In response to what show organizers recognize as an evolving home furnishings industry and exhibition model, Valencia, Spain’s Feria Internacional de la IluminaciÃ³n (FIAM) is undergoing a bit of a face-lift: On hiatus for this fall, FIAM will re-emerge in September 2008 with an enhanced lineup of product offerings, as well as a new biennial format similar to that of other international lighting extravaganzas, including Frankfurt, Germany’s Light+Building and Milan, Italy’s Euroluce.
“We have always responded to what the companies that make up the industry have demanded,” FIAM Director Beatriz Colom says. “Becoming a biennial fair is also a response to the trade, and [it] means we will be part of the international trade fair circuit and will evolve in step with it.”
Despite its transformation, FIAM will not relinquish its name or its identity, which over the years have gained positive global recognition with international buyers and distributors. On the contrary, Colom is confident that in moving to a biennial structure with more time to plan between shows, FIAM will build on that stellar reputation and deliver a better-quality showcase with more products.
“The new format means that manufacturers will be able to present new product collections and new models and fulfill one of the aims that has to be fundamental to a trade fair and is the reason visitors come along: to see new products,” she says.
Looking ahead, Habitat Valencia Forward, the umbrella brand that previously encompassed FIAM, will continue to operate the Feria Internacional del Mueble de Valencia (FIM), as well as the Feria Internacional de la DecoraciÃ³n y Complementos (DE>CO) on an annual basis, showcasing their cross-category home furnishings exhibitors. And though lighting-specific buyers will be missed at this year’s exhibition, Colom expects the promise of a stronger, independent FIAM to attract even more visitors when it runs concurrently with the Habitat Valencia Forward events in 2008.
“We have hit the ground running,” she says. “We are visiting other exhibitions and planning trade missions and promotional events in all our prospective markets in order to deliver our expectations. Our aim is to add to and share synergies with other home exhibitions, and I sincerely believe that we will all be winners [next year].”