Could the Euroluce format represent the future of trade fairs?
"We are convinced so", says Juri Franzosi, at the helm of Lombardini22, the studio that designed the new layout of the biennial Salone del Mobile dedicated to lighting, to be visited until Sunday 23 April at the Rho fair, in the four pavilions 9-11 and 13-15.
“I like to imagine the one staged in the pavilions of Rho Fiera as a sort of general rehearsal which has its maximum representation in Euroluce and which continues the path of change and evolution started with the Supersalone”, says Claudio Feltrin, president of FederlegnoArredo.
“Where will all this take us? It's still early to tell, but I admit to thinking that the Euroluce script could be the canvas on which to design, together with associates and exhibitors, the possible Salone of the future.
The companies in the sector - the final data confirm this - have demonstrated versatility, resilience, ability to react and a desire to reinvent themselves, just like the Salone".
How did the new layout you proposed for Euroluce go?
Juri Franzosi, general manager of Lombardini22: "We had positive feedback, both from exhibitors and the public. The concept was appreciated, the idea of a circular route which is a place to live, on a human scale, where the light has been dimmed to make the protagonists the luminous proposals of the companies.
We liked the fact that we broke the grid, people tell us that when they enter Euroluce they stay there more willingly, they no longer experience that classic stressful experience of the plan with narrow corridors, where everything is orthogonal and there is no perspective.
The idea of interranging the stands with public spaces also worked very well, imagining Euroluce as a city of lights, where you can take a break in a square, Auroras of Formafantasma, or have lunch and meet people in real and convivial restaurants.
Perhaps it is a little premature to give an overall judgment on the new format, but already now some positive points are emerging that correspond to our brief that we shared with the Salone del mobile.
As a study, we are carrying out a specific survey on the reactions of visitors and exhibitors, which we will analyze after the fair".
What worked best about this layout, and what didn't?
Juri Franzosi: “The thing that worked the most is the renewed perception of space, which now appears welcoming, thanks to the fluid circular route, the wide carriageways that go beyond the traditional orthogonal grid plan.
The point of view manages to flow, the experience is pleasant, it is like a walk in the city of lights. One aspect that needs to be improved is wayfinding, i.e. the ability to orient yourself among the stands.
In Fiera Milano the pavilions are all twins, they have central fire doors that always allow you to understand the longitudinality of the space, they are visually disturbing elements, but at the same time they make you instinctively perceive where you are.
In the new format of Euroluce, the fire doors have been masked so well that you don't even notice when you pass from one pavilion to another, unless you see the numbers of the pavilions change, and this is a bit disorienting at times.
The theme of wayfinding, of being accompanied also by discreet but adequate billboards and signage, is certainly helpful, and needs to be improved".
How will the Salone del Mobile change following the Euroluce model?
Juri Franzosi: “It must be recognized that it took vision and courage, especially on the part of the president Maria Porro, to implement this concept.
Those who worked within the organization of the Salone del mobile were called upon to take on important challenges in a very short time, one above all that of commercially translating the new layout, because when you are used to working with a certain grid for many years automatisms have been triggered which facilitate the assembly of the stands, which is difficult to change.
It is up to the Salone del Mobile to decide on the future, we are at the disposal of the kermesse, because we deeply believe in this process of evolution of the exhibition format".
Can the Euroluce format represent the future of trade fairs?
Juri Franzosi: “The layout of Euroluce is for us a great team effort, a first experimentation, we would like to continue to explore this model, which starts from people's needs, is based on a scientific method and can potentially adapt to different types of fair.
For us Euroluce represents the future of exhibition events, what we saw at the Salone del Mobile is only a first step in the right direction.
As Carlo Urbinati, president of Assoluce, said, the challenge is to bring people, both the public and exhibitors, back to the fair, because this is where things happen that cannot happen somewhere else.
At the fair, conditions are concentrated that allow you to live unique experiences and moments, which cannot be repeated individually by companies in their showrooms in the city.
The Salone del Mobile is the place for relationships, where people meet, even by chance. We have become too careful about planning, about not letting anything out of the ordinary happen. Where the unexpected breaks in, magic happens, the spark of innovation".