Manila Fame organizers upbeat

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AFTER they were able to exceed their targeted number of visitors for the October show, organizers of the Manila Fame International furniture show are expecting great things for their second exhibit next month.

The Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc., which organizes the CebuNext show, announced the second round of the exhibit featuring furniture and fashion accessories from Cebu and Manila.

In a statement sent to Sun.Star Cebu, CFIF said they exceeded the target number of 2,500 visitors during last year’s show, reaching 4,000 international and local buyers. They earned 31.3 million.

Show organizers expect over 1,000 buyers, as reflected in the online pre-registration.

Over 500 of those who pre-registered are based overseas. Though online registration will end on March 6, onsite registration will be available for walk-in buyers.

The Manila Fame Show will be held on March 14 to 17 and combines the Manila Now, CebuNext and Bijoux Cebu trade shows, an event meant to embrace “all sectors of the lifestyle industry.”

The organizers said they have fine-tuned the co-location arrangements, and the March show will have more exhibitors showing their new collections. There is also more opportunity to network with industry specialists, designers and manufacturers at The Hub, where a program of seminars and workshops will be presented by regional and international experts.

Workshops

The Center for International Trade, Expositions and Missions (Citem), which is the main organizer of the event, will be retaining the services of international market specialists Michael Cleghorn and Linda Simpson. Both will conduct workshops coaching exhibitors and their design teams on current design trends and product development.

The exhibitors have been briefed to come up with products that are design-oriented and responsive to world market trends.

Citem executive director Rosvi Gaetos said the show will be curated by internationally-recognized furniture and interior designers Kenneth Cobonpue and Budji Layug.

Cobonpue and Layug have collaborated on the look and feel of the show floor and features, through to the design of the marketing material, and on site collateral being used for Manila Fame. The overall look of the show will be edgy and design-oriented to support the new product innovations and developments on the exhibition stands that all our buyers are coming to see.

Christina Gaston, co-chair of the Manila Now and CebuNext exhibitions at the Manila Fame show, said the trade show falls during the Asia Pacific’s spring round of exhibitions that focuses on the furniture and home decor industry.

“Ideally timed between the regional Asean events and the mega Chinese furniture shows, we expect an influx of international furniture and homestyle buyers from all over the world, to be in Manila from 14 to 17 March,” said Gaston.

She said that this the first time that Manila and Cebu have come together during the spring buying season for the industry, and the feedback from international buyers has been “more than positive.”

“They love the Filipino design capability but it was becoming harder to fit the two shows in Manila and Cebu into their busy schedules. They really appreciate our efforts to make things easier for them,” she explained.

In 2010, CebuNext introduced the Kagikan Project where a group of young international artists, with heritage links to the Philippines, were invited to participate in a program that became a feature at the show that generated interest and reenforced Cebu’s place as a design destination for the furniture industry.

There was positive response to the project that the designers have been invited back to produce a special setting at Manila Fame. The young designers are now known as EPOCH, and will be considered one of the show’s highlights.

Capability

International designer Josie Natori has also been involved, evaluating product designs to ensure that the show theme, ‘Beyond Artisanship,’ was applied across the sectors.

The event aims to be a showcase of Filipino creativity and craftsmanship, applied to pieces that are manufactured to global standards.

“Our capability to design furniture on a broad spectrum from traditional, through transitional, to highly contemporary, means that we are able to compete with the best from Europe and Asia”, said Eduardo Zuluaga, also co-chair of Manila Now and CebuNext at Manila Fame. “Our manufacturers will be out in force at Manila Fame to demonstrate these strengths” he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 27, 2012.

Article Source : SunStar Cebu