A record 2024: the Salone del Mobile.Milano closes +17.1%

361,417 presences, 54.3% from abroad. The Salone del Mobile is confirmed as an international point of reference for a key industry for the economy, sustainable innovation and the future of home living. The ingredients of its success: 1,950 exhibitors from 35 diferent countries, a stunning Cultural Programme and a challenge called “evolution.” From design to experience.

With 17.1% more visitors than in 2023, the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2024 saw a record turnout with 361,417 presences overall (100,000 more than in 2022). An excellent result for professional presences, which were up 26.8%, 65.8% of them from abroad. Figures that confirm, yet again, the pivotal role played by the event in the internationalisation of the companies within the industry, the value of the relationship networks and also the catalytic force of an event that has exceeded the boundaries of the trade fair dimension, driven by the second phase of the redesign of the layout and visitor paths in some of the trade fair pavilions, with a special focus on EuroCucina / FTK, Technology For the Kitchen and International Bathroom Exhibition biennials in particular, two sectors strongly committed to experimenting new aesthetics and functions in highly technical projects increasingly geared to a sustainable approach.

The top 15 market geographies saw China make a great comeback, followed by Germany, Spain, Brazil, France, the United States, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, India, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, and Austria. An atlas that has thrown open new business opportunities, also thanks to the numerous delegations from the United States, India, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, France and Saudi Arabia.

There was a larger media presence than last year: 5,552 accredited journalists and communication professionals for a total of 6,778 admissions (50.4% from abroad), attracted by an event that successfully interpreted and narrated the new design frontiers to the world.

Public interest over the weekend (the days in which the fair was also open to nonprofessionals) was consolidated, with 32,567 fans attending, testament to the fact that an extremely high calibre ofering, rounded of by a Cultural Programme of international range, serve as both a powerful magnet for industry professionals and an unmissable opportunity for design fans who visit the fair to scope new proposals and triggers for reflection.

There was also an increase in the number of Italian and foreign students, which stood at 13,556, including 8,368 Italians (+25.5%), marking an average growth rate of 18.8%, young people who, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the unstoppable ‘factory’ of new talent, SaloneSatellite, accepted the invitation to discover the potential of a sector that generates meaning and beauty, through a mix of multidisciplinary skills, in line with the blue and green transition process that anticipates the future of the new generations. Lastly, the digital community’s use of the Salone’s multichannel platform exceeded expectations, with over 1 million interactions (+50% on 2023) with a 60% engagement rate, and 90 million impressions (+15% on 2023). The app achieved excellent results in terms of service use from the matchmaking which saw a rise of over 39% and interactive map navigation, with more than 450,000 searches.

Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, had this to say:

“The 62nd edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano exceeded all expectations: it was a record edition. We saw exceptional results, thanks to the confidence of an ecosystem that, yet again, recognised the international leadership of the event. With an amazing 361,417 presences, the Salone has reconfirmed its position as a matchless bridge for dialogue with the new market geographies, an intercontinental city open to innovation, in which competition stokes the competitiveness of a key sector for the country’s economy and more besides. A great ‘factory’ of meaning and lasting value, products and jobs, and tangible and intangible culture. During the process of redesigning the format and the experiences, we kept both industrial and manufacturing and the visitors as our focus, in a bid to stimulate both sides with a stunning Cultural Programme capable of creating new connections between the powerful roots of the design culture and the definition of new future visions. The celebrations for our own SaloneSatellite, which has been intercepting and promoting new young talents for 25 years, is confirmation of this. The success of this edition is also due to the success of the Kitchen and Bathroom Biennials, in which research and development are the synthesis not only of innovation processes but are also an expression of the ability of both sectors to intercept the habits and desires of daily living. We have already started to plan for 2025, conscious that the Salone del Mobile is an opportunity for everyone, for the wood-furnishing supply chain, for Milan and for the entire Made in Italy system. What is important is to keep working together, large or small, companies and institutions, keeping sight of the formidable intuition that has driven us for 62 editions: creating and being a community. My thanks go to all those who have made this challenge not only possible but concrete, inclusive, brilliant. Like the blue velvet of David Lynch’s Thinking Rooms, a tribute to the generative thought that moves the world.”

Claudio Feltrin, President of Federlegno Arredo, said:

“It has been a truly exceptional edition, amply justifying the extraordinary work put in by the exhibitors over the last year. Yet again, the entrepreneurs have risen to the challenge, and after 62 years, we can say with certainty that we are the undisputed leaders, capable of attracting design from all over the world to the Rho Fiera Milano pavilions, confirming the Salone as the industry’s most important international trade fair. The secret? Genius, vision, determination and that peerless ‘industrial craftsmanship’ that only our products can express. These companies and the wood-furnishing supply chain are the economic drier of this umpteenth success, of which we are proud, and which it is our duty to continue to valorise, as an expression of the great system that is Italian design. We have done, and will continue to do so, in the knowledge that the Salone del Mobile.Milano is first and foremost a business fair that enables even the smallest of companies to present themselves to the sort of huge and specialised audience that they would be hard pressed to reach individually.”

Significant recognition of the Salone’s international position of leadership and of the industry as a whole also came from the presence of high-ranking government and institutional figures, including the Minister for Business and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, who chose Milan and the Salone to celebrate the country’s First National Made in Italy Day. The support of the ITA - Italian Trade Agency also proved invaluable, with invitations to 220 buyers and 240 journalists from 64 diferent countries providing an opportunity to meet the exhibiting companies. The close collaboration with Rho Fiera Milano was also crucial, contributing to the realisation of the event.

The Keyword: Evolution

The record numbers seen in 2024 are testament to the accomplishment of a year’s work that has seen the Salone again committed to reworking the exhibition layouts and visitor paths, following the success of Euroluce 2023, with the introduction of new work and rest areas created in collaboration with Lombardini22 and harnessing the input of neuroscience. The keyword was Evolution, the body copy for the innovative communication campaign that tracked the Salone’s international Road Show, which took in 16 capital cities, from the Far East to India and South Africa, by way of Europe and North America. The tour forged new relationship networks, amplified by the Salone’s digital platform, communicating content and visions to an extended community, thanks to the many dedicated insights and to the special guests who joined the Salone as it made its way around the world for a shared reflection on the transformative power of design practices. They included Patrick Jouin, Konstantin Grcic, Luca Nichetto and Felicia Arvid, Barber Osgerby, Adam D. Tihany, Stephen Burks, Michele De Lucchi, Lombardini22, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM).

In line with its evolutionary path, the physical and digital dimension of the event’s promotion strategy involved all its communication assets in the round, starting with the multichannel Salone del Mobile.Milano platform, a constant point of connection with the international design community, thanks to an ongoing narrative before and during the event, centred on a combination of involvement, information and services in order to optimise the visitor experience and promote the exhibitors, proposals, installations and events. The daily narration was enriched by collaborations with Italian and international creators, including Francesca Crescentini, Michael Gardenia, Nicola Lamberti and Spain’s Marta Sierra, a lifestyle point of reference in the social media world, chalking up more than 1.5 million followers.

Again, in line with its path of experimentation, the Salone set up new direct and indirect communications landmarks, such as the Design Kiosk, devised in collaboration with Interbrand, curated by Corraini and enacted to a design by DWA design studio, set up in Piazza della Scala prior to and during the Salone, stocking a selection of publications and hosting high-calibre meetings with figures such as Stefano Boeri, President of Triennale Milano, Cino Zucchi, Luca Nichetto and the collective Parasite 2.0, amongst others. 2024 also saw the launch of a large research project entrusted to the photographer and filmmaker Gianluca Vassallo, Comunità Continua, a photographic study of the huge design community that flocks to Milan during Salone Week. A portfolio of faces documenting the powerful ties between the event and the region, in which the Salone is a strong driver of international attractiveness and a synthesis of the Milan – Design System that created the historic roots of an event that is the only one of its kind in the world, a key subject for the project entrusted to Milan Polytechnic University for an economic analysis of the event’s impact on the city.

The new ventures also included the Salone Library, a register of more than 150 books flagged up by the speakers at the 2024 edition of the fair, and others, geared to sharing multidisciplinary reflections on the future, presented in the Arena space designed by Formafantasma. An initiative that will be carried forward in order to build a large, shared library of contemporary thought. The Corraini Mobile Bookshop, which brought a selection of more than 100 international publishers to the Salone, is underpinned by the same philosophy.

Cultural Programme

The new widespread Cultural Programme, coordinated by Annalisa Rosso, Editorial Director & Cultural Events Advisor, also proved a big hit with the public. Three large installations featured at the 2024. The first, Interiors by David Lynch. A Thinking Room, designed by David Lynch himself, the famous director of films that channel the subconscious, was a categorically blue oasis for renewal: “A place that allows thinking to happen” according to Antonio Monda, curator of the project that took the shape of a precious ‘container,’ designed by Lombardini22, thanks to the Piccolo Teatro di Milano workshops. The second, Under the Surface – signed by Accurat, Design Group Italia and Emiliano Ponzi – used a submerged island in the heart of the International Bathroom Exhibition to underscore the industry’s commitment to coming up with new solutions for safeguarding the planet’s most precious resource. The third, entitled All You Have Ever Wanted to Know About Food Design in Six Performances, shared multiple reflections on food as a subject of design in an experiential key, with 6 days of performances and presentations by 6 independent international magazines.

The conversations at Drafting Futures. Conversations about Next Perspectives, in the Arena regenerated by Formafantasma, proved stimulating and perspectival, involving a succession of figures such as Pritzker Prize-winner Francis Kéré, John Pawson, Deyan Sudjic, Jeanne Gang, Johanna Agerman Ross and Hans Ulrich Obrist, who closed the programme in conversation with Maria Porro, President of the Salone.

There was also great interest in the series of Round Tables held in the Arena, with open discussion between authoritative voices on crucial issues such as the relationship between sailing and design – in collaboration with the Salone Nautico Internazionale di Genova – the potential and risks of artificial intelligence and the latest developments in the hospitality industry, the sectoral macro-trends with Intesa Sanpaolo and a sensory journey in the company of Aesop.

25 Years of SaloneSatellite

This year too, SaloneSatellite put the spotlight on the creativity of more than 600 young designers, celebrating a special anniversary with talks, round tables, live (specialist) ping pong matches and a great exhibition at Triennale Milano, open to the public until 28th April: Universo Satellite. 25 Years of SaloneSatellite, curated by Beppe Finessi with exhibition design by Ricardo Bello Dias. A Wunderkammer, in which a selection of projects presented at previous editions of the showcase for designers under 35 are accompanied by an ongoing diary documenting the evolution of Marva Grifn’s magnificent ‘invention’ year by year. A training ground for thought, relationships and projects that has enabled over 14,000 young talents to exhibit alongside the brands that have written the story of design, once again confirming the value of the keyword for the 62nd edition of the Salone. Evolution.

See you at the 63rd edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano from 8th to 13th April 2025.