After the communication a few days ago by the Salone del Mobile, with explicit requests for clarifications and reassurances to the authorities on the subject of the resumption of fairs in the Covid era, many are wondering what is happening behind the scenes of the most important design event. important in the world, planned from 5 to 10 September 2021.
The director of Interni, Gilda Bojardi, asked the President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, Claudio Luti.
In the communication last November, you said that edition number 60 will bring together all product categories for the first time, representing a special moment.
Which product sectors will we therefore see at the September show?
As this is a special edition, we will open to all product categories without the usual structure in Salons and Biennials. It will be a special edition that will not follow the canons we are used to, but will have its own precise identity with clear and defined paths.
In the case of Eurocucina, which will then be back on the calendar in April, how will the September 2021 event impact that of April 2022? Is there a possible change in the participation of companies in the sector?
Given that the response from kitchen manufacturers has been positive, we are working to find a solution that allows everyone to make the most of the opportunities in September 2021 and April 2022. It is clear that companies will have to make choices on the number of new products to bring. at the fair, but let's not forget that after two years of absence from the event there will be a great desire on the part of professional visitors to leave and return to see the best of world production live. The management of the Salone is in constant contact with the realities of the sector and I am sure that we will have a significant representation in both editions.
In 1990, when the Salone was supposed to be in September and then skipped, you moved it to April of the following year to avoid a too close rapprochement of two events. What is different now than then?
I would say the abrupt and traumatic halt to which the pandemic forced us and which forced everyone to review their programs. The decision to position us in September arose from the need to respond to companies that, believing in the value of the Show, asked not to miss a unique and unmissable opportunity. The move to September was the result of careful reflections that saw us engaged on a daily basis with companies, institutions and FieraMilano to find the safest solution in the light of a year of stoppage.
What has been the response of companies so far in front of the schedule of the Salone in September?
Good. As I said, the choice of September was not an impromptu imposition, but the result of a long listening and mediation work. Now, however, clear and precise signals are needed to ensure the unfolding of the event.
You ask the Government for a safe date for the restart of the trade fairs as well as certainties on vaccines. Will the government's word on these (necessarily volatile) issues be enough to restart the event?
The situation is complex and there is no need for me to say it, but the Government and the competent ministers have the opportunity to objectively evaluate the timing of the reopening of the demonstrations. I want to be clear: we do not ask and will never ask the Government to place the needs of the Exhibition before the health of the citizens, but in the face of the new vaccination plan about to leave and certain rules on the protocols it must be able to define a date for the reopening of the events that comply with a series of requirements to ensure a safe visit. The same goes for international flights and for the health passport, aspects on which the European Union has guaranteed answers by the end of the month. As I have already had the opportunity to explain, we are waiting for answers that do not depend on us, if they do not arrive there will be no technical time to organize an event that has those characteristics of quality and beauty that the world has had the opportunity to know in the past years.
You are also asking the Government for an international promotion campaign to position the Salone as a true moment of relaunch. What exactly do you think it takes to convince the international public to move? What are your wishes?
That the country is safe thanks to extensive vaccination coverage, that the fair and the city can be visited safely, that transport is possible in the face of health guarantees. All this to be able to return to enjoy a unique event of its kind and make a fundamental contribution to the economic and social restart of the country.
From the moment the pandemic began to date, the Salone has not consistently communicated to its public, at least externally. Why this choice?
A complex machine like the Salone always requires balance and moderation in its management, especially when it comes to communication. All the more so in a period like this where certainties are very few. So I would say that the Salone has communicated when it has been able to say something concrete.
We have been talking about the digital exhibition since last year and everyone is eagerly awaiting news to understand what it is. Can you anticipate it? What kind of content will the communication have, how will the participation of companies be organized? When will it actually be launched?
After months of analysis and comparisons - which saw both the internal structure and the best professionals in the sector work closely together - we are developing a new digital platform capable of supporting the event and the companies that will take part in it. A complex, long, tiring job - I won't hide it - but also full of stimuli and elements of growth for all those involved that have led to the creation of a platform that will offer the wealth and historical and human heritage contained in sixty years of the history of the Salone del Mobile.
The new digital platform will create a potentially infinite space and extend it beyond the fair season. Summarizing the concept, I would say that the digital project will represent the "voice of the Salone", magnifying - thanks to high-level cultural content, interactive sections available to exhibitors and updates on the news relating to the September event - the culture of design in the world and offering a unique combination of contents, products and services in synergy with the physical week that will be available to the entire design community, professionals and non-professionals.
How did you foresee the safety of the event?
We are working with FieraMilano to develop a security protocol for anyone who enters the exhibition center during the event: exhibitors, fitters, visitors ... But as I said we can go up to a certain point, then the institutions with which we are in close contact and from which we expect certain answers to ensure the correct and safe conduct of the Exhibition
What would happen if the September Motor Show were to skip?
It will mean that we will not have received the answers from the government to the questions we asked to ensure the organization of the exhibition and, consequently, we will concentrate with all our strength to create the most beautiful Salone del Mobile.Milano ever in April 2022.
If the Salone could not be held in September, think about the possibility of acting on the city together with the FuoriSalone?
We are now focused on getting hopefully positive responses and organizing the demonstration in September.