John Sacks, inmiddels wel bekend op Officenieuws, maar vooral bekend als marktonderzoeker en adviseur namens JSA Consultancy Services, bezocht wederom een kantoormeubelbeurs, dit keer in Istanbul, en deed verslag voor onder andere Officenieuws. Ik vertaal het niet, maar de gemiddelde Nederlander spreek genoeg Engels om het te kunnen lezen.
Lees de ervaringen van onze man in Istanbul:
Istanbul’s mid- January climate isn’t as welcoming as one would like. Cold and sleet is often the order of the day and one wondered quite why the organisers chose this time of year for the show. After all, held a few weeks’ later, the heavy coats and boots might be able to be left at home. Having been absent from the city for a couple of years meant I’d forgotten its glorious mixture of chaos and culture, bombastic lack of manners and pure electric atmosphere. It’s a major international city with all the airports, massive infrastructure, public transport systems and vast hordes of people you’d expect, but genteel and refined, it isn’t. Pushing and shoving gets you in and out of trains, buses and buildings – the faint-hearted get left behind, if not actually trampled underfoot.
IMOB is principally a domestic furniture show, held annually at the very large CNR Expo Center to the south west of the City near Ataturk International Airport. Easily accessible from the highly-efficient Metro system – don’t dream of driving or taking a taxi if you want to get there in a reasonable time – the complex is in all honesty, a little shabby when compared to some of its international competitors. This year, 545 exhibitors occupied 11 exhibition halls of which the fifty office furniture exhibitors, sponsored by their trade association, OMSIAD, were conveniently segregated in their own 8,000sq m hall. As is usually the case, these stands were less busy than those of the home furniture companies, but there was plenty of serious buying interest from local public and private sector customers and their architect and designer advisors.
This is not an international show. All the exhibitors were Turkish companies and apart from a few from the Middle-East, almost all of the visitors were also from Turkey. A lot of the product was aimed either at the local commercial market or at Turkey’s traditional international trading partners; North Africa, Turkmenistan, northern Iraq and sub-Saharan Africa. One of the Turkish industry’s problems is that markets such as these do not demand well designed products.
That said, some companies’ products such as Mades, Ersa, Willowy and Soffa, displayed serious design flair and it is to be hoped that others will follow their example and, in the process, open up greater access to Western European and other advanced markets.
Ersa, based in Ankara, are one of the largest office furniture companies. They have invested in external design in recent years, notably working with Claudio Bellini from Italy. Mades, founded in 1972, are a company from Bartin with a 15,000sq m factory and 200 employees. About half of their sales are outside Turkey, mostly to Western Europe.
Rapido, a specialist office seating business with modern production facilities, also from Ankara, showed some attractive products including well engineered task seating. An Istanbul company, SetLine, had some imaginative workstation products on a well-designed and attractive stand.
Willowy were an interesting new company from Bursa with an inviting and attractive stand.
Finally, we felt we needed to share this, without comment, from