Bartex at Heimtextil 2023. Our perspective on the event
At Bartex, we value face-to-face meetings, and since the outbreak of the pandemic, it is the opportunity for direct conversations that we miss the most. That is why in 2022 we decided that we would start this year with participation in the most important event for our industry—the Heimtextil fair in Frankfurt am Main. See how we rated the fair and what we came back with.
Heimtextil 2023. The most important event in the industry
Heimtextil is an event that brings together representatives of the broadly understood textile industry, interior design and interior design trends. In 2022, it was visited by exhibitors from 50 countries and visitors from 109 countries. It is a real opportunity to take a close look at the most important markets, get to know the moods of representatives of the industry, but also take a look at the activities of competitors or search for new opportunities for development and cooperation with companies looking for a trusted contractor.
We also went to Frankfurt am Main with high expectations, the more that we arrived there in a different role than before.
For the first time at this edition, we appeared as exhibitors, previously we went to the Heimtexil fair as visitors – explains Anna Bardzik-Buganik, CEO of Bartex sp. z o.o. – Our goal was to attract potential customers for textile sewing services. This was our first business goal. The second goal was to create a space to meet our current customers, both long-term and new ones. In addition to this, of course, we also had an intermediate goal. Participation in trade fairs is always a big undertaking from an economic point of view. It involves significant financial outlays, and this allows us to show that the company is credible, invests in marketing and has production capabilities that it can present. And this is what we tried to offer at our stand through aesthetics, the colours we chose and our most essential products.
We worked hard to create a booth that stands out among other companies’ stands. As Elżbieta Trajdos-Dziczkaniec, Production Director at Bartex says, this effort paid off:
We were proud of our stand, it was beautifully presented. We focused on minimalism and consistency, i.e. we exhibited a small number of products and made sure that our space stood out with our company colours. Typically, exhibitors order stands at fairs, which makes them similar to each other: they have bright shelves and white chairs. We focused on our colours and climatic highlights, which were eye-catching and offered a cosy atmosphere.
We have not forgotten about the element of surprise, which was supposed to impress the visitors. Although as it turned out – this effect also surprised us:
We took the bed with us along with our dog mascot. We have displayed them in such a way that they attract the attention of visitors to the fair. It turned out that many people were interested in them, and although we took these products mainly to draw attention to our stand, to our surprise, thanks to them we also had a few conversations strictly related to the production of pet beds – explains Elżbieta Trajdos- Wildcat.
Several months of meetings in 4 days
Such a large fair, located in several multi-storey halls, allowed us to achieve our basic goal, i.e. conducting many face-to-face conversations. After 4 years of absence, we could finally show up at the fair as a company, meet our customers live and strengthen or establish new business relationships.
If we were to visit each client at their company, it would probably take us several months, and here we did it in a few days – reports Marcin Skibiński, Product Manager at Bartex. – There were companies from Poland, from Germany, although in small numbers, a lot of French and Dutch companies, the ones from Spain, Portugal and the Baltic States as well as the Balkans. The fair was truly an opportunity for many meetings.
Not only at our stand, because we also went on long trips every day, travelling kilometres in search of interesting companies and services. We also did not hesitate to stay at the fair longer, just to provide those willing to get to know us better with information or to catch up.
Customers visited us, but we also wandered the halls to meet other companies, offering them our quilting or sewing services – says Marcin Skibiński. – Many of them came back to us to see the stand and get to know the company better. Exhibiting at the fair helps in this – to visualize the company in the minds of our potential customers, to show that we exist and function. One day we even stayed long after 6 p.m. precisely because a company we befriended from the same industry wanted to visit us. Thanks to the fact that we stayed longer, we were visited by a representative of another company who learned about Bartex from our material supplier and wanted to see the stand and talk to us. This shows us how important it is to build the image of a reliable partner, both for our suppliers and the companies cooperating with us. And with that Heimtextil certainly helped us a lot.
Importantly, the conversations we had with other companies did not end there. They led to further business negotiations, which we conduct after returning to Żagań. We were visited by former clients who know us well and know what we do. Many of them came back with questions about topics we started a few years ago, some came with new projects. We also met with representatives of the companies we currently work with. There were also new potential customers. So we haven’t had time to cool down after the intense market days yet, and we already have our hands full, preparing offers and providing the necessary information and answers to inquiries.
It is certainly a success that we brought specific inquiries from this fair – comments Monika Kraśnicka, Product Manager at Bartex sp. z o.o. – One of our clients told us that the fair is not about signing contracts or bringing orders to the company. However, we managed to get some of these inquiries and now we are working on them to start new, interesting projects.
The industry is uncertain but stable
Industry meetings are not only an opportunity to win orders but also a chance to look at the market from a broader perspective. In this respect, our experience and predictions have unfortunately been confirmed.
When it comes to the situation in the textile market itself, I have received signals from German companies that it indeed has been difficult – says Monika Kraśnicka. – War, rising heating costs, higher electricity prices – everything has an impact on the functioning of companies but also creates an atmosphere of uncertainty. BAs a Polish company located close to the German border, Bartex is very competitive in terms of logistics, so I hope that we will be able to offer these companies solutions that will help them overcome these problems.
Uncertainty on the market means that the development plans of most companies are rather at a moderate level. Nevertheless, our experience and conversations during the event show that the situation is relatively stable.
Everyone wishes that in fact the volume of orders was not lower than what it was in the previous year – says Marcin Skibiński. – So everyone predicts a straight line when it comes to the level of sales, maintaining the level of orders. Everything will depend on inflation and of course on how the situation on our eastern border will develop. Personally, I have not met clients who would currently have production surpluses that they are able to quickly allocate. Even the leading mattress manufacturers in Europe currently do not have surpluses, and there is a need for them, which proves a large number of incoming inquiries. So everyone is waiting for the situation on the market to stabilize and striving to maintain the number of orders at the same level as the year before.
Heimtextil 2023 successfully completed
With numerous contacts, a broad view of the market in Europe and the East, and many potential projects – we do not come back from Heimtextil empty-handed. We have achieved all the goals we set for ourselves, both purely business and image and marketing related. We will certainly use the acquired knowledge to shape our corporate strategy for the coming years.
The fair allowed us to increase our credibility – comments Marcin Skibiński. – Show that we are a company with large production, we have our own website, and we offer services and support at a high level. If a company goes to the fair, it proves that it invests in its development and is credible.
Despite really intense working days, fatigue and a disturbed circadian cycle, we have not forgotten to laugh, integrate and enjoy each other’s company in other circumstances than office ones. The more so that in the final balance we consider the Heimtextil 2023 event to be full of successes.
At the end of each day we talked about what we are most satisfied with – recalls Anna Bardzik-Buganik. – When Marcin asked me about it one day, I replied that I was most happy that I had decided to go to this fair. I was afraid that we would be bored, that there would be few customers and that our tables would be empty. But I was pleasantly surprised by how many companies we met and how many talks about potential large-scale cooperation we undertook. We also got to know the competition better, which gave us a more complete picture of the industry and will certainly affect our business strategy. In short, the whole project has been a great success for us and we are happy about that.
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