MIFF 2023

Fortune favors the brave

In the summer of 2022, the world was gradually emerging from the Covid episode, and the borders were just beginning to reopen, with however still a lot of caution around the world and particularly in Asia, as this pandemic had left its mark . We must not forget that at that time China was barricaded with double tower to the great misfortune of its inhabitants cloistered at home. However, the front of the border closures began to crack, thanks in particular to the Malaysian government which decided to open its own, to the delight of the organizers of the MIFF show who rushed into the breach with a boldness that could challenge. This bet has been largely successful as evidenced by the great success of the 2023 edition.

Yet you had to dare to embark on such an adventure. Indeed, we must not forget that the return of the MIFF show only took place less than a year ago, since it was in July 2022 that the salon reopened after two years of closure. For the organizers this situation could not last any longer and it was unthinkable to wait several more months, at the risk of losing the benefit of all these years which saw the meeting in Kuala Lumpur gaining momentum until 2019, to the point of becoming the benchmark for professional platforms for furniture in South East Asia. But a flattering reputation is something fragile, and needs to be constantly reinforced, and that requires years of work. Conversely, it is easy to quickly be forgotten. A show is a fragile product over which the organizers must watch carefully, which they did with great care and professionalism. Only as successful as one can be, who could have foreseen such a catastrophe, spanning such a length? Nobody on the planet has found a miracle recipe to stem this pandemic, except that of containment, which was the worst solution for all sectors of economic activity combined, with in particular at the head of the pack the trade shows that ticked all the squares leading them straight to pure and simple disappearance.

MIFF winning poker move

In this anxiety-provoking context, the organizers of the MIFF show however, did not sit idly by. They have remained permanently connected with the profession, via digital which has proven to be of decisive importance throughout this time. Thus was born Furniverse which became a virtual exhibition and thus enabled online trade. The designers of the site had relied heavily on interactivity, which allowed buyers and manufacturers to be able to exchange views at the heart of a very dynamic interface. Only, as well done, as useful as it has been, a digital platform has its limits and nothing replaces human contact, and it seemed unthinkable to leave another blank year Then finally comes the clearing of the reopening of borders, with however, a few rules of caution. All this did not escape to MIFF managers who boldly rushed into the breach, insofar as despite the freedom of movement and travel regained, there was still much reluctance among the populations, a fortiori for visitors from Western countries and for whom this distant journey could cause some hesitation. Despite all these potential obstacles, the MIFF taken place. Certainly it was not the edition of the century, but it was necessary to occupy the ground and break the infernal spiral of deadly cancellations, and in the end everything went well. The decision of the Malaysian authorities to consider the pandemic on the wane and that of the organizers of the MIFF to occupy the land, were the right ones and the challenge was successfully met since it laid the groundwork for a return to normal, on the traditional historic dates. If today such a decision seems a little less audacious, it is because this cursed era is gradually fading from collective memories, but yet nothing was really assured. We could imagine everything at the time, such as the resurgence of a devastating new variant that would have called everything into question. Reinstalling the salon a few months later was not completely certain. It was therefore a real gamble that the organizers played and it turned out to be a winner, proving once again that fortune always smiles on the daring.

MIFF Malysia 2023

Another dimension

This is how 8 months later manufacturers and manufacturers of the furniture profession were able to see the buyers again and exchange with them face to face, but there, it was on an appointment from another dimension that they met. The MIFF (acronym of Malaysia International Furniture fair) regained its rank during this edition, which was held from March 1 to 4. Indeed, we had the impression that nothing serious had happened for almost three long years. Strange feeling in any case to have the feeling of being propelled into the world before, and what a pleasure to see this newfound energy, this agitation specific to dynamic salons. Still, what we felt and experienced was not just a feeling, as the figures prove, with a presence of 673 exhibitors who came to present their new products and innovations to some 19,273 visiting buyers, 30% of whom were foreigners and 40% were traveling to Kuala Lumpur for the first time. Suffice to say that the two sites, namely the history MITEC (Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition center) and the very modern WTCKL (World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur) were very well attended, to the delight of all, since all the satisfaction indices reached new heights, both on the part of visitors and exhibitors. Also worth noting is the remarkable presence at the show of representatives from 136 countries and regions. If it is none the less true that the MIFF is the reference event in the South East Asian region, the event displays a more than honorable score in the field of internationality, and when we look more closely at the statistics by country, we will note the presence the USA, India, Australia and Japan, which occupied the first places in terms of visitor numbers, which is not nothing compared to the economic weight of these nations. Old Europe is a bit below, but it's a safe bet that it will regain its rank, knowing it is reassured about the success of this edition of the great comeback.

A record turnover

But what remains above all the greatest success of this 2023 edition is in the volume of commercial exchanges of this edition, since the absolutely remarkable turnover of 1.21 billion dollars comes to beat that of the year 2019, thus setting a new record, with an increase of 19%! We therefore did not come to have fun on this edition of the revival, of the great return of the MIFF. All this proves the merits of having relaunched the machine in 2022, which made it possible to prepare the ground and restore confidence to everyone, whether they are visitors or buyers. We must also see the substantive work carried out by Informa Market, to offer an offer in line with the demand of foreign buyers. If most of the exhibiting companies were Asian, these are experienced in exporting, and not only the Chinese manufacturers who came back in force this year, since they occupied a single floor within the site. WTCKL, with the support of the organizers of Furniture China, which encouraged companies from the Middle Kingdom to exhibit at the show, and the blessing of those from MIFF, proof that we can have common interests in good intelligence. But we should not especially note the dynamism of the Malaysian companies also turned towards export, in particular because of their performance in the wood industry. However, this phenomenon is not new. The country has been able to exploit this natural resource with great intelligence, of which it has an exceptional variety of species. These natural resources, the national companies have been able to make them prosper with the support of the authorities who have accompanied the manufacturers in their development, in particular for export in the field of the furniture sector. It is thus that today it is permissible to say that Malaysia is one of the strongholds of this industry, as it proved at the show with its novelties and innovations completely in line with market trends. In any case, here is a place that has demonstrated to the world that it is not only a magnificent tourist destination and one of the paradises of gastronomy on the continent, but also a dynamic nation which has quietly invited itself to the table of those who count in many areas. Like everyone else in a difficult, dangerous world, she has to face her political and religious problems, but she is not doing too badly, and the visitor will be able to see that the cohabitation between all the populations is going rather well. . Admittedly, we often talk about the hand of the Chinese ogre, but the reality is less caricatural. Many economic cooperation agreements between the two states have been signed or are in preparation, in the name of common interests. All this deserves to be underlined. In an unstable geopolitical environment, Malaysia is not the most threatened place on the planet.



A clearly positioned offer

This undoubtedly allowed the MIFF this rapid return to its pre-crisis fundamentals and even a little more, when we see this famous record turnover recorded, it is also the consistency of the overall offer. Under the influence and weight of Malaysian manufacturers and industrialists, who counted themselves at the more than respectable figure of 321 exhibitors, the offer is clearly positioned in the mid-range but with a solid production. The products offered are not flashy. It's solid, serious, embellished with flawless manufacturing quality. In this period of serious crisis that the world is also going through economically, these assets are absolutely major arguments. The consumer, whoever he is, wherever he comes from, is very sensitive to sustainability phenomena. This term is even essential, since it is added to environmental concerns. There is no question of waste today. Beyond budget issues, it is also a question of reliability which is linked to respect for the planet. The famous “Green Economy” came to impose its specifications with the support of all the peoples of the world. It is a question of consuming serious, natural, respectful of the environment, with obviously the best possible value for money. It is therefore in keeping with these trends that local manufacturers are developing their ranges of new products and innovations. The other major advantage of the global offer of the show lies in a vast coverage of products intended for furnishing. This one rakes very wide, intended for the whole house. However, there were winners this year. Thus, the best sales results were recorded in the dining room furniture sectors, followed by bedding, which is increasingly dynamic as everyone discovers the virtues of quality sleep. Then come the living room, the office which is regaining its former glory with home working stimulated by the pandemic, the sofas and their upholstery and finally the kitchen.
So here is a fanfare return of the MIFF show whose results exceed all the most optimistic forecasts, thus making us forget these so painful years that the world has gone through. This proves that it remains an undeniable leader in its area of influence, that its appeal is still just as strong, and finally that the gamble of relaunching the machine cautiously last summer was also an essential element in ensuring the success of this year 2023 which finally sees the truth MIFF back for our greatest happiness, because beyond the business aspect, the quality of the reception and the professionalism of the organizers has never disappeared for the greatest happiness of the visitors and ours.