Thomas Rosolia is managing director of Koelnmesse Italy.
Thomas Rosolia is managing director of Koelnmesse Italy.

International Hardware Fair Italy

For the European market

On 5 and 6 May 2023, the International Hardware Fair Italy will have its premiere in Bergamo. Thomas Rosolia explains Koelnmesse's new project

How many exhibitors will be taking part in Bergamo?

Thomas Rosolia: A few weeks before the planned premiere in Bergamo in May 2023, growth continues to increase and exceeds expectations: the participation of more than 270 exhibitors has already been confirmed, making the final goal of even filling the second hall for the first edition a reality.

Which main countries are participating in the event?

The attention of the market is also reflected in the strong participation from abroad. Among the joint and individual exhibitors, the following countries have already confirmed their participation: Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, France, Serbia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Austria, Poland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia, Taiwan, India, Australia, China and the United States. It is therefore confirmed that the event will occupy the two pavilions of the Bergamo Exhibition Centre.

How big is the exhibition area? Will there also be an external exhibition area?

Fiera di Bergamo will be divided into two separate halls, symmetrical to the central gallery. International Hardware Fair Italy will occupy a total area of 12 000 m², i.e. the entire fairground. Furthermore, the congress centre will be available, consisting of two halls, one with 440 seats and one with 35 seats. In addition to the covered exhibition areas, there will be an outdoor demo area with about 30 companies participating with live activities and demonstrations.

Which main product categories will be represented at the fair?

International Hardware Fair Italy reflects the product categories of the Hardware Fair, the No. 1 international hardware and home improvement industry. As the new Italian project for the European market, it is dedicated to hardware, construction, DIY, paint, outdoor and garden, security, electrical and automotive.

How many visitors can be expected?

It is difficult to say, as this is the first edition of a project that has never been seen before in Italy and we have no previous reference data. We would be happy if we could reach 6 000 participants ...

What advantages does the fair offer from the visitors' and exhibitors' point of view?

Bergamo meets the development and internationality requirements of the new event. The city is strategically located in northern Italy and is well connected to the rest of Europe thanks to its proximity to Orio al Serio international airport and its wide hotel network.

The exhibition centre has an outdoor area where machinery and equipment can be demonstrated live, as well as a modern conference centre.

The two-day event will be complemented by the numerous events in the city of Bergamo, the Italian Capital of Culture for 2023.

What does the supporting programme offer?

There will be no shortage of conference activities with national and international speakers addressing the most important topics in production and distribution. There will be two days of "round table" discussions between manufacturers and distributors from the physical and online channels, and an extensive programme of specialist workshops.

The conferences on the first day, 5 May, will be dedicated to the international market scenario in the hardware, building and DIY sectors and the strategic and economic drivers that will shape supply chains in the coming years, with a discussion forum dedicated to housing subsidies, a highly topical issue. In the afternoon, the main trends in the modern DIY market and the evolution of the large specialised trade network in Italy and worldwide will be addressed. The conference on the second day, 6 May, will be dedicated to the renewal of independent technical retailing, the evolution of B2B and social communication and the new expectations of the professional end-user, after the pandemic, with the world of colours taking centre stage at the Color Day event.

The world of gardening will also feature prominently at the conference. It will look at trends in the world of green distribution and garden centres, with a focus on the plant market and innovation in gardening tools.

The matchmaking activity offered during the International Hardware Fair Italy is a crucial part of the event. It allows companies and key distribution players to meet at the fair. The activity will be developed further thanks to the collaboration with new national and international distributors with vertical specialisation in the different sectors and distribution channels involved in the event.

In addition to the two-day conference, visitors to the International Hardware Fair Italy will be able to take part in live demonstrations and workshops in the outdoor area, which will be occupied by demo trucks, dedicated demo areas and much more.

Together with the team from Koelnmesse Italy, you have worked on this event for over a year. What are you most proud of?

The participation of the Italian and international market, which exceeded the most optimistic expectations in terms of exhibitor registrations, with the result that the entire fairground was occupied by more than 270 companies from 22 countries.

Added to this was strong support from the most important Italian and European associations in the various sectors, more than twenty in number, which confirmed their patronage and collaboration. Of particular importance is the partnership with Edra/Ghin, the association representing the entire spectrum of the DIY sector and representing the DIY world at European level.

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