This year, Ambiente can use the new Hall 12 for the first time. What changes has this brought about?
Above all, Hall 12 is a very modern hall, and we’re really looking forward to setting up there. For us, modern means on the one hand how great the amenities are for our exhibitors. For example, the hall has its own parking garage and ideal set-up and dismantling conditions. But of course, it also means that the hall offers powerful internet connectivity. With regard to modern booth presentation concepts, connectivity during the event is becoming more and more important.
Part of the construction work for the new hall was the extension of the Via Mobile travellators. Of enormous benefit for the fair as a whole is that there is now a walkway along halls 8 to 12. Previously, we had a circular tour of Halls 1 to 6. Now we have a figure of eight – with great benefits for visitor flows and easy access to the entire event.
This year, the partner country presentation comes from India. What can visitors expect to see there?
What makes India special as a partner country is that for the first time we have chosen a country that is not primarily known for design-oriented industrial production. In the consumer goods sector India’s production is characterised mainly by handicraft – but in huge quantities and high quality. The increasing use of external designers and sourcing of specialised dealers means that the benefits of sourcing are combined with those of manual production. This makes it possible to ship container loads of handmade products within only a few weeks.
This year’s partner country presentation in the Galleria is being staged by designer Ayush Kasliwal. His special shows – the one entitled “HAND MAKE”, which he is doing for us, the “Stepwell” presentation in Hall 9.0 and the “Kârwân” presentation in Hall 10.1, which he has developed on behalf of the Indian government – deal with the question of how artisanal production can be reconciled with the requirements of global sourcing.
And the café in Hall 4.1 has an Indian influence, doesn’t it?
The designer of the café, Sandeep Sangaru from Bangalore, has selected bamboo, a renewable raw material, because India is the second largest bamboo producer in the world. He has embraced the theme of handicraft and used it to create a very modern interior in the “Starry Night Café”.
What are the focal points of this year’s Ambiente?
An obvious one is the restructuring. In addition to Hall 12 being available for the first time, which we are inaugurating with “Houseware & Storage”, we decided this year to completely re-plan the Giving and Living area. We based our plans very closely on successful models in the retail sector, which are tending more and more toward concept stores. We therefore decided to combine jewellery and personal accessories with products from the Living and Giving areas, where they belong both stylistically and in terms of market segment. The guiding principle here was to structure the offering not only by product groups but also by consumer target groups. This is the second year in which we are presenting the “Point of Experience” special show in the foyer of Hall 4.1. We focus here on how the retailers can become involved in the increasing digitisation of the retail sector. We show how retailers can combine the benefits of a bricks-and-mortar store with the latest technical options in order to remain attractive for demanding and tech-savvy customers. The synthesis of real purchasing experiences with the convenience of online shopping is a clear USP compared to purely online businesses and will boost competitiveness. What is particularly great about the fair is that we can present technologies for retail concepts that we may only have experienced before in a concept store in New York or Hong Kong. But the difference is that we show them live and in actual operation.