Major Cologne whitegoods show moving to Istanbul for growth

By Patrick Avenell in Shunde

SHUNDE, CHINA: In order to meet the demands from new emerging markets, and as a response to a changing dynamic in its native Germany, Koelnmesse is relocating its Domotechnica event from Cologne to Istanbul.

The 2010 Domotechnica Istanbul expo will be staged in April, and will incorporate synergies available from its existing trade fares throughout the world, including Shunde, which is currently being staged in Southern China. Koelnmesse vice president, Asia Pacific, Michael Dreyer, said pragmatism about the economic markets was a driving force in this decision.

“We launched the new event in Turkey: Domotechnica Istanbul, which basically is a spinoff of Domotechnica, which has been held in Cologne for a number of decades.

“We ceased doing it [in Cologne] for a number of reasons: market conditions in Germany [and] the convergence of home appliances and home electronics which have tended to favour other exhibitions in Germany — the IFA Berlin. I’m very frank about that, there is nothing to hide about that, but different markets have different demands and conditions, so we took the Domotechnica brand to Turkey and actually we are quite successful.”

Dreyer reported that the Domotechnica Istanbul exhibition is fully booked, despite still being six months away. He used the expression “a couple of hundred exhibitors” to describe the interest, though he could not reveal any specific brands at this stage. As for its link to Shunde, Dreyer said there would be close ties.

 “The connection to Shunde actually is quite strong; we’re going to have a group from Shunde going there.

“Part of the organising experience we could gather over here is also flowing into organising the Domotechnica in Istanbul and again, given the strength of the local Shunde industry for certain types of home appliances, it’s going to be quite prominent in the Domotechnica Istanbul. We have such a big percentage of world production coming from one location.”

Domotechnica Isatanbul will run from 22 to 25 April at the Expo Centre Istanbul, in Turkey.

A spokesperson for the Istanbul event said that Turkey was one of the hidden goldmines for the home appliance industry.

“Turkey is a very attractive market for household appliances,” the spokesperson said. “The construction industry is continuously busy and the more than 70 million Turkish inhabitants, with an average age below 30 years, are looking for higher standards.

“In Turkey where nearly 500,000 people get married each year, the approximate annual growth of 2.5 per cent in the number of households is considerably above that of developed countries, 1.5 per cent as average.”

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