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DOMOTEX INTERVIEW 22


digital-only meetings on a long-term view. Exhibitors want to meet their buyers personally, shake hands, look into each other’s faces, stroll along the aisles and booths, get impressions, unexpectedly from left and right angles. Trust in business is made between people, not screens.


DOMOTEX : You have a well-established following in the industry. What feedback have you been getting from them? SWC : There has been a continuous exchange with them, either directly or via our sales partners. In the end, most of them felt really relieved not to have to travel to a physical show. They questioned the success of an onsite show under these tremendous circumstances and restrictions. And they are obliged to protect their own employees as well. Most don’t believe in mass travel so it was doubtful they would get an


acceptable number of physical attendees anyway. We received good and positive feedback for all these decisions. It’s true that many regret the circumstances of having no real show and really miss DOMOTEX, so we look forward to 2022 when they’ll all return.


DOMOTEX : And also, do you think the fl ooring industry has suff ered or will grow from all this? SWC : It depends. There’s a diff erence between conventional sales and online sales. During the pandemic many households decided to refurbish their homes. This led to an increase in the interior and fl ooring sectors. Also, it was dependent on the lockdown level per country. If everything shut down, only the online option could persist. All in all though, I expect to see more winners than losers in the fl ooring sector.


DOMOTEX : You put in place very detailed protection measures, but I imagine working in a large, modern exhibition centre must have helped? SWC : Defi nitely. Our organisational team co-ordinated the hygiene concept with all the relevant local authorities and internal departments. Thus, we benefi t not only DOMOTEX, but


trade shows at Hannover. Beyond that, the sheer size of our modern exhibition centre is an absolute plus. The generosity of the area enables us to implement hygiene measures relatively easily. All in all, we feel very well prepared for the future.


QU TE


Sonia Wedell-Castellano | Director BACK TO CONTENTS DOMOTEX MAGAZINE 2021


DOMOTEX : So, fi nally, is there a personal message for colleagues, exhibitors and visitors? SWC : The year 2020 was an extraordinary one for more than seven billion people. We suff ered from a range of restrictions and new rules. Almost every aspect of life was aff ected. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. We learned a lot about our society, ourselves and what really matters in life. In every crisis there is an opportunity, no matter how small it is. I believe that we should use this to derive positive benefi ts and create a better and brighter future.


all other


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