Look Back of Foire de Paris, France

As France’s leading home fair and the largest general-purpose fair in Europe, the Foire de Paris is a major retail event that has been held annually in Paris since 1904, it offers a varied range of products for the general public. From construction to furnishings, including renovation, decoration and interior and exterior equipment, all sectors of the home are celebrated at the Foire de Paris. It’s an opportunity to find the biggest brands, their best-sellers, new products and innovations in a single place, and to meet the best experts in the profession.

The Foire de Paris is France’s spring business gathering. Each year, it welcomes around half a million visitors and 1,250 exhibitors for 12 consecutive days. Since 1924 the fair has been held in the Porte de Versailles exhibition center, during twelve days, many concerts, workshops, conferences, parades… Also on the programme, hundreds of fashion & accessories, beauty & wellness products, for the most complete shopping experience, with demonstrations.

The Foire de Paris is a true physical marketplace: the revenue its exhibitors make is among the biggest made throughout the whole year. It is a crossroads of inspirations and discoveries. It is where dreams for the home come true. Its worlds of cuisine, innovation, the home and craftsmanship offer a wide range of unrivalled solutions.

The Foire de Paris is a successful gathering everyone looks forward to by pursuing the unique, festive experience specific to this model, which allow visitors feel the need to get back into close contact with retailers, craftspeople and designers.

Mainly showing domestic goods, walking through the door of the Foire de Paris is the promise of discovering flavours from the French terroir, but also from all over the world or even new culinary products. And for food and wine pairing, the dozens of winegrowers present will be the best advisors.

Since its inception, the Foire de Paris has supported and highlighted entrepreneurs who are changing our daily lives. From the International Lépine Contest Paris to the Innovation Grand Prix Award, Foire de Paris is at the heart of innovation and inventions.

The concept of the Foire de Paris was aired in 1889 by a jeweler named Gustave Sandoz, but was dropped as preparations began for the Exposition Universelle of 1900. In 1903 an organizing committee was established by the Chambre Syndicale des Jeux et Jouets, and the first fair was opened in March 1904.

In 1912, Paris’ major administrative bodies (the City Council, the Seine General Council, Paris Chamber of Commerce) begin to take an interest in the Foire’s future. On their return from a trip to Leipzig, two Parisian councillors report back as follows: “The Foires de Paris affirm the superiority of our taste, ingenuity and culture. We, as a nation, must help them to develop”.

During World War I (1914–18) the fair was suspended in 1915. In February 1916 the new Minister of Commerce, Étienne Clémentel, suggested reopening the fair.

It was held on 1 to 17 March 1917 on the Esplanade des Invalides, showing only French products. In 1917, with “Big Bertha” cannons thundering less than 100 km from the capital, the fair still goes ahead: a particularly symbolic gesture. Agricultural machinery and public works equipment are exhibited for the first time, but there is something even more amazing: 400 shops dedicated exclusively to fashion. Women are not the only visitors to the event; on the front, conscripted industrialists seek and obtain extraordinary leave to visit the exhibition and make preparations for the post-war period.

The fair was again banned in 1918. In early April, with last-minute preparations underway, the dangers become too great and the bombardments force the Minister of the Interior to cancel the event.

In 1921 the fair was held on the Champ de Mars and Les Invalides. The fair continues to grow. It covers the Champs de Mars and Les Invalides as well as the Avenue de la Motte-Picquet which links them. An important new innovation this year: for the first time, exhibitors can, for a modest sum, equip their stand with “a telephonic device”.

The first Salon des Appareils Ménagers (Home Appliances Fair) was held between 18 October 1923 and 4 November 1923 in 5,000 square metres (54,000 sq ft) of the Foire de Paris on the Champ de Mars. The first show was held in a simple hut.

In 1923 the Parc des expositions was created at the Porte de Versaille to accommodate the fair and the exhibitions organized by the Ministry of Agriculture. From 1924 the Foire de Paris was hosted in the Porte de Versailles. In 1925 the fair began to include foreign products, showing new openness to international competition.

From 1927 to 1929, It is during this period that the Foire de Paris establishes its international role. In 1929 there are 754 foreign exhibitors. From 1929 the fair has hosted the Concours Lépine, a competition for inventions. In 1929 the fair had 754 foreign exhibitors.

Two competitions pique Parisians’ curiosity: a poster competition, including draft designs from 305 competitors, and an inventions competition: the already famous Concours Lépine which brought us large numbers of inventions (the two-stroke petrol engine, gears, telescopic cinema,…

President Albert François Lebrun visited the 1934 fair at the Porte de Versailles. The Foire de Paris oozes class. The Porte de Versailles really looks the part with its monumental gateway decorated with red and silver enamels and its 30-metre high pylons, now listed as historic monuments. The Foire de Paris’ popularity is such that the world’s press heaps praise on it in countries as far away as China.

During World War II (1939–45) the fair was held in 1940, closing on 10 May 1940 on the day of the great German offensive. It was suspended for the rest of the war.

In 1945, in his speech delivered at the opening of the Foire de Paris, President of the Provisional Government, Charles de Gaulle describes the event as a “commitment to effort and renewal”. It is encouraging to see that the main areas are given over to industry: engineering, electricity, iron smelting and aluminium. Visitors include large numbers of former prisoners of war and deportees. They receive free admission.

In 1948, the fair covers 45 hectares. Alongside heavy industry, furnishings and refrigeration industries, for the first time since the war, the event features luxury goods industries: leather goods and boots. The exhibit that really piques visitors’ collective curiosity is to be found in the Radio salon: 23 working television sets attract thousands of astonished onlookers.

In 1950, a distinguished visitor, the President Vincent AURIOL politely advises French people: “All those who are sad and depressed should come to the Foire de Paris, their sadness will give way to optimism”. And Le Figaro, beneath a drawing by the cartoonist Piem showing the Foire bedecked with cranes and flags, proclaims: “you must go to the Foire de Paris with the same spirit as Robinson Crusoe when he went off to conquer his desert island” (May 20, 1950).

In 1957, for the first time, the exhibition is open in the evening. In the same year, as a side event to the Foire de Paris, the “Antique Dealers’ Fair” is held at the Grand Palais.

In 1959, a landmark moment in the history of the Foire de Paris. Michel DEBRE, the Prime Minister at the time, chooses the Foire de Paris as the venue for a meeting of the 6 members of the Common Market.

In 1960, the first appearance of the Village de France which, in just a few years, will become the jewel in the crown of the event. “The most sensational new exhibit ever at the Foire de Paris” proclaimed Le Figaro on May 17. Its 30 fully equipped prefabricated houses nestle around a church and bell-tower.

In 1968, the Foire de Paris feels the full brunt of the fallout from the events of May ‘68. The Foire de Paris survives, but the approach needs to be revised. If the Foire de Paris is to continue, the organisers need to put their house in order, review their approach and give the whole event a new and coherent image.

In 1969, the Foire de Paris enters a new phase in its history. All the major problems are featured – pollution, road safety, continuing education, space exploration, energy efficiency,… So the Foire de Paris takes on a whole new image, becoming a thoroughly modern event, clearly organised in huge exhibitions which make it easier for visitors to find the things which interest them.

Since 1972, There was million visitor mark is reached every year. The Foire de Paris has obviously been around for a long time, but it maintains a young outlook and its determination to always adapt to market changes guarantees it a very bright future.

Since the 1980s, the exhibition has gradually added more and more exhibiting categories, enriching the variety of products to meet the needs of tourists in all aspects of living.

Every year in springtime, the Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles plays host to the Foire de Paris, or Paris Fair. This key event is unique in Europe, and it attracts thousands of people over the two weeks. A showcase of culture and food from around the world, the fair is also an opportunity to celebrate innovation: a Grand Prix is awarded in this category.

The 12 days of Paris Fair are replete with activities and special shows dedicated to the various exhibition topics. At the show, thanks to the 3,500 brands present, visitors can also find everything they might need to decorate their home (including construction, furnishing, kitchens and bathrooms) or to improve their outdoor space (pool, patio, garden furniture and so on). As well as discovering the stands, visitors can participate in workshops and activities, or watch parades and concerts.

For over 110 years, the Foire de Paris has been exhibiting objects that facilitate and improve everyday life, such as the ballpoint pen, the vacuum cleaner and the lawnmower. All aspects of housing, from construction to furnishings, renovation, decoration, interior and exterior, are all welcome at Foire de Paris. It is anopportunity to see the most important brands and their bestsellers, newties, and innovations in one place.

House & Lifestyle sector
In the House & Lifestyle sector, find in a single place, the most complete offer in Europe to fit out and furnish your home. Come and compare products, test them, ask for a quote and find new innovative and trendy ideas for your decoration. The exhibitors will be delighted to help you with your projects. Their professionalism and passion for the trade will make them great allies, whether you want to renovate, build a house, or do small or large-scale work.

Each year, there are more and more exhibitors to offer you tailor-made furnishing and decoration solutions, to imagine an interior that suits you. All projects come to fruition at Foire de Paris! Imagine your home from floor to ceiling with the experts present at Foire de Paris.

Furnishings and Decoration & Sound, Image and Multimedia – All the latest ideas for decorating your home and making best use of your space.
Kitchen & Household appliance – All the latest in stylish, designer or even retro kitchens combining warmth and functionality.
Bathrooms – All the latest in decoration, design and do-it-yourself… to help you brighten up your bathroom.
Building work & Home improvements – All areas of the building trade in one pavilion
Garden & Conservatory – All the latest ideas from landscape gardeners, decorators and gardening professionals who are on hand to help you design your garden.
Swimming pool & Spa – All the latest stylish products to give you ideas for maintaining, decorating and fitting out your new relaxation area.
Fireplaces & Wood burners – All the latest solutions for heating your house and improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Beds – All the latest products to transport you to dreamland.

Arts & Crafts & Culture of the World sector
Come and meet craftspeople, artists and designers at the Foire de Paris. Highly skilled exponents of ancestral or contemporary techniques, their unique and original creations will take centre stage. In the Arts and Crafts & Cultures of the World area, no fewer than 50 regions and countries are represented: France, Asia, the Americas, Africa and tropical islands. Tourism, gastronomy and music also feature prominently and cultural heritage and riches a-plenty are provided for your enjoyment.

A Taste of the tropics – All the wealth of attractions which the tropics have to offer to tourists – crafts, gastronomy and culture.
Arts & crafts – Work in different materials, encounters with craftspeople and designers, the transfer of ancestral craft techniques.
Riches of the world – From Asia to South America, from Australasia to Africa, more than 50 countries are here to share their wealth of traditional crafts and their culinary heritage.

Well-Being Fashion & Accessories sector
Well-being, fashion and accessories, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to treat yourself and discover the whole beauty range and the latest fashion trends. Looking for that special something to brighten up life, or must-have gadget.

Fashion & Accesories – Fashion & Accessories, our market will give you a sneak preview of this summer’s fashion trends.
Beauty & Well-Being – All the latest from the world of beauty, a moment to relax and focus on body care and well-being.

Leisure & Everyday Life sector
Come and play indoors or out, discover creative hobbies, take part in sporting pursuits, learn through play – and stay connected. These are some of the activities in the Foire de Paris’ Leisure and everyday life area.

Wine & Gastronomy sector
Wine & Gastronomy, this is the area which will constantly tickle your taste buds and allow you to discover new flavours, from home and abroad. Take a flavoursome and aromatic tour of wine regions and gastronomic centres – an experience you’ll never forget.

Tropiques en Fête
A change of scenery guaranteed and travel across all continents in one place! You could vibrate to the rhythm of about sixty free shows: concerts, parades, parades and other shows in the colours of the overseas islands. Fashion, current and traditional music, all the talents were gathered once per year to discover the richness of these cultures.

Discover all the magic of the customs and culture of Tropiques en Fête. Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyane and many other destinations were in the spotlight during exceptional days. THE Tropiques CARNIVAL is one day will be entirely dedicated to Carnival, lot of parades will be organized every weekend and public holidays, for an exceptional show.