For us the biggest surprise with the announcement that Designers’ Open 2013 would be staged in the Glass Hall at Leipzig Messe was the fact that it surprised us.
The new organisers are after all Leipzig Messe……..
However, somehow it never occurred to us that they would stage it in Schkeuditz.
Yet, according to the official press release, having considered “…a multitude of locations….” in Leipzig they decided to host it themselves.
A decision we can’t pretend to support.
For us Leipzig Messe is simply too remote and involves such an effort to get to that it will inevitably discourage those casual visitors that are so important for such an event.
For a major event such as the Buchmesse or a professional trade fair there is no casual, passing, trade, all visitors have planned to come.
But design fairs of the type respresented by Designers’ Open aren’t so interesting that one gets excited about them weeks in advance.
However Designers’ Open has always been very good at attracting all those just out for an afternoon and looking for something different to do. Families with bikes, students with bikes, Grassimesse visitors with a combi-ticket.
And without the Schleußig bicycle mafia et al ….
We remember very well the disaster that was Designers Fair Cologne 2011, its premiere in the suburb of Ehrenfeld.
Simply put, hardly anybody made the effort to drag themselves that far out of town, and we know several designers who lost faith with Designers Fair on account of the money they lost through the venue choice.
These days the increasing number of events being staged in Ehrendfeld as part of the Cologne Passagen programme means that more people are travelling the path we once trampled alone.
Ehrenfeld has become a destination in its own right.
And therein lies maybe, more or less, the logic in the Messe’s madness.
The press release talks about offering “… more companies the opportunity to participate in Designers’ Open…” and giving exhibitors “… planning security and the necessary space to realise new ideas” Most recent graduates looking to sell a few lamps don’t need “…planning security…” or “…necessary space…” Producers looking to promote their latest collection do.
Consequently a close read of the press release leads us to the conclusion that the Leipzig Messe are possibly planning moving Designers’ Open away from its current student/single designer market concept and introducing more professional producers.
Making Designers’ Open something industry figures visit. Plan to visit even.
Not something we necessarily disapprove of, as we said in our last post the current Designers’ Open needs a few fresh ideas and a better defined, long-term, concept.
There is a lot of good and positive energy in the event. It just needs to be better channelled.
However, if it was our plan we’d pursue that aggressively from the start and not attempt a gradual transition. Especially not when the first year is likely be poorly visited and so provide an unnecessarily negative impression of the event to potential exhibitors.
We didn’t meet that many producers who had very high hopes for Qubique Berlin. Since Qubique 2011 we haven’t met any.
A design fair in Leipzig is obviously a much harder sell.
However as we all know. What do we know?
We will however keep you updated.