When the doors shut at the end of Interzum in Cologne, some 62,000 trade visitors had attended the leading international trade fair for suppliers to the furniture and interior design industry.

The May 9-12 event saw visitors from 150 countries, exceeded all expectations and inspiring a legion of people with the latest design trends and innovations.

Above: Schattdecor talks materials and nature The roughly 1,600 exhibitors had waited four years to finally be able to convene at the industry’s leading global event again.

“The trade fair could barely have showcased its importance for the industry any better,” said a delighted Oliver Frese, chief operating officer of organiser Koelnmesse.

The countries with the largest number of visitors were Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland. The number of Turkish visitors was very encouraging, having increased by 16% compared to the previous edition of the trade fair.

Likewise, the number of trade visitors from India increased. Considering the current situation with regard to the issuance of visas, the number of Chinese visitors was satisfactory, too. Exhibitors also praised the high level of expertise among visitors from all countries.

Exhibitor numbers were down by approximately 200 compared to the previous 2019 event though total exhibitor display space was only marginally down. Visitors numbers were approximately 15% down on the 74,000 who attended in 2019, but as the first Interzum since the Covid pandemic, the numbers are still regarded as healthy for a returning physical event.


The trade fair’s central theme was sustainability. With its focus on the overarching concept of neo-ecology, Interzum brought sustainability, climate protection, resource efficiency and forwardlooking planning to the fore. And that chimed with the industry, as the exhibiting companies clearly recognised the increasing importance of environmental issues – aspects such as resource efficiency, smart materials, renewable energies or recycling and upcycling were key to many of the innovations exhibited.

The varied programme of events also explored these themes, with the three Interzum Trend Forums, the Interzum Product Stage and the Interzum Trend Stage, where industry experts discussed the most important developments, trends and emerging topics in the worlds of furniture, materials and furnishings.

Wood-based panels suppliers exhibiting included Egger, Fantoni, Unilin, Homanit, Losan, Yilditz Entegre, Kastamonu, Foresco, Sonae Arauco, Starwood, Alpha Wood Group and Finsa.

Sonae Arauco presented its new Innovus Collection ‘Matching our nature’

The new collection comprises more than 220 decorative solutions and over 40 new decor innovations, including natural woods such as Karlstad Oak, ‘fantasies’ such as the textile Canasta or the stone decor Fossil Brown.

Soft Clean, a new surface texture with a fine grain structure and improved gloss level was also launched. The texture with a soft feel combines a modern, rather matt appearance and is designed with durability in mind. All decors are available in decorative panels (chipboard and MDF) and in laminates.

Egger had a 600m2 stand with a motto ‘together we grow’. This refers to product developments in the area of furniture and interior design but also those in the entire Egger Group.

In addition to the ST40 Feelwood Oakgrain – the latest generation of its Feelwood synchronised pore surfaces – Egger was also showing two new matt-lacquered, textured variants of the PerfectSense Lacquered Boards: TM12 PerfectSense Omnipore Matt and TM22 PerfectSense Deepskin Linear Matt to pick up the trendy matt look.

SAIB, the newest Egger family member and first plant in Italy, was present at Interzum 2023 to introduce its new products (Hall 5.2, Stand G18/H19).

Egger also had an exhibit show on the Boulevard of Sustainability on how wood is conserved via the circular economy and what it means to act sustainably.

Meanwhile, surfacing giant Schattdecor presented Fineflex and MFS-Touch, as well as new décors such as Riva, Acapulco, Sydney, and Salvador Oak, and bestsellers such as Karlstad Oak.

The Schattdecor appearance was entirely under the motto of the new trend concept “Freiraum – Now everything is possible”.

The company’s kitchen area exhibit featured two new Fineflex collections shown in solid colours and with a metallic effect. The environmentally-friendly PET furniture film was also exhibited in the abovementioned versions as a 2D wrapping and 3D thermoforming film and as a thermoforming film with the Fineflex Nature effect in the trend colour Pearl Bronze. MFS-Touch product provided velvety soft, super matte and scratch-resistant properties.

There was still no way around decors with a stripe-effect look, such as Omega Oak, as well as the perennial theme of oak. The top Schattdecor samples requested also revealed great interest in other wood species, such as the cherry wood decor Riva. Equally in demand were natural stone decors Acapulco and Sydney along with great interest shown for Salvador Oak and Karlstad Oak.

The joint customer project with the Spanish floor manufacturer Finsa received the Red Dot Award for 24 different digitally printed floorboards, pressed synchronously producing a particularly natural look and feel. Proflex 3D, Schattdecor’s “healthy flooring”, also received a good reception at the trade fair. This topic has been promoted since 2017, and is now gaining new momentum in times of greater sustainability and environmental awareness.

Koelnmesse said the exhibition consistently enjoyed positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors, despite some well-known players from the industry being absent from the event.

“A trade fair like Interzum thrives on new products and innovations, but also on competition,” said Claudia Küchen, Schattdecor’s lead on design, marketing, communications and decor development.

“Unfortunately, the trade fair landscape this year was somewhat limited in this respect. However, after numerous personal discussions and such a successful impact, we are very confident that no one will want to miss Interzum in 2025.”

In addition to the events in Cologne, Koelnmesse is strategically expanding its portfolio in key growth markets around the globe, such as with the successful shows ORGATEC TOKYO in Japan, Interzum Bogota in Colombia and Interzum Guangzhou in China. For further information visit: www. interzum.com/trade-fair/interzum-home/ industry-sectors

The next events are Interzum Guangzhou on March 28-31, 2024; Interzum Bogota on May 14-17, 2024 and the Cologne event again on May 20-23, 2025.