Maik Fischer became the new Director of interzum in April 2018. We spoke to him about new developments in the coming edition of the international fair for the furniture and interior construction industries' supplying sections, current issues affecting the industry and his ideas for the future of interzum.
Mr Fischer, you became the new Director of interzum in April 2018. Do you have any previous professional experience of materials, finishes and so on? Or is this an area in which you have a personal interest?
Both! On the one hand, I was previously the Director of the Mueble & Madera trade fair, which is part of the interzum family and is run by us at Koelnmesse in conjunction with a local partner in the Columbian capital, Bogotá. On the other hand, I have a great personal interest in the material qualities of furniture – and thus also for design, materials, finishes and so forth.
How do you plan to further develop interzum, and how will the trade fair be positioned in future?
In recent years, interzum has become the most important platform for communication and trade for the international furniture supplier industry – the team has done an excellent job in the past. My goal is to maintain this standard and build upon it. interzum must continue to be a place where the innovations of the furniture supplier industry are showcased to international visitors, where people meet and discuss the latest trends and developments.
What specific new developments will there be at the next edition of the trade fair, and how will they be realised?
We see our mission as an evolution of the trade fair, not as a revolution. In addition to what has already been mentioned, we will therefore carry out relatively small optimisations in terms of hall layout. We will also dedicate a new special exhibition area to the subject of digitalisation in order to highlight its impacts on suppliers and manufacturers in the industry. In terms of communication, we will make even greater use of social media – especially to address (potential) visitors. Here, we can reach the younger generation in particular more efficiently. We want to put more emphasis on the topic of living in tiny spaces as well. And, last but not least, we will be marking 60 years of interzum, and we’re going to make the celebrations fun – you’re in for a surprise.
interzum can look back on a very successful history. What opportunities and areas of potential or prospects for development do you see ahead for the trade fair?
In future, we will continue to pay special attention to reflecting global, social trends that influence the furniture industry. These include solutions for living in small spaces and for an ageing society. In addition, we want to showcase the latest developments in materials and carry on highlighting the implications of the digitalisation megatrend on furniture’s production and form. interzum’s slogan describes our central theme perfectly: the future starts here.
Maik Fischer, Director interzum © Koelnmesse