The majority of international visitors to the three-day event traveled from Europe, South America and the Asia-Pacific region. Also present were groups of buyers from many major retail operations including JC Penney, Sears, Kmart, Home Depot, Calico Corners, Builders Square, Montgomery Ward, Strouds, Mercantile, Janovic Plaza, Loews and Meiers as well as catalog firms such as Spiegel and Smith & Noble.
"We were very pleased with the excellent quality traffic on Friday, the first day," said Sander Johnson of Kirsch. "We saw major retail accounts and got some international interest as well. Our Sani machine division got many foreign leads." James Allen of Seabrook echoed the sentiment. "We are happy with the traffic and we had a wonderful first day. We plan to be in both the Pacific Home Fashions Fair and the World of Home Fashion next year in Orlando, FL."
Springs Window Fashions' Dan Spaeth also reported positive results. "We had a good show. We are pleased with our new international contacts and look forward to Orlando in '97." Added Conso Products' Steve Shelly, "We were very pleasantly surprised with the good traffic and established some good new contacts from Latin America."
The 220-plus exhibitors at the event showcased a wide range of window covering and related decorative products. Product groups included hard and soft window coverings, decorative hardware, moldings, trimmings, wall coverings, accessories, bed and bath products, kitchen and table linens, fabrics, equipment, business aids plus much more.
"The merging of the former Hometextil Americas and the World of Window Coverings added to the attractiveness of the event," explained Roland Bleinroth, president of Messe Frankfurt, Inc., organizer of the event. "The wide range of home fashion products on display opened up new opportunities for cross merchandising. Industry trends could be seen across a range of products," added Rosemary Gelshenen, show manager.
Many of the industry's professional organizations used the event as an ideal meeting place for regular meetings as well as special events. The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) held a special exhibit for its 1996 Product Innovation awards in the registration area, while the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) held its second annual awards breakfast and keynote address on the Saturday morning of the show. The WCAA also held a well-attended open house Saturday afternoon, while the Decorative Window Coverings Association (DWCA) held a board meeting during the show.
Seminar attendance was significantly increased at the event's Interior Fashions University program, sponsored and organized by Draperies & Window Coverings magazine. This year's curriculum included more than 45 new seminars covering a broad range of design, business, fabrication, installation, sales, computer and personal development topics. Substantiating the show's new interior fashions concept, those seminars that specifically addressed blending multiple home fashion product lines proved most well-attended and, in some cases, were sold-out.
Upcoming events to plan for include the Pacific Home Fashions Fair from August 23 to 25, in San Francisco, CA, plus next year's World of Home Fashion, scheduled for March 20 to 22, 1997, in Orlando, FL. For information, contact (770) 964-8016.