Connecting Communities: imm cologne Brings the Interiors Industry Together

Furniture World News Desk on


After five days of brisk trade fair activity, imm cologne can report excellent results: from 14 to 18 January 2024, interior design professionals from across the world gathered at the Koelnmesse trade fair grounds in Cologne. Around 42,000 visitors from 129 countries used the international trade event to establish contacts, boost their business and glean inspiration. Alongside the trends and product innovations presented by the roughly 750 exhibitors, the reconceptualised trade fair impressed with a diverse line-up of event highlights designed to promote exchanges between trade fair participants in line with its motto, “Connecting Communities”. With this strategy, this year’s edition of the Interior Business Event had its finger on the pulse and marked a key milestone in imm cologne’s further evolution. Next year’s edition of the trade fair is also scheduled for its established January dates.

“Under the banner of ‘Connecting Communities’, imm cologne has played a decisive role in fostering networking in the interior design sector at the start of the year. Together with our partners from the industry and the retail sector, we’re looking forward to writing the next chapter in the trade fair’s history in January 2025. imm cologne remains a powerhouse of new inspiration for the international interiors industry,” said Gerald Böse, Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse.

Leo Lübke, President of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM), also underscored imm cologne’s position as a crucial link in the furniture sector: “Especially in challenging times, the trade fair provides all industry participants with a central business platform for presenting new launches, networking and making sales. And it’s proven once again that Cologne in January generates widespread coverage on home living and interior design across Germany.”

Markus Meyer, President of the German Federal Association of Furniture & Kitchen Retailers (BVDM), added: “The German retail and wholesale trade and all the major purchasing associations were represented at imm cologne 2024. It’s been a forum for successful discussions and generating sales. Yet again, Cologne has secured its position as a crucial ordering platform.”

New trade fair concept promotes networking

The central theme “Connecting Communities” proved to be a key factor in the trade fair’s success. Drawing on this idea, the concept for The Circles was developed. At the event, it brought the theme of community to life with numerous interlinked content and event formats. The circular event spaces were spread across the entire exhibition area, acting as central gathering places for participants. Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse, explains the positive response to the new format: “The Circles have transformed imm cologne into a dynamic, interactive platform that created diverse forums for conversations and inspiring spaces for discussing industry issues.”

The highlights at this year’s edition of imm cologne

The event highlights staged as part of the holistic trade fair concept included the imm cologne Summit, hosted in collaboration with the VDM and the BVDM. The congress shed light on opportunities for the interiors industry and outlined approaches that participants can apply to prepare successfully for the future. Insights into what lies ahead for interior design were also provided by the Pure Talents Contest. Now marking its 20th edition, the prestigious design competition celebrated up-and-coming talent and demonstrated its high relevance for young creative professionals with a record number of over 1,000 submissions. The designs focused on working with sustainable materials and exploring circular product concepts. The Circular Cooperation Network Day (CCND), jointly hosted with the initiative FURNITURE 4.0, was also devoted to discussions and exchanges of ideas on the challenges of transitioning to a circular use of resources. In addition, renowned design studios and well-known influencers enriched the trade fair with artistically conceived installations. These creative elements fostered an inspiring atmosphere and gave participants a taster of the latest design trends. Alongside these highlights, imm cologne 2024 hosted numerous other standout events, including a programme of speakers, which was jointly curated with the magazine H.O.M.E. and the platform Architonic. As part of this programme, speakers appeared at various Circles across several days of the trade fair. The expert-led Guided Tours, focusing on new launches and trends at the trade fair, and the well-attended evening events also received a positive response from trade fair participants.

Cologne: an interior design hub

As is tradition, the PASSAGEN Interior Design Week took place in parallel with imm cologne this year. Across Cologne’s entire city centre, a diverse programme of events was hosted, featuring around 150 exhibitions in numerous showrooms, galleries, furniture stores, cultural institutes, museums and universities. Attracting large crowds of visitors, this impressive line-up once again transformed Cologne into a magnet for design lovers from across the globe.

imm cologne 2024 in figures

Around 750 exhibitors from 42 countries participated in imm cologne, which was hosted across a gross exhibition area of 137,000 square metres. 110 exhibitors came from Germany and 640 from other countries. Taking estimates for the last day of the trade fair into account, around 42,000 trade visitors from 129 countries attended imm cologne. International visitors accounted for around 50 per cent of the audience.

The next edition of imm cologne will take place from 12 to 16 January 2025.



Koelnmesse – Global Inspiration for Living, Contract and Public Spaces

Koelnmesse is the world’s top trade fair organiser for the areas of Living, Contract and Public Spaces.
At the trade fair hub of Cologne, in addition to imm cologne and interzum, other trade fair formats such as LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, FSB and aquanale are among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the interior and design segment, the furniture and interior construction industries’ supplying sections, the kitchen world, all topics for the modern working world, garden lifestyle as well as public space, sports and leisure facilities and also sauna, pool and ambiente.
In addition to the events in Cologne, Koelnmesse is strategically expanding its portfolio in key growth markets around the globe like with the successful shows ORGATEC TOKYO in Japan, interzum bogota in Colombia and interzum guangzhou in China and interzum forum italy.
Further information:
The next events:
ORGATEC TOKYO – SHIFT DESIGN – The leading international trade fair in Asia for the modern workspaces, Tokyo 29.05. – 31.05.2024
spoga+gafa – The world’s biggest garden and BBQ trade fair, Cologne 16.06. – 18.06.2024
ORGATEC – New visions of work, Cologne 22.10. – 25.10.2024


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