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Salone 2023 Product Preview

April 10, 2023

This article was originally published April 10, 2023; it was updated May 4, 2023.

The 2023 edition of Salone del Mobile in Milan, which kicks off on April 18 and runs through April 23, will be packed with people and projects: more than 170,300 m2 of net exhibition space and 1,962 exhibitors – including 550 SaloneSatellite designers – with foreign companies making up 30% of the total (excluding SaloneSatellite).

The trade fair, the international point of reference for the furnishing and design sector, will have a totally new format. Booths will now be on a single exhibition level, with the exhibitors from the upper pavilions (8-12, 16-20) moving into the lower ones, thus simplifying, improving and enhancing accessibility and the visitor experience. There will be a new Euroluce layout, which rather than being stand-centric is now focused on people and their fruition of the event, with a smart, hyper-accessible and better connected loop-shaped path. Finally, the cultural component will be integrated into the spaces of the lighting biennial, with interdisciplinary and experiential content ranging from architecture to art, with exhibitions, talks, workshops and site-specific installations.

Salone 2023: A New Taxonomy for the Trade Fair

Maria Porro, president of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, said, “One of the characteristics of the Salone del Mobile is its ability to evolve in order to respond to the most urgent challenges of contemporary life. We did so in 2021, when we invented Supersalone, the first global event after the really tough years of the pandemic, and with last June’s edition, when we went back to the traditional format, getting to grips with sustainability, and this we have continued to do for the 2023 edition.

“The idea of simply reverting to April, our traditional spot in the calendar, after three years, as if nothing had happened, was unthinkable. We worked on giving shape to the suggestions and visions that have emerged over the last few years, based on a couple of simple questions: what is the new role of the Salone? How and where to start redesigning its evolution? We listened to the needs of those who make and experience the Salone, exhibitors and visitors alike, holding more than 2,300 interviews and themed work groups.

“This fostered the idea for an exhibition on one single level to facilitate the flows and we took an almost ‘urbanistic’ approach to the internal design of the pavilions. Taking our cue from Euroluce, the biennial devoted to the lighting world, we redesigned the path, integrating the spaces for companies with interdisciplinary cultural content connected with the relationship between light, architecture, art and science. It’s a metamorphosis likely to interest the Salone as a whole, geared to helping redesign the trade fair model.”

Show Wrap-Up

The 61st edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano closed with positive numbers, setting the seal on the event’s new format and confirming its catalyzing power.

More than 2,000 exhibiting brands took part, 34% of them from 37 different countries, including 550 young designers from 31 different countries and 28 design schools and universities from 18 different countries. In terms of visitor turnout, 307,418 attendees were recorded (+15% compared with 2022), over the six days, from 181 different countries. Particularly significant was the fact that 65% of the buyers and industry professionals had come from abroad. China reclaimed its place as the top country after Italy, followed by Germany, France, the United States, with Spain and Brazil tied. There were over 5,400 accredited journalists, 47% of whom were from other countries.

Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, said, “The 61st edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano was an international success and we are really delighted that it exceeded expectations. The number of attendees makes for an exceptional result, which we worked very hard, deeply and radically for, to bring new meanings and values to the trade fair visit and create new experiences for the visitors who came along. We have learned several important lessons from this edition: we have learned that it is indeed possible to redesign a huge event like the Salone in order to propel it into the future, that sustainability really is achievable when the entire system pulls together, and that new content can be devised and employed in order to generate knowledge, growth and value.”

—By Leslie Clagett, KBB Managing Editor