For many international visitors, designs from this part of the world intrigue and interest their customers. Visitor Yu Yibing, design director of Yueyang Home & Garden (China), said: “I’m looking for traditional, ASEAN-inspired designs and manufacturers. Overall, the products I’ve seen here are of high quality, and the exhibition space is very presentable and well organised.”

Visitors from the region ranked IFFS/AFS above other shows for its content, which has been fuel for imagination and inspiration for many. Jonathan Sew from Lasting Impressions (Malaysia), who has attended for the past four years, said: “We come to get new ideas and concepts. In particular, we enjoy D’Space and Green Pavilion, which are unique to the IFFS.”

Samuel Yeung from ACS Design Asia (Hong Kong) added: “Compared to other exhibitions I have been to, the products here look more premium and the designs are far more superior.”

In conjunction with the trilogy of shows was the Hospitality.Design.Furniture Conference, Luxurious Projects Asia Summit & Awards 2013, which took place on 11th March. Well received by industry professionals, the conference was attended by some 200 regional and international delegates. The following awards for the various luxurious projects were announced and presented to the recipients during the gala luncheon:

Best Luxury Hotel Design: Gold – Macalister Mansion, Penang (Malaysia), Silver – Blossom Hill, Zhouzhuang (China), and Bronze – Hotel Icon (Hong Kong).

Best Luxury Resort Design: Gold – St Regis Bali (Indonesia), Silver – InterContinental Danang (Vietnam), and Bronze – W Singapore.

Best Luxury Residential Design: Gold – The Troika, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Silver –One Shenton (Singapore), and Bronze – Lodha Evoq, Mumbai (India).

Best Adoption Of Luxury & Sustainability Ideas: Gold – ParkRoyal on Pickering (Singapore), Silver – Song Saa House & Garden (Cambodia), and Bronze – I Resort (Vietnam).

The second edition of SingaPlural, a unique showcase of the best design elements in Singapore, featuring various facets of the creative spectrum, also concluded on 15th March. Through the 350 installations, design spaces, symposiums, competitions and other activities held in and around the city, SingaPlural reached out to approximately 10,000 members of the general public, on top of some 20,000 trade visitors at the Singapore Expo, where IFFS/AFS was held.

At a press conference on 9th March, IFFS announced the major news of its joint venture with dmg :: events to co-organise the next edition of The Hospitality Show. Both parties have since agreed on Hospitality 360° as the new title for the 2014 event.

Ernie shared that the new name better reflects the nature of the show. “We aim to reach professionals from all sectors of the hospitality industry. Hospitality 360° will feature a wide range of exhibition categories, and the show is expected to be an all-round solution for design and interiors, carefully developed for the hospitality industry.”

The next edition of the trilogy of shows will be held from 9-12th March 2014 at Singapore Expo. See next month's edition (May) of Furniture News for a full report, or read the editor's blog from the show here.