A growing edition of SICAM stimulates sector revival
It was announced that this was a growing edition, and so it was. Once more, SICAM did not fail to meet expectations this year, with more exhibitors and more visitors compared to the last edition. The leading players of the global furniture industry met up at Pordenone, confirming the positive trend that is continuing in the sector at international level.
The data on attendances collected by the organisers once the event had ended show an increase in exhibition spaces which led to a full sell-out of the trade fair's capacity (32,000 square metres overall) at the halls of the Pordenone trade fair area. The 2017 edition boasted the broadest offer of components and accessories from all over the world. Pordenone saw the arrival of 7,765 companies from 99 foreign countries, as well as, naturally, from all over Italy, with an increase of over 5% compared to the record numbers noted at the previous edition. Thus, a constantly growing trend for SICAM, without sensational leaps, but rather marked by steered, reasoned growth. Carlo Giobbi, the organiser of the event, revealed, "Our objective is to provide the best working conditions to all the companies who come to the trade fair. Therefore, we always try to seek significant balance between the segments present at the exhibition on the one hand, in terms of quality and interrelation, and between the visiting markets, on the other. Each year, in addition to professionals from the markets that traditionally represent the cornerstone of demand, SICAM also welcomes many representatives from enterprises from emerging countries that will become the new entries on the global furniture market in the near future".
The 2017 edition of SICAM saw the arrival of all leading international brands of the components and accessories sector, with their new products and innovations that will guide upcoming global product trends. Italy was confirmed as the most represented country, both with regards to offer (with approximately 72% of exhibiting enterprises) and demand (with 69% of visitors registered). The national system of semi-finished goods, components and accessories (which is worth almost 4.5 billion euro) is continuing its period of revival and grew another 2% on 2016. Sales abroad, which are worth 52% of the total, are also constantly on the rise and SICAM witnessed great eagerness in relations with the numerous foreign customers that arrived to Pordenone. In actual fact, visitors from abroad came to over 31% of professionals and companies, with a significant increase in attendance from Asian countries (25% of foreign visitors), including particularly attentive and numerous professionals from China, India and Iran. The more industrially developed European countries (as always Germany, with the most attendances, followed by France and Spain which recorded the best increases in Italian exports to the continent in the first six months of this year) were in the top positions again this year with regard to visits registered. There was significant growth in operators from the more dynamic Eastern European markets, such as Russia (where Italy is confirmed as the number two supplier of furnishings, recording a 12% rise in exports in the first six months of 2017 and becoming the top partner in the high-range segment with a 9.14% share of the market), the Ukraine and Polonia (the fourth top country in the world for furniture exports).
With these results, along with the positive comments received from many exhibitors, SICAM was once more confirmed in its role among the sector's trade fairs, with a standing that is increasingly more established as the vital event of the year for developing new high-profile international relations. The breakdown of the overall framework of the companies visiting the trade fair clearly shows that, alongside the finished products segment (which counted for 65% of attendances among furniture, kitchen, bathroom and contract furnishing), there is also a high rate of attendance from the components segment itself (13% of the total) which confirms the presence of all players at the trade fair over the four days. Finally, an additional 5% was recorded by professionals from the lighting and domestic appliance segments. There was a predominant presence of companies from industry and trade at the trade fair (42% of industrial companies with their representatives visiting, and 21% from the trade segment). However, we must not overlook the confirmation of interest from artisan enterprises, present with another 21% of visitors; indeed, for domestic production, where small and medium-sized entities continue to play a dominating role, this is the area where state-of-the-art technology and top-quality ideas, solutions and niche products often emerge.
After some tough years, the components and accessories sector is experiencing a positive trend at international level and constantly aims to develop markets via relations which are the characteristic feature of SICAM, the event's strong point. According to Carlo Giobbi: "In this regard, I think it is particularly significant that one of the event's main targets, that is international designers and interior architects, once more this year made up 9% of operators registered, and another 9% was recorded by technical and production managers. In actual fact, what is clearly emerging is the fact that SICAM is more and more the event for high-profile meetings, where the foundations are laid for business, both in the short and medium term. In this regard, the most significant data emerging from the surveys we carried out this year is the fact that the category that is most represented at SICAM continues to be the decision-makers. Indeed, as many as 37% of visitors to the 2017 edition were the owners or managing directors of companies; top management, therefore, who have the final say on acquisition strategies and decisions".
It is based on these numbers and how much they mean for the markets that SICAM bolsters its confirmation on the global trade fair scene with its role as annual event for direct development of business. In the meantime, the trade fair organising team has already begun promoting next year's edition. The date is set for the tenth edition at Pordenone from Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th October 2018. The organisers have already received numerous attendance requests from new companies from the components and accessories sectors who attended this year as visitors and, in addition, a high level of reconfirmation is expected from the 583 exhibitors present this October in Pordenone, with a constant of around 90% of participants reconfirming in recent years.