‘Art Basel’ of design world headed to Beach
Maison & Objet, a high-end show coming to Miami Beach May 12-15, is the Art Basel of the design world, observers say. And, like the prestigious art event, it will spawn a web of smaller shows, parties and auxiliary events.
“This is essentially a big happening in interior design,” said Max Sklar, Miami Beach director of tourism, culture and economic development. “and we expect it to follow the same pattern we have seen with Art Basel, Swim Week and other major shows, with many side events springing up.”
“There will be nothing like it in the U.S.,” said Teresa Laughlin, principal of New York City-based TC Laughlin Public Relations Group, which represents Maison & Objet stateside.
Maison & Objet in Paris draws 80,000 visitors, 3,000 trade exhibitors and 3,500 journalists twice yearly, she said. Nearly half of visitors and exhibitors are international, according to the show’s website.
The Miami Beach Convention Center event, in its first year, is expected to bring in 6,000 visitors, about 200 exhibitors and 250 journalists, many of them international. A show in Singapore last year was similarly successful and will be repeated next March, according to the company’s website.
“The Miami Beach show will be, like the Paris show, a highly curated trade event, though the blend of both exhibitors and attendees will likely incorporate more people from Latin America,” she said. “In its first year, we are not expecting the usual 80,000 trade attendees that visit the Paris show twice a year! Soon, though…”
Exhibitors who want to break into the Latin American market, including many from New York City, are eager to book space, she added.
Miami Beach “quickly became the indisputable choice as the setting for a new show, having the power to draw great numbers of qualified visitors from North and Latin America,” according to a Maison & Objet release. “This thriving metropolis – a financial, economic and cultural center of global stature – has a geographical location and history that position it as a natural bridge between the Americas.”
Community involvement is a big part of the event, Ms. Laughlin said. Though details haven’t been firmed up yet, activities being considered include a gala opening May 12, followed by the next day by a Wallcast at the New World Symphony announcing winners of the designer-of-the-year and emerging talent contests.
On May 14, Miami’s Design District might get into the action, with galleries exhibiting items from the design show and other collaborative activities. The final day might see a gigantic feast staged on the convention center’s grand promenade, and other celebrations.