Furnitex Connect is all set to open in a revitalised and reimagined format this July in Melbourne.

To be held at Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building from July 9 to 12, the Furnitex Connect management are expecting the event to set a new standard in furniture trade exhibitions.

Faced with the increasing challenges presented by the downturn in the Australian economy and the rise of online retailing, the Australian Furniture Association turned to Australia’s largest family owned exhibition company, Expertise Events to revitalise its cornerstone industry event.

Expertise Events has responded by presenting a bold new vision for the future and longevity of the event that aims to advance the industry, the supply chain and their businesses.

Expertise Events Managing Director, Gary Fitz-Roy explains that Furnitex Connect has been redesigned to advance the industry and their businesses. The event will play host to four days of idea sharing, networking, relationship building, and partnership development, that endeavors to connect the entire industry.

The new-look Furnitex Connect will present new products, trends and technologies, networking opportunities, conference sessions, master classes and floor talks, and awards for design excellence. The furniture exhibition targets industry associations, national and international buyers, retailers, decorators, interior designers, architects, government departments, lifestyle media and consumers.

The four-day exhibition will have two exclusive trade days before the ground floor is opened only to consumers across the weekend.

Furnitex Connect will present a platform for buyers and sellers to connect, highlighting both quality and innovation of Australian design and reliable, ethical importers, and negating the need for buyers to travel overseas or buy online. Some of the highlights include Australian made products; sustainability of materials and country of origin; an industry development conference and Australian contemporary emerging design awards.

A Quality Standards document has also been produced with exhibitors needing to meet the criteria in order to exhibit. Fitz-Roy explains that the standards document aims to set a level of quality and excellence that will deliver quality buyers.

Expertise Events will also offer exhibitors custom-stand options; practical exhibitor workshops to prepare for and maximise participation; and a free online appointment diary system coordinating appointments to connect visitors and exhibitors. High value buyers are also incentivised with a hosted buyer programme offering rebates for travel and accommodation.