Final Report: "IPM ESSEN is the Most Beautiful Trade Fair in the World"

Position as the World's Leading Trade Fair for Horticulture Confirmed Impressively

The International Plant Trade Fair in Essen (IPM) has once more proven that it is an indispensable inspiration, communication and ordering platform for the global green sector. As the top speaker, the digital expert Sascha Lobo talked about the subject of digitisation in the green sector. Over 57,000 trade visitors from all over the world travelled to Messe Essen from January 24 to 27 to obtain information about the newest plant breeds, innovative horticultural technology, floristry trends as well as sales-promoting products for the point of sale from 1,577 exhibitors from 45 nations and to order goods for the coming season. The Dutch put in a strong appearance at the trade fair. Germany´s neighbour was the proud partner country of the 35th edition of the world's leading trade fair for horticulture. The mood was outstanding amongst the exhibitors and the visitors alike.

"Four very successful days at the trade fair are behind us. IPM ESSEN was able to prove that it is an indispensable meeting point for the entire international green sector. Trendsetting stimuli emanate from the world's leading trade fair for horticulture. Both quantitatively and qualitatively, we are looking back on an all-round successful event," according to Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen. The figures speak for themselves. More than a third placed orders directly at the trade fair. Around 90 percent rated the range on offer as positive. 93 percent of the visitors would recommend a visit to IPM ESSEN - a top value. There was an increase in the number of Dutch visitors (plus three percent). That is the good result of this year's partner country cooperation. IPM ESSEN was totally characterised by Germany´s neighbouring country. The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands opened IPM ESSEN in an entertaining opening ceremony.

An Eye on New Target Groups

Plants are conquering the living spaces. Gardening in the city is fashionable. "Urban Jungle" and "Grow Your Own" were the major subjects at IPM ESSEN 2017. Herbs as well as fruit and vegetable nibbles are very popular. In 2017, they are not being planted individually but instead in combination with flowering ornamental plants. The trade fair focused on house plants in particular. They are making a comeback at present. They are easy-care and are going down especially well with the young target group. The simple handling is playing an ever greater role amongst the final consumers: No matter whether planting bowls with built-in irrigation systems, extremely long-living cut flowers or undemanding shrubs - the exhibitors presented innovative solutions. Moreover, a lot of new products were introduced amongst the bedding and balcony plants. Delicate pink to violet tones (possibly united in one flower) will dominate the coming garden season. "IPM ESSEN has yet again lived up to its reputation as the world's leading trade fair for horticulture and an important place for meetings for networking purposes. Precisely in times of increasing competitive pressure in our sector, it is important to have fresh and innovative ideas. IPM offers the ideal platform in order to let yourself be inspired," according to Jürgen Mertz, President of the Central Horticultural Association (ZVG).

First-Class Supporting Programme: Sascha Lobo as the Top Speaker

IPM ESSEN once more offered a particular value added for trade visitors from all fields due to its extensive supporting programme.

Experts imparted their knowledge in numerous conferences. For example in the new future congress entitled "Horticulture and Landscaping Outlooks" staged by the North Rhine-Westphalia Association for Horticulture, Landscaping and Sports Field Construction, the blogger, author and strategy consultant Sascha Lobo revealed how horticulture can profit from the megasubject of digitisation. Lobo's message to the sector: "Don't avoid digitisation or hope that it's minimal - help to shape it!“ This year, the International Horticulture Forum staged by the Representation of interests of the German horticulture industry (INDEGA) focused on the Netherlands as the partner country. The participants spoke about new market segments in the German-Dutch trade relations. At the lecture event staged by "The Green City" foundation and the Federation of German Nurseries, nursery gardeners, landscape gardeners and decision takers from local authorities obtained information about the subject of "New Diseases and Pests: Consequences for the Green Sector".

The trade visitors gave top marks to the presentations close to practice. Numerous designing ideas for the POS, appealing shop situations and marketing concepts were shown in the g&v Creative Centre. These included "Floral Enjoyment Worlds" such as those with goji berries or edible pelargoniums. The presentation made by Bloom's bore the motto of "Floral Living". Here, the visitors also found strong-selling ranges for the designing of floristic events and shops.

Innovation Showcase with Special Prize

For the tenth time, Messe Essen and the Central Horticultural Association (ZVG) honoured the best plant innovations: The Pelargonium zonale 'Brocade Fire Night' presented by Dümmen Orange from Rheinberg was distinguished as the "IPM Innovation 2017" in the "Bedding and Balcony Plant" category. The Mandevilla sanderi (Hemsl.) Woodson 'Mini Scarlet' received the title in the "Tub Plants" category. The Hibiscus rosa sinensis 'Petit™Orange' presented by Graff Breeding from Denmark received the mark of distinction in the "Flowering House Plant" category. An alstroemeria presented by Könst Alstroemeria from the Netherlands, i.e. the 'White Pearls', was once more distinguished in the "Cut Flowers" category. The Expert Commission decided in favour of the Picea abies 'Little Santa' presented by Baumschule Artmeyer from Hörstel in the "Woody Plants" category. The jury has distinguished the 'Helleborus Gold Collection ®Ice N'Roses®' (Helleborusxglandorfii) presented by Heuger Gartenbaubetriebe from Glandorf in the "Shrubs" category. The Rosa polyantha 'Smeralda Green Show' presented by Twelve Energy Societa Agricola SRL from Italy emerged as the Special Prize winner this year. For the first time, the trade public was able to choose its favourite. The visitors decided in favour of the winner of the "Shrubs" category: 'Helleborus Gold Collection ®Ice N'Roses®' (Helleborusxglandorfii) presented by Heuger Gartenbaubetrieben from Glandorf.

Show Your Colours Award Honours Excellent Storytelling

The Show Your Colours Award distinguished shrubs and woody plants with strong-selling stories. The winner was the 'Mentha requienii MATCH & MOSS MENTHOL' from van Son & Koot BV from the Netherlands. The evergreen groundcover spreads a pleasant menthol smell and convinced the jury and the visitors alike.

Distinguished Horticultural Technology

An outstanding technical innovation in the field of fruit and vegetable cultivation was presented with the INDEGA IPM Innovation Award. The award which is presented by Messe Essen and INDEGA went to the 2SaveEnergy Consortium for the 2SaveEnergy greenhouse system.

FDF Provided Inspiration for the Flowery Retail Trade

In numerous live shows in the FDF World, the Trade Association of German Florists (FDF) presented trends, marketing concepts and new sales concepts which strengthen the unique selling point and competitive advantages of the flowery specialised trade.

Tamas Mezoffy from Hungary, the reigning European Champion of Florists, the runner-up Roman Steinhauer from Russia and the third-placed Pirjo Koppi from Finland aroused the enthusiasm of the public during the European Champions Show - "Stars of Genoa". Germany's best florists introduced spring-fresh young flowery ideas from the hands of champions. The German champion Stephan Triebe from Hamburg, the runner-up Sarah Hasenhündl from Baden-Württemberg and Mehmet Yilmaz from Rhineland-Palatinate put the visitors in the right floral mood for the forthcoming spring. Live on the stage, they elaborated workpieces, amongst other subjects, called "Love is all around", "Floral Heartbreaker on Valentine's Day", "plant to go" and "urban jungle". One public favourite was the selfie bouquet. The "Happy Flower People Live on Stage!" show also offered an abundance of flowery inspirations for the enthusiastic visitors.

The participants in international competitions were established during the FDF young florists contest called "Flower Contest - We Want You!". Maximilian Martin will start for Germany at the 44th WorldSkills in Abu Dhabi. Christina Müglich will represent German floristry at Eurofleurs 2017 in Belgium.

IPM Trade Fair Cup 2017

The IPM Trade Fair Cup 2017 bore the motto of "Upcycling". Sabrina Hadenfeldt from Blumenhaus Hofgarten in Düsseldorf was victorious in the "Bouquet" category. The workpiece of Jennifer Tiroke from Blumen Prinz in Mönchengladbach was distinguished as the best decorative pot plant. Bärbel Grzenia from Blumen für Dich und Dich in Borken convinced the jury as far as the tub plants were concerned.

Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Co.: FDF Inspired the Specialised Flower Trade

With its flowery innovations for the young target group, the "Flower Lab" was very well-received. For the first time, the new Millennials collection called "cool flowers for cool people" which FDF and Florismart had developed for the sector was introduced in this setting. The new chrysanthemum collection called "just chrys 2017" was created with a view to new sight habits and altered consumption needs. The displayed creations place their faith in original visual languages in the style of Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and co. In 2017, the FDF Trend Hotspot was dedicated to three major currents in society which are determining the green sector: the search for truth, equilibrium and the definition of new playing rules. The FDF Trend Hotspot showed displays in the trend atmospheres called "Harmonise", "Equalise", "Energise" and "Rebel". The flower as a trend product and a must-have for modern customers.

The FDF President Helmuth Prinz: "FDF's new booth concept has come off perfectly. With our showrooms, we have aroused the enthusiasm of young florists in particular. Here, the trends implemented by us such as Upcycling and Factory Style went down very well. For us, IPM ESSEN is a valuable platform on which we reach a national and international trade public and to make people enthusiastic about the florist's occupation. We had a lot of good discussions, valuable contacts and a successful exchange of ideas."


Now, 92 percent of the visitors and 92 percent of the exhibitors were already stating that they would take part in IPM ESSEN 2018. The next world's leading trade fair for horticulture will take place at Messe Essen from January 23 to 26.

Outlook for hortivation by IPM ESSEN 2018

From 2018, hortivation by IPM ESSEN will be integrated into the world's leading trade fair for horticulture. Interested people already obtained an initial preview in Hall 9 this year. As a perspective, it is planned to give existing exhibitors at IPM ESSEN and companies which supplement the range on offer at the POS beyond the actual product groups at IPM ESSEN the possibility of presenting their products in sales concepts at hortivation. Messe Essen is thus taking account of the exhibitors' wish to bring together products and concepts.


IPM ESSEN 2017: Figures in Detail

 1,577 (in 2016: 1,588) exhibitors from 45 (49) nations and 66 (64) percent of them from abroad. Also including the forecast for the last day of the trade fair, there were around 42,100 registered trade visitors with a foreign proportion of 36 percent. The extensive supporting programmes were visited not only by international participants but also, amongst others, by guests of honour, representatives of the press and local authorities as well as sponsors. The proportion of trade visitors was 98 (97.2) percent. The foreign proportion was 36 (39) percent.

Exhibitors' Opinions

Armin Rehberg, Chairman of the Board, Landgard eG:

"IPM is the most beautiful trade fair in the world. Johannes B. Kerner, Landgard Award, new webshop solutions, picture database and new concepts at Landgard: For us, IPM has given the starting signal for Cooperative Marketing 4.0. After we had already had a very positive mood at the Landgard Spring Ordering Days, we can say with complete conviction after the successful days at the trade fair: We are looking into the new year optimistically and, together with our producer businesses and customers, are looking forward to the 2017 season."

Helma van der Louw, Bizz Communications:

"Bizz Communications is uniting the Dutch nurseries at IPM ESSEN. 60 companies have participated this year. That shows how important the trade fair is - not least because of its international character. IPM ESSEN makes it possible to look beyond the European borders, to meet new customers and to maintain existing trade relations. This year, we had a lot of activities on our booth because the Kingdom of the Netherlands was IPM's partner country. Furthermore, we have once again successfully organised the Show Your Colours Award."

Dipl.‑Ing. Christian Bornstein, Managing Director, ai-Solution:

"We are an absolute newcomer at IPM ESSEN. Apparently, we have struck the right chord with our Spargeligx, the asparagus to cultivate yourself. We have encountered an overwhelming demand. From the big DIY store chains right down to the smaller traders: All of them want to see the asparagus in their centres. IPM definitely does justice to its internationality. For example, customers from Israel and England were on our booth and we were able to establish good contacts with them. We have also reached the visitors who we wanted to reach. In the post-fair business, we are expecting more than twice as many orders as we have already been able to conclude here in situ."

 Martien van den Oever, Shop Foreman, Dutchman Industries Inc.:

"Our machines are in use on almost all continents. We are only missing Africa now. Particularly the second day of the trade fair was very strong for us. We had interested people from Chile and Pakistan and a lot of Eastern Europeans on our booth. South Africans were also interested in our machines. Next year, we definitely want to come again."

Katja Schulte, Overall Management, Lechuza:

"For Lechuza, this year's trade fair should be rated as absolutely positive, with regard not only to the customer frequency on the booth but also to the great interest of the trade visitors and the quality of the national and international contacts which we were able to establish on the distribution side."

Sebastian Heinje, Management Board, Diderk Heinje Pflanzenhandelsges. mbH & Co. KG:

"For us, IPM ESSEN is the start into the spring. The mood was outstanding. We were able not only to hold good discussions with customers from Germany, France, England and Scandinavia but also to write a lot of orders. Conclusion: an all-round successful trade fair."

Christian Mütherich, Managing Director, Mütherich Nadelholzkulturen:

"At IPM ESSEN, we meet a lot of international customers from Poland, Russia and France. It is the suitable meeting place in order to look back on the Christmas tree season and plan the coming year. As a plant producer, we are not only an exhibitor but also a visitor. Here, we can find the available range relevant to us, e.g. soils."

Dhr. Jos Beverborg, Commercieel Manager, IPP Holland:

"Our appearance at the trade has gone perfectly. The number of customers was high and we have greeted a lot of new customers on our booth. We were busy throughout and that is always a good sign. This year, there was a particularly strong demand for coloured pots. The public at the trade fair was very international and well-informed. This has had positive effects on the sales discussions. IPM ESSEN is a very important platform for us. Therefore, we will definitely be involved again in the coming year."

Björn Hansen, Managing Director, Soendgen Keramik:

"We are very satisfied with IPM ESSEN 2017. The visitor frequency and the quality of the discussions were okay. Our highlight at the trade fair was the high container called 'Vimmerby' with which we are reacting to the Scandinavian trend. Our outdoor POS concept has also gone down well. For us, IPM ESSEN is seeded as an international platform in the sector. We will be an exhibitor once again in 2018."

Anika Wendorf, Event and Media Coordinator, Sygenta FloriPro Services:

"IPM 2017 was once again a total success for Syngenta FloriPro Services. A very good trade fair at which we had the possibilities of contacting our customers in a pleasant atmosphere and introducing our products and solutions."

Richard Petri, Marketing Manager, Selecta One:

"The mood at IPM ESSEN was very good and we are very satisfied with how the trade fair has gone. This year, we enlarged our booth. The inflow was extremely good and continuous. We have managed to place with the visitors in an outstanding way our new consumer campaign which we have introduced to the sector here for the first time."

Frank F. Lock, President, Representation of interests of the German horticulture industry (INDEGA) & Managing Director, Lock Antriebstechnik GmbH:

"IPM ESSEN 2017 had sensible innovations. Hall 3 is being transformed and is raising its internationality - particularly in the exhibitor field. The new hall allocation should also be rated as positive: Thanks to the connection through the Galeria, Halls 3 and 7 are now being perceived as a coherent Technology area. Another important step is the focus on fruit and vegetables as a multifaceted main subject - a weighting which should be pursued and strengthened in the long term. This year's presentation of the INDEGA Innovation Award is also reflecting the high internationality of the sector and we are pleased that a Dutch cooperation venture consisting of four firms has won the award. It is in INDEGA's interest to support innovative work - beyond borders. In the role as an exhibitor, we from LOCK are satisfied, too. Thanks to our new product called 'EZD 52', we were able to enter into intensive dialogues with potential customers and to hold concrete sales discussions."

Aidan Campion, Business Development Manager Global, Bord na Móna Horticulture:

"For us, IPM ESSEN is the most important trade fair in the world. It is the world's leading trade fair for horticulture. Therefore, we are focusing our activities and costs on this trade fair in January. There, I am speaking for other exhibitors, too. Without any hesitation, we will also participate in the next few years. The overall organisation is excellent. Thank you IPM ESSEN!"

Helmut Selders, President, Federation of German Nurseries (BdB):

"IPM ESSEN always goes as well for us as it goes for our members and we have received positive feedback from them. As in the previous years, in the middle of the Nursery Hall 11, we were not only a contact for our BdB members and colleagues from the neighbouring European countries but have also offered them a platform in order to become networked with each other. We have spoken with many companies interested in federation membership and also with a lot of young people in training. We were approached by people responsible at the local authorities. All of them focused on: the subject of green spaces in cities. The particular initiative with which we are bringing our trees out of the specialist world of IPM and into the public is also appropriate for this: The City of Essen can be pleased about 53 new trees. Together with the Ehren, Ley and Reincke nurseries, we from the Federation of German Nurseries have presented this gift to the European Green Capital 2017: And as a 'Tree Parade', every Essener will be able to admire them in the city centre next week. Thanks to the landscape architect Andreas Kipar for the fantastic idea and to Simone Raskob, Head of Essen's Environmental Department, who is assuming responsibility for the further care of the trees."