Salone Del Mobile Milano is the most exciting event in the world of interior design. It is the world’s largest furniture fair, held annually in Milan, Italy. Since 1961, the most famous brands and interior designers in the industry are meeting there to present their novelties. In 2018, approximately 1,400 companies were exhibiting at the fair at an area of approximately 150,000 square meters, which is remarkable.
It was an endless sea full of design and inspiration. Passing through this sea was more exhausting than it may seem. After the year 2017, it was my second visit to this fair, so I was a little more prepared. If you are going to visit this trade fair this year, I’d like to give you a few tips on how to survive it and get as much design experience as possible.
Get your accommodation in advance. As soon as possible!
I will be honest. If you wanted to stay in the city of Milan, it is too late. In this case, I would recommend you to look for accommodation already for the next year 🙂
But do not despair! Via Airbnb you can easily find accommodation in the vicinity. We lived in a small village, in the Italian countryside, and I can only praise. The calmness, the view of the forest with a stream, the real Italian pizza … it almost felt like a holiday. To the nearest metro station it took us about 25 minutes of driving and 14 roundabouts. From there the M1 subway took us straight to Rho Fiera Milano (the place of the fair).
So getting accommodation is not a problem. But most certainly the sooner you start looking for accommodation, the closer to the city you end up (thus less time you spend traveling).
Make a list of priorities and an action plan in advance.
I recommend this mainly for those who have only a few days for the fair. A thorough tour of the entire exhibition center takes at least 5 days. We only had 3 days and in this case it is good to have a combat plan at hand.
There is nothing worse than coming to the exhibition, thinking: “Here we are. What now? How do we start?” … we want to see everything in a limited time … we have to be effective! 🙂
At home or on the way to Milan, take a look at the exhibition plan. Find out which hall is the most interesting to you, where your favorite companies are. Create a list of these halls and order them from the most interesting to the least interesting one. This will be your priority list.
And now the action plan! For the first two days (when you’re most motivated and packed with energy) plan the halls that are at the top of your priority list. But be careful not to choose halls that are on the opposite ends of the fair for a single day. Crawling through a dense crowd of people for about 1km is not what we want. It is an ineffective, time and energy wasting.
On my list, the halls with kitchens took the top spots. They were exhibited in 4 huge halls (9, 11, 13, 15, see plan). On the way to these halls we took a small warm up at halls (5, 7) with mixed furniture. The next day we went through the bathrooms (22, 24) and then the adjoining two-story halls with mixed furniture (14, 16, 18, 20). On the third day, we finished the remaining halls with mixed furniture (6, 8, 10, 12). After all this, we finished up with a fairytale tour of the luxury and classical design (4, 2). And we still had time left for a short city tour.
Pack up something to drink and eat.
First of all, treat yourself with a rich and nutritious breakfast. Thank me later. Salone Del Mobile Milano is a great but exhausting experience. There are enough refreshment stalls and several restaurants in each hall, as well as in the open area of the fairgrounds. But also a bunch of people and long queues. And since we want to be effective, it is invaluable to have something to bite on. Pack a box of chopped vegetables, fruit, cereal biscuits, or what you like… And of course water. Plenty of water.
I’m not telling you to drag supplies for the whole day with you. Just have something on you to bite on to postpone hunger a little. We also took one bigger break each day for coffee and pizza 🙂
Did I mention water? Take your water.
Do not forget to wear comfortable shoes. You´ll be walking… a lot.
I mean, the title speaks for itself 🙂. Tour of the whole exhibition area means about 23 km of a slow walk. I know, there will be people saying that is nothing. But for someone untrained like me, it’s a fairly long journey. My legs will hurt anyway… however the more comfortable shoes you take, the longer walks you can handle.
If required, each hall offers plenty of sitting benches. I most certainly appreciated this feature, especially the last day.
Use your time wisely
Do not waste your time where you don´t need to: planning your schedule directly at the exhibition, standing in queues, long walks between distant halls, etc. The 3 previous tips will help you with this. Take your time where it matters. Check out the things you like. Take a look at the details and compositions that the exhibitors prepared for you. Take a few photos to remember (And if others will keep getting into your pictures, just keep it cool! 🙂).
You don´t have to hurry. Enjoy the atmosphere. Be thorough.
Yes, I know, we want to see everything … but even if you don´t have enough time, it is not reasonable to rush through the whole exhibition. Effectiveness, in this case, is not just about “not to waste time” but also about “having a quality experience”. That is why we created a list of priorities and an action plan in the beginning.
However, the action plan doesn´t mean that you have to hurry to make it all. You have created it to have a direction and a goal for every day. Perhaps you will be so excited about some things that you will spend more time there than you originally wanted. And that’s fine. Yes, we want to see everything … but we mainly want to see what interests us.
As I have written above, especially the first 2 days when you are most energized, focus on the most exciting things. The other days will be just a general tour of what’s left. It may happen that in the end you will not get to see everything, but don´t worry about it. Do not hurry just to get your last hall off the list.
When you are thorough and follow the action plan, you will bring home plenty of inspirations and great memories, whether you have seen everything or not.
Good luck and enjoy!
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If you find some grammar mistakes in this post, please contact me, so that I could make the corrections and polish my English in the process Thank you!
If you find some grammar mistakes in this post, please contact me, so that I could make the corrections and polish my English in the process 🙂 Thank you!