ESSEN, Germany: Attention focused on sales concepts oriented to consumers and trends. From January 23 to 26, IPM ESSEN was once more the top address for the international green sector. At Messe Essen, 1,564 exhibitors from 45 countries presented new products, strong sales concepts and innovative technology along the entire value added chain to the expert world. In this respect, the world’s leading fair for horticulture was able to chalk up an increase in visitors from abroad and more decision takers. The highlights included the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark within the framework of the partner country presentation of IPM’s Scandinavian neighbour as well as the appearance of the fashion designer Michael Michalsky on the Landgard booth.
“We are more than satisfied with the course of the fair and, in this respect, are also speaking on behalf of our exhibitors and visitors. An outstandingly positive mood prevailed in all the halls,” Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen, was pleased about the success of the event. The proportion of foreign visitors has risen from 36 percent to 38 percent. Furthermore, 71 percent of the guests at the fair have purchasing and procurement powers in their companies – with an increase of around two percent, an even better result than in the previous year. In total, over 54,000 visitors set out on the journey to Essen. “That is a top-class result. IPM ESSEN is the global number one of the green trade fairs,” continued Kuhrt. The ordering activities were on a constantly high level in 2018: One third ordered goods for the coming season directly at the fair.
Eva Kähler-Theuerkauf, President of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Horticultural Association and Chairwoman of the Specialist Advisory Board for IPM, was also impressed: “If the horticultural year goes as positively as IPM ESSEN 2018, we will be very happy. The green sector is heading for new shores: The plant is no longer understood as a solitaire but instead much more as part of a modern living world.”
Not only the advancing digitalisation was the dominant subject at IPM ESSEN. This year, it was conspicuous that the exhibitors decorated their booths in a lavish form. The presentation followed clear POS concepts. The pure display of individual products was pushed into the background. One pioneering highlight here was the Trend Show in Hall 13 which was implemented at IPM ESSEN for the first time by the creative hands of the green stylist and trend watcher Romeo Sommers. Under the mottos of “Family Garden”, “The New Gardener” and “Eat Your Greens”, hortivation showed new trends and POS ideas with which garden centres will be able to address their customers successfully in the future. These also included a concept which caters for the customers’ increased wishes for individualisation: Moreover, the popular items at the moment include easy-care house plants such as succulents which give the consumers a lot of pleasure but cause them only little work, air-cleaning green plants, systems for the simple and space-saving cultivation of vegetables, sustainably grown products and combinations of toys and mini plants which are intended to introduce children to environmental subjects in a playful way.
Romeo Sommers: “We were able to arouse the enthusiasm of very many visitors with the Trend Show and have already received inquiries from exhibitors who want to participate next year – and that along the entire value added chain in horticulture which is represented at IPM ESSEN in a fully comprehensive form. The ‘Family Garden’ motto may thus be related to the green sector, too. We are only successful together. On the last four days, it has become very clear that the consumers are setting the pace. Together with the trade, producers must cater for the needs and lifestyles of our customers, surprise them and tread new paths in order to market green goods successfully. We have started precisely there and have given the garden centre operators helpful recommendations for action to take home with them. I am enthusiastic about the first-class way in which this offer was taken up.” In addition, guided tours as well as first-rate lectures in the Speakers’ Corner were offered on all the days of the fair.
Denmark was the partner country of IPM ESSEN in 2018. On the first day of the fair, H.R.H. Princess Benedikte spread royal glamour around the fair site in Essen. Within the framework of the opening ceremony, the sister of the Danish Queen Margrethe II delivered a welcoming address and unveiled the new Danish rose breed called “Ocean of Roses”. Also during the subsequent tour, the high-ranking visitor had all the attention and liking on her side. “The Danish exhibitors are pleased about a fair which has been successful all round. We were able to show how efficient Danish horticulture is – not least because Denmark has created outstanding new breeds this year. The fact that we have presented ourselves as the partner country of IPM ESSEN has enticed a lot of interested visitors into Hall 14 in addition. In the truest sense of the word, our appearance at the fair was crowned by the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark,” summarised Peter Larsen-Ledet, Managing Director of Floradania Marketing.
On Thursday, the Berlin fashion designer Michael Michalsky ensured a full house on the Landgard fair booth at the start of the Flower Fashion Contest. Ten young fashion creators from the Fashion Design Institute in Düsseldorf presented for the first time at IPM ESSEN flowery fashion creations with which they competed against each other under the knowledgeable eyes of the star designer. The conclusion about the event: Flowers and plants constitute an absolute fashion trend and address an urban and young public.
For the eleventh time, plant innovations were distinguished at IPM ESSEN. In total, 62 breeds put themselves forward as candidates for the “IPM Innovation 2018” prize. The Salvia x hybrida ‘Mysty’ by Florensis from Weeze was distinguished in the “Bedding and Balcony Plant” category. The Kalanchoe Interspecific Hybride Queen® ElseFlowers ‘Dean’ by Knud Jepsen from Denmark received the “IPM Innovation 2018” mark of distinction in the “Flowering House Plant” category. Another innovation by Knud Jepsen, i.e. the Kalanchoe Interspecific Hybrid Queen® CutFlowers ‘Smiling Yellow Meadow’, won in the “Cut Flowers” category. In the “Woody Plants” category, the Expert Commission decided in favour of the Ilex x meserveae ‘Monnieves’ by Helmers from Westerstede. In the “Shrubs” category, the jury chose the Bergenia cordifolia Hybride ‘Snow Crystal’ by Kientzler from Gensingen. The Pericallis x Hybride Senetti ® white by MNP Flowers from the Netherlands won the race in the “Spring Flowering Plant” category. This year, the Hydrangea macorphylla ‘Saxtabbar’ by the Hydrangea Breeders Association from the Netherlands emerged as the special prize winner for product innovations.
Small sleeve – great effect. This is how the jury’s decision in favour of the stacking sleeve for CC carts from Uwe Dominik for the INDEGA IPM Innovation Award 2018 can be summarised briefly and concisely. The sleeve for which a patent application has been made connects stacked CC carts with each other safely so that they can no longer fall down.
“World Champion floristry live on stage, spontaneous, quick action floristry during the Flower Battles and an exhibition area full of practical trend floristry and flowery inspirations for the successful marketing of flowers and plants in the specialised trade,” Helmuth Prinz, President of the Trade Association of German Florists – Federal Association (FDF), summarised this year’s IPM ESSEN. With innovative orientation and strong floristry concepts, the FDF World aroused the enthusiasm of the trade visitors from all over the world. FDF’s appearance clearly concentrated not only on the digitalisation of the sector using the example of the online platform called Florismart but also on the introduction of committed young talents under the title of “Floral Project 3.0”. “At IPM ESSEN 2018, FDF has presented itself as a future-oriented platform which is offering floral solutions and consumer-oriented marketing for florists. It was a much-used port of call for partners and guests as well as a meeting place for members and, with coherent floral concepts, has provided valuable stimuli for florists and the entire sector,” continued Prinz.
“Cool Flowers for Cool People” was the title of this year’s IPM Fair Cup. In the “Bouquet” category, Shin Yeonjung from the Myeon oh Floral Art business implemented this subject best of all. Brigitte Feldkamp from the Justus von Liebig College designed the best workpiece with regard to the “Decorative Pot Plants”. Bärbel Grzenia from Blumen für Dich und Dich was distinguished for the best “Tub Planting”. Christin Bosbach from Grützner Blumenkunst emerged as the overall winner.
The supporting programme at IPM ESSEN 2018 was also just as varied as the fair itself. Experts from all over the world used the possibilities of obtaining information and further education and establishing new contacts. With a large number of events, the world’s leading fair for horticulture offered value added which the visitors were happy to exploit.
Together with Prof. Dr. Ingo Froböse (sports scientist and health expert), Björn Freitag (television and star chef) was a guest at the future congress entitled “Horticulture and Landscaping Outlooks”. Under the title of “Health as a Success Factor”, the North Rhine-Westphalia Association for Horticulture, Landscaping and Sports Field Construction had invited visitors to this meeting.
The International Horticulture Forum also concentrated on Denmark as the partner country. “Germany & Denmark – Let’s Go Green Together. Green Cities Improve the Quality of Life“ was the title under which experts passed on their knowledge – including Stig Aagaard, Senior Advisor for Climate, Energy and Environment at the Danish Embassy in Berlin.
A first-rate information event with which IPM ESSEN 2018, in cooperation with the Federation of German Nurseries (BdB) and THE GREEN CITY foundation, once more offered a first-rate information event for nursery gardeners, landscape gardeners and decision takers from local authorities concentrated on the biological diversity in the private and public green areas of local authorities.
The next IPM ESSEN will take place at Messe Essen from January 22 to 25, 2019. 95 percent of the surveyed visitors recommended the fair and 92 percent already knew now that they wanted to come again next year. And 95 percent of the exhibitors intended to participate in the next world’s leading fair for horticulture.
There were 1,564 (in 2017: 1,577) exhibitors from 45 (45) nations and 63 (63) percent of these came from abroad. Also including the forecast for the last day of the fair, 40,000 registered trade visitors came to the fair (according to the Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics – FKM). The comprehensive supporting programmes were visited not only by international participants but also, amongst others, by guests of honour, press representatives and influencers, representatives from local authorities and sponsors. The proportion of trade visitors was 97 (98) percent.