Around the globe, design and furniture trade shows have always been fundamental forums for the industry to release their latest collections, network and do business.

Events such as the VIVID Design Awards at the Australian International Furniture Fair (AIFF) and Decor + Design are essential for fostering emerging talent and inspiration. The shows also allow more established brands to exhibit the latest wares from across indoor and outdoor furniture, lighting, art, textiles and more.

They also provide a sense of community. If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that physical and face-to-face connection is incredibly important.  Some human needs are too crucial to be lost. While the wonderful technology we now have at our disposal is an enhancement, it can never be a substitute for real life interaction.

The return to the physical is crucial for an industry which depends on people being able to interact; to engage all the senses and truly experience furniture and design.

Decor + Design and the Australian International Furniture Fair in Melbourne, 2019

Creating Multi-Platform Events

Decor + Design and the Australian International Furniture Fair’s virtual debut in 2020 was helped by a cast of influential designers from around the globe speaking live. Superstar names included Nate Berkus, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Abigail Ahern, Kit Kemp, Bobby Berk and many more.

Moving forward, the virtual exhibition software will be a valuable add-on to the physical show. We’ll be able to offer visitors to the physical event in ’21 an enhanced, multi-platform experience.

Visitors will be able to connect online in the months before the show, research products and trends and set up real life meetings, optimising ROI and the experience during the four days of the event.

Milan and Paris Trade Events Set to Take Place in September

The 18th edition of Decor + Design and the Australian International Furniture Fair will take place from 15 – 18 July ’21 at its traditional home of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Like shows around the world, there will be new, stringent hygiene protocols in place to protect the community.

Globally, the 60th edition of the Milan Furniture Fair – Salone del Mobile Milano – will take place from 5 – 10 September 2021. Maison & Objet in Paris will be running a hybrid event in March, before a larger iteration from 10 – 14 September. It’s an attractive proposition for the international design community to return to Europe in the Spring, when the much-anticipated vaccines should have rolled out.

Crowds at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, 2019

The design and furniture worlds are more than ready for a return to physical events. The excitement of seeing new collections and great design in situ, the thrill of unexpected connections; a glass (or three) of champagne with old colleagues and new friends in the Trends Champagne Lounge. None of this can be replaced virtually.

Decor + Design and AIFF, 2019

In an age of endlessly streaming information and entertainment, the need to get together in real life is greater than ever. Trade shows may look a little different in 2021 – but the experience will be better than ever. Covid-19 has added a layer of emotionality to physical interaction that was absent before. The chance to touch products, to see and hear speakers in the flesh, will not be taken for granted.

The Australian International Furniture Fair will take place from 15 – 18 July 2021 at Melbourne Exhibition Centre, co-located with Decor + Design. Register your interest to exhibit. Join a line-up which already includes names like M Design, M Lily, Kougi Furniture, Wembley Furniture, Swan Bedding, Idiom Furniture and more. Sign up to receive information on visiting the show here.