+++ Around 25,000 visitors from 125 countries +++ Industry celebrates the trade fair’s relaunch after pandemic-related cancellations +++ Over 70 per cent of trade visitors travelled from outside Germany +++ Exhibitors praise high-quality contacts +++ Event’s results exceeded expectations +++


After more than four years, the EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR 2022 has celebrated a successful comeback in Cologne. Around 1,400 exhibitors from 50 countries took advantage of the opportunity to present their products and innovations to the entire hardware industry again. The spectrum of products presented ranged from tools and accessories to building and DIY supplies all the way through to fasteners, fixings and fittings.

After four successful days of trade fair activity, the EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR 2022 has closed its doors in Cologne. With around 25,000 trade visitors from 125 countries, the event returned after a 4.5-year enforced break and immediately confirmed its importance as the number one trade fair for the international hardware industry.

“The sense of relief at finally being able to meet face to face again after such a long time and do business in person could be clearly felt among all our exhibitors and trade visitors throughout the entire trade fair,” said Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. “You had the feeling that a big family was getting together again after a long time apart.”

“The trade fair was a success, especially in the context of the ongoing travel restrictions in Asia, the acute energy and raw materials crisis, and the geopolitical situation in many countries. The feedback from our exhibitors about the business contacts they’ve made is positive across the board. Clearly, companies made a strategic decision to attend the EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR – the decision makers were here,” commented Oliver Frese.

EISEN Award 2022 powered by ZHH

The coveted EISEN Award was presented once again at the first EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR after the pandemic. This time, Koelnmesse partnered with the German hardware trade association Zentralverband Hartwarenhandel (ZHH). From the more than 50 innovative products submitted, the expert jury selected the three prize winners of the EISEN Award 2022 powered by ZHH. The prize winners include the AluTec hammer by Picard. The carpenter’s hammer boasts a unique combination of aluminium and steel, which enables previously unachievable ergonomics. The second winning entry is the Go! SMART measuring tool by SOLA-Messwerkzeuge. At just 8 cm long, it brings the analogue and digital worlds together and fulfils the functions of a spirit level, an inclinometer and a protractor. Also among the EISEN Award winners for 2022 is ToughBuilt with its Scraper Utility Knife – the world’s first two-in-one. The patented knife allows users to switch between a utility knife and a scraper with the flick of a thumb.

DIY Boulevard 2022

In cooperation with the manufacturers’ association Haus & Garten, Koelnmesse presented its 56 DIY suppliers with an exhibition area covering a total length of 272 metres, which had been fully booked long before the opening of the event. The DIY Boulevard offered manufacturers the unique experience of being able to design the POS in line with their branding with an authentic display of their merchandise as well as the chance to make direct contact with end customers.

eCommerce area

The digital transformation does not stop at the hardware industry. The EISENWARENMESSE – INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR has followed this development closely. With the eCommerce area, it provided the ideal platform for both finding and showcasing digital solutions. The spectrum of products and services ranged from shop systems and electronic payment systems to data storage and processing all the way through to search engine optimisation. The content of the eCommerce area was curated by major names including eBay, OTTO, DHL, Facebook and Shopware.

What the industry’s saying about the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair 2022

John W. Herbert, General Secretary of the European DIY Retail Association (EDRA) and the Global Home Improvement Network (GHIN)

“The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair is the most important platform for our industry. It’s both a barometer of trends and a trendsetter. In other words, it’s the networking platform for the global hardware trade. I’m very happy to be in Cologne, meeting so many colleagues from all over the world.”

Dr Peter Wüst, Managing Director of the German Retailers’ Association for Home Improvement, Building and Gardening (BHB e.V.)

“I’m delighted to be at the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair. The event is absolutely vital for maintaining business relationships face-to-face in this period of crisis. Despite the difficult times we find ourselves in, I’m picking up a sense of optimism about the future from the people I’ve been talking to.”

Wolfgang J. Kirchhoff, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair

The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne is still the industry’s number-one event, where most of its innovations are presented. It’s the trade fair with the strongest international profile, even though many visitors and exhibitors from Asia have been unable to attend due to the pandemic.”

Dietrich Alberts, Managing Director of GAH-Alberts

“The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair has earned its reputation as the industry’s leading trade fair over many years. Exhibitors and visitors know they can expect high quality across the board when they come here.” Stefano Spillere, General Manager of Telwin SpA “Telwin has been coming to the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair for more than 30 years. For us, the trade fair is very important in terms of cultivating our network and maintaining contact with our international customers.

Paul Samms, Director of Licensing at Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.

“We’re over the moon to be back at the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair after a break of more than four years. Our international customers have told us that they travelled to Cologne for the trade fair especially because of us. The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair is the ideal place to tap into new areas of the market and find new retailers.”

Ferdinand Munk, owner and Managing Director of MUNK Group

“Of course, after the coronavirus pandemic, it’s great for the industry to get together again at the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair. The number of contacts may not be as high as it used to be yet, but the quality is exceptional because the visitors are enthusiastic about returning to Cologne to maintain their business relationships in person.”

Thomas Dammann, Managing Director of the Central Association of the Hardware Trade in Germany (ZHH e.V.)

“The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair is particularly important for the specialised trade because it provides the opportunity to maintain relationships with international contacts and establish new ones. The trade fair is a chance to get an overview of all the innovations and to be inspired by the other manufacturers.”

Sven Wilde, Head of Marketing Communications at Wiha Werkzeuge GmbH

“The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair is the ideal opportunity for us to meet our international customers and show them our products and solutions. We’re very satisfied – even though the number of visitors to our stand was lower this year, we feel that the quality of the discussions has been even higher than usual.”

Stefan Weigel, Executive Director/CMO at Wolfcraft

“At Wolfcraft, we don’t just focus on the product. Instead, we look at the bigger picture in terms of sustainability and the customer journey as well as our products. The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair is a great opportunity for me to explain this wide-ranging approach to visitors, so I’m very happy to be able to take advantage of this platform. It’s a source of potential that we, as suppliers of branded products, will continue to draw on in the future.”

The next EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne will be held from 3 to 6 March 2024. Koelnmesse – industry trade fairs for the hardware sector:

As a top international trade fair organiser, Koelnmesse is the global market leader in organising events for the hardware/ironware segment. It hosts the leading international event EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne at its trade fair grounds in Cologne, where Asia-Pacific Sourcing also showcases products, innovations and trends for homes and gardens from the Far East. In addition to the events at its Cologne headquarters, Koelnmesse is expanding its portfolio internationally in key markets: The China International Hardware Show in Shanghai, the International Hardware Fair Italy in Bergamo and the International Hardware Fair India in New Delhi are bespoke events and leading trade fairs for the region with international participation. They create the foundation for sustainable, international business for their participants and bring together supply and demand within the sector with a carefully targeted approach. Further information: https://www.eisenwarenmesse.com/trade-fair/industry-tradefairs/

Author: Judith Leyendecker

Communications Manager

Koelnmesse GmbH

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