“It was the best interzum ever,” says Katharina C. Hamma, the managing director of Koelnmesse GmbH, which operates the Cologne Exhibition Grounds, in the company’s final report. Counting about 69,000 visitors, 1,732 exhibitors from 60 countries and total exhibition space of 187,400sqm, this year the world’s foremost trade fair for furniture production and interior finishing set multiple records. On a stand spanning around 450 square metres, SWISS KRONO excitingly presented a unique world of unlimited decorative possibilities.
“The approach we took at our stand was to encourage visitors to think creatively. Our intention was for them to ‘think outside the box’, reflect on the world around them and search for new ways to step outside their comfort zone and create new things. New decors aren’t essential for them to do this. Rather, what they need is useful tools and processes that support them in developing their own style and choosing appropriate decors,” explains Urban Braun, Head of Marketing at the SWISS KRONO GROUP. “SWISS KRONO constantly observes the changes that are taking place in the world. The pace is accelerating and things are getting more and more complex. New decors, by themselves, aren’t much use for keeping up. There is a need for new ideas, tools and services. We see it as our task to provide them.”SWISS KRONO pondered how to set creative processes in motion for combining the existing elements in new ways. Finally, it decided to illustrate the process of creative thinking with the aid of three cubicles with different themes. The first was filled with a host of current sources of inspiration and trends. Their tenor ranged from colourful to strident and from tender to loud – stimulating and occasionally even overstimulating the senses. What is relevant? Where is there potential for innovation? What are the trends? The second cubicle contrasted starkly with the first, giving visitors to the stand an opportunity to experience a moment of stillness, a chance to slow down surrounded by nature. Which is, after all, a necessary prerequisite for letting one’s mind drift and find creative new ideas. In the third cubicle, they were challenged to playfully design their own personal piece of furniture using various decors, supported by a humorous illustrated guide. They were also invited to use a “style selection process” developed by SWISS KRONO to test possible new paths to self-realisation by exploring feelings. This was a chance for the firm to develop its tools further. “We were pleasantly surprised by how many people accepted the challenge and delighted by their great feedback on our idea and the form we had chosen to give it,” says Braun.The centrepiece of the product presentations was the ONE WORLD COLLECTION, which comprises 68 furniture decors and eight surface structures that people can freely choose and combine depending on their personal preferences. The new HPL versions of the SWISS KRONO furniture decors offer customers an even larger palette of options. Those looking for premium quality can get their wishes met by SWISSCDF: a highly compacted fibreboard with a coloured core and any of a wide range of different surfaces for creating personalised aesthetics. Digital printing responds ideally to the trend towards product personalisation, as it can be used to flexibly design and produce even very small quantities. The SWISSCLIC PANEL ACOUSTIC, a sound-absorbing solution for walls, ceilings and partitions, also attracted considerable interest.The record number of visitors counted at this year’s interzum was naturally also noticeable at the SWISS KRONO stand, which was crowded during the entire fair. Many of the guests enthusiastically explored the three themed cubicles. “We received only positive feedback on our presentation,” says Braun. “We apparently touched a nerve of our times with it, and are of course very happy that we were able to generate such great interest in our products.”