From 2 to 5 May 2022, ten leading manufacturers of floor covering joined forces to organise the very first Flanders Flooring Days. During this four-day event they simultaneously opened their own doors to professional buyers and retailers from all over the world. One of these ten was Associated Weavers from Ronse, where we went to get a feel for the atmosphere.
Marketing manager Emmanuel Lioen had a broad smile on his face immediately after the event. More than 200 visitors showed up, about 20 per cent of which were new faces. So one of the intentions of the initiative, cross-pollination via the customers of the ten initiators, did work.
“Our visitors were very international. They literally ranged from the United Kingdom to people from Central Europe and even New Zealand. Quite a few key accounts also came along,” he testifies. “Especially important was that after years of misery due to the pandemic, we were finally able to organise a kick-off event. We had updated our showroom just before the outbreak of COVID-19, but few customers had been able to visit it so far. It was the first real event in our new showroom, where we could see our customers in person again, with a team that was all singing from the same hymn sheet. This was really something to look back on with pleasure.”
More than 60 novelties
During the Flanders Flooring Days it came down to putting the spotlights on the novelties. And Associated Weavers had a lot of them. At least 60 in all, up to and including LVT flooring and the update of the polyester brand Gaia…
“We not only had many new products to show, but also various new concepts, such as that of our LVT brand Invictus, but also, for example, particularly contemporary displays. Over the past three years, our portfolio has expanded enormously. It used to start with residential wall-to-wall carpet, but now we also have AW commercial flooring, including all LVT and carpet, up to carpet tiles. All this means that our target audience is expanding very rapidly.”
“Within the carpets, we showed many novelties, but what was particularly well received was our new polyester brand Gaia, which is offered at a very competitive price. Gaia consists entirely of products with an ECO FusionBac made from recycled PET bottles and illustrates how important environmental awareness is to us. Gaia is divided into several ranges, each of which was not accidentally given the name of a river. We chose rivers that are all threatened by all kinds of plastic and other pollution and emphasize that we, as AW, want to contribute to a much cleaner world in the future.
Presentation with actors
As we saw years ago at Associated Weavers during Domotex, a lot of attention was devoted to the right presentation. At three fixed times a day, customers were treated to a presentation and guided through all the innovations on a large screen by two actors, one British and one German.
“This initiative, as in the past during Domotex, was received with great enthusiasm. In about 20 minutes, our actors talked the visitors through all the innovations, after which our own sales people took over and provided further explanations. With the latter, it was noticeable how much feedback we received on our Invictus-LVT and its concept and branding.”
Let’s meet again at [email protected] and the Flooring Show
For Associated Weavers, the Flanders Flooring Days were a first step towards much more visibility in the field, now that the pandemic finally allows it.
“The next appointment is [email protected] Brussels on 1 and 2 June, after which we will also be present at [email protected] Rotterdam. At both fairs, visitors will notice how we are able to fill a fixed stand with extraordinary creativity. Another appointment is in the United Kingdom in September, with The Flooring Show in the local Convention Centre. Each time we illustrate how AW has brands that no one else has and how you can shop one-stop carpet and flooring with us as a professional customer. We not only offer applications for commercial and residential use, but also highlight both hard and soft floor coverings.”