Renate Wittgenstein, director of Inhorgena Munich, in an interview talks about the new designs and the objectives of Inhorgenta Munich, its international appeal to visitors and traders, and the way in which the leading German jewelry and timepiece exhibition aspires to become a meeting point for contemporary design and modern jewelry. The exhibition will take place in Munich from 14 to 17 February 2014.
The world- renowned international exhibition of jewelry, timepieces and precious stones Inhorgenta celebrated this year the 40 years since its foundation. What is the reassessment regarding these four decades?
From the year that Inhorgenta Munich opened its doors in 1973, it has been constantly evolving and growing, so that within a short time it took the character of a pan-European forum for all the jewelry and timepiece industry. This success story can be stated with specific numbers as well. In the first event 210 exhibitors participated. The 40th event, in 2013, involved 1237 exhibitors from 19 countries. Overall, 30,000 trade visitors participated in Inhorgenta from 85 countries worldwide. This year, in the event of 2014, we will move at the same levels. However, the most important thing for our exhibition is its ability to renew and re-establish itself.
As you spoke of renewal, with the operation of the new Hall B3, young artists and companies producing fashionable luxury products can present their work there. Did this concept work out?
Last year’s event was a highly successful exhibition, which focused on new lifestyle. In this year’s 41st Inhorgenta Munich, which will take place from 14 to 17 February, we will further develop the Lifestyle Hall B3. We have started a pilot project called “Inspiration Lab”, with the famous graphic designer Mirko Borsche.
The “Inspiration Lab” is an interdisciplinary event with top- class specialists, designers and people who shape contemporary trends. At the same time, there will be excellent symposiums, lectures and other workshops.
Hall C2, which hosts the “Modern design” etc. was completely renovated for the anniversary of 40 years in last year’s event. How did the exhibitors and visitors respond to these changes?
The results of the redesign of Hall C2 received very positive feedback from both the exhibitors and the visitors. Our aim was the atmosphere of the space to reflect the creativity of the exhibitors and the originality of the products and I can say that we succeeded perfectly in this level. We received many positive comments by exhibitors, some of whom since then already renewed their participation in the upcoming exhibition. The constant flow of visitors and the international atmosphere received very positive feedback. In my opinion, we succeeded in creating a very successful communication platform for the jewelry and timepiece industry as a result of the new design in Hall C2.
Overall, how is the high aesthetic that characterizes Inhorgenta Munich valued by exhibitors and visitors?
The feedback that we receive by all who participate in our exhibition is very positive. Both visitors and exhibitors really enjoyed wandering the corridors and the exhibition halls of Inhorgenta and draw inspiration from the new design of the exhibition. The various business appointments are held during the exhibition at the luxurious and stylishly designed lounges that we have designed. This is the concept that we will follow for 2014 as well.
How do you assess the international impact of Inhorgenta Munich?
Overall, one third of trade visitors traveled to Munich from abroad in 2013. The countries with the strongest presence were Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Great Britain. But we had visitors from more distant countries such as the USA, Russia and China, and countries of South America, or the Arab Emirates. The percentage of international visitors to our exhibitions ranges between 37 % and 47 %. After the renewal we made in Design Hall C2 and the new lifestyle proposed by Hall B3, we estimate that the international appeal of Inhorgenta will grow even more.
What position does Inhorgenta Munich hold in the international jewelry and timepiece market? What is going to be the place of the exhibition in the next five to ten years?
In coming years, we will develop the profile of Inhorgenta Munich as more brand-oriented to future trends and new fashion trends. Our goal is to establish the exhibition as a promotional platform of goods classified in the fields of medium and high price in the future. We also want to make Inhorgenta the meeting point for contemporary jewelry and design.
What other highlights should the trade visitors of Inhorgenta Munich expect in this year’s exhibition?
As already mentioned, we want to establish the “Inspiration Workshop” in Hall B3 as an “inspiration meeting” of the international jewelry and timepiece industry. As well as the Inspiration Lab Fashion Walk, or other important events as the Inspiration Lab Symposium. For the Innovation Forum and the Brand New, we have attracted approximately fifty promising new talents in the field of design. At the Hall C2 some special shows will take place at this year’s event. We believe that guests will be delighted with everything they will meet in this year’s event.