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Partnerland returns to Heimtex

Frankfurt, Germany — The return of the Partnerland program at Heimtextil here that began in 1994 with the United States returns after a year's absence and the United States is once again the focus.

This year's Partnerland activities will be expansive and embrace a range of activities from a gala party with American food, beverage and entertainment to a series of seminars and a special American Trend section. But it won't be all Americana.

Heimtextil 2003 will have a roster of more than 3,200 exhibitors from 68 countries, compared with 3,156 exhibitors from 71 countries last show.

Among the new features is a preview of the trends at Filo, the Italian yarn fair. Another first: the second edition of the "Bed & More" forum, first held as an independent entity here this past August.

"The high level of interest in the first event showed us that there is a great demand for a communication platform such as 'Bed & More'. The sector is looking for ways to play a more successful role in the market," said Dr. Geert Bottger, head of the Textile Fairs division of Messe Frankfurt.

"Bed & More" will feature a series of lectures on a daily basis discussing practical, urgent problems facing the trade, Bottger explained. These include corporate strategy, advertising and sales promotion, training sales personnel, visual merchandising and consumer research.

The latest trends will be featured in Forum 1, highlighting the latest innovations by Heimtextil exhibitors. There also will be new trend forums covering the product groups: sleep and dream; wall & decor; kitchen & culture (for the first time) and sun & shadow.

The Deco Team again will present their design ideas using Heimtexil's trend messages as the basis of their creative ideas.

While new product and fashion trends clearly are the focus of Heimtextil 2003, Heimtextil officials have re-engerized their efforts to protect exhibitors designs from on-site piracy attempts.

There are strict regulations regarding who may take photographs at Heimtextil, according to Ulrike Wechsung, show manager.

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