Reinventing ZOW Turkey

Advancing into hitherto unknown markets

ZOW in Istanbul was the business event of the Turkish supply industry at the start of the year: from 17 to 20 January, the organizers Clarion Events Deutschland registered 246 national and international exhibitors at the CNR Expo Center, as well as more than 16,000 trade visitors from around the world, including high-ranking decision-makers, architects and designers from the Turkish furniture industry, as well as numerous international purchasers, also from hitherto unknown African countries. With a new approach to exhibition planning and marketing, Clarion Events implemented the exhibitors’ wishes perfectly: a thoroughly convincing supplier platform with Turkish flair was realized in Istanbul in 2013. And the exhibitors were correspondingly satisfied with both the number of visitors and the quality of their exhibition contacts at this year’s ZOW in Istanbul.

The vast majority of trade visitors at ZOW – namely 82% – once again came from Turkey, although a growing number of international industry representatives also came to Istanbul to find out more about the latest supply innovations. The foreign trade visitors primarily came from Iran and Iraq, Turkey’s western neighbours, such as Bulgaria and Greece, as well as Italy this year, together with a traditionally large contingent from the former Soviet republics. Purchasers from Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon and East African countries also attended in large numbers for the first time this year as a result of the organizers’ successful canvassing activities. In this way, Clarion Events promotes the interests of the Turkish industry which is striving to develop new export markets in Africa in view of the difficulties besetting the markets in the Near and Middle East, as well as parts of Europe.

Exhibitors’ wishes fulfilled 100%
To achieve this positive outcome, the exhibition organizers’ team at Clarion Events had already adopted a new approach long before ZOW 2013. Addressing a larger target group was part of the future strategy that Clarion Events had developed for ZOW in Istanbul in collaboration with the exhibitors. Show Manager Aykut Engin: “Our aim was to liberate ZOW from its somewhat rigid, predefined format. In close consultation with our exhibitors, we therefore concentrated entirely on optimally reconciling the exhibition concept with the specific needs of the Turkish market. At the same time, we helped our international exhibitors to use the Istanbul location as a successful ‘Gateway to Eurasia’. The money and effort invested in organization and marketing have paid off: the trend at ZOW Istanbul has successfully been reversed. This is confirmed by both our national and international exhibitors and the exhibition’s visitors. In a corporate message released after ZOW in early February, for instance, the German decor specialist Schattdecor claimed to be “highly satisfied” with its exhibition presence.”

Engin’s conclusion: “Thanks to its new orientation, ZOW Istanbul now occupies a strong position as a separate supply platform with genuinely Turkish flair. I am indebted to my team and all players who contributed to this successful outcome.”

2nd design symposium with star designer Dror Benshetrit
ZOW Istanbul clearly concentrates on the supply industry’s characteristic products and themes, particularly such classic product groups as fittings, panel materials, surface finishes and accessories – such a compact overview of the market is not to be found anywhere else in Turkey. In this way too, ZOW stands out clearly from other industry fairs in the Turkish market. Another of the hallmarks of ZOW Istanbul is its focus on first-class design and high product quality combined with the latest themes for the future. Attractive seminars round off the comprehensive range of products offered by the exhibitors. This successful mixture makes ZOW a magnet for a growing number of architects and designers. This year, they actually accounted for more than a third of all the trade visitors.

At this year’s 2nd design symposium ZOW ESSENTIALS, renowned designers and experts presented an array of potential uses for wood and related product groups for modern Turkish furniture and interior design. The motto in 2013 was “The effects of urban renewal on interior design”. The main speaker was New York’s star designer Dror Benshetrit, although experts from the construction industry association of Istanbul and the Turkish chamber of interior designers also presented interesting papers.

In the future too, ZOW will remain the first industry meeting of the year at which the latest product innovations are presented and new business contacts are made. The Turkish exhibition team headed by Mehmet Iyimen and Aykut Engin is already working on the next ZOW in Istanbul: the precise date will be announced at the forthcoming ZOW in Bad Salzuflen.