Regarding the original postponement, Dr Andreas Gruchow, former board member of Deutsche Messe AG, stressed at the time that it was the duty of the organisation “to act responsibly”. In a statement, he went on to explain: “From many conversations with

exhibitors and partners we have learned, fi rst and foremost, that we have to ensure planning security in good time. “With our comprehensive hygiene and safety concept, as well as with the positive registration situation, we were very optimistic until very recently.” He added: “The discussions that we had with industry representatives on this issue have all been positive and have shown that the postponement is the right decision.” Something else

also became clear in the

many discussions that took place with their stakeholders. That was that complementary digital formats would be needed in order to respond to the rapidly rising number of online channels that exist within the fl ooring industry, and it was clear that there was a need to establish an international - and neutral - platform under the name of DOMOTEX. The hybrid concept was a proven one, thanks to the success of DOMOTEX Asia/CHINAFLOOR which eff ectively restarted the business as the very fi rst exhibition of the fl ooring and fl oor technology industry worldwide in September last year.

SHANGHAI LEADS BY EXAMPLE DOMOTEX Asia/CHINAFLOOR 2021 took place from March 24-26 in Shanghai, marking the second edition of the popular Asian fl ooring show to take place during the pandemic. Despite the challenges the industry has faced in the past year,

organisers believed in off ering fl ooring professionals a hybrid solution, one that combined the physical show with a comprehensive, no-frills and easy-to-use digital platform that contained all the right features that are needed when doing business remotely. Many major Chinese

FACT At the earlier Asia exhibition, the GFC

platform connected 341 exhibitors with 1,518 buyers from all over the world

fl ooring companies were swift to get on board and secure their space, while some international exhibitors who were unable to make it decided to participate either through Flooring Without Borders – in which they were able to present their products onsite while also being present online - or within Global Flooring Connect, DOMOTEX Asia/

CHINAFLOOR’s own bespoke digital networking platform. Last year, the same platform had enabled 341 exhibitors to present 786 of their leading products. Doing it this way enabled them

to connect, network and deal with 1,518 registered buyers from around the globe. A selected number of onsite exhibitors also took part in the international B2B match-making program via the same platform. In addition, no fewer than 64 meetings were conducted onsite, which, in turn, enabled a successful series of live discussions with potential buyers based in many diff erent parts of the world. Overall, from the day the platform

was launched up to the last day of the exhibition on September 02 2020, the platform received no fewer than 83,000 unique visitors. The platform is back for 2021 with



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