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What a great event ! International Hardware Fair - Cologne 2024

Updated: May 15


This International, no we would say global, gathering of businesses from across the world is not one to be missed. The date for 2026 is already firmly in our diary (3 - 6 March to be exact). Visit their website here.


So why attend the International Hardware Fair in Cologne? Over 1400 suppliers from 50 countries showing latest ranges and designs that encompassed the world of Home Improvement. The fair showcased an impressive array of innovations that hold the promise of revolutionising our retail spaces in the near future. 


There was a huge emphasis on sustainability across the board. Brands demonstrated a commendable commitment to eco-friendly practices with energy efficiency, innovative packaging solutions, and the incorporation of recycled materials being prevalent themes. These initiatives were not just peripheral but seemed to be at the core of product development strategies, indicating a significant shift towards more sustainable consumer products. 

 

Many seasoned Cologne attendees will know this is a show where you need your walking shoes though, Karl and I managed to clock up over 12 miles walking the show across 2 days. But no complaints here, with so much to see and great conversations to be had, it was really motivating. This leading trade fair is certainly back in full force. 

 

We were on the lookout for suppliers and businesses wanting to grow in the UK as this is what we do. With a deep understanding of the UK market, we understand the opportunity that exists and match this to the goals of our clients. We support this with a range of services and expertise to get products visible and gain momentum through a combination of the right channels, PR, online and marketplace retail….not forgetting big retail.…………and we ensure that the right actions are done to be incredibly successful.  

 

We are super excited to say we spoke to many businesses this year keen to grow in the UK which sets the Daley Hub team up with an exciting year ahead for us and our clients.

 

At a time when there are fewer trade fairs (in some sectors they have reduced in size or gone completely) Cologne continues to perform. Thank you to the team at #INTERNATIONALEEISENWARENMESSE #IEM2024 for a great job done. 


We also attended the EISENparty evening on Sunday night, a top quality evening with opportunities to network with new people, meet industry friends and discuss the changing trends in the industry. We had a great catch up with John Herbert (General Secretary European DIY Retail Association (EDRA) & Global Home Improvement Network (GHIN), and Co-founder and chairman of the Global DIY summit), who commented on the show .....


Trade fairs are back again in trend. Following the success of the IPM in Essen and the Consumer goods fair in Frankfurt many of the EDRA/GHIN members flocked to Cologne for the International Hardware Show. The trade fair attendance have now almost reached pre COVID levels. I just love walking these trade fairs and seeing the new products and this year in particular “sustainably” products were everywhere’. All in all a most successful trade fair.” 

 

It was great to connect with Oliver Ginestier (Director of Communications at EDRA-GHIN), he also commented "The International Hardware Fair continues to be one of keystones of our industry, attracting the entire world of home improvement to Cologne. The tangible buzzing atmosphere during the last 4 days demonstrated once again what an innovative and vibrant sector we are in

 

Many businesses talked to us about the impact of the Red Sea crisis, and the incremental stock holding that they are now having to accommodate. This 12 to 15 day additional freight time is a situation that is likely to be with us for an extended amount of time. Despite this the mood and atmosphere of the fair this year was one of positivity and a clear determination to grow and many walking the show we spoke to agreed. 

 

Andrew Marley (MD of Benchmark) said , “The Cologne hardware show is a fantastic event for the industry, giving great networking opportunities, along with access to key individuals that otherwise you might not be able to have that time with. You never know who you are going to meet (both new and old) when you turn a corner at the event. It’s always interesting to meet companies that might not have a presence in the UK that are looking to get into the market and how Benchmark and our partners can help with this

 

This year it was noticeable that whilst there were a few dedicated halls for Asia as there normally are, there was much more of a mix across all the halls with suppliers and brands from China, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey as well as Europe and the UK.  

 

A truly global trade fair…and not to be missed!...see you in 2026 😊 


Cheers from Karl and me (Clive Daley)! We felt like we were in Ireland the pint was that good!





Thank you John, Oliver and Andrew for getting involved with this article.

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