Is ILM’s glass half full or half empty? The handbags and accessories’ fair held in Offenbach (September 3 – 5) collected non-uniform feedbacks from the 252 brands present (with Italian ones going down in number from the previous edition). This variety is caused by the expectations that brands had for this edition, compared to previous ones (pre-pandemic period), as they were much livelier than this last one. Organizers also confirmed that next year, ILM’s editions will take place earlier in the year, compared to usual: February 4th – 6th (against the early days of March) and July 29th – 31st (against early September).
“We are still not back to pre-pandemic levels – said Arnd Hinrich Kappe, CEO di Messe Offenbach -. But the high interest, especially from abroad, shows that ILM continues to be the most important event for the reference segment and is clearly a unique platform that companies can’t do without”. Within the press release signed by organizers are also some comments by exhibitors, among which is that of Dave de Boer, representative of brands such as Coccinelle, Valentino and Guess: “Clients were happy. They searched for colorful items and looked for more original things in the accessible luxury category”. Fabio Innocenti of Tosca Blu also noticed the search for colorful products by buyers. Dirk Schmiedinger of Samsonite was also very pleased with the enthusiasm shown by buyers for his category.
These comments are though countered by some made by exhibitors we contacted. Simona Ghislotti, head of commercial for brand Maxima Milano, noted that there were less visitors compared to pre-pandemic editions. “This edition we saw very few buyers from Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, for example, while they used to attend before the pandemic of 2020. Generally speaking, it was a sluggish fair. We still worked, but way less than we used to do in Offenbach before Covid”. Alessandro Tondi (brand Arcadia) is of the same opinion: “The final result of the German fair wasn’t very positive. Few people visited the stand compared to what I expected. Was it worth it? We received some orders, but if I balance out the costs endured to attend, it wasn’t a very profitable fair”.