Our host from REEDEXPO in Vienna for the Wohnen & Interieur Exhibition was Ms. Michelle Kreuzmann which has enabled us to understand more about the situation at the “Event”, but also some insights to the furniture market. Furthermore, organized and structured an interview with Mr. Seliger.
Interview Shamliza Vienna
Mr. Edmund Seliger
Shamliza had the honor to talk, interview and explore new business opportunities with Mr. Edmund Seliger, one of the biggest professionals in the field of furniture business at the Vienna Fair.
1. How would you describe the development from the first day of the exhibition Home & Interior and what are your goals for the coming years (special new and interesting ideas on how to attract more visitors and exhibitors)?
The Wohnen & Interieur is a traditional event with over 55000m ², but there are many fairs that we must constantly analyse and take into account in regard to the new trends in living & furnishing. At the moment we are very dependent on what the exhibitors show – in the future we want to adapt our input (together with the exhibitors) more and more to the needs and wishes of the visitors, we see ourselves as consultants in the field of furnishing events.
2. What is so typical for the home and interior exposition and who are your most important goals for exhibitors and visitors? What would be the segment of the audience you want to capture?
As the largest public exhibition in Austria, we can and want to be a platform for the specialist trade and industry as well as the craft sector, the objective is clearly to continue to grow as a leading trade fair and ultimately to offer the visitors the whole spectrum of design and new furnishing trends as well as problem solving Set up to show. Because we cover the entire conventional setup – our visitor target group is very wide spread, however, we already see ourselves in the upscale, or design-oriented furnishing area.
3. What would you point out as a trend in the furniture business, especially designer furniture?
It is the combination of materials that best describes Austrian Style. Natural wood in all variations combined with steel, glass, concrete and currently pleasant pastel shades in the textile sector round off the overall picture very harmoniously.
4. How would you recognize today’s buyer consumers, how do they change their habits, and how does online shopping change / influence store retailing in the retail space?
The online furniture trade will become even stronger, the winners will be the companies that drive an omni or multichannel strategy, ie We as trade fair organizers have to take the new digitization into account, but in the end we are a live marketing platform – with us you can see, feel, design and buy directly at the fair at the dealer.
5. What would be the market share of designer furniture in Austria and the EU according to your ideas:
This cannot be all-inclusive – what defines itself as designer furniture – what is design at all – I think here you could philosophize for days and discuss. Fact is the absolute exclusive premium area is with about 2-3% a very narrow area of furnishing nevertheless we are proud of our premium design world which presents the largest and most important brands and manufacturers with over 9000m² is absolutely very strong.
6. Would you support smaller brands and manufacturers of designer furniture in the SEE region as organizers of such an interesting lifestyle and feel-good fair (Wohnen & Interieur)?
Since I was the International Central Buyer in my previous job and I know the markets and many manufacturers in CEE + SEE, I would say that I would like to see even more exhibitors from Central and Southeastern Europe – I know about the creativity and the quality of these markets.
7. Your final word to completion of the interview and exhibition, which took place in March 2019 in Vienna.
As Category Manager I organized my first W & I – but in principle I am always satisfied when my 2 customer groups exhibitors and visitors are satisfied – this was the case this year. Nevertheless, the W & I 2020 will show a new face – be it marketing or conceptual and structural.