Indonesia International Furniture Expo 2018

IFEX 2018 Attracts More Visitors
IFEX 2019 To be Organized More Flexible and More Professional
The biggest furniture and craft exhibition in Indonesia and ASEAN, Indonesia International Furniture Expo (IFEX) 2018 was finally concluded on Monday (12/3). As in the previous years, this year’s IFEX also featured various quality furniture and craft products from domestic producers as well as a number of supporting programs and facilities for visitors, buyers, and exhibitors.

This year’s exhibition, however, was a little different than the previous one in terms of the scope of the outdoor area since the exhibitors for the outdoor area was more than last year’s. In addition, the number of participants who were using double-decker booth was also increasing. “In addition to more participants in the outdoor area, in this year’s exhibition, we also present CRAFTNATION at Hall C3 that featured unique craft from some regions in the country. We also maintain the display of Hall of Excellence for products that have been curated by HIMKI,” said Chairman of Indonesia Furniture and Craft Industry Association (HIMKI), Soenoto. The existence of Hall of Excellence makes it easy for buyers to look for their desired items, particularly for buyers who visited the exhibition for the first time, outside other quality products being displayed in the exhibition.

This year, IFEX initially introduced IFEX mobile apps to helps visitors to get information on the exhibition and the daily agenda with ease. Through this apps, visitors could make an appointment with the exhibitors. The committee will continue to improve the display and feature of the mobile apps to make visitors more comfort in the next exhibitions. “We realize that many visitors, buyers, and exhibitors have not yet aware of our mobile apps. In the future, we hope there will be more visitors and buyers who would use the apps and get the advantage of the mobile apps,” said Daswar Marpaung, President Director Dyandra Promosindo.

Just like in the previous years, the fifth edition of IFEX again received positive appreciation from buyers, visitors, and exhibitors. Some visitors said, unlike in the previous years, in this year’s exhibition they managed to secure more transactions with buyers. In the fifth edition of the exhibition, most buyers seemed already able to map their desired products and producers, while in the previous years they only came for a window shopping.

HIMKI as the host of IFEX hopes the positive trend would continue beyond the exhibition. “We believe the achievement in this year’s exhibition has exceeded the previous one. We hope the positive trend does not only exist during the exhibition but would continue beyond the exhibition. In fact, we hope the positive trend would continue for many years to come,” said Secretary-General of HIMKI, Abdul Sobur. The positive trend is crucial to the realization of furniture export target that was set by the government to reach US$5billion in 2019.
Aligning Exhibition Schedule
As part of the Asian furniture exhibition circuit, IFEX has become one of the favourite exhibitions to foreign buyers who want to find the uniqueness and beauty of Indonesian furniture and craft products. Though IFEX managed to draw huge interest, not all buyers managed to come to IFEX due to the tight scheduling with other exhibitions. This was revealed during HIMKI’s ‘Buyers Gathering’ in Germany that was organized as part of IFEX’s promotion program to foreign buyers.

Foreign journalists’ representative from International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP) also expressed similar idea. During the press conference on the last day of IFEX 2018 (12/3), some of the foreign journalists who covered international furniture exhibitions said they were having trouble to arrange their schedule due to the tight schedule between one exhibition to another. Related to IFEX, they hope the exhibitors could provide a more detailed information about their products in the form of brochures or the company’s website to enable the journalists, and buyers, to know more about the products displayed by each exhibitor.

For the future exhibitions, HIMKI will try to align the exhibition date to enable buyers, visitors, and foreign journalists to have more time covering and enjoying IFEX. “We will try to coordinate with other organizers in other countries in the region so we can arrange a more suitable date to organize the exhibition in the future,” said Daswar Marpaung.

On the other side, HIMKI will continue to encourage its members to provide supporting materials for their booth in English. “The common practice in an international exhibition is to provide supporting materials of the participating booths in English. Not only for the brochures or pamphlets, the person in charge of the booth must be fluent to communicate in English,” said Sobur.

The more suitable exhibition schedule is expected to attract more participants as well as international buyers and visitors. For the record, IFEX 2018 managed to draw 11.429 buyers and visitors from 114 countries with around 500 local and international exhibitors. The on-the-spot transaction booked during the exhibition was US$350 million with follow-up transaction reaching US$790 million thus the total transaction of IFEX 2018 was US$1.14 billion.

IFEX 2019 is scheduled to take place on 11 – 14 March 2019. “Next year, with more flexible exhibition schedule we hope to draw more international buyers and visitors. We also hope the total transaction of next year’s IFEX will be more than what we achieved this year,” concluded Soenoto.