Southeast Asia’s largest furniture trade show, the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) has concluded its first-ever virtual exhibition, MIFF Furniverse, which was held throughout the month of August 2020.
Aimed to connect global furniture markets with real-time trade opportunities, the inaugural online exhibition consisted of three geo-targeted live market events catered for different time zones and regions – Asia Pacific market (11 – 13 August 2020), North America & South America market (18 – 20 August 2020) followed by Europe, Middle East and South Africa (26 – 28 August 2020).
Event organiser Informa Markets, reported that MIFF Furniverse attracted 922 total visits of buyers from 84 countries and regions. The virtual event also brought new buyers (30% of the buyers) who have not visited MIFF before to start sourcing from MIFF exhibitors. Over 2,400 business leads have been generated and exhibitors expected a US$1.16mil in sales through MIFF Furniverse. It is also reported that buyers from the United States are at top of the list, which has proven a strong demand of Malaysian-made furniture from US buyers.
MIFF general manager Karen Goi said that the total of 70 exhibitors who participated in MIFF Furniverse 2020 are mainly from Malaysia. They showcased an extensive range of home and office furniture collection and variety of Malaysian wooded furniture, which is one of the most sought-after products by global buyers.
“This year is a challenging moment for global furniture industry and has pushed us to move forward. With the rise of digital, it creates new opportunities for businesses to thrive in the new normal. This is a new experience for all of us and MIFF Furniverse is certainly a new milestone for MIFF as we embark on this digital transformation journey together with our industry friends,” said Goi.
Goi further added, “Buyers expressed that despite looking forward to attend MIFF physical event when it is possible, they were positive towards the MIFF Furniverse as their alternative sourcing solution. They found the platform is easily accessible and useful as they can still source for furniture and meet with manufacturers that were suitable with their time. Buyers also defined areas for improvement and their preferred features for the platform and we are taking this feedback for further advancement in our digital journey.”
Quek Kheng Long, Managing Director of Johann & Joann Concept, said that doing business online is the new norm for everyone and it should be embraced.
“MIFF Furniverse is a great platform for buyers and exhibitors, as many buyers can’t travel, and exhibitors can’t exhibit during the pandemic,” he said.
Benjamin Er, director of Isella Sofa Design, is positive that MIFF Furniverse can help them reach a wider audience than the physical event.
“In the physical exhibition, we were restrained in terms of space and manpower. Hence there may be missed opportunities. At MIFF Furniverse, we get to target our audience and showcase a lot more of our designs and varieties to potential buyers from different regions.”
Oasis Furniture Industries Managing Director, Ralph Ong, mentioned that through MIFF Furniverse, both buyers and exhibitors get to connect their team for more productive meeting via the online platform.
“In physical shows, buyers only get to meet our representative but through MIFF Furniverse, they can link directly with our design and sales team to get more information. This platform provides more connection of both organisations (buyers and exhibitor).”
With an established reputation as a global procurement hub in the region, MIFF is one of the world’s largest marketplace for top Malaysian wood furniture and office furniture in Southeast Asia.