1,034 exhibitors (up 38.1%) from 13 countries and regions crossed paths with over 32,000 visitors (up 59.2%) from 96 countries and regions, more than 10% of which were overseas buyers. In a further testament to this edition’s internationality, new exhibitor countries and regions represented were Indonesia, Portugal, Taiwan (China), Türkiye, and the US. With buyers able to source products covering the whole home textile value chain, and a fringe program that transcended the norm, the international platform has once again marked its importance at bridging trade and communication within the industry and across sectors, circulating trade benefits to every edge of the globe.
As the country perhaps most well-known for its immense market and prolific manufacturing hubs, for the past several decades China has been a desirable business destination for international traders. In a positive step in March, the government relaxed pandemic control measures, enabling a return to cross-border, in-person business activities. This led to a strong increase of international exhibitors and buyers at the recently concluded fair, with visitors flying in from as far away as Africa, Europe, and South America. In addition, three country and region pavilions, from Belgium, Taiwan (China), and Türkiye, added some location-specific internationality to proceedings in Shanghai, and were well-received by fairgoers.
Speaking at the show’s curtain call, Ms Wilmet Shea, General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, said: “With China’s doors widely opened to the world again, we were pleased to welcome so many new and returning international participants to the fairground over the past three days. Across the four halls, not only was the visitor flow strong, but the booths were busy and business interactions were high. The increase in overseas exhibitors, and the return of several country and region pavilions, has meant even more diversified sourcing options for our devoted buyers from home and abroad. After overcoming some global turbulence, we have strengthened this bridge to help industry players reconnect, and redirect themselves towards the new, post-pandemic era.”
Cross-sector collaboration a key highlight of the fringe program
Enhancing the constant buzz on the show floor, the fair’s concurrently held fringe events saw upstream and downstream suppliers, industry insiders, and even inter-industry guests share some pertinent insights and innovations. This year, a series of mixed events delved into topics related to interior design trends, sustainability, new technologies, globalized and localized designs, health and wellness, and many more. One highlight was the International Intertextile Trend Forum 2023 – 2024, which illustrated the most in-vogue home designs for the upcoming season. More specific inspiration was provided by leading Japanese furniture brand IKASAS, whose exclusive seminar and display area showcased fresh home textile applications for furniture. Finally, a cross-sector conference hosted by the CRECC Full Decoration Council invited experts from both the real estate and furnishing sectors to help attendees broaden their business possibilities.
“This is the first time we have returned to Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles since the pandemic started. It is important for us to be here, where the biggest distributors around the world come meet with the major producers. There seem to be more quality buyers compared to previous editions, with more interest in making deals. Our products are exported to 80 countries, but we are here to connect with one of the world’s biggest markets, and we now know how to better face our Chinese customers.”
Süleyman Altiok, Sales Manager, Aleran Tekstil, Türkiye commented on the fair: “This fair is one of the top home textile fairs in the world. This edition has matched our expectations, and we are planning to exhibit again next year. We joined the show to look for new clients post-pandemic. We have a lot of customers from the hospitality industry, and due to the resumption of global travel, our contract sales have grown by at least 20 – 30%. Eco-friendly, flame-retardant, and health-related products are popular among our customers.”
Speaking about the concept of the fair, Shen Lei, Founder and Design Director, Interior Architects Design, China outlined: “The theme of today’s seminar was about Japanese design ideas associated with eco-friendliness. The concept of sustainability has become more important globally, but the designs and quality of the products are also very important for their continued usage. The special display area is a great platform for designers and buyers to take a close look at our sustainable innovations, and to connect and interact with each other. The visitor flow is quite good, and I have met with buyers from different countries.”
The 2024 Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Spring Edition will take place from 6 – 8 March, while the Autumn Edition is scheduled for 14 – 16 August 2024. The fair is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Home Textile Association (CHTA).