The world can’t get enough of Milan right now. The last in a series of awards and acknowledgments won by the Italian business capital over the past year was the Wallpaper* award for Best City. The international lifestyle and design bible has recently published its Design Awards issue, in which a jury of experts has assessed several world capitals based on criteria that range from cultural life to design advancement, from quality of life to overall innovation potential. Milan has been singled out as the city that, more than any other, is set to show us what the future should look like: a fast and life-enhancing environment, that combines a diverse and fascinating social texture with a lively art scene and a booming local economy.
Milan and design: a love story
In the words of Wallpaper* Award judge Paola Antonelli, “The Milanese not only love design, but truly live by it.” Without a doubt, Milan has made design a pillar of its identity and an element of pride. This is possibly the only Italian city whose modern and contemporary architecture is more famous than its ancient and classical buildings (of which, rest assured, there is no shortage). Household names in the fashion and design industry, such as Prada and Armani, have teamed up with international archistars to create buildings that are not only beautiful to behold, but contribute significantly to the cityscape both aesthetically and practically, by becoming major cultural destinations. This impressive artistic and cultural renaissance has happened in a little under a decade and is the result of a conscious and joint effort by local administrations, creatives, major brands and companies, and creatives.
Milan is the place to be (if you are promoting your brand)
Milan’s acclaimed renaissance built on an existing business and finance structure that has developed over the whole of the XIX and XX Century. An obvious sign of this pre-existing structure is the number of international trade shows that take place in Milan all year round. The most popular, even among those who are not involved in those specific industries, are the Fashion Week and the Furniture and Design Week (the “Salone del Mobile”, with its unofficial and even more famous counterpart, the “Fuorisalone”). Besides these events, however, there are enough conferences and trade-shows to attract a steady flow of professionalS travelling to Milan from all over the world in every season. This has contributed in no small measure to the city’s internationalisation and to the creation of a vibrant, multicultural environment, with food, art, accommodation and entertainment options catering to different tastes and cultures. All these factors, of course, concur in making Milan the best place to start when launching a new brand of product on the European market.
What you need to know before you start planning your Milan debut
If you want to associate your products with brand values such as style, innovation and dynamism, Milan is the place to start. Before you start planning your official presentation, you should take a look at the trade show calendar, to find a date that fits in between the major events in a way that actually helps your product to get more exposure. You don’t want your event to be overshadowed by a major brand presentation taking place next door at the same time, but you might want to ride the wave of a larger event, in order to draw specific crowds that might be travelling to Milan around that time. You should also rely on local experts to find the right venue for your corporate or marketing events, making sure you find one that both meets your practical needs and reflects your brand values.
In conclusion: networking in Milan
Even if your project hasn’t reached the presentation stage quite yet, it might still be worth it to plan a trip to Milan, if you are interested in the European market. The Lombard capital happens to be in an ideal position for international travellers coming from different European countries to meet. Whether you are looking for new prospect clients, leads, investors or business partners, chances are that the right person is either waiting for you in Milan or about to visit it in the near future. Secure a spot in the city to maximise your chances of hitting on the perfect match!