Xylexpo 2024: An analysis of the state of the woodworking industry

RDL - Wood Industry News recently attended Xylexpo 2024, the 28th biennial international woodworking and furniture technology exhibition in Milan. The event attracted 11,288 visitors, including 27% from abroad, demonstrating substantial stability despite the difficult period for trade fairs.

However, exhibitor participation was relatively low, with only 270 companies present, including 33% from abroad. This is a wake-up call, both for the Italian woodworking machinery industry and for the exhibition business in general. On the other hand, there was a consistent presence of companies from Asia, among which the presence of KDT caught our attention.

The stability of the number of visitors, even in this more difficult period, shows that there is still a part of those interested who want to see the machines in the fairs, to interact directly with the manufacturers, with the other players in the market. It is a signal to European manufacturers that they need to find solutions for such participation. Asian manufacturers are much more open to the whole range of events, and are increasingly present at European trade fairs and are an important alternative for manufacturers in the furniture industry and woodworking in general.

An important role at Xylexpo 2024 was played by SCM Group, which with its imposing stand, without a single machine on display, and its communication intended to take a leading role and chart the future directions for the industry. While SCM's approach had both supporters and critics, it is clear that the world is changing fast before our eyes and companies need to adapt to new realities.

Artificial intelligence and low-cost Asian manufacturers have the biggest influence in shaping the industrial landscape. Economies with conservative positions will suffer most in this context. It is essential that all industry players find innovative solutions and adapt their strategies to remain competitive in the global market.

Despite the challenges, Xylexpo 2024 provided a valuable platform for networking, deal-making and exploring new technologies. The strong interest shown in "Industry 5.0" themes, even if not fully translated into orders due to the lack of implementation regulations in Italy, demonstrates the innovation potential of the sector.

Looking to the future, Xylexpo organisers are committed to opening up new horizons for the biennial event, adapting to the changing realities of the industry. It remains to be seen how this important trade fair will evolve and respond to the evolving needs of its exhibitors and visitors.

About the author


I've had the chance to work in various departments. Thus I gained experience in Finance, Accounting, Logistics, Sales, Operations, Marketing. I am a team player and an all around player. I am an entrepreneur, I coordinated the sale of a wood varnish and paint business to a multinational. In 2016 I discovered the digital world, publishing and online marketing. Since then I have moved my accumulated experience and skills online.

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