In January, Heimtextil will open its doors for the 50th time. A few of our visitors really have attended every show and will, as a result, be celebrating their own personal anniversary this year. Michael Steinert is one of them. Owner of the SN-Fachpresse-Verlag publishing house, who handle Haustex, Heimtex and many other magazines for the sector, he is already looking forward to his 50th show in Frankfurt. In this interview he tells of his experiences.
Mr. Steinert, in what capacity have you visited Heimtextil for all these years? And what has been your main interest?
As a trade magazine editor in the field of flooring tiles, wall coverings, decorative fabrics and sun blinds, it is one of my core jobs to visit all the relevant trade fairs. Heimtextil, which used to be called HBH, was always the key show for me to attend as an editor and with a stand for our publishing house.
Herr Steinert, in welchen Funktionen und mit welchem Interesse haben Sie in all den Jahren die Heimtextil besucht?
Als Fachzeitschriften-Redakteur im Bereich Bodenbeläge, Tapeten, Deko-Stoffe und Sonnenschutz gehört es zu meinen Kernaufgaben, alle einschlägigen Messen zu besuchen. Die Heimtextil, die früher HBH hieß, war dabei immer die zentrale Messe, die ich als Redakteur, aber auch mit einem Stand unseres Verlages, besucht habe.
How has the trade fair changed over the years? What was better in the early days, what is better today?
Today’s Heimtextil has seen fantastic development over the decades. Not only has the range of products and services become more and more extensive, but the hall layout, with the Via Mobile, has made our job significantly easier.
There’s one downside: around 25 years ago, floor-coverings that used to exhibit in Hall 5 (today Hall 8) abandoned us and, along with the oriental carpets and rugs suppliers, relocated to Domotex in Hannover. There are, however, advantages and disadvantages: I now have to go to two trade fairs instead of one, but, because of the split, I get more time to take a look at the various selections.
Have you developed a routine for visiting the fair? How do you plan your days at Heimtextil?
The routines developed early on from the many press conferences, which hardly exist any more today. I make a point of taking a look at all ranges of my core products, to the extent that they are relevant to the German market.
The lifeblood of a trade fair is direct personal contact and discussion. What personal contacts do you look back on with particular pleasure?
As you know, in 2020, I shall be visiting my 50th Heimtextil. There’s practically none of the original personalities that are still active in the marketplace. But I have very fond memories of Birgit Schlenker, who has been front woman and driving force in the Deco Team for the last 30 years. When we arrive at Heimtextil, she’s always the first person we go to see – and then we have a fruit cocktail together.
What would you miss most if
you didn’t come to Frankfurt in January?
That’s a hypothetical question. Heimtextil is part of my job and I shall be delighted to pass that on to my colleagues at some time in the future. But there’s no doubt that I should miss the many fascinating conversations, meeting new people and discovering new products. And Heimtextil provides the ideal framework for all that. Nowhere else do I get such a concentrated and comprehensive overview of our sector.