“The joy regarding the fact that the IPM was finally back again could be felt in every hall and on every stand,” was the verdict of Oliver P. Kuhrt, managing director of Messe Essen. More than 40,000 trade visitors from over 100 countries came to Essen at the end of January for the International Plant Fair, where 1,330 companies from 46 nations presented their innovations and new products in the fields of plants, technology, floristry and equipment. According to Messe Essen, 33 per cent of the visitors came from abroad; in 2020, the last time that the leading horticultural fair was held before the pandemic broke out, the figure was 40 per cent. Among the exhibiting companies, foreign firms accounted for 66 per cent of the total, four percentage points more than the level of 2020.
It had been expected in advance that the number of exhibitors and visitors would be lower than in 2020 (1,538; 54,000) and this was evidently not a problem for the participants in the show. The mood among both exhibitors and visitors was perceived as very positive throughout the event.
Various start-ups presented their projects and solutions on the subject of sustainable production at the IPM, both in the new Innovation Centre for Horticultural Technology and on the Young Innovative Companies stand. In the plant segment, "green climate heroes" that can withstand drought, heat and heavy rain were extremely popular across all product ranges. In addition, the increasingly warmer climate means that actual houseplants and Mediterranean plants now also thrive in the garden. Here, too, a trend for the POS emerged.
The IPM New Plant Showcase again featured on the trade fair programme in 2023. Here, the best new plants were awarded prizes and the “Show Your Colours” Award was presented for the best floral storytelling.
Messe Essen reports that 95 per cent of exhibitors are planning to take part in the show again. Next year, the IPM will be held from 23 to 26 January 2024, with a special anniversary programme to mark the 40th edition.
Insta at IPM
The IPM Discovery Centre has become an integral part of the fair. With the greatest possible practical relevance, green stylist Romeo Sommers shows sales concepts inspired by exhibitors' products to provide inspiration for the green trade. A focal point this year was how a retailer can act offline and online, for example through presentations that are Instagrammable - or as creative director Sommers puts it: “Something that makes the customer say: ‘Wow!’”