20 May 2024, 10:34
By Furniture News Sept 11, 2014

Furniture China's 20th edition kicks off with a bang

The 20th anniversary edition of Furniture China opened its doors yesterday as the furniture industry gathered at Shanghai New International Expo Centre and Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre for what promised to be an exciting event.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the grand opening ceremony - complete with a brass band - which gave some interesting insight into the history and current climate of China's furniture industry. Although the past 20 years has certainly been a challenge for the Chinese market, ultimately it has been rewarding, with the industry seeing continuous development and sustaining annual growth of over 15%. More than 1.2 trillion yuan - around $53b - has been made through furniture exports alone, and as such, the need for China to have a platform to boost this progress is crucial.

Furniture China's aims are to encourage a higher quality of product to meet the needs of today's lifestyle expectations whilst adapting to current trends and bringing something fresh, innovative and original. With such a wide spectrum of exhibitors present at this year's show - around 2500, from 26 countries including Korea, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, along with newcomers Brazil and Poland - the event is certainly not short on variety, catering to diverse consumer needs.

This year's show boasts a plethora of special features to further enhance its offering to visitors, including a focus on creative design over two halls, encompassing Brand Design and Original Design. Here, 106 exhibitors - including design brands from Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, India, Thailand, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and the US - bring innovative products and fresh design concepts to the fore, which makes for an inspiring visit.

A noteworthy new highlight of the event is Home Plus, in co-operation with Architectural Digest, which features several distinctive lifestyle concepts designed by exhibitors which cater to different stages of life.

What is more, Design of Designers presents the work of 60 talented designers - nearly half of them well-established, whose designs are sought after and anticipated by international visitors. Alongside this display, a series of design forums aim to foster communication between designers and consumers.

The 100 Sofa Show - a specially themed show featuring 100 new designs of fabric sofas and a dedicated seminar programme - hopes to pass on essential knowledge of how to source better fabric, amongst other design tips and inspiration.

At the heart of the show is the desire to increase the competitveness of the Chinese furniture industry by encouraging sourcing for the best quality and design. There is a distinct feeling of aspiration for a higher quality of life through premium high-end furniture and fashionable home furnishings, which seems to be a running theme throught the event.

As a first-time visitor to the show, I can honestly say that the event has exceeded my expectations. The sheer scale and diversity displayed is impressive to say the least, and I can't wait to discover what else is in store. The event runs until 14th September.

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