KUALA LUMPUR  – The Malaysian International Furniture show, the largest furniture trade show in Southeast Asia, has concluded its first virtual trade event, which took place throughout the month of  August.

Furniverse – which consisted of three live market events by region – attracted 922 total visits from 84 countries and regions. This included the Asia Pacific market (Aug.11-13); North and South America (Aug. 18-20) and Europe, the Middle East and the South Africa markets (Aug. 26-28).  Some 30% of these buyers had not previously attended the show, officials noted.

Among the 70 exhibitors that participated there were an estimated 2,400 business leads generated, and those exhibitors expected some $1.6 million in orders.

In March 2019, the latest fair results and the latest physical event, MIFF drew record attendance and sales. According to show results, there were 20,478 visitors, including 60,112 buyers from 130 countries and regions, up 4% from the previous year.

The event also featured products and services from 600 exhibitors from 14 countries, 346 of which were Malaysian manufacturers and 254 from outside the country. Exhibitors in 2019 also generated more than $1 billion in orders, a record from the previous record of $984 million in 2018.

Being the show’s first digital event, organizers did not expect to come anywhere close to achieving the performance of recent physical shows. However, they were pleased to offer buyers from around the world a chance to interact and do business with exhibitors, particularly as the March 2020 show was postponed and later cancelled due to COVID-19.

“This year is a challenging moment for global furniture industry and has pushed us to move forward,” said Karen Goi, MIFF general manager. “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.”

“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,” Goi added. “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.”

The next MIFF show is planned for March 8-11, 2021, at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Center and the Putra World Trade Center. Between the two venues, the event will cover more than 1 million square feet of space.

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