Insights-X confirms its position as live event for international stationery industry
- Exhibitors value decision-making power and international character of visitors
- Highly varied mix of trends and networking
Insights-X has chalked up a successful re-start. Between 5 and 7 October at the only independent trade fair in Germany for the stationery sector, the main focus was on personal conversation and discussion. At the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre, top decision-makers could at last take the opportunity to reinforce existing contacts, find new trading partners and place early orders for the innovations displayed by 153 exhibitors from 35 countries. Over these three days, what participants at the fair valued above all was the quality of contacts, the international nature of those present and the relaxed atmosphere.
It was clear how pleased people were to see one another again at Insights-X. “Among both exhibitors and visitors, efficient networking is something that is valued more and more as a way of developing new contacts very quickly,” explains Christian Ulrich, Spokesperson of the Executive Board at Spielwarenmesse eG. And this year, the business platform Insights-X Digital was a great help, especially for planning. The value of appearing physically was explained by Volker Schmidt of the Swiss art and greetings card publishers ABC Kunst- und Glückwunschkartenverlag: “As exhibitors right from the start, we wanted not only to present ourselves digitally but also to show and talk about our new products in person at the fair”. And businesses presenting at Insights-X for the first time agreed with this view. “Face-to-face is still the best approach to two-way discussion” says Tobias Ströhmdahl of Swedish company Bigso, who praised the high decision-making power of the international visitors. In total, 2,540 top visitors from 65 countries were represented, among them well-known wholesalers and retailers, drug stores, supermarkets and buying associations including Amazon, Coop, Edeka, Landmark Group, McPaper, Metro, Staples and Thalia. “Insights-X is the perfect place at which to meet trading partners from all over Europe,” says Leonardo Nepi, Export Manager for the Italian firm Incall (Mitama), emphasising the international orientation of the fair.
Back-to-School at just the right time of year
The features for which Insights-X is known and valued have retained their attraction following the pandemic. Well-known brand manufacturers from Germany were as satisfied as others in this respect. “We’ve had countless high-quality discussions and the opportunity to make good, highly promising contacts,” explains Sheepworld Chairperson Thomas Schaller. For Alexander Apfel, CEO of writing utensils firm Online Schreibgeräte, Insights-X won out once again with its strength in the Back-to-School sector and its perfect timing for orders: “It’s the opportunity to meet up with our retailers efficiently over a very short period – the perfect timing for our presentation of the 2023 school year.” The autumn date works will for international colleagues too. “The timing is just right for presenting collections for the school years,” comments Sofia Lessa, who was again a guest at the stationery fair with the Portuguese companies Kstationery and DKT Representações.
The changes introduced by the organiser were well received by exhibitors right from the start. These included the new Wednesday to Friday schedule and the practical arrangement of the hall structure. For Grigoris Diakakis, representing the Greek company of the same name, such matters help to make participation in the fair efficient: “What we particularly like about Insights-X is that the fair lasts for three days and concentrates on particular product categories.” The six groups – ‘Bags & Accessories’, ‘Paper & Filing’, ‘Desktop & Office’, ‘Artistic & Creative’, ‘Stationery & Gift articles’ and ‘Writing utensils & Equipment’ – were represented in the three halls in a compact and understandable way.
Trends in a relaxed atmosphere
As far as the visitors were concerned, the key point was the search for innovations. “We come to Insights-X because we are always on the lookout for new ideas and trends, and we can find the top brands and trendsetters here,” says Adrienn Csenger, Business Manager of Mira Office from Slovakia. For Christian Zürn, Head of Sales at BLS – Basteln, Lernen, Spielen (Crafting, Learning, Playing), alongside the “many great new ideas” there is another essential reason for visiting: “We really value the friendly, family atmosphere. Insights-X is a good platform for holding serious discussions.” And the AfterHour event was similarly excellent for staying up to date with contacts. “The evening event was the clincher – a great opportunity to meet other exhibitors and find inspiration in their stories,” felt Marianne Reinders, the Dutch proprietor of By Mar. About 400 guests celebrated each other, and the first day of the fair, over drinks, a buffet and live music at the venue.
“The industry has sent a clear signal and has confirmed the position of Insights-X as the specialised event for the stationery sector,” concludes Christian Ulrich. “For us it’s the ideal starting point from which to develop still further over the coming year the enormous potential of the fair.” The next Insights-X will take place in Nuremberg from 11 to 13 October 2023.