The Salone Internazionale del Mobile (Milan Furniture Fair) has long been one of the most anticipated events of the year in Milan, but there’s another brand that has established itself over the year, and that has become synonymous with new trends: Fuorisalone. If you find yourself in Milan during the Salone del Mobile, you will discover hundreds of events that take place outside the trade fair grounds, spreading through the whole city, and offering just as many business opportunities as the official events, possibly more. That’s why Fuorisalone was born: its purpose is to provide a comprehensive map of the events that take place during the exhibition, but are not part of the official calendar. The Milan Design Week is composed of these two elements: Salone and Fuorisalone, both providing useful tools to companies, creative professionals and brands, that briefly make the regional capital of Lombardy a worldwide design hub. Fuorisalone functions as an aggregator, therefore it is nor organised neither managed centrally by any individual firm or agency, rather it exists as a response to a shared need for coordination for the duration of the design week. Exhibitors and event planners naturally gravitate around it in order to gain exposure and create useful connections.
Design is a comprehensive field, which means that Fuorisalone is attractive to brands operating in a number of different branches: from art to automotive, from fashion to food, from media to manufacturing. Each exhibitor or brand can connect to Fuorisalone directly or use professional consultants to help plan their presence and exposure, source the appropriate venue for each event and market them effectively. Parties and exhibitions, press days and official launches, networking sessions and installations: Fuorisalone casts a comprehensive limelight over the vast and multi-coloured stage of corporate events, embracing both the official trade fair calendar and the smaller, up-and-coming brands, the ones that could not afford to launch in an official Salone slot and that therefore need to access alternative spaces. This is an excellent example of a grassroot response to an existing need that went on to become an institution in its own right: what in the 80s was a spontaneous attempt at self-organisation by professionals and aspiring exhibitors, who wanted all the important information to be available in one place, eventually became a brand in and of itself, popular enough to almost overshadow the official Salone brand. This is a natural consequence of the fact that, whenever a large official event, such as a trade-show, has established itself enough to draw international interest, it spurs the growth of a whole unofficial scene that often contains the most interesting and original instances in that particular field.
Milan and Fuorisalone
Over the past fifteen years, Milan has attracted several popular trade-shows, but there’s something unique about Fuorisalone. The whole city seems to rearrange itself around the countless events that take place during the Desing Week. There’s palpable excitement and anticipation in the air, even among those who are not directly invested in the pertaining fields. As all big events, moreover, the Design Week has a positive influence on the local economy. Hundreds of thousands of visitors pour into the city from all over the world, contributing to the constant refefinition of Milan’s identity as a cosmopolite European capital, where distant influences can meet and mix, generating new and interesting cultural, creative and productive contaminations. The sheer influx of visitors results in an increase in trade for the whole local hospitality industry, benefitting restaurants, hotels, residences and transport vectors, as well as gyms, spas, beauty and wellness centres and, naturally, the lively shopping district that seems to exert a constant pull on both tourists and business travellers. This is the time to excel, to gain the maximum profit from the presence of an audience that is both varied and educated – since the bulk of the visitors that travel to Milan during the Design Week are professionals working for international brands, and they usually make for a highly aware, high-spending and sophisticated clientele.
What you need to be a part of Fuorisalone
It’s easy to put yourself on the Fuorisalone radar: all you need is a well-structured project, an appropriate venue and effective communication. And, of course, a carefully-planned promotion strategy: if you are hoping to make your voice heard over the crowd, you will have to do more than just show up. Smart Eventi has been working in Milan for years, providing original solutions and top-quality professional assistance in the field of corporate events and promotions. If you are looking for the perfect venue for your event during the Design Week, you will find it here. If what you need is assistance in organising your event, or if you want to open a pop-up shop for the duration of the trade-show, or if you are still looking for the big idea that will make you campaign effective and memorable…
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