The new showroom at Blum's Austrian HQ in Höchst has been created with 'living environments' to give visitors a real feel for the world of Blum. We talk to Mario Schmelzenbach, head of fair construction at Blum, to hear about the concept behind the design and why enabling customers to actually experience products is key.
"We are more than just our products and we wanted to create a place which represents a cross section of the world of Blum and, above all, raises awareness of our brand and also brings it to life," explains Mario Schmelzenbach, Blum's head of fair construction, with regard to the basic concept of the new showroom design.
It all began with the new trade fair concept back in 2020, designed to put the spotlight on the products, and this is now being carried forward with the showroom, he explains. The trade fair team came up with fresh ideas for presenting the products, with mainly dark colours and special surface materials being used to create a warm and tasteful look.
"When guests enter and linger in the spaces, we want them to feel as if they're coming home. We talk to visitors in this homely atmosphere as they take a tour and they can touch and try out the products. All the many details and furniture serves as inspiration for our visitors," says Mario.
As you enter the showroom, the stack of cabinets, which are equipped with various theme elements, such as the company history, training or research, provide a talking point. A café and individually assembled products set the scene before a revolving door marks the official entrance to the world of Blum. Visitors pass through a tunnel featuring screens and some initial messages, before reaching the centre – an oversized LED screen forms a focal point.
In line with the company's brand message 'moving ideas', visitors are invited to 'experience' what moves and motivates Blum. Small and large balls are distributed throughout the entire showroom representing the 7 pillars of moving ideas. "The balls are a symbol of our motivation and core task, promoting inspiring and creative ideas, offering and refining innovative fittings and inspiring furniture concepts," says Mario.
There is an area dedicated to the entire product range of box systems, runners, hinges or lift systems, which depicts all the technical aspects and possibilities. "Taking a tour around our products is like browsing the catalogue," says Mario. There are interactive screens providing detailed information at the various stations. Additionally, exclusively designed themed furniture demonstrates the wide range of applications and solutions that can be created with Blum's products.
A fully-equipped, functional kitchen with two back panel elements featuring Aventos lift systems and the Revego pocket system invites visitors to take a look, try it out and see for themselves. "The new showroom fulfils one of our aims. To elicit not just one or two 'wows' at the end of the tour, but also get visitors saying 'Yes, I want these kind of cabinets in my home!'" says Mario.
The journey into the world of Blum is rounded off with a look at its services for OEM, distributors and manufacturers. Space is also reserved for temporary focus topics, and there is space at the rear of the showroom for in-depth discussions with customers. All the furniture structures and elements in the new showroom concept have been devised so that they can be quickly adapted, and above all, customised, by Blum subsidiaries, agencies and representatives.
"Our Blum subsidiaries and sales partners in various countries have different needs or focal points. The cabinets mean these can be easily implemented and this was something that was important to us," says Mario.