Interzum 2013: New possibilities for Ukrainian woodprocessors

Not long ago representatives of six woodprocessing companies of Ukraine returned back from regular specialized international fair of furniture suppliers - Interzum 2013, which took place from May 13 till May 16 in German city Cologne. The world's leading fair focused on just three areas: "Materials & Nature", "Function & Components" and "Textile & Machinery" in order to provide a clearer structure for visitors and exhibitors alike. 1 512 suppliers from 62 countries showed trends and tradition, novelty and solid craftsmanship to 53 000 visitors from 148 countries. Most exhibitors came from Germany, Italy and Turkey. The number of visitors from China, Russia, Poland and Turkey increased dramatically compared to Interzum 2011. 
For many years SIPPO supports small and medium size woodprocessing companies in increase of their access to the European and particularly Swiss markets. In such a way this year pavilion of the Swiss import promotion program SIPPO was placed in the very well attended part of Interzum. In the pavilion 6 woodprocessing companies from Ukraine (half of them exhibited for the first time) and 3 – from Indonesia exhibited.  As always, SIPPO support was comprehensive: assistance in preparation to the fair, covered costs of public transport in Cologne and accommodation in the hotel of two representatives of each company during the fair period, promotion of the woodprocessing companies-participants of the common stand to visitors and stakeholders. What is also important, during the fair SIPPO organized for 9 abovementioned companies selling training with video assistance and individual coaching. During the fair expert support in evaluation of seriousness of visitors and effective negotiation discussion, invitation of the potential partners to the stand, help in communication in English, German and Italian, and also technical support (communication with supporting service agencies, Internet, print of the documents, beverages for negotiation participants) etc. was provided. Besides, SIPPO organized SIPPO expert guided study tour for Serbian woodprocessors, who arrived to get acquainted with Interzum fair, establishment of new business contacts and for assessment of personal capability to participate in the next  Interzum fair. Another event, organized by SIPPO, was conference «New times for Indonesian wood  - the SVLK certification (The Indonesian Timber Legality Verification System) in which representatives of Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia participated. This Ministry during last ten years d developed SVLK system which will be officially adopted by European Union soon.
In distinction from previous years, this year SIPPO invited to participate in the Interzum and for support and help provision to Ukrainian woodprocessors representative of Ukrainian non-governmental organization «FORZA», long-term partner of SIPPO.
During four days of Interzum work six Ukrainian woodprocessing companies (DELTA,  MaxiflexOllesElitewood, Klen, Buk-holding) honorary represented on the common stand own products, particularly: furniture fronts, mouldings, decorative and built-in elements for interiors, plywood furniture components, curved-laminated veneer parts, finger-joint  and solid-wood panels, solid wood flooring from different species. Production, presented by our woodprocessors (particularly products from oak, components from plywood, furniture panels), were in a great demand of visitors of the fair, which arrived not only from different countries, but also from different continents! Even a new SIPPO record “per company/per day” was set. Also pleasant meetings with partners from the past were conducted, with whom due to the fair, collaboration was renewed. It is fair to mention cohesion and goodwill of Ukrainian woodprocessors team, who despite the spirit of competitiveness were ready to help each other in different situations. Besides Ukrainian and Indonesian woodprocessors supported by SIPPO found common points and set out points of further collaboration. All participants of common stand received satisfaction, experience and benefit from participation in Interzum 2013, expressed an interest to participate in next specialized fairs and continue collaboration in the framework of SIPPO program and with NGO «FORZA». The nearest such opportunity can be  fair Domotex, which gives overall idea of the compete variety of world market flooring offers. The fair will take place in January 11-14, 2014 in exhibition center of Hannover, Germany.
Here are also  feedbacks of Interzum 2013 participants supported by SIPPO:
Yelena Rostovceva, «Olles»:
Thank you for your support, help in organization and conduction of the fair. Due to the fair we could see and determine level of and quality of our products in comparison with products of competitors. And also we found potential partners, with whom we may develop collaboration.
Anatoliy Dubyna, «Maxiflex»:
One week ago we returned back from the fair. Time is running away but I am still under impression of   overcame events connected with the participation in such famous forum, which was possible for us due to the SIPPO program. We are very grateful to SIPPO for that!
Further we conducted careful review of the received contacts and made detailed classification by products, priorities, terms for answers and contacts. During the week we received many feedbacks, from which more than a half are orders if to work on them further. Thus issues started in Cologne are continuing its life.
Also the work of SIPPO and FORZA experts, trainers should be mentioned. This is invaluable experience!  All these gave to us, participants of the forum, possibility to not abstracting to small things but to concentrate on the work with potential clients.
Feeling of wonderful atmosphere from one-week-experience in Cologne is with me even now. I hope that due to the SIPPO program we will receive new possibilities of our business development, and also already received certain experience in contact work with potential customers of our products.
Relationship between participants of Ukrainian delegation was correct and we felt support of each other. I hope that these connections will continue in further collaboration also in Ukraine.
All the best greetings, practical results, good health and success to all of you!
In such a way, Interzum fair gave an opportunity to wooodprocessors not only to present their production on the world market, increase communication and marketing skills, establish new business contacts with potential partners and suppliers, but also to get from the primary source an idea about modern world tendencies of the furniture elements market, to develop own ideas on production-technological processes.
Additional information and impressions from Interzum 2013 of the project manager of technical wood sector of SIPPO Mrs. Hahn-Fornet you can find here:
If you are interested to know more about SIPPO support of Ukrainian woodprocessing and furniture companies, please contact NGO “FORZA”, partner of SIPPO in Ukraine. We are glad to collaborate with you!