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International Hardware Fair Unites Global Industry

The 2018 EISENWARENMESSE International Hardware Fair welcomed retailers, manufacturers and experts from around the world to Cologne, Germany, to see what’s next for the home improvement industry.

Spanning four days, the International Hardware Fair attracted more than 47,000 attendees to Koelnmesse, the sixth-largest event space in the world. At the event, attendees saw the latest products and technological advances from approximately 2,700 vendors representing 58 countries.

The North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) sent representatives to the Fair to help North American retailers stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technology shaping the future of the independent hardware and home improvement channel.

NRHA chairman of the board Megan Menzer says this was her first trip to the International Hardware Fair, and the sheer scope of the event—which covers nearly 15.5 million square feet of event space—captivated her.

“My first impression was that I couldn’t believe the size of the event. There are so many booths and hands-on demos. It is clear that the exhibitors really make an investment in their booths and presence at the show,” Menzer says.

NRHA executive vice chairman, T.J. Comstock, says he was excited by the many networking opportunities the event presents.

“This is my first time at the show and everyone has been really friendly and easy to talk to. They really go all out with things like live demos at the booths. Everyone here is very open to talk with you about all the products you see,” Comstock says.

The four days were packed with a full agenda of events, including informative keynote speeches at the dSummit, a special section of the show floor devoted to startups, awards in design innovation and a special presentation on how retailers can capitalize on 3-D printing technology.

As the event wrapped up, officials said there was a 9 percent increase in attendance over the 2016 event and were pleased to see more attendees from Africa, Asia and South America.

For more information on this year’s International Hardware Fair and details of the 2020 event, be sure to visit EISENWARENMESSE’s blog.

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