Statistics and reservations in hand, just two months from its inauguration, the Milanese trade show promises a major turnaround in terms of innovation and original market prospects. We gathered some insights in this conversation with President Luciano Miotto
Four years go by between one EXPOdetergo International and another. Just like between two Soccer World Cups, or between two Olympic games. It can seem like an instant or an eternity. For the great global laundry market, as in all areas of human endeavor, it depends on countless factors. By discussing this with Luciano Miotto, president of EXPOdetergo International, just two months before the opening of the 17th edition — scheduled for October 3rd at Fiera di Milano — we hope to understand that, above all, these four years were more deeply-felt, more complicated, and for various reasons, more “burdensome” than others.
– Mr. Miotto, compared to EXPOdetergo 2010, what is the first difference that comes to mind?
“To use an image we all are familiar with, four years ago we were still using incandescent light bulbs while today they have entirely disappeared from the market”.
And what does this imply?
“Light bulbs are more complicated now, but also more valuable from the point of view of energy savings and a healthy environment”. This is a meaningful parable for the laundry market. In fact, as will be clearly in evidence at EXPOdetergo International, manufacturers have tended to focus on highly innovative machines, ones that are initially rather spendy but warrant the investment in terms of durability and energy savings”.
– So, speaking specifically about the fair, what will we find?
“Here, too, the atmosphere on the eve of the show is entirely different. Four years ago we were overwhelmed by the shock of the global economic crisis that had just exploded, with devastating effects visible to everyone. We were paralyzed, confused and fearful. The results of that crisis are still felt today but they coexist with some other completely different sensations. There is a kind of contagious spirit of adventure in the air, a quest for novel development models and widespread curiosity about any innovation capable of creating a market”.
– Words imbued with a comforting sense of optimism. They must be based on concrete figures.
“Of course. First of all, the numbers — to call them exciting is an understatement. Six months before the opening, the majority of space had already been reserved. But, even more important is who is occupying these spaces”.
– Tell us more.
“The positive news is that, with the exhibitor list in hand, truly all of them are on it. And when I say all, I don’t mean only the leading countries and those that are emerging in our industry. It means that the multinational giants are participating, and also a vast number of the smaller artisan-style manufacturers whose contribution is fundamental in terms of innovation and creativity”.
– And the positive outcome?
“Primarily, the extraordinary drawing power inherent to EXPOdetergo International 2014. Across the marketplace the consensus is that this show is a must. Indeed, the pre-registration formula, adopted by Fiera Milano with amazing foresight, is a burgeoning success. Two months before the opening, we can already predict the likelihood of surpassing the record of 20,000 visitors”.
– Specifically, what are attendees looking for?
“Strong indicators about topics vital to the future of laundering. One of the biggest is energy savings. At a time when oil has broken through the $100 per barrel mark, the interest in any and all alternatives that would reduce costs and consumption is obvious. Numbers and names in hand, EXPOdetergo International will provide insightful information about this and many other key topics”.
– Based on your comments, it sounds like a very positive outlook for the entire market.
“That is precisely how it feels. Without needing a crystal ball, and based solely on the rumors circulating around the fair, the clear sensation is that we are on the eve of an EXPOdetergo International after which nothing in the laundry market will be the same. Now, all we have to do is wait and see”.
– What, specifically, can we expect?
“New patents presented in Milan that will change the history of laundering. And also some incredible contributions from the artisan-style businesses without whose creativity the entire market would be impoverished in terms of innovation”.
– What role do Italian-made products play in all this?
“A fundamental one, certainly. Not so much because Milan is the home team but rather thanks to the leadership role that our producers of machines and services for the laundering industry have always played around the world. A role that I am convinced EXPOdetergo International 2014 will only reinforce”.