The coronavirus brought the world to a standstill, but the biannual Eisenwarenmesse hardware and DIY trade fair has now returned to Cologne in Germany after a break of four and a half years, and has been our home for the past few days. We were there to put a face to our business and to greet colleagues and distributors in person, rather than via video chat, to better enthuse them and allow them to experience our brand. This is reassuring to us because we appreciate natural interactions, closeness and face-to-face conversation. “Over these five days we have worked at a good pace and fulfilled our objective of presenting our entire range of utility trestles to DIY chains in Northern Europe, in countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Holland”, declares Izaro Astigarraga Astigarraga, the Marketing and Markets Director at Astigarraga Kit Line.
According to Matthias Becker, the director of the German trade fair, the ‘Internationale Eisenwarenmesse’ has arrived at “a time where the industry is facing immense challenges“, such as securing the supply of energy and raw materials. The coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine have cut off or temporarily disrupted many supply chains.
At this year’s event, around 1,400 exhibitors from 50 countries showcased their new products in Cologne, ranging from tools, industrial supplies and accessories for construction and DIY, to fastening and joint systems. In the ‘DIY Boulevard’ specifically, there were 60 different booths.
Collection of wooden trestles
One of the most prominent elements of our booth was focused on a comprehensive collection of utility trestles made with local environmentally friendly wood, displayed at the front of the booth against a backdrop of a forest landscape, with the mountains and trees from our surrounding area. “The booth was in a great location, in the middle of the hall and in front of a central aisle, so you could see all the trestles from a distance. We wanted to present our entire range of wooden trestles because the DIY chains in northern Europe don’t currently have them”, explains the Marketing and Markets Director, who describes it as a “great success” to have been able to present Astigarraga Kit Line’s star product to these countries.
The slogan ‘Long live the forests that give us life’ welcomed all visitors to the booth. In addition to the aforementioned trestles, we also included all of the other products from our catalogue, alongside one of our other new additions: the Wally modular wall shelving, which offers more options than you could possibly imagine.
A fair with very positive results
“The fair has been a very positive experience because we received a number of quality visits, from people who actually work with the products, that is to say, our correspondents from purchasing centres and various European chains”, Izaro Astigarraga tells us, highlighting in particular that “the DIY chains in Northern Europe (Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Norway), which we were targeting, have now been able to discover Astigarraga Kit Line for themselves”. But our loyal customers from France, Italy, Spain and Portugal also paid a visit to our booth, of course. They are the real heart and soul of our company.
“Various chains came to ask about our trestles and we explained to them who we are, how our entire manufacturing process is sustainable and environmentally responsible, the fact that the wood we use is locally sourced and certified with PEFC and the official European Union Ecolabel, etc. Everyone appreciated the entire range from the catalogue, but as it was a hardware and DIY fair, the product that attracted the most attention was the wooden trestle. Shelving and bottle racks would be in second and third position, respectively”, explains Izaro Astigarraga. He also points out that, although there were “very few” exhibitors of wooden products at the Eisenwarenmesse trade fair, all the major chains are now advocating the inclusion of wooden products in their range.
Now, all that remains is to properly follow up with all the customers who visited Astigarraga Kit Line and gave us their time and attention, to analyse the needs of the key contacts, prepare product range proposals and, above all, intensify development in logistics, which is our main priority now we’re back in Azpeitia.