Asif Khan left Deyan Sudjic middle and William Knightlogo

100% Design reaffirmed as the commercial heart of London Design Festival

Rising visitors numbers with an increased spending power have firmly reiterated 100% Design as a commercial powerhouse during London Design Festival. In its 22nd edition, a boosted number of visitors was recorded during the UK’s largest trade show for architects and designers, totalling 27,387 from 26,211 in 2015. Spending power rose to £3.9 billion from £3.4 billion in 2015.

More than 300 leading brands exhibited across five distinct sections, Interiors, Workplace, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Design & Build and Emerging Brands, spanning 22,000 square metres of the iconic Grand and West Halls in London’s Olympia. Additionally, there were five international pavilions that presented a snapshot of the very best in contemporary design from countries including Argentina, China and Slovenia.

Despite anxieties over the economic and trade uncertainties around Brexit, and its implications for the design sector, the show was notable for its ebullient atmosphere and brisk business. Of this year’s visitors, 77% were registered as trade, of whom 68% were architects and designers. There was also a rise in retail buyers and developers visiting the show. Overseas visitors travelled from 90 different countries, with 10% of overall attendees coming from the EU and 9% from elsewhere. Visitors had an average spending power of £145,105, which is an increase by 8% on last year. Overall 38,303 business leads were generated across the show.

William Knight, Show Director at 100% Design, says: “100% Design 2016 was a great success. Our theme for this year was experience and we certainly delivered that, with fantastic presentations from exhibitors, an inspirational talks programme in partnership with the Design Museum and many networking opportunities in our architect designed-bars.

Despite Brexit insecurities, we feel that 100% Design has once again proven its position as the commercial heart of London Design Festival, with rising visitor figures, higher spending power and more business leads generated. We’re delighted with the response to this year’s show and are now looking forward to the 2017 edition which has already received significant interest.”

This year’s theme, ‘Experience’, was explored across the show through special commissions such as The Design Path by Hakwood and an OLED lighting installation by LG Display and Ron Arad.

The show’s renowned talks programme Talks with 100% Design, this year curated by  The Design Museum,  was a huge success. The striking Auditorium was designed by Miska Miller Lovegrove and sponsored by LG Display. A second talks programme curated by journalist Laura Snoad in The Forum focused on professional development and was sponsored by RIBA Appointments.

Architect Asif Khan opened the show and commented: ‘In this moment for the UK it’s very important that we keep celebrating international design, creativity and collaboration. It’s great to open 100% Design and see that London is still the design capital of the world.’