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Formex - a continued important meeting place for creators from the county 

Formex - a continued important meeting place for creators from the county 

With a desire for after two years of cancellations, Formex, the most important trade fair for design and interior design in the, open up and welcome expectant visitors and exhibitors. The autumn theme for Formex 2022 was "After, before - together" and Umeå and Örnsköldsvik participated eight entrepreneurs and designers related to eXpression Umeå. 

Expectant designers have been building stands and preparing to showcase their products, engage with customers and make new contacts. Participants included Anna Gidlöf, Karin Holmerg and Elin Holmberg, Emelie Lundmark, Linnéa Öberg, Ulrika Edholm, Victoria Säker and Emelie Aktanius.  

Preparing for the fair was a matter of both strategy and practice. Emelie Aktanius, who designed the "Lyktstolpe" candlestick, says that she knew which person or company she wanted to reach, and from there she planned the environment and information about the product.   

I thought a lot about how the visitors would like me to be prepared so that I could professionally assist them with the right information and with a plan for how we could get in touch with each other after the fair. But above all, the contact part was about creating a professional business page for future opportunities. A website with a portfolio and several contact options, QR codes and business cards were important for this and I have Elin Holmberg who runs Ängsfälla to thank for this advice, says Emelie Aktanius.

The experience at the fair was positive and Ulrika Edholm, who runs the company Bosse and Ester, enjoyed meeting Instagram followers and existing customers who actively sought her out to meet and talk: 

As I usually interact with my customers via social media and through my online shop, it was valuable to have the opportunity to meet them, and it was so nice to receive such positive feedback. It was also very interesting to meet international visitors, and to make contacts with other companies with the same values as mine, for possible future collaborations. Ulrika Edholm

The days are described as inspiring and intense by Anna Gidlöf who runs the company Storspov Design: 

The whole week was like a social centrifuge, which was super fun! It was so inspiring and educational to be there. The contact we had with others in the Design Talents corridor was also very rewarding. We had a lot to bounce around and talk about. I also appreciated the lectures we chose to attend and of course seeing how the large booths are set up. 

Emelie Aktanius feels that she can now continue to create and develop ideas for the market thanks to all the great feedback she received during the fair: 

I got a huge response for my design, which was so much fun. After Formex, I can continue creating with an added safe hand on my shoulder. Which is something that will allow me to venture into more new ideas for the market in the future with the same defiant hopefulness about the end customer's behaviours, needs and desires," says Emelie Aktanius. 

Emelie Aktanius
Emelie Aktanius

Formex opened unexpected doors and wonderful insights:  

What was surprising about Formex was that I also met completely different categories of customers and dealers than I do today. I've been working with my company for 5 years now, and I've got a pretty clear picture of how I work and roughly what I want to do and who I want to work with. But Formex also opened other doors that I hadn't thought of before and I got new offers of ways of working that feel like a clear "Yes! I want to try this too!", says Ulrika Edholm 

I have found that if you want something and are driven and dare to ask for help, there are often people who see that you are struggling and are happy to help in any way they can. This has made it possible for me to be at Formex at all, which I am so incredibly grateful for," says Emelie Aktanius and continues: 

What surprised me at Formex was how easy it felt to actually be there. People are so friendly and I have been so incredibly listened to and helped in so many different ways, especially in ways that I could not have imagined. Being able to stand there as myself was much easier than I thought and being myself goes a long way. 

The fair doesn't end when the stand is packed away. Now begins the exciting follow-up work of sorting out what has happened and planning what happens next in the company and feeding back to the contacts that have been made. I'll be thinking about what the next step will be for Bosse and Ester," concludes Ulrika Edholm. 

Contact: 

The eight entrepreneurs are linked to eXpression design and Summer eXpression at eXpression in Umeå  

On the cover are, from left, Victoria Säker, Ulrika Edholm, Anna Gidlöf, Karin Holmberg and Elin Holmberg.

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